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  • Apple, Microsoft Unite For Patent Buyout



    Apple's appetite for patents and intellectual property is practically insatiable. On the heels of MMi's recent report about Apple allegedly making a play to secure the portfolio of patents presently held by Nortel Networks, Foss Patents reported Thursday that CPTN Holdings LLC has acquired 882 Novell patents. What does this have to do with Apple, you ask? Apple, along with Microsoft, EMC, and Oracle are the "partners" behind CPTN Holdings LLC.

    The news comes from a German antitrust notification by antitrust regulator Bundeskartellamt, which dished on the joint venture involving the purchase of 882 Novell patents for $450 million. The conspiracy theorists among us are already speculating that the concerted effort by these strange bedfellows could only mean one thing - the start of a new lawsuit against Google to slow the rampant, runaway growth of Android.

    That argument, of course, is dubious at best - if not the opposite of Apple's plans altogether. What's more likely in this instance is that Apple - and its partners - are wisely taking hold of as many relevant patents as possible to curb the incessant growth of lawsuits stemming from patent ownership and violation claims. In the modern tech world, companies and individuals can't ever control "enough" intellectual property. And it appears that Apple's appetite for patents reflects this sober awareness.

    Foss Patents
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple, Microsoft Unite For Patent Buyout started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. suade8880's Avatar
      suade8880 -
      The politics of technology continues.....
    1. Electrodaktylus's Avatar
      Electrodaktylus -
      Does any of this patents expire after a certain amount of time? I used to work for big pharmaceuticals and the issue of the generic drugs after patents expired was the propeller for new R&D. Is there something like this in big tech world?
    1. Mookest's Avatar
      Mookest -
      I'm not 100% but I think these pattens are more like music rights. Once you have them you have them, If someone once to use it they must make arrangements with the patent holder. You cant make a generic of technology like in the pharm industry. Unless you are emerson I guess. lol
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Why does it seem that whenever there is an article about Apple abd Microsoft, the same photo is used everytime? Seroiusly, that photo is like 5 years old
    1. domenicp's Avatar
      domenicp -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      Why does it seem that whenever there is an article about Apple abd Microsoft, the same photo is used everytime? Seroiusly, that photo is like 5 years old
      LOL... Was thinking the same thing... Interesting story though... And ripe for lots of speculation.
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Electrodaktylus View Post
      Does any of this patents expire after a certain amount of time? I used to work for big pharmaceuticals and the issue of the generic drugs after patents expired was the propeller for new R&D. Is there something like this in big tech world?
      Patents are only good for 20 years, and as such, there is a limited window of opportunity to milk all the money you can out of it.

      Copyrights are for much longer periods, but only apply to completed works of art (music, books, paintings, graphic designs etc...) Computer/electronics software, architecture, and product design are considered art under these laws.

      So, if I write a book: you need my permission to copy it, and you need the permission of my family after I die. That work is covered for 70 years AFTER I die.

      If Apple designs a phone: The design of the phone is protected for 95 years after it is produced, or 120 years after publication, whichever is shorter.

      The TECHNOLOGY used in the phone is protected by patent, while the design and software is copyrighted.

      **The information in this post is based on U.S. law. Please do not assume that any of this applies to you if you live elsewhere. Though treaties exist for both patent and copyright protection internationally, there may be differences.**
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver View Post
      Patents are only good for 7 years, and as such, there is a limited window of opportunity to milk all the money you can out of it.

      Copyrights are for much longer periods, but only apply to completed works of art (music, books, paintings, graphic designs etc...) Computer/electronics software, architecture, and product design are considered art under these laws.

      So, if I write a book: you need my permission to copy it, and you need the permission of my family after I die. That work is covered for 70 years AFTER I die.

      If Apple designs a phone: The design of the phone is protected for 95 years after it is produced, or 120 years after publication, whichever is shorter.

      The TECHNOLOGY used in the phone is protected by patent, while the design and software is copyrighted.

      **The information in this post is based on U.S. law. Please do not assume that any of this applies to you if you live elsewhere. Though treaties exist for both patent and copyright protection internationally, there may be differences.**
      I thought patents were good for 20 years?
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Bill is leaning away from Steve...
      What a group effort to bring down another company, what would be better is if they grouped patents together, made a super phone and beat Google the old fashioned way through sale not lawsuiting them down...
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post
      I thought patents were good for 20 years?
      Just checked... I stand corrected, it is now 20 years from application (useable prototype built) or 14 years from the date of design.

      Thank You for pointing that out.

      Corrected in quoted post. The rest of the info was accurate, double checked it as well.
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRFP View Post
      They are Copyrights are not Patents the law is based on such details
      He was pointing out my error, not arguing that Patents and Copyrights are the same.

      I explained both because it illustrates that the overall design, and the tech behind it, run under different rules.

      While there will be nothing identical to the look of iPhone 4 for 95 years, there can be a phone using identical components in 20.

      So in 17 years (20 after iPhone 1 release) other companies can have the same type of screens, sensors, and chips. This means that they can freely apply Apple touch-screens to any device they wish (laptops, computer monitors, TVs, microwaves, etc...), without paying for the privilege.
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      i guess if thats what its going to take to take down google that go for it, but i think having android out there helps the rest of us get features that we want and not just stuff apple thinks we want