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  • Apple, Samsung, and Google Spent More on Patents and Lawsuits Than R&D Last Year


    Apple and Google spent more on patent lawsuits and patent acquisitions last year than research and development.

    This sheer amount of money each company has wasted in courtrooms across the world is staggering. The gem of information detailing just how much each company is spending was more an afterthought in a larger New York Times piece detailing problems with the current U.S. patent system.

    "Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings." — The New York Times
    And according to an unnamed Google employee it appears Apple enjoys the never-ending courtroom battles.

    But Apple has been hard to pin down, said one person from Google who was not authorized to speak publicly. "Sometimes they're asking for money. Then they say we have to promise to not copy aspects of the iPhone. And whenever we get close to an agreement, it all changes again.

    "Our feeling is they don't really want this to end. As long as everyone is distracted by these trials, the iPhone continues to sell." — NYT
    Apple’s massive cash reserves allow the company to spend an incredible amount of money in both the legal and R&D worlds. However, Apple spent $3 billion last year R&D and is on schedule to spend under $4 billion this year, which is less than nearly every other major tech company. But, Apple’s strategy of buying IP rather than developing it, has allowed the company to introduce features in far less time than similar offerings from other companies (Siri, and Apple Maps, even if it is currently lackluster).

    Apple’s patent strategy is equally relentless. Apple literally spams the patent office with patent submissions until the underfunded and overworked patent office finally caves in and grants Apple the patent. Siri is the perfect example, as Apple re-submitted its Siri patent eight times before the patent office granted Apple the patent.

    The current state of patent law, and the tech industry have created a dangerous environment in which courtrooms dictate the future of companies instead of research and development.

    Source: NYT [via Gizmodo]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple, Samsung, and Google Spent More on Patents and Lawsuits Than R&D Last Year started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Work together?? hahahaha! Ya right! That's like asking Democrats and Republicans to actually fix something hahaha! "can't we all just get along?" haha! 3Billion could have been used on something better than an argument im sure we all agree to that yikes.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
      Work together?? hahahaha! Ya right! That's like asking Democrats and Republicans to actually fix something hahaha! "can't we all just get along?" haha! 3Billion could have been used on something better than an argument im sure we all agree to that yikes.
      ^My thoughts exactly
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      I think most of you missed the part in the NYT quotes that said "spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases." So they're not just spending on patent lawsuits, but they are buying patents (and technology) too. Those patent purchases include buying other companies and intellectual property. The NYT article is a bit misleading in that respect in that they seem to be implying that Apple (and Google) is spending more on litigation than on R&D.
    1. Lordstuny's Avatar
      Lordstuny -
      Quote Originally Posted by nakedfaerie View Post
      thats why we are getting crap iphones. If they did more for their actual devices then they would have the number one phone everyone would want, instead they sue everyone and release a crap device.

      I've been telling everyone apple don't do business the right way and this just proves it.

      I think the courts should order apple to stop sueing and start making a better device.
      kwaasiaa
    1. Slimz's Avatar
      Slimz -
      Quote Originally Posted by HCWHunter View Post
      I think most of you missed the part in the NYT quotes that said "spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases." So they're not just spending on patent lawsuits, but they are buying patents (and technology) too. Those patent purchases include buying other companies and intellectual property. The NYT article is a bit misleading in that respect in that they seem to be implying that Apple (and Google) is spending more on litigation than on R&D.
      No actually that's not what the article is implying at all. Did you even bother reading it?

      Modmyi's cut and scaled version of this article implies that.

      The NYT article is actually quite well done, and it has nothing to do with the litigation between Samsung and Apple - or any other company. It gives examples, but nothing more. It is more about the patent system, and how it hinders innovation, and where our innovation now days is coming from - and how the major corporations inhibit that growth abusing the broken system. And it's fact, it's true. Innovation comes from these small companies - for example, like Siri - Apple didn't create it, they bought it. It went through the patent office 11 times since 2004 - as a concept - and as a finished product in the form of Siri.

      Read the article - it's interesting in the least and outlines problems. People here are so biased they don't see the problem.
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Slimz View Post
      No actually that's not what the article is implying at all. Did you even bother reading it?

      Modmyi's cut and scaled version of this article implies that.

      The NYT article is actually quite well done, and it has nothing to do with the litigation between Samsung and Apple - or any other company. It gives examples, but nothing more. It is more about the patent system, and how it hinders innovation, and where our innovation now days is coming from - and how the major corporations inhibit that growth abusing the broken system. And it's fact, it's true. Innovation comes from these small companies - for example, like Siri - Apple didn't create it, they bought it. It went through the patent office 11 times since 2004 - as a concept - and as a finished product in the form of Siri.

      Read the article - it's interesting in the least and outlines problems. People here are so biased they don't see the problem.
      I did actually read the NYT article, but I didn't comment on the NYT article, I commented on this article and the readers' comments on the article.

      As for the patents problem, yes there may be a problem but Apple didn't create the system. Apple has been copied by competitors on several major products and decided to try to protect their property as much as possible and to slow down the rip-offs. The fact that they are the largest company in the business makes them a target for patent suits as well. While overly broad patents may hinder competition, properly issued patents don't hinder innovation, they hinder others copying your innovation and marketing it. That's not to say that the patent system can't be made better. That would be a good thing.

      HW
    1. sam2937's Avatar
      sam2937 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silverado1987 View Post
      Agreed same here. It works perfect in my area
      Thanks for the info!