Friday, July 22, 2011

Did Apple Start The Patent War?

Did Apple start the patent war?  Yes, and they're going after anyone that they receive to be a threat.  And while this is a point that I agree with Acer head, Wang, I disagree with his assessment on this matter.

Essentially, everyone is accusing Apple of not allowing business to go on as usual.  Companies copy each other.  That is the nature of business.  So compete in the marketplace.  Let the customer choose.  Heck, Apple has been known to copy from others.  

There is now a very popular term in Appledom called "being sherlocked". 

But with a preliminary ITC ruling alleging that HTC infringed on two of Apple's patents, this could spill over to other Android device makers.  

And Acer does have a lot of sour grapes to eat.  By betting on the netbook strategy, it worked out very well in the couple of years as these cheap computers, cost as low as $200,  But when Apple released the iPad as well as the timing of a global economy that was still trying to work its way out of a recession, the whole Acer network strategy collapsed.

As for Apple starting the patent war and these public war of words, none of "he said, she said" sideshows should have no bearing on what's going on the courts.  Every company has the rights to profit from their intellectual properties and defend them.  

On the surface, it seems that Apple is doing just that.  It's why HTC has to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android device they sell.  It's why Google is looking to settle with Oracle over the Java patent infringement suit.

What's important here is what will Acer and others do if the ITC ruling is upheld.  For the Android camp to simply say that they will prevail at the end of the day does not bring me any comfort.

Also, this is largely Google's fault.  It has not given its partners the type of support that I would have expected.  Perhaps this is why Google received no support from Android makers during the Nortel bidding and eventually lost the 6K+ patents to Apple's camp.

As for Apple using patents to wage war, that is really their prerogative.  Now, is the time for the Android camp to band together, help each other out, and for Google to find a way out of this mess.

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