Apple Joins Lobbying Group to Influence Patent Legislation

by

Applelogo.pngMajor US companies from various business sectors have joined together to form a lobbying group that opposes pending patent reform legislation proposed by Congress, reports Reuters. The new Partnership for American Innovation includes Apple, DuPont, Ford, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer.

The change proposed by Congress would target patent assertion entities (PAEs), which purchase patents with the sole intention of licensing them to other companies or suing non-licensees for infringement. Companies, like Apple, want to limit the ability of PAEs to sue for infringement, but they are concerned that the proposed legislation may hurt actual innovations that need patent protection.

"There's a feeling that the negative rhetoric is leading to a very anti-patent environment," said David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 2009 to 2013, who advises the group. He is with the law firm Cravath, Swaine and Moore, LLP.

In particular, the group would oppose efforts to make software or biotechnology unpatentable.

Rather than limit what ideas are patentable, the group supports efforts to penalize patent trolls for filing frivolous lawsuits. Apple, Google and other technology companies recently asked the Supreme Court to make it easier for companies to collect attorney fees when patent holding companies lose infringement lawsuits. This allocation of fees, companies argue, would cut down on the number of frivolous suits.

Apple reportedly is the number one target for patent trolls with an estimated 171 cases filed against the company in the last five years. Apple recently confirmed it has been sued 92 times in the past two years and faces 228 unresolved patent claims still in the court system.

Top Rated Comments

whooleytoo Avatar
89 months ago

Hope you never think of something new and great that nobody else thought of, then try to make money off of it....

If slide to unlock was so obvious, why were they the first to implement it?


I'm not opposed to patents, I just believe the 'bar' should be set far higher.

As to why slide to unlock was obvious, look at the options:

- One physical button press to unlock? Too easy to accidentally turn the phone on.
- A combination of physical button presses to unlock? Doesn't work well on a device without a physical keypad or many buttons!
- A touch-press/gesture to unlock? Easy to press accidentally, and requires the touch-screen to be constantly on meaning battery drain.
- Unlock via motion using the accelerometer? Doesn't work well, as a device in a pocket could be accidentally triggered via motion.

So the only unlock option left was a combination of physical button to activate the touch-screen plus some kind of on-screen gesture. All that Apple invented is basically a direction of slide! The reason no one did it before is because most previous devices had a physical keyboard so didn't have this problem.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
89 months ago

I wonder how this is going to affect the Rockstar Consortium. I know the Congressional focus is patent assertion entities but isn't that another name for non-practicing entity or NPE's ? AFAIK Rockstar is considered an NPE.


Rockstar is practicing, how do you mean it's an NPE?

----------

Lol!


Only if you believe they're a patent troll - which would mean you have no idea what a patent troll really is.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fredaroony Avatar
89 months ago

Hope you never think of something new and great that nobody else thought of, then try to make money off of it....

If slide to unlock was so obvious, why were they the first to implement it?

Were they? http://www.tuaw.com/2013/04/05/german-court-finds-apples-slide-to-unlock-patent-invalid/
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
89 months ago

Very much against Apple on this (oooh. I wonder who'll win? :) )

I have no problem with anyone asserting a patent, if it's original work and (crucially) non-obvious / incremental work. I don't care if it's Apple, Google, Samsung, or a tiny firm that bought the patent off the inventor. I see no reason why the law should be biased towards the larger companies.

It's concepts like one-click purchasing (Amazon), hyperlinks (BT tried to patent it, failed), and slide-to-unlock (Apple) that shouldn't be patents, along with scan-to-email (MPHJ Technology).

I don't care who's trying to assert these patents. In a free-market society, being able to apply to a Government agency for a nationwide monopoly on a service/product/feature is something that should be done sparingly, carefully and thoughtfully. Not "Award them all, let the courts sort it out".


Hope you never think of something new and great that nobody else thought of, then try to make money off of it....

If slide to unlock was so obvious, why were they the first to implement it?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
89 months ago

Lol!


I think you have no understanding about this situation or what patent trolls are.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
whooleytoo Avatar
89 months ago
Very much against Apple on this (oooh. I wonder who'll win? :) )

I have no problem with anyone asserting a patent, if it's original work and (crucially) non-obvious / incremental work. I don't care if it's Apple, Google, Samsung, or a tiny firm that bought the patent off the inventor. I see no reason why the law should be biased towards the larger companies.

It's concepts like one-click purchasing (Amazon), hyperlinks (BT tried to patent it, failed), and slide-to-unlock (Apple) that shouldn't be patents, along with scan-to-email (MPHJ Technology).

I don't care who's trying to assert these patents. In a free-market society, being able to apply to a Government agency for a nationwide monopoly on a service/product/feature is something that should be done sparingly, carefully and thoughtfully. Not "Award them all, let the courts sort it out".
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...