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

(View all)
Avatar
86 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)
Avatar
86 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)
Avatar
86 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)
Avatar
86 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)
Avatar
86 months ago

Lol!


I think you have no understanding about this situation or what patent trolls are.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 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

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...