If you haven’t heard, Apple managed to get an injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Google’s current Nexus phone.
This makes angry. Sure, I can’t do nothing about it and I’m mostly over the initial anger from reading that this happened. But I think that’s it’s a pretty bad move by Apple and here’s why.
First off, if you read the linked stories, you’ll see that the main reason the judge gave Apple the injunction it was seeking was because of a search related patent. Specifically it’s a patent for unified search. Type in your search in one place and it will search through several various databases for results. A more specific example is if I type in a name on my phone, it might bring me back a contact card, a few search results, a facebook link, maybe even songs stored on my device that contain those names, and so on.
The problem with this patent is that if you read it, it’s exceptionally vague, and it could describe just about any kind of unified search. In other words, it’s not specific enough to Apple’s unified search found in iOS. Also, unified search has been around long before the patent was granted to Apple (filed in 2000, granted in 2011), so there’s plenty of prior art and thus this patent shouldn’t have even been granted. Heck, there was similar searches on desktop computers for years by that point. So this issue is specifically with the patent system, and not Apple itself.
Why I’m having issues with Apple over this is because they continually claim or at least allude to Android (and thus Android devices) being an inferior product to it’s own mobile OS, iOS. So Apple, got a judge to grant an injunction that prevents the sale of the Galaxy Nexus (a product Apple feels is inferior), and thus while it’s off the market it no longer has to compete with that device. Here’s where the problem comes in. If Apple truly believes that Android is an inferior product, then it should have no issues competing with it in the consumer market, correct? Yet, it’s gone and gotten the device removed, thus removing that bit of competition.
Thing is most people buying a Galaxy Nexus either aren’t interested in buying an iPhone, or they’re gadget nerds and they already have an iPhone, so either way, Apple’s not really losing a sale here.
I haven’t boycotted Apple and good for them, some Koreans are thieves Samsung Huyndai all the same, and why not they have got an army of stupid Americans applauding their thuggery against an American company! How foolish.
Huh? None of this really made sense, except for maybe your extremely thin “pro-American companies” argument, but even that makes very little sense.
What’s being debated here is a SOFTWARE issue, not hardware with that in mind:
1) the software in question here is Android, which is a Google property, Google is an American company.
2) None of Apple’s products are manufactured in the US.
3) Most of Google’s aren’t either (Nexus Q being a notable exception).
4) Apple’s use of very thin patents to grant injunctions that hinder competition should never be applauded. Ever. Same goes if the situation was reversed and it was Google getting injunctions.
Patents annoy me, but that is because I don’t understand them.
“Also, unified search has been around long before the patent was granted to Apple (filed in 2000, granted in 2011)”
Does ‘prior art’ apply to things before the patent is granted or to things before the patent was filed?
Generally it’s before filing, at least that’s my understanding of it. A lawyer might tell you differently.
Unified search wasn’t even a new concept in 2000 (when the patent was filed). Also, patents are not suppose to be obtained for logical extensions of existing ideas. So since searching wasn’t new in 2000, the idea of unified search is logical extension of search, hence the patent shouldn’t have been granted.
That’s just one logic road. Point is, software patents are bad (so bad in fact that the EU ruled to abolish them completely). Developers will generally think of doing things in a similar way, hence the reason that software patents weren’t really allowed initially. Oracle actually lost a huge court case against Google over patents and API copyrights.
Thank you for this post. This morning I searched for more information on the unified search results patent that Apple is using against Google & Samsung. Few articles seem to address the patent itself and seem more satisfied to stir up the hatred between Apple and Google fans forgetting that some (or many) of us where both hats.
Thanks also for taking commenters who make illogical statements to task; there are so many of them that I often find myself frustrated when ready forums & blogs.