The Great Mobile Patent War – Are your popcorn ready?

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

Bloomberg, Sept 7, 2011, “Google Hands HTC Patents to Use Against Apple

“HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is using nine patents bought from Google Inc. (GOOG) last week to pursue new infringement claims against Apple Inc.

Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago, with four of the patents originating from Motorola Inc., three from Openwave Systems Inc. and two from Palm Inc., according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, wouldn’t discuss reasons for the nine transfers to HTC.

HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”

From ZDNet, Sept 8, 2011, “Mobile patent litigation: A game with too many playing cards – Summary: Patent litigation in the mobile space is out of control. It has become a game with too many playing cards for anyone to win.

From Fortune, Sept 8, 2011 “Google gets its hands dirty – Android’s purveyor crossed a line when it sold arms to be used against Apple

P.S. I tried, without success I have to say, to get a blog friend to share his insight re this patent war, he wisely declined and told me it would be more fun to watch from the sidelines!


“New” Weapon in Apple-Samsung Patent War – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Over the years, I have actually tagged quite a few of my articles with the keyword “patent” and I am no fan of patent war. So I am happy to read “Samsung says Apple lifted iPad from Kubrick’s 2001“. Apparently Samsung is trying to use Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001, in particular the following YouTube video as an example of prior art!


Is Apple iAd another strategic blunder?

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

Along with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X mess, I wonder if iAd is another strategic blunder from the Apple’s C-Suite. Here is a brief excerpt from Bloomberg “Apple’s IAd Mobile Business Is Said to Trim Prices as Advertisers Defect” (emphasis added),

“Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iAd mobile-advertising business has cut rates by as much as 70 percent as some marquee clients are using rival services, two people with knowledge of the matter said, signaling the company is struggling to parlay its technology leadership into success in the ad industry.

When Apple rolled out iAd a year ago, companies such as Citigroup Inc. (C) and J.C. Penney Co. were being charged $1 million or more to run ad campaigns. Today those brands aren’t using iAd, and Apple is offering packages for as little as $300,000, said the people, who asked not to be named because the rates are private.

Even with lower prices, some advertising agencies are balking at iAd’s cost, especially because the promotions only reach Apple users. They’re turning instead to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s AdMob, Millennial Media and Greystripe, which serve a range of devices. That means Apple risks losing ground in a market that will generate $2.5 billion by 2014, according to EMarketer Inc.

“Apple’s closed ecosystem may have been interesting in the short run for advertisers, but in the long run they priced themselves out,” said Thom Kennon, senior vice president of strategy for the Young & Rubicam ad agency in New York.”


Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

Friday, 1 July, 2011

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 1

People don’t usually win by betting against Apple as Apple has shown the world so many great products in recent years. But I am going to join a critical Oscar editor and take my chance and bet my $1 against Apple. I say Apple may have materially damaged its Final Cut Pro brand/lovemark by giving Adobe and Avid some meaningful chances into retake some of the long lost market share. Assuming Adobe and Avid have good products and execute their plans well.

In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say Apple is giving “losers” Adobe and Avid new chances to refight their Battles of Waterloo in the field of video editing software. In the battlefield, your opponents are usually not too kind in letting you fight again and learn from your previous mistakes.

I think Apple has very much underestimated the influence of professional editors on prosumers and new beginning editors. For me, I remember years ago one of the reasons I took Final Cut Pro seriously and bought into it was because of FCP was being highly regarded and used by the professionals.

OK, NBA players have been locked out, but imagine if a brand of basketball shoes have been founded to restrict certain shots/moves by NBA players thus making them unable play their best games, will you still buy the shoes?

As my friend like to say, the following is my brand of poison/observations. Readers beware.

1) Adobe SWITCH Campaign

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 2

Adobe is smart and quick to launch a Premiere SWITCH campaign (note: press release here50% off Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro “if you own Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer with offer code SWITCH. Offer ends September 30, 2011″) making its Production Premium software costing $850 and Adobe Premiere Pro software costing $400 respectively after discount. [HT Apple Insider] Update: See also PC World review of software.

2) Full function Production Premium group of softwares at significant discount

The Production Premium software has quite a number of useful & powerful softwares and can be a good fit for professional/prosumer FCP7 users. Given Apple‘s willingness to give up its professional users, it makes sense for professional to buy and learn it for risk mitigation/management purpose. Of course, at $850, it is a bit out of reach for people who can only afford the FCPX $299 prices.

3) Adobe Premiere Pro on SWITCH discount at $400. Why $400?

Now moving on to Adobe Premiere Pro, if Adobe is smarter, they should just lower its price to $299 to match the FCPX price for new purchase!

We are talking about business strategy to regain long lost market share! A market that has been dominated by Apple Final Cut Pro for a long time. I don’t understand why Adobe Read the rest of this entry »


Apple to Lodsys: cease and desist from any further threats

Monday, 23 May, 2011

MacWorld, “Full text: Apple Legal’s letter to Lodsys

MacWorld, “Apple to Lodsys: ‘App makers are protected by [our] license

See the previous entry “iOS developers face patent threats” for some background info.


iOS developers face patent threats

Monday, 23 May, 2011

Apple must defend developers against patent threats, says EFF – Public silence from Cupertino highlights vulnerability of iOS developers, says Julie Samuels” Guardian, (emphasis added)

Apple has been publicly silent since the legal threats were first publicised by worried developers earlier in May – likely less a sign of a lack of concern on its part, and more a sign that its lawyers are scrutinising the threats and the patent that forms their basis.

The EFF is not impressed, though. “Apple’s failure to defend these developers is troubling and highlights at least two larger problems: patent trolls and developers’ vulnerability when harassing and counter-productive patent litigation comes around,” writes Samuels, who links this into a wider trend of small developers without the resources to defend a patent infringement lawsuit being targeted.

What’s different here, however, is that Apple provides this functionality to its developers and requires that they use it. Apple itself is protected from liability – Apple took a licence from Lodsys’ predecessor to use this very patent (which was likely part of a larger blanket licence). And the apparently one-sided Apple-developer agreement does not require that Apple indemnify developers from suits based on technology that Apple provides.

The importance of in-app payments to the iOS platform – something likely to be repeated on Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone in the months ahead – cannot be overstated.


Guardian’s iPad Eyewitness app – Love it!

Saturday, 23 April, 2011

I’ve been using the Guardian’s iPad Eyewitness app for a while and I love it!. Here is a YouTube demo of the app by a photographer. [HT Guardian eyewitness]

Here is another explanation.


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