patent

Photo: technobuffalo.com

The foreman of the jury that awarded Apple just 5.5 percent of the $2.2B it claimed Samsung owed for patent infringements said yesterday that Apple should sue Google rather than handset manufacturers, reports the WSJ.

If you really feel that Google is the cause behind this, as I think everybody has observed, then don’t beat around the bush,” said Tom Dunham, whose job at IBM was to oversee developers expected to file patents. “Let the courts decide. But a more direct approach may be something to think about” …

It had previously been suggested that Apple might be using Samsung as a proxy target, when the real aim was to hurt Android. Of the five patents in question, only one – slide to unlock – was Samsung-specific, the rest being part of Android.

This was one element of Samsung’s defence: that if anyone had infringed Apple’s patents, it was Google rather than Samsung – an argument that was strengthened by Google offering to underwrite some or all of Samsung’s costs if it lost the case. From Dunham’s comments, it would appear the jury – or its foreman, at least – tended to agree.

Apple likely chose to sue Samsung as the company makes more money from Android than anyone else. After being awarded such a trivial sum in the scheme of things, however, there would seem to be little to gain from Apple going after Google directly, especially as it won on only two of the Android-related features.

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53 Responses to “Patent jury foreman advises Apple to sue Google directly”

  1. Sounds like Samsung and this foreman don’t know much about patents nor patent law. It doesn’t matter who implements the offending IP. Anyone using it is fair game. And since Google isn’t in the business of selling millions of handsets, they can probably show that they don’t make any money on Android and in fact lose money. That doesn’t leave them as a good target for getting sued. However, Samsung makes a boatload of money, so the argument can be made that a portion of those profits are on the back of someone else’s work.

    Apple has been using the correct strategy.

    Like

    • thejuanald says:

      The argument could easily be made that a portion of Apple’s profits with the iPhone (in particular, a lot of the advancements from iOS 5 onward) are on the back of someone else’s work.

      Apple took from Android, Android took from Apple. Blah blah blah.

      Like

      • Harvey Lubin says:

        If Google (followed by all of the companies making Android phones) hadn’t copied the iPhone operating system and hardware in the first place, Android phones’ hardware an software would look like BlackBerry phones, with small, non-multi-touch screens and physical keyboards taking up more than half the phone’s face.

        In 2007 when Apple surprised everyone by introducing the iPhone, Google was working on Android… but Android at the time was NOT the Android you see today. The Android of 2007 was “emulating” the then popular BlackBerry phones, and offered nothing new or innovating to smartphone technologies.

        It took Google 3 years after the iPhone’s introduction, presenting in 2010 the hardware and software that we now see as Android. That “new” version of Android hardware and software “emulates” the iPhone’s hardware and software technologies, and Google accomplished this by infringing many of Apple’s patented IP.

        This infringement by Google and the Android phone manufacturers has been proven in may court verdicts over the past few years. And for all of the infringements and court decisions to date, there are still more infringements of Apple’s IP that will be exposed and compensated in upcoming court cases.

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      • thejuanald says:

        And the iPod wouldn’t have looked like it did if they didn’t steal the idea from Creative, or the design that they Stole from Kane Kramer, Mac OS wouldn’t look the same if they didn’t steal the GUI from Xerox, Mac OS X wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t steal several ideas from Windows, the iPhone wouldn’t have pinch to zoom if they didn’t take it from Samsung in 2003, etc.

        Want me to get started on specific things that Apple stole from Android from iOS 5 to now, because I can if you’d like. Apple stole, Android stole. They’re both great products. Steve Jobs loved reciting that quote from Picasso about great artists stealing, until people took ideas from Apple (and Steve was known to take credit for ideas that he didn’t have, just ask Jony Ives.

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      • Harvey Lubin says:

        thejuanald: “And the iPod wouldn’t have looked like it did if they didn’t steal the idea from Creative”

        You can tell how desperate some people are to justify their Apple hatred, when they make up fantasies with ridiculous statements like that.

        The original iPod, and the ones that followed it, were nothing like other existing MP3 players…

        1) Apple introduced the touch-sensitive scroll wheel (which is an Apple patented technology)
        2) Apple introduced the first MP3 player with a power-efficient 1.8″ hard drive (all other MP3 players at the time used either large, power-hungry 2.5″ hard disks, or a very small amount of (then very expensive) flash storage.
        3) The first iPod was the first multi-Gigabyte MP3 player that was small enough to fit into your pocket.
        4) And many other Apple patented technologies.

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      • Harvey Lubin says:

        thejuanald: “Mac OS wouldn’t look the same if they didn’t steal the GUI from Xerox”

        Another desperate attempt by thejuanald to rewrite history as his own fantasy world.

        It is well known by intelligent people that Apple didn’t “steal” anything from Xerox, or anyone else, in making Mac OS (the first commercialized GUI and mouse-driven operating system).

        If you are willing (or able) to read this short article in the L.A. Times, you too will understand that Apple stole nothing, and that you are just repeating a myth that has no basis in reality:

        http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/steve-jobs-xerox-parc.html

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      • thejuanald says:

        Apple hatred? I really like Apple, and I’ve owned, and still continue to own several of their products. I’ve been in every developer beta for a new OSX since Leopard. I’ve owned several laptops, multiple iPods, two iPhones and an iPad. I still love my Macbook Air, but I’ve found the phone and tablet market to be moving well ahead of Apple. Don’t pull that crap just because someone doesn’t agree with every little thing they do.

        My point was that Apple has taken from others, others have taken from Apple. The consumers have benefited greatly from this, and so have all the companies that have been involved.

        Fun fact: Apple took the wheel design for the iPod from Creative’s Nomad II Jukebox mp3 player and improved upon it for the iPod. Maybe you should actually do some research before you start spouting things you know nothing of.

        As to your points, like I said, Apple took the idea of the Nomad II wheel design and improved upon it. Just like Samsung has done with some of Apple’s software ideas. Just like Apple did with some of Android’s ideas.

        The fact that you’re so blind to think that I’m hating on Apple makes me think you’re nothing but a fanboy who will back anything Apple does and can’t stand anyone saying anything contrary.

        “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Jobs loved that quote, and he stole ideas, and the consumer was better for it. Android stole some ideas, and consumers were better for it.

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      • Harvey Lubin says:

        thejuanald: “Mac OS X wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t steal several ideas from Windows”

        Now you are just talking crazy talk. The only way that your insane statement would be true would be if the people at Apple invented a time machine, travelled years into the future to sneak a peak at Windows, then got back into their time machine going back to the past to make Mac OS as a “copy” of Windows.

        In reality, Apple sued Microsoft for copying Mac OS. There was an out of court settlement in which Microsoft committed to developing MS Office for the Mac, and also made a substantial investment in Apple.

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      • Harvey Lubin says:

        thejuanald: “Fun fact: Apple took the wheel design for the iPod from Creative’s Nomad II Jukebox ”

        Fun fact: You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

        Real fact: The Nomad Jukebox 2 was a huge MP3 player with a 2.5″ hard drive, and it DID NOT have any sort of “wheel design”. In fact it just had a bunch of oddly spaced buttons. There was also the Nomad II (not Jukebox) which had a circle with some controls on it, but it DID NOT have any sort of “wheel design”!

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      • thejuanald says:

        I’m not saying that Apple stole the idea of the OS from Windows. I’m saying that certain features of Apple OS came about because Windows did them first. You’re getting very worked up over being wrong. You’re saying Apple didn’t take the idea of the search function, the back and forward buttons, screen sharing, and alt+tab (off the top of my head) from Windows and then improve them? Now you’re just being silly.

        The article you posted proved my point. Apple was trying to make a GUI and kept running into problems. Then they saw what was going on at Xerox with PARC and took that and solved their issues. Get it? Did Apple pay for that? No, they took people from Xerox to work for Apple on that technology (that’d be illegal to do today, just so you know). Is it a bad thing? Not to me.

        My point, in case you can’t get it through your head, is that these companies become better and better due to each company improving upon something another company did.

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      • thejuanald says:

        You’re right about the Nomad, I remembered incorrectly. Maybe it was my Sony minidisc player, or I’m completely wrong, but that’s not the point. The point is, everybody takes ideas from other things that are out there and works to improve them. It’s not an Apple vs Samsung issue.

        We could talk about safari cloud tabs, the notification center, the notification bar, tabbed mobile browsing, the split keyboard, the ability to open apps from the lock screen, card based multi-tasking, the control center, etc., but why would we? All those things (taken from Android or Windows Phone) have greatly improved the iPhone.

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      • Harvey Lubin says:

        thejuanald: “The article you posted proved my point. Apple was trying to make a GUI and kept running into problems. Then they saw what was going on at Xerox with PARC and took that and solved their issues. Get it?”

        Uhh, thejuanald… I did ask if you were “able” to read the article, and apparently you have proved that you don’t have that ability.

        A quote from the article that totally negates your ridiculous idea that Apple “took” anything from Xerox:

        “Atkinson later said that he didn’t steal PARC’s version, but that seeing there was a solution “empowered” him to invent his own solution, which went into the original Mac.”

        Atkinson “invented his own solution”… Get it?”

        It is getting very tiring having to correct your irrational rants with plain old facts. Before you go ahead spouting any more absurd statements, you should try to first educate yourself by reading (and actually comprehending what you read) about the topics that you apparently know nothing about. It will save you the discomfort of looking like a fool to others.

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      • thejuanald says:

        I’m very sure he didn’t use any of that knowledge to make his own technology, because, you know, he said it. Guess what? It would be illegal today. That’s exactly what Zennimax is suing Oculus (and John Carmack) over.

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    • Apple has ample grounds to sue Google and to seek a large sum regardless of their profits from the operating system. They simply need to argue that they are encouraging others to infringe, and hence, are infringing themselves. They could use their same lost market share argument as a basis for their requested compensation, just like they did against Samsung. Now the only out for Google or Samsung, of course, would be for their to be an indemnification clause that says either Google indemnifies its licensees for any infringement of others caused by the OS or that Samsung indemnifies Google, claiming the software is provided AS IS with no warranties about its reliability or if it infringes patents.

      Regardless, I’m really surprised to hear a juror say that Apple should go after Google directly when they showed in court that Google was already indemnifying Samsung on the related patents. Its clear to me that the jurors grabbed what they wanted from the testimony to support their individual biases. The same could probably be said of the first trial; however, it didn’t help that Samsung just phoned in their defense.

      Like

    • Harvey Lubin says:

      thejuanald: “The fact that you’re so blind to think that I’m hating on Apple makes me think you’re nothing but a fanboy”

      Do the words “ironic” and “paradoxical” mean anything to you? Because you certainly have a flair for demonstrating them.

      Your many statements are just fictitious rantings that have no basis in reality.

      My responses to your statements have been factual, correcting your erroneous imaginings.

      Someone who goes on rants making up ridiculous statements opposing reality, trying to present them as “facts”, would clearly be the actions of a “fanboy”.

      Someone else who corrects those ludicrous statements with verifiable facts is NOT a “fanboy”.

      I do understand that my correcting your fantasies with accurate information (that most intelligent people are already aware of) would upset you. But taking it personally, and calling me a “fanboy” for it, is the height of hypocrisy!

      Like

  2. patstar5 says:

    This is ridiculous. Apple needs to start competing with their competition instead of playing dirty by suing. Well they won’t be able to charge apple tax anymore with unsubsidized pricing becoming the norm. Who would pay $850 for a 4 inch phone when you can get a 5.5 inch phone with 3gb ram and 64gb memory? That is a $500 premium apple is adking , and I am done paying it. Until apple drops their prices (macbook air refurbished does look promising) I am through with buying their products. It is windows tablets and android phones now for me.

    Like

    • thejuanald says:

      The Surface Pro 2 is amazing, if you’re looking. I still love my MacBook Air, but the Surface Pro 2 compliments it really well, and completely negates the need for an iPad (I gave my 3rd gen iPad to my girlfriend).

      Like

      • patstar5 says:

        Only thing about surface pro 2 is it is so thick! Also it is heavy. I got a dell venue 11 pro with Intel core i3 for $500 on eBay and it is pretty good. Only complaint is the back cover comes off so you can remove the battery and upgrade ssd. But I must have broken a Clip or something because now I can’t get it to stay on! The top keeps on popping off! I ordered a case so that should fix the problem. Besides that I love it! I haven’t used my iPad 2 in weeks.

        Like

      • thejuanald says:

        I agree it’s a bit thick, but the functionality I get from it is amazing and we’ll worth it, to me.

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    • You want to talk about a dirty company take a look at your precious Samsung. They are one of the most corrupt companies in the world. You think that Apple is the first company that they have done this to? Take a look at the recent article in Vanity Fair (http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2014/06/apple-samsung-smartphone-patent-war) to see just a glimpse of what a sleazeball company Samsung is.

      Apple tax? Seriously. If we aren’t going to be serious then I would like to say, “The 90s called they want their tech analysis back.” Give me a break. The Samsung Galaxy S5 sells for $649 unsubsidized. The iPhone 5s sells for $649 unsubsidized. When Apple released the iPad nobody could match their price for performance at the 10″ size so they had to come out with smaller tablets to make them cheaper. One of Apple’s biggest strengths today is their shear size of sales. They can get better prices on components because they buy such large quantities. The reality is that Samsung is the only Apple competitor that is making any profits in mobile phones now because they are the only one with the production facilities allowing them to compete. All of the others have been losing money for years now.

      Screen size is a personal preference. Just because you like big phones doesn’t mean that everyone does. I for one think anything over 4.7-4.8″ is too big for a phone. I would like to see Apple come out with a larger phone and suspect that they will, but screen size is still a personal choice not a given benefit.

      Just like the frequency of a processor was only a single factor in determining the performance of the CPU the amount of RAM in a device is only a single factor in the performance of a device. In point of fact, some of the phones that have the largest amount of RAM have the worst overall performance because they don’t optimize their software and thus require that excessive amount of RAM to function reasonably well. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the extra RAM is drawing power, which hits battery life.

      Where is this $500 premium that you are talking about? What are you comparing? You are throwing around a lot of numbers, but not making much sense.

      Then again, blind hatred rarely makes much sense. Nobody is making you buy an Apple product (which is why the word tax in “Apple tax” was always imbecilic to begin with). So, why do you come to an Apple site? To simply spread your vitriol?

      Perhaps that is it. Good job troll, you got me to bite.

      Like

      • herb02135go says:

        Interesting denial of the Apple Tax. This very website had an article on it. The article didn’t deny the existence, but said it was worth paying.

        Boy, you fanboys just can’t follow talking points, can you?

        Like

      • @herb02135go: Got any references to that?

        Also, look up the word tax. It was an ignorant application then and it is an ignorant application now.

        Boy you Apple haters just can’t handle facts, can you?

        Fact, Apple’s iPhone 5s cost $649. Fact, Samsung Galaxy S5 cost $649.

        Please, dispute those facts. The top of the line iPhone and the top of the line Samsung Galaxy cost the exact same. Where is the “Apple tax” (which isn’t nor ever was a tax)?

        Like

      • You just hit the nail right in the coffin! And thank you SO MUCH for posting that link about Samsung history and tactics! This has just fired me up even more to boycott those scum bags!

        Like

      • thejuanald says:

        Edison, you’ll miss out on a lot of great televisions and phones. You also better boycott Apple because they use Samsung screens for a lot of their products.

        Like

      • patstar5 says:

        I might be typing this on a Samsung phone but just because you like android does not mean you like Samsung. The phone I am mentioning is the one plus one which costs $350 for 64gb version. Making almost every other popular phone seem expensive.

        Like

      • patstar5 says:

        Also Google is coming out with a modular phone next year which will make every single phone obsolete. Why would you pay $650 for a phone when you can choose your phone size and your parts? Also when a new screen, processor, camera,etc. Comes out then you just buy the part and replace it. With a starting price of $50 (bare bones model without cellular) it will be affordable and easy for anyone to buy and use. Google is targeting the “next 6 billion” phone users with project Ara. The whole phone industry will be turned upside down.

        Like

    • Lander Kemp says:

      You say Apple has to compete with new products to win the competition with samsung, but don’t you realize apple has been doing this for years, but every time they bring something new to their devices, samsung copies it, look at the touch ID, the slide to unlock… Apple may bring a ton of new innovative features to their products, but samsung will copy it a few months later. Suing them might stop them from copying, because apple can’t bring something new to the market since samsung just copies it. Every move they do is countered and copied by samsung and apple gets the blame? Have you noticed samsung did not bring ANYTHING really new to the smartphone world the last 3 years and only brought things to their phones apple did a few months earlier? Are you blind??

      Like

    • Enjoy your devices with poor services and filled with bugs and bloatware. :)

      Like

      • thejuanald says:

        My Note 3 has been fantastic, you can turn off Samsung bloatware and change the UI if you like…you can’t get rid of Apple bloatware and that incredibly dated UI, however.

        Like

      • That incredibly dated UI that is brand new. If you’re going to complain about Apple (which you love or you wouldn’t be on this site), then learn about it .

        Like

      • thejuanald says:

        Um, Apple hasn’t changed the home screen UI since the iPhone came out. I OS does nothing for the home screen UI. It does add some great functionality like the control center, which is actually pretty awesome and I’m glad they borrowed that from Android’s notification panel. It was sorely needed and it was implemented really well.

        Like

    • Harvey Lubin says:

      patstar5: “Apple needs to start competing with their competition instead of playing dirty by suing”

      So you are saying that taking legal action against others that steal from you is “playing dirty”???

      I’m sure that there are many thieves that hearing your stance, would love to break into your house and take whatever they want to, knowing that you would be reluctant to call the police or have them tried for their crimes.

      Would you like to give out your address right now, so that those criminals can be fully informed?

      ;-))

      Like

    • Patent and trademark protections were written into the U.S. Constitution, the original copy, not the amended one. So patents were are right of the people before guns. So how is exercising a constitutional right a dirty trick? Also, the Apple iPhone is the first cell phone of any manufacturer where the manufacturer dictated to the service provider the provided could not install any of their own bloatware on the device. Why don’t they get more credit for that?

      Like

    • Tallest Skil says:

      Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic troll.

      Like

  3. To directly sue Google seems like a great idea. Google makes a huge target for a high-profile case. Android has practically ruined Apple’s iPhone business by allowing anyone to build and sell smartphones without any licensing whatsoever. There really needs to be some standards when it comes to selling consumer goods. Allowing people with no credentials to build and sell products only shows Google doesn’t give a damn about its own reputation. I’m rather certain Google would not take kindly for Apple trying to cut into its search engine business and they should be more prudent about stepping on other companies’ toes.

    Like

  4. What if Apple knows what it’s doing? Imagine that.

    What if it sees these as useless but necessary fights? What choice does it have? The moment it quits aggressively defending and acquiring IP, thousands of little IP insects will begin sucking blood bits out of it in court.

    What if massive legal costs are precisely what Apple uses to ward off death by mosquito bites? If so, the more maniacal Apple looks, the more like a bloody nutcase (think Cheney) willing to go thermonuclear on costs, the better. And what are the net legal costs, after taxes?

    Outside court, Apple clearly focuses on significant tech that it can own materially, not just on IP paper that’s not worth a damn: touch ID, sapphire, A7, M7. Yesterday Apple bought a display tech company. Apple spent more on acquiring tech companies than Google last year. And a hellava lot more on acqs relevant to its core business.

    I don’t see where Apple has in any way given up creative invention for legal reaction. When’s the last time Apple put its head in the noose, relying on IP advantage alone?

    And it did once. Let’s not forget, as Daniel Eran Dilger says, this has all happened before. Apple lost big time relying on court battles in the nineties. Is it likely to rely on lawyers today? Really? I don’t think so. Burned twice, shame on Apple.

    It knows better.

    Like

    • I strongly think that Apple knows exactly what it is doing, and I still think that what it is doing is trying to push Samsung into moving away from Android. If they can do that then the Android problem will take care of itself. Samsung is the only mobile phone company, besides Apple, that is making any profits on mobile phones and has been for at least a couple of years now.

      How long can the other Android phone companies continue to exist when they are losing money on every phone that they build? If Apple can make the cost of using Android too expensive for Samsung and Samsung moves to Tizen or Windows then Apple has pretty much just succeeded in beating Android and they didn’t have to sue Google at all.

      Samsung is the lynchpin in taking Android out, as a real competitor. All that they need to do is keep winning these cases and eventually they will get that sales ban. And then it is game over.

      Like

  5. Jack Zahran says:

    It’s pretty clear samsung stole ideas from the iPhone to anyone who bought the first iPhone. And, $120 Million is a big punishment. More importantly Samsung has developed a reputation as a repeat offender with the Department of Justice. Notice the recent Vanity Fair article about their history of cheating and lawlessness.

    For Samsung, worse than the financial punishment is the fact that two different juries found them guilty of serious patent theft. A ban on their products seems likely.

    Like

  6. rlowhit says:

    I was not aware that jury foremen were also qualified to provide legal advice.

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  7. It puzzles me Apple has not chased after Google. It isn’t true the search giant does not make money from Android: what about the user data it gathers? What about the ads it pumps through these devices, are there not income streams in the provision of the OS that Google benefits from? This means there is a clear profitable business in Android for Google, so it makes sense for Apple to tax Google for a slice of that, given the patent abuse it claims (and I believe) has taken place?
    I do wonder why Apple and Google are not fighting directly. Conceivably this is because they have way too much information about each other.

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  8. togetherinparis says:

    When Google was a new search-only company, I told them to do gmail and base ads on that content, too. Apple uses my “What will your verse be?” Dead Poets bit to sell iPads without my permission. If Apple plans to sue good Google, they should clean up the act and behave honestly, rather than receiving stolen intellectual property arrogantly.

    Like

    • Tallest Skil says:

      Why should we believe this? At all?

      Like

      • togetherinparis says:

        Philosophers more learned than wise
        Hunt science down in butterflies.
        That’s I.

        Doesn’t NSA keep the entire internet on servers at taxpayer expense? Perhaps the information will be made available to historians eventually one day in the distant future. Then the future will make informed judgements and rebalance equity in the interest of justice? No. Don’t expect gratitude in this lifetime or the next, or the next, or the next. The future will be run, as the present, by knaves.

        Like

  9. Yep, Apple should sue Google for a piece of every Android license. What would be the reasonable royalty rate Google could pay to Apple for infringement? 50%? 100%? Quick, what’s 100% of 0? You think Google will be willing to pay that much?

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  10. Jubei says:

    “said Tom Dunham, whose job at IBM was to oversee developers expected to file patents.”

    Oh yeah, he was the perfect choice to listen on Apples argument! Seriously? IBM???

    Like

  11. drtyrell969 says:

    Tim’s been hired to play ball with Google. It ain’t gonna happen, and if it does, it’ll be some flaccid half-hearted attempt. If they prove me wrong, I’ll be the first to say it. But it was Steve’s dying wish to crush these scumbags, and Tim and the board haven’t honored that sensibility in the slightest. If they were smart, they’d fake it with Apple suing successfully, then Google buying Apple. LOL.

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  12. Software patents are the problem here – there was a time when a patent was specifically for inventing a physical “thing” – not, as here, for a mere idea., as in a software patent.

    Anyway the war should be over now – and Apple, Samsung, et al. should get back to inventing and innovating; this constant bickering is leading nowhere.

    Like