Welcome to The Era Of Lawsuits and Patent Battles!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 13, 2010

Image courtesy funnytimes.com

I wake up early every morning and hop on to my computer hoping to catch up some interesting technology news – what’s the coolest new app for iPhone, innovations in various smartphone OS and latest trends in the mobile industry. Instead, I usually end up reading about one lawsuit or the other – Nokia taking on Apple, Apple sueing HTC or vice-versa, Adobe filing a lawsuit against Apple, SoftView vs. Apple, Apple vs. Google or the AT&T vs. Verizon dirty games.

The list is growing longer with every passing day and I don’t see an end in sight either. Are patent battles and lawsuits the way forward for tech companies and telecom carriers?

HTC – Apple

Apple filed an intellectual-property suit against HTC two months ago and the Android phone manufacturer has just returned the pleasantries by filing a complaint against Apple alleging patent infringement and seeking a ban to stop Apple from selling the iPhone, the iPad and iPod in the U.S. I’d be surprised if the mounting tensions between these companies come to an end any time soon.

Nokia – Apple

Both these companies are no strangers to lawsuits and patent battles. They have been at loggerheads with each other since October last year when Nokia sued Apple for infringing as many as ten patents. As expected, Apple hit back and countersued Nokia for fourteen patent infringements in December, 2009. The war got uglier when Nokia asked ITC to ban iPhone, iPod and MacBook imports and filed yet another lawsuit against Apple in January this year. In less than two weeks, Apple retaliated by requesting a US ban on importing Nokia phones (surprise surprise!). A couple of months back, Nokia presented a clarification and asked the court to dismiss a part of the Apple patent lawsuit. Last week, Nokia was at it again. It sued Apple for infringing five patents in iPad 3G. Expect Apple to hit back shortly :).

SoftView – Apple, AT&T

Earlier this week, Software developer SoftView launched a suit against Apple and AT&T, claiming that the two have infringed its patent covering the display of Web pages on mobile devices. SoftView claims that it already has a patent on number 7461353, which covers the scalable display of Internet content on mobile devices. The patent was filed in 2005 and issued in 2008. The lawsuit has been filed in Delaware District Court and it’s believed that SoftView is asking for an undisclosed amount of money in damages. As the exclusive iPhone carrier in U.S., AT&T has also been dragged into this legal battle.

Adobe – Apple

Probably the most high-profile legal battle in recent years, the spat between Adobe and Apple turned ugly earlier this month. As a result, Apple is currently under the scanner by US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to an antitrust complaint levied by Adobe. To read more on this story, click here.

Are the days of settling issues ‘amicably’ over for good? Great companies, Great products but no moral values? Are lawsuits and patent battles the only resolution to these mounting conflict of interests? IMO, the number of lawsuits and patent battles are growing at an alarming rate and the situation is increasingly getting out of hand. As a purist in love with technology, it saddens my heart greatly. Can we do something about it? Is there no other way out? What do you think? I’ll be eager to hear your views.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

{ 1 comment }

Matt Klassen May 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

With the added fun that HTC just counter-sued Apple with a patent lawsuit of its own.

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