Apple Sues HTC For Patent Infringement

Remember Apple suing Microsoft for “stealing” the Mac’s user interface?  A user interface that Apple actually stole from Xerox?

On 4 March 2010 Apple filed suite against HTC for infringing on some twenty patents for iPhone technology they allegedly used in their Android handsets (but not their Windows Mobile handsets).

It’s pretty obvious to me that HTC manufactured Windows Mobile handsets long before the iPhone, and those handsets used many of the basics of the technology described in the twenty iPhone patents — so who’s stealing from whom?

It’s totally ironic that Steve Jobs is quoted as saying:

We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.

When in 1996 in the PBS Documentary “Triumph of the Nerds” he said:

Picasso had a saying. He said that ‘Good artists copy; great artists steal.’ And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

I think Eric Von Hipple of MIT’s Sloan School of Management may have hit the nail on the head:

The social value of patents was supposed to be to encourage innovation — that’s what society gets out of it. The net effect is that they decrease innovation, and in the end, the public loses out.

Those who can’t innovate, litigate.


Steve Jobs, 1996 “Triumph of the Nerds”

Originally posted 2010-03-07 02:00:30.