America's Bizarre IP Playground

Intellectual property has become the hot legal battleground over the last five years. Prior to the iPhone's launch patent battles revolved around technical solutions and their infringement. RIM vs Good Technology was a perfect example.

Why has there been a change? I'm afraid we have to point the finger at Apple, who began this rapidly escalating war in an attempt to mask its weak position in "real" patents around telephony and data services.

The Motorola/Apple lawsuit shows the duplicity of Apple in these battles and the crazy inconsistencies in the application of patent law across the US (and parts of Europe too).
 
Apple argues that Motorola's lockscreen infringes upon its 'Slide to unlock' patent because a tap is a zero-length slide. Yet if that's the case then the patent itself is obviously invalid. Why? Because Windows Mobile 2003 implemented such a lockscreen more than four years before Apple came up with the iPhone. Yes it was a tap to unlock, but if Apple believes that a tap is a zero-length slide in 2012, it must also believe the same was true in 2003. Patent invalid, move on.

Its critical because Apple has used the same patent to block the sale of Galaxy Nexus phones in the US. A clearly invalid patent (by Apple's own admission) being used to restrict consumer choice in America by an American company.

A lovely image for independence day!

You can find out more about the Apple/Motorola case here: http://m.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/01/apple-google-patent-case-john-naughton-comment?cat=technology&type=article

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