Google Argues That Apple's Popular Inventions Should Be Standard Essential

Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:56am by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 10186 views

Google, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, argues that inventions that become ubiquitous due to popularity should be considered de facto standards, reports AllThingsD.

Google General Counsel Kent Walker wrote:

While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee's concern regarding the abuse of SEPs should encompass them as well.

Google is arguing that just as there are some patents that are standards essential, there are also patents that are commercially essential. Meaning that withholding those patents would be harmful to the competitive marketplace. Multi-touch or Slide-to-Unlock would be some of the inventions covered under this idea.

As one would expect, Apple disagrees.

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell criticized Walker's argument saying, "That a proprietary technology becomes quite popular does not transform it into a 'standard' subject to the same legal constraints as true standards." He believes that standards provide the platform for products to compete against each other and non-standardized technologies differentiate between those products.

The capabilities of an iPhone are categorically different from a conventional phone, and result from Apple's ability to bring its traditional innovation in computing to the mobile market. Using an iPhone to take photos, manage a home-finance spreadsheet, play video games, or run countless other applications has nothing to do with standardized protocols. Apple spent billions in research and development to create the iPhone, and third party software developers have spent billions more to develop applications that run on it. The price of an iPhone reflects the value of these nonstandardized technologies - as well as the value of the aesthetic design of the iPhone, which also reflects immense study and development by Apple, and which is entirely unrelated to standards.

AllThingsD has posted the both letters along with a detailed analysis at the link below...

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google - July 22, 2012 at 7:01am
didn't bother to read the message. but I assume it has something to do with apple taking patenting on EVERYTHING and this is deterring from google's creation. anyway I think apple is wrong on this part. apple basically patented the cellphone in general. anything that communicates and sends signals and messages you have to go thru apple first. geez, give it a break apple, they only created this so that they could keep the iphone the way it is without changing and creating better and newer things. you people are blind to see that with patents, the same company apple no longer needs to innovate. they just keep it the same so that stupid consumers won't know anything better. think about that before you scrutinize. you uneducated stupids. that's why you buy things from my company haha. I work for apple btw. don't believe me? I don't care. you guys are giving me a huge paycheck hahaha!!!
Joe - July 22, 2012 at 4:10pm
Wow. Calling everyone "uneducated stupids" really speaks volumes of your education.
asdf - July 23, 2012 at 7:27am
haha he's actually right. there's a lot of stupid people out there. only like maybe 1% of people out there are actually "not-fools"
Thhm - July 22, 2012 at 3:58am
Should good design really be a private property? Seat belts? Rearview mirrors? I wonder how private transport would have advanced if the fucking geniuses of those times decided that every car manufacturer has to pay for the patents to install them
ratGT - July 23, 2012 at 1:11am
@Thhm ---- You're comparing the patenting of a smartphone with the life-saving seat belts?!? Damn you're f#cked up in the head!...
rudyy - July 22, 2012 at 1:26am
Fuck Steve Ballmor. Bing sucks as a search engine, and anytime you think Windows is worth using just recall Window Millenium and Vista. Windows is vomit, so fuck off, Microsoft.
Joe - July 21, 2012 at 5:40pm
So let me get this straight. Apple spends the time and money to create cutting edge features never before seen, and just because it's very popular google wants to use it for free because they claim it's popularity makes it a standard? WHAT THE FUCK is google smoking?
User - July 22, 2012 at 6:18am
Things like touch screen technology can be comparable to an escelator. Stairs exist, but these are MOVING STAIRS! Once things become overly useful, they become standard... Phones, televisions, lightbulbs... Etc...
alksjf - July 22, 2012 at 7:04am
tell that to his dying family member when a company that makes the cure, patents that cure, and doesn't allow any other company to create that cure and also cranks up the price so that the poor don't get it.
ratGT - July 23, 2012 at 1:08am
@alksjf ---- You're comparing the patenting of a smartphone with medication/cure? WTF is wrong with you?!?
alksjfd - July 23, 2012 at 7:37am
im just saying... how far are we willing to go with patents? I understand its for the protection of a company's ideas. But Apple takes patent restrictions on even things like "basics" how else are you going to make a touchscreen phone?? How else are you going to even make the design of a phone?!!! Common now apple's iphone design has had a name since the day cell phones were invented. Its called the BAR shape... theres also a flip phone, a slide phone. They are taking leads to even patent the "bar" shape of the phone. Windows go way out of its way to avoid this by making tiles... isnt that the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen?? This is just so it won't run into any problems with apple?!?!? well maybe the inventor of objective C language should've patented that too... and we all know that the iphone's heart and soul was from objective C. Wanna go down to the basics apple?? I'll tell you what... i invented the language and i have secretly been holding that patent for over 25 years now... I'm pulling out the lawsuit card NOW!
alksjfd - July 23, 2012 at 7:42am
also have you noticed that apple seems to have had all these patents. but not once did windows or ANY other software or hardware company have this problem. No its not that they are copying apple. History has shown us that company tends to copy eachother a lot. No this is not what apple is doing. apple has shown its ruthless side by creating patents on every little thing to inhibit progress and stay on top. all the other companies like dell and hp has rarely had this issue. This NON-apple companies seem to me as companies who played against eachother with good sportsmanship. APPLE REMINDS ME OF THAT FAGGOT KID IN SCHOOL WHO ALWAYS TRIED TO GET AHEAD IN CLASS WHILE PULLING OTHER PEOPLE DOWN... WE CALL THEM GUNNERS.
Really!!! - July 21, 2012 at 3:46pm
Great responses from Balmer and Gates here. So true! Fuck google, ROFL.
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