Apple loses A7 patent lawsuit to University of Wisconsin, faces $0.9 billion damages

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Atreidin

Senior member
Mar 31, 2011
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The claims of the patent in question do not specify the use of a lookup table.

Also - this was a high stakes patent litigation where the defendant (Apple) has literally unlimited funds available to try an invalidate the asserted patent. They have some of the best patent lawyers around and access to the best patent litigators in the world. And they still lost. Given that context, your assertion that no previous art exists is questionable at best.

The patent is also from 1998. Given many years of hindsight and compounding knowledge, old patents can seem obvious now when they weren't at the time. If both Intel and Apple couldn't invalidate the patent then I think I will be OK without the armchair-CPU-architects giving their armchair-patent-lawyer-analyses of the situation.
 

aigomorla

CPU, Cases&Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
20,853
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great another excuse for apple to hike up the price of the iphone.
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
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The patent is also from 1998. Given many years of hindsight and compounding knowledge, old patents can seem obvious now when they weren't at the time. If both Intel and Apple couldn't invalidate the patent then I think I will be OK without the armchair-CPU-architects giving their armchair-patent-lawyer-analyses of the situation.

100% agree. And fwiw I am a patent attorney. So I'm not exactly providing an armchair analysis :)
 

jason166

Member
Dec 11, 2009
56
1
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The whole justification for patents is to encourage R&D spending by granting a state backed monopoly for a period of time long enough for them to productionalize the R&D and recoup cost + profit.

Almost all technology advancement and innovations are iterative, meaning based on other ideas. How long do you think a non practicing entity should be entitled to this exclusive monopoly?

Put another way... in the fast moving field of computer technology, why should anyone still be entitled to collect rent on ideas from 17 years ago?


The patent is also from 1998. Given many years of hindsight and compounding knowledge, old patents can seem obvious now when they weren't at the time. If both Intel and Apple couldn't invalidate the patent then I think I will be OK without the armchair-CPU-architects giving their armchair-patent-lawyer-analyses of the situation.
 

jason166

Member
Dec 11, 2009
56
1
71
....
Also - this was a high stakes patent litigation where the defendant (Apple) has literally unlimited funds available to try an invalidate the asserted patent. They have some of the best patent lawyers around and access to the best patent litigators in the world. And they still lost.
...

With this jury seated in Madison,WI there seems like a potential conflict of interest here with people inclined to decide in favor of a school system that is a pillar of the community. Notably the UW system just had a 300 million hole punched out of their budget by the legislature this year.
 

PPB

Golden Member
Jul 5, 2013
1,118
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That branch prediction tech must be really good for Apple to forgo all this trouble. Considering it wasnt backpedaled on the next Ax itinerations after A7.
 

dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
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The whole justification for patents is to encourage R&D spending by granting a state backed monopoly for a period of time long enough for them to productionalize the R&D and recoup cost + profit.

Almost all technology advancement and innovations are iterative, meaning based on other ideas. How long do you think a non practicing entity should be entitled to this exclusive monopoly?

Put another way... in the fast moving field of computer technology, why should anyone still be entitled to collect rent on ideas from 17 years ago?

Because, the patent owner put them information out there 17 years ago and other entities used the idea without getting license from the patent owner.

I suppose you could debate the appropriate time frame, but do you really disagree with the concept? At some point, we just have to pick a time frame and stick with it so everyone knows their rights and liabilities. And it isn't like it's that difficult to call a research institution like a college and offer to buy/license the patent.

Also, some context:

“The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
 
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lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
13,211
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great another excuse for apple to hike up the price of the iphone.

iPhone prices have been rather steady over the years..

Edit: Oh, in the U.S. I forgot the prices are different in the rest of the globe.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
13,211
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Because, the patent owner put them information out there 17 years ago and other entities used the idea without getting license from the patent owner.
And the tech industry has benefited undeservedly long for laws enacted at different time in history, IMO. (20 years, for real?)

All good points. But to be honest I would save your breath. Most of the folks on the AT boards are patent hating "everything should be free" communists. At least when it comes to the tech world.

You cannot be serious. Patents are government-sanctioned (i.e. backed by physical force) monopoly which is quite similar to how communism operates. Since you are a lawyer, you probably know that the founders thought patents were a means for public welfare, not the other way around (i.e. perpetual source of income for the inventor and the inventor's offsprings).
 
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Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
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And the tech industry has benefited undeservedly long for laws enacted at different time in history, IMO. (20 years, for real?)



You cannot be serious. Patents are government-sanctioned (i.e. backed by physical force) monopoly which is quite similar to how communism operates. Since you are a lawyer, you probably know that the founders thought patents were a means for public welfare, not the other way around (i.e. perpetual source of income for the inventor and the inventor's offsprings).

Huh?

Communism is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Patents have nothing to do with communism. Inventors obtain patents as part of a bargained for exchange, which is predicated on the fact that the inventor owns the technology and may keep it out of the public domain if he or she wishes to do so. The government offers patents (i.e., a temporally limited right to exclude others from making and using a claimed invention) to inventors in exchange for a) disclosure of the technology; and b) an agreement with the inventor that the technology claimed by the patent will become part of the public domain after the patent expires. This is fundamentally different than communism, which as noted above is predicated on the idea that society itself is the owner of property (from the outset), and is the sole owner of those property rights. In fact it is nearly the antithesis of communism as in a communist state, the government doesn't ask you to disclose "your" technology, because there is no "your" technology. Its the government's technology at the outset and the government can do whatever the heck it wants with it regardless of what you may or may not want.

Moreover, no one HAS to obtain a patent. Indeed, one can keep one's technology a trade secret for as long as one wants in this country. And provided the technology is not easy to reverse engineer, it can be protected in that manner for a very long time indeed. E.g., the Coca Cola formula was protected as a trade secret for far longer than the term of a U.S. patent.
 
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erunion

Senior member
Jan 20, 2013
765
0
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All good points. But to be honest I would save your breath. Most of the folks on the AT boards are patent hating "everything should be free" communists. At least when it comes to the tech world.

More accurately many of them simply realize that patents are, at best, out dated relics of the early industrial age. Very few people disagree with patents due to deep rooted political-economic ideals.

In reality, patents are a form of government intervention designed to artificially strengthen invention beyond what would be achieved in a "free market". And like all forms of intervention the results are often not in line with the goals.
(Yes, that assessment is influenced by my views on political-economy, which are definitely not communist)
 
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dealcorn

Senior member
May 28, 2011
247
4
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A local guy cuts my lawn for P500. If I do not pay, my lawn does not get cut. Intel spends $ billions per year to come up with stuff like marginally faster CPU's, silicon photonics, 3D XPoint, and 3D NAND. The Intel Board of Directors lets them spend the money because they hope to recover their investment though high volume sales with good profit margins. This hope depends on the patent system, Absent patents their good margins vanish because everyone is free to use the technology Intel paid to develop. If Intel does not get paid, they will not invest in technology. Would you rather complain about Intel prices for the good stuff or brag about the sweet deal you got on Pentium 4 class performance because that is all that is available? The patent system rewards innovation while guaranteeing the technology falls into the public domain in due course. How many folks really want to stop risky investments in new technology? Are you really satisfied with Pentium 4 class performance for everyone?
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,751
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It will take a decade to go through all the appeals.

Hey, it works for corporations.

Plenty of oil companies just stall for time for decades on oil spills with legal teams and come out with a slap on the wrist, it's become a tired and true way of conducting business these days.

Stall forever on appeals, then just minor shit at the end of it while they are still making profits and everyone involved laughs about how much money they made during the whole process.

Seems to be how the world works these days.

Being taken to court is like a slight of hand more or less these days, you're getting sued for one thing publicly of course, while the one behind the back is pocketing the real cash.

Most have learned from organized crime how that works and have adopted that on a governmental level, well I think the vast majority have.

At least the profitable ones.
 
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MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
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Huh?

Communism a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Patents have nothing to do with communism. Inventors obtain patents as part of a bargained for exchange, which is predicated on the fact that the inventor owns the technology and may keep it out of the public domain if he or she wishes to do so. The government offers patents (i.e., a temporally limited right to exclude others from making and using a claimed invention) to inventors in exchange for a) disclosure of the technology; and b) an agreement with the inventor that the technology claimed by the patent will become part of the public domain after the patent expires. This is fundamentally different than communism, which as noted above is predicated on the idea that society itself is the owner of property (from the outset), and is the sole owner of those property rights. In fact it is nearly the antithesis of communism as in a communist state, the government doesn't ask you to disclose "your" technology, because there is no "your" technology. Its the governments technology at the outset and the government can do whatever the heck it wants with it regardless of what you may or may not want.

Moreover, no one HAS to obtain a patent. Indeed, one can keep one's technology a trade secret for as long as one wants in this country. And provided the technology is not easy to reverse engineer, it can be protected in that manner for a very long time indeed. E.g., the Coca Cola formula was protected as a trade secret for far longer than the term of a U.S. patent.

Hadn't even seen Sho'Nuff post much lately, he knows more about it than the vast majority of people of course.

I've seen a lot of reverse engineering on a few aerospace things myself, some companies live by it, actually.
 
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guskline

Diamond Member
Apr 17, 2006
5,338
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Sho'Nuff thank you for the cogent explanation. For those that do not know, becoming a Patent Attorney is a rigorous process, not a dance in the park. I appreciate his insight.

Also thanks to dehorns for accurately quoting part of the U.S. Constitution pertaining to the power of Congress to create and legislate Patents etc.

From what I learned in history courses (College and Law School-Patents and Trademarks course) the section of our Constitution quoted by dehorns was crucial to entice the "inventors" to come to the New World at the time. We were Colonies and needed a reason to recruit inventors here. Patent protection offered them a way to make money AND have the government protect their research.

For those posters complaining of "silly lawsuits" I hear you and I bet Sho'Nuff does also.

However, to the true inventor of "Intellectual property" (Patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc) it sure isn't silly if you have invested your lifetime in research, find a patentable item, patent it only to find someone blatantly using your idea without paying a royalty.
 

guskline

Diamond Member
Apr 17, 2006
5,338
476
126
With this jury seated in Madison,WI there seems like a potential conflict of interest here with people inclined to decide in favor of a school system that is a pillar of the community. Notably the UW system just had a 300 million hole punched out of their budget by the legislature this year.

Legitimate question. I'll bet the trial judge permitted the defense to explore that issue when questioning potential jurors.

I did a Google search of the case and found a cite that appears to have all of the docket entries that you can access to read more about the procedure.
http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/1v...onsin-alumni-research-foundation-v-apple-inc/
 
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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
641
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Shouldn't the value of a patent be relative to the revenue/profit generated by it's use? If Apple made tons with this, then its worth it.

Lol, yup, that's actually exactly how it works too. The most common remedy is a "reasonable royalty." Its more complicated than that of course but that's probably whats granted most often.

=============

inb4 "Patent trolling" inb4 "herp derp the patent system is broken but I cant articulate how because I can't even articulate how copyright, trademark and patent are different"
 
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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
641
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I'm sure all the patent complainers in this thread have an explanation why despite our apparently terrible IP system, the US is by far (talking trillions of dollars every year) the biggest inventor and commercialized developer of technology. Oh but I forgot, tech companies are totally stymied by patents. That's why Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Intel, AMD, HP, Cisco, Netflix, Oracle, Tesla, Twitter, Yahoo, VMWare, Marvell, Qualcomm, and literally hundreds of other Fortune 1000 tech companies, are all headquartered in the US right?

It's pretty much this simple: If you think the "patent system is broken" but you can't answer these two questions with specificity, you don't know what you're talking about and you should stop expressing your ill informed opinion until you learn more: 1) If the system is broken, how did the America Invents Act make it more/less broken than the 1952 Patent Act?, 2) Why is it more or less broken, articulate with specificity.

Protip: if you didn't know the patent system just underwent the single largest change perhaps in the history of patent law in 2012 via the AIA, you are not qualified to have an opinion as to whether its a "broken system" or not.
 
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Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
641
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More accurately many of them simply realize that patents are, at best, out dated relics of the early industrial age. Very few people disagree with patents due to deep rooted political-economic ideals.

In reality, patents are a form of government intervention designed to artificially strengthen invention beyond what would be achieved in a "free market". And like all forms of intervention the results are often not in line with the goals.
(Yes, that assessment is influenced by my views on political-economy, which are definitely not communist)

If you're not a communist you ought to support private property. The patent is a way of making something that would otherwise be public instead private for a limited period of time. Owning land is only by virtue of government backed laws on land ownership. I dont see why patents are somehow a special case... You know that patents and deeds for land used to be nearly the same, right? They spring from a common theory and background. Patent claims are described as equivalent to the property description on a deed.

Communism = I should have a right to the invention YOU made spending great deals of YOUR time and effort to realize.

Patents are in stark opposition to communism.

But of course talking about patent on this board is entirely wasted words, since its 100% pure emotion since nobody really knows what they're talking about with a few key exceptions
 

sm625

Diamond Member
May 6, 2011
8,172
137
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Half of that award will probably be used to buy apple stock...
 

kpkp

Senior member
Oct 11, 2012
468
0
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If you're not a communist you ought to support private property. The patent is a way of making something that would otherwise be public instead private for a limited period of time.

Having rules (laws) backed up by principles is not communism. Patents, through the state, defend the patent holder from competition for an arbitrary amount of time. No principles, just politics.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
641
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Having rules (laws) backed up by principles is not communism. Patents, through the state, defend the patent holder from competition for an arbitrary amount of time. No principles, just politics.

Lol really?

You heard of Section 1, Article 8, Clause 8?

"The Congress shall have Power To...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries...."

Promoting the progress of science and useful arts sure sounds like a principle to me. "Securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" also sounds a whole lot like a principle. You could almost just swap out some words and arrive at the basis for free markets altogether: private property ownership. "Securing . . . to [landowners] the exclusive right to their [land]" or "Securing [personal property] the exclusive right to their [personal property]." The two principles are widely recognized as 1) the natural rights theory, and 2) the utilitarian theory. But you already knew that, right?

No but you're right though. Granting rights to the public to use someone's invention and providing absolutely 0 recompense to the person who spent the time inventing the invention definitely sounds like capitalism and not communism.
 
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MrTeal

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,580
1,725
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Having rules (laws) backed up by principles is not communism. Patents, through the state, defend the patent holder from competition for an arbitrary amount of time. No principles, just politics.

There are other ways of protecting yourself from competition as well, such as not disclosing the invention. Intel could create an incredible new memory technology without filing any patents on it or publishing any research papers, and just incorporate it in their processors as a black box to the outside world. That's not necessarily the best way of advancing the state of the art though. Patents protect the rights of patent owners to monetize and control their IP, but they also serve to incentivize the publishing of new inventions.
 

kpkp

Senior member
Oct 11, 2012
468
0
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Lol really?

You heard of Section 1, Article 8, Clause 8?

"The Congress shall have Power To...

After reading my post that finished with "just politics", you quote some old politics ideas/rules and promote them to principle. Impressive.

"The Congress shall..." I don't care... Where is the principle that gives them the power to promote whatever by force? Promoting anything is a fair game when there is no force involved, let's do that instead.
The concept of exclusivity and ownership of ideas/concepts has no principle behind it, that's why there is a time stamp on it. No one will make a sane argument that after X years, you don't own your house anymore, if you truly own something, you decide when (if) you give it away. It's clear that even those who implemented this patent idea, didn't believe in ownership of ideas.

All the invention are build upon unowned knowlage/ideas/concepts, if patents would be based on principles all (valuable) "common" knowledge would be owned and accessible only to the "selected".

There are other ways of protecting yourself from competition as well, such as not disclosing the invention. Intel could create an incredible new memory technology without filing any patents on it or publishing any research papers, and just incorporate it in their processors as a black box to the outside world. That's not necessarily the best way of advancing the state of the art though. Patents protect the rights of patent owners to monetize and control their IP, but they also serve to incentivize the publishing of new inventions.

Sure, ways that involve no force are a fair game. No one should force you to share your knowledge no matter how beneficial it would be. But anyone is free to incentive/persuade you best they can in a peaceful manner.
 

dahorns

Senior member
Sep 13, 2013
550
83
91
Having rules (laws) backed up by principles is not communism. Patents, through the state, defend the patent holder from competition for an arbitrary amount of time. No principles, just politics.

The time frame is set by rule. That is hardly arbitrary. Or, at least no more arbitrary than any other rule/law/principle.