Apple:  How to Be the Patent CavalryI do not know when, designed to protect the interests of the innovator's patent became barbs between the technology giants weights. Stanford University report shows the past two years of global corporate amount spent on patent litigation and patent acquisition totaled $ 20 billion, equivalent to 8 Mars probe project expenses.

  $ 100 000 000 lesson

The patent war on the battlefield Apple as a cavalry charge at the frontline. Nearly two years, Apple in the mobile space frequently waving patented big stick turns defaming competitors Android camp.The greatest impact is none other than the recent patent case with Samsung, which is ultimately to Apple Payout approximately $ 1.049 billion in compensation. According to the statistics Business Insider in March this year, the number of Apple patents up to 4600 items.

But, in fact, early years Apple did not pay attention to patent protection, the company has suffered deeply patent prosecution. New York Times has a long article revealed the Apple story behind becoming a patent Knight.
As early as in 2006, Apple is sued  because the iPod infringed the Patent of the portable music player by Creative Technology, and Apple eventually this purpose were paid $ 100 000 000. Later, Steve Jobs said in a statement, "Creative Technology was fortunate enough to apply for a patent before us."It is reported that, in 2001 Creative Technology has applied the patents for their production NOMA, ZEN music player , and  passed in 2005 .They  apply for the patent which they can think.

Jobs began to realize the importance of the patent after suffered the patent litigation troubled. At that time, on the eve of the iPhone was released ,all of the company  prepared for the heavy-weight product. During this time, at the  secret meeting Steve Jobs announced that,company effort to apply for the patent. According to Apple's former legal adviser Nancy Heinen said, Jobs' attitude was, as long as the company can think, should apply for a patent.

Soon, Apple engineers are called to participate in the invention disclosure held monthly. Allegedly, once Apple's technical team directly meet with three patent attorneys to common research which can apply for a patent.

At the scene, the first engineers talked about the problem of user settings in the software, and a lawyer said  "This is a patent." And  record it.

Then another engineer described the streamlined design in a popular application.

"This is a patent."

The lawyer said.

Another engineer describes some applications use the streamlined design.

"This is another patent."


The former Apple lawyer said, even if they know some of the patent application could not have passed, but they will still submit an application. Because even if unsuccessful, can reduce the success rate of other companies made similar applications.

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Absurd patent system

The New York Times used Apple No.8086604 patent  for example of the absurdity of the U.S. patent system. As one of the Siri patent, this voice and text search patent  experience-based 9 application fails, apple final have the patent in last year.

Proved, Apple's paranoia was not in vain. In February of this year, Apple deployment of this patent to the lock-up application launched 17 models of Samsung devices, eventually a judge approved the ban order of Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Software Experts said the view of the extensive use of voice search, Apple in this patent is likely to affect the value of 200 billion  dollars in the smart phone business.

Absurdity is that Apple first application for this patent being granted, iPhone and Siri still Nothingness, the skin does not exist, Mao Yan covered? In addition, the drawbacks of the Patent Office understaffed, heavy workload and bad personnel system is one of the reasons for patent approval unfair . A Patent Office examiner said, every time he received a patent application, he have to write a report of 10 - 20 pages, to discuss the patent should be adopted or rejected. Clearly, the obsession repeatedly submit the application can increase the probability approved. Repeated application fee is a lot of money, but through language modification allows the inspector boredom resulting "release. Allegedly, the No. 8086804 patent is through repeatedly approved amendments to the minutiae of.

In fact much action in the patent war is far more than the Apple one, of course, nowhere near the number of Apple's patents to companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Samsung.  Apple's aggressive usually also lead to a more vocal opposition. More importantly, the one or two giant may result in the entire industry into a poor competitive atmosphere. For those startups, although may be better in terms of creativity and technology, but in the number of patents obviously can not compete with the giants, fear crept in patent war, could eventually affect the development of the technology industry and the trend.

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