It has not been long since Apple won a mammoth lawsuit against the Korean smartphone giant Samsung. It was the start of the “thermonuclear war” Steve Jobs was talking about. It was the start of Apple trying to eliminate the biggest market threat, Android, which Jobs claimed was a “stolen product” and Tim Cook religiously followed the doctrine. Somewhere in the midst of the Apple Samsung trial, Google decided that it had had enough. Its open source product, Android was already under fire from Oracle and then Apple sued Samsung, the biggest manufacturer of smartphones using the Android platform. Google put to use the patents it acquired as part of its $12.5bn deal for Motorola Mobility to use for the first time, in a fresh lawsuit against rival Apple.
Larry page had earlier made a statement about how the massive Motorola deal will help Google safeguard its products like Android and chrome OS against possible intellectual property threats from competition like Apple and Microsoft.
Motorola mobility went all guns blazing and demanded ban of Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad 4G; both sales and export. Motorola released an official statement which said, “We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple’s unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers’ innovations.” The drama took a twist when an ITC judge already issued a preliminary ruling in a previous Motorola vs. Apple case and was affirmative that Apple did indeed infringe on one of Motorola’s patents.
The ruling for that case is expected to come down next week. This wasn’t something that could cause a ban on Apple’s products but it does send out a message to Apple that Android is not going to take it lying down.
The biggest patent battle of our time seemed to be nearing its end when reports suggested that Tim Cook, CEO Apple and Larry Page, CEO Google had “talks over the phone”. The matter of discussion is still unclear but it can be possible that Apple and Google are discussing settlement over a broad range of features involving iOS and Android or just a focused discussion on some infringement issues that Google’s subsidiary Motorola considers to be gross. Lower level official talks are still in progress and the CEOs of the two companies are to talk again in coming weeks; whatever the flavor may be of the talks, Google and Apple have entered the inevitable vicious circle of mutual inevitable assured destruction which is generally the case with these patent battles.
Apple too has been in constant efforts to be free of Google’s software support, e.g. it removed the Google Maps service from its devices and introduced its own map service and removed the default youtube service. Google is set to come out with the iOS apps of the same in some time. Intellectual property battles in the world have taken a dramatic twist and have evolved to a stage where they hold the power to change the face of technology in a particular market segment; but they were never this much fun for the indifferent observer, and never this detrimental to an open market and the end customer. Currently, Apple and Google declined to comment on the talks.
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