Some people see the glass half-empty. Others see it half-full. The case of Apple v HTC over Android/Linux is 80% empty and on shaky ground IMHO.
Apple charged HTC with violating 10 patents and the initial decision is that 2 were infringed… Imagine a citizen claiming a neighbour stole his 10 Rolls-Royces and the police notice that the complainant only owned 2… That would result in charges of mischief against the complainant where I come from. The two remaining patents are really shaky and also at issue in Apple v Samsung.
I don’t see the ITC blocking importation due to such fuzzy patents and I expect HTC will get the patents re-examined or otherwise disembowelled to clear the air.
This is yet another software patent that should never have seen the light of day. It attempts to cover just about any general-purpose computer that interacts with data. What were the patent-examiners thinking? There’s even a flow-chart which looks like something I would teach in Grade 10 programming classes. System and Method for Performing an Action on a Structure in Computer-generated Data… sigh. Does anyone think there’s a valid, non-obvious patent in there?
Here’s another: Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data. Oh, the horror! People have been doing that since when, 1969 when folks went to Moon and before when they were practising. The invention is supposed to be some kind of improvement over the 1960s modem by providing a layer of abstraction. Sounds like an idea to me, something not patentable.
If this is what Apple’s case rests upon, I expect HTC’s appeal will be a resounding success. I expect the minor victory Apple achieved was due to a snow job. Further review will be enlightening for the lawyers involved.
UPDATE There’s a more detailed analysis at DailyTech.
An Italian retailer, Monclick, is selling identical eeePC 1215P with “7″ Premium and Ubuntu. The price difference comes to $56 with that other OS costing that much more. Well, they aren’t identical, quite; that other OS comes in red while Ubuntu comes in black, but who cares? They’re both N570 Atoms at 1.5gHz with 2gB RAM and 12.1inch screen so they are, officially, not netbooks.
Thanks to oiaohm for providing the link in his comment.
This is a good example of retailers providing GNU/Linux to customers. They also have a 1011PX model (10 inch N555 Atom) for $262. Monclick has had high ratings from 18000 customers. Imagine how many customers have dealt with them with no problems at all.
“Page’s claim that Google has loaded Android onto 130 million handsets and that figure is growing at the rate of 550,000 a day really highlighted Google’s dominance in the growing smartphone market.”
Think M$ is worried? You bet! At this rate, by the time M$ gets to market, Android/Linux will be the kid to beat, with a huge installed base, lots of mind-share, and a huge ecosystem of free and non-free advertising. It took Android/Linux a year to overtake Apple in this space and it will likely take M$ a year to get much traction so we are looking at 2+ years of Android/Linux expanding into a vacuum. The echos of that explosion will flow into the desktop/notebook space as well. Most folks will not see any disadvantage to Android/Linux for their personal use of PCs. Finally, Linux is being found widely on retail shelves. Hallelujah!
One of the things M$’s EULA forbids is benchmarking… Android has an app for that…
How’s that for competition?