Here we go again…still…whatever. The squabbling over patents to handset technologies continues among the tech companies. Like wild turkeys, blue in the face (literally). I need to accept this is happening, but I do feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
Apple just won a legal battle against Motorola that may (or may not) halt sales of Motorola Android handsets in Germany. Déjà vu. Except delete Motorola, insert Samsung.
You know what this one was about? The ‘slide to unlock’ feature that Apple introduced with the iPhone in 2007, which pretty much every smartphone out there uses, including several of Motorola’s handsets.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this latest ruling prevents Motorola from “further producing and selling the affected products” and requires (should Apple ask for it) Motorola to pay damages “of an as yet undetermined amount against a bond of EUR25 million per ruling.” (There were two rulings in the case.)
Apple sought a third ruling against Motorola over the unlocking tool in Motorola’s Xoom tablet, but the court ruled against that one, according to the Wall Street Journal.
You know what Motorola’s response to the ruling was? They basically said: yeah, whatever, we don’t need the stupid sliding lock anyway.
Here’s what they told the Guardian:
Today’s ruling in the patent litigation brought by Apple in Munich, Germany, concerns a software feature related to select Motorola devices sold in Germany.
Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature. Therefore, we expect no impact on current supply or future sales.
The Guardian speculated that either Motorola has implemented a new feature, or they’re just rolling out Android 4.0, which has a different kind of unlocking feature from the one that got Apple worked up. Either way, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a problem for Motorola, even with potential damages.
So, here’s my question. What was the point?
This is the latest in a long line of disputes that doesn’t seem to have an end. How much is all this costing? I’d love to know the total cost of all the patent suits by every company over handheld devices when this is all said and done.
I mean, crazy pills.