The Hypocrisy of Apple’s Lawsuit against HTC

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“We’ve Always Been Shameless About Stealing Great Ideas”Steve Jobs

It was inevitable that the competition would catch-up to Apple’s iPhone, and its App Store eventually. My guess is that in the near future we will see an Android based equivalent to iTunes either built by, or endorsed by Google that will sync media from desktop or possibly the cloud to your hand held device. Think of Double Twist which exists already but it’s not endorsed by Google, and not yet widely adopted.

With the recent competition that Google has bestowed upon Apple’s handset business model by offering its own handset, and the industry’s rapid adoption of the Android operating system it was expected that Apple would respond quickly in order to protect its market share; but with a patent infringement lawsuit?

I understand that the lawsuit against HTC is a business strategy to block competition but at the same time, it is extremely hypocritical. A prime example is the graphical user interface (GUI) that Apple took from Xerox (ever watch Pirates of Silicon Valley?) and used as the basis of its personal computing business. The GUI put the company on the map and sold millions of Apple computers and now that someone uses what Apple perceives to be their intellectual property they turn around and file a lawsuit? Here is a company that had a complete disregard for patent law when it took the GUI from Xerox, yet now they turn to those same laws for protection to protect what they perceives to be theirs?

To me, it’s similar to the infamous conversation said to have happened between Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) and Bill Gates (former Microsoft CEO). After Apple released the original GUI Microsoft developed its own take on the GUI and was ready to introduce as Windows. Steve Jobs approached Bill Gates and said “You stole the windows idea from Apple. If you release Windows, we will sue” to which Bill Gates promptly replied “You stole the idea from Xerox, I’m simply using the idea that you stole from Xerox”. See the hypocrisy?

This is not to imply that Apple does not have a valid claim against HTC according to patent law, but don’t change your company’s ideals to protect your market share and hope to have the continued endorsement of the community that you created. Hello Apple, your community became your community because of your ideals.

On the other hand, we have the Android community to look to. A community that was created by innovation, transparency, and openness by Google. Google has shifted control away from the handset manufacturers and carriers and put the control into the hands of the consumer with the introduction of the Nexus One. You could say that the Nexus One is more than just a name for a handset, but the name for a business strategy that may just change the entire way the cell phone industry operates today. Now that’s huge.

Oh, did I mention that it’s said that Apple Headquarters used to fly a pirate flag in front of its building? Now that was money!

That was also a long time ago.

Update – It was just reported that Apple plans on coming out with “walkie talkie” functionality for the IPhone. Oh Sprint/Nextel, round up your lawyers. Hypocrisy!

About the Author

Chase Bahers


  • b

    “Google has shifted control away from the handset manufactures and carriers and put the control into the hands of the consumer with the introduction of the Nexus One…for a business strategy that may just change the entire way the cell phone industry operates today.”

    handset manufacturers… no not really, if you load your own custom rom on it, isn’t the warranty voided?

    as for carriers, thats how the REST of the world works…

    Especially in developing countries, where wireless service is more developed and popular than their land line service.

    In developing countries you can get a SIM w/ a number and preloaded credit for as little as $1 USD, or you can get prepaid mobile broadband 3.5G (GSM) with unlimited data transfer for $20 (however, after 3GB of transfer your speed is capped to 64Kbps)

    seriously? in the US where you can get a basic FiOs w/ HDTV+Phone+Internet(15/5) and unlimited data transfer and speed for about $100 you have to fork over a little more than 50% of that FiOS bill for only 5GB of mobile data transfer, its quite ridiculous.

    The prepaid services in other countries are so much more flexible, and provide a lot more services.
    You can customize a prepaid service to your needs.

    If a developing country can provide that level of options, and control, why cant we a developed and technologically advanced country provide the same?

    However, I have to admit, our wireless speeds are much faster…

  • b

    “Google has shifted control away from the handset manufactures and carriers and put the control into the hands of the consumer with the introduction of the Nexus One…for a business strategy that may just change the entire way the cell phone industry operates today.”

    handset manufacturers… no not really, if you load your own custom rom on it, isn’t the warranty voided?

    as for carriers, thats how the REST of the world works…

    Especially in developing countries, where wireless service is more developed and popular than their land line service.

    In developing countries you can get a SIM w/ a number and preloaded credit for as little as $1 USD, or you can get prepaid mobile broadband 3.5G (GSM) with unlimited data transfer for $20 (however, after 3GB of transfer your speed is capped to 64Kbps)

    seriously? in the US where you can get a basic FiOs w/ HDTV+Phone+Internet(15/5) and unlimited data transfer and speed for about $100 you have to fork over a little more than 50% of that FiOS bill for only 5GB of mobile data transfer, its quite ridiculous.

    The prepaid services in other countries are so much more flexible, and provide a lot more services.
    You can customize a prepaid service to your needs.

    If a developing country can provide that level of options, and control, why cant we a developed and technologically advanced country provide the same?

    However, I have to admit, our wireless speeds are much faster…

  • Lenard

    doubletwist is awesome.

  • Lenard

    doubletwist is awesome.

  • Bill Gates

    Steve Jobs is a pansy faggot, and gets diarrhea when someone does something better than he does, PIRACY are you kidding me.
    STEVE YOUR THE ONE WHO STARTED PIRACY!
    the patents he is defending are used GLOBALLY by symbian, windows mobile and android.
    HTC is just the beginning for his hypocratic battle against android, in the end Steve will go down once again, like 20 years ago when he abused his power and became a lunatic, hes staking pills up the ass and is only a matter of time before he gets booted….AGAIN

    • Matt Thompson

      …I don’t know what the FUCK you just said, little kid… but it was hilarious.

      • karen

        He doesnt know what he said either………..he’s just a flaming looser

  • Bill Gates

    Steve Jobs is a pansy faggot, and gets diarrhea when someone does something better than he does, PIRACY are you kidding me.
    STEVE YOUR THE ONE WHO STARTED PIRACY!
    the patents he is defending are used GLOBALLY by symbian, windows mobile and android.
    HTC is just the beginning for his hypocratic battle against android, in the end Steve will go down once again, like 20 years ago when he abused his power and became a lunatic, hes staking pills up the ass and is only a matter of time before he gets booted….AGAIN

    • Matt Thompson

      …I don’t know what the FUCK you just said, little kid… but it was hilarious.

      • karen

        He doesnt know what he said either………..he’s just a flaming looser

  • Doesn’t Matter

    Another blind fanboy only taking HTCs side. I am by far anything from an Apple lover, I actually am typing this from my mytouch, but I have to say this opinionated poorly researched crap has no place on a news website.

    I find it interesting you’ll make a fuss about anything you don’t like. I’m sure you laughed at Google the minute they stonewalled Cyanogen. But thats quickly dismissed as soon as your precious Google is targeted by evil old Apple.

    The whole “Apple stole Xerox” idea is silly. The Lisa’s GUI Was inspired by the Xerox Alto, which Apple got to see on a guided tour of Xeroxes PARC facilities. Xerox was also part owners in Apple at the time. The whole pirates of silicone bay is no where near accurate, considering Microsoft legally licecend parts of the Apple OS while creating Windows.

    Saying Apple stole the GUI is like saying Da Vinci stole art. Every GUI in existence could claim to be stolen from Xerox considering anything other than a commandline has a GUI…..well Xerox better get the lawsuits against every software company on earth going.

    • remixfa

      technically, google didnt “stonewall” cyanogen. They just said if your going to make custom ROMS, dont put the google apps on it, because google gets paid whenever a manufacturer puts all those google apps on a phone and launches it. Supposedly it was cutting into business.. (but again, how many android devices dont come loaded w/ google apps to begin with). They never said “dont make ROMs”, they encouraged it. And Cyanogen is still busy making great roms for multiple Android phones.

      Now if he will just make one for the Cliq :)

    • Chase Bahers

      READ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      Very well researched and I don’t take to people who make a living stealing ideas from others.

      And your comment “I find it interesting you’ll make a fuss about anything you don’t like.” I have written 4 articles on this site and 2 were about product launches so you really have nothing to base your opinion on but this article which hardly amounts to “anything”.

      Like Dice Clay says – OOOHHHH!

  • Doesn’t Matter

    Another blind fanboy only taking HTCs side. I am by far anything from an Apple lover, I actually am typing this from my mytouch, but I have to say this opinionated poorly researched crap has no place on a news website.

    I find it interesting you’ll make a fuss about anything you don’t like. I’m sure you laughed at Google the minute they stonewalled Cyanogen. But thats quickly dismissed as soon as your precious Google is targeted by evil old Apple.

    The whole “Apple stole Xerox” idea is silly. The Lisa’s GUI Was inspired by the Xerox Alto, which Apple got to see on a guided tour of Xeroxes PARC facilities. Xerox was also part owners in Apple at the time. The whole pirates of silicone bay is no where near accurate, considering Microsoft legally licecend parts of the Apple OS while creating Windows.

    Saying Apple stole the GUI is like saying Da Vinci stole art. Every GUI in existence could claim to be stolen from Xerox considering anything other than a commandline has a GUI…..well Xerox better get the lawsuits against every software company on earth going.

    • remixfa

      technically, google didnt “stonewall” cyanogen. They just said if your going to make custom ROMS, dont put the google apps on it, because google gets paid whenever a manufacturer puts all those google apps on a phone and launches it. Supposedly it was cutting into business.. (but again, how many android devices dont come loaded w/ google apps to begin with). They never said “dont make ROMs”, they encouraged it. And Cyanogen is still busy making great roms for multiple Android phones.

      Now if he will just make one for the Cliq :)

    • Chase Bahers

      READ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      Very well researched and I don’t take to people who make a living stealing ideas from others.

      And your comment “I find it interesting you’ll make a fuss about anything you don’t like.” I have written 4 articles on this site and 2 were about product launches so you really have nothing to base your opinion on but this article which hardly amounts to “anything”.

      Like Dice Clay says – OOOHHHH!

  • http://mobilebytes.wordpress.com Fred Grott

    Unfortunately you got your facts wrong:

    1. Apple paid for a patent license with Xerox, that hi show they got to see the technology in the first place.

    2. The way Xerox, Apple, and MS implemented a GUI windows was so different that patents did not apply which was brought out in the GUI lawsuit between MS and Apple.

    Now you get back to facts rather than some wild goose chase?

    • Chase Bahers

      Fred, I don’t know where you get your information from but it is widely know that Steve Jobs paid Xerox in Apple Stock for a “tour of the PARC research lab” but their was no licensing agreement in place with Xerox when Lisa came out and Xerox later sued Apple for patent infringement. You second point is factually incorrect as well and the court case documentation does not cite anything related to implementation but was based on functionality and design.

      READ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      At the end of the day, unless you produce actual factual documentation showing something to the contrary to what I have written (official legal documentation), then your “facts” are nothing more than guesses as to what actually transpired.

  • http://mobilebytes.wordpress.com Fred Grott

    Unfortunately you got your facts wrong:

    1. Apple paid for a patent license with Xerox, that hi show they got to see the technology in the first place.

    2. The way Xerox, Apple, and MS implemented a GUI windows was so different that patents did not apply which was brought out in the GUI lawsuit between MS and Apple.

    Now you get back to facts rather than some wild goose chase?

    • Chase Bahers

      Fred, I don’t know where you get your information from but it is widely know that Steve Jobs paid Xerox in Apple Stock for a “tour of the PARC research lab” but their was no licensing agreement in place with Xerox when Lisa came out and Xerox later sued Apple for patent infringement. You second point is factually incorrect as well and the court case documentation does not cite anything related to implementation but was based on functionality and design.

      READ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      At the end of the day, unless you produce actual factual documentation showing something to the contrary to what I have written (official legal documentation), then your “facts” are nothing more than guesses as to what actually transpired.

  • chris

    Long live android, off with apple’s head!

  • chris

    Long live android, off with apple’s head!

  • eYe

    I am an Android fanboy, love HTC and swear by Google but this is the worst article I’ve ever read. Makes me want to unsuscribe altogether. As few people pointed out, GUI was licensed by Apple, they paid fair and square for it and thank god they did because Xerox was not interested in developing it at the time. Let lawyers deal with current situation and leave your biased, uneducated gueesses out of it.

    • Chase Bahers

      The GUI was not licensed by Apple. Where did you hear that from? READ

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      No license. There was no “fair and square” payment. In fact Xerox brought a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement.

      So my guesses are uneducated? It seems more like you are my friend. No go back and play with your Macbook Pro and stare at your life sized poster of Steve Jobs.

  • eYe

    I am an Android fanboy, love HTC and swear by Google but this is the worst article I’ve ever read. Makes me want to unsuscribe altogether. As few people pointed out, GUI was licensed by Apple, they paid fair and square for it and thank god they did because Xerox was not interested in developing it at the time. Let lawyers deal with current situation and leave your biased, uneducated gueesses out of it.

    • Chase Bahers

      The GUI was not licensed by Apple. Where did you hear that from? READ

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

      No license. There was no “fair and square” payment. In fact Xerox brought a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement.

      So my guesses are uneducated? It seems more like you are my friend. No go back and play with your Macbook Pro and stare at your life sized poster of Steve Jobs.

  • SkyWalka

    New Windows 7 OS, wonder if Apple will go after them to……

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/18/windows-phone-7-series-the-complete-guide/

  • SkyWalka

    New Windows 7 OS, wonder if Apple will go after them to……

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/18/windows-phone-7-series-the-complete-guide/

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