There have been plenty of legal disputes between Apple and Samsung, one of which recently affected the Galaxy Nexus. At the end of last month, a U.S. District Judge in San Jose ruled the Galaxy Nexus infringed on some of Apple's patents. As a result of this ruling, the Galaxy Nexus was banned from being sold in the U.S.
This particular dispute between Apple, Google, and Samsung involves the Quick Search Box on the Galaxy Nexus. This feature lets users search both the phone's memory and the web to find information. Apple currently has a patent for a "universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system."
In order to resolve the issue, Google plans to issue a software update that will fix some of the disputed patent issues. The update will reportedly disable the ability to search the phone and will only allow users to search the web.
In addition, Google has confirmed plans to offer the Galaxy Nexus with the latest version of Android, version 4.1 Jelly Bean next week. This version of Android is also designed to avoid the issues related to the patent infringement.
I've read as much of the patent as I can without getting angry. They've patented searches across multiple data stores. Completely obvious stuff, predated by the Unix 'find' command by about 25 years. If any developer in the world hasn't had this idea, they're braindead.
Google's going to work around it not because the patent is valid, but because it's a whole lot easier to get claims thrown out by saying they don't apply to your device than by hoping the people reviewing them for validity have half a clue what we've been doing in the computing field for the last 50 years.
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
The USPTO has a long historic of approving any and all patent applications, as long as the check clears. The validity of the patent is of no interest to the bureaucrats who work there; all that matters is "workflow," which translates to "did the check clear? Yes? Approved! No? Disapproved."
The patent system is patently broken.
That the patent system in the US, like that country's (in)justice system, is broken is obvious. But I am a bit surprised that more users don't seem to react to the manner in which Apple in particular takes advantage of the system and rather more or less excuse the company by saying that «everybody does it». From what I have seen, not all firms use patents to inhibit competition, as do, to take two salient examples, Apple and Oracle, but instead employ them defensively to guard against being sued themselves. Isn't it about time that we, as users, make known our dissatisfaction with competition by lawyer, rather than competition by means of innovation, product quality, and price ?...
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