The US is a hemophiliac – with millions of holes in her. In triage fashion, I look to highlight the worst bleeds. You know, in case anyone in a position to try to save the country – should want to actually try to save the country. They could then work on the worst things first.
One of the gaping-est of wounds – is the nation’s Intellectual Property (IP) sector generally, and its patent sector more specifically.
We are in the midst of the very beginning of the Digital Age. IP protection has always been fundamentally important – the new Age renders it even more so.
So in decade-ago preparation, what did the world’s largest IP thieves do to the US – then the world’s most important IP-creating country? They bribed our government to fundamentally undermine our IP creation.
“The America Invents Act (AIA) was the single worst disaster in the 226 year history of the U.S. patent system. The AIA did very real damage – enough to put many inventors out of business and discourage many others.”
The AIA makes it orders-of-magnitude easier to steal patents – even before they actually become patents (“first to file” instead of “first to invent”).
And orders-of-magnitude easier to steal patents – immediately after they become patents (the Patent Trial and Appeal Board [PTAB]).
The results have been as awful as they were predictable.
Born out of the very early stages of the Digital Age – were what became the Big Tech companies.
As the very few Big Tech companies grew, they quickly consolidated the Internet into their clutches. And as they gathered ever more power – they began exerting it ever more dominantly in DC.
More than any other sector, Big Tech bought the AIA into existence.
The AIA is a law that stacks the deck FOR multi-trillion-dollar Big Tech companies – AGAINST Little Guy inventors. Because why should the largest companies in world history have to face a level playing field?
There are several actual patent problems that actually exist – none of which, of course, the AIA addressed. Because Big Tech doesn’t want them fixed.
One problem: IP thieves get to continue to use their stolen goods – while their thefts are adjudicated. Something just about everyone else on the planet has figured out is exceedingly stupid.
Another problem: IP thieves can continue to fight to preserve their theft – LONG after they have been found guilty of stealing. Or even stupider – after they have ADMITTED stealing.
Big Tech Apple (Market Cap: $2.28 trillion) wasted everyone’s time and money – most especially those of comparatively Little Guy Qualcomm (Market Cap: $123.47 billion) – suing Q about Q’s patents. Patents for which Apple – had signed contracts to use:
“In February 2017, iMonster Apple stopped paying Qualcomm for the patented technologies Qualcomm invented – and Apple uses in their wireless devices.
“Please note: Apple had signed multiple contracts – in which they agreed to pay Qualcomm for permission to use the patented technologies Qualcomm invented.
“Please also note: Apple continued to subsequently sell millions of wireless devices – for tens of billions of dollars – containing the patented technologies Qualcomm invented. For which Apple had signed multiple contracts – in which they agreed to pay Qualcomm for permission to use the patented technologies Qualcomm invented.
“Lawsuits immediately sprung up here in the United States – and all over the world.
“Filed by Apple to try to get out of the contracts they themselves signed – in which they agreed to pay Qualcomm for permission to use the patented technologies Qualcomm invented.”
Big Theft Apple was ridiculously litigious from the outset.
Of course the fact Apple was paying the patent royalties they had signed contracts to pay – means they had already admitted they had signed contracts to pay them. In a sane world? Cases dismissed – with prejudice.
But of course – it gets even dumber.
Because, of course, Apple can. Because DC’s patent “reform” – didn’t address that.
Well, even in the US – reality sometimes wins.
“Apple probably paid Qualcomm between $5 billion and $6 billion to settle the litigation between the two companies, UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri estimated in a note distributed on Thursday
“Apple probably also agreed to pay between $8 and $9 in patent royalties per iPhone, estimated UBS….”
Well, that’s that, right? Apple admits they were wrong. Hence the upfront, catch-up payment – and the return to ongoing payments.
Oh – and did you get that minuscule ongoing payment? $8 or $9 per iPhone. The cheapest new iPhone 14 is $799. On which they are supposed to pay Qualcomm – at most – 1.13%. What a colossal waste of time and money – over NOTHING – executed by Apple.
But wait – it gets even dumber. Apple wasn’t yet done being a horse’s posterior.
“The trial concerns three patents that Qualcomm claims Apple infringed on….
How dumb was this portion of the idiotic Apple program?
“Big Tech Apple is at it yet again. Trying to steal other people’s stuff – for which they can quite easily pay. And now repeatedly asking the Supreme Court to help them do it….
“How awful an idea is Apple’s redoubled Supreme Court request? The Joe Biden Administration thinks it is an awful idea – THAT is how awful it is. Because you have to be REALLY awful – to be too awful for the Joe Biden Administration.”
Well, the Supreme Court has weighed in. And delivered another all-too-rare dose of reality
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again declined to hear Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) bid to revive an effort to cancel three Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) smartphone patents despite the settlement of the underlying dispute between the two tech giants
“The justices left in place a lower court’s decision against Apple after similarly turning away in June the company’s appeal of a lower court ruling in a closely related case challenging two other Qualcomm patents.
Now, we are left to ask Apple:
Are you FINALLY done being a male body part?
Will you now, FINALLY, suck it up and just pay your 1% – for the IP that has made you HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS?
I remain skeptical….