End of Season Apple Sale: Intellectual Property Analysis of Apple, Inc. Patent-Related Rulings

Report Document
Report Date: 
Thu, 2011-12-08

Apple has conveniently decided to pop back into the news – and just in time for the holidays! No, we’re not talking about the coverage of Apple’s less-than-stellar Black Friday/Cyber-Monday deals. (Honestly, who can blame them for wanting to save money, since they’re funding over 20 lawsuits around the world – and that’s just with Samsung.) We’re also not talking about the U.S. Patent Office’s exhibit honoring the innovation of Steve Jobs' (which went up a month after a biography on Jobs’ was released that, ironically, included this personal reply to Jobs’ innovation from Bill Gates: “Well, Steve … I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it” ).

No, we're talking about the latest developments on Apple's attempts to ban Android phones from U.S. shores – specifically the details around the upcoming Dec. 14th International Trade Commission determination regarding alleged infringement by HTC of Apple’s patents as well as the Apple v Samsung ruling (you know, the info that came out with the sort-of-almost-redacted version). Who would have thought a boring, non-newsworthy thing like patents could be leveraged to blockade Santa’s air space if, God forbid, the sleigh is laden with HTC smartphones? Even more fascinating is the obvious fact that the markets, while singing the carols of a Knowledge Economy’s birth, still demonstrate remarkable oblivion to patent law or the underlying quality of patents – sufficient to lead a judge to stipulate that Apple hasn’t shown that it can survive a challenge to some of its patents’ validity. But more on that in a moment.

So, in the spirit of excess that seems to come with this holiday season, we’re doing a “two for one” Apple report – think of it as our “Snow White Sale.” Because, well, there was an apple in that story, too…