While, on the face of things, I agree that there are *more* lawsuits nowadays,
part of me points out that there's a whole lot more at stake than there was,
say, 30 years ago.  Here are some lawsuits from down the ages that come to

Ashton Tate (dBase) vs. FoxPro
Hayes vs. Everyone Else
Lotus vs. Borland
Apple vs. Microsoft
SEA vs. PKWare

The interesting thing here is that in the three suits where the plaintiffs were
clear victors in the courtroom (Hayes, Lotus, SEA), they eventually lost in the
court of public opinion -- SEA almost overnight.  (SEA was the creator of the
old .ARC file compression format; they sued on violation of look and feel when
PKWare came out with a much faster version that -- gad-zooks! -- used similar
command line parameters.  Furor was quick and lethal to SEA; .ZIP supplanted it
within, I'd say, two months -- and only that long because of magazine lead
times, etc.)  Apple mostly lost, but you'll note that the MS Garbage Can
disappeared from the Windows 1.0 desktop after that.  And dBase just plain
*lost*: apparently, it's best to ensure you (rightfully) own copyright to your
own product before suing others for violating it.  A lesson SCO would have done
well to have remembered.

So, I guess my point is that even winning litigation doesn't ensure a victory
in the marketplace.  I'll be curious to see what happens to litigation-happy
Apple as time goes on.


On Wed, 22 Aug 2012 07:34:04 -0400 Jerry Feldman <g...@blu.org> wrote

> On 08/21/2012 08:10 AM, Ben Scott wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM, Bill Sconce <sco...@in-spec-inc.com>
> > wrote: >>     "[I]t's WWIII in the patent universe. Remember how we used to
> > say >>     that no one would ever be so foolish as to start a patent war,
> >>     because it'd be destructive to everyone in it? Guess what? Apple
> >>     decided on going thermonuclear, and here we are. Talk about your
> >>     infinite loop. How wasteful is this?
> >   Very apt.  And unfortunate.  :-(  The mobile tech field is an
> > absolute warzone right now.  Just about everybody is suing just about
> > everybody else.  It's a disaster.  It's not helping the industry, nor
> > the public, or even the companies themselves.
> >
> >   I seem to recall a headline on /The Onion/, "Google Accidentally
> > Sues Themselves".
> These suits are very complex but interesting. I had been watching the
> SCO lawsuits since the very beginning. The warm body of SCO is still
> trying to revive SCO vs. IBM, even after  filing for chapter 7. The
> Apple vs. Samsung is becoming rather nasty. And, of course there is
> Oracle vs. Google. I prefer looking at Groklaw on these issues because
> PJ and her successor are both legal professionals and generally report
> it correctly.
> -- 
> Jerry Feldman <g...@blu.org>
> Boston Linux and Unix
> PGP key id:3BC1EB90 
> PGP Key fingerprint: 49E2 C52A FC5A A31F 8D66  C0AF 7CEA 30FC 3BC1 EB90

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