The Macalope Daily: Suits in all sizes

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Ah, lawsuits. They’re the Mac journalist’s best friend, you know. Because if there’s ever any lack of product news, there’s always a lawsuit to talk about. Apple attracts them like bees to pollen, bears to honey, or people who can’t create to people who can.

Looks like another heavy hitter has weighed into the Lodsys fight, as FOSS Patents reports that The New York Times is now seeking to have the tiny troll’s patents invalidated. The same goes for marketing research firm OpinionLab. Along with Apple and ForeSee Results, that makes four companies ganging up on poor little Lodsys.


Oh, sorry. The Macalope was just flashing back to his days in Mexican wrestling. You might remember him. He was called El Ordenador Loco con Cuernos. No? Well, it was a short career. After an incident with the daughter of the Mayor of Oaxaca, he was summarily deported.

Ah, Consuela. ¿Dónde estás ahora?

The Macalope’s less concerned when it’s two giants fighting each other.

Turns out Microsoft isn’t the only aging giant who’s going to be tithing the upstarts of today’s cell phone business. Apple will be paying Nokia a one-time fee and ongoing royalties for… well, who knows what? Some thing or other. Nokia sued Apple, then Apple countersued Nokia, who filed a complaint, and then there was this cloud of dust with legs and arms sticking out of it and when it settled, Apple was holding the bill. Sometimes it’s just easier to settle, but $137.6 million a quarter sounds like kind of a lot to pay “just to make it go away.” Hence the speculation by some that Apple did it to give Nokia ammunition in suing Android handset manufacturers.

Apple’s tiff with Samsung, meanwhile, is still hot and heavy. Cupertino’s latest volley in the spat, which has seen each demand to peek at the other’s unmentionables, is to say that Samsung’s suits amount to “harassment.” Oh, jeez, would you two just make out already?

Finally, it’s street cred time. That’s right, every so often, as mandated by the FCC, every Apple blogger must find something to take exception with Apple about, or risk losing their tax-exempt status as a charitable organization.


Oh. The Macalope is being informed that Apple bloggers are not in any circumstances considered charitable organizations.


Anyone have a good tax attorney?

Regardless, Apple has been sued by iCloud Communications, an Arizona VoIP company, for “infringement, unfair competition and injury to business reputation.”

OK, the Macalope does think iCloud Communications is laying it on a little thick. First, while he can see “infringement” and “unfair competition,” he thinks “injury to business reputation” is a bit of a stretch. Second, it claims that its services “are identical to or closely related to” what iCloud will do, but looking at the company’s site, it seems to just be in the VOIP business. If iCloud Communications does do cloud data storage, then it’s pretty good about keeping that a secret, so it’s hard to make a case that people would confuse the business for Apple’s iCloud.

That said, the Macalope thinks Apple’s in the wrong here (STREET CRED ACHIEVEMENT: UNLOCKED). This is more egregious than the appropriation of the iPhone trademark from Linksys, which had hastily Photoshopped the name onto some lackluster product. These guys have been in business for six years, and no matter what size they are or how lame their site looks, they had the name first.

Ultimately, though, the Macalope doesn’t expect this to be a big deal. There will probably be a nice exchange of cash and iCloud Communications will quietly rename itself and go back to selling VOIP products in the sweltering heat. But Apple does not have the rights to every word in the English language with a lower case “i” tacked on front. At any rate, the horny one’s not the only one who expects Cupertino’ll probably just pay up.

After all, that’s what the Macalope would do if he had $29.23 billion in cash.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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