Black rot

image credit schmidling.com

The Spanish courts have decided against Apple, Inc. in its design patent dispute with NT-K, a small tablet manufacturer in Spain.  Using the same arguments that have been partially upheld in Germany, and dismissed in the Netherlands, Apple brought an import ban and subsequent lawsuit against the small OEM, had their company placed in a European list of "pirated electronics" and even went as far as pursuing criminal charges -- all over rounded corners and a similar look and feel.  NT-K decided they weren't going to take this sitting down, and aggressively fought back, -- finding victory in the courtroom.

While we consider the arrogance of filing criminal charges and mumble under our breath, we can also feel a tiny bit of justice ourselves -- NT-K has filed a suit for monetary damages, lost profits, and "moral damages," and is in the process of filing anti-trust proceedings against Apple alleging abusive anti competitive behavior.  I loathe lawsuits between tech companies, because in the end the consumers are the biggest losers.  In this case however, I hope NT-K wins their suit, only to teach Apple an expensive lesson (that they hopefully wont pass the costs of to their customers).  And if the Spanish courts find that Apple does violate antitrust laws, I hope other countries take a close look. 

There's nothing wrong with an iPad.  A good friend of mine just got himself one, and he agrees that other than the drag of iTunes, they make a great product.  There's a good reason why so many people buy an iPad.  But the way to keep their 100 percent market saturation was to innovate, not stifle competition.  I hope this hits home and they reconsider, but I'm doubtful. 

Source: NT-K (Spanish); via FOSS patents

Thanks, BBPandy!

 

Reader comments

Apple loses design lawsuit against NT-K (Spain) and is being countersued for damages

24 Comments

Good glad they lost!

"I hope NT-K wins their suit, only to teach Apple an expensive lesson (that they hopefully wont pass the costs of to their customers)"

how much more are these apple suckers willing to pay...

No matter what, companies almost ALWAYS pass costs on to their customers. It's either that, or lose money for their investors, or themselves. And with Apple's rabid fanbase, I'm sure you can figure out the easiest answer.

The ultimate lesson for Apple will be how they lose market share based on their outright aggression.

It will not change anything because Apple have so much money ( than the U.S. reserves )that getting sued for millions would be like pocket change to them. If they failed here, they will just try else where because the benefits of them winning far outweighs the cost of them losing..... I'm saying this as a insult to Apple, not as a defense. F those guys.

I agree, this isn't going to deter them but it does set some sort of precedent.

This is bad PR for Apple...especially with their attempts to bully small companies by pressing for absurd criminal charges coming to light. Don't think other courts won't take notice of that sort of anti-competitive behavior.

Also time will only tell how Tim Cook will handle these lawsuits. Even though he said he will carry on Steve Job's legacy, he may not have the stomach to carry out Job's desire to destroy Android at the expense of their huge cash reserve. I'm pretty sure their investors wouldn't be happy with that kind of mindset either.

I was about to post but Mooem already said everything I had lined up, and far more eloquently.

Cash isn't the issue for Apple. PR, image, and an adverse precedent are the real impacts here.

It will change something.

Legal precident have been set. There is no point in apple trying this tactic ever again in that country.

Word will get around. Companies will stand up to Apple.

I seriously doubt this will raise prices. Apple's markup is obscene, and they will now be forced to compete on price and features.

Any time you eliminate de-facto monopoly conditions prices come down. Someone slept through Econ 101!

"The more you tighten your grip, Apple, the more Android OEMs will slip through your fingers."

My sentiments about Apple's iWhatever is the same, Jerry.I just hope more judges are balls enough to stand up against Apple's bullying ways. More loses in other courtrooms in different countries will hopefully humble Apple, now that Steve Jobs is also gone.

Don't mess with the Spanish! You gon learn today! (in my Kevin Hart voice) Lol

But seriously... I'm glad Apple didn't get away with this nonsense.

"Hello, my name is NTK Montoya, you insulted my tablet, prepare to die!"
-This should be their legal strategy.

I'm sure we will all learn this lesson based on the history of MS. For those of you still in diapers back in those days.

It's a drop in the bucket. Apple won't flinch twice. Their pockets run too deep.

Fly the Pirate flag High Android....

I think the big news is if Apple loses based on anti-trust. That will send a small ripple around Europe (to begin with) and could really set precedent that other companies could use (I'm sure Samsung is watching).

If NTK wins then I think the only thing Apple has against them is that they won't be able to bring any type of suits to other Android manufacturers in Spain. If NTK really goes after them they may even try to ban Apple from selling in Spain all together.

Apple lost more than the lawsuit. They lost some customers, every time a story like this comes out people will like Apple less. And, I never heard of ntk before this. What great advertising. Apple is shooting themselves in the foot.

Careful what you wish for Mr. Fanbo--Erm, Jerry. If any antitrust action is successful, those courts and regulators will set their sights on Android next.

The type of blind fanboyism displayed in this post is exactly why normal people hate wading into discussions about iOS vs. Android. No, Jerry, you shouldn't hope that "NT-K wins their suit, only to teach Apple an expensive lesson", for the same reason that no iOS or Apple fanboy should cheer on Apple's lawsuits. Its bad for everybody, Android included.