MacOS KenDensed: Apple’s Patent Lawsuit & Antitrust Shuffle

Holy frak! It's Ken Ray!Apple and Samsung didn’t kiss and make up this week, despite the hopes of Judge Koh. Windows RT might turn out to be a great iPad seller, Apple thinks the DOJ is lame for pushing its ebook price fixing lawsuit, Google closed its deal to buy Motorola Mobility, and the Webbys paid tribute to Steve Jobs. That’s a full plate, but it’s OK. Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray is hungry.

Talk to the Hand
The excitement. The determination. The meeting of two heavyweights the likes of which the world has not seen since Ali and Frazier’s “Rumble in the Jungle.”

In this corner, wearing brushed aluminum trunks: Apple CEO Tim “Call Me Capn” Cook. And in this corner, also wearing brushed aluminum trunks: Samsung Vice Chairman Gee-Sung “Call Me Capn” Choi.

Cuz Samsung’s a bunch of copyists, you see.

On Monday and Tuesday, it was the “Slugfest in SF,” as these two titans of technology, the gurus of gadgets, the… something that starts with an “H” of handhelds… The head of Apple and the pretty-close to the head of Samsung met in San Francisco for the court directed settlement talks, which could’ve laid waste to their 50 lawsuits in 10 countries. But let’s be honest; no one really expected them to do anything of the sort.

Still, I got you to picture Tim Cook in a pair of brushed aluminum boxing trunks.

You are soooo welcome.

I have to say, there seemed to be little reason to hope that these two would be able to settle on what to have for lunch, let alone settling the many legal battles being waged around the globe. I mean, here it is: they were supposed to try to make nice, while just a few days ago Apple moved to have the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 barred from being sold in the States.

Electronista says that move comes on the heels of an appeals court ruling last week that suggested sales of that Samsung tablet shouldn’t have been allowed from the beginning. And since the two companies didn’t iron out their differences over the two days, the new motion could be ruled on as early as June 7th.

Next to no one expected any sort of settlement to come out of the court directed settlement talks, yet it’s still a tiny bit disappointing.

No settlement. Officially.

Apple and Samsung are currently set to meet in court on June 27th.

Windows RT: iPad Pusher
While Apple makes tablet competitors today look silly, there is a competitor on the horizon that may also end up looking silly. J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz issued a note on upcoming ARM-based tablets running Windows RT, from which he’s not expecting much any time soon.

In fact — and this is funny — he thinks the arrival of tablets running Windows RT from various manufacturers could push people to the iPad.

AppleInsider says “Moskowitz believes the average consumer could be confused this fall, when Windows 8 will launch. Windows 8 will feature both the Metro interface as well as the traditional Windows desktop layout, while Windows RT will be entirely Metro.”

Quoting his note,

We think that the consumer could be confused and distracted by the bevy of PCs, tablets, e-readers, and hybrid devices slated for release later this year … A combination of varying operating systems and hardware form factors are the key reasons.

And so consumers may look to Apple, with its established iOS ecosystem and streamlined product line for a bit of comfort.

And that puts us all the way through the looking glass.

Moskowitz does think Windows RT could eventually find traction at the low-end of the tablet space, seeing the ARM-based offering as the tablet of choice in the sub-$300 tablet market, laying waste to low-cost Android tablets.

I’m sorry. That puts us all the way through the looking glass

DOJ: Land of the Dumb
We’re hearing more this week about what Apple’s saying about the eBook suit brought against it by the U.S. Department of Justice. And guess what? They think it’s dumb.

My word, not theirs.

The Mac Observer recaps the DOJ’s case. They say Apple and five publishers conspired to raise prices on Ebooks in 2009 ahead of the launch of the iBookstore and the iPad in 2010. The agency accuses Apple and the publishers of colluding to move ebook publishing to the agency model, and to not sell their books with anyone who wouldn’t go along with the agency model.

In other words, as the DoJ sees it, they all got together and ganged up on Amazon; anticompetitive collusion in the DoJ’s estimation. And surprise surprise, Apple says “no.”

According to filings made by the Cupertino-company, “Apple’s entry into e-book distribution is classic procompetitive conduct [that created competition where none existed].”

For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market … The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.

The filing also has Apple saying, “Apple has not ‘conspired’ with anyone, was not aware of any alleged ‘conspiracy’ by others, and never ‘fixed prices.’”

According to Apple, in pursuing this case, the DOJ has sided “with monopoly, rather than competition.”

But you sure do smell great.

Google to Motorola, with Love
“Well,” says Google, “We are wicked happy to have Motorola Mobility as one of our properties. But don’t worry, HTC and Samsung and everybody else who makes Android phones and tablets, we’re not gonna play favorites even though we did just spend $12.5 billion and replaced the old boss with one of our own guys.

“And Motorola Mobility, don’t you worry. We’re gonna let you run as an independent thing, even though we just replaced your boss with one of our own guys. Oh, by the way, we got you something. It’s a design firm. The one that worked on the first Google Nexus.”

And you can see how this running independently thing is going.

“In a move that signals a greater commitment to hardware design and manufacture,” says Electronista, “Google has purchased industrial design firm Mike and Maaike.” They’re the studio that did design work on the first Google Nexus phone. Though, as far as I know, neither Mike nor Maaike are knights.

Talking of the purchase, Google reps said it’s a “natural next step” for the company to get “even more serious and to really go for it” when it comes to mobile devices.

Or, you know, for Motorola Mobility to. You know, if it wants to. Whatever.

The Webbys Love Jobs
And finally this week, a serious list of who’s who has paid tribute to Steve Jobs as part of Monday’s 16th annual Webby Awards.

Justin Long and John Hodgman, the Mac and PC of the long-running “Get a Mac” ad campaign, introduced the tribute, which included messages from Richard Dreyfuss, U2 frontman Bono, who thanked Jobs for his work with the RED campaign, creator and destroyer of the Star Wars films George Lucas who thanked Jobs for “making technology into art,” and former U.S. President Bill Clinton who praised Jobs for “spreading American ingenuity worldwide.”

Also popping up in the video: Apple board member and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, scientist Vint Cerf, Seth Myers, Arianna Huffington, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and current U.S. President Barack Obama who said he only needed one word to describe Jobs: “amazing.”

You can see the Jobs tribute — seven minutes start to finish — at the Webby Awards website.

It seems to require Flash, though. It’s like rain on your wedding day.