Verizon’s Chief Counsel Seeks Presidential Aid in Patent Wars

Chief counsel for Verizon Wireless Randall Milch thinks the current patent wars between a large majority of major players in the US smartphone market have gone too far. So far, in fact, that Milch is appealing to President Obama for assistance in heading off rulings that could force the ban of sales of many popular devices. Seeing the negative impact of such, the thought is that Obama should take a stance against banning products outright and overturn any decisions to that effect. It is Milch’s belief that companies should only have to pay royalties, if anything, to the winning parties of ongoing patent lawsuits.

[via BGR]

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  • Donald Williams

    great another thing obama should not be involved in.

    • NemaCystX

      That might be true, but Milch has a point, if companies like Apple got there way, there will be NO competition in the marketplace and the devices in question would get banned if the patent wars kept moving along. It would be a huge monopoly. Which if I recall Apple accused Microsoft of doing such things back in the day before it was a huge company. Lets also not forget here that Microsoft even aided Apple back in the day to keep them from going bankrupt.

      Nowadays its “I’m gonna sue you for everything your product is worth and ban it from being sold” or “Cease and Desist”

      The laws and patent system need a serious overhaul. It should have limits on when the companies can be sued after a product has been out for so long.

      Like for example, if the product was out for, oh, lets say a year, the company cannot be sued because it was never brought to the courts attention that the product infringes on it. Thus not allowing successful companies like Apple to sue if the product is extremely successful.

      Apple seems to only be suing successful product makers, puting a limit in the suing process could deter companies from only suing if the product is highly successful rather than waiting until it is then sue. which Apple is clearly doing, along with Microsoft. If they know they infringe on the product after its out, why do they wait nearly 2 years or so until its out to sue?

      Answer, I want your market slice of the pie! Plain and simple

      Obama is the only one that has the power to Veto and prevent such rulings from being valid.

      • Donald Williams

        agree with ya there but does Obama really need to get involved in this? Don’t you think he has better things to do like i don’t know lets say jobs, the deficit? Either way i like the effort from Verizon but i honestly don’t think Obama cares or will have any real input on the matter.

        • CoryDobak

          Nope, Obama shouldn’t get involved with this at all. The only person who can sign a bill into a law should have NOTHING TO DO WITH PATIENT REFORM!! Congress should draw up this AWESOME bill, have both parties approve it, and it just sit on his desk.

          Jesus, there isn’t going to ANY patient reform without the president being involved with it /somehow/.

          Also, if anything, patient reform will help the deficient. We have a consumer good driven economy. Spending money as consumers on goods is what keeps us, as a nation, running.

          Banning any type of smartphone device would have more then a slightly minor effect on our economy, not to mention stifle innovation, and deter an already pissed off American public.

          Like him or hate him, your staunch anti-Obama position is just somewhere south of fucking retarded.

          • chris125

            It is PATENT not patient damn dude. Also, which of these cell companies are in the US or based in the US? I am not an apple fan but they are based in the US the only other one who is is moto. So technically these other companies aren’t benefiting the US with jobs or even tax revenue. So yeah, may want to do a little searching then say something. Spell check would help too.

          • CoryDobak

            Yea, had a little brain fart there, don’t know why I didn’t catch that. Still, point still stands.

            Also, if you’re going to be all critical of my spelling, you’re gonna want to include some grammar in your reply.

            Edit:”So technically these other companies aren’t benefiting the US with jobs or even tax revenue.”

            Yep, you got me! NONE of those other companies have contributed to the US at all. So I assume that to move the massive amount of devices those companies sell, they just magically move themselves into customers hands?

            No need for people to sell them, or poeple to drive the trucks to deliver them, or people at the shipping ports to receive them, etc etc…

            You might want to think a little before you spout off bullshit.


            This is why so many larger U.S. companies maintain so much cash outside the county; it is simply bad business to send it home. For example, in 2010, Apple Inc. (AAPL) reported that it has over $30 billion in cash maintained overseas. Apple partially earned this money from international sales, but largely by holding various intellectual property patents within foreign holding company subsidiaries so that the cash leaves the U.S. as a tax-deductible business expense.

            Apple keeps most of it’s money out of the U.S to keep from having to pay taxes on it. You sir, are a special kind of moron.

            Edit 2 : Just to be a pedantic asshole because you annoy me. Whenever a device is sold, they get charged sales tax (in most states). Combine this with the massive amount of phones sold also gives states a nice little bump in revenue from sales tax.

          • chris125

            Grammar? Maybe you just can’t read there is lots of grammar in my post. Sorry I don’t rant on like you and worry more about getting everything correct before hitting post.

          • blaque_prince

            Yea but the U.S. carriers do depend on these companies to make money. But I understand you point.

          • MWFish

            lol. Hypocrisy much? He called you out on grammar because you tried to discount his points AND called him an idiot when he misspelled something. At first, I thought he was going too far, but it turns out he was right. You ARE a special kind of stupid.

        • Justin King

          Think of how many jobs would be created if Apple/Microsoft/Google put those billions of dollars into making competing products rather than suing and purchasing patents which allows them to completely avoid doing anything except pay their existing team of lawyers?

      • DA Weick

        Great points. I would add that we need to keep in mind the whole point of the patent system; to encourage innovation. This requires a balancing act between ensuring that innovators can profit from their work (via holding a patent) and ensuring that competitors are not barred from offering competing products (by over broad patents). It’s an eternal balancing act and currently things have swung too far toward patent holders. Its clear that software patents need to operate under different rules from other patents and that design patents need to be more specific.

      • chris125

        Agree I think there should be a time frame say maybe a month or two after a product is out that a company can sue for otherwise they cannot sue because it takes off selling.

        • Justin King

          That’s too easy to get around. All the client needs to do is have a “limited release” where only one radio shack in nowhere-ville gets the initial launch and they aren’t allowed to advertise it. A month later the commercials air and it’s everywhere and nothing another company can do about it unless they troll the distribution chains because technically it’s been out for a month.

          The language of the patent is the biggest problem: I should not be able to patent an “idea” of “you move an icon on the screen to unlock it”. There should be true, sound, technology being patented … a real invention. The technology itself gets the patent … not the concept. If someone finds a different way to get the same concept … that should be legal … and in the physical world it typically is. Problem is the electronic world seems to ignore this.

          Right now i play patent spaghetti: just spit out ideas and patent them and hope someone treads on them. I don’t even have to know how they pulled it off: just read a couple fantasy novels first. As it stands, I should go ahead and patent teleportation in name: when someone figures it out they’ll make me billions.

    • Micah Madru

      I’m not a fan of obama, but hey if someone isn’t going to step up and put an end to these retarded legal battles, if he can do something to tone them down a bit, then I’m all for it.

      • NemaCystX

        Exactly my point, then its back to business as usual and its in the consumers best interest since Apple is fighting competition by litigation and courtroom battles, they think they own the touchscreen smartphone market pretty much. Clearly things have changed since Android came out that there afraid of. And there pursuit of legal action years after the products are out shows that.

        I mean most companies seem to attack more successful ones rather than ones that aren’t.

        They really need to overhaul the copyright system and patents system to keep innovation in play. Were headed down a spiral of years and years of litigation between companies that in the end of the courtroom battles gain them nothing, because like most patent disputes all they gotta do is change one little thing and half the time its not even noticeable. Is it really worth billions of dollars to a company that knows they might lose if the competition can find a way to get around the patent in question?

        I’m supremely tired of the patent battles…

        and so far i’m very proud of what Samsung is doing in protecting its rights on the product its been selling millions and millions of units of. and the evidence they have provided along with proof that Apple tampered with evidence to make them look like the bad guy.

        My thoughts anyway. Nothing to see here :)

    • chris125

      Agree maybe he should worry about things like trying to turn the country around and not drive it into the ground. Then again that is what he is aiming for anyway.

      • blaque_prince

        Really? I thought the government was supposed to stay out of the way of the free market. I guess people aren’t really prepared for what that means.

        • chris125

          I never said he should get involved? Honestly the government should stay out of it they already screw up enough as it is. Just another thing that will add to the national debt.

          • jbrandonf

            Go ahead and name some things the government screws up…because they run the post office extremely efficiently, they pave our roads and maintain our bridges and run our police and fire departments pretty well too. I hate this fallacy that the government screws up everything it touches.

        • CoryDobak

          Psstt…There is no free market in the USA.

          • blaque_prince

            If you ask me no such thing is possible on a scale larger than small to medium local businesses.

          • jbrandonf

            Pssst…there’s no such thing as a free market.

        • Justin King

          Do some history research then. Regulation is required to keep a market healthy, and to make sure the participants are playing fairly.

          • blaque_prince

            I agree with you. My comment was sarcastic in nature.

      • CoryDobak

        Aww, aren’t you precious. You’re like a little misinformed child, it’s awesome. Please go away while the grown-ups talk.

        • chris125

          The misinformed one is you. Sorry you believe the garbage obama says. He is doing such a great job of what? Raising the debt ceiling? Come on man open them eyes.

          • CoryDobak

            If you’re not aware (because you’re not), Congress makes the budget, not Obama, he simply passes it or not. If you want to point fingers. point it at Congress and Obama, just not him.

            I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Debt Ceiling has been raised something like 75 times in the last past 60 some years. 7 times under Bush.

            Here are the increases that were signed into law during his time as President of the United States:

            P.L. 107-199
            June 28th, 2002
            New Limit: $6.4 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $450 billion

            P.L. 108-24
            May 27th, 2003
            New Limit: $7.384 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $984 billion

            P.L. 108-415
            November 19th, 2004
            New Limit: $8.184 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $800 billion

            P.L. 109-182
            March 20th, 2006
            New Limit: $8.965 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $781 billion

            P.L. 110-91
            September 29th, 2007
            New Limit: $9.815 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $850 billion

            P.L. 110-289
            July 30th, 2008
            New Limit: $10.615 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $800 billion

            P.L. 110-343
            October 3rd, 2008
            New Limit: $11.315 trillion
            Increase in Limit: $700 billion.

            It was also raised 18 times under Reagan.

            You’re gonna need to present to me an actual good argument, not some bullshit talking point.

          • chris125

            Pretty sure he hhas to sign it. Also 5 years ago Obama said raising the debt ceilijg results from poor leadership so what’s that say about him? What has he done to stimulate the economy? His bullshit stimulus that normal working citizens saw nothing of it? Atleast bush gave everyone a check to spend and hear it stimulate the economy. Obama isn’t creating jobs or anything.

          • Brian

            Wasn’t that wone of his main campaign points? To stop spending money and eliminate Americas debt (start to reduce) he promised a lot on the campaign trail and I see nothing being down the exact opposite….as a leader you take the credit when it goes good..well you must take responsibility when it goes bad

          • CoryDobak

            “Also 5 years ago Obama said raising the debt ceilijg results from poor leadership so what’s that say about him?”

            Absolutly, the government is doing a pisspoor job with momey. Multi-Millions going to No-Bid Military contracts, billions is projects that are far over budget or are just cancels. Shitloads more. However, saying that “EVIL OBAMA ALL HIS FAULT” just makes you seem like a short sighted fool that has an incredible bias.

            “What has he done to stimulate the economy? His bullshit stimulus that normal working citizens saw nothing of it? ”

            Normal working people saw tons. I know around my area anyway, almost all the roads were improved, paid for by the Stimulas. Also, my wife got a job with the local Careerlink because of the ARRA. Her position was funded by it, and it gave her an awesome thing to put on her resume. Because of that position she had that was funded with the ARRA, she got a new job right away when the funding ran out because of the position she got before.

            Where I live, in Central PA, there is a town that saw 50+ kids get jobs and GEDs in a typically shitty city thanks to the ARRA, and many of them now have jobs, and are bettering themselfs because of that small chance of free transportation and tutoring for the GED tests.

            So don’t you sit there, all goddamn self important and spout off a piece of bullshit statsictic that you heard as fact. Do some research, and stop believeing all you hear. Researching stuff you hear yourself from multiple sources helps you be a more rounded person, and seem more intelligent.

          • jbrandonf

            The response I’m replying to and the one below was beautiful. I noticed they didn’t respond. Hopefully they learned something.

          • babadush

            As opposed to default? I don’t like any politicians but to blame it all on one man when it all went downhill from 2 wars and deregulation that started 10 years ago is pretty narrow-minded.

          • Brian

            As a leader it is his fault…he makes the decisions….and he is doing a terrible job

          • CoryDobak

            Yep, because you know the POTUS has ALL the power.

            I seem to recall there being three branches of power for just this reason. To say everything is his fault is just stupid.

          • MWFish

            it won’t let me hit reply to Brian, so just know this is indeed intended for Brian.
            THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT “MAKE THE DECISIONS.” Congress makes most of them.

            I will now share a piece of advice that the ninja turtles taught me when I was little:
            “It’s cool to stay in school.”

    • Mr_Vault

      Total, total, total agreement.

  • 155

    What’s with the Treo? Especially cause the picture is labeled Blackberry.

    • Leon He

      It is a blackberry that has been modified by the NSA for more security.

      • 155

        Um look at the picture. It’s clearly a Sprint Treo 600-700 Series.

    • Scotsman of Loch Ness

      maybe it’s hinting at the future that Google will buy all the Palm patents from HP.

  • Joy Coleman

    When things are doing badly and you have no help to stop the madness, you have to call on someone

  • Magus2300

    This could end 1 of 3 ways: very good, very bad or no change (i.e. he doesn’t take action on it at all).

    • Austin Serio

      No sh*t sherlock.

      • jbrandonf


  • No_Nickname90

    All I know is that if the Nexus 3 get’s prevented from coming to America, I’m impeaching the person who’s fault it is, or I will make it my sole purpose to get rid of Apple. I used to look up to Apple, and now they’re starting all this stupid war. I hope when Steve Jobs leaves, some undercover Android fan takes over. I don’t want no got dang iPhone!! They sux!! I wanna be able to hack into my phone!! Dugh!!

    • Andrew

      Prediction or what?

      • Manbo

        Oh s**t son! Obama made jobs step down!

  • Brian S.

    Im on my nexus one and the +1button isn’t popping up anywhwre

  • Michael Williams

    Whoa, Big ups to Big Red.

  • Justin King

    Anyone else find it ironic that Verizon wants the government to step in? The same company that tried to get wireless carriers as legally excluded as being considered part of the internet so they could ignore the Internet Fairness Act?

    • jbrandonf

      Good point. I absolutely hate Verizon’s politics.

  • MarcusDW

    That picture has to be before he got elected. He’s aged 8 years in his 3 as president.

  • blaque_prince

    Well politics aside I’m at least glad to see that someone realizes that this has gotten ridiculous and has made a plea to the government to put an end to this crap. And before people run around talking about the government shouldn’t be in it stop and think. The government IS it. Who issues the patents? Who runs the courts that try the cases? Who enforces the injunctions? You couldn’t have thought that private business does this right? Its a matter of law so its a matter for government in the first place.

    • CoryDobak

      Get out of here with your logic and facts please. They have no place in a political discussion.

  • jjrudey

    Whatever it takes to have phones not get banned, do it.

  • babadush

    Thank you!!!

  • J Dub

    Anything with any kind of “Yeah, I made that happen” kinda vibe on it will get involvement from BO. He is going into a re-election year so the things-ive-done start to be paraded around. This goes for all canidates not just BO.

  • InspectorGadget80