FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) for several years has had a loyal supporter in Florian Mueller.
Nobody followed the company's myriad patent disputes more closely. Or criticized more sharply the claims made against Apple by Samsung and Motorola/Google for their so-called standard-essential patents.
But this time, he writes in his FOSS Patents blog, Apple has gone too far.
Having read the transcript of a January federal court hearing in advance of the second Apple v. Samsung trial -- scheduled to begin Mar. 31 -- Mueller is practically apoplectic. He can't believe 1) what Apple is demanding and 2) that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is going to let the company put those demands before a jury.
"I face the first situation," he wrote in Tuesday's post, "in which I don't merely disagree with Apple but am rather wondering whether it has lost its mind."
The issue is what Apple thinks Samsung might reasonably agree to pay -- after hypothetical negotiations -- for the right to use five Apple patents: phone number tapping, unified search, data synchronization, slide-to-unlock, and autocomplete. (More detail here.)
$40 per unit? For five software patents?
"Give me a break," writes Mueller. "Reality distortion would be a total understatement for this."
In the first California Apple v. Samsung trial -- the one that ended in a $929 million verdict against Samsung -- Apple's per-device ask was a fraction of what it's demanding now. The per-unit claim for "pinch to zoom" was $3.10. For "over scroll bounce" and "tap to zoom" it was $2.02 apiece. That's a total to $7.14 for three patents. Now Apple is demanding $40 for five.
"I can understand that Apple, almost three years after having filed its first lawsuit against Samsung, is disappointed with the fact that it has no enforceable remedies in place in the United States," Mueller writes. "But seeking out-of-this-world damages based on bizarre theories of what a hypothetical negotiation would result in is not the answer."
The big orange circle is Google's Motorola. The big blue one is Facebook's WhatsApp.
FORTUNE -- I can't vouch for the accuracy of the data in this infographic, created by business insurance provider Simply Business and posted Friday on TechCrunch, but even if it's a little off it gives you a good feel for how Apple's (AAPL) relatively small, targeted acquisitions compare with such multibillion dollar deals as Google (GOOG) buying Motorola ($12.5 MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2014 11:37 AM ET
As the tech giant looks to become more than just a set of tools you use at work and on the go, smart engineering will be key. So will design.
By Olof Schybergson
FORTUNE -- Google has successfully developed technologies that make life easier for people at their offices or on the go. Think of services such as Search, Mail, and Drive. And apps, such as Maps and Play, are designed to ease the MOREFeb 12, 2014 1:42 PM ET
In exclusive interview with Fortune, VP of corporate development Don Harrison discusses Larry Page's plan to expand into new areas through M&A.
FORTUNE -- Don Harrison became Google's head of mergers and acquisitions about a year ago. But he's been helping Google (GOOG) buy companies since 2001, when the company snapped up the Internet newsgroups archive Deja News, its first acquisition ever.
Harrison, then a lawyer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, MOREMiguel Helft, senior writer - Feb 12, 2014 10:46 AM ET
In an interview with Fortune, Yuanqing Yang says that his company seeks to replicate its ThinkPad success with Motorola.
FORTUNE -- Fresh from signing a $2.91 billion deal with Larry Page to acquire Google's Motorola unit, Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang spoke to Motorola employees for 45 minutes at the latter company's headquarters outside of Chicago on Thursday. Immediately after that meeting, Yang discussed the deal and Lenovo's plans to compete in the MOREMiguel Helft, senior writer - Jan 30, 2014 4:01 PM ET
That's up 35% a year ago. Samsung ownership (not sales) grew to 26% from 22%.
FORTUNE -- If you thought the long green line at the top of the attached chart represented the burst of iPhone sales last quarter following the release of Apple's (AAPL) new models, you could be forgiven. But you would be wrong.
When the NPD Group surveyed 5,000 American smartphone owners 18 and older last quarter, it didn't ask MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 16, 2014 3:33 PM ET
Software hasn't just supplanted hardware in the past decade. It needs hardware as an ancillary business.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
FORTUNE – Imagine it's 1999. Scratch that, it's 2006.
The computer in your office is made by ... well, it doesn't matter who it's made by. Unless you are in a creative profession, that computer is run on Microsoft Windows. And the phone in your pocket is made by Nokia (NOK), or -- MORESep 4, 2013 10:02 AM ET
The U.S. International Trade Commission gets slapped down twice in one week.
FORTUNE -- In late 1940s, an inventor named William Graham solved the age-old problem of how to protect a plow cutting through rocky soil by adding shock absorbers to the plow's shanks. He applied for a patent, and it was granted in 1950. When John Deere (DE) incorporated the technology into its plows, Graham sued.
The case went all the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 9:28 AM ET
They like it. But an earth shaker or an iPhone killer it is not.
FORTUNE -- The Moto X is Motorola's first phone since Google (GOOG) bought the company last year for $12.5 billion.
It's due out in late August or early September, depending on the carrier, and will sell for $200 with contract.
The usual reviewers got their hands on it last week. Comparisons with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, Samsung's Galaxies and the HTC One were MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 7, 2013 11:18 AM ET
Also, 5 times more reliable than Nokia's and 27 times more reliable than Motorola's
FORTUNE -- FixYa, which bills itself as the leading product Q&A destination on the Web and mobile, published a head-to-head comparison Friday of the reliability of four leading smartphone manufacturers: Apple (AAPL), Samsung, Nokia (NOK) and Motorola (GOOG).
The site looked at 722,558 troubleshooting requests, sorted them by manufacturer, calculated the ratio of market share to problem requests, and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 23, 2013 6:26 AM ET
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