Tag Archives: USPTO

It’s all about interpretation

It started late Friday for me when the Financial Post gave me ‘Fearing Huawei curbs, Deutsche Telekom tells Nokia to shape up‘, the article (at https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/fearing-huawei-curbs-deutsche-telekom-tells-nokia-to-shape-up-2) gives a few items and linking that to another post gave me a lot to consider. First we need to see “Deutsche Telekom has told supplier Nokia it must improve its products and service to win business installing the German group’s 5G wireless networks in Europe, according to internal documents and a source with direct knowledge of the matter“, the issue is twofold, yet the important part is not a given. Here we see the story behind ‘Nokia must improve its products and service‘, yet the story focuses on services, a little less on the product. So as we take notice of “the German group considered Nokia the worst performer among all suppliers in 5G tests and deployments“, yet because of the US bully tactics, Nokia is feeling a little too safe to be worried, which is nice for Nokia, but it is one of a few items hitting the European Telecom providers. The entire Nokia matter is shown with one simple statement “Deutsche Telekom’s willingness to give Nokia another hearing shows the difficulties mobile companies face over pressure from the United States“, it is more than bully tactics, the station we now see is that those giving in to the US are facing 2 larger ones, the first being the implementation by players like Nokia on a European front, the larger issue is not merely Nokia, the larger issues is seen in the IP Watchdog that gives us (as did the news a few days ago) ‘Huawei Sues Verizon‘, we are given that “Chinese telecom giant Huawei filed two lawsuits in U.S. district court, one in Eastern Texas and the other in Western Texas, asserting claims of 12 patents against Verizon Communications. The suits were filed after Huawei “negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time”“, let me explain why it is a larger issue. 

Firstly, the fact that we see ‘negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time‘ leaves us with the larger setting that this isn’t nothing, in addition, as the US was so proud to give the stage of 5G ready, we see that at least one vendor might not have been ready, no matter how this case slices and dices 5G, a dozen patents are in this, as such they can be checked and if so, the entire 5G bubble will explode (not burst) in the Trump administration face right in the middle of re-election. In addition, the fact that the US has not given one part of evidence setting the stage against the US at present gives a much larger scene over the optional backdrop of failing US equipment whilst they are trying to roll out 5G, in light of all this that earlier speculated 4-6 years delay for national 5G will optionally reach up to a decade, which means that the entire 5G setting is game over for the US (optionally depending on this trial). As I personally see it, the Trump Administration will have to rely on the brightest minds at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to investigate BEFORE the trial commences how big an issue it might be, if that is not done the Trump administration will end up with egg on its face whilst the 5G networking issue will hang around its neck like an anchor keeping them in place, it would be a global setback for them.

Now we cannot state that Huawei has a case or that Verizon is innocent, but a dozen patents will impede it as they need to be examined and the courts will take up to two years, no matter what delays are seen, if Verizon continues, all their revenue will go straight to China with a lot more in penalties, that was never in anyone’s cards.

Returning to the FP we also see: “It is well known that Deutsche Telekom is pursuing a multi-vendor strategy so that we are not dependent on just one supplier. This is an elementary part of our security philosophy,” said Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom’s head of technology and IT. “In 2019 we have made many steps together with Nokia to make Deutsche Telekom’s networks evolve towards 5G readiness, including all network domains, from radio and fixed access to transport and core, and continue to do so in 2020 and onwards.” Federico Guillen, Nokia’s president of customer operations in EMEA and APAC, said: “We continue to work extensively with Deutsche Telekom which is one of our most significant customers, both in Europe and the U.S.”” this all makes sense, there is no hidden agenda (or is there), most larger companies will not be set to the leash of one large giant, there is no opposition to that, but in this case we see that for some reason Ericsson is not considered, a Swedish company that is supposedly ready for 5G deployment, now we can say that Ericsson is a large player and it is (to some extent) the pride and joy of Sweden with as far as I can tell a much larger state of international readiness than Nokia ever was, as such why is the focus on Nokia? In this stage of 5G and the need to grow where a telecom player can, why is Ericsson not regarded as a backup for Nokia? When we realise that “in 2017 Nokia was dropped entirely from that market segment when Ericsson was handed a 30% share of Deutsche Telekom’s spending on it, reports in the trade press said at the time. It was the first of several wins for Ericsson“, Ericsson is indeed the other player, it seems like a desperate setting to have merely to keep Huawei out, so in this, these so called cut-throat players are unwilling to play hard ball. I wonder why? I have seen some of these players play fast and loose and play hardball as well and seeing the optional failure by Nokia and the subsequence unwillingness to consider Huawei, we see a puch from Germany orchestrated by the US, the EU 5G solutions will take a firm beating at present making them (optionally) ahead of the US and optionally behind other players, players that were never in such a high place before and that was before the patent infringement accusations, now the mess becomes a much larger setting.

All whilst we consider “Deutsche Telekom then suspended vendor talks to await the outcome of a debate in Berlin over the security of critical national networks, where senior lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party back the U.S. call to bar Huawei” in this I believe that the US has set the fate of Angela Merkel as well, when the US stumbles even once, and the beginning of that was shown 5 days ago (at CNN) with ‘Angela Merkel lambasts her party’s cooperation with far-right AfD‘, this 5G anchor is not merely around the neck of Merkel as well, it could limit the actions of the CDU and give power to the AfD. Even as we take notice of ““It’s a very big deal … the consensus amongst democrats that there would be no cooperation with far-right parties ended yesterday,” Kai Arzheimer, a professor of Political Science at the University of Mainz, told CNN. “So it was a historic day,” he added“, the impact is larger, when the US bully tactics are seen for what they are, and as the US remains debatable in not presenting any evidence against Huawei, there is every chance that the far right in Germany will get to shout that the CDU has reverted to being a puppet of the US and they will point at Deutsche Telekom, a group laced with cut throat profit makers as evidence, the moment that is accepted, the US will not merely lose Germany, at that point it needs to consider France, the Netherlands and Spain lost as well, Italy is a larger problem (for Huawei) but it is too early to shout on that. In addition, as 2 of the big 4 change course, especially as the patent infringements fire up the others will take money for promises and full steam reverse whatever plan they had, the waters will be too shallow and too dangerous to sail in the US domain.

All this remains an issue when we see the Huawei stage of affair as they give the world “Huawei negotiated with Verizon for a significant period of time, during which the company provided a detailed list of patents and factual evidence of Verizon’s use of Huawei patents. The two parties were unable to reach an agreement on license terms. “We invest heavily in R&D because we want to provide our customers with the best possible telecommunications solutions,” continued Dr. Song. “We share these innovations with the broader industry through license agreements.”“, this does not give any details of who is in the right, but if the Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. is anything to go by, the court took almost 5 years and in the end “On December 6, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided 8-0 to reverse the decision from the first trial that awarded nearly $400 million to Apple” in this there is a larger stage to patent infringements and in this it was a global impact, in the Huawei case it is more than merely infringement, if the US has a 5 years setback there will be a much larger stage and even as the US wants to push through this case, the world is watching. Not only has the US given accusations against Huawei without clear evidence for the world to scrutinise, the Patents will be open to read for all and this changes the stage to a much larger degree. The fact that the Apple issue went past Dutch, Australian, British, German and Japanese courts give rise to that, the Huawei case could be an equally large and for the US a much larger consideration towards indiscriminate judging of American values, the world will scream for evidence in the middle of an election campaign, it does not sit pretty to be part of this administration. OH and the Apple trial was merely about a phone, a 4G phone, the Huawei stage will be about 5G and the infrastructure, the stage where the US is screaming on Chinese intervention whilst Verizon is delivering all over the US equipment allegedly based on Chinese patent transgression would feel uncomfortable in anyone’s point of view.

There is however the other side, Verizon is still on the ‘There’s 5G. Then there’s Verizon 5G‘ horse. I get it, it is their marketing, so when we see ‘Not all 5G is the same‘ where their hype creation department (read: marketing) gives us “Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband has the power to deliver speeds more than 10 times faster than some other 5G networks” here we see a dangerous tune, that is when you disregard ‘Ultra Wideband‘, the stage becomes that they are about to go to court with a dozen patents linked to their name, patents owned by Huawei. And as we were treated last Thursday to ‘Verizon sticks behind ambiguous 2020 DSS rollout plan‘ (source: FierceWireless) we get the stage where their entire marketing needs to sit on their hands, the moment this gets to court and the Patent lawyers will go over every word and punctuation, when the Patent IT people will investigate the claims and this hits the news cycles 24:7, Verizon will need to steer in different directions and the US administration will push them, the last thing this administration needs is a global expose on Chinese patent infringement all whilst they are pushing non-Chinese hardware on a global scale, the entire Verizon issue, whether true or not will be tested in courts and that is a large bone to pick, even today the 9 years old case between Samsung and Apple is on the minds of too many people, this was a setback the US could have done without.

It does not matter at present who is in the right, this will drag on for years to come (as court cases on infringement do) and it will hinder 5G growth in the US and 5G deployment  in Europe, in all this Huawei has too much to gain and the lack of evidence on Chinese government interference claims will not help any, not until clear evidence is presented by the US administration, which is unlikely to happen.

This will be a new technology in waves of interpretation, it is so because the US never gave the rest of the world evidence on Chinese government dangers and that is about to backfire. When this hits the media, it is more likely than not that Verizon shares will plummet, it will plummet to below values they had on August 14th 2019 ($55.72), which would make it a 15% drop which in 5G terms translates to the first coffin nail that Verizon will have to swallow, I reckon that at that point corporate reorganisations will be the talk of the day at Verizon for weeks to come.

Can it be avoided?

That is hard to say, we need to see that interpretation goes both ways and the patent infringement accusations are a larger issue, until we see them investigated by qualified senior Patent lawyers (like the USPTO has) we are merely speculating and even after that, as the court starts it will impact and impact larger than expected. Avoiding that stage would have been the issue to a much larger degree and the talks that ended in no resolve might require a push from the US administration to get those resolved, still the accusation is in the air, that had to be avoided (as I personally see it), no matter what deal is struck, we see the accusations against Huawei whilst Verizon was optionally (and allegedly) using Chinese technology in their hardware. That part is now in the open, and questions will be asked internationally, if not by the governments, it will be a good stick for their opponents to use with any of their upcoming elections. 

Settling this beforehand was the larger economic need and it was not done (not judging whether the cases will have merit at present). That is what a lot will remember in the end, especially those who needed a big stick, Huawei just gave them a bat to end most matches.

 

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Falling off the wagon

It all started with a success story, it then ‘evolved’ into the age of complacency as it was lying in a lazy floating chair in a swimming pool. America was lazy, complacent and greed driven.

Huawei overtook Ericsson in 2012 as the largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer in the world, then casually overtook Apple in 2018 as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world, still behind Samsung Electronics, and rose to the 72nd rank on the Fortune Global 500 list. In December 2018, Huawei reported that its annual revenue had risen to US$108.5 billion in 2018 (a 21% increase over 2017).It is at this point that America was a mere 3rd position, Huawei is presently servicing 47 of the 50 largest telecom operators on the planet, for the first time in history America no longer really matters as a technology provider. Sources like the Economist, the Guardian, Fortune and TechRadar all give the same news. It is at this point that the USPTO has to give the goods (read: the bad message) that Asia has surpassed America with registered patents by a lot, and the US has to deal with more and more bad news as they get strangled by a debt that surpasses $22,000,000,000,000. 22 trillion and no end in sight to turn it around, now that 5G is off to the races more bad news is given as the American and Nokia 5G solutions are decently inferior to the ones that China (Huawei has). The American overreaction is astounding and it comes with additional levels of humour. When we see an article by cyber security expert Zak Doffman in Forbes ‘Huawei ‘Slams FedEx Vendetta’ After Courier Refuses To Deliver P30 Phone To U.S.‘ (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/06/23/huawei-slams-fedex-vendetta-after-courier-refuses-to-deliver-p30-phone-to-u-s) where we see: “Parcel returned by FedEx due to U.S. Government with Huawei and China Government—return to sender, the humour is here as we also saw a month ago: ‘Drug traffickers’ favourite way to move fentanyl is FedEx and USPS‘, so Fedex can stop a Chinese mobile phones, yet is incapable of stopping drug traffickers. It has become that bad and for the life of me, the idea that that stupidity has grown to this degree at the moment has made me realise that pretty much my only option left is to offer my IP at 10% value to China as America clearly can no longer be trusted to stop the stupidity in its own ranks.

And it gets to be worse. Now we see: ‘The U.S. blacklists five Chinese supercomputer firms, including AMD joint venture THATIC‘ (at https://www.pcworld.com/article/3404464/the-us-blacklists-five-chinese-supercomputer-firms-including-amd-joint-venture-thatic.html). So as we are now introduced to ‘U.S. firms will be forbidden to do business with the companies‘ we are shown more than stupidity. I have been an avid fan of the segregation, isolation, and assassination triangle in tactics, but this is pretty much the first time in history that a nation is doing it to itself, implying that American bankruptcy is so close to the collapse that they need whatever they can to delay the collapse of their economy. I can never trust any government in that position to be honest about any trade it holds. Handing my IP over to China is perhaps the only option to get any decent amount of funds out of them, and I have to pay the rent at some point.

Do I care about these Chinese companies? Not really! Apart from my trusty Huawei mobile, I do not know any of them and there is no real reason to know or care about them, but the actions of America to the degree that they are doing it, like they are the biggest whoring bully on the block also implies that they can do it to anyone else and as I see it, there are plenty of UK (BT), Swedish (Ericsson), Finnish (Nokia) and other firms they can do this to when things do not go their way. They will come up with some kind of National security scheme like Finland is next to Russia or something like that. It is nice to advocate open and fair trade when you are the only one dealing (IBM, Microsoft) but that is no longer the case and Microsoft has become too self-indulgent as they screw up market after market just to push their Azure solution. America can no longer be trusted, that is the short and sweet of it, they know it and Americans know it too, but they are too desperate and there is no stopping a desperate bully who is about to no longer matter.

And the world is not ready for a bully like that. Japan is too deep into its own problems, Europe is desperate to avoid whatever recession comes next and the others have no independent voice. In all this India is as isolated as it gets and that takes 12.5% of the global population out of the equation. As the risk of a 2020 recession in Europe is nearing an almost certainty there is panic, there is panic on Wall Street because the 2020 recession will hit the US squarely in the chest during the elections, ending whatever small edge the Republicans have and it changes everything for them. The 2020 recession will be worse than ever because the ECB squandered their reserves on incentives and stimulus as there are no reserves left. The ECB, IMF and Wall Street all knew that this could come and the 5G hype was all about avoiding it so that the new economy could restart what was lost, but their lag against Chinese Technology vendors (read: mainly Huawei) is so large that it will help the Chinese economy, but the others will only get a fraction of the IP they do not own and that fallback (or non optional fallover) is a lot larger than some are willing to admit to.

Now the short sighted American bias against Huawei and China is hitting new heights as they try to isolate China, yet in the end they are isolating themselves as Europe is seeking another option, they are seeing the value of Chinese IP and they want alternatives, especially if it could delay or even turnover their own impending recession, in that scenario America will lose more and more because their own technology is flawed, untested and lacks innovation. It will hit Europe, whilst benefitting the Middle East as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have signed up with China, America lost more than just weapon deals there.

What Cisco achieved with UTS in Sydney a decade ago is now happening in Qatar, Qatar University College of Engineering now has a similar deal with Huawei, implying that Qatar might be the first place where Huawei trained 5G engineers and innovators are born pushing 5G innovation. For Qatar this is more than good news, there is a first stage where Al Jazeera could become technologically more advanced than CNN, another blow to American pride and Al Jazeera is eager to really get there. They have miles to go, yet with 5G fully deployed they can do it in less than half the time we expect. All elements that push America back further and further. When I stated that this was a stupid move by America in 2018, I actually had no idea that they would lose to this degree, but at present they are and their decisions are making things worse not better.

As we see the first Huawei Authorised Information and Network Academy (HAINA) programme launched in Qatar, we also recognise that this will enable Saudi Arabia and the UAE more and more, so there might be a diplomatic stance ending the unfriendly border issues between the three and they will profit stronger and stronger.

There is absolute truth in the statement: “Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr Ibrahim Al Nuaimi, said developing the technology capabilities of Qatar’s youth will have a significant impact on the smart evolution of society and country, contributing to the growth of Qatari economy.  “Initiatives such as this one between Qatar University and Huawei demonstrate the power that cooperative action can have in shaping the future of a nation,” he remarked“, it still requires the foundation and the nurturing of how to grow innovation, yet I have seen again and again that the hungry will find alternatives to make food and Qatar is clearly famished at present.

And there is one more nightmare to face. You see if China gets any IP hands on anything that could replace x86 technologies, the US is truly done for. At present they will laugh, scream and make all the claims that an ego driven nation could make, but then there is the history. We have 1975 when Federico Faggin and 11 employees created the Z80, there was a small team led by Chuck Peddle who came up with the 6502, it hit Intel and Motorola hard, a chip at less than 15% of the cost of an Intel or a Motorola processor. It would fuel an industry that would sell well over 15 million computers in an age where computers were not popular. We recognise that America was the driver in all this, it drove RISC to be the factor for the creation of Summit, still the fastest Supercomputer in the world, yet now that China surpasses America in patents, they have the core to create a new age of computer technology. We see that from 2017 onwards the Huawei Mobile Phone is the personal server to have; the fact that it is a mobile is beside the point. My IP was a security pass on personal mobile servers and that is the foundation of the next decade. It is not the personal computer or desktop, there is still the laptop and Chromebooks (and likeminded devices) have the option to be the next power drivers, but Huawei has the hand with 4 aces, they have the foundation of mobile personal servers and it scares America. My idea for what would have been (optionally) the Google Tome was founded on that idea as I created a solution to stop the NHS collapsing. Now that most elements are with Huawei and Chinese operators, America actually matters less. Even as Microsoft is still screaming Azure (whenever they can), we see that there are other options that could do similar and could surpass Microsoft within 4 years, that realisation is scaring America to death. They have no options when that happens. Complacency got them there and the next generation of these so called ‘captains of industry‘ are holding a hand with a two and a seven and they are playing Texas hold’em. A proverbial Snake eyes for the craps dealer in the house, which is the setting and the stage they can no longer escape. It is where they are at and their overreaction merely shows their levels of desperation.

In 2021 we will see that not only will they have lost 5G to a crippling degree, the other players will fare even worse. If China gets a decent deal with Japan, America will have segregated itself, they isolated themselves as Europe and the Commonwealth will seek whatever keeps them afloat and at that point with the debt closer to $25 trillion, they will end up cutting their own wrists with all the uber wealthy Americans seeking sunny shores in their mega yachts. Suddenly places like the Riviera, Dubai, the Virgin Islands and Italy will be swamped with Americans who will be quiet as mice as they wait for America to reinvent itself in the span of 2-3 decades, and America needs to get lucky to do it that fast. As the world is set to the currency of IP and patents, it might take a whole lot longer than that.

When I decided to get my Master in IP in 2010 I knew that there was a change in the winds, it was the clearest in IT, but I saw how it would impact to a much larger degree, I saw the shift to mobile patents in 2012, and now I see the other shifts too. I feel certain of my view, I cannot tell how politicians will react because that too impacts the changing tides, but overall they seem to align to the need of greed too often as such, my predictions are more likely than not coming true. It’s a sad world, if only American firm had not been so lazy relying on iterative technology for a decade, things would be very different indeed.

To complete the change China really only needs three more innovative steps in 5G communication to make it certainty and turn these steps into nail to service the coffin that is America, with the Middle East in play, there is every chance that they will pull it off, the rest of us (the non-Americans) will need to decide on how that future serves us best, because that too is a choice we face, and we have to make it ourselves.

And if you were in doubt until now, the Wall Street Journal reported only hours ago: “U.S. President Donald Trump is looking to require next-generation 5G cellular equipment used in the United States to be designed and manufactured outside China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.” So consider this quote really clearly: the entire China matter has been going on for weeks, yet yesterday we see that equipment is to be ‘designed and manufactured outside China’, a discriminatory tactic that shows that there was no clear tactic in play, and clearly the Americans are not up to scrap at present. What else was not anticipated on?

Someone fell of the wagon and others were unable to see the dangers clearly, The US still does not recognise that it has a real problem; the first stage of solving the problem is at present not met. Do you really need more convincing?

 

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Future through the sub line

That was the first thought I had when the Guardian treated us all to: ‘Folding tablet hybrid shows Asia, not US or Europe, is leading the way in innovation‘, I was already aware of this through the submitted patents well over a year ago, yet the Americans remained in denial on just how far behind they were falling, ego does that, iteration does that and denial does that. Now I see that the innovations would optionally give added value to my own outstanding patent on a ‘dumb smart device‘, and it goes on beyond that. Some of the innovations I had planned for are now on par with what Huawei will need soon enough.

Their foldable Mate X, which is allegedly 5G shows that not only is Huawei ahead of the game, I see that they might be more and more interested in my IP, giving me the retirement funds I really really desire. The Mate X billboard that was getting placed for the grand opening in 10 hours in Barcelona gives us the initial view, instead of hiding it in the middle like Samsung does, the outside fold might have additional powers and abilities that we have not considered yet and could optionally have the implementations that Android 10 will offer. Even as we expect the 5,000 mAh battery to be the power driver pushing Huawei all along towards to pole position, the device would have plenty of business needs for options like a potential Dark Mode, as well as DeX-like docking support for a new Desktop mode and a revamp of privacy options. Giving us that Apple is now falling behind and they are falling behind fast. In addition we see the escalations that are hitting Facebook will enable a much larger push towards the WeChat future that is now being considered more and more outside of China.

Barcelona has more, even as the SanDisk 400GB is truly expensive (as well as superfast) as its 128GB is 75% cheaper at present, but that is the reality of larger memory when it is initially released. More important, when I look at the implementation of my IP, I see that the market for SanDisk would grow close to exponential from previous terms and I am sure that SanDisk will not object at all. And the news is not done yet. One source gives us; ‘After Samsung unveils Galaxy Fold, Apple submits blueprint for foldable iPhone‘, implying that they are losing grounds and are getting left behind by both Samsung and Huawei. Even as we are almost conned with: “Apple has submitted a blueprint of a bendable smartphone at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), indicating Apple’s progressive development towards building a foldable device” we see the issue that if the patent is submitted now, Apple would be optionally 2 years behind Huawei, the loss has been that much for America. As we see the news from CNet and ZDNet and a few others, we see quotes like: “Samsung has gotten the jump on the competition; companies like Huawei and Xiaomi could have the last laugh. While the Galaxy Fold wowed audiences with its demo, Samsung opted not to let anyone get too close to it, and the phone was MIA when the demo area opened up. Another company could steal the spotlight by offering people a closer hands-on with their foldable devices” and none of the articles had given any notion towards Apple implying that with the absence of ‘leaked reports‘ Apple is a no show to the degree that it matters. It was only through Forbes that we see: “In a perfect demonstration of the macro/micro concept in practice, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Apple is shifting its leadership. The company is also changing priorities throughout its multiple divisions (retail, hardware, artificial intelligence and services).” All these group interview drives for their shops and now we see a massive division shift. It is not only that, they also confirm what I have been telling everyone for almost a year. With: “It’s like paying an even higher price for a bigger plate of the same food“, the part that the plate only seems bigger is left out (it is in the eye of the beholder) and when we consider the $2365 (Apple) versus $899 (Huawei), with a close contender (Huawei too) at $499 we see that there is a consumer group that is taking value into considerations making the technology of Apple slide even faster.

So whilst their marketing division is trying to make sense of the premise of ‘Apple under fire as it admits some iPads ship with a ‘bendy chassis’ – but says the flaw in the $799 product is ‘normal’‘, all whilst the consumers wonders how stupid their train of thought is, and as we were treated to “This 400 micron variance is less than half a millimeter (or the width of fewer than four sheets of paper at most) and this level of flatness won’t change during normal use over the lifetime of the product. Note, these slight variations do not affect the function of the device in any way“, whilst the images (at https://www.macrumors.com/guide/ipad-pro-2018-bending-issue/) shows a “Bendgate” issue that is a lot bigger than their statement. As we are treated to issues a lot more severe, we optionally see an issue where Apple did not merely drop the ball, they went about it wrongly to address the issue and it is not going away any day soon. When we push this forward, is the fear that people with an optional future folded iPhone greeting the ladies in social events with an folded iPhone shaped like a giant ‘V’ that they are not happy to see them, they merely have an iPhone bendy in their pocket, and lets be fair, are you really willing to pay $2900 for an iPad that can’t stay straight?

This part matters as Apple will try to take the 5G path growing its market share as we would expect Apple to do, yet at present Apple is losing speed and making less and less headway, it needs to realise that the Chinese path of innovation is taking steam out of the others and drowning whatever others consider to be innovation to the be a mere marketing exercise. Huawei started showing that clearly well over a year ago and now that 5G is here, the playing field is dominated by China to a much larger degree than anyone is comfortable with. In addition, what was laughed away by many a year ago when I showed that Saudi Arabia was making headway in 5G, is now given by the media as: ‘Huawei to help Saudi Arabia become world’s top 5G country‘, I was more conservative claiming that they would surpass the US in 5G, not that they would become number one, but the Global Times is more progressive here and with “his company will support Saudi Arabia in its drive, and Huawei is ready to invest $20 million per year in its three local research centers, cooperate closely with 140 local suppliers, procure $500 million worth of local equipment annually and add 10,000 local jobs in Saudi Arabia in the future.” The quote (at http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1139737.shtml) gives a few issues to debate, but behind all this is still the Vision 2030 drive and Neom City the drive that Saudi Arabia has had from the beginning and as I stated many months ago, their need for 5G would be well received, a city that will in the end be well over 20 times the size of New York, all 5G and all innovation driven. That was seemingly just the beginning, because Huawei sees what I saw, Saudi Arabia is important and in the end the biggest springboard towards places like Egypt and a consumer base 300% the size of Saudi Arabia. From there several more markets will open up in several ways. In the end I have been proven correct five times over on this issue alone. Barcelona and their MWC2019 (Mobile World Congress) will show me to be correct in a few more ways. At this point, I merely wonder how often Microsoft will drop the ball there. I am supposed to remain objective, but how can I when we have seen this world where Microsoft innovation is merely limited to their marketing. Whatever we get to see at the MWC2019 this year, it is clear that when it comes to innovation, it will be the Chinese companies that have the last laugh, especially as President Trump announced: “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind“, and the fact that AT&T is hiding behind 5G Evolution (which is not even 5G) should be a clear indication how far the US is lagging behind, all the way to the White House. It is also the one moment where I clearly oppose Business Review who gives us: ‘Trump’s tweet won’t have much impact‘, you see, entertainment is priceless and that is what President Trump offers, 6G when they are still not grasping the options that 5G brings, and the ‘small’ fact that Saudi Arabia will soon pass them by in the 5G mobile field does not help the US either, there is no telling at present how far behind the US will be when 6G arrives in 5-10 years, but we can giggle on the sidelines whilst we watch it happen, can we not?

 

 

 

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Original Greek food

In the Washington Post, the morning newspaper of choice for America (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/08/11/as-greek-yogurt-keeps-proliferating-greece-is-getting-protective/), we see an article on yogurt, Maura Judkis shows us the new way to exploit Parmesan, this is by making yogurt and calling it Greek! With “The Ministry of Agriculture has assembled a group that plans to apply to register “Greek yogurt” in the European Union Register as a term with a protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected designation of origin (PDO)“. In this my initial question would be, ‘Why was this not done before?

Greece needs all the value it can get and Greek yogurt is apparently a big one. I love the stuff, but even I was a bit surprised to see the result with “Chobani saw its sales go from just over $3 million to more than $1.1 billion in its first five years“. So the fact that Chobani is not Greek is not in Greece and owned by a Kurd named Hamdi Ulukaya did not raise flags? I reckon this is one smart cookie; he bought the dispensed building from Kraft and turned it into a goldmine. So is Hamdi in a tough spot? I reckon he is. In his defence he is applying the Greek method of making Greek yogurt, so he has validity in his product, unlike the Czech version, which was taken to court and got scolded. Now, he is the part that is in debate. With “Using the term ‘Greek yogurt’ for products produced outside Greece would deceive consumers and would create unfair competition in the E.U. market” we see a valid case. Even as Parmesan is clearly an Italian product and such should be protected, Chobani finds itself in a similar predicament, or do they?

You see, the origin of Greek yogurt is still at times an issue. Even as we accept ‘Yogurt is known from ancient times , since there are reports from the historian Herodotus in 5th century B.C. and the famous doctor Galen, 2nd century A.D. There are also references to Indo culture that present yogurt with honey as the food of the gods

As I look at some of the historic facts, we need to ask questions, because Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus, which was in fact Persian. Some of the historical parts are a little sketchy, yet of that given and from the fact that he had travelled the ‘then’ known world. Where exactly did it come from and was he calling it Greek Yogurt, because he was Greek? In addition, was the art of straining yogurt limited to Greece?

So although Greece clearly has a case trying to protect Greek Yogurt, is this the trap for the product? So when we look at Article 22 of trips, (at https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips_04b_e.htm) we see:

Protection of Geographical Indications

  1. Geographical indications are, for the purposes of this Agreement, indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
  2. In respect of geographical indications, Members shall provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent:

(a) the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates or suggests that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good;

(b) any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Article 10bis of the Paris Convention (1967).

So here we see the protection that Greek Yogurt has or should already have, and that is now the issue of Chobani. In addition, the Washington Post gives me something weird. With “But those rules won’t apply in the United States, where makers are free to label their yogurt as Greek (and where the distance from Greece makes consumer confusion less likely). There are dozens of “Greek” yogurts in grocery stores, from popular brands like Chobani, Yoplait, Dannon and Fage (a Greek company)“, which is an issue, because as a signatory of the WTO, the US should be at the top of enforcing parts of this. Yet with the opposing defence of ‘the distance from Greece makes consumer confusion less likely‘ we see another part of implied American exploitation. It is seen in a paper by Peter Drahos titled ‘Developing Countries and International Intellectual Property Standard-setting‘ (at http://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/pdrahos/reports/pdfs/UKCommIPRS.pdf)

On page 6 we see “For example, a number of corporations from the US, Europe and Japan claiming to represent the international business community released a document in 1989 that indicated strong support for a plurilateral agreement on intellectual property during the Uruguay Round (the mechanism of modeling). Australia supported the US position on TRIPS despite being a net intellectual property importer because it believed that by doing so it would achieve gains in the area of agriculture.

The US has been playing a powerful business game and they have seemingly won, yet as the sides that have been agreed on, the US is in a place where they would have to give in towards Europe, this is partially clear when we look at the information that the USPTO gives us. Yet in all this the Washington Post is equally giving a disturbing fact. From their view ‘But those rules won’t apply in the United States, where makers are free to label their yogurt as Greek‘, whilst at the same time the United States Patent and Trademark Office (at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/web/offices/dcom/olia/globalip/pdf/gi_system.pdf) gives us: ““Geographical indications” (“GIs”) are defined at Article 22(1) of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 1995 Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”” as well as “Geographical indications serve the same functions as trademarks, because like trademarks they are:

1) source-identifiers,

2) guarantees of quality, and

3) valuable business interests.

The United States has found that by protecting geographical indications through the trademark system – usually as certification and collective marks — the United States can provide TRIPS-plus levels of protection to GIs, of either domestic or foreign origin.

So from that part, not only is the WP incorrect (to some degree), if Greece pushes forward (and they should), there is every chance that Chobani will soon be relabeling their product. They should consider going with ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ and the faster they move, the quicker they get to push the envelope in the US (and Global) on the niche they are creating. Oh, and Chobani is not the only one in this situation, there are heaps more and as such Greece should have pushed for the changes a lot sooner, if only to give push and rise to Greek exports.

Even as the Washington Post is trivialising it with: “No, actually, we’re all about French yogurt now. What is French yogurt? It’s a yogurt that comes in a cute glass pot, with a cute brand name — “Oui” — made by Yoplait“, which is merely the waves of consumers, they will get back to the Greek solution and as such for players like Chobani to get the ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ message out will matter sooner rather than later, because the moment the consumer wave is bored with the glass cup, they will look around again and at that point whoever plays the game better gets those consumers and with the increase of 400 times the original revenue in 5 years makes it a serious task to set the right message and address the right people. I took one look at their website (www.chobani.com) and noticing how ‘Greek Yogurt‘ is their forte, which is not bad, yet if Greece gets their way in this and the information as even the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives it, the Greek enforcement would not be totally impossible, adhering to change and educating the consuming readers now will make a truckload of difference down the track. In my view it is not whether the ‘Greek Yogurt‘ mention is valid or not, it is for the most the strongest message the website throws into our eyes and as such they need to consider their steps. The only other thing I noticed is that they had not taken the trouble to make a mobile app to keep people informed, with a $1 billion plus, that seems like a failure to me. If the product is all, than being seen everywhere matters, especially in this mobile environment. Even when we take the Denver Post (March 9th) at their word, where Chobani chief marketing officer Peter McGuinness said he’s not worried about imitation. “It hasn’t hurt our business because our food is better”, this might be true in his case, yet the rivals need to get creative, so Peter McGuinness needs to get (read: stay) ahead of them before they get a chance to catch up, the game is not just to get ahead of all, it is equally a case to make sure that they cannot catch up. It is the one lesson that Sony learned too late with Betamax, VHS was never anywhere near the quality that Sony offered, yes in 1983, 8 years after Betamax was released it was clear that VHS had won and it was downhill for Betamax from there. It seems to me that if Chobani is not assertively busy keeping the message on track others can start to catch up and as such Chobani should not give up ‘Greek yogurt‘, but informing the consumer what ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ is could make the difference between a clear first position, or a shared top group. The need for that part is equally in the Denver Post as we see “Then there’s the food companies’ relentless drive to improve profit margins. Amid the industry’s sales decline, General Mills, Mondelez International Inc., Kellogg and Campbell have aggressively cut costs“, the question becomes how are they cutting costs? Are they resorting to additives or alternatives to straining as short cuts in manufacturing? Either way, at this point Chobani could have the edge on two terms (for now) and a clear ‘original’ message if Greece continues and secures protection on Geographical Indication. The Washington Post was not incorrect in their statement, even as it differed from the USPTO, yet the other side is that even as the TPP is dead, whatever follows will still have the parts in it and Europe is more and more protective of certain items. We saw in 2014 “As part of trade talks, the EU wants to ban the use of European names like Parmesan and Gruyere on cheeses made in the US“, with consumer value being more and more important, whatever trade agreement comes through at some point, the Europeans will push for this part and the US with much larger Pharmaceutical avenues will most likely give in on that point if they want to have any hope of stopping generic medication to get a freehold in the EU and UK. As such those who alter the course of their products now are in a much better position when they get overrun with some ‘sudden’ news on the matter. In this, I will not and cannot proclaim I am correct. Yet I can state that my view is indeed more likely than not the correct assessment. We will see soon enough if my view holds water. The fact that Pappas Post reported 22 hours ago “Greece’s Ministry of Agriculture has (finally) assembled a group of experts that are planning the application process to register “Greek yogurt” in the European Union Register as a term with a protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected designation of origin (PDO)” implies that the forming of the application is now underway, and whichever trade talks happens during the current US administration could give rise to changes that Chobani and others need to comply with soon thereafter.

 

 

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