The damages of "Intellectual Property"

Yann Guidon / YGDESYann Guidon / YGDES wrote 01/04/2020 at 14:06 • 1 min read • Like

Hi @Drew Fustini  :)

Here is something to integrate in your next slides about Free/Open Hardware designs :

From Apple Reunites With iPhone Graphics Chip Partner To License Technology (

Apple will once again license technology from Imagination Technologies, the chip designer that used to provide graphics processors for the iPhone and iPad, the UK-based company announced today. The Verge reports: In a short statement posted on its website, Imagination said that it had entered into a multiyear license agreement with Apple, under which the Cupertino, California-based firm will have access to "a wider range of Imagination's intellectual property in exchange for license fees." Apple announced its split from Imagination back in April 2017 when it said that it would start designing its own graphics chips, and it would stop licensing the company's technology within two years. After the split was announced, Imagination expressed skepticism that Apple could design its own chips "without violating Imagination's patents, intellectual property, and confidential information." 

Did you read that last line right ?

So yes : using proprietary designs is a kiss of death.

You start by using some "IP cores" then you depend on them. When you want to switch to something else that you control 100%, you're already too dependent and too compromised by external information and NDAs. You get sued for doing your own stuff (or threatened) and you are forced back into the flock.



Bharbour wrote 01/04/2020 at 19:11 point

The correct way to do this without getting into trouble would have been to hire or contract with a group of people with no previous knowlege of  Imaginations graphic system, and develop one from scratch. Software re-use would be out the window though.

It also possible that Imagination has enough patents in the area to make it impossible to develop a graphics system without infringing on one or more. The cellular phone world is like this with Qualcom.

In any event, it would have been an expensive, time consuming task to replace Imagination, and probably not worth the effort.

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