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Samsung Tries To Ban Import of iDevices To US

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

Iphone 201

tekgoblin writes "The battle between Apple and Samsung has just heated up again. Samsung has filed a complaint to the International Trade Commission to ban import of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod products to the U.S. From the article: 'Samsung, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones whose Galaxy devices compete with the iPhone and iPad, claims Apple is infringing five patents, according to a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington yesterday. The ITC, which can block imports of products found to violate U.S. patents, must decide if it will investigate Samsung’s claims.'"

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Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616462)

If Samsung succeeds in obtaining this ban, then that's billions of dollars they lose in sales of flash memory to Apple. Who's in charge of that outfit?

-jcr

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (5, Interesting)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616500)

Samsung sells everything to everyone. I'm sure they'd happily take a small profit hit now in order to force Apple to pay them royalties on every device they have sold and will sell. It might not work out in their favor, but it's probably worth a shot.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616630)

It's not a small profit hit. Apple is far and away the biggest customer for flash memory that there is.

-jcr

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616736)

Lets see some data for such a claim.
If they really were such a big buyer they would be stuck with buying from samsung since they produce most of the flash.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616908)

Exactly!

Also with Android devices outselling Apple devices the claim would't be true even if it was limited
to the mobile platform arena. There are 500,000 activation of android devices every day, and most
of them contain some Samsung parts, with emphases on the flash ram.

What Samsung would lose in iPhone sales blocked in the US they would easily recover
from their own phones sold in the US, as well as HTC, LG, Motorola, and twenty other
brands all using Samsung memory.

I've seen this claim posted before, but when you check out the facts its either dated
information or simply applied to a specific type of flash memory of a specific size.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617450)

Apple is the largest OEM Semiconductor buyer in the world.

http://www.isuppli.com/semiconductor-value-chain/news/pages/apple-becomes-worlds-largest-oem-semiconductor-buyer-in-2010.aspx [isuppli.com]

They are not a customer that is easily replaced.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617828)

Doesn't matter. They have nowhere else to go, because only Sammy can handle their orders.

Besides, just because the 20 Android manufacturers do not individually exceed Apple doesn't mean much.
They easily exceed Apple do when lumped together. If iPhone were banned from import
they would still sell elsewhere Android would surge in the US. Those phones use just as much
memory as Apple.

So Sammy wins either way.

Like I posted Android is outselling iPhone today and Android tablets are just starting
to come on line from dozens and dozens of companies.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (-1, Flamebait)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617788)

Exactly!

Also with Android devices outselling Apple devices the claim would't be true even if it was limited
to the mobile platform arena. There are 500,000 activation of android devices every day, and most
of them contain some Samsung parts, with emphases on the flash ram.

What Samsung would lose in iPhone sales blocked in the US they would easily recover
from their own phones sold in the US, as well as HTC, LG, Motorola, and twenty other
brands all using Samsung memory.

I've seen this claim posted before, but when you check out the facts its either dated
information or simply applied to a specific type of flash memory of a specific size.

Every single day? Really? I doubt that very much. First of all Sunday, in many parts of the world have closed shops on that day and other parts of the world close down shops on Fridays early. Even without closed shops, certain weekdays are bound to have lower traffic. Second, Apple does not just sell iPhones but they also sell iPods, iPod Touches and iPads, none of which require activation with a carrier contract. They also sell laptops and Apple TVs with flash memory which is most likely source from Samsung.

Apple is the largest OEM semiconductor buyer in the world and the largest consumer of flash memory chips.

I'm afraid that your blind love for all things google is causing you to not see the truth. Android is still outsold by iOS devices and some of those activations are for devices that were sold at a discount after sitting on the shelf for a couple of months.

Certain iOS devices on the other hand are selling almost faster than they make them even months after a new model introduction.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617874)

Every single day? Really? I doubt that very much. First of all Sunday, in many parts of the world have closed shops on that day and other parts of the world close down shops on Fridays early.

Take your silly argument somewhere else.

Go read the facts: http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/google-activates-500000-android-devices-every-day-20110629/ [geek.com]

The tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Arubin/status/85660213478309888 [twitter.com]

This is nothing to do with a platform war. Stop trying to make it into one.
The simple facts are that Apple has only a few device models, and an import ban hurts them in their biggest
market, but wouldn't make a dent in memory providers. What Apple doesn't sell, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony-Ericcson, and Samsung will sell. Do you think America is going to stop buying smartphones and tablets?

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616982)

Lets see some data for such a claim.
If they really were such a big buyer they would be stuck with buying from samsung since they produce most of the flash.

Apple just overtook Sony as Samsung's largest customer (before that Apple was #2).

And Apple's already investigating TSMC and Intel for foundry services (for their A5/A6 parts). And Intel/Toshiba would love to sell Apple tons of flash memory (Toshiba already does). Intel's probably already got the capacity to ramp up production for Apple, and can always grease the wheels with some money from Apple to build whole new fabs just for Apple.

Apple's such a huge player in the chip business, they can really distort the market if they wanted to. NAND flash prices will start to rise on the largest devices soon as Apple gears up production for the holiday season. And Samsung might be left with a bunch of underutilized fabs and production lines that were happily occupied selling Apple chips that everyone else can't make up for.

No, it won't kill Samsung, but it'll affect their bottom line hard enough with underutilized (expensive!) fabs and production lines plus loss of sales to put a dent in their financials. Plus nevermind the whole "you pissed off your #1 customer" thing that shareholders might not be very happy about.

Then again, Samsung is a huge conglomerate. Their mobile division is happy to piss off Apple - it means more sales for them. But their semiconductor division will not be so happy to lose such lucrative business and have to idle billion-dollar fabs.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617002)

Lets see some data for such a claim.
If they really were such a big buyer they would be stuck with buying from samsung since they produce most of the flash.

Apple is the worlds largest corporate semiconductor buyer. Feel free to google that one... or just look for the ./ article. It can be assumed that if Apple wasn't Samsung's largest semiconductor account, they're damn near. The loss of Apple's account will devastate Samsung's semiconductor business. As far as other vendors that can meet the demand, when Apple knocks, you build factories.

This is all a moot point since Apple is researching a new supplier for many of the Samsung-bought chips. They will loose the bulk of the account anyway. And it's probably not a douche move, but an IP security move. Who wants to buy their technology from a company that outright clones the devices they're helping to build?

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617026)

Apple will be Samsung's biggest customer [macrumors.com] this year, buying up components for iPhones and iPads. The bottom line is that Apple buys a massive amount of components from Samsung in order to build the very products Samsung is trying to stop from coming into the US. This is Samsung's own profits that they are trying to stop.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617084)

Lets see some data for such a claim. If they really were such a big buyer they would be stuck with buying from samsung since they produce most of the flash.

Lets see some data for such a claim.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Flytrap (939609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617318)

Lets see some data for such a claim.
If they really were such a big buyer they would be stuck with buying from samsung since they produce most of the flash.

Spurred by booming demand for the iPhone and iPad, Apple Inc. in 2010 became the largest buyer of semiconductors among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the rst time ever, new IHS iSuppli research indicates. http://www.isuppli.com/Semiconductor-Value-Chain/MarketWatch/Pages/Apple-Becomes-Worlds-Largest-OEM-Semiconductor-Buyer-in-2010.aspx [isuppli.com]

FTA: Apple’s surge to leadership in semiconductor spending in 2010 was driven by the overwhelming success of its wireless products, namely the iPhone and the iPad. These products consume enormous quantities of NAND flash memory, which is also found in the Apple iPod. Because of this, Apple in 2010 was the world’s No. 1 purchaser of NAND flash.

Without belabouring the point... I think that it is common knowledge in the semiconductor industry that Apple is buying up all the semiconductor factory capacity they can get their hands on - more than even HP, Dell, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, etc. Apple has created a global shortage of certain components (not always because Apple has bought up the supply for that component, but often because Apple has bought up the chip fab capacity for its own custom components) leaving smaller oems without the off-the-shelf components that they need for their products.

The chatter that I am getting in the industry is that Samsung will (not may) loose more by pissing Apple off than they could ever hope to gain because they don't own the Android market and can never hope to replace the revenue generated from Apple with Android phone/tablet sales. Toshiba and Sony are lobbying Apple to get more of their chip business as we speak.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616514)

Not so sure about that - don't Apple pre-pay for their flash memory, and won't it be on a contract where Samsung deliver X units every Y months ? Samsung don't care if Apple can't *use* the ram, the contract is just for supply.

Of course, Samsung will lose out on future contracts if they play this game, I'm sure Apple will (ahem) investigate Toshiba's flash-ram parts next time around, but perhaps Samsung think this is likely anyhow, so if they've already burnt their bridges, why not go for it ?

Simon.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616572)

So I guess Samsung is schizophrenic now?

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616696)

It is very unlikely Apple pre-pays anything. It is very likely the contract has enough escape clauses that Apple does not need to take anything if the mood strikes them.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616898)

One of the stated strategic advantages (by Tim Cook, the COO) of Apple's cash pile is to be able to pre-pay for strategic resources such as flash RAM, and therefore reserve enormous quantities at excellent prices. He (and Oppenheimer) have said this several times in Q&A section when they're reporting quarterly numbers.

Simon

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617058)

I believe they sign contracts to lock in capacity, but I find it hard to believe any cash actually changes hand before the parts are delivered. To be correct, the sentence should read "One of the strategic advantages of Apple's cash pile is that manufacturers believe you can pay when the time comes to deliver the large portion of their capacity they ran for you".

I could very well be wrong, but pre-payment does not fit any Apple MO I have seen.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616556)

Apple has already shown they pretty much don't want to do business with Samsung in the future. Moving their chip fab and several other components to competitors.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616652)

I guess the apple fanbois can forget about AMOLED then.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616944)

Thank GOD that pice of shit will never be in an iPhone.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617176)

Thank god itards will just gawk at other smartphone devices and then go back to sucking Steve Job's dick.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617200)

You probably don't even know what AMOLED is.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616592)

Apple struct first, Samsung retaliated, its a dumb move to sue the provider of your RAM for both laptops and iDevices..

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616712)

NAND and DRAM are commodities. Apple has other options. Very large customers are harder to come by.

Apple played their hand aggressively, but not necessarily "dumb".

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616776)

Name some names, who else fabs this stuff and can at the drop of a hat come up with enough of it to replace all of Apples needs?

Commodity or not Samsung produces about 40% of the worlds supply of DRAM and NAND.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617124)

If you know that Samsung produces about 40% of the DRAM supply, certainly between the report you have and Google you can determine that Hynix supplies ~20%, Elpida ~16%, Micron ~11%, and so on. It shouldn't be too hard to use the same resources to determine that Toshiba and Micron/Intel are the other big players in NAND.

It is unlikely anything will be at the drop of a hat. Apple knows what they intend to do, and will already have alternate source contracts set up when they let Samsung know.
It also shouldn't be too hard to figure out that Apple changing vendors does not materially impact the supply of DRAM and NAND, but just shifts the buckets of who supplies who. There may be some short term price volatility on the spot market as large contracts reorganize, but it will not be a cataclysmic end of the universe for us all.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616906)

Your typo is classless and causes your post to tupple over.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617794)

Aww. Flamebait? Someone must really be insecure about their favourite programming paradigms.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (2, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616596)

Personally, if I had a customer as insanely and stupidly litigious as Apple, I wouldn't much care about losing them.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616934)

Go - burn Jobs at the stake but don't forget to take that stolen Liver back first!

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Masao-Kun (1791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616694)

It looks like Apple was already threatening to take their ball and go home anyways with regards to Samsung's memory chips: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-28/hardware/29712304_1_galaxy-products-ipad-samsung-electronics

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616730)

billions of dollars in CONTRACTS. which have some degree of exclusivity for the near future.

apple needs memory to make devices - not sell them.

suspending imports to the US is one thing, suspending manufacturing is another (and not at issue here)

iOS devices are selling in other parts of the world.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616834)

I don't have any figures at hand, but I'm sure the USA is far and away Apple's largest market.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616938)

Not, actually. [cnn.com]

There's a lot more people *outside* the US than there are *inside* the US, and given how poorly the US economy is doing at the moment, the disparity in disposable income is less than it used to be as well.

Simon

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617044)

You cant exactly count the rest of the world as a market in comparison to the US. I would have accepted other continents counting against the US, but the entire world has 59 percent to the US 41 percent.

That means that pretty much any way you slice the world into other markets the US is still the largest...

Spin that data fanboi.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617164)

Yes, there's far, far more people outside the USA than inside, but most of those people are dirt-poor, and live without electricity. There's a growing number of middle-class people who can afford iJunk, yes, but even so, read your own article. As of 2010, 44% of Apple's revenue comes from the USA. That's not exactly a small amount.

The US is still their biggest market compared to AsiaPac, Japan, EU, and "everything else".

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617328)

Your original quote was that the Usa was "far and away Apple's largest market". If they don't even have a majority share of the market, it's difficult to see how they're "far and away" the largest, and in fact if the market is defined as 'the Usa vs the rest", the Usa comes out second-best. When I categorise something as "far and away" the leader, I expect it to have pretty much an absolute majority share of whatever is under discussion. That is not the case here.

Also, if you actually read the article, you can see the growth percentages

Americas 268%
Europe 508%
Japan 331%
AsiaPac 727%

Given that the Usa has dropped its revenue share by 15% (59% dropping to 44%) over the 5 years measured and has a slower growth rate than anywhere else on record, I'd not feel comfortable categorising that market as "far and away" the largest market right now (ie: a year later than the figures report). Certainly it looks as though the Usa won't even be the largest market pretty soon, let alone "far and away" the largest market.

Simon

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616744)

Of course Samsung will not succeed in obtaining the ban; it's not the goal. Everyone knows that it's going to end up as a settlement and a cross-licensing agreement, they're just haggling over who pays and how much.

Re:Dumb move. Really dumb move. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617766)

Samsung knows they won't get this ban. That isn't their strategy. They just want a cut of the money. You must understand one thing to make any sense of civil corporate law: No one ever wants to go to court; they want a profitable settlement.

After all, if you were a Samsung executive, and you did not suffer from recent substantial brain damage, would you think that hordes of customers who've just been denied the chance to buy the iProduct they've been looking forward to buying are going to reward the company responsible for that?

wow (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616464)

I would love to see this go down. Could you imagine the US with their iToys? No more iphone 5 or ipad...it'd almost be...a miracle...

WTF? (2)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616472)

This is just getting retarded, it's like watching a bunch of school kids bully each other then go to the teachers.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616552)

Well, in this case they are using their teachers to bully each other. The question is why are the teachers entertaining them.

Re:WTF? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616622)

Well, in this case they are using their teachers to bully each other. The question is why are the teachers entertaining them.

The teachers are convinced, for the most part, that this is all a good thing for capitalism, the economy, their chances of having a job next term. They can't be bothered with a snowballing IP crisis.

Re:WTF? (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617528)

That's the bigger problem being shown - no one wants to fix this bullshit IP/Patent Troll driven society.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616646)

Because they get payed, obviously. There is a lot of money to be made by lawyers, judges and not to mention the lawmakers from this "entertainment".

Re:WTF? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617190)

Well, you know who started it, and you know whose ass is getting pounded.

I am loving this.

How is Samsung Wrong? (5, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616484)

In fact, *Nobody* can produce a smart phone without infringing on *Somebody's* patents.

You want IP reform? Take EVERY infringing product off the market. Let's see congress and the Executive branch do without their Blackberries and their iPhones. It is stupid to allow the thousands upon thousands of bogus patents to be used as a patent thicket to protect a few big companies. These are NOT inventions, in the sense viewed by the framers of the constitution. Most are little minor tweaks obvious to anyone working in the industry. But the costs to consumers in more expensive products and less competition and slowed innovation is huge and vast.

It is time we limit tech patents to 3 years. But regardless of the reform, reform is needed.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616626)

These are NOT inventions, in the sense viewed by the framers of the constitution.

[citation needed]

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616688)

Are they promoting the progress or hindering it?

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616800)

HINDERING! I really wouldn't mind if both Samsung and Apple disappeared in a big explosion today. In fact, I would be very happy about that.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616854)

Are you an idiot or something? Do you think someone's going to hold a seance with the long-dead framers of the Constitution, and ask them their opinion on the issue, then write an article on their paranormal findings for us to provide a citation?

This is easily the stupidest "[citation needed]" post I've ever seen on Slashdot.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (2, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616926)

Are you an idiot or something? Do you think someone's going to hold a seance with the long-dead framers of the Constitution, and ask them their opinion on the issue, then write an article on their paranormal findings for us to provide a citation? This is easily the stupidest "[citation needed]" post I've ever seen on Slashdot.

[Citation Needed]

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617154)

Are you an idiot or something? Do you think someone's going to hold a seance with the long-dead framers of the Constitution, and ask them their opinion on the issue, then write an article on their paranormal findings for us to provide a citation?

This is easily the stupidest "[citation needed]" post I've ever seen on Slashdot.

Then how can paulsnx2 claim to know the opinion of the framers of the constitution? That is obviously what the [citation needed] was for, it was in response to the claim that the framers of the constitution do not view these as inventions.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617246)

He can make that claim the same way he can make any other claim that is nothing more than a personal opinion.

If he says that he believes Krishna, Jesus, and Odin would support a 3-year patent term, are you going to say "[citation needed]" for that too? Yes, it'd be pretty ridiculous to make claims about what gods think about patent terms, but it's obviously just an opinion, so the "[citation needed]" reply is just dickheaded.

It's not that hard to make claims of what the Constitution framers would want or not want; just look at their writings and their historical actions. For instance, if I said Thomas Jefferson would be in favor of the US government raising taxes, propping up giant bank corporations with taxpayer money, and eliminating most of the powers of state governments, it would be dickheaded to reply "[citation needed]". However, it'd be perfectly appropriate to reply that that opinion is stupid because history shows that Jefferson was clearly an anti-federalist, favored small government, and disliked corporations. Me claiming Jefferson would be in favor of strict limits on corporate power would be a perfectly valid opinion because again, history shows Jefferson to be one who liked small government and disliked large corporations.

Finally, this isn't fucking Wikipedia. We don't need to provide citations for anything we say here. I say Fuck You to anyone who disagrees.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617384)

I say Fuck You to anyone who disagrees.

Fucking citation needed.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617862)

He can make that claim the same way he can make any other claim that is nothing more than a personal opinion.

so then he would say 'there is nothing to cite, it's nothing more than my personal opinion', but then you go on to say:

It's not that hard to make claims of what the Constitution framers would want or not want; just look at their writings and their historical actions.

which is what he would cite, if such evidence exists. You've just said it's nothing more than his personal opinion then in the same post said there is evidence to support his opinion?

We don't need to provide citations for anything we say here.

of course not, but if it's more than just your opinion, in this case even you're confused about whether it is or whether there is some evidence, then it is helpful.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616668)

Maybe we should have something like eminent domain where the patent can be revoked by the USPO if the patient prohibits innovation beyond a reasonable measure.

Patent Length (4, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616670)

When patents were first introduced in the UK, their length was 14 years. That was based on apprenticeships lasting seven years, and two generations of apprentices learning how to build and operate a device. If it could be argued that it takes a software engineer six months to become proficient in a programing technique then software patents should only be one year. Look and feel patents, if it takes 12 weeks to master creating that look and feel, then the patent should only be six months. Something that takes a four year engineering degree to master, gets eight years. A doctorate, 16 years. This would reduce the load on the patent office, because it wouldn't be worth the effort to patent simple things.

Re:Patent Length (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616880)

How would this help the Patent Office? If people patent less stuff, then the USPTO gets less fees. The whole point of the USPTO is to make money in fees, so the more patents filed and approved, the better. That's why they don't put much effort into making sure patents aren't invalid because of prior art, and zero effort into invalidating them because of obviousness to a practitioner of the art: rejecting a patent application means less money in fees for the USPTO, so why would they do that? Also, lots of bad patents means lots more patent litigation, which means more money for courts and especially lawyers. Why on earth would the USPTO (or any part of the US Government, for that matter) want to do something that would result in less money for lawyers?

Re:Patent Length (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617036)

Unless I'm misunderstanding the reason for the language in the present legislation being worked on the USPTO does NOT retain the fees from applications.

Re:Patent Length (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617142)

Within the logic of the grand-parent post (not endorsing it, just making deductions), if the money goes somewhere in the government it would seem reasonable that a measure of the USPTO "efficiency" would be how many fees it contributes. Even the IMPRESSION that such is the case could encourage middle management to maximize fee collection over... is there anything else measurable that could be used rate how good the management of USPTO is?

Re:Patent Length (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617184)

Exactly. The USPTO might not keep all the fees over and above their operating budget, but the rest of the government certainly doesn't donate that money to charity.

Re:How is Samsung Wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617550)

Actually, the Unites States would probably claim Sovereign immunity and allow all its workers to keep their phones. I belive the federal government would have been able to keep on using their Blackberries back when there was almost an injunction on them

Is this New Age Innovation? (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616504)

Is this how we're going to get better devices in the future? Companies battling it out to see how many markets they can ban their competitors from and stealing ideas rather than actually innovating? Sometimes I feel like a catastrophic worldwide environmental disaster to wipe the slate clean is in order... sometimes.

Re:Is this New Age Innovation? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616650)

Making corporation have to improve a product in some way to advance the progress is exactly what patents are supposed to do.

Re:Is this New Age Innovation? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616692)

Not even close. Patents are a system that allows society to learn about inventions and their inner workings in exchange for a monopoly for a limited period of time. Nothing more, nothing less. The arguments are that without them trade secrets would be used instead and inventions may never be produced or lost with the death of its inventor.

Re:Is this New Age Innovation? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617126)

That sounds reasonable enough. However, with that in mind I think there's a huge discrepancy between the contents of most patents and the fulfillment of their obligation to communicate how to reproduce an invention. Patents are being specifically crafted so as to only provide sufficient information to be useful as leverage against competitors and/or a stream of license revenue.

The Patents (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616536)

FTFA:

The patents in the ITC case are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display

I wonder how specific these patents are and how similar the Apple products are to them. Did they patent transmitting TCP/IP over wireless on a phone (something obvious), or do they have their own proprietary protocol (less obvious)?

I have a feeling there might be a lot of obscurity involved in this case.

Re:The Patents (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616654)

FTFA:

The patents in the ITC case are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display

I wonder how specific these patents are and how similar the Apple products are to them. Did they patent transmitting TCP/IP over wireless on a phone (something obvious), or do they have their own proprietary protocol (less obvious)?

I have a feeling there might be a lot of obscurity involved in this case.

They use programs - which is a pretty evil thing when you get down to it.

Now if Apple used a couple tin cans and a string Samsung wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

How are they going to get an unbiased judge? (4, Insightful)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616644)

They are going to have a hard time finding a judge or jury who isn't addicted to some Apple product methinks.

Re:How are they going to get an unbiased judge? (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616846)

They are going to have a hard time finding a judge or jury who isn't addicted to some Apple product methinks.

we had to dismiss half the jury for texting during the trial.

Re:How are they going to get an unbiased judge? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617202)

Of course. That's why the constitution and laws of the country allow judges and juries to overlook them all.

Re:How are they going to get an unbiased judge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617490)

The majority of people have never touched an iProduct and hate Apple contrary to popular belief. Why? For various reasons you should be able to figure out on your own.

Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (5, Funny)

gmezero (4448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616700)

Seriously, right off the bat when Apple sued Samsung the first thought that crossed my mind was "how is this going to work out", Samgung is simply going to counter sue the crap out of them. Then when it was noted that the iPhone contains Samsung parts, I just shook my head at the stupidity.

I'm sure the person at Apple that was getting pats on the back over this slick move is now picking the shoe parts out of their ass.

You know the extra delicious bit of irony with this new turn is that we have a Korean company suing an American company and filing for injunction to prevent the American company from shipping their products because they've outsource production overseas. HAhahaha. Globalization? How's that working out for you?

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616978)

Why shake your head at Apple? Why not shake your head at Samsung for ripping off the mobile device designs of one of their biggest clients? What did Samsung *expect* Apple to do? Sit there and take it?

Oh right. This is Slashdot, and you're a fanboi of a different sort.

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617104)

If by "ripping off" you mean "made an Android device that has rounded corners" then, sure, Samsung ripped off the iPhone.

Given that the rounded corners are literally the ONLY similarity between the two (otherwise the Samsung device just looks like every other Android smart phone out there), you kind of have to wonder what Apple was thinking.

I expect this will all get settled out of court, but Apple is going to be losing here, since their patents are a joke. There's no way they want to try and explain to a jury why only Apple may use "rounded corners" or "a grid of icons" with a smart phone.

The first is just silly and the second is the way GUIs have presented application icons literally since the idea of application icons was thought up.

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617352)

Yes because these two devices only have rounded corners that look similar /sarcasm

http://waazzupppp.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/apple-vs-samsung-and-the-iphone-3gs-copy-gate/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617446)

That's nice, an Apple fanboi blog. Hey, go find actual pictures of the Galaxy S [wikipedia.org] and notice that, if you take away the rounded corners, it looks like... an Android smart phone more than an iPhone.

Funny, that.

Apple's lawsuit is entirely without merit.

You can debate whether or not patent laws are fair, but you cannot say that Samsung's patents don't cover actual inventions that deal with cell phones, because they do.

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617484)

Why shake your head at Apple? Why not shake your head at Samsung for ripping off the mobile device designs of one of their biggest clients? What did Samsung *expect* Apple to do? Sit there and take it?

he didn't 'shake his head at apple', he just said they seemed to be in equilibrium with both companies copying eachother on different levels but if apple are going to sue samsung for their aesthetic designs then samsung isn't going to ignore apple's copying of samsung's technical designs.

Apple expected this (2)

MikeMo (521697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617220)

If you really think that Apple didn't know they used Samsung parts, and they didn't expect counter-suits, then you really don't understand businesses in general and Apple especially.

Re:Gee Apple, how'd that lawsuit work out for ya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617404)

It's a known fact that apple buys processor chips from samsung. So it's common knowledge iPhones have samsung parts. Maybe it was that process that allowed samsung to copy iPhone and to save their backsides samsung is filing lawsuits to bogg apple down because samsung is at fault here.

The whole industry (4, Informative)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616746)

is throwing lawsuits around willy nilly: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2010/10/mobilesuits.jpg [gawkerassets.com]

Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody. That graphic's a little old, but it still illustrates just how messed up the patent system must be.

Re:The whole industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616950)

It's being called the patent thicket at techdirt. [techdirt.com]

Re:The whole industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617348)

Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody. That graphic's a little old, but it still illustrates just how messed up the patent system must be.

And Samsung was sue happy before Apple entered the market: The allegations in the lawsuits include that companies copy the designs and functions of Samsung mobile phones and leak secret Samsung documents, the report said. [eetimes.com]

Re:The whole industry (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617618)

Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody.

What else are you going to do with all of those lawyers? Feed them to the sharks?

Re:The whole industry (3, Insightful)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617944)

Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody.

What else are you going to do with all of those lawyers? Feed them to the sharks?

Can we? Please???

Nuke Japan! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616768)

Fuckin' nips stealin our iPads!

Ouch, my foot... (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616810)

They're on very slippery terrain. Apple could go to another manufacturer for their iDevices cpus and flash nand. It's not like Samsung is the only company manufacturing Flash memory or ARM processors. Samsung stands to lose a pretty big customer in that case.

-iPod, check
-iPod Touch, check
-iPad, check
-iPhone, check
-AppleTV, check (I don't think they sell those that much though. :)

Re:Ouch, my foot... (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617476)

It was 1 million Apple Tvs in December, not huge by Apple standards but it is still significant.

Re:Ouch, my foot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617564)

If you take your head off steve job's ass for a minute, you would see that it was apple who invited samsung to put their dick in apple's anus.

Trade (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616828)

A South Korean company blocking the import of Chinese made products of a US company on the basis of US patents. Amusing. Also, it's not going to happen [macdailynews.com] . At least not this election cycle.

Just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616844)

Let us all go without mobile phones until 2030 something when all current patents will be expired, then buy phones. That'll teach'em.

Attempted import bans are common (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36616868)

Filing a complaint at the US ITC is now part of the standard arsenal for software patent lawyers. Actual bans are very rare, a Qualcomm phone ban is the only one I remember, and the ITC has also said explicitly that bans are only possible at the request of product developers, not trolls.

That said, in terms of stock prices, market confidence etc. filing a complaint at the ITC is probably a win in itself in this legal system that encourages competitors to shoot each other rather than out-do each other.

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/United_States_International_Trade_Commission [swpat.org]
http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Phone_patent_litigation [swpat.org]

Re:Attempted import bans are common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36616984)

Buffalo was banned from importing wireless routers into the US for a while because of a patent issue.

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36617270)

Good I hope samsung wins.. I hope then that Apple an american company opens a factory in.... America..itsnot imported then

Not too bright (0)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617362)

Getting into a patent war with Apple is a really bad idea. Apple's portfolio can no doubt put Samsung out of business. Payback is a bitch here.

Re:Not too bright (3, Insightful)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617496)

Hmm, seems like all the patents I see Apple getting are software and design patents that can be worked around. Whereas the other big cell-phone companies like Nokia, Samsung, SE, etc, have patents that you need to license to actually, you know, make a phone.

Re:Not too bright (0)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36617500)

Samsung has a good size portfolio themselves, but this is another silly move by them. Suing your largest customer who is paying their bills is almost as stupid as copying your largest customers product.

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