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Samsung May Try To Block Next iPhone In Europe Too

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the can't-we-all-get-along-here dept.

EU 271

phonewebcam writes with a report in The Register about the ongoing spat between Samsung and Apple. From the article: "Samsung could try to get the iPhone 5 delayed or banned in Europe, a source has told South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper today. The Korean giant is considering a lawsuit against the next version of the Apple smartphone due in October, in the expectation that iPhone 5 will make use of some basic telecoms technology that Samsung has patented. ... It comes a day after The Korea Times quoted an anonymous Samsung exec saying that the company would attempt to do the same thing in Korea."

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271 comments

The cliche practically coined for this occasion... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#37466802)

"Turnabout is fair play."

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (4, Insightful)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | about 2 years ago | (#37466874)

Or... payback's a bitch.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467018)

"What comes around goes around"

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (4, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#37467180)

"Never go against a Korean...when DEATH is on the line!!!"

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (2)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#37467262)

Or cutting off your nose to spite your face is fair play bitch. Samsung makes more money selling iPhones than Samsung phones...I would imagine it is quite a bit more profitable too.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#37467476)

No - Samsung is making some money off of components, but Apple is the one getting the lion's share of the profit.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#37467552)

Samsung presumably sells their components at a profit....

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#37467594)

Yes, but I'd imagine the markup is a little higher on a device you build and sell yourself...

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467638)

If that were true Apple wouldn't hold a commanding 2/3rds of all smartphone profits globally would they?

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37468032)

You should check Samsungs component prices. The claim that "Samsung makes more money selling iPhones than Samsung phones" is just wrong. You are either extremely ill informed or just plain lying.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#37467504)

That might be why they are aiming at the upcoming iPhone, not the present one...

Apple, so rumor has, has been reducing the Samsung slice of the BOM substantially of late(A4, Samsung, A5, somebody else, I'm not sure what they are doing for flash memory...), out of some mixture of desire to get a better deal and reprisal against a competitor. Once the slice falls below a certain level, it stops making sense to tolerate Apple's legal shenanigans in order to move more components, and starts making sense to take action to protect your ability to move finished products.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#37467608)

Samsung will still be making the A5. The rumors are that TSMC will make the A6. I can see why you would dump a supplier that steals your designs. I can't see why you would dump attack a massive customer of one of the conglomerates core businesses just to prop up the mobile division.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (4, Interesting)

sosume (680416) | about 2 years ago | (#37467812)

Apple has changed to many other suppliers for its components (the A5 chip comes to mind) so this argument is not valid anymore. Samsung stated that at first, they bent over and let Apple have their way in order to keep a 'healthy' business relation. But after the Galaxy line got blocked in the EU, generating a huge loss, Apple choosing other manufacturers over Samsung, and still acting like a small female dog over patents, Samsung has become quite angry and now Pandora's box is open it seems. I sincerely hope they destroy Apple or at least let them bleed with their childish tactics: crying that they are the underdog while suing all competition out of the market.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467516)

Well they got my full support and i can count a good number more as well .. screw you apple shisters

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37466886)

I can't help but crack a smile. Go Samsung! :D

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467204)

An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
 
In this case, if Samsung does block the phone, the laws that surround the previous problem will only be given more strength.
 
For all the complaining that I hear around here about IP laws it seems that people don't have a problem with them if they are used to promote their own fanboy fantasies.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#37467372)

That's not entirely true.

There are two ways sanity will get restored. One, someone in government wakes up one day and says "hey, this is a very stupid situation. I think we need to fix it so that this doesn't happen any longer!" The other is to allow and even promote stupidity to grow beyond absurdity at which point there will be no choice but t fix the problem.

I suspect we expect the second way to prevail in this case as any attempt to fix the problem now will result in massive resistance by players who presently benefit from things as they are.

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#37467452)

I can't speak for "people"; but my hope from such mutually destructive activity is that (at the cost of considerable short-term mayhem) it will make the present arrangement untenably expensive even for the incumbent patentholders. Essentially, the present patent system is hopelessly over-determined(in the sense that pretty much any action is covered by numerous broad, sometimes overlapping, patents held by multiple entities, and the cost of securing licenses for them all exceeds the value of almost any action); but survives because it is rather loosely and selectively enforced. Strengthening it will serve to bring its faults into sharper focus.

Historically, you had the patent trolls sucking blood on the sidelines, and the little guys getting squished; but a more or less cold-war environment between the major players. Some sabre rattling and money moving about; but nothing that really upset the status quo. However, if it gets to the point where entire flagship product launches can be, and sometimes are, scotched by patent complaints to any one of an alphabet soup of assorted regulatory bodies, I suspect that the pressure to change the situation will be considerably greater.

As long as the major players can use patents to their advantage, at the (comparatively minor) cost of paying off a troll now and again, the situation will not change. If the pain moves sufficiently far up the food chain that nobody can ship anything, I'm guessing that the congresscritters of the world will be prodded into action...

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (3, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 2 years ago | (#37467346)

In this case I think

“You don't mess with the 800 pound gorilla!” [wikipedia.org]

is more apropos. Samsung is the GE of S. Korea

Here is a list of industries under Samsung

Electronics
Shipbuilder
Financial
Chemical
Retail
Entertainment
Flash memory
Aviation
Optical storage
Mobile phones
Smartphones
Hard disk drives

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (5, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#37467708)

Wow... I had no idea Samsung was so big.

Samsung / Apple

  • Revenue: US$ 172.5b / US$ 65.23b
  • Net Profit: US$ 13.8b / US$ 14.01b
  • Total assets: US$ 294.5b / US$ 75.18b
  • Total equity: US$ 112.5b / US$ 47.79b
  • Employees: 276,000 / 49,400

Re:The cliche practically coined for this occasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467508)

I think what you mean to say is "utilizing F/RAND patents like this will lead to Samsung being bitchslapped in court."

sit back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37466808)

My popcorn. MINE!

Isn't it great to see (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#37466824)

Isn't it great to see someone turn round to a bully and say "no you give me your lunch money muthufucah"

Re:Isn't it great to see (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37466968)

Yes, I'm glad its a government subsidized crap manufacturer err I mean innovator like Samsung though.

Re:Isn't it great to see (2)

maxume (22995) | about 2 years ago | (#37467028)

How do you pick the bully when you are discussing enormous multinational consumer electronics companies using the legal system to try to disrupt their competitors?

Re:Isn't it great to see (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about 2 years ago | (#37467102)

I assume you haven't been reading the news recently? I think most people have a fairly good idea of who they think the bully is in this situation.....

Re:Isn't it great to see (0)

maxume (22995) | about 2 years ago | (#37467280)

I am perfectly aware that Apple is getting the bad guy props.

The question is, why would an individual choose such an emotionally loaded way to relate to a legal battle between giant multinational corporations, a legal battle that results from a patent system that has not kept up with the times, a legal battle where both sides of the action are evidence of the breakage?

Re:Isn't it great to see (2)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#37467614)

I believe what tends to happen in cases like this, where there is such disdain for the patent mess and the general notion of competition by litigation, is people tend to dislike the perceived aggressor the most.

Apple is clearly the perceived aggressor, having started the litigation in this scenario. And Samsung is seen as defending itself. Had Samsung instigated this particular fight, they would be "rooted against" so to speak, excepting a certain anti-Applie contingent that will always hate and root against Apple even if they're giving away food to starving people in third world countries.

Re:Isn't it great to see (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467110)

You don't pick which one is the bully. What you do is cheer that they are suing each other over things like patents, "look and feel", etc. You hope that they do it more and more. You want it to get to the point where their use of the legal system for these issues starts to cost them real money and they have to pay exorbitant legal costs and licensing fees. It needs to raise the price of their devices significantly and cause a drop in sales and in profits. Only then will they spend their money on fixing the system instead of on abusing it.

Re:Isn't it great to see (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#37467054)

Steve Jobs was notorious for bullying his employees. I had always hoped that one day I would see the headline "Berated Employee Finally Loses It and Kicks Steve Jobs Right in the Fucking Pancreas." Sadly, no one ever had the guts (or maybe his fanatical employees considered anything short of prostrating themselves in front of their messiah to be blasphemy).

Re:Isn't it great to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467172)

source?

Re:Isn't it great to see (0, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#37467176)

What's up? You couldn't afford an iPhone?

Re:Isn't it great to see (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#37467234)

No, I never got past the "You must be at least this arrogant to enter" sign at the Apple Store entrance.

Re:Isn't it great to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467274)

No, I never got past the "You must be at least this arrogant to enter" sign at the Apple Store entrance.

Blessed are the humble and meek, for they shall inherit ... uhm .... what nobody else wants

Re:Isn't it great to see (1)

Xyde (415798) | about 2 years ago | (#37467626)

Funny, if there were a slashdot filter for the same we might not even be reading this

Re:Isn't it great to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467472)

On folklore one guy who said that when he had enough of Jobs would urinate on Jobs' desk. When he walked in to resign Jobs asked was he really going to do it.

Re:Isn't it great to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467948)

Maybe that explains his need for multiple liver transplants.

*ducks!*

Today the iPhone... (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#37466926)

... Tomorrow HTC, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG...

Re:Today the iPhone... (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | about 2 years ago | (#37466964)

If they decide to block Samsung's products with frivolous lawsuits, then yeah... I expect that's what'll happen.

But so far, it's only Apple that's tried that.

Re:Today the iPhone... (1)

myurr (468709) | about 2 years ago | (#37467156)

Hopefully all those manufacturers will be looking at the bullshit lawsuits Apple has been firing around to get Samsungs products blocked from various market and will be wondering if they're next. Maybe then they will all work together to try and get IP law brought up to date into a more sensible form that benefits all, as was originally intended, rather than a select few who game the system.

Re:Today the iPhone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467256)

I(and i guess everyone) understand and agree with your point, but it would be worth it for once to watch apple's assholes getting a taste of their own bullshit.

Re:Today the iPhone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467260)

I image they already have the patents cross licensed. Apple is the new kid on the block establishing herself.

Unlikely (2)

Comboman (895500) | about 2 years ago | (#37467288)

Unlikely, except perhaps for Nokia, since the others are all Android phone makers and the patents Samsung is using were borrowed from Google.

Re:Today the iPhone... (2)

Elbart (1233584) | about 2 years ago | (#37467386)

It's all about deterrence. All the companies could sue each other until the end of time, but they aren't or weren't, because it hurts the business. Unless it was some blantant and stupid rip-off. Apple said F IT and sued Samsung over rectangles and glass front and other obvious stuff, so Samsung goes nuclear, too.

Problem (4, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | about 2 years ago | (#37466936)

it would be great idea, but Apple and Microsoft already have "being an asshole" patent in their pool.

Re:Problem (4, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#37467008)

it would be great idea, but Apple and Microsoft already have "being an asshole" patent in their pool.

You can't patent that, too much prior art.

Re:Problem (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#37467168)

I don't know. I hear Sony recently patented "being clueless douchebags" and that had plenty of prior art.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467540)

I don't know. I hear Sony recently patented "being clueless douchebags"

Yeah, but they screwed up the application process...

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467364)

No, that honour goes to Unix sysadmins. We were assholes long before Microsoft or Apple thought to be.

(and yes, I'm a long-time Unix sysadmin)

Good times (2)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about 2 years ago | (#37467004)

Good times when devices get a battle on technological specs, features and UI, not on tribunals.

Re:Good times (2)

digitalsolo (1175321) | about 2 years ago | (#37467698)

That would require actual innovation and effort in engineering.

Lawsuits require much less effort. If nothing else they slow the release of the products and give themselves a head start. It's a "can't lose" situation.

"It's okay when we do it" (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467098)

This is blatant abuse of patent law and we need reform NOW. Information should be free and software patents are stupid and this is ridicul....

Wait, someone is doing this to Apple?

FUCK YEAH, it's about fuckin' time! This is awesome and I fully support this, go Samsung, FUCK YOU APPLE!! I HOPE YOU GET CANCER STEVE JOBS!!!!!

Re:"It's okay when we do it" (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#37467188)

It's sort of like when you hear that someone got attacked by a pit bull. You feel sorry for them at first. But then you learn it was Hitler.

Re:"It's okay when we do it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467216)

It's not that we support it, it's that it's nice to see Apple get a taste of their own medicine. Ideally, I'd rather no companies had their products banned like this, even though I do hate the iphone.

Re:"It's okay when we do it" (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#37467796)

So it's not that you support it, it's just that you....support it and cheering it on. Way to be a hypocrite. And seriously you hate the phone? Do you have no life at all to get worked up over something so trivial as a phone?

Re:"It's okay when we do it" (2)

stevedog (1867864) | about 2 years ago | (#37467356)

I don't think many of us would have supported this if it came out of nowhere. It didn't even come out of a response to Apple suing them. It came about because Samsung tried to trust the courts to issue the only ruling that made any sense at all... And instead they got their product banned from sale. What do you expect them to do, sit back and say, "man, this sucks"? They are only playing by the rules that a major first-world country defined, and even then only because they really have no other choice.

Re:"It's okay when we do it" (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#37467538)

Not quite as simple as you make it sound.

Apple has been slapping Samsung with weak "look and feel" patents.

Samsung is firing back with a bunch of core hardware patents... The patents they're using are closer in idea to what the patent system was originally designed for, as opposed to Apple patents which are an abuse of the patent system.

There is also the fact that Samsung is using these in a defensive role... Apple are a bunch of douchebags who rather than seek reasonable licensing fees (this happens a LOT and you never hear about it because sane companies ask for reasonable and non-excessive fees), immediately seek injunctions to have devices removed from the market.

Who likes Apple, and why?! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#37467114)

Who likes Apple, and why?!

Samsung has all the sympathy due to Apple's pathetic and strung-up attempts to block a winning competitor.

Couldn't we just agree to dismiss Apple to the garbage bin? The world would be such a better place without them, copy-cats.

They are even rivals to Microsoft and SCO as to retarded campaigns.

Re:Who likes Apple, and why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467162)

i guess there is such a thing as an android fanboy

Re:Who likes Apple, and why?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467244)

Golly, talk about a fan boy, wow.

well then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467140)

Perhaps it wasn't such a great idea to get the Galaxy Tab banned in europe?

Re:well then (1)

Skuto (171945) | about 2 years ago | (#37467424)

Europe =/= Germany. Not that they didn't try, though. Apple *and* the Germans, that is.

I'm not sure which is worse... (5, Interesting)

inviolet (797804) | about 2 years ago | (#37467220)

Choose one:

  • * egregious espionage and mutual ripoffs of billions of R&D investments that then become unrecoverable, or
  • * constant ongoing patent wars that chew up hundreds of millions in legal costs and require billions of investment into patent warchests

The whole situation has happened before, though. 150 years ago we had a similar war over the patents for sewing machines. It eventually led to the Sewing Machine Combination [wikipedia.org], which was a patent pool that created a 20-year cartel of four manufacturers. They were the only ones allowed to produce cutting-edge sewing machines.

Notably, the next major innovation in sewing machines (the rotary hook) sat unexploited until the combination expired in 1876 (sources here [wikipedia.org] and here [wikipedia.org].

No one can... (3, Insightful)

JavaBear (9872) | about 2 years ago | (#37467224)

Basically, with the current climate in the patent world, no one can really produce anything as complex as a smartphone, that does not infringe on someone else's patents or design.

Re:No one can... (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 2 years ago | (#37467922)

Climate change could be good... in the Patent World. Global warming in the Patent World might cause such violent storms that the ensuing peace would be a long time of great calm. A new age of the Patent World, in which technology will thrive without the chaos caused by unstable patents.

(Feels weird writing new age stuff.)

Isn't this bad for Samsung? (1)

Arrepiadd (688829) | about 2 years ago | (#37467392)

I know they're just fighting Apple on the same grounds but... with all the fanboys just waiting for the newest super greatest next product from Apple, won't this just hurt Samsung in the long run?
A pissed customer may never come back.

Re:Isn't this bad for Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467500)

Apple fanboys are pathetic. Worthless hipster DOUCHEBAGS that don't know anything about technology and just buy the latest shiny device because a fancy commercial convinces them that they need it.

OMFG DROID BIONIC????!!! HOLY FUCKIN SHIT, that thing looks fuckin AWESOME. omfg DUAL CORE PROCESSOR and LTE, this thing makes my Thunderbolt that I just bought last month look like a pile of puke. I need that, I'm buying that the DAY IT COMES OUT.

Anyway, Apple fanboys are stupid and just buy the newest super greatest next product based on hype.

Re:Isn't this bad for Samsung? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#37467550)

It's worse if you allow a competitor (who is also a customer) limit your ability to do business.

Sometimes it's better to ignore bullies. But this is a bully bullying a bully. And this bully, in Korea, is treated as royalty. This bully's bully has the war-making backing and influence of their government. If you think the influence of business over government in the US is bad, you haven't seen what Samsung's influence over Korea is like.

Re:Isn't this bad for Samsung? (1)

Arrepiadd (688829) | about 2 years ago | (#37467894)

I understand that Samsung may have very loyal fans in Korea but this story is about Europe. Samsung may not be able to fight off Apple in the US but going and screwing Europeans hardly seems like an appropriate answer.

The problem here is how the patent system is being abused but the end result is millions across Europe may see themselves unable to buy iPhone 5. I couldn't care less, my cell phone does all I need but for some people having the latest gadget is the most important thing. If you see yourself unable to do so and find out the reason is company X put Apple on the courts, the random luser will hate company X, without trying to figure out why it did so in the first place...

Re:Isn't this bad for Samsung? (1)

sosume (680416) | about 2 years ago | (#37467902)

You could say the same about Apple. I think there are way more people with Samsung products that people with Apple products, therefore, according to your logic, Apple is screwed.

Shouldn't that be RAND anyway? (1)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#37467440)

If these are core cell patents, they would be RAND, and I can't see why Apple wouldn't have already licensed them.

Unless Samsung is trying to pull another Nokia, and that didn't work.

Re:Shouldn't that be RAND anyway? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#37467664)

Samsung hasn't actually done anything. I am sure some middle manager spouted off about getting back at Apple in Europe when the iPhone 5 comes out and then one reporter devised it must be true and now all the rumor and tech sites post it as fact.

Lawsuit seeks injunction against sale, news at 11 (1)

homsar (2461440) | about 2 years ago | (#37467646)

Pretty much all of the dozens of ongoing patent lawsuits try to block imports, because generally that's the best way to do damage even if you can't ultimately win the suit (which is likely, given the propensity of settlements, not that the injuctions are much more common – the threats just make for good headlines). The only one to succeed so far is Apple's suit, which was based on design patents rather than technical patents (as Samsung's seem to be).

Isn't this escalation? (2)

MrMickS (568778) | about 2 years ago | (#37467652)

Afterall I didn't think Apple were suing over patents, instead it was over the fact that Samsung had ripped off the iPhone interface for the Galaxy S etc. If Samsung went back to a more standard Android application launcher they could probably get this whole sorry mess sorted. Instead they are defending their right to use the the interface that Apple developed.

I thought that the patent infringement cases were with HTC.

Re:Isn't this escalation? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467926)

Nope. The injunction was under the insane and ridiculously vague EU Community Design [osnews.com] system. Specifically, apple drew something vaguely tablet-like on the back of a napkin before the ipad even existed, filed it - which results in automatic approval - then used it to sue Samsung years later, being sure to file in Germany since there's no requirement to inform the other party there.

Re:Isn't this escalation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37467950)

Hit'em where it hurts? Never fight fair... etc.

apple will win (1)

fronti (678492) | about 2 years ago | (#37467820)

if the judge itself is using an iphone or ipad...

Re:apple will win (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 2 years ago | (#37467940)

If that is found to be the case, the judge should then be asked to step down, on bias grounds. The same also goes for if he/she has a Nokia product.
Hope he/she uses a Droid and Xoom?

Meh. (1)

Berg0r (2451966) | about 2 years ago | (#37468018)

Technically, it'd only be fair, if Samsung won that, but still - it's really childish. "Mommy, my brother broke my toy, break his toy, too!"
I detest Apple and own a Samsung Galaxy S2 myself, but really, Samsung, man up and don't go there. At least not for now. Let Apple try and sue you another time, then strike back. This crap needs to stop.

On a completely unrelated note - is there a way, I can patent "The use of charged, sub-atomic particles, for example electrons, for the transportation of information and/or energy"?
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