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Apple Says Samsung 3G Patents Violate RAND Requirements

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the patents-are-only-ok-when-my-side-uses-them dept.

Patents 282

judgecorp writes "The patent dispute between Samsung and Apple has finally boiled down to clear understandable terms. Samsung says Apple has not been paying it royalties for use of patented 3G technology. Apple says Samsung smuggled that technology into the 3G standards, disclosing its IP demands later. The Dutch court will rule on 14 October." The issue at hand now seems to be whether Apple already has a license to the patents under the 3G "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" requirements for patented technology used in the standard. If Samsung really believes Apple needs a separate license, when can we expect them to sue everyone else?

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RE: When can we expect them to sue everyone else? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529538)

Why would they sue anyone else? Apple attacked them, they're countersuing. They're under no obligation to sue anyone else and from their history there's no reason to assume they will.

Re: When can we expect them to sue everyone else? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530272)

I believe it was a challenge to the commentors
on Slashdot to prove that their stated convictions are consistent and non-biased.

Re: When can we expect them to sue everyone else? (1, Insightful)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530334)

Even patent trolls start out with one victim... If they took on everyone they would face a mass of lawyers and use up a lot of resources fighting many adversaries at once. If they sue one large corporation and prevail, the next victim is more likely to settle... I'm not saying Samsung is a troll, but if they do only sue ONE infringer I think it might hurt them in court... you either defend you IP or you don't. Then again they could sell licenses cheap the the corporations they choose not to sue.

Re: When can we expect them to sue everyone else? (2, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530396)

The words Free, Reasonable, Non-Discriminatory oblige them to not single out Apple for any reason, especially one so vindictive as a countersuit.

Apple is suing Samsung for copying their designs. There are many designs and Apple has chosen theirs, most other tablet makers have also chosen their own. Samsung, however, has decided against that and chosen to use Apple's. Violating their FRAND obligations is not a valid defense on Samsung's part. Coming up with their own designs is.

Re: When can we expect them to sue everyone else? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530650)

Does that agreement even apply to Apple?

Often FRAND only applies to those who are part of the standard body when the standard was made.

Says the company.. (3, Insightful)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529552)

...who wants to block sales of a device because it has rounded corners.

The tab ultimately got temporarily banned because of the gallery application: It is not allowed to display thumbnails, that when tapped are displayed fullscreen, where it is then possible to scroll horizontally to the next/previous.

My point is: Apple is a hypocrite.
Yes, I know there is no way around RAND patents and that there IS a way around rounded corners, but it's equally absurd.

Re:Says the company.. (4, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529674)

Actually it is not equally absurd. By trying to say their technology in the 3G standard is not covered b the 3G license, they are not being absurd at all. They are being fraudulent.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530410)

Didn't Rambus win a while ago for doing pretty much the same thing?

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531358)

Yes, they are. Samsung is probably being fraudulent, never said otherwise. Not arguing about any legal stuff, just common sense:

C'mon. Do you really think it is not absurd that someone gets away with the stuff Apple has been claiming from Samsung? They got the exclusivity to produce black devices with rounded corners? I really think that is just as absurd as Samsung trying to block Apple because they use standards. Both are abusing the legal system, IMHO: It's really really absurd.
 

Re:Says the company.. (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529686)

What if Samsung only sues those who sue them? Would that meet the 3G "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" requirements?

Re:Says the company.. (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530034)

No – that would be very discriminatory... RAND is specifically supposed to stop companies offering crappy terms to companies they don't like much (or are being sued by).

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530266)

Pure, unadulterated bullshit. FRAND does NOT mean 'I agree to take it up the ass'. If the same terms are offered to everyone, that is Fair, Reasonable, and non-Discriminatory. If those terms contains things such as 'you must cross-license your patents to me in exchange for this license', or 'this license is void if you sue me' (and they almost always do), that is still FRAND. If you violate those terms, you no longer have a license. Nothing unfair, unreasonable, or discriminatory about it.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530342)

Yes – notably, the same terms will be offered to everyone – whether I am in the process of taking it up the ass from them, or not.

You are just such an idiot (1, Informative)

Brannon (221550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530424)

What if those terms include things like "you must assign to me all revenue you make from selling anything with a fruit-based logo on it"? Motorola and Nokia will happily agree because the cost to them for that term is $0, for Apple the cost is $100 Billion. Are those FRAND terms?

Nope? what's the difference?

Samsung may have signed some cross-licensing agreements with other companies for IP reasonably valued at millions, and now they want Apple to hand over IP reasonably valued at billions--that's not non-discriminatory.

Idiot.

Re:You are just such an idiot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530966)

> they want Apple to hand over IP reasonably valued at billions

Malevich's "Black Square" - $60 millions.
Apple's "Black Rounded Rectangle" - billions.

S-sure.

Also, your strawman argument is very poorly made. Why, surely there is no difference between license clauses "We'll fuck over some unnamed company with fruit logo *wink-wink*" and "We'll non-discriminatory fuck over everyone who sues us, but hopes to keep this cheaper license".

Re:Says the company.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530452)

Actually, first example wouldn't be fair/reasonable/non-discriminatory. Consider there are newcomers to the market who's got no patents to cross-license and that not all patents are equally valuable, so "we'll block ya until you give us that one nice patent" would be unfair.

But second one - yes, it seems reasonable to have two versions of license, one with "this will be recalled if you sue us" and another, more expensive, with "k, do whatever you want"

Re:Says the company.. (1, Funny)

chaboud (231590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529688)

Yeah. I don't really mind absurd abuses of the patent system in response to absurd abuses of the patent system. I should have patented all polytopes with and without rounding.

Wait a minute! Everything except rectangles is wide open!

(marches off to a patent lawyer with a *lot* of drawing to do)

Re:Says the company.. (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529850)

You laugh, but a patent lawyer didn't already think of this when writing a claims section needs to be fired.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531206)

any patent, trademark, copyright, or other "ip" related attempts at ownership of any simple basic polygonal based shapes should be responded to with a red hot poker up the backside.
(And I really don't care if that poker is a metal rod used to prod burning wood, or an entire 52 card deck, with or without jokers, so long as it's red hot.)

Re:Says the company.. (4, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529708)

My point is: Apple is a hypocrite.
Yes, I know there is no way around RAND patents and that there IS a way around rounded corners, but it's equally absurd.

This is a dirty war, there are no good guys. Want to end it ? Ban the munition (patents.)

Re:Says the company.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529804)

Maybe so, but Samsung are the lesser of 2 evils. And they actually make good stuff.
Apple just re-release stuff with Apple logos and claim they invented it, AND managed to convince thousands of idiots to buy it at an insanely overpriced value.

You don't understand technology (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529920)

Perhaps you shouldn't hang out on a tech website?

> Apple just re-release stuff with Apple logos and claim they invented it

What they hell are you talking about?

Re:Says the company.. (2)

sgbett (739519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530056)

By jove! I think you are right and the XX million people who all bought iPhones were all too stupid to realise that they were being duped.

Yes, that must be it!

Re:Says the company.. (1, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530958)

That actually is it.

Everything apple sells is due to a good marketing department, not due to the product itself.

My old Galaxy S blew the iPhone 4 out of the water. My Galaxy S2 crushes my Galaxy S. In both features and usability.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531322)

That must be why everyone flocked to Final Cut Pro X and Apple made tons of money. Oh wait, no they didn't. People freaked out, demanded refunds, bought from Adobe, and Apple had to scramble to release an update with requested features and a free trial period, as well as bringing back FCP7.

Does Apple spend a lot on marketing? Yes, obviously. But marketing alone won't bring in sales for long, so they must be doing something right with the products.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530222)

Submarine patents in open standards is NEVER the lesser of 2 evils.

Wrong Apple is the bad guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37531270)

Sorry but it's true. This is 100% Apple's fault. I think we all know that Samsung would not have sued Apple, were it not for Apple's shameful patent trolling.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531364)

Exactly. Taking sides doesn't do any good. Sending letters to your congressman does.

Re:Says the company.. (4)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529778)

...who wants to block sales of a device because it has rounded corners.

The tab ultimately got temporarily banned because of the gallery application: It is not allowed to display thumbnails, that when tapped are displayed fullscreen, where it is then possible to scroll horizontally to the next/previous.

My point is: Apple is a hypocrite.
Yes, I know there is no way around RAND patents and that there IS a way around rounded corners, but it's equally absurd.

As a consumer I expect competition to drive the best products in the market, not the courts. Kinda sick of Apple and their behaviour.

Same goes for all these other piddly IP suits which ultimately deprive the consumer.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529916)

So your idea of competition is: company A invests tons of money in developing something useful (like 3G), company B takes company A's invention and adds ROUND CORNERS, and we let the consumer decide how the money is split up? Sounds unfair, stupid, and ultimately about as anti-competitive as you can get.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529996)

Sure Apple took an unprofitable niche market and turned it into the hottest property in tech today by just adding round corners. Do you guys even listen to yourselves ?

Re:Says the company.. (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530608)

I didn't say that anywhere, did I? Nope. What I said was that company B got to avoid a whole bunch of expense by letting company A spend the money and then using their results for free. This lets company B either sell an identical product for a whole lot less than company A, or they can spend a little bit of money making their product slightly better than company A. In either case the consumer is likely to choose company B, even though it was company A that did all the work/invested all the money.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530106)

company A invests tons of money in developing something useful (like 3G), company B takes company A's invention and adds ROUND CORNERS, and we let the consumer decide how the money is split up?

That's exactly how it's supposed to work.

This word you use, "developing" is very interesting. By "developing" you seem to mean everything leading up to actually manufacturing and selling the product. Why should a company expect anything at all for "developing" a product? If they can make it, and bring it to market, charging a fair price, then they'll make money. Period. There is no inherent value in "developing" a product if you don't actually produce and sell the thing.

No, I don't care if company B copies company A's product and sells it. And yes, I make my living from my own "intellectual property".

We are actually entering a time when scientists are starting to try to protect their work actually preventing other scientists from replicating their results or building on their work. If I'm a biologist, and I perform a study which takes five years of my life and I publish the results, should I be able to protect my work so someone else cannot perform the same experiment? Don't try to tell me that there is no marketplace of scientific research.

If you have an idea, then it's up to you to monetize it. Not the government's. Patents are obsolete and they are doing more harm than good.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531316)

So your idea of competition is: company A invests tons of money in developing something useful (like 3G), company B takes company A's invention and adds ROUND CORNERS, and we let the consumer decide how the money is split up? Sounds unfair, stupid, and ultimately about as anti-competitive as you can get.

Imagine how crippling to the consumer electronics industry it would be if someone held patents on Touch Screen, Power Button, Using Software To Control A Device, Back Lighting, etc. and chose to either not licence it or charge an outrageous licence fee.

That's effectively what we, the consumer, are watching play out here.

Apple is well aware that they won't hold the market captive with their products forever, so they're attempting to strangle competition through legal means, thus protecting their market dominance. Samsung's just getting sucked into the same morass of a game. The only winning parties are the lawyers, who get paid no matter who wins or loses.

Re:Says the company.. (-1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529968)

How do you Samsung / Android apologists argue with this [twitpic.com] , this [9to5mac.com] and this [allthingsd.com] ?

If that's not blatant copying*, I don't know what is.

*disclaimer, I work for a large industrial manufacturing company that has had our products copied and ripped off by Samsung.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530054)

I don't know about the first and last photos, but the middle one?

My Barnes and Noble Nook came with one of those (but labeled "nook"), and I know I've seen third party "USB charger" type devices that look just like that.

It's a small AC adapter that outputs power to a USB port. You can use them to charge anything that charges off USB, including things like the iPhone and more useful things like the Nook or PS3 controllers.

(Disclaimer: I own an iPhone.)

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530184)

Agreed on the middle image, I had a generic one for my MS Pocket PC back in 2004 and it looked basically identical to both of those.

Re:Says the company.. (5, Insightful)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530422)

How do you Apple apologists argue with this [businessinsider.com] and this [computechgadgets.com] ?

Re:Says the company.. (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531432)

I didn't say I think Samsung is "good" and Apple is "bad". You did not understand at all. I am saying BOTH of them are claiming absurd things. And that Apple are being hypocrites. That does not mean I think Samsung is "right". They are probably doing fraudulent stuff (IANAL).

Why do people like you always have to simplify things to Android vs iPhone? I would prefer reasonable vs unreasonable. And that might include both Samsung AND Apple on the unreasonable side.

Re:Says the company.. (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531460)

The charger is that shape for a reason: There's a defined spacing between wall sockets in both dimensions. Those two dimensions determine the height and width of the charger such that it will always fit in between two other devices regardless of socket orientation. The depth is likely determined by how small you can make the SMPS. And as Apple, Samsung, and everyone else using a similarly shaped supply are likely all buying the guts from the same OEM and simply paying someone else to put them in a different coloured plastic case, there's not much to differentiate them.

Re:Says the company.. (3, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529978)

Yeah, I have a feeling that Apple is probably legally correct here.

And you know what? I don't give a shit. I want them to lose anyway. But lose in such a way that only Apple loses, and that Samsung can't then go after companies that have been playing fair. (If there are any. Are there any?)

The bottom line is that Samsung patented actual, real, physical technology. Apple patented rounded corners and taking existing PC interfaces and replacing "point" with "touch." (Also, please note that multitouch doesn't even enter into the patent Superken7 is talking about - it's talking about taking the existing thumbnail interface that exists in a million photo applications, and instead of clicking on photos, tapping on them.)

So while I expect Apple is probably legally correct, all that means is that the law is clearly wrong and needs fixing - at least as far as preventing "existing technology, but with touch! / on a phone!" type patents.

Re:Says the company.. (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530572)

...who wants to block sales of a device because it has rounded corners.

[citations needed]

Apple is suing Samsung for stealing their design style. Rounded corners are *one part* of that design, but it's perfectly possible to create a tablet with rounded corners without violating Apple's patents. There are far too many counterexamples to take your claim seriously.

The tab ultimately got temporarily banned because of the gallery application: It is not allowed to display thumbnails, that when tapped are displayed fullscreen, where it is then possible to scroll horizontally to the next/previous.

Again, your information is incomplete. The way the scrolling interaction worked was also part of it. Plus there's the fact that Apple owns these patents.

Apple put a lot of work into their mulitiouch implementation. Other companies quite simply do not have the legal right to just up and copy them. There are plenty of ways to design a photo app. Apple has theirs.

My point is: Apple is a hypocrite.
Yes, I know there is no way around RAND patents and that there IS a way around rounded corners, but it's equally absurd.

Wait, they are a hypocrite, but the two things are fundamentally different? Isn't that the very definition of *not* being a hypocrite?

Samsung is obliged to license the patents in question to Apple. Apple is not obliged to license their patents to Samsung. Samsung agreed to this when they got their patented technology included as a critical component of an international standard. They are getting guaranteed royalties from every single 3G phone on the planet. That's the deal. Too bad they apparently have no integrity. They can't come up with their own designs, and they can't even honor their own business deals.

Samsung == Rambus (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529566)

"Apple says Samsung smuggled that technology into the 3G standards, disclosing its IP demands later."

Where have I heard that one before? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Samsung == Rambus (2, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529720)

It's not the same, it's different.

Just because you own IP that's in a standard doesn't necessarily mean that you should have to give up your rights to use it defensively. In this case Apple brought this BS on themselves when they filed that questionable lawsuit that could best be reduced to Samsung's product having a similar shape to the one that Apple sells.

Also, Samsung is only targeting Apple at this time and there is no reason to believe that Samsung won't stop with Apple. Rambus OTOH, went way beyond using the patents as a defensive weapon and targeted more than just one company.

Re:Samsung == Rambus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529964)

The very idea of "using patents defensively" is one of the greatest illustations of how evil the current patent regime has become.

Defensive use of patent and copyright (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530832)

The very idea of "using patents defensively" is one of the greatest illustations of how evil the current patent regime has become.

Likewise, the GNU project developed copyleft as a way of using copyrights defensively because RMS considered copyrights in computer programs evil. It's just a lot easier to avoid infringing a copyright than a patent because unlike patent infringement, copyright infringement requires having had access to the plaintiff's work.

Re:Samsung == Rambus (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530124)

Also, Samsung is only targeting Apple at this time and there is no reason to believe that Samsung won't stop with Apple.

What reason is there they will, altruism ? Best-case scenario you have the sword of Damocles hanging over all of their competitors, no way that isn't going to lead to back-room dealing at best and all out patent wars at worst.

Re:Samsung == Rambus (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530384)

I guess they just want a cross-licensing deal so they can start selling the galaxy range again.

Re:Samsung == Rambus (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530764)

What reason is there they will, altruism ?

Mutually assured destruction, obviously. If you sue someone, they sue you back, you both spend millions on litigation and end up worse off than if you had just negotiated a cross-license or reasonable royalties in the first place.

By contrast, Apple asked for this by firing the first shot.

Re:Samsung == Rambus (0)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530700)

Just because you own IP that's in a standard doesn't necessarily mean that you should have to give up your rights to use it defensively.

Defensively? No, of course you have the right to defend your right to royalties.

But that's not what Samsung is doing. They are using their patent offensively. They are using it as a counter-attack, and that is a right they very much gave up in order to have their patents used in a worldwide telecom standard. That's exactly what FRAND is all about.

when can we expect them to sue everyone else? (0, Troll)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529582)

When they try to enforce a patent on a slightly modified geometric shape that there is prior art for in a 40+ year old movie and 25 year old television programs.

What do they hope to gain from all this? (2)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529612)

Are they hoping that, should Samsung fall, all the other Android phone manufacturers will immediately settle?

Re:What do they hope to gain from all this? (2)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529762)

Apparently, as compared to other smartphone manufacturers they are swinging for the fences. What Apple apparently doesnt realise is their ususal tactic of long expensive litigation to starve out the other company wont work, as Samsung makes about TWICE that of apple worldwide.

Either way, Apple is screwed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529620)

Apple tried to differentiate their product through litigation and they believed their own press that they were the baddest bully on the block.

They've forgotten their own history that every time they try to litigate something HUGE, they lose and they lose a big chuck of what legal protections they have.

For example, think of the look-and-feel suit against Microsoft many years ago. Apple thought they were the big bully, and Microsoft beat them like a drum.

Apple should concentrate more on getting the iPhone 5 out and less on worrying about Samsung selling a tablet in Europe.

No bias here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529634)

Replies to this thread will be based on the type of phone in your pocket. The OP has an iphone.

Re:No bias here... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529826)

Replies to this thread will be based on the type of phone in your pocket. The OP has an iphone.

As far as I can see the OP, judgecorp, did make neutral comments. If he has a bias then I don't think it shows through.

The Slashdot editor going by the name "Unknown Lamer" though clearly is in the Apple camp with his bit implying that Samsung are on some sort of sue-everyone spree. I wonder whether he considered posting his comments as, well, comments like the rest of us or whether he just thinks that using Slashdot as his own personal soapbox is just a perk of the job.

Re:No bias here... (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530912)

I will admit I hate apple, but all I see when I read this story is just Samsung firing back at Apple over the fact they got Samsungs phone and tablet off the shelves in a few EU countries.

(F)RAND in the Real World (5, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529670)

Here is a comment I already made on another web site about this issue:

There is something that many people seem to be missing about FRAND patents. While the terms of FRAND licensing agreements are rarely released, it is widely believed that companies that license their patents through FRAND usually require a cross-licensing agreement with the licensee. This makes sense: why should you be forced to allow other companies to license your hard-earned technologies for a relatively low price only to allow those companies to come back and sue the dick off of you? Requiring a cross-license agreement from all licensees sounds extremely Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory to me.

However, it is also widely believed that Apple wants to license the FRAND patents WITHOUT allowing other companies to cross-license Apple's patents. This belief was bolstered by the fact that the only term of Apple's settlement agreement with Nokia over FRAND patents that was released to the public was the fact that Nokia relented and allowed Apple to license their FRAND patents without a cross-licensing agreement. This made sense in that particular case because most of Apple's patents in the mobile arena are software patents related to elements of iOS. Since Nokia is moving towards WP7 and Microsoft already has a cross-licensing agreement with Apple and indemnifies all hardware manufacturers of WP7, it didn't make sense for Nokia to continue an expensive protracted legal battle with Apple over something that was quickly becoming irrelevant. However, Samsung is in a completely different position from Nokia and they aren't going to give in nearly as easily. Game on!

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (2, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529724)

In the Nokia case Apple felt their IP was being undervalued and Nokia's overvalued. Cross-licensing is not automatically fair. Saying you hav to let us copy all your products if you want to use the 3G standard, also not fair.

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529912)

In the Nokia case Apple felt their IP was being undervalued and Nokia's overvalued. Cross-licensing is not automatically fair. Saying you hav to let us copy all your products if you want to use the 3G standard, also not fair.

Because design patents copying ST:TNG props are more valuable than developing the technology to make those props go?

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37531368)

Judging by the market value and success of those two companies, apparently so. Not saying that it right, but that is the kind of world we seem to be living in, however strange it may be.

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529924)

Compare: innovation in the use of EM spectrum vs. rounded corners. Whose patents are being undervalued, again?

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529970)

I think what would have been fair is if when Steve Jobs wanted to get into a mobile business, he realized that there have been many years of research that has gone into establish the current standards and he should not free-ride on someone else's hard work. He should have thus invested heavily in developing new mobile standards, so that Apple will eventually be an integral part of the industry. Instead, he free-rides on the existing technology, i.e. saves lots of research money, and with that saved money and effort in research, he differentiates his products. That is a lot of lost sales for those who actually invested in the core technology. One 3G standard patent is worth 100s of trash design patents Steve Jobs taunts as innovation IMHO.

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530876)

In the Nokia case Apple felt their IP was being undervalued and Nokia's overvalued. Cross-licensing is not automatically fair. Saying you hav to let us copy all your products if you want to use the 3G standard, also not fair.

In this case, Apple's patent is having Gallery Application that can show full screen images when you click on it and allows you to advance to the next and previous image. Samsung's patent is worth way more than Apple's. So, yeah, at least in this case, cross-licensing is pretty unfair in that Apple should be paying a lot more to Samsung.

In terms of the look of the hardware for phones, it appears that both Apple and Samsung were inspired by the LG Prada, which is a phone with a touchscreen that looks very similar to the first iPhone, but came out much earlier. The main difference being that the button on the bottom of the iPhone was smaller, and the iPhone had both the bottom and top edges beveled, whereas the Prada only had one.

In terms of the design of the look and feel of Tablets, at least in the EU, , Apple's design that they registered, looks very little like an iPad.
See: http://esearch.oami.europa.eu/copla/design/data/000181607-0001

Essentially, they are claiming that any tablet that is rectangular and thin is off-limits. But, that is pretty ridiculous. Also, they apparently failed to register anything containing a button. So, most of the stuff that is similar between the Tablets is not really covered by what they registered for their design. And, other than thinness, Microsoft was selling similar products (rectangular tablets) for what, like a decade before the iPad?

So, it seems that Apple's case is pretty weak.

 

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530926)

In the Nokia case Apple felt their IP was being undervalued and Nokia's overvalued. Cross-licensing is not automatically fair. Saying you hav to let us copy all your products if you want to use the 3G standard, also not fair.

But saying that you have to let us copy all your technologies if you want to use rounded corners or a touch screen is fair?

If Apple thinks the exchange is unfair then they're free to make products with rounded corners and no 3G and require Samsung to make products with 3G and no rounded corners and see which one succeeds in the marketplace, but you don't get to be a hypocrite and say that competitors have to license their stuff to us but we won't reciprocate.

This is outrageously stupid (2, Insightful)

Brannon (221550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529886)

FRAND exists to enable industry standards. Companies agree to subject a subset of their intellectual property to FRAND in order to make that technology part of a standard--those companies get money from licensing fees for those technologies from other manufacturers (who *must* use that technology in order to implement the standard). Some of the licensees might choose to sign cross-licensing agreements in lieu of some of that money, just like they might choose to pay in frequent flyer miles or beer.

Having some technology included in a telecommunications standard (like GSM/LTE/etc.) doesn't somehow give you free license to every other piece of intellectual property from every licensee. Put simply, owning the patent on some nuance of GSM shouldn't give Samsung the right to make nearly identical copies of iPads. That's not how the system works or has ever worked for anyone ever in the history of mankind ever. It is clearly stupid and if the situation was reversed then you would be screaming bloody murder.

But the situation isn't reversed, because Apple owns technology on multiple standards (firewire, thunderbolt, etc.), you never see them insisting on cross-licensing in order for someone to implement those standards.

Re:This is outrageously stupid (4, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530316)

Having some technology included in a telecommunications standard (like GSM/LTE/etc.) doesn't somehow give you free license to every other piece of intellectual property from every licensee.

Perhaps not. But do you honestly think it's Fair or Reasonable for Samsung to license the technologies that allow an iPhone to perform its basic functions for a relatively low price while Apple is able to block sales of Samsung's devices over the look of the plastic casing?

But the situation isn't reversed, because Apple owns technology on multiple standards (firewire, thunderbolt, etc.), you never see them insisting on cross-licensing in order for someone to implement those standards.

Apple is free to license their technologies however they please. If they choose not to require cross-license agreements, then that is their choice. And it is Samsung's choice on how they license their technologies. The question you should be asking is this: if other companies have agreed to cross-license their patents to Samsung then how would it be Fair if Apple didn't?

Re:This is outrageously stupid (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530710)

In theory, Samsung has created (part of) a standard, so they make a little bit of money off of a lot of people... because it is a standard. Apple in this case has not tried to create a standard; they have actually tried to prevent their way of doing things from becoming a standard. They want to reap a lot of money on fewer units than they might if they made it a standard.

They learned a lesson a couple years back licensing their OS...

Re:This is outrageously stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37531202)

Perhaps not. But do you honestly think it's Fair or Reasonable for Samsung to license the technologies that allow an iPhone to perform its basic functions for a relatively low price while Apple is able to block sales of Samsung's devices over the look of the plastic casing?

But that is why it is part of a "standard". If there was no promise that it would be offered on FRAND terms, it simply would not be part of the standard and Apple would not be using it.

The entire reason the standard exists in the form it is in, is because it was agreed that all the underlying technologies would be available under FRAND terms. If there was no such agreement before, either the "standard" would not exist (and so very few/nobody would be using those technologies) or the standard would exist but use other technologies.

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530072)

Keep in mind, you can have patents and not choose to license them.

The issue with Samsung and Nokia, is that they have patents that were included in a "Standard". Usually, when you do this you have to adhere to FRAND terms. If not, this basically would give a company a monopoly on that technology. They could charge whatever they wanted and use the patents to prevent rivals or competition from being "standards-compliant".

So here you have a company that has patents, that are not part of any standard, and are refusing to license them (Apple). And then a company that has patents that where used to create a standard (or as Apple is saying, somehow snuck these patents in after the fact) and are trying to use them to double-dip or use them in extortionist ways to force another company to license it patents (Samsung).

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530820)

How can requiring a cross-license be Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory?

Not everyone has patents to cross-license. In fact, FRAND terms specifically FORBID cross-licensing terms.

Re:(F)RAND in the Real World (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530980)

However, it is also widely believed that Apple wants to license the FRAND patents WITHOUT allowing other companies to cross-license Apple's patents.

You don't get access to all a companies patents. They only get access to the patents that are related to the standard in question. The design patents Apple holds for their phones and tablets are not part of 3G, not related to 3G, and not even critical in the making of phones or tablets.

Curious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529692)

(posting AC because I'm at work...)

I'll be very curious to see how the hordes of Apple haters/Samsung cheerleaders spin this as anything even vaguely good. If Samsung successfully strongarms more money out of Apple for F/RAND patents, then the _ENTIRE INDUSTRY_ will be at danger of the same thing which is 100% counter to the core concept of F/RAND patents in industry standard technologies. You may hate Apple (as seems so popular on /. lately); you may hate that they're defending their IP rights (or disagree that they should have been given the right to protect those IP rights to begin with); you may think a lot of things, but I think only a fool would think that Samsung being successful in this effort is a good thing.

Re:Curious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529740)

Only a fool would think that samsung is doing this without being provoked by the foolish design claims of apple

Re:Curious (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530474)

And at the end of the Conga Line of Fools would think that's really an acceptible reason. You, Mr. Consumer, still lose.

Re:Curious (3, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529744)

Do you believe it would be better if Apple won?

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529906)

I believe it would be better if they both lost, but with our adversarial system there is generally a winner and a loser. However, if they set damages at, say, $1, then both would be losers in terms of money - although one party would get bragging rights about "having won".

If both companies were sent packing from all of their claims about 3G, about rounded corners and look and feel, and about anything else they come up with that would be good.

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530338)

I do believe it would be better if samsung designed their own devices. I believe it would be better if their had never been a basis for Apple to use.

I do not believe it is better that Samsung is using submarine patents to the 3G standard. That is the behavior of the most vile patent trolls

Re:Curious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529774)

Most other companies in this industry tend to have rather extensive cross-licensing agreements; no doubt including this. Apple enters the markets, also wants to use these patents however; but refuses to participate/contribute in turn. Que being shocked when they have multiple lawsuits against them by almost everyone else of varying degrees of severity.

Re:Curious (3, Interesting)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529866)

Explain exactly how Samsung using its patent portfolio as defense against Apple's frivolous "rounded rectangle" patents is strongarming more money out of Apple. Apple is the one using the courts to block sales of its competitors products. They had the option of competing with a better product (like everyone else does), instead they are choosing to compete in the courts.

F/RAND stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory. In this case, it seems pretty fair and reasonable to use an essential technology that Samsung owns to defend against Apple's bullshit.

Of course, that makes me an Apple hater and a Samsung cheerleader, so you can disregard my opinion entirely while you go circle jerk with the "fair" group of people that thinks that look-and-feel patents aren't ridiculous.

--Jeremy

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530086)

Explain why someone on Slashdot is more qualified than the judge hearing the case to call it "frivolous". To paraphrase a post in another thread a couple days ago, anyone referring to that case as a "'rounded rectangle' patent" should immediately be removed from the discussion.

Then explain to me why you think it's okay for Apple (or anyone else) to invest a large amount of time, money, and brain power into industrial/interface design, just to have someone else come along afterward and make a cheap knockoff.

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530782)

Explain why someone on Slashdot is more qualified than the judge hearing the case to call it "frivolous". To paraphrase a post in another thread a couple days ago, anyone referring to that case as a "'rounded rectangle' patent" should immediately be removed from the discussion.

Then explain to me why you think it's okay for Apple (or anyone else) to invest a large amount of time, money, and brain power into industrial/interface design, just to have someone else come along afterward and make a cheap knockoff.

We are more qualified because we know many aspects of technology. The judge is law graduate and barely knows about tech.

Many laptops have rounded edges............even prior to that of Apple iPODS and iPADS. Even many ancient vacuum tube based radios receivers had rounded edges. Many CRT displays have rounded edges...............so how is the whole thing something new??

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530938)

Because the current patent system and the granted patents are quite retarded and the judge have to base his decision on them?

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530172)

F/RAND stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory. In this case, it seems pretty fair and reasonable to use an essential technology that Samsung owns to defend against Apple's bullshit.

I believe you've clearly demonstrated a complete and total lack of understand as to what F/RAND means. I don't think I could summarize the _exact opposite_ of F/RAND better than you just did there.

Re:Curious (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531434)

F/RAND stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory. In this case, it seems pretty fair and reasonable to use an essential technology that Samsung owns to defend against Apple's bullshit.

And non-discriminatory, or did you forget that one?

More importantly, these are two separate battles - one is over design patent infringement, and the other is over an industry standard subject to a patent pool agreement. If Samsung uses its patents that cover the standard to protect, via litigation and injunctions, its infringing designs, then that could be a huge anti-trust problem that could get the DoJ involved against Samsung. You can use your patents to protect your patented products, but you can't use them as leverage to protect non-patented products.

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37530026)

This is a good thing. Big red is an ass of a company restricting user freedom, and they won't be able to sell their products (even if temporarily). That's a victory in my book.

You notice Samsung never bothered suing anybody for any of these infringements (or injunctions)? That's because everyone's minding their own business and not suing each other because they realize that there's only so many ways to do certain things -- and most likely there's something that you're infringing on the company you're suing. The "_ENTIRE INDUSTRY_" will not be in danger, just the fucktards who think they own the place. At least M$ has the decency to offer a license to whatever HTC's paying for in their lawsuit, rather than say "screw you, can't sell" -- on a look and feel that doesn't even look and feel the same at all.

Re:Curious (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530046)

To me, the ideal resolution at this point would be both sides dropping their suits and calling it even. Even better would have been Apple dropping their suite last week before it escalated, but the odds of that were zero without a counterattack.

Best of all would have been for Apple to have kept it in their pants in the first place.

Re:Curious (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530332)

What would happen is Apple writes a cheque to Samsung for those 3G patents, like Apple did for Nokia.

The reason for this is well, anyone who wants to use 3G may not have anything to contribute - if I stick a 3G module on my board for my product, there may be nothing of use to those who own the 3G patents I need to license. So being able to license it straight up is a bonus. (And yes, things are very fuzzy - Apple doesn't design 3G stuff - they stick a 3G chip and circuits to the board, which isn't much different than someone buying a 3G modem board and sticking it on their board. The question is who paid licensing and where - did Apple pay by buying the Qualcomm/Infineon parts already?).

Of course, Apple has patents everyone wants (Nokia wants them as does Samsung) but feels is worth more than just the 3G stuff.

End result is either Apple cuts Samsung a big 3G cheque like it did with Nokia, or they cross license and Samsung then pays Apple a big fat cheque for the patents it wants to cross license.

(As for the rounded corners stuff - the trade dress includes the fact that software itself is very iOS like with its icons, the page dots, etc. In fact, all Samsung has to do is get rid of TouchWiz and Apple loses. And Android users rejoice at being able to get rid of a crappy skin and revert back to standard Android. )

Re:Curious (1)

DeadCatX2 (950953) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530690)

If Samsung successfully strongarms more money out of Apple for F/RAND patents

"More"? I wasn't aware that Apple had licensed those patents at all. If they had, I don't think this suit would be possible.

So what you're saying is that you want Apple to be able to use Samsung's technology without paying them.

Re:Curious (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531236)

> I'll be very curious to see how the hordes of Apple haters/Samsung cheerleaders spin this as anything even vaguely good.

Those of us who want to see both companies dead, their women wailing, their houses burned to the ground, and their fields sewn with salt... where was I? Oh yeah... How are we who don't particularly like either company supposed to spin this? Just wonderin'.

Slashdot: news for patent attorneys! (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529712)

That's it. I really don't have anything else to say.

RAND (1)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37529876)

Samsung is being treating everyone who ISN'T suing them in the same non-discriminatory manner.

d

Samsung didn't start the fire. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37529998)

>> If Samsung really believes Apple needs a separate license, when can we expect them to sue everyone else?

I doubt it. I think it's a tax specifically reserved for those who abuse patents. Win or lose, this should give Apple some pause the next time they feel like using patents to prevent fair competition.

Bonus for us - it ties up a portion of Apple's lawyers, who would undoubtedly be working on attacks against other small players.

Re:Samsung didn't start the fire. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531258)

Small players... Samsung.... small players... I'm trying to make that work in my head...

Does innovation have to end this way? (1, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530002)

With the community design in the EU there will be only one maker of any particular shape of thing. Only Apple iPads unless it isn't a tablet. Everyone will be robbed of stylish clothing because there will be only one maker of each shirt, pant, dress, skirt, blouse, gown, etc. The fashion industry will come crashing down. Furniture makers will have only one design of each piece of furniture because someone else will already have all other possible designs protected. Books and book covers. Cutlery. Plates. Everything you can think of will have only one design from one maker. People will stop buying because there won't be any choice. This law is a suicide pill for an economy. It's patently absurd.

Re:Does innovation have to end this way? (0)

digitallife (805599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530992)

Except isn't the opposite true as well? If you remove patents, then anything one company designs and builds can easily be copied wholesale by another. It will completely kill innovation, because nobody will want to put money into something that everyone else will simply copy. Unlike what seems to be the majority of slashdot posters, I don't think there is a simple and obvious solution. The reality is that a lot of very smart people have already designed a patent system that, for the most part, seems to work to a semi-acceptable level. The world is complex, and in a lot of cases there is no simple or easy answer.

Re:Does innovation have to end this way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37531142)

Actually, that is how the world works right now. You can't copy someone elses work and sell it. Ask the fasion industry, ask the pharmaceutical industry. Ask any industry. Why should Samsung get away with copying Apples work (if that is how the world works)?

Now, I would prefer a world were copying was ok! Let companies compete with execution instead of ideas!

i think what this really comes down to (4, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#37530156)

Is the fact apple lied to a German court and submitted doctored images to keep the galaxy S off store shelves. So now Samsung decided to play the court game to and Apple is now crying foul of the rules they used in the game.

when can we expect them to sue everyone else? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37531198)

> when can we expect them to sue everyone else?

This seems like FUD to me. Samsung and Apple are in a deathlock. It doesn't matter who started it. Samsung may well sue the hell outta everyone in existence, but until they go after, say, HTC, my money is that they're holding onto the patent for defensive purposes. In other words, there's no special reason to assume Samsung is going to go after other manufacturers until, well, they do. If I'm wrong, lawyers will get a little richer.

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