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Samsung Beats Apple In Tokyo, Itching To Sue Over LTE Patents

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the one-for-you-one-for-me-one-for-you-one-for-me dept.

Japan 221

AmiMoJo writes "A court in Tokyo has ruled that Samsung Electronics did not infringe on a patent relating to transferring media content between devices. Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji dismissed the case filed by Apple in August, finding that Samsung was not in violation of Apple patents related to synchronizing music and video data between devices and servers." This particular battle is just one front in a patent war that spans ten countries and dozens of cases. Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market. Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location (#8,254,902). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

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221 comments

Is this over the same patents? (3, Insightful)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#41189271)

Well, from all I've heard, the US jury really dropped the ball on following instructions in the US trial, it sounds like Japanese jurors looked at things differently.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#41189285)

Did Jobs' serfs just mess with the wrong guy? I'm getting popcorn.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (5, Informative)

kenorland (2691677) | about 2 years ago | (#41189311)

No, different patents. But it's the same m.o.: Apple steals other people's ideas and products, creates a barrage of iffy patents and copyrights, invests in a massive marketing campaign to create the false impression that they invented the technology, and then sues the hell out of everybody else.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41189353)

you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

its like cars. every automaker has patents on their cars and specific engines. yet they all operate the same way and use the same fuel. everyone just has to make their own algorithm or slightly different way of injecting and burning fuel. been like that for decades and has worked

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189471)

I can't help but imagine a scenario where patents didn't set the auto industry back so much..

Can you imagine driving a flying car to work every day? Yeah, goooo patents.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (4, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41189711)

Can you imagine driving a flying car to work every day?

Based on the driving standards I see every day, I'm keeping four wheels firmly on the ground for now :)

Re:Is this over the same patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189985)

Can you imagine driving a flying car to work every day?

Yes, in San Francisco [youtube.com] - wings optional.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (5, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41189485)

It doesn't matter, what matters is that Apple is hurting all customers including their own, in the long run, by instigating spurious patent battles based on a rotten patent system. Whether it is an iphone, a Samsung phone or whatever else, you pay a hefty fee to lawyers anytime you buy a new phone.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#41190017)

Yea, everyone stole from each other and just cross license from each other.

Apple is the new guy on the scene and decided to go nuclear and start this war with everyone else.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (5, Informative)

kenorland (2691677) | about 2 years ago | (#41189581)

you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech

In order for something to be patentable, it needs to be a novel, non-obvious, and useful invention in a technical area, and we call "novel, non-obvious" insights "ideas". "Ideas" become "inventions" when they are about something that is also useful and in a technical area. So, not all ideas are patentable, but all patents (theoretically) require some idea at their core.

You are absolutely right that most of Apple's patents are "for specific implementations", and that is the core of the problem: Apple takes other people's novel, non-obvious insights and then creates a massive patent portfolio on implementations. And because juries aren't that good at figuring out the differences and are swayed by Apple's marketing prowess and commercial success, they then side with Apple when these cases go to court. As a result, inventors and innovators get screwed and Apple just keeps copying and stealing.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189723)

Have you read some of the software and design patents lately? I'm not just referring to Apple, either, there's a lot of companies guilty of this. They are so broad and vague that they are indeed patenting "ideas". Once again, the scum of the Earth have found a way to do an end-run around any regulation or rule that gets in their way, while at the same time sitting pretty in the legal system.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189869)

If that were the case, then how could Samsung infringe when they are using a different hardware?

Are you seriously trying to justify Apple patenting the 'pinch to zoom" concept?

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41189943)

you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

Vel [ycombinator.com] , is that you?

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#41190001)

you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

Patents are for protecting the ideas of inventions, not inventions themselves.

Inventions are covered by copyright, trade secrets, etc.

Protecting implementation of the invention by patent is also useless. Actual implementation might change, while underlying idea remains. And that's what patents are designed to protect.

IOW, any implementation of pinch zoom from 20 years ago must have automatically invalidated any pinch zoom patent filed later. Now, if Apple had patented particular way to implement the pinch zoom, it would have been different story. But they did not. Because there are no algorithms involved, it's a dumb finite state machine. (And yeah, I have read the patent [weblogsinc.com] . It's more of a how-to patent than a computer tech patent.)

its like cars. every automaker has patents on their cars and specific engines. yet they all operate the same way and use the same fuel. everyone just has to make their own algorithm or slightly different way of injecting and burning fuel. been like that for decades and has worked

What actually leads to inefficiency (in many areas): obvious and efficient implementation is patented, patent holder demands enormous license fee - other makers had to implement something less obvious and often by far less efficient. (Had witnessed precisely that happening in semiconductor industry at least two times.)

You can't patent an idea (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41190023)

You can attempt to patent every possible permutation of its application. If you're a jerk.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190177)

Actually, you CAN patent ideas. In fact, patents are only give for ideas, not for specific realizations of those ideas.

However, patents must be: Novel, Useful, and Unobvious. The way you steer a car not novel, nor is the brake/accelerator arrangement. It's been done like that for years.

Quoting Samsung (itching to sue) (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41189553)

The humans have played their hand, now we get ready to play ours.

Re:Quoting Samsung (itching to sue) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189585)

I am amused by your implication that Apple, of all people, are anything approaching "humans" in this case.

Re:Quoting Samsung (itching to sue) (1)

noh8rz8 (2716593) | about 2 years ago | (#41189925)

thank you, my first chuckle of the day

Re:Is this over the same patents? (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#41189411)

Actually they don't have juries in Japan, they have a system of lay judges. And I don't think they even have them in civil cases.

They don't have juries in Japan (1)

englishstudent (1638477) | about 2 years ago | (#41190007)

That used to be true, but I'm pretty sure they changed the system to use jurors in 2009.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189661)

No. It is not even close to the same patents.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189819)

For fuck sake, give up this "the jury fucked up" narrative. It's really immature.

Furthmore, you should not be cheering Samsung on for attempting to leverage what should be FRAND licensed pattens for a global communication standard. This move is just desperate on Samsung's part, and if Samsung wins in the end it will have FAR worse effects on the industry than any spat over Apple's design patents and trade dress.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#41190013)

Thank You! Samsung's patent rattling is far worse than Apple's.

FYI you don't like patents - CHANGE THEM!

There is a way out of this, change the patent system. How much do you want to bet Samsung is ok with the current system and wouldn't want to change them.

Re:Is this over the same patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190085)

> For fuck sake, give up this "the jury fucked up" narrative. It's really immature.

Let's recount:

a) For starters, they had to go back and amend the verdict right away because they awarded damages for items they found not infringing.
b) Then there's the foreman who proudly tells everyone they didn't need all those instructions and justifies exclusion of prior art because - literal quote - "you couldn't load the new software methodology in the old system and expect that it was going to work".

> Furthmore, you should not be cheering Samsung on for attempting to leverage what should be FRAND licensed pattens for a global communication standard

FRAND doesn't mean "free to use for everyone". If Apple indeed broke the licensing terms, they can be sued and they deserve to be sued in this case. I can't see Samsung suddenly starting suing everyone around based on this patents in near future - they had them for years, but I can see Apple firing a new round of lawsuits against other Android manufacturers after this win. They already sued HTC and Motorola on more or less same set of patents.

says the fanboy... (2)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41190107)

Yes. Flamebait. But this is an A/C that got modded up Insightful for this uninspired drivel.

If Samsung wins, if the LTE case ever comes to court, the effects will be that the Apple victory in the States will become meaningless. "Here is the x billions I owe you, and thianks for the x billions you owe me." Besides, I'll bet the Apple victory gets over-turned quite quickly.

Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinema?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189273)

I bet those people who were at the Batman premier that were attacked by that gun wielding psycho are sure glad their phones weren't disabled so they could call the emergency services.

Jeez apple, I know thinking different is hip and all but....

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41189375)

I bet those people who were at the Batman premier that were attacked by that gun wielding psycho are sure glad their phones weren't disabled so they could call the emergency services.

Jeez apple, I know thinking different is hip and all but....

Not to mention existing art [google.com]

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (-1, Offtopic)

namnguyensgu (2719873) | about 2 years ago | (#41189459)

http://www.vemaybayvn.info/hang-khong-gia-re [slashdot.org] ">Hàng không giá r

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189521)

2010? Just to be sure, show something older. This [my-symbian.com] was already working with GPS soon after the N95, and worked similarly with cell location probably since the original iPod was a device with "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (-1, Flamebait)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189695)

It is cute when people think things that are completely unrelated serve as prior art. Your example is like saying Barney the Dinosaur is prior art to my Purple Popsicle patent.

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41189385)

Because you can't make calls from a device that is set to vibrate and not ring on an incoming call, right?

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41189517)

Because you can't make calls from a device that is set to vibrate and not ring on an incoming call, right?

well you can't on one that's set to disable communicating with other communications devices(in the patent), though I suppose emergency services would still be good to go - good luck dialing them up with the screen shut off though.

now.. who the fuck wants a phone that gives the keys to control if it's on to someone else? but all the obvious useful use cases actually have so much prior art that it's not even funny because it's such an obvious idea to make sw that enables sound when you're in your home network cell or switches profile to "business" when at the workplace location.

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41189589)

now.. who the fuck wants a phone that gives the keys to control if it's on to someone else?

People that buy iPhones, duh.

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41189571)

Because you can't make calls from a device that is set to vibrate and not ring on an incoming call, right?

If the patent for "the process for setting a mobile phone to only vibrate during an incoming call when in a particular location" was really granted to them, I think the prior art for that was seen about 20 minutes after the first mobile phone was put into a consumer's hand. Really, who signs off on this shit?

Re:Disabling features based on location e.g. Cinem (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#41189731)

I bet those people who were at the Batman premier that were attacked by that gun wielding psycho are sure glad their phones weren't disabled so they could call the emergency services.

Except it's a legal requirement that all handsets must be able to dial emergency numbers, regardless of their settings, or even if they have a SIM card or not.

How much is this costing us? (5, Insightful)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 2 years ago | (#41189277)

Obviously this is blatant abuse on both sides. It no longer about genuine infringement it's about sticking it to the competition or getting back at them. Now the patent system is it's own worst enemy, stifling innovation and progress. What a shame.

Re:How much is this costing us? (4, Insightful)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 2 years ago | (#41189395)

If I had products being banned for having rounded corners I would think at that point the "good guy" in me would be dead and I'd be going after them any way I could.

Re:How much is this costing us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189625)

If I actually believed the US case was solely about "rounded corners" then I would be brain dead anyway.

Re:How much is this costing us? (1, Redundant)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189715)

Please. Enough with he lie we have heard so much it has become a cliche.

Re:How much is this costing us? (2)

hilltaker7 (2718495) | about 2 years ago | (#41189511)

The patent system has been bubkis for a long time now. It is merely a feeding ground for the way too many lawyers that graduate each year with nothing to do. It's original purpose was to protect the hard work of engineers and inventors while providing the governments with a way to track the technological explosion of the last few centuries. It unfortunately is not designed to handle the fact that ideas can be separately developed in isolation. This weakness combined with the overpopulation of lawyers has lead us to this point where we have to deal with these worthless legal battles over and over again.

Re:How much is this costing us? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41189627)

The patent system has been bubkis for a long time now. It is merely a feeding ground for the way too many lawyers that graduate each year with nothing to do. It's original purpose was to protect the hard work of engineers and inventors while providing the governments with a way to track the technological explosion of the last few centuries. It unfortunately is not designed to handle the fact that ideas can be separately developed in isolation. This weakness combined with the overpopulation of lawyers has lead us to this point where we have to deal with these worthless legal battles over and over again.

The sad thing is that pretty much any politician, on either side (or in the middle) will tell you the same thing: the patent system protects our innovators. Never mind that almost all politicians are/were lawyers themselves, and that lawyers as a professional group have more influence than any other when it comes to the political process... We must keep the laws because they protect our innovators!

Re:How much is this costing us? (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41190141)

Not a shame, in my opinion. The US always plays things to the brink. This type of activity will cause the whole patent system to impode. Good. Then they can rebuilt it with innovation in mind. That would also have beneficial side affects for Copyright law.

IMHO. INAL. ETC.

Huh? (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#41189303)

Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market

Either I'm missing something, or that doesn't make a lick of sense. LTE is all FRAND (just like 3G) isn't it? So what are they going to sue over exactly?

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 years ago | (#41189339)

Re:Huh? (1, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41189559)

From what I've read, it's because Motorola has been ignoring the ND part of that acronym.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190131)

Read from where, Apple?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189377)

According to data from Thomson-Reuters, Nokia ranked top with 18.9 percent in terms of the number of LTE patents, followed by Qualcomm with 12.5 percent, Samsung Electronics with 12.2 percent and Ericsson with 11.6 percent.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41189397)

Apple has, thus far, been difficult when it comes to licensing FRAND patents. Essentially, a patent holder will say something like "Our standard rate is 2.5%", at which point Apple responds with "NO FAIR!!! Our phone is EXPENSIVE! You set that rate when phones were CHEAP! Not going to pay!" *stamps foot*

...which is another reason the Samsung verdict in the US made no sense. Apple did just that, and after the foreman made his "Let's punish Samsung for stealing inventions", they opted not to punish Apple for refusing to pay anything for patents it knew it had to license.

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

DevilM (191311) | about 2 years ago | (#41189483)

It must be fun just to make things up. Of course, the rest of us who like real information spend the time reading from credible sources. Unfortunately, there is no information available on the situation with Samsung and LTE. However, when looking at court records from Nokia v. Apple on 3G FRAND issues, the record is quite clear. Nokia didn't want more money than Apple was willing to pay. They wanted a cross-license on Apple patents that Apple was unwilling to provide. According to Nokia, Apple was the only phone vendor unwilling to cross-license.

It was all eventually settled with Apple paying Nokia and not licensing their patents. Same thing is likely to happen to Samsung. Apple will not allow anyone to use their patents in a competing product for better or worse. But, Apple doesn't mind paying for standards essential patents.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#41189753)

The fact Samsung asked for 2.5% in royalties for its 3G patents is a matter of public record, as it came out during Apple vs Samsung.

Re:Huh? (5, Informative)

DevilM (191311) | about 2 years ago | (#41190129)

Yeah, the public record showed that Apple didn't owe Samsung anything for those patents because of exhaustion. If someone asked me to pay a licensing fee for a chip I bought from another company I would decline as well.

Re:Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189503)

Of course Apple will say that. The reason is they are thieves. Twice. First in regards to consumers, by selling an overpriced phone (yes yes it's all nice and shiny) but still, there is a reason Apple has the biggest profit of all CE companies. And second they are thieves because they use patents without paying for them. If you pay for all the patents that you use then either the cost of the iphone goes up, or it has to go down and Apple makes less (but still a very healthy) profit. Guess what Apple management decided ?
I hope Apple will be destroyed and no other CE company will ever license their patents again to the cupertino firm. Then we will see how all those hundreds of billions of $ are really worth.

Re:Huh? (-1, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41189583)

I hope your mother runs you over while chatting on her iPhone.

Re:Huh? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189751)

Damn him for clouding your mind with facts.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189785)

I hope your mother runs you over while chatting on her iPhone.

wooooooooooooooooooooooosh

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189621)

put up prices. How overpriced is the phone vs other smartphones? They're all around $200 subsidized.

Re:Huh? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189737)

Apple's primary defense was and will continue to be exhaustion. Apple does pay someone else to make the chipsets. In most cases M and S are trying to make Apple pay twice.

I don't even want to hear about this anymore. (4, Insightful)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about 2 years ago | (#41189331)

Apple should focus on bringing the best product to the market not the most expensive. Many people buy Samsung because you don't have to drop $600 on a phone. Apple is on its way to being the biggest patent troll in history.

Re:I don't even want to hear about this anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189655)

Samsung phones DO cost $600. http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Unlocked-Smart-Marble/dp/B0080DJ6CM

Re:I don't even want to hear about this anymore. (0)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about 2 years ago | (#41189881)

Some of them do but you can buy cheaper models if you want. Mine cost $80 (old stock discontinued model but new phone). But you already knew that. So go back to your bridge.

Re:I don't even want to hear about this anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190119)

Some of them do but you can buy cheaper models if you want. Mine cost $80 (old stock discontinued model but new phone). But you already knew that. So go back to your bridge.

Yeah, and you can also buy cheaper versions of the iPhone as well. What's your point? Face it, there are competitively priced options available on both Samsung and Apple.

Re:I don't even want to hear about this anymore. (0)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189765)

Lol.

Why do we even have a Patent Office? (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41189365)

For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

How is that patentable?
Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189433)

Yeah, my phone auto-switches to silent mode in the theater since about 2 years ago.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41189523)

For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

How is that patentable?
Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

yes. you can even sue people for it.
it's an apple article you know.

inventions can be obvious nowadays if you haven't noticed, you just have to find someone on earth from under a rock to whom it's not obvious.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (1)

davegravy (1019182) | about 2 years ago | (#41189597)

For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

How is that patentable?
Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

While I agree, I'm happy to let Apple have all the patents it wants regarding locking down devices. It provides all the more motivation for Android to be open and free.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189747)

Yes. Outside the US, patent systems operate on a "first to patent" approach as opposed to the "first to invent" approach. The US will be joining the rest of the world in 2013.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41189831)

That only changes the procedure if two filings come it at similar times. It does not get rid of prior art. Read the damn wiki you linked too.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189783)

You have to read the whole patent and understand what it is actually doing. No Android apps do this. I can not be done b simply an App.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41190125)

Most of the claims in that patent are standard features of Locale, one of the Google Android Developer Challenge winners from the launch period of Android. Locale was publically demonstrated at MIT in early May 2008, almost 2 months before Apple filed their patent. Only claim 10 (phone refusing to leave sleep mode within an area), which probably is not technically feasible unless by "sleep mode" they just mean display backlight off, and claims 15 onward (which require infrastructure) are not preempted by Locale.

Re:Why do we even have a Patent Office? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#41189919)

For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

How is that patentable?
Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

I think it depends on the relative size of legal budgets. There's no way the people behind Tasker, for instance, could win a law suit against Apple about this. In fuzzy fake numerical terms, the ratio of legal budgets is the inverse of the ratio between the legal standards to which the companies is held. If can outspend you by a factor of 10 on lawyers, then you need to be at least 10x more "in the right" to beat them. Considering the money Apple can actually spend on lawyers, they could probably get away with firebombing the homes of indie developers.

This is what's fucking wrong with patents (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41189367)

"sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater"

I've been calling for this feature since the 90's.

It should NOT be patentable. Seriously, I am so fucking sick of patents.

How do we stop this insanity.

Re:This is what's fucking wrong with patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189425)

I'm with you on this... we should hold sit-ins at all political hq's until this crap is resolved. A developer can't write a decent utility let alone an app, without infringing. This is just bogus.

Re:This is what's fucking wrong with patents (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about 2 years ago | (#41189453)

Re:This is what's fucking wrong with patents (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189815)

Cool App. Nothing at all like the system Apple's patent describes but cool App.

Re:This is what's fucking wrong with patents (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#41189615)

I don't know all the details of this situation, but what you write is irrelevant. People had the idea for human flight for thousands of years, but that doesn't stop Boeing and Airbus from obtaining thousands of patents on their aircraft.

Ideas are not patentable, implementations are.

spans ten countries and dozens of cases. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41189437)

Ah so, this is what World War III will look like. It won't end until we nuke patent and copyright law. Sometimes you have to destroy the derelict in order to build something better

Apple patents useful Android apps (4, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41189495)

Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location

It seems like an interesting strategy for Apple to protect the reputation of their restricted development platform by patenting technologies that are already used in Android applications which demonstrate clearly the benefit of a more open approach. Sadly the patent will probably hold up, as the first public release of Locale seems to have been in October 2008, 3 - 4 months after the Apple patent was filed. The patent application would have still been non-public at that point, so rather than the Locale developers copying Apple, I suspect both were inspired by the same presentation from somewhere; Apple's approach was to patent the ideas they'd got from elsewhere and sit on it, the Android approach was to make an app and get it out there.

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189649)

I guess some real prior art could be easily found by starting looking there : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentient_computing

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (5, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41189807)

9 May 2008 [techcrunch.com] : Android application to dynamically change device settings based on location publically reported on in tech press. 22 June 2008: Apple files patent for that exact idea. Now that's what I call innovation.

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41190029)

Except that is not what they patented. They patented a device that communicates with a smartphone to change the phones settings when it is a certain location. You are talking about an App that lets a user create location based settings. The two things are very different.

If you bothered to read you would know that. You obviously did a little research. All you early had to do was click the patent link in he article. You could have saved some trouble.

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#41190269)

If you bothered to read yourself, you would see that the Apple patent tries to cover both what Locale does (claims 1 - 14), and what you claim the patent is for (claims 15 - 29).

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189835)

Summary was intentionally bad. You should read the patent.

Re:Apple patents useful Android apps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189857)

Yet another reason to say "Fuck apple" and buy something else. This behaviour is deplorable.

We implemented something vaguely similar (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41189541)

with bluetooth being the communication path. Had little linux machines with a bluetooth dongle which tracked visible bluetooth devices and also sent messages requesting silent mode and so on. It was just a minor part of a research project at uni, we did get pretty good tracking data though just from setting up nodes around the building and recording what devices were seen. You couldn't be sure that Bob usually arrives at 8:00am, went to his office, and then to the espresso machine room, and then back to his office every day - but his phone sure did.

Re:We implemented something vaguely similar (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41190047)

Yours is a lot more similar than the Android apps people keep bringing up.

The asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189563)

are ganging up against America. China is pleased.

Re:The asians (1)

trimpnick (1362187) | about 2 years ago | (#41189671)

Didn't know UK was in Asia!

Attention /. Readers (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41189587)

I have patented the following:
A method for clipping toenails with a lever driven cutting device.
Either grow long nails or pay up.

Re:Attention /. Readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189705)

Joke's on you, I bite and rip my nails off like a real man.

Re:Attention /. Readers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189767)

Ha-ha! I already cut my toe nails with my liver (and other meat) driven cutting device, i.e. my teeth.

Of course they are. They ALL are. (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | about 2 years ago | (#41189843)

Sammy probably buys several of every new cellphone to examine them for unlicensed IP to keep the lawyers busy. I'm pretty sure all of them do this.

People Should Read, then Post (0, Troll)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#41189901)

Claim one of the linked patent clearly references a new base station device in the location. This device it what controls he settings in the phone. There is no prior art for this. There is no Android app that does the exact same thing. Stop your blind nerd-rage long enough to read.

I swear there was a time when discussions here were slightly more intelligent. There were usually one or two people who bothered o look into the facts. Maybe I am nostalgic for a time that never was.

Why bother discussing a patent when you are unwilling to even read the first claim?

Re:People Should Read, then Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190245)

I use an Android app called Setting Profiles. It looks for wi-fi base stations to set lots of settings, including ringer volume.

Tasker app (1)

C_Kode (102755) | about 2 years ago | (#41189983)

For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

Umm. Already do with with the Tasker app.

Llama does this already?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190051)

Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location (#8,254,902). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

Llama does this already for Android. I use it to automatically enable wifi at home and work and to set my ringer to silent between 1am and 7am (only when I'm at home).

How did Apple get a patent for something that's already out there?

Who in hell... (3, Funny)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41190261)

Who in hell is issuing patents on configuration settings? That isnt a unique goddamn invention. Of course, neither are pinchy finger motions. The "Kids in the hall" should have patented that one when they were crushing other peoples heads.

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