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Ericsson Seeks US Import Ban On Samsung Products

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the here-we-go-again dept.

Patents 102

angry tapir writes "Just a few days after Ericsson filed several patent-infringement lawsuits against Samsung in the U.S., the Swedish mobile phone company also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), asking for an import ban of a wide range of Samsung products, including the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note. Ericsson alleges that Samsung violates Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing patent-infringing products into the U.S and selling them."

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102 comments

Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174229)

... but two questionable claims still don't make a right one. Try again, Ericsson.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (5, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | about a year ago | (#42174235)

If you can't beat 'em with a better product, litigate 'em.

Ehh no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174309)

If you can't beat'em with a better product, violate their patents without penalty and take control of the market with at cost subhuman sales..It's a race to the bottom, and the best "bottom" .."racing" ...people are winning it...

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42174499)

What comments like yours fail to consider is that Ericsson doesn't even have a horse in the handset race any more, which is a very important fact. They sold off their share of the Sony-Ericsson joint venture to Sony about a year ago (though the deal closed early this year) and have been doing just fine ever since, posting billions in profit with their bread-and-butter telecommunications equipment. They're out of the handset market and onto other things that are more focused on engineering and business-facing products than design and consumer-facing products.

As a result, they have nothing to gain by seeing Samsung fail, and they're doing just fine on their own, so this isn't a company who got beat turning patent troll. This is a case of a company outside the handset market who has legitimate patents based on actual engineering innovations having their patents used without proper licensing. There's nothing wrong in demanding that the company using your patents pay the licensing fees that are due, and why people ascribe them ulterior motives when they have nothing to gain is beyond me.

It is not beyond me. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174857)

Ericsson is part of an alliance with Microsoft, Apple, and others who see Linux and Android as a threat to their business model.

http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/partners/ericsson.aspx#fbid=LZQES70oV98

http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/01/rim-apple-sony-microsoft-consortium-snags-nortel-wireless-pat/

The whole point to to keep the litigation going as long as possible.

Re:It is not beyond me. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175005)

Ericsson is part of an alliance with Microsoft, Apple, and others who see Linux and Android as a threat to their business model.

http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/partners/ericsson.aspx#fbid=LZQES70oV98

http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/01/rim-apple-sony-microsoft-consortium-snags-nortel-wireless-pat/

The whole point to to keep the litigation going as long as possible.

I find this to be highly unlikely since the majority of Ericsson products are using Linux as a platform today

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175403)

I find this to be highly unlikely since the majority of Ericsson products are using Linux as a platform today

Absolute unadulterated bullshit. The only Ericsson products with Linux at their core are Telecom Server Platform, Integrated Site concept, APZ, Connectivity Packet Platform, Enterprise Media Gateway, and MX-ONE Telephony System. Mere tokens compared to the once vast but now shrinking array of networking equipment they manufacture and deploy with their Global Services unit. Furthermore, most of these are in full "Tivo-ised" mode so you can forget running your custom unsigned kernel on unhacked hardware that you supposedly own.

Face it, Ericsson is a has-been company when it comes to hardware. Out-competed and out-financed whre they formerly led, their hapless, thoroughly uninspired, management have no choice but to follow the common business-sense trope of pushing the company into the "support and service" bankruptcy anteroom. By their own statements [ericsson.com], they are making most of their money and seeing the most "growth" in the "Global Services" and "Support Solutions" branches of the company (nevermind that they nosedived negative 42 percent in net income the latest quarter vs. last year's figures).

Guess what, skippy? Intellectual Property is now the name of the game for Ericsson. A tiny company throwing their lot with the likes of MS, Apple, et al, doesn't come free. Believe that bag of freshly minted 30 shekels of silver came with a very thorough reeducation on the finer points of patents and competitive realities vis a vis all things Linux and free/open source software. The plans were already in place long before they came knocking on the devils' door. Like the dogs they have been reduced to, the Ericcson hound will come hunting for whatever crumbs it can scavenge and trophies it can hold up for its master. Already, the wait to see who the first target they had picked for them has come to an end. Hopefully, world courts will see this latest farce for what it is, e.g., the crackle of the first grasped for branch by a once great company now hurtling over the cliff doomed by an obsolete business model, over-paid workers, a cost of production that the Asian companies laugh at between canine sharpenings, and a pathetic zombie existence seen all too [wikipedia.org] often [nokia.com] before [sco.com]. Goodbye Ericsson.

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175429)

Absolute unadulterated bullshit. The only Ericsson products with Linux at their core are Telecom Server Platform, Integrated Site concept, APZ, Connectivity Packet Platform, Enterprise Media Gateway, and MX-ONE Telephony System. Mere tokens compared to the once vast but now shrinking array of networking equipment they manufacture and deploy with their Global Services unit. Furthermore, most of these are in full "Tivo-ised" mode so you can forget running your custom unsigned kernel on unhacked hardware that you supposedly own.

Not entirely true. There are more products that run Linux. One very good example of this is the Smart Services Router (SSR). This product, which is engineered in San Jose by the team that is responsible for the SmartEdge, is running completely on Linux code. The SmartEdge runs on NetBSD so it has been a strategic decision to move the Linux, despite the need to port some code.

Also, Ericsson's Netop Policy Manager and Netop EMS are being ported to Linux.

Perhaps you should get your facts straight, there is more in Ericsson than DURA.

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175489)

APZ runs in a VM on Linux platfom today, Integrated site is going away, the EBS which is the future platform for most products is Linux OTC based, all of the Charging products are Linux based the only current platforms not Linux today is Cello or WPP based and I think both will be phased out of the road maps soon enough.

On the other hand there are no Windows platforms at all even the APG40/43 is being ported to Linux.

Ericsson also have a large amount of their employees on Linux based IT. > 5000 employees.

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175533)

With IT I mean they actually use Linux as a desktop, and this is not for s/w development workstations but for employees working with customer support and service delivery

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175741)

20,000+ Ericsson employees run Linux on the desktop (Ubuntu, with Ericsson repositories). As mentioned above, Charging System has been ported to Linux and the old Solaris version is end-of-sale, new installs are Linux only. If you have pre-paid service anywhere in the world, chances are it's on Ericsson Charging System. World wide it has almost 1 billion subscribers.

Re:It is not beyond me. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year ago | (#42185291)

let me guess ... former, bitter employ?

ericsson is mostly profitable. they've hit some bumps recently because in a recession companies don't spend on hardware, they make do with what they have. services / support on the other hand are relatively recession proof as they are (relatively) long term contracts. hence their interest in expanding there.

Re:It is not beyond me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175649)

Well, when Ericsson companies stop actively contributing code to Android, maybe I'll believe you.

Re:It is not beyond me. (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42175797)

Your links don't prove your point at all. In fact, if anything, they contradict it.

The first link you provided only tells us that they have a partnership with Microsoft to produce back-end solutions for telecommunications companies that need to manage billing for their customers. That has nothing to do with Android or Samsung and everything to do with them being in a business other than the handset business. And the second link you provided predates their leaving the handset market by several months. Since that time, they've divested themselves of the business they had that competed against Android, meaning that Android no longer poses any threat to them. In fact, greater Android adoption would be beneficial to them, since greater smartphone adoption would help drive demand for expanding telecommunications networks, which is exactly the business they're in.

In fact, just to highlight how silly this line of argumentation you have is, I'll point out that the NovaThor [wikipedia.org] platform Ericsson produces is only being adopted by Android phones so far, and you'll never guess which NovaThor-using company Ericsson cited in some of their most recent financial reports [hugin.info] (right on page 1) as an encouragement that gave them a better outlook for the coming months: Samsung.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (4, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year ago | (#42174965)

There's nothing wrong in demanding that the company using your patents pay the licensing fees that are due, and why people ascribe them ulterior motives when they have nothing to gain is beyond me.

Ascribing ulterior motives? May be, that's because they're playing hard ball and asking for an immediate import ban just before Christmas.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

kh31d4r (2591021) | about a year ago | (#42176921)

Ascribing ulterior motives? May be, that's because they're playing hard ball and asking for an immediate import ban just before Christmas.

Who gets mobile networks for christmas?

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175243)

"This is a case of a company outside the handset market who has legitimate patents based on actual engineering innovations having their patents used without proper licensing."

Samsung did not benefit from anything Ericsson did. Samsung did not base anything it did from reading any of the patents that Ericsson has. It did not copy anything. It came up with some ideas and implemented them because those ideas fall within the scope of what Samsung does. Samsung never needed 'help' from Ericsson and these patents haven't been helpful to Samsung or to society in general.

No one is entitled to a government established monopoly (neither in the form of copy'rights' or patents). If these government established monopolies are socially detrimental, which they are (they are stifling innovation, not helping it, by preventing these products from entering the market), then they ought to be destroyed. Samsung, and society, gained nothing from these patents. Samsung is in a much better position to know how to serve its market than Ericsson and it doesn't need, and hasn't used, any of Ericsson's help.

The idea that a patent troll, or someone from a different industry, can provide something of value to someone who works in a different field is almost like saying that a second grader can provide a mechanical engineer with a good idea by inventing the wheel. To the engineer, that which seems innovative to the second grader is common sense. Likewise, if Ericsson is in a different industry than Samsung (even if it used to be in the same industry, technology changes so fast, and 20 year long patents are way way way too long) then that which seems obvious to Samsung is new and innovative to Ericsson because they're not in that market and don't know anything about it.

Nothing good has come from these patents. They haven't helped those who innovated, they haven't helped society, they have only helped transfer money from those who are successful at doing something towards those who fail at doing the same thing That's not a good thing, that's an injustice. It stifles innovation by drawing away resources that could be used to innovate and, instead, directs them towards deadweight lawyers.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (3, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175379)

They're the same industry. Telecommunications. Ericsson make cellphone networks. Samsung make cellphones that use those networks. If Samsung doesn't need Ericsson's patents, how do they make cellphones the work on cellphone networks? You know, those little things like GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, LTE and EGDE.

If patents in this area were stifling innovation, why is it just about every other cellphone manufacturer pays for them? Society has gained from these patents. There are but a few cellular network technologies world wide. This means manufactures, for a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory price can sell phones that work on networks in every country in the world. That's the part that promotes innovation. There is no discrimination for any company wishing to obtain a license and everyone pays the same amount. The playing field is level.

You obviously have no idea what you're on about

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175639)

"Ericsson make cellphone networks. Samsung make cellphones that use those networks."

Two different industries.

"how do they make cellphones the work on cellphone networks?"

Not needing the patents and not needing a particular 'invention' or 'design' are two different things. Conflating them is disingenuous.

"why is it just about every other cellphone manufacturer pays for them?"

To avoid getting sued, not because they need these patents.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#42181745)

You know, those little things like GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, LTE and EGDE.

So you're saying that Ericsson has patents on required standards. That means they're supposed to be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory in the licensing. Samsung isn't renewing the license (they were paying before) because Ericsson is supposedly significantly increasing the rates (according to Samsung).

Is Ericsson significantly increasing Samsung's license rates for a FRAND patent? Is this a level playing field?

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42183853)

Ericsson are claiming they offered Samsung what their other licensees pay.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

Shagg (99693) | about a year ago | (#42185239)

So they significantly increased the rates for everyone (non-discriminatory)? Why were they increased (fair/reasonable)?

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175325)

... and have been doing just fine ever since...

October 26th 2012 - Ericsson Profit Drops 43% [businessweek.com]
July 18th 2012 - Ericsson Profit Drops 64% [wsj.com]

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#42175597)

Numbers out of context are a dangerous thing.

The BusinessWeek number is for year-over-year change (as you'll see if you check Ericsson's Q3 2012 financial report [ericsson.com], so of course their net income dropped by 43%: they were still in the handset business at that time the previous year. Yet if you check their quarter-over-quarter change, you'll see that they're up 81% in terms of net income in just the last three months, indicating that they're recovering nicely from the restructuring involved with divesting themselves of their handset business, and even the analyst quoted in the BusinessWeek article agrees that they're in a good position right now, saying:

Still, the company has a good foundation and once the business mix improves, with the rising use of smartphones around the world, margins and profits will rebound.

I'll grant that they're not as profitable as they were when they were in the handset business, but that doesn't change the fact that they're doing just fine and making billions in profit, just as I said. As for the WSJ article, I can't load it for some reason, but since it's dated earlier and they've been steadily improving, I assume the issue is the same, in that it likely used year-over-year numbers that come from when they were still in another business.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175887)

Here's the WSJ article

STOCKHOLM—Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson, the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment, posted a 64% drop in second-quarter net profit as a slowdown in demand weighed on results.

Ericsson said Wednesday that its challenges included weak sales in key markets such as Russia, China, India and Western Europe. The Stockholm-based company also cited margin pressure in North America and other markets amid waning demand for code-division multiple access, or CDMA, technology as operators shift to newer alternatives. In addition, the company's ST-Ericsson joint venture, which sells modems, continued to report losses.

I'd say their profit drops are at least in part due to Huawei's increasing market share. Their sale of the Sony-Ericsson division wouldn't do much. It lost a billion dollars in 2009 and has been steadily dropping in sales numbers since then.

If Huawei is let into the USA market, they might have problems.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42175345)

As a result, they have nothing to gain by seeing Samsung fail, and they're doing just fine on their own, so this isn't a company who got beat turning patent troll. This is a case of a company outside the handset market who has legitimate patents based on actual engineering innovations having their patents used without proper licensing. There's nothing wrong in demanding that the company using your patents pay the licensing fees that are due, and why people ascribe them ulterior motives when they have nothing to gain is beyond me.

Then why are they seeking an import ban instead of just license fees?

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175669)

Perhaps it is to send a message to the likes of Samsung that they should be paying the fees without the need of solicitation. Hit them where it hurts to remind them that they still have to play within the rules no matter how big they are. Samsung is definitely not the innocent lamb here like in the Apple dispute. They used other people's technology, they should pay the license fee without people having to solicit for it explicitly.

They deserve to be slapped with a fine that hits home, banning their sales prior to a holiday season would send the right message. It is unfortunate this have to follow the Apple saga as most people would by default associate Samsung as the innocent party again.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#42174647)

Even if you can build a better product, these days why bother? If you do create a better product you will just be sued anyway, so why not get a head of the curve and sue first?

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (4, Informative)

mattis_f (517228) | about a year ago | (#42175311)

From TFA:

The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

Samsung had licensed Ericsson patents before. However, according to a statement released by Samsung last week, Ericsson demanded "significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio," adding that it planned to "take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims."

Samsung used to license these patents, then stopped paying. They knew a lawsuit was coming, and decided it was a fight worth taking. I have no clue whether the fees requested by Ericsson are unreasonable or not - but there's no need for conspiracy theories or ulterior motives on this one.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about a year ago | (#42175961)

After the Verge's great article on Samsung's history of corruption and now this?

Apple's kind of mean, and maybe possibly evil but this is undeniable.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42179561)

This is slashdot. We do not let facts get in the way of our blind love and blind hatred.

Samsung and Android are perfect. They never have and never will do anything that is not perfect.
 

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175347)

While I agree with your point you are missing a somewhat bigger one, and that is that Samsung is notorious for ignoring patent and copyright and straight out copying technology, then importing and selling in the US knowing that if an international patent case is filed there are ways to slip out of it. One point heare is that essentially every patent case against a Korean company that is filed in Korea from a foreign entity gets unconditionally thrown out. The most famous case of this I know if is LCD "Flat Screen" television manufacturing techniques and technology that was blatantly stolen from Sharp. Remember when Sharp came out with awesome LCD displays, and then Samsung came in with extremely similar products at lower prices? With no cost of R&D and a lower valued currency I guess it was pretty easy for them... Search "sharp samsung lcd patent", or here are some links so people who can't actually bother to search for information themselves won't bitch:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a.gMIXp3DTZY
http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/08/sharp-and-samsung-settle-lcd-patent-cases-end-legal-dispute/
At least in this case Sharp "won". Search "samsung patent infringement" and you'll likely find basically every flagship Samsung product was made with stolen technology.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174361)

It's just how mobile phone companies say "hello".

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174701)

What is questionable? Here is what the article says:

The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

Same rate as competitors seems reasonable, to me.

Re:Samsung may be devious.... (1)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | about a year ago | (#42174985)

Samsung had a license for these patents but it has expired. Ericsson wants to significantly raise the license cost this time around and Samsung objects.

Irrelevant Company (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | about a year ago | (#42174239)

I believe Ericsson was a quite popular brand of phone in the dumbphone era, but their reputation has since died off.
Are companies that are unwilling to compete simply going to sue their competitors? Instead of devoting their resources to innovating, they're wasting their time and money on lawsuits while other companies are free to spend their time doing something interesting on their own.

Samsung sells a lot more than just phones, and I don't know if these companies are just trying to sue them into oblivion. If that is their plan, they obviously haven't planned it out very well.

Re:Irrelevant Company (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#42174287)

I believe Ericsson was a quite popular brand of phone in the dumbphone era, but their reputation has since died off.

This is a company that made something like $26 billion in revenue last year. They're still a first-tier vendor for back-end equipment.

Maybe we should make some law that says a person's patents don't count, provided they stop making products that attract the attention of shallow cellphone trend blogs.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42174355)

They've certainly not been idle with the times...
Ericsson products [ericsson.com]

Definitely geared more towards business / infrastructure, than the S3's market, oh well.

Re:Irrelevant Company (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42174601)

Definitely geared more towards business / infrastructure, than the S3's market, oh well.

Actually, the problem is the licensing of FRAND patents that Samsung had from Ericsson expired (Ericsson owns a few essential 3G onwards patents that are FRAND licensed). Samsung refused to relicense the patents.

It's not whether or not they're i the same market, it's that the S3 (and many others) use 3G and possibly LTE patents that belong to Ericsson, and that Samsung and Ericsson have failed to negotiate a new licensing agreement for said patents.

Just so you know, to make a cellphone you have to license a lot of patents from Ericsson, RIM, ex-Nortel (now Apple), Google/Motorola, Samsung, and the list goes on and on and on and on...

Re:Irrelevant Company (3, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | about a year ago | (#42175401)

Just so you know, to make a cellphone you have to license a lot of patents from Ericsson, RIM, ex-Nortel (now Apple), Google/Motorola, Samsung, and the list goes on and on and on and on...

That is because of the standards being reliant on patent technology. FRAND be damned. That whole concept needs to go away in standards. It isn't a standard if the barrier to entry is that minefield.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42176489)

That is because of the standards being reliant on patent technology. FRAND be damned. That whole concept needs to go away in standards. It isn't a standard if the barrier to entry is that minefield.

Well, the 3GPP went the other way compared to the MPEG association. With MPEG, you can license EVERY h.264 patent you need by paying the fixed fee schedule offered by the MPEG Licensing Authority (aka MPEG-LA).

Of course, people dislike the patent pool idea as well because it offers no flexibility. Like how consumer camcorders are licensed for h.264 personal use licenses - you can't make a movie you intend to sell (though there are plenty of people who violate this rule - a lot of original content on YouTube uses consumer level gear with the personal use license but the content is paid for by ads to the creator). It also results in stuff like "The output of this program may not be used for professional or commercial projects without payment of additional licensing fees".

OTOH, it makes acquiring every patent MUCH easier - just pay the fee, you're home free.

The reason the 3GPP went with the "you must license with everyone" model is because the spec includes a ton of stuff that's optional and stuff not needed for a standard handset. One licensing fee would include paying a ton of patents that no one really practically uses.

And an interesting thing about this case - Ericsson is doing to Samsung what Samsung is doing to Apple, and indeed, Ericsson's arguments are practically identical. It's a very interesting situation, to say the least. (Likewise, it's probably similar to the rates Google/Motorola are asking from Apple and Microsoft and such, too.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

Lucky_Norseman (682487) | about a year ago | (#42177915)

And an interesting thing about this case - Ericsson is doing to Samsung what Samsung is doing to Apple, and indeed, Ericsson's arguments are practically identical. It's a very interesting situation, to say the least. (Likewise, it's probably similar to the rates Google/Motorola are asking from Apple and Microsoft and such, too.

So, the smart thing for Samsung to do is to take it to court, make sure they lose and then use the loss as precedent against Apple.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#42177361)

Everyone who's worked in the industry has called that cluster of companies "the mafia" at one time.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42174317)

Samsung is kind of hard to compete with nowadays, they're like the Microsoft of the 90s, everybody wants to take a shot at the pie they're holding, but Samsung is responsible for a lot less BSOD (possibly better QC), so their PR isn't quite as bad.

Every dominant company is not like 90's microsoft (2, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#42174541)

Samsung is kind of hard to compete with nowadays, they're like the Microsoft of the 90s

Samsung is nothing like Microsoft...In fact Microsoft is still Microsoft only in the phone world its FUD; Bully Tactics; Burning Partners have got it treated like a clown that gives you cancer by both carriers and customers

The sad thing in this market anyway they are closet to...what Nokia was and could have been, several fledging operating systems including the successer to Meego [Tizen]; its own [Bada] and even Windows...its just the Market wants Android.

If I was arguing beyond Phones I may even say Sony...but Microsoft never.

OW... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42177063)

Your grammar broke my brain, and now it needs a reboot. Watch where you're flinging those capital letters and sentence fragments - you could hurt someone. You could hurt.... YOURSELF.

Let me fix that for you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174329)

Samsung sells a lot more than just phones,

Samsung violates a lot more patents than just phone patents, though China is far worse..

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174377)

I believe that you and the submitter both have confused Ericsson the Telecommunication systems company with Sony-Ericcson their mobile phone subsidiary which they completely sold to Sony in 2012. Ericcson is the worlds largest supplier of telecommunications equipment and invented a huge chunk of the technology used by Samsung.

Re:Irrelevant Company (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174429)

Last I checked Ericsson had close to 40% of the world-wide core network market, i.e. the stuff on the ground.
They also sit on a lot of Radio essential patents.
Samsung says they want a licence closer to the old one, but Ericsson has offered the same as they offer everyone else to Samsung now.

Ericsson also spun off their handset business as a joint venture with Sony quite a while ago and finally sold their half to Sony recently. So Ericsson and Samsung are no longer competitors in this area but they do compete on Ericssons core business.

If I have to guess, this complaint with the FCC is just there to provide leverage in the licence agreement discussions.

Re:Irrelevant Company (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175447)

Ericsson is one of the companies that invented cellphones. How are they not relevant?
They're not a cellphone manufacture anymore, so Samsung isn't a competitor.
They hold patents for GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA and LTE. They are the largest mobile network provider. That's pretty relevant.

Stop Picking On Samsung! (4, Funny)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about a year ago | (#42174255)

How dare anyone out there sue Samsung, after all she's been through! She loves her Galaxy! She went through a lawsuit! She had many business partnerships, her customers turned out to be (sob) litigious and now she's going through an appeal.All you companies care about is patents and making money off of her! SHE'S A CORPORATION! What you don't realize is Samsung is making all this money and all you do is file a bunch of crap against her.

Re:Stop Picking On Samsung! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174515)

Odd, the angle I was going to go with was "I don't care who started it, ALL OF YOU SHUT UP AND STOP SUING EACH OTHER THIS INSTANT!"

And yet more of my hard earned money... (4, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#42174273)

... is sucked up by lawyers and judicial staff by way of my handset manufacturer.

On any given day you can replace "handset manufacturer" with "OS vendor", "service provider", "app developer", etc.
This system stinks and it doesn't function in my interests as a consumer (or an engineer, for that matter).

Re:And yet more of my hard earned money... (4, Interesting)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#42174393)

Buy counterfeited chinese crap. It's the only way to avoid the lawyer tax.

Re:And yet more of my hard earned money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174917)

The problem is its crap. I have to deal with that stuff all the time!

It always comes back to bite us in the ass.

Re:And yet more of my hard earned money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42182233)

I call the combination of low food quality + relative high price the "CEO tax". You see this in basically all chain restaurants and fast food joints.

Re:And yet more of my hard earned money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174483)

My car mechanic was sued by a former partner for patent infringement, because that former partner patented the "art" of using not one but TWO swivels to get to a hard-to-reach nut to loosen it.

Re:And yet more of my hard earned money... (1)

mirix (1649853) | about a year ago | (#42176083)

In 1683, Hooke proposed a solution to the nonuniform rotary speed of the universal joint: a pair of Hooke's joints 90 out of phase at either end of an intermediate shaft, an arrangement that is now known as a type of constant-velocity joint.

The art of using a 400 year old invention, in ways it has been used for a very long time... interesting.

world wide patent laws need to be reworked (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42174277)

world wide patent laws need to be reworked

Re:world wide patent laws need to be reworked (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#42174327)

No, that would be like trying to install modern plumbing in an outhouse. It's much better to burn down the old outhouse, and start again, with a new foundation.

Technology has evolved so much that the current system just doesn't fit and function in a beneficial way for all.

Well I just patented useing plumbing on (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#42174369)

Well I just patented useing plumbing on computers and you must now pay me $5 for that post.

Yes that counts as plumbing on computers.

Re:Well I just patented useing plumbing on (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#42174413)

Does playing Mario count? Or watching unimaginative porn?

Re:world wide patent laws need to be reworked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174655)

But where do you shit in the meantime?

Re:world wide patent laws need to be reworked (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42177249)

Technology has evolved so much that the current system just doesn't fit and function in a beneficial way for all.

Every generation thinks they invented sex, music, client-server computing and "yeah but on a computer/phone" patents.

It's seriously debetable whether it has ever been fir for purpose.

Go and look at pictures/designs for James Watt steam engines. Instead of a crank they have sun and planet gears. The reason: because some dickhead patented a crank "yeah, but on a steam engine".

Then Watt patented a bunch of stuff and that basically held back the development of steam engines by 25 years until the patents expired because he pursued them aggressively.

Then years later, the Hollywood film environment was basically founded as the piracy^Wpatent infrnigement capital of the world (oh, the irony) in order to physically escape all the patents of film equipment in NY. The reason: it was physically hard to pursue them over such a large country back then and the mess of patents was really holding back the industry because everyone was squabbling over licensing and it was preventing any kind of innovation.

Patents have *always* been this bad.

Not in violation of 337 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174353)

For Samsung to be in violation of 337, there has to be patent infringement. Since a court has not ruled that Samsung is infringing upon Ericsson's patents, then Samsung is not infringing upon Ericsson's patents. At least not right now.

Re:Not in violation of 337 (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#42175059)

IANAL, but since these are patents that Samsung used to license, and that license agreement has lapsed, it might not need a court ruling to prove that the products do infringe upon these patents.

And if the patent is invalid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42178085)

IF the patent is invalid, then there is no need to pay a license for it any more.

Just because you got gulled once doesn't mean you have to give in on the next blackmail demand.

Ericsson mobile company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174359)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_ericsson says that Sony bought the Ericsson part of Sony Ericsson this year, and is renaming the company Sony Mobile.

Thus there is no Ericsson mobile company. Could someone clarify which Ericsson they are referring to?

Re:Ericsson mobile company (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175481)

The one that supplies most of the cellphone network equipment. The same one that owns patents for all the current cellphone network technology

Way to go Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174425)

I never thought network operators would take sides, but this is a dumb move from their side siding with Apple as Samsung has a WAY bigger market in the rest of the world and strategically they just pissed off a lot of telco's who wanted to buy their equipment ....

We'll all be using cheap Chinise knock-offs in a few years anyway.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174493)

Erikson has a bunch of frand patents everyone licenses, including apple, moto etc... Samsung just said screw you making them the only manufacturer not paying for the Erikson patents. This gives them what could be considered an unfair advantage in the US market place. The ITC is supposed to take swift actions, this is not like the Apple Samsung case where apple is working with a bunch of new interface patents. This is more like refusing to pay MpegLA for h.264. I think we are seeing what a dirt bag company Samsung really is.

Re:Interesting (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#42174619)

If anything, this highlights how Samsung are probably the ones making trouble in the Apple vs Samsung trials.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#42175089)

s/Samsung/Ericsson/g - this is a bait and switch tactic by Ericsson; license FRAND patents for a low cost at first, then try to increase the rates later. Samsung should be commended for standing up to them, even if no other manufacturers have.

Re:Interesting (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42176955)

Since the R in FRAND means "Reasonable", the question is whether increasing the licensing fee beyond administrative costs and inflation is reasonable.

Re:Interesting (1)

vakuona (788200) | about a year ago | (#42184429)

If others are paying the same licensing fees, then it is reasonable.

If this had been Apple vs Samsung, I bet the majority of the responses would be along the lines of, "Apple should pay up".

wait (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42174613)

Wouldn't a US ban on Samsung products constitute a ban on... pretty much everything electronic? I doubt there's a single electrical device in your home that doesn't contain at least some Samsung components.

Stop importing, assemble locally! (3)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#42174641)

Perhaps Samsung should bypass all these attempts at import bans by doing the final assembly locally. The physical assembly can still be done wherever, but the potentially patent-infringing software can be loaded on in the destination country, so what is shipped overseas does not infringe on the patents.

Or even sell them with something other than Android on them, but with something simple that allows the carriers to update them upon activation. Then they aren't infringing on any software patents until after they are sold!

Re:Stop importing, assemble locally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175385)

If they did that they wouldn't be able to manufacture or sell their products at all. They are using a loophole by manufacturing in Korea or places where they will ignore the patent infringement, then exporting that. Even if the US says they infringed patents Korea will not, and they can continue selling their crap in Korea untill they have a new product, that probably infringes patents, but will take a while to have a case filed against it.

Re:Stop importing, assemble locally! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#42175519)

Then they'll get sued instead. None of these patents are "software patents". They cover the network technology, nothing to do with Android.

don't let the summary fool you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174779)

it's actually SONY.. fuck them. go samsung!!

Waste of OUR money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42174851)

I'd just like to know how much of OUR money all this patent lawsuit bullshit is costing US. All of the cash samsung and ericsson has eventually came from us, so every time they piss money down the drain they'll just recuperate from us it by increasing prices.
And it's not like it's just smart phone consumers that will suffer, these large companies have lots of fingers in lots of pies so will no doubt bump the prices of things like memory chips earlier.

The only people that win patent lawsuits are the lawyers.

Let the buyer decide! (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#42175109)

Seriously, how else can a free market possibly be free if silly things like patents and copyrights get in the way. If people think you are worth the higher bucks, then higher bucks they will pay. This getting governments involved to enforce monopolies is totally gotten out of hand.

Re:Let the buyer decide! (1)

mirix (1649853) | about a year ago | (#42176177)

What you really want is open/free communications standards. Ericsson doesn't even make phones, they make backend / tower equipment.

They obviously can't compete for the best handset, as they don't make any.

If you want to make a phone that supports WCDMA or UMTS or LTE or whatever G we're on now, you gotta pay licensing fees, it's as simple as that.

Only thing else you could do, is come up with your own protocol that no provider supports. Which is pretty useless, and isn't very feasible at this point... things are too entrenched. Best option would be to push for free and open standards for the future.

Re:Let the buyer decide! (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year ago | (#42180447)

The problem with "free and open standards" is today it is simply a way to get your hat handed to you.

OK, manufacturer A spends tens of millions developing code and hardware for a new, higher efficency, faster protocol. Nearly all of this is simply software because, well, that is how things are done these days. There is nothing really interesting or new that is going to come along and be implemented in hardware.

Under a free and open standards policy, the documentation for this protocol would be freely available. This means that another manufacturer can simply re-implement the software using the documentation and have an identical product within a few months and far, far less cost than the original developer. The new manufacturer can then price their product far lower than the original can and garner all sales. Original manufacturer gets nothing for their trouble and likely simply goes out of business.

There is no benefit to being the developer of any new technology under such a system, it is much better to be second rather than first. But with everyone vying for second place there are no firsts. While 30 years ago it was common for schematics and complete source code to be available for computer hardware this is clearly no longer the case. Not only have development costs and complexity skyrocketed, there are a huge number of "clone" manufacturers out there wanting to simply copy existing designs. And as Apple and a few other companies have found, if you get cloned you basically go out of business. Apple therefore fights each and every "clone" attempt like the life of the company depends on it - and it does.

I don't know what the solution is, but free and open standards isn't the way to go if you want any innovation at all.

US Patent System World Class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42175131)

Yep. Your head of the PTO was right, everyone is in envy of your world class patent system yeah right....

theres only one way its world class and it starts with f and ends in up.

Meanwhile, Ericsson's new best buds in Redmond (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42175165)

Have just successfully argued that Samsung can't get an injunction against Microsoft products because blah blah financial remedy table pound, say, Your Honor, y'all hail from Seattle, right?

I wish Ericsson all that they deserve to get from lying down with rats.

Key part from TFA (what it's really about). (4, Informative)

mattis_f (517228) | about a year ago | (#42175201)

Ericsson no longer makes phones. They're a highly profitable company building cell phone networks with lots of patents in the wireless tech-sphere. Samsung and Ericsson are not, in other words, direct competitors and this is not a case of competing through the courts. Key part from TFA:

"The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

"Samsung had licensed Ericsson patents before. However, according to a statement released by Samsung last week, Ericsson demanded 'significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio,' adding that it planned to 'take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims.'"

This is purely about the money. The two companies stopped negotiating, Samsung is betting that going to court (they must have known a lawsuit was coming) will end up better for them than paying Ericsson's fee.

Re:Key part from TFA (what it's really about). (1)

Reemi (142518) | about a year ago | (#42177203)

Samsung is moving into the mobile network infrastructure market and hence is planing to become a competitor. This is probably the key for the dispute, Samsung will most likely use the IPR in other product segments than mobile phones only.

Ericsson has as well a 50% stake in ST-Ericsson, selling mobile platforms for manufacturers like Samsung. note, the S3 mini is based on an ST-Ericsson platform. Samsung has an own LTE platform as well. So Samsung is both a customer as a competitor to Ericsson in this area.

Yes, they do not compete on the mobile phones themselves but they do compete in all other areas. Stating this is only about the money or not is pure speculation. This is a rather complex situation.

Nokia drops case vs Xtrauf - as per made in China (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#42176487)

Meanwhile, Nokia drops case vs Xtrauf, proud US makers of rubberboots.

Nokia: We found out their boots were actually made in China.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/alaskans-say-xtratuf-boots-lost-trademark-durability-after-manufacturing-move-china [alaskadispatch.com]

Nokia: while we haven't been in the rubberboot business for decades, we felt we needed to, just like Ericsson with phones, make our _former_ presence heard.
Q: What have the damages to you been from Xtraufs move to China?
Nokia: Why ask us? Ask that question to Sony who have NEVER been selling rubber boots.
Q: Huh?
Nokia: That's our point.

Quite funny, really. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year ago | (#42180105)

The US has hundreds of ports of entry and most of them aren't secured in any meaningful way.

For the last 15 years or so it has been illegal to import unlicensed DVD players. Philips gets $5 for each player license. When you buy a DVD player that costs less than about $50 it is clearly unlicensed - there is no room in the pricing structure for Philips to get $5 from the manufacturer. So, what is the US doing about this? Well, it is illegal to import these things so there is a complete import ban on these devices.

You can go to Walmart and see how well that is working out.

Does Ericsson really believe an import ban is going to change sales in the US? I don't think it will matter to the retailers where the phones are sold and they will certainly continue to stream into the US. The US considers border control to be something for other countries to worry about. This is partly why the US is a prime destination for (a) illegal drugs, (b) sex trafficing, (c) counterfeit products, (d) banned weapons, (e) etc.

If you can easily bring 10 girls in for duty as prostitutes there should be no problem bringing in a few Samsung phones. And I am sure Samsung is counting on that.

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