Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

China's ZTE and Huawei Join the German Patent Fray

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the howdy-euch dept.

Patents 34

An anonymous reader writes "Germany has pretty much become the new Eastern District of Texas, the world's most popular patent battleground. After Apple, Samsung and Motorola, the Chinese are now going to Germany as well to sort out their domestic patent squabbles. Huawei and ZTE, arguably the People's Republic's leading wireless tech companies, started suing each other in April last year. On Friday the Mannheim Regional Court held a Huawei vs. ZTE hearing, reports a local patent watcher. Huawei says ZTE infringes a 4G/LTE handover patent and wants its rival's base stations and USB modem sticks banned in Germany. More clashes between the two are coming up in the same court and in other places in Europe, including France."

cancel ×

34 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Enough patent posts already! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306181)

Is it just me, or are other here just bored with this stuff? Can we have some real news for nerds, please? Y'know, like tech stuff?

Re:Enough patent posts already! (3, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306193)

Agree, but how about submitting something interesting, then? For example...

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/12/google-maps-for-ios-may-violate-european-data-protection-law/ [arstechnica.com]

Re:Enough patent posts already! (-1, Offtopic)

dcwanda (2731571) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306437)

Wanita Tercantik [blogspot.com]

Pot calling the kettle black? (5, Insightful)

Aereus (1042228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306211)

Anyone else find it ironic that Huawei is going after another firm for infringement after the number of articles about Huawei stealing and/or reverse-engineering competitors equipment in order to compete with them?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (3, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306371)

No, I do not find it ironic. All steal. All reverse-engineer. All sue.
One solution to all of this. Get rid of patents or at least see to it that they are reshaped so that they protect the individuals, not the companies.
e.g Dyson [wikipedia.org] is somebody who these things are intended for. I am talking about is vacuum cleaner.
Now the bladeless fan [wikipedia.org] is another matter and he should NOT get the patent for that,

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (4, Insightful)

Aereus (1042228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306431)

Yes, but do you notice how the Chinese companies didn't start producing their own bladeless fans until AFTER Dyson had popularized it and sold a physical product? Yes, it's not a cut and dry case with companies as concerns lookalike products. But clearly Chinese firms are amongst the most unapologetic and blatant copycats on the world market. They wait for other companies to do the R&D, then leech off the public demand for said products while hiding behind the shield of poor/non-existent IP laws in China.

There's a big reason they're suing them in Germany and not China: They know it would be useless to attempt it in Chinese courts. It's the same reason the RIAA/MPAA don't bother prosecuting all the blatant infringement that goes on in China.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306637)

Well I am glad. Just imagine if all the chinese stuff I am buying AVOIDED patents. I would be stuck in the stone age! Zhong Guo shi hen hao!

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

udippel (562132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308035)

Come on, that's simply apologetic. If the chinese companies didn't steal ideas and avoided patents, nobody would ever buy any of their products. And why didn't you write your last sentence about 'China being good' in English?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306883)

"Yes, but do you notice how the Chinese companies didn't start producing their own bladeless fans until AFTER Dyson had popularized it and sold a physical product?"

They're cashing in on a product that only exists due to marketing. The dyson blade less fans are form over function, and less efficient as an actual fan than a traditional fan. No real surprise that no other manufacturer was in this space until someone went to the trouble of creating the actual market. At which point they had to enter this market as it was shrinking the market for traditional fan designs.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307031)

hiding behind the shield of poor/non-existent IP laws in China.

So, in other words, they did nothing wrong?

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315059)

Yes, but do you notice how the Chinese companies didn't start producing their own bladeless fans until AFTER Dyson had popularized it and sold a physical product? Yes, it's not a cut and dry case with companies as concerns lookalike products. But clearly Chinese firms are amongst the most unapologetic and blatant copycats on the world market. They wait for other companies to do the R&D, then leech off the public demand for said products while hiding behind the shield of poor/non-existent IP laws in China.

There's a big reason they're suing them in Germany and not China: They know it would be useless to attempt it in Chinese courts. It's the same reason the RIAA/MPAA don't bother prosecuting all the blatant infringement that goes on in China.

The Chinese can be compared to the ultimate Republicans. Basically all laws are good as long as it benefits them (as in, makes them $$$ and lots of it). A law is bad if it impedes this in any way.

Naturally, this brings up multiple problems - such as exploitation of workers (many Chinese business people have commented how hard it is to do business in North America - all the worker protection laws and such - if you're not a "management elite" you're a nobody who should be happy they could work to feed their family), to opposing sides of the same coin (e.g., patents - after all, one uses it to make $$$ the other unfairly feels the other is taking $$$ away from them), etc.

Basically, as long as they're making $$$, those laws are good. But use those same laws against them so they can't make $$$, and they squeal about being robbed.

Yes, even the same law that benefits them that now "kills them" - basically the interpretation is that it should always be in THEIR FAVOR.

Forget this tea party nonsense - learn from the Chinese - they have the conservative principles down pat. Perhaps that's why Romney lost - too much whites, not enough Chinese.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (5, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306481)

Patents shouldn't protect individuals either. We need to get away from this idea of the sole genius who discovers something, that if he hadn't been born it would never have been discovered by anyone.

Newton said it best "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." He also _experienced_ this first hand when Leibniz discovered the calculus independently.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black? (1)

impossiblefork (978205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306611)

From the wikipedia article Dyson's patent doesn't seem to actually be for a bladeless fan, but for a bladeless fan with a fluid dynamics trick involving an airfoil.

Although it probably is, the concept of a bladeless fan might well not be practical without Dyson's additional innovation. The original fan was never mass-produced after all.

Who screwed up? (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306229)

ZTE is state owned. Huawei is officially private, but the Chinese government is still certainly a major influence on the company, enough that the US government is concerned about espionage. This is akin to the time Fox News threatened sue another Fox division over a parody of their copyrighted ticker style. Except in the Fox case, someone higher up the chain quickly took notice and told the offending executive to knock it off and play nice with their ally before it went to court.

Re:Who screwed up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306383)

Seriously?

That reminds me of when Associated Press threatened action over Youtube videos... on their own account.
Where the hell do they hire these idiots?

Re:Who screwed up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42309141)

Very interesting.

I recall when I did some field testing for Qualcomm QCT, at one point the modem driver had a reference to ZTE and Windows had to be specifically "told" to install the Qualcomm driver, rather than the ZTE modem driver.

Is ZTE a fabricator of Qualcomm modem chips? Or did Qualcomm just totally mess up the PnP ID of their modem chips at that time.

(This was a few years ago, not sure if the same is true now.)

Those Chinese... (5, Insightful)

TheDarAve (513675) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306249)

They're even copying our frivolous patent lawsuits now! They learn quick...

Re:Those Chinese... (-1)

babeneas (2722391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306343)

www.magicalbags.com

It's like virus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306299)

spreading fast

Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306323)

This is utter nonsense. Germany simply is more adept in checking patents and real infringement.
We also have regular takedowns on trade fairs regarding "far too similar looking" ie. copied devices.

We dont need patents (1)

GoodnaGuy (1861652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306451)

Maybe the world wouldnt be so bad without patents.Discuss.

Re:We dont need patents (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306537)

Patents are not a fundamentally bad idea - they encourage research. Some new technology costs so much to develop that it just won't happen without some way to ensure a return on investment. Drug development, for example. The problem is that the patent system as it currently exists is terribly broken. Patents are ridiculously easy to get over even the most trivial things, to the point that it's almost impossible to work in technology without infringing on something, and when a patent case can easily involve hundreds of claims it is often decided by who can afford to throw the most money away in legal costs.

Re:We dont need patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307449)

Patents are not a fundamentally bad idea - they encourage research.

[citation needed]
Patents are intended to encourage research, but I haven't seen any evidence that they actually do so. What evidence I have seen points the other way. But I haven't found much empirical work on this field, so if you can point me at something that supports your position, that would be great.

Re:We dont need patents (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42309403)

Too lazy to research, but to submit some unfounded guessing, I imagine that it would vary greatly between fields. Probably with medicine the area that benefits most from patents - drugs companies do spend a lot of money on R&D, even if they do have a habit of not publishing a lot of it. And probably software as the area in which patents provide the least benefit.

Re:We dont need patents (1)

udippel (562132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308141)

I'd give you +10 if I could. You are almost spot on: The system was actually created not for the return, but to protect the single, private inventor from the larger companies; so that (s)he was encouraged to invent. Look at the american system: The designee of a patent is still the inventor, while in Europe it is the company.
Though, over the years, the companies have found their own ways to turn around the system by actually preventing innovation on the outside.

And, while hoping not to confuse the general public: By far the largest number of patents are not filed to protect one's own invention, but in order to set up a barricade of obstacles for the competition to achieve the same or similar results with other means. Think about this, think hard. When multinational ABC found advantages for drive safety by preventing the blocking of wheels during braking, they did not stop at patenting that method, but filed patents all around that method, in order to prevent the competition to likewise prevent blocking of wheels by any other method. As a result, there were years and years when the safety device of anti-blocking was available only to the owners of that brand of cars. Thereby, safety and health of others were compromised since not all cars could have such systems.
And this is exactly what we see these days, again. The current law suits are not about how to create round corners (which could be patentable engineering solutions), but the existence of round corners on tablets.

sigh Re:We dont need patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42312823)

Why do you say that single inventors need protection & encouragment to invent, and companies don't? The system was created to encourage innovation and to encourage early dissemination of new ideas, wherever they come from.

In our high-tech world you need the resources of large companies and collaborations between companies to make things happen. Maybe individuals can sometimes make a difference too, and universities. Patents provide the framework for ALL of that to happen. If you were to abolish them, or reserve them to individuals, you would quickly enter a dark age of secrecy and stagnation.

Re:We dont need patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306549)

I recommend reading at least the intro chapter of this free online book. It makes a good case for your position. http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/againstfinal.htm

Re:We dont need patents (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306579)

Specifically, it makes the case that patents and other forms of intellectual monopoly encourages rent-seeking behavior rather than innovation, and also slows adoptation of new ideas. And most importantly, it backs this up with empirical evidence from many different fields, from steam engines in the 1800s to information technology. Too often, discussions of patents and copyright are based only on arguments that boil down to "I'm sure it works like this, but I'm not going to bother to check". But it is possible to test these hypotheses by looking at what changes when a new field suddenly becomes applicable for patents. According to the authors, the typical result is that progress in the field slows slightly, and becomes more expensive to operate in. The most recent such example is software, which until recently could not be patented.

Mind the source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306681)

Don't link the muller blog.

"a local patent watcher" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307305)

Do you think Florian knows now that if we think the blogshit is from him, we won't click on it? Is that why his name is omitted from the summary this time?

Wrong Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307481)

The Eastern District of Texas of Germany is Düsseldorf. Don't know why they picked Mannheim.

This is stupid as well. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308533)

Two companies from the same foreign country suing each other for patents? Tell them to fuck off and sort it out in their own court.

German courts do not accept prior art defense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42312113)

The reason is quite simple: German law does not allow for the prior art defense. Even when the accused party can prove that the patent is invalid due to prior art, it is nevertheless found guilty of infringement. AFAIK this is a speciality of German patent jurisdiction that makes it very attractive to sue in Germany (more precisely: in Duesseldorf) for patent infringement.

Godwin's Law (1)

tessellated (265314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42312913)

Summary godwined in first sentence.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>