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LG Seeks Sales Ban of Samsung Galaxy Tablet In Korea

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the battle-royale dept.

Patents 91

Dupple writes "According to the Dow Jones News Wires, LG has filed an injunction in its home territory of South Korea, seeking to ban the sale of the Galaxy Note 10.1, alleging the panels inside the tablet infringe LG patents. The injunction follows a lawsuit filed by Samsung on 7 December, which alleged that LG infringed seven of Samsung's liquid crystal display patents. LG, which filed the injunction with the Seoul District Court on Wednesday, is aiming to block the sales of the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet computer."

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the end of civilization (4, Insightful)

someone1234 (830754) | about 2 years ago | (#42418193)

I think this will be the end of civilization. Lawyers don't produce anything useful, so when production stops, the civilization will collapse.

Re:the end of civilization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418207)

This has nothing to do with civilization. It's about Korea. You know, panhead gooks.

Re:the end of civilization (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42418289)

Well, the blanket "lawyers don't produce anything useful" I really don't agree with. Sure there is a lot of bullshit going on (those medical and "you didn't prevent me from doing something totally stupid and now my ego is hurt" claim suits in the US are likely far more damaging and costly than all the patent wars all over the world together), it is the rule of law - and the related work of lawyers - that gives us the overall well regulated society we live in.

Have no lawyers, and with that no proper access to law and legislation for anyone (companies and individuals alike) and yes, the world as we know it will collapse. Wonder how such a world looks like? Try looking at Somalia, for example.

Re:the end of civilization (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418313)

Have to chime in and agree. Lawyers are like access proxies. They get asked to file suits, to draft legislation, to represent the interests of clients. Lawyers don't do anything for themselves, they always have a client who wants that thing done.

That is why I boggle when people say "bloodsucking lawyers". If nobody wants a lawyer, don't hire one. Really what they are saying is "I hate the legal system when I am on the receiving end of it". The lawyers help you get what you want. Just try starting your own corporation, or enforcing a copyright.

Re: the end of civilization (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418831)

Lawyers don't do anything for themselves, they always have a client who wants that thing done.

Hit men have the same excuse. It's a shame none of them are allowed to say "no".

Re: the end of civilization (3, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 2 years ago | (#42419059)

Anyway, who says lawyers don't produce anything useful? One can always use hot air to float a balloon, and bullshit is useful for growing vegetables.

Re:the end of civilization (5, Insightful)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42418839)

They get asked to file suits, to draft legislation, to represent the interests of clients.

Well, one actual problem with lawyers is that they have written legislation to benefit their own profession (not surprising), and that they have created steep barriers to entry. That's what people really should be complaining about: licensing requirements and the high proportion of lawyers in legislatures.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

AlecC (512609) | about 2 years ago | (#42419295)

On the contrary, the barriers to entry for lawyers are too low. The US has one of the highes proportions of lawyers per capita, with about 300 lawyers per hundred thousand, compared with Japan's seven. Even Britain only has a third as many lawyers. Those lawyers need employment, preferably high paid, and will encourage litigation. They may well believe it is justified, but self-interest biases judgement.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419329)

On the contrary, the barriers to entry for lawyers are too low. The US has one of the highes proportions of lawyers per capita, with about 300 lawyers per hundred thousand, compared with Japan's seven.

Japan might be a bit extreme in that case. The culture encourages them to resolve matters peacefully without bothering others.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42419481)

The culture encourages them to resolve matters peacefully without bothering others.

I think "encourages" is an understatement. Japan is a society that values obedience, hierarchy, and social control pretty much above all else. "Resolving matters peacefully" means quietly giving in to whatever someone above you in the hierarchy demands, instead of justice.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42419475)

The US has one of the highes proportions of lawyers per capita, with about 300 lawyers per hundred thousand, compared with Japan's seven. Even Britain only has a third as many lawyers.

Yes, my country has a smaller proportion of lawyers too, than either the US or the UK (which is where you seem to be from). It sucks. It means that if you need legal representation for anything, a contract drawn, or get a copyright infringement letter in the mail, it's hard to find anybody competent willing to represent you. The only people who can afford lawyers are the wealthy and big corporations, and they use their legal staff to walk all over people.

Those lawyers need employment, preferably high paid, and will encourage litigation.

You don't seem to understand the law of supply and demand. Prices for lawyers are high because there is a high demand for them and little supply. That's no accident, unlike you, they do actually understand basic economics.

And when prices are high, it means only people with money can afford services, which also means that people with little money have no way of defending themselves.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

redlemming (2676941) | about 2 years ago | (#42427225)

You don't seem to understand the law of supply and demand. Prices for lawyers are high because there is a high demand for them and little supply. That's no accident, unlike you, they do actually understand basic economics.

Simplistic models of supply and demand from basic economics are a poor choice if you wish to understand the law business. The real world is often different from how basic economics predicts fictitious companies selling widgets to an ideal public will work.

There is a high demand for US lawyers because the demand has been artificially inflated on a massive scale. This is an inevitable consequence of having legal professionals write, judge, defend, and prosecute the laws: in ethics terms, this situation is known as "conflict of interest". It's a bad thing, and a matter of considerable concern that people are slowly starting to become aware of.

This is not to say that all US legal professionals are unethical. There are people in the profession that make a habit of doing the right thing in situations involving ethical conflict of interest. However, they seem to be outnumbered by those who choose to disregard the conflicts of interest, and these people are found throughout the profession, in all types of jobs, and at all levels.

The supply of lawyers is slow to adjust to changes. There are many practical reasons for this. Law schools generally need certification (the legal professionals removed the long existing practice of apprenticeship, presumably to reduce the supply of lawyers), there is only so much space in classrooms and so many parking spots, faculty are expensive, and so forth. Nor is it necessarily desirable to further increase the supply of legal professionals.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

Maow (620678) | about 2 years ago | (#42420775)

They get asked to file suits, to draft legislation, to represent the interests of clients.

Well, one actual problem with lawyers is that they have written legislation to benefit their own profession (not surprising), and that they have created steep barriers to entry. That's what people really should be complaining about: licensing requirements and the high proportion of lawyers in legislatures.

The same complaint can be levelled at software developers: the product is so complicated that it requires another software specialist to read it.

This is because laws & software are both intricate and need to leave as little to speculation about intention as possible.

And, laws, like software, is continually "hacked at" to find loopholes which, if significant, need closing, making them even more complicated.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42421677)

It's analogous in that there are some reasons for both to be complicated. It's not analogous in that when software developers make software unnecessarily complex to increase demand for their services, people may just go off and buy simpler software from another vendor. When lawyers make laws unnecessarily complex, you don't have a choice, you are stuck with them.

Re:the end of civilization (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419119)

>That is why I boggle when people say "bloodsucking lawyers"

Who comes up with the LAWS then? Let me guess, average joe plumber?

As one example, the whole patent fiasco is one big self licking ice-cream for which industry? .... oh yeah, the LEGAL one... you know, run by ... LAWYERS ... FOR LAWYERS.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

Lefty2446 (232351) | about 2 years ago | (#42418321)

Mod points, I wish I had mod points.

Everyone is quick to bash the lawyers. The people you should be directing your anger at is the people that engage the lawyers to do stupid stuff...

Re:the end of civilization (4, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | about 2 years ago | (#42418581)

In theory you are correct, but there are diminishing returns the more you have of anything. Frivolous lawsuits are caused by lawyers who have otherwise nothing to do, in other words, there are just too many of them.

One reason for that is also overcomplicated and numerous laws, which were created mostly by - lawyers.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42418631)

Lawyers do not take the initiative to initiate a suit. That's the people that hire those lawyers. A lawyer only does what his client tells them to. Now of course some lawyers actively recruit customers though that's typically those no-cure-no-pay claim suits, not patent suits.

Ever hear of Ambulance Chasers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418869)

Seen those adverts for "Have you had an accident that wasn't your fault?"?

If you have, how can you say what you did?

Re:Ever hear of Ambulance Chasers? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 years ago | (#42425831)

Have you read the last sentence of his post? If you have how can you say what you did?

Re:the end of civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419369)

Lawyers do not take the initiative to initiate a suit.

Let me bring you one example of a lawyer with too much time on his hands.
Fred Phelps [wikipedia.org] , the founder of Westboro Baptist Church [wikipedia.org]
Now, it is not entirely correct to call it a church, they call it that way because the laws protects religious views against opposition more than it protect other views.
In reality the "church" is a large family of lawyers who tries to make people so offended that the offended people break laws, this way the "church" can sue them and this generates an income for them.

Re:the end of civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418627)

Try looking at Somalia, for example.

From the vitrol I keep reading on the internet and the joy of the people around here I'd say Somalia is doing very nicely. There are other problems which lawyers wouldn't solve either though, but we were talking about lawyers, right?

Lawyers make the powerful more powerful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418643)

And that is where they are inimical to society.

They really do not produce anything useful. You may disagree, but the fact is the rule of law doesn't require lawyers and indeed the lawyer is mostly now operating against the court not to see justice done but to see the lawyer win.

99% of people are law abiding. THAT is what gives us the overall well regulated society we live in.

The hypothetical ethical lawyer would ensure this, but we don't have many of them and the harm the majority do is far greater than the good the small minority do.

Remember too, most lawyers work in creating contracts and are not working to uphold the laws.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

devent (1627873) | about 2 years ago | (#42418679)

How about having the laws written in such a way that any common man, who is not intellectual limited, lets say passes the grade school, can understand and apply?

How about we not have 500 sites of law that every citizen in theory must follow and should apply (the citizen law book (BGB) in Germany have 407 pages)? How about 100 pages or 50 pages?

How about we make lawyers nonprofit profession and law firms a public utility, that are required by law to offer anyone help regardless if the client can pay or not?

Lawyers are a by-product of civilization. Just like house maids, butlers. In theory you can clean your own stuff, or open your own door. Just like in theory you should be able to defend yourself in court without to tie your savings money directly to the success of the case. But if you make the apparatus of the door complicated enough that you can't open the door yourself without the help of a specialized server, then yes you "need" a butler.

You are the reason we need lawyers (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#42418865)

So you want clear but short laws. That isn't possible, to make things clear legally so laws are not open to interpretation they need to be detailed and takes a lot of text.

Thou shalt not kill. That is easy. No exceptions, no moderation, thou shalt not kill, so if you do, you break the law and must be fully punished. Anything from euthanisia, to drink driver killing to murder spree, the same thing. Simple.

oh, you want degrees of homicide. Sorry, that is extra pages of text.

You want all the laws reduced to a hundred pages? Sharia law is nice and short, why don't you go life in a Sharia country.

On the whole, the larger the law books the more pleasant a place is to live in as shown by migration routes. Nobody wants to live in lawless places. Proof me wrong, EMIGRATE.

Re:You are the reason we need lawyers (3, Interesting)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#42419089)

So you want clear but short laws. That isn't possible, to make things clear legally so laws are not open to interpretation they need to be detailed and takes a lot of text.

Of you can simply say that you are OK with leaving things open to interpretation. Then you've either got a lot of arbitrary decisions, or you need a system (such as common law) to constrain courts to be both self-consistent and consistent with the decisions of superior courts. At which point the effective law balloons...

Re:You are the reason we need lawyers (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42420499)

Thus you need experts who understand the case law and are expert at arguing cases to the advantage of their clients.

Re:You are the reason we need lawyers (1)

AlecC (512609) | about 2 years ago | (#42419335)

While I agree with your principle, I think it is also true that a lot of legislation is sloppily written and much bigger than it needs to be. Pascal apologised for writing a long letter because he didn't have enough time to write a short one, and I think the same applies in spades to legislation. I would like to give legislatures a fixed word budget per session, with a fifty percent trade-in on laws repealed. We need more laws for an increasingly complex world, but we need them to be well thought out and well drafted. If one legislators windy persiflage deprives others of their opportunities, they may stop it instead of nodding it through in return for having their own fatuities passed.

Re:You are the reason we need lawyers (1)

redlemming (2676941) | about 2 years ago | (#42427345)

So you want clear but short laws. That isn't possible, to make things clear legally so laws are not open to interpretation they need to be detailed and takes a lot of text.

You are over-simplifying this position. It's an excellent bit of sophistry for creating nice sound bites, but a poor technique for winning an argument by logic.

Different writers will achieve different levels of clarity. Some writers will use a lot of words to make their point, others can do it in many fewer words. Some writers will achieve clarity, others will not. As with any other form of writing, this can be done to some extent with the law.

Human language is inherently ambiguous: this is why formal logic systems are needed for specifying things like nuclear reactors where the software simply must work right (and even with formal logic, they sometimes screw up, because human beings are imperfect). The law will always have issues requiring interpretation.

However, this inherent imperfection that all legal systems will inevitably have shouldn't lead us to conclude that we can't achieve something much simpler and easier to understand than what we have at present.

For example, we could clearly separate law affecting persons engaged in business from that affecting ordinary people in the course of their day-to-day lives, for example. We could have every high school student learn a year of law-related content (perhaps the basic law that applies to most people, comparative law, history of law, a little bit of business law, and philosophy of law). We could insist that laws not be passed if those laws can reasonably be supposed to involve ethical conflict of interest on the part of legal professionals. We could have a simple tax system. We could rewrite the laws that contradict one another, and remove the laws that simply don't make sense. We could more clearly state the basic rights, in modern language, to remove the confusion associated with the changes in English language from Colonial times to the present.

None of this requires moving to a Sharia country.

We could do all of these things, and many others, to improve the legal system, but there isn't any incentive for legal professionals to support any of this: it would reduce the long term demand for the services of their profession, and thus in the USA we're stuck with our current -- massively screwed up -- legal system.

Re:the end of civilization (2, Insightful)

knarf (34928) | about 2 years ago | (#42418799)

Somalia is what you end up with in the absence of a functional criminal justice system. It is there that lawyers do the 'good' work - apart from the sleezebags which get off clearly guilty crooks on technicalities of course. Civil justice on the other hand is where the real vermin amongst lawyers can be found. From ambulance chasers to patent troll scum, take your pick.

A society without a functional civil justice system would end up somewhat unbalanced, but it would be no Somalia. As to whether it would be preferable over the current situation is debatable - probably the excesses are still outweighed by the benefits.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42420533)

No, Somalia is what you end up with when there is no central authority or too weak of one to create order. With no lawyers what you get is authoritarian courts.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#42418877)

Legislation and law are created by politicians (who, it's true, are often trained in the law) rather than practising lawyers. The fact that one needs access to a solicitor to get legal work done is, in my opinion, a failing of the system and not a feature - it means that the richer you are, the lower the barrier of entry to legal access, which creates a divide between the ability of rich and poor to access law, which should be a universal leveller. The fact that we need a trained legalist to act as a proxy between us and the law shows the truth of what James Madison said:

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.

You are probably under the rule of more laws than you can possibly read in your lifetime. The laws are often so complex and couched in jargon that they are incomprehensible to most lay people. And the common law system means that the law is in a constant state of flux, as precedent is continually set all over the country.

Have no lawyers, and with that no proper access to law and legislation for anyone (companies and individuals alike) and yes, the world as we know it will collapse. Wonder how such a world looks like? Try looking at Somalia, for example.

Somalia isn't an example of a country without lawyers; it's a country without legislators with sufficient power to enforce the laws they enact.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#42418985)

Lawyers invent ways for people to need lawyers. That is why they're a cancer on society. Most people shouldn't need lawyers that often and they certainly shouldn't be as ingrained into our society as they are.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42418319)

Lawyers aren't naturally bad, it's just that we've made it too easy for them to be bad.
Give a lawyer a broken patent system, and broken lawsuits will happen.

Re:the end of civilization (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42419913)

... or let lawyers create a patent system ...

lawyers are not the problem (1)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42418827)

Lawyers (and judges) do what they are supposed to do: they make sure that the law is implemented as written. If politicians make stupid laws, then lawyers implement stupid laws. Do you really want to live in a world where lawyers, who are unaccountable to anybody, actually decide which laws to follow and which to ignore?

Re:lawyers are not the problem (1)

redlemming (2676941) | about 2 years ago | (#42427457)

Lawyers (and judges) do what they are supposed to do: they make sure that the law is implemented as written.

In the legal tradition that the USA follows, this is not really how things work: legal professionals are not working from a written law text in the same way a software developer might work from a written specification. US law is based as much upon precedent and case history as upon what is actually written in the law. These precedents can be very complex, and can contradict what is actually written down.

Consider, for example, the written text of the first and second Amendments, versus the large body of current and historical laws (and precedents) that, in each case, have contradicted what is actually written down. Wherever one stands on the issue of private ownership of firearms and other weapons, the reality is that we have many laws that contradict the written text of the Bill of Rights.

The situation is further complicated by questions of jurisdiction and authority. It is often not clear which "law as written" (and associated body of case history) should govern in a particular situation. This has, in practice, changed quite a bit over the history of the USA and can be expected to keep changing in the future.

Another problem is ethical conflict of interest.

Most legislators are legal professionals. They can have many lawyers on their staffs as well, and these are often the people that end up writing the laws - legislators have been caught from time to time not even reading the laws their staff members wrote. The laws are then prosecuted, defended, and judged by other legal professionals, a situation that creates complex and often subtle conflicts of interest. The "law as written" is not necessarily valid from an ethics perspective.

As a result of this complexity, in practice, the legal professionals ARE in fact deciding what laws to follow and which to ignore. That's how things actually work, today, in the USA. However, our legal professionals are not necessarily unaccountable: they have sworn oaths to uphold the Bill of Rights, and whether or not those oaths mean anything is ultimately up to "we the people".

It is worth remembering WW2 and the events at Nuremberg, where it was decided that some laws governments do not have the authority to pass. A similar principle can be applied to US law. We can generalize this to say that not just are some laws invalid, but also some precedents (irregardless of the level at which they were created).

In other words, just as we would expect military personnel to refuse to obey orders that violate human rights, we should also expect legal personnel to refuse to recognize as valid the law as written, or the precedents created by judges, or executive orders, when these would lead to a situation where they will be violating fundamental rights. To make this work, it needs to be the people who are deciding what those rights are, not the lawyers.

Re:the end of civilization (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42418897)

the one good thing about lawyers is that they replace violence

don't get me wrong, i hate the intellectual property mess

but at least this bullshit is playing out in boring courtrooms voluntarily by sweaty guys in overcompensating suits

rather than by kids handed an implement of death and pointed at each other, too young and too stupid to know they are wasting their lives on bullshit, as it has been in centuries past

Re:the end of civilization (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 2 years ago | (#42428537)

the one good thing about lawyers is that they replace violence

don't get me wrong, i hate the intellectual property mess

but at least this bullshit is playing out in boring courtrooms voluntarily by sweaty guys in overcompensating suits

rather than by kids handed an implement of death and pointed at each other, too young and too stupid to know they are wasting their lives on bullshit, as it has been in centuries past

I don't know. The aristocracy used to have decency enough to thin their numbers with duels over petty disputes. They could bring that system back.

Re:the end of civilization (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42429515)

you mean honor?

honor is not dead, but it is dead in the realm of business

it's just sociopathology now

Re:the end of civilization (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42420229)

Lawyers don't produce anything useful

Technically, that's not true. Lawyers excrete, and their feces can be fed into a bioreactor to generate biogas, and you get a high quality fertilizer as a waste product.

Re:the end of civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42420297)

Can we cut down a step and just feed lawyers into a bioreactor?

2012... (1)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#42418197)

the year of the patent wars.

this shit is getting old.

The more, the merrier (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42418217)

Re. patents, we reached as point in which it needs to get worse in order to get better.

Boycott LG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418225)

Will Slashdot now encourage people to boycott LG for suing Samsung, or does LG get a pass for making Android phones?

Re:Boycott LG! (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 2 years ago | (#42419095)

Will Slashdot now encourage people to boycott LG for suing Samsung, or does LG get a pass for making Android phones?

I now boycott LG because their hardware (and embedded software, where applicable) are total shit. Their products are quite competitive (in Australia, at least) price-wise, which is why I have/had a number of their devices, but no more, thank you.

Re:Boycott LG! (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#42422145)

This is actually a serious problem for those of us that are looking at the Nexus 4 since it is made by LG. Kind of a bummer that Google allowed this to happen.

Map? (3, Interesting)

Flitcraft (2627463) | about 2 years ago | (#42418231)

If someone drew a map of who sues who in the tech industry, what would it look like? Solid color? Blasphemous word?

Judgment of Solomon needed. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42418279)

With all those companies suing and countersuing each other, what we really need is a judge that says "now all of you go sit around the table and settle your patent disputes, and let me know the result when you're done. And until you're finished, none of you is allowed to sell any of your tablets or smart phones in this jurisdiction.

"Patent claimants that do not have products on the market at this moment may join the negotiations, and will anyway be bound to the final agreement of all parties."

That should settle it once and for all. And the rest of the world can go on with their lives. The most likely outcome of those negotiations is an agreement between all those parties to not sue each other over current or future patents any more - it's basically the only option in such a situation.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42418329)

"Patent claimants that do not have products on the market at this moment may join the negotiations, and will anyway be bound to the final agreement of all parties."

And what about future patent claimants; the ones that don't have patents yet but will have a patent in the future. May they join negotions and are they bound by the agreement?
You're trying to heal the symptoms while we should be curing he decease.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42418451)

I'm sure an actual judge can come up with a much better and more inclusive way than I could come up in the minute or so it took me to write that comment.

And the disease is not that easy to cure. A good starting point would be to kill off software and business method patents (things that were never meant to be patentable when the patent was invented), yet from the glance of it, it won't work here, as the cases mentioned in the summary have to do with actual physical inventions, which patents are supposed to cover.

Oh and these "rounded corners" patents that are design patents. Those overall also work wonders. Which basically means "you can't make something that looks exactly like my product", which is totally sensible, as there is no good reason why Samsung should be allowed to sell a phone that looks exactly like the iPhone (which is way more than just "rectangle with rounded corners").

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (1)

windwalkr (883202) | about 2 years ago | (#42418559)

I'm sure an actual judge can come up with a much better and more inclusive way than I could come up in the minute or so it took me to write that comment.

Better, more inclusive- probably. Perfect- no. And if you're going to come up with a single statement that defines business pracitces for all time, you'd better be sure that it is perfect and without any loopholes.

A good starting point would be to kill off software and business method patents

That would surely just lead to a world where software companies can't compete with hardware companies, since one side has protection and the other does not. (hypothetical: Hardware-heavy companies including Apple and Samsung would have patents which could be used software-heavy companies such as Microsoft or Google. But if Microsoft wanted to enter the tablet market, they would have nothing to protect them from the hardware patents.)

Which basically means "you can't make something that looks exactly like my product", which is totally sensible, as there is no good reason why Samsung should be allowed to sell a phone that looks exactly like the iPhone (which is way more than just "rectangle with rounded corners").

Absolutely, but where do you drawn the line? A lot of the complaints about Apple here stem from the fact that Apple deliberately use a minimalist design, which can be hard to avoid without adding user-unfriendly gimmicks to the product for the pure reason of dodging patents. Should something similar to the FRAND concept exist here, identifying "essential" patents and preventing abuse?

Wow, here's a clue for you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418681)

Software companies have copyright, whilst hardware companies don't.

Or are you saying that copyright is worthless? In which case we should drop it, right?

Software source code is the blueprint. Copyright protects that but if you want a patent on it, you must drop the copyright and put the source code in the patent. And whether a competing implementation is infringing would be decided upon the same diferences that bluprint differences are assessed.

But your statement that software would be at a disadvantage to hardware companies if you dropped software patents is either idiocy of the highest order or ignorance of the existence of copyright.

As to where to draw the line on design patents, this had already been working absolutely fine but Apple made a patent claim that was incomplete and the design therefore generic.

Apple's patent said that there were products that were similar but not invalidating prior art BUT DID NOT say *why* these things didn't cover the same patent. Basically, if you couldn't tell that the Samsung product was "derived" from that other "non infringing" prior art or from Apple's product, then the infringement is nonexistent.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418945)

It's not the work of a judge to make political decisions and laws. Well perhaps it is in the us - land of the most broken "democracy" on earth...

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 2 years ago | (#42419139)

...there is no good reason why Samsung should be allowed to sell a phone that looks exactly like the iPhone (which is way more than just "rectangle with rounded corners"

Really? OK, you're right. Samsung should make their phones bright pink. And patent that.

Seriously, though, how different does Samsung's phone need to be to not infringe on a totally and stupidly obvious patent? Maybe shape it like a pretzel?

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42419565)

It is a DESIGN patent. Obviousness does not apply. And I think you're actually quite right, in that Samsung could patent a pink design. But remember they can then only patent the complete design, not just the pink part of it.

This design patent thing is related to branding, logos and trademarks, not technical innovations. When you go to buy an iPhone, you want an iPhone, not a Samsung rip-off. Or the other way around, of course. For that a company will design a phone with a certain look - and that look is patentable.

That applies not only for phones, but to any product - Rolex may have patents on their watch designs, for example. And yes, all other watches are also round with twelve ticks at regular intervals at the edge and three hands, one long, one short and one thin. Though the size of those hands, the size of those ticks, the design of the housing all are different. Basically anything with a special design can be patented. And how much different it has to be? Well, different enough that the average person is not confused between the two. And yes that's ambiguous, but you can not put a number on difference.

Rectangular with round corners, that's basically OK. But rectangular in the same dimensions, same corner ratio, same placement and size of the "home" button, similar circles on that button, same size borders around the display, same overall size: then you may cross the line and infringe the patent.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419873)

It is a DESIGN patent. Obviousness does not apply. And I think you're actually quite right, in that Samsung could patent a pink design. But remember they can then only patent the complete design, not just the pink part of it.

The irrefutable source of truth that is Wikipedia says "Design patents are only granted if the design is novel and not obvious for all items,[8] even those of different utility than the patented object."

Rectangular with round corners, that's basically OK. But rectangular in the same dimensions, same corner ratio, same placement and size of the "home" button, similar circles on that button, same size borders around the display, same overall size: then you may cross the line and infringe the patent.

Well, I'm pretty sure Samsung phones are in the clear then, as those parameters don't match.

Except design patents don't work that way, what matters is whether it is substantially similar to parts drawn in solid lines in design patent drawings. Which in Apple's case are pretty much just the outline of rounded rectangle - even the screen is drawn in stippled lines.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418439)

"what we really need is a judge that says "now all of you go sit around the table and settle your patent disputes, and let me know the result when you're done"

uhh we already know that doesn't work. That is when Apple/Samsung really blew up big.

Also, see fiscal cliff talks.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418729)

That's called price fixing. Solomon you ain't.

Re:Judgment of Solomon needed. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418805)

The most likely outcome of those negotiations is an agreement between all those parties to not sue each other over current or future patents any more - it's basically the only option in such a situation.

Not a chance. The inevitable outcome is that the minor players - whose approval, by your rules, is required for any solution to go forward - would demand that the major players give them a lump of cash before the matter is considered settled. Since there are lots of minor players, and whoever holds out the longest has the best negotiating position to extort money from the major players, you'll be waiting a long time.

The simple solution is to say "All patents in this field are now void, and no new ones will be approved. In five years, we'll take another look at the industry, and figure out whether patents increased or decreased innovation before we decide whether to reintroduce them.".

So, no crisis yet for lawyers.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418323)

The net result of all this idiocy in court is that prices will go up, because someone has to pay those legal bills. It would be nice if companies would just stick to innovation and actually putting some security in place that means they don't *have* to sue the crap out of each other.

If someone else's "invention" is not based on espionage, well, maybe that innovation was too obvious to deserve a patent anyway..

Oh this is interesting! (4, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#42418381)

The Galaxy Note 10.1 has a Plane-Line Switching (PLS) panel. This panel type was designed by Samsung specifically to not have to pay royalties to LG for their In-Plane Switching (IPS) patents.

These two display technologies have found their place in pretty much any screen with wide viewing areas (nearly all high end smartphones, tablets, and high end computer displays). I'll be interested to see what the outcome of this lawsuit may have on Samsung's display manufacturing business as all their high-end displays have PLS panels. With any luck it'll kill it off and they can start pushing for AMOLED panels in desktop displays.

Re:Oh this is interesting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419681)

Ugh please NO AMOLED in laptops or desktops. Even the Galaxy S3 is just a strange display. I much prefer PLS, IPS or Sony's OLED.

Re:Oh this is interesting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42421477)

This is slashdot, you've been modded down for having an opinion someone disagrees with. This is the new normal.

Re:Oh this is interesting! (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#42423327)

Yes of course. Why would anyone want a display with a larger colour gamut, far better contrast ratio, perfect viewing angles, and better refresh rate than a standard LCD.

Re:Oh this is interesting! (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 2 years ago | (#42419865)

With any luck it'll kill it off and they can start pushing for AMOLED panels in desktop displays.

Yes, please. Why is it my phone has better contrast and vibrancy than my laptop.

Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418413)

I mean, they love their corporations in general, but for Samsung it's another level of affection.

Re:Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42418469)

I mean, they love their corporations in general, but for Samsung it's another level of affection.

You might want to look up where LG is based...

Re:Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (3, Informative)

Swampash (1131503) | about 2 years ago | (#42418959)

They feel a lot of affection for "Lucky Goldstar" too.

Hell that's a company name that only a Korean could love.

Re:Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 2 years ago | (#42419155)

Hell that's a company name that only a Korean could love.

And I read somewhere that "Samsung" translates as "Three Star". Go figure.

Samsugn is just a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42420647)

Who ever told you that BS .... is a bad liar.

Re:Samsugn is just a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42422127)

Actually, BrokenHalo is correct. Just grab someone who can read Chinese or Japanese and have them take a gander at the two characters that make up Samsung's name. Or, just read the wiki page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung#Name [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42425243)

LG is actually two companies merged between lucky and goldstar around in 80's. And since then they are not L.G. but just LG.

Re:Good luck fighting Samsung in Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42422125)

The gook government has pumped a ton of cash into them to help them crush Sony and the rest of the electronics world. They certainly do love them.

consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418429)

I think this is different anyway, consider that this claim is apparently about copying a technical solution, not a superficial design like a case shape. I personally think it reads like this is a legitimate patent dispute as there are people from samsung accused of stealing technical specs and giving them to the competition.

Invalidate all patents (1, Interesting)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#42418447)

End the nonesense! The drug companies sat on their patents paying dividends and doing no research so when the patents ran out, OOOOOOOPS! Nothing to sell! Patents were supposed to promote research but instead they encourage rent seeking. Lawyers and judges created the mess we have now and we can cure it by taking all their power away.

Patent Reform or Doubling of Smart Device Costs? (1)

detain (687995) | about 2 years ago | (#42418485)

The recent patent lawsuits among the various smartphone companies are both high dollar enough and frequent enough to attract the attention of enough people (that matter) to push for changes hopefully as patent reform. Or if evil prevails then all of the big companies could just get together behind closed doors shake eachothers hands and agree on unilateral raising of prices and claiming its due to patents. Within a few years the price of mobile devices could double (at the same hardware level) for no reason all.

Re:Patent Reform or Doubling of Smart Device Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418771)

Doubling the smart device doesn't help, because every patent holder wants 5% of the sale.

Re:Patent Reform or Doubling of Smart Device Costs (1)

terec (2797475) | about 2 years ago | (#42418863)

I doubt people would much notice a doubling of smart device costs. Prices have come down so dramatically that that would just take us back to the situation of a few years ago.

This is getting silly... (1)

symes (835608) | about 2 years ago | (#42418535)

At least that has been my feelings for a while, until I thought about what they might have done a hundred years ago or so. Back then, I guess they would have jumped on ships, sailed over and fought to the bitter end. The one with the most people standing would then claim the others territory and resources. So why not encourage a bit of reenactment? Get all the patent lawyers in boats, equip them with suitable weapons, canons and so on, and get them to fight it out?

This is getting ridiculous (2)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#42418889)

We've reached the point where no one can do anything without violating someone elses patents. At the multinational corporations this has produced a ridiculous deadlock where no one can sell anything. I propose we (i) dismantle the patent system, (ii) throw out any congressman who stands in our way and (iii) finally turn the USPTO staff and patent laywers into soylnet green.

Nuclear war knows no borders (0)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#42419129)

We know where this all started. We know what company and which figurehead got things moving in this direction. No need to mention that any further.

What we are seeing here is that this mentality cannot be justified because it does not only affect only the parties directly involved in any given case. It affects case law and lots and lots of jurisdictions. Worse, it seems to have put a trend into place which has created a standard of behavior which previously would have been found unacceptable. It is still unacceptable but somehow the courts are unable or unwilling to put a stop to it.

Re:Nuclear war knows no borders (1)

daniel23 (605413) | about 2 years ago | (#42419361)

Designed in California

Was the company Pizza Hut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419517)

"Oh... to eat pizza again..." by erroneus (253617) on Saturday December 22, @05:20PM (#42371769) from http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3335159&cid=42371769 [slashdot.org]

this IS disconcerting (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#42420401)

A story on slashdot about a hardware patent? How can this be?

Biting the hand that feeds you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42422273)

LG licenses most (if not all) of their flat screen technology from Samsung, so are they really trying to ban Samsung based on Samsung's own patents?

Think we are seeing a new level of patent trolling.

Went to the store today .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42424125)

... to get a new washer & dryer. Guess what? Samsung blindly copied pretty much everything from LG. Except for the extra cheap plastic, Samsung's brand new models are a clone of LGs top models. While everybody else (including Kenmore modes who are build by LG) had front loaders with significant differences to be different. Samsung's?? Even the detergent dispenser (an item that was significantly different on all other brands) was an almost exact copy to the one in LG washers.

Even the "Forced Drain System", a feature that until now was exclusive to LG washers was not only copied by Samsung, but they even put it in the exact same location as the LG machines.

So yes. Samsung is COPYING from everybody. Even other Korean companies.

If Apple sue a competitor it is evil..... (1)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about 2 years ago | (#42424225)

...but when Samsung sue somebody (which this LG counter measure is retaliation for) they are not evil? Personally I would just love it if everything but copycat patents/lawsuits disappeared. In otherwords, don't make a blatant rip off of counterfeit where you are really just trying to deceive the consumer, and everything else is fine. (awaits they inevitable down mod).

Your problem is your mindset. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42425745)

You ask if *Apple* were to sue a competitor it is evil.

Well right there is your problem.

You think it is the "Apple" part that is evil.

Ever considered that is like saying people calling out Hitler for being evil is hypocritical because when *Germany* invades France, it's evil, but if the USA invades France, it isn't.

The difference is in what was done, not who did it.

But you won't see that, will you. You're too busy trying to defend Apple.

the end of civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42448223)

Who comes up with the LAWS then?

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