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Samsung Infringed On Apple Patents, Says ITC

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the will-you-blame-this-on-the-free-market? dept.

Cellphones 274

The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that certain models of Samsung phone violate Apple patents, and are likely to be blocked from import to the U.S. From the article: "The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which relates to a touch screen and user interface and U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501 which deals with detecting when a headset is connected. The ITC said Samsung didn’t infringe on the other two patents. In a statement on the matter, the ITC said the decision is final and the investigation has been closed. ... As was the case with the previous ruling that saw Apple devices banned, the ban on Samsung devices won’t go into effect until 60 days but can be blocked by a favorable ruling following a presidential review. That seems unlikely as such a block has only been issued once since 1987 – last’s week’s ruling in favor of Apple."

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274 comments

not again (5, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#44531881)

They both blatantly copied each other constantly, misused patents, misused lawsuits and injunctions, etc. All these individual little patent disputes are really annoying. They should each be barred from suing each other for anything that happened prior to a certain date so we can be done with this. Then, if they want, they can just duke it out in a paintball game or Mario Party 9 or something.

Re:not again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531957)

But they need this system to keep up good old protectionism while being able to claim they cooperate with international treaties.

Re: not again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532009)

Yeah! And they patented the rectangle! It's so innovative!

Re: not again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532023)

And trademarked the letter "i". What a distinctive novel letter!

Re: not again (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44532565)

To be fair, apple started the iProduct meme with the iMac. Not saying it should be a trademark, but giving props.

iPaq? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532647)

Or is this iDunno?

Re:not again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532119)

The difference is Apple have gone running to Obama for favors. You have to wonder why he would do anything for the largest tax dodgers on the planet.

Re:not again (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#44532267)

Taxes mean nothing. Ask yourself this, who 'contributed' more to the party? Who supplies better drugs and hookers?

Apple has not dodged any taxes (-1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#44532381)

Apple has not dodged a cent of tax. They have paid more tax than just about all of the other corporations combined - six *billion* dollars just in 2012!

Apple pays what it owes - in the U.S.. Just as it pays the taxes it owes in OTHER countries.

Some people like you get upset because Apple does not bring the money back to the U.S. to be taxed a second time. Well, why would or should they? They are even willing to for a reasonable fee, but the U.S. does not have corporate tax rates anywhere near reasonable - they are higher than any country on earth.

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 8 months ago | (#44532407)

I wish I had mod points for funny.

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532447)

I wish slashdot had mod category of Sour Grapes.

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532519)

Apple is playing US tax laws off irish tax laws to avoid paying taxes. Just because its technically 'legal' currently doesn't make it any less douchebaggy or wrong.

Just another case of privatized profits and socialized losses. And you're defending it... So you too are a scumbag..

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532609)

Paying taxes simply to not be "douchebaggy" is irrelevant. Apple, Google, Intel, etc... they all pay what is LEGALLY required of them. You have a problem with it, write to your congressman and change the tax laws. It's the government's fault, not Apple. Get over it.

Whiner.

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532683)

Wow, you'd make a great new face on the comedy circuit. I almost actually felt the sincerity behind your words. It was like you actually believe this, and think you're right to stand up for Apple. In fact, they should probably hire you. But I guess they can't afford that, given how much tax they pay, yes?

Re:Apple has not dodged any taxes (5, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44532749)

Sorry, but Apple's "no declared tax residency anywhere in the world" bullshit is tax dodging, pure and simple. The fact that they can't avoid things like sales tax or income tax doesn't excuse the vast amount they do get out of paying.

Apple has found the holy grail of tax avoidance schemes. They claim not to be resident in any nation, for tax purposes. It works by having a shell company in Ireland. Irish tax law says that companies pay tax from where they are run, which in Apple's case is the US. US tax law says that companies pay tax where they are incorporated, which is Ireland. So neither Ireland nor the United States gets any tax revenue from that company, except for what it can't avoid by having US employees and offices. Profits are funnelled to it from subsidiaries around the world. Tens of billions coming and and stored in untaxable bank accounts.

It goes way beyond not just moving profit back to the US to be taxed "twice". In the case of the UK subsidiary it wouldn't be taxed here anyway because corporations only pay tax on profits, and Apple UK doesn't make any due to having to pay huge fees for using the Apple branding. It's the same trick that allowed Starbucks to make a loss in the UK and pay zero corporation tax, despite clearly being very successful and having huge revenue.

Apple are not the only ones to dodge tax. Google does it in the UK, I'm sure if you look you will find Samsung does everything it can to minimize what it pays. Apple is both the worst and largest offender though, especially for a company that tries so hard to maintain a good public image and attract the idealistic hipster crowd.

Re:not again (4, Insightful)

digitallife (805599) | about 8 months ago | (#44532169)

They are both just companies doing the same stuff that companies normally do. None of it so far has really affected the consumers much. Neither of them is getting one up on the other either, so in the end they are just wasting their money. If people are unhappy with the way that corps work, we should be rallying to change the laws regulating them rather than wasting our energy debating the relative merits of common place aggressive troll lawsuits.

Check out the new Slashdot iPad app [apple.com].

Re:not again (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 8 months ago | (#44532221)

The description doesn't really say much, does it support posting? And if so, how?

Re:not again (-1, Troll)

Jockle (2934767) | about 8 months ago | (#44532261)

Well, well, well... what do we have here? Someone whose rancid asshole can't escape from my fetid ass-seeking cock, that's what! I think it's about time I show you my true slowness, yes? 0.5MPH... such a nice speed...

Re:not again (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#44532251)

Mercantilism,.. It's how power works.. The other choice is feudalism. Take your pick..

Re:not again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532333)

If the latter, does that mean I can ruthlessly murder Apple fanboys on a whim?

Re:not again (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 8 months ago | (#44532337)

They both blatantly copied each other constantly, misused patents, misused lawsuits and injunctions, etc. All these individual little patent disputes are really annoying. They should each be barred from suing each other for anything that happened prior to a certain date so we can be done with this. Then, if they want, they can just duke it out in a paintball game or Mario Party 9 or something.

This is not just about the past. They are both selling phones in the present that each of them claims is infringing on their patents.

The courts should examine the patent, determine how fundamental it is, assign an economic value to each of the patents as a price per phone sold; and then force the two to allow the other's use of the patent: require them to pay each other a royalty of their sales based on the court's valuation of each of their patents, and prohibit any further litigation between the two based on those patents, so long as they pay as required.

Re:not again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532483)

Or they should have all - each and every one - of their patents declared invalid.

Re:not again (4, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 8 months ago | (#44532527)

They both blatantly copied each other constantly, misused patents, misused lawsuits and injunctions, etc. All these individual little patent disputes are really annoying. They should each be barred from suing each other for anything that happened prior to a certain date so we can be done with this. Then, if they want, they can just duke it out in a paintball game or Mario Party 9 or something.

And they are together keeping all other competitors out of the race through fear of being sued. They have no reason to stop. Together they are winning.

Unlikely? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531895)

Why would it be unlikely?

It's the same exact situation, just with the roles revers.. oh.

Re:Unlikely? (1)

phrostie (121428) | about 8 months ago | (#44532011)

a year from now we'll find out about some new backdoor apple added, i mean some new deal apple made with the NSA, i mean samsung needs to learn to play ball better.

Re:Unlikely? (3, Informative)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 8 months ago | (#44532409)

Why would it be unlikely?

It's the same exact situation, just with the roles revers.. oh.

Yeah, exactly the same - only Samsung has standard essential patents they didn't offer under FRAND terms, while Apple's patents are, well, normal patents.

Those patents are available under FRAND (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532663)

But Apple don't want to pay what others paid for it.

You DO know the definition of "FRAND" is not "Better deal for Apple than anyone else gets" right?

No, you probably don't. It's a Merkin Company, and you're a Merkin too.

Re:Those patents are available under FRAND (2, Informative)

zieroh (307208) | about 8 months ago | (#44532755)

Nice try.

Samsung demanded cross-licenses to Apple's non-FRAND patents. That puts the D back in Discriminatory.

Re:Unlikely? (3, Informative)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 8 months ago | (#44532419)

It's not the exact same situation.

The Samsung owned patents that Apple was found to have infringed are FRAND patents. This indicates that Samsung is willing to licence those patents out to anyone willing to pay the appropriate licencing fees.

The Apple owned patents that Samsung was found to have infringed are not FRAND patents. Apple made no implied or express promises to licence them.

Both sides sought equitable remedies in the form of sales injunctions and import bans. Equitable remedies are by their very definition appropriate only when financial remedies are insufficient to make the plaintiff whole.

Since the Samsung patents were available for licence under FRAND terms, there's no reason to believe that Samsung could not be made whole through monetary remedies. The ITC ordered the import ban on the iPhone devices not because they infringed on FRAND patents, but because Apple had made little to no effort to negotiate a licencing agreement.

The opposite is not automatically true for the Apple patents as they are not available for licence under FRAND terms.

Living up to your name, I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532695)

You DO know the F doesn't stand for FREE, right?

That means Apple still has to pay the FAIR and REASONABLE price, right? You don't get it free if you think the price is unreasonable either. Just because I think the latest GTA is overpriced doesn't mean I can just take it for nothing. Why do you think Apple can, though?

So the difference is that Apple had the price and refused to pay it but refused to stop using the patents without license. Therefore Apple KNEW they were in breech of license and that's wilful infringement.

Re:Living up to your name, I see. (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 8 months ago | (#44532729)

Yes, I am aware that it doesn't stand for FREE.

If Apple doesn't want to pay up, then they can settle it in court. However, an injunction is not appropriate unless the party seeking the injunction can demonstrate that they will suffer irreparable harm without an injunction. That's the whole purpose of an injunction, to stop something before it causes irreparable harm. By licencing the patents in question to over 30 other companies under FRAND terms, Samsung had almost no way to demonstrate that Apple's infringement would cause irreparable harm. They can still seek damages the good old fashioned way if Apple doesn't want to play ball, but an injunction is very hard to get for FRAND infringement.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531897)

If samsung doesnt ge tthe same treatment as apple we know which company paid more in bribes.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532007)

If Samsung doesn't get the same treatment as Apple, we know it's because one company tried to license FRAND patents, and got told they wouldn't get non-discriminatory terms, and the other company violated non-FRAND patents wilfully and deliberately.

Re:Well (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532041)

No, if they don't then we know its because Apple is an American company and Samsung is not.

Re:Well (1)

Meski (774546) | about 8 months ago | (#44532113)

ANd where are Apple products made, compared to where Samsung products are made? It'd be almost hilarious is Samsung set up a manufacturing plant in the USA.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532185)

Doesn't matter where it's put together, it matters where the company is headquartered.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532703)

Samsung makes a lot of the parts that go into Apple products.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532213)

Apple doesn't want to pay for frand and doesn't pay for frand

Just say'n (0)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#44531903)

obama has other things on his plate right now (putin!) and he's already weighed in on one of these oh-so-recently, so don't expect too much attention from him on this one.

Stop it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531907)

What a kindergarten... just stop!

Seriously? (2)

ELCouz (1338259) | about 8 months ago | (#44531913)

Who cares? Samsung has already won the battle! http://bgr.com/2013/07/26/mobile-phone-market-share-q2-2013/ [bgr.com]

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44531947)

Yawn. I don't use Samsung or Apple, but no one has "won" anything.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 8 months ago | (#44531973)

They've won a lot of money.

Re:Seriously? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 months ago | (#44532153)

Apple likely still make more money from their phones. At least if you include software and/or software.

But then again I don't know how much money Samsung make from phones in total if you include display, memory, processor, battery sales and such.

Hammer is coming down (2, Interesting)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 8 months ago | (#44531995)

... on foreign companies. I think we'll see more of this in the future, U.S gov getting at the foreign companies. Samsung should just stop supplying U.S companies and see how they start feeling about things. Don't just lie there waiting to get kicked again.

Re:Hammer is coming down (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44532063)

Hammer is coming down ... on foreign companies.

As though Apple were an American company? I've heard they have some sort of design office in California somewhere, but in any meaningful sense they're at least as much of a foreign company as Samsung. At least Samsung has some fabs in Austin and whatnot.

I'm fine with a little protectionism if it means protecting American operations, but people get very confused about the difference between where a company's headquarters are and where it operates. It's like people who say my Toyota is a foreign car. It's 85% value added in the US - a lot more American than almost any Ford or GM model.

Re:Hammer is coming down (2)

rk (6314) | about 8 months ago | (#44532105)

Case in point: My Ford Fusion was assembled in Mexico. My Honda Odyssey was assembled in Alabama.

Re:Hammer is coming down (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#44532069)

Giving local companies preferential treatment isn't a bad thing.

Re:Hammer is coming down (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 8 months ago | (#44532239)

Giving local companies preferential treatment isn't a bad thing.

Yes, it is. It might not look bad in the short term, but you're both depriving your population of better/cheaper imported goods and removing incentives for innovation in local companies.

Re:Hammer is coming down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532269)

It actually is, because it will result in import duties on stuff made in the USA. That my not hurt Apple, but the exports of the US.

Re:Hammer is coming down (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#44532773)

If the prez doesn't let Samsung off the hook as well you can expect the US to be taken to the WTO. One possible remedy would be to ban US exports, or charge US companies hefty fees to import the South Korean technology they rely on.

Even for the US there are consequences.

Fair Competition (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 8 months ago | (#44532001)

Ding ding, round n of "Boo-hoo :-( you make better phones than us and we can't find a way to collect 'our' money from 'our' customers via phone sales with you in the market."

No, I didn't RTFS or RTFA.

Patents (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | about 8 months ago | (#44532027)

Patents are meaningless and hurt the overall market. There, I said it.

Re:Patents (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#44532343)

But they were given meaning by our beloved economists. In 2008, the definition of GDP was changed to include things like patents and other types of intellectual property. Article here:

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21582498-america-has-changed-way-it-measures-gdp-boundary-problems [economist.com]

So, instead of waiting to see how a corporation (or national economy) actually executes their IP rights and measure the revenue, the GDP calculations attempt to impute a future income stream from them. And then this becomes part of our GDP statistics. IP has become a Potemkin village of value behind which companies (and entire nations) hide the true dire straights of their economy. They are pretty, shiny objects meant to impress investors, who should bee asking whether anyone has the ability to actually produce value with them.

So we aren't going to see a change in the status of patents any time soon. Because now, the economists have a number (fictional though it may be) that pins an amount of GDP to them. And woe to those who attack that and drive us into another recession.

Which phones are getting banned?? (3, Informative)

supremebob (574732) | about 8 months ago | (#44532029)

OK... I broke with Slashdot tradition and actually read TFA. That said, I STILL cannot figure out exactly which Samsung phones are being specifically banned in this ruling? Is it a top seller like the Galaxy S3 or Note II, or some older phones that only the prepaid carriers offer now?

Not that it really matters... 60 days is probably enough time to come up with a workaround to get around the infringement.

Re:Which phones are getting banned?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532095)

I don't know the exact model either but I can remember some news site saying that the impact is expected to be small as it should only affect some 2010 models.

Re:Which phones are getting banned?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532411)

hmm, 60 days to clear stock of some 2010 phones. They aren't going to loose any sleep over that.

Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532053)

The Russians are pissed enough to harbour Snowden.
The Chinese aren't backing the US in the North Korea talks.
The Japanese just sailed their first war ship in 50 years.

I can think of a dozen wars that started with this sort of trade embargoes and tariffs. Just the precedent itself is enough to block US made goods in half the world.
It won't happen like it used to since everyone have Nukes now, but you can bet your Made-in-China-lives that the repercussion will be soon to follow.

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (1, Offtopic)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44532123)

The Russians are pissed enough to harbour Snowden.

The Russians aren't pissed about anything special - they're just harboring him to annoy and embarrass the US.

The Chinese aren't backing the US in the North Korea talks.

The Chinese have always pretended to be above the fray vis-a-vis N. Korea.

The Japanese just sailed their first war ship in 50 years.

Then where did all those other ship in their fleet come from? Japan has had a substantial navy for decades.

I can think of a dozen wars that started with this sort of trade embargoes and tariffs.

So you think China was wrong to embargo opium from British ships?

Just the precedent itself is enough to block US made goods in half the world.

So? It's not like we export much of anything anymore anyway.

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (1)

zwede (1478355) | about 8 months ago | (#44532209)

So? It's not like we export much of anything anymore anyway.

You were OK until here. US exports in 2012 were $1.5T, only topped by China at $2T and the EU at $2.1T. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports [wikipedia.org]

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#44532297)

Don't take my statement so literally. Our exports seem high in dollar terms, but they're still much less than our imports. Moreover we've stopped making many things that in a balanced trade scenario we would have continued to make.

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532505)

At least 0,2T of that is just imaginary goods, like software licences. So the amount of stuff shipped in containers is max. 1.3T

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 8 months ago | (#44532211)

The Russians are pissed enough to harbour Snowden.

The Russians aren't pissed about anything special - they're just harboring him to annoy and embarrass the US.

I'm guessing they don't want to appear to be following instructions from the US. And giving Snowden to the US might also be seen as supporting the snooping (whether or not they do it themselves on the same scale). Annoying and embarrassing may also be factors, but is perhaps less valuable to them..

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 8 months ago | (#44532281)

It's not like we export much of anything anymore anyway.

The US is the #2 exporter in the world. $1.6 trillion worth of goods last year, according to Wikipedia.

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532377)

We export he raw materials our massive fertile landmass supplies, ship to to places where they have dirt cheap labor, then import the finished product.

Re:Do Americans realise just how bad things are? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532287)

Sweden licks US ass sends out master licker Carl Bildt

Gee (5, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#44532081)

I assume the ungodly ridiculous amounts of verbiage [uspto.gov] is not to be legally clear, but be legally obfuscating, wearing down patent examiners and causing days of study just to begin to get a handle on what they are claiming.

The one or two cool little tricks being patented, if any, are deliberately obfuscated.

Does anybody even know what little bit is supposedly infringed?

One of the "claims":

6. The computing device of claim 1, wherein, in one heuristic of the one or more heuristics, a contact comprising a finger swipe gesture that initially moves within a predetermined angle of being perfectly horizontal with respect to the touch screen display corresponds to a one-dimensional horizontal screen scrolling command rather than the two-dimensional screen translation command.

So if you drag left or right witihin some predefined angle, it shall be considered a horizontal swipe rather than a 2D arbitrary angle swipe. And nobody ever did this before?

No, no-one did that (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#44532403)

So if you drag left or right witihin some predefined angle, it shall be considered a horizontal swipe rather than a 2D arbitrary angle swipe. And nobody ever did this before?

This one actually seems valid, I don't know of any touch screens before that even could detect angle of input much less adjusted for it in this way. Before hand most input did not really factor in angle of input at all.

Re:No, no-one did that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532477)

Gestures in browsers?

Re:No, no-one did that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532515)

on a touch screen? citation required......

kindergarten valid (3, Insightful)

roguegramma (982660) | about 8 months ago | (#44532533)

As you can read in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patentability [wikipedia.org]
the US patent office pretends that one of the conditions for granting a US patent is non-obviousness.

Considering that it is very unlikely that someone swiping a finger across a touchscreen achieves a movement that is 100% horizontal and 0% vertical, it is obvious that any solution of the problem would tolerate a certain amount of vertical movement, and this is what that patent claim is about.

US american companies are promoting politicians with a kindergarten understanding of science, so that they can profit from that bullshit:
http://politics.slashdot.org/story/13/07/12/1645228/google-raises-campaign-funds-for-climate-change-denier [slashdot.org]

Also, the invention of input gestures is not as novel as you seem to believe, because the patent was filed 2008, while for example the video game Black and White had gestures in 2001. Okay, it was mouse gestures, but there is no big difference to a touch screen regarding movement.

Winning (3, Informative)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 8 months ago | (#44532147)

If you cannot win in the market, the next step is to win using the law - this is business 101 in the USA today.

Re:Winning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532245)

This is business 101 in every country on earth. It's nothing new.

Well, Obama? (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#44532177)

Apple gets the presidential blessing [slashdot.org] for no good reason, how about Samsung?

Patents in both directions are bullshit anyway.

Re:Well, Obama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532489)

Samsung didn't give them the keys to their servers. Apple did and now their getting rewarded for it

Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532197)

Samsung should close down Austin chip factory as a thank you to US government

Obama's blatent protectionism (5, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 8 months ago | (#44532207)

From PJ at Groklaw:

PJ: It's so obviously protectionism, it's hardly a surprise that it's upset people. Samsung was found by the ITC to have behaved in good faith, but Apple was ruled to have been guilty of "reverse hold up", meaning it didn't present itself as a willing licensee. If *that* isn't enough to justify an injunction, when everyone -- courts and regulators -- say it should be enough, what would be? And the reason given -- that they were worried about FRAND hold up -- is clearly not the real reason, since in this fact pattern, it was actually the opposite. So, it's a black mark on the US in Korea. If courts and regulators play favorites, based on a company's nation of origin, why wouldn't other countries do the same? And if you can't get a fair shake in the US, why would companies located elsewhere ever donate anything to a standard, knowing that they have no way to enforce their rights? Nokia has already said it won't be donating as it has in the past. Telling such companies that they are still free to enforce their rights in court is silly. It costs millions for a patent infringement lawsuit, for starters, while unwilling licensees like Apple free ride, and as we saw in the Apple v. Samsung litigation, fairness isn't at all what a foreign company can expect to receive in US courtrooms either. Apple is the biggest US taxpayer, and it paid off. That's about it. And it smells funny. Yes. I said it. This is about lobbying by Microsoft and Apple, here and in Europe and Australia and wherever they can. It has nothing to do with FRAND holdup. It's not even pretending to be about fairness. It's about money. Apple and Microsoft don't have a lot of FRAND patents. So they want to block competitors in the smartphone market from distribution with regular patents and design patents -- just wait to see what ITC does to Samsung next week, with the excuse that the patents are utility patents, not FRAND -- and then Samsung and others who developed this field are blocked from doing the same. Sound fair to you? I am a US citizen, and I'm ashamed of what has just happened.

Re:Obama's blatent protectionism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532445)

Pinkert, a George W. Bush appointee (and a Democrat), laid out in careful detail why his fellow commissioners were wrong to order Apple to cease and desist selling those five products -- including a version of the iPhone 4 that is still one of the company's most popular -- on the strength of Samsung's complaint.

Among the reasons he cites:

The patent in question was part -- and only a tiny part -- of an international standard, and as such Samsung had agreed to make it available for licensing under terms that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND).

Samsung had made no effort to demonstrate that the licensing terms it offered Apple "satisfied an objective standard of reasonableness."

That the only time Samsung made such an offer -- in oral discussions in December 2012 -- it came with strings attached to which Apple could not agree.

What those strings were are blacked out in the document, but Pinkert adds in the next sentence: "it is neither fair nor non-discriminatory for the holder of the FRAND-encumbered patent to require licenses to non-FRAND-encumberd patents as a condition for licensing its patent" (emphasis his).

source: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/08/05/apple-samsung-itc-pinkert/

Re:Obama's blatent protectionism (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 8 months ago | (#44532725)

it is neither fair nor non-discriminatory for the holder of the FRAND-encumbered patent to require licenses to non-FRAND-encumberd patents as a condition for licensing its patent/quote?

And why not? Patent for patent seems like the most reasonable form of trade to me.

Anyway, so far as I can see, from Samsung's (and everyone else's) perspective, what this story shows is that if you play nice - i.e. FRAND your patents - then this will cost you in long term when assholes like Apple come with a bunch of effectively essential, but legally non-FRAND patents of their own. So I suspect that future telecommunication standards created by corporate committees will drop the FRAND requirement, and form patent cartels instead. Which, of course, we're all much worse for. Thanks to the only kid in the room who insisted on not letting anyone play with his toys...

Re:Obama's blatent protectionism (-1, Flamebait)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 8 months ago | (#44532667)

As far as Apple is involved, you can't use Groklaw as an objective source anymore.

Re:Obama's blatent protectionism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532731)

PJ is a paid Samsung PR blogger.

Detecting when a headset is connected????: (4, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#44532373)

You mean, like a mechanical switch that comes built in to the jack chassis?

For crying out loud, I built an amplifier in high school in 1980 that could detect when a headset was detected. Making software detect the same thing would amount to merely polling on a physical line the switch is on and converting the voltage on it to a digital signal of true or false.

Re:Detecting when a headset is connected????: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532439)

You mean, like a mechanical switch that comes built in to the jack chassis?

No, of course not. http://www.google.com/patents/US7912501 [google.com]

For crying out loud, I built an amplifier in high school in 1980 that could detect when a headset was detected. Making software detect the same thing would amount to merely polling on a physical line the switch is on and converting the voltage on it to a digital signal of true or false.

Apple's patent also handles microphones, possibly with a switch, as well as non-microphones. Why would you want to use a headset as a microphone?

Well, I'm not sure about US 7912501 B2 (3, Informative)

roguegramma (982660) | about 8 months ago | (#44532641)

On one hand, if you read claim 1 (the base claim), Apple actually spent effort on designing their own jack, which apparently has a special connector that creates a second circuit that is used for detection. On the other hand, the technical contribution seems to be a bit on the easy side, considering that the actual detecting circuit in figure 3 shows a circuit that is probably obvious to anyone schooled in designing circuits, though not to me.

Please ITC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532405)

Please ITC, Fuck You Gently With a Chainsaw.

This is such bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44532467)

All these patents are nothing but obvious. What incredible inventions have these companies made? Switch on/Switch off

Such bullshit

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