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back to article Samsung demands iPhone 4S ban in Japan and Oz

Despite setbacks in three patent battles with Apple last week, Samsung has come out fighting today by filing for preliminary injunctions on the iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia. The Korean electronics firm wants to halt sales of the new Jesus-mobe in both countries, and to ban sales of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in Japan. It's also …

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Right...

Good luck with that Samsung.

Apple sues you for Patent infringement and wins. You sue on a standards based issue and lose in one location, with a judge ordering you into mediation on licensing agreements and you think the outcome will be different in another territory, why? It's a great time to be lawyers for Apple and Samsung. As usual, the lawyers are the winners here, no matter which side actually wins.

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Anonymous Coward

didn't apple win with copyright/trademark stuff on design as opposed to patents, except in America where design is patentable. Now Samsung strike back with equally vapid patents.

Trolls trolling Trolls.

It is funny though, Samsung that has patents on actual inventions can't use those patents as they're standards, while Apple can use it's patents on junk and jibberish that aren't inventions.

However the galaxy does look a fair old bit like an ipad, though as it's pretty close to an ideal form factor it's hard to not look like an ipad and have a functional tablet. Oh well, it is amusing to watch, and them lawyers are getting proper rich.

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@AC

Obvious points: there's a difference between assaulting someone and defending yourself — attempts to draw moral equivalency feel unconvincing to me, especially as in the legal system you can't just ignore the trolls. Also, Samsung also not only can but does use its patents on actual inventions in order to further its business, through the funds that it accrues under FRAND licensing terms. It voluntarily bound itself to that sort of licensing when it pooled its patents during the usual industry standard development process.

I think their only hope is on the interface stuff. I'm not sure what the normal preliminary relief is, and hence whether a banning order would be considered disproportionate by the court, but it wouldn't be surprising if Apple were about to find out.

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Facepalm

Anonymous Coward trolling board.

"It is funny though, Samsung that has patents on actual inventions can't use those patents as they're standards,"

Let me spell it out for you. The reason they cannot use those patents to sue Apple is that they agreed to have them rolled into the standards. When that happens they must license them on FRAND terms, which means that they cannot use them as a lever to try and get better agreements with a customer just because they want. Also Samsung were seeking a 2.4% payment on the chip that Apple uses for connection to the wireless network on each and every infringement, which would be an outrageous figure and totally against the FRAND terms to which they signed up.

The iPhone 4S uses Qualcomm chips to do this connection and Qualcomm are already paying Samsung for the rights to use their patents. Samsung are trying to double dip here and charge the end customer for patents they have already licensed to the chip manufacturer.

"However the galaxy does look a fair old bit like an iPad"

I assume you have seen the charger? It's the same as the iPad charger, save for the color. And Samsung were the only manufacturer that went out of their way to skin Android to resemble the way the iPad looks and feels.

Samsung are on very shaky ground here, despite what the Apple haters seem to think.

In Japan, with the "Airplane Mode" argument, Samsung may have more luck, but I haven't had time to work out if there was prior art yet.

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@AC

Apple have sued on different things in different jurisdictions. Europe the focus is a community desigh (effectively a design patent), Australia it's utility patents, the US it's a mixture of almost everything, trademarks, trade dress, utility patents & design patents. The only thing they aren't claiming in the US is copyright infringement.

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Anonymous Coward

a charger - get real

You're complaining about chargers - I've got lots of chargers from over the years from different manufacturers and quite a lot of them look similar

As to the Tab looking like the iPad. Try putting them next to each other (the right way they should be used - iPad in Portrait and Tab in Landscape) and then powering them on.

They look nothing alike.

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iPad in Portrait and Tab in Landscape

In what possible manner did you determine that an iPad SHOULD be used in portrait? You seem to have never used one. They both work just fine in either orientation, so this argument is nonsense.

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But that's the point

"It is funny though, Samsung that has patents on actual inventions can't use those patents as they're standards, while Apple can use it's patents on junk and jibberish that aren't inventions."

That's exactly the issue, though. Samsung can't win patent claims because they've pooled them in the standards - it's impossible to make a phone that works without infringing them, so Samsung are obliged to use FRAND licensing.

Meanwhile, Apple's "junk and gibberish" isn't required to build a working telephone at all, which is why other Android developers manage to avoid violating them perfectly well. As a result, it's a lot harder for Samsung to claim they were doing anything other than trying to imitate iOS.

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FAIL

Obvious responses:

@Ainteenbooty: "In what possible manner did you determine that an iPad SHOULD be used in portrait?"

Just look at the unlock screen for one. Shows in landscape. Also, the camera (which should be on the top, right?) is only on the top if in landscape. Otherwise, your hand could potentially be blocking it (as it would be on the right or left, vertically centered). Then there's the whole connector locations bit that point it toward being meant for landscape. If you want to get software-specific, there are one or two screens that don't rotate out of landscape mode.

@patent argument:

If you notice something from the Netherlands case, the court ordered Apple and Samsung to reach a licensing agreement. What does this mean? It means APPLE WAS NOT PAYING ROYALTIES as it should have been. They've been using the 3G patents without having a license for them. Apple is definitely in the wrong there. Whether Samsung is asking a "fair price" is open for debate, but keep in mind the license amount has a range of "fair prices" set that they must abide by, so even picking the highest "fair price," it is still an agreed upon "fair price."

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WTF?

I've seen the charger!

It's not the same as the one on the apple fan's propaganda blog, which I've also seen (it reminded me of the photoshopped evidence to the German court). You can see the real one here at about 2.00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n9X0tVk9Z0

and the ipad charger is here at about 1.30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMKRQJ-cAmE

For those who don't have time to watch, the Samsung charger is a different shape and colour and comes in 2 pieces. In the itards' world, that's "the same".

I've also seen the way the ipad looks and feels and I've seen Galaxy Tab's Android skin. Again, they're different. Again, in the itards' world, different to Apple is "the same".

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Gimp

Actually looks the same to me

That Samsung charger looks VERY similar to the original iPhone charger - which also came in two parts (plug and transformer) that slotted together and had a USB port in the back.

Here's one here:

http://www.uk-mobilestore.co.uk/products/Genuine-Apple-iPhone-3GS-USB-Mains-Charger.html

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Thumb Up

The Same...

...says the itard...

...of a charger which is a different size and shape and whose corners are rounded in a different orientation to Galaxy's.

Thank you for justifying my opinion.

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Facepalm

Erm.. yeah okay. You said "Samsung charger is a different shape and colour and comes in 2 pieces."

And I've just shown you that the Samsung charger is in fact a VERY similar size and shape to the original iPhone charger, which funnily enough also came in two pieces.

For further evidence take a look at the iPhone charger with the US plug on it and compare it to the one in your video:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/386927815/Original_Genuine_UK_EU_US_type.html

The differences left are colour and "corners are rounded in a different orientation"?

Yeah, so that's fundamentally different eh? Can't see why anyone could think that the Samsung design was similar when they are different colours!

Pffffft...

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I'm an apple fan...

...but FFS Apple, look what you've gone and started now.

'Legal innovation' is not the sort of innovation I was expecting from you. Stick to the tech/design/products and have some pride FFS.

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Coat

Airplane mode indicator?

Seriously? Somebody please stop this insanity now. You can't patent showing a status indicator, even if it is a picture of an airplane. This is not innovation. It's sheer stupidity.

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Meh

Any different to a rectangle with round edges, or arranging tiles in a grid?

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Trollface

No more insane than rounded corners and square icons? ;)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/25/samsung_ordered_to_provide_apple_with_prototypes/

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This post has been deleted by its author

Agreed, but the same can be said for pretty much all patents.

When was the last time you read a patent and thought "Ooh, that's clever!"?

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@Nathan Hobbs, etc

Kevin argues that the available legal protections are insane if an airplane mode indicator is protectable. You say that his argument is invalid because making something rectangular is protectable.

Perhaps what you can learn from this is that not every comment is a thinly veiled partisan attack?

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FAIL

@Nathan Hobbs - except they didn't

Apple have a DESIGN PATENT on the shape of the iPad/iPhone, which is completely different to a normal patent. Design patents only come into play if all or most of the stated elements in the APPEARENCE of a device match. Rounded corners were a single item in a long list of elements that Samsung had to copy before falling foul of it. If ALL the Galaxy pad had in common were round corners then there wouldn't be a hope in hell of Apple winning that case.

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WTF?

"browsing applications categorised in a tree structure"

I'm no Apple fan, and have a Galaxy S myself, but a patent on a tree structure?

Whoever issued this patent needs to actually sit at computer before just putting the piece of paper into the 'accept' pile.

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Anonymous Coward

Non-standards issues

I can do without:

1) flight mode' indicator (airplane icon)

2) customising a smartphone’s home screen

3) browsing applications categorised in a tree structure (in an apps store)

for 1) I'd love to know how you can patent a display icon - or is the patent on the fact that something is displayed if flight mode is on ?

for 2) it's not necessary (I can live with a standard Apple home screen) - I'm amazed you can patent this, when I put an item on my Windows desktop (I know it's old school) is that customising my Windows home screen ?

for 3) I used the search tool mostly for apps...

How much are the lawyers making ?

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Anonymous Coward

Why, samsung, why?

Seriously, they already know that they won't win any injunctions with their FRAND patents, so why are they even trying? It's just a waste of their time and money. Maybe they want to wage a war of attrition, and believe apple will simply run out of lawyers at some point? Or is it simply a PR stunt to distract from the fact that they're getting hammered and will probably be banned from selling phones and tablets in large parts of the world at some point?

Maybe they'll have more luck in Japan with the UI patents. Doesn't look promising from the sound of that in-flight icon one, but there's 2 more.

Btw el reg, why no story on the implications of the recent australian ruling? According to the FOSS patents blog (which seems pretty accurate) the patents apple won with apply to pretty much ALL android devices with multi-touch. That's a rather big problem for google, no?

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Bronze badge

Maybe because Apple hasn't liscened the patenets, even on FRAND terms? If the courts are ordering them to mediation to get Apple the liscence, then Apple *haven't* gotten them before, and that's four generations of 3G phones that Apple's been free-riding on.

I'm guess Samsung would like the injunctions, but will settle for Apple paying what they owe.

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@Swarthy

Apple's counterargument rests on the chip suppliers having acquired the licences, I think. I'm not sufficiently aware of the facts to have much of an opinion on that though.

There are obvious exceptions but courts generally don't order mediation as a remedy since that would usurp them as the final word on legality. What's likely happened here is that the court has said that the points Samsung have raised are the sort of thing it thinks should first be discussed reasonably outside the courtroom. If so then failure to mediate before making it a court issue wouldn't affect the legal outcome but the court would be much more likely to signal its displeasure by ordering a token remedy — like finding that Apple must pay Samsung total damages of £1 and that Samsung are liable for costs, for example. Though it's a safe bet that won't happen here because Samsung will act appropriately; I'm not meaning to suggest that Samsung have or will act in any way that the court considers inappropriate.

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Anonymous Coward

Just make your own design Samsung. How hard can it be?

Samsung's senior management is just weird.

A huge percentage of its revenues (I read 60% somewhere) come from making parts for Apple. On the whole I'd have thought ripping off your main client's designs, to the point where, hilariously, even your own defense team can't tell them apart form 10 feet away, is pretty bad for business. Particularly when your main client is Apple, whose primary market differentiator is product design. They deserve to loose if only for being so stupid.

All they need is a different flipping case design, drop touch-wiz until they can come up with their own multi-touch type ideas, say sorry to Apple, perhaps sweeten it with exclusive access to some new process or a big discount for a while, and everyone would be happy. Can you imagine this in any other industry. Say Coke made the concentrate for Pepsi. Then Pepsi started sticking it in glass bottles that looked like Coke bottles, down to the label and everything else. Coke would sue their arse, and would win easily. Same thing if Marmite started selling their black, sticky, yeast extract in a Vegemite style bottle for the Antipodean market.

I wonder how long it will be before Apple simply moves to alternative suppliers.

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Samsung is a large company. The components division is completely separate from the mobile company. I think last year Apple spent something like 6-8 billion dollars with them and were Samsung's single largest customer.

I am pretty certain that the guy who ran the mobile division and put these "designs" into production was canned about 4 months ago.

But this argument appears to have tipped into "saving face" at Samsung and they are going at it with all they have, even if they are completely misusing the FRAND agreements already in place.

"I wonder how long it will be before Apple simply moves to alternative suppliers."

They already have shifted large quantities away.

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Unhappy

Sort it our you two...

..as in sit down at the table and talk to one another

The market is big enough for Apple and Samsung! The only people who lose here are the consumers

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WTF?

AARG!

when will this patent bollocks come to an end? I've been having a go at Apple for months now, now Samsung feels the need to go at it too?

i can understand they may feel like they need to retaliate, but come on, it's been going on for far too long already, this needs to come to an end, as it's hurting consumers.

bottom line is that even though i hate Apple with every fibre in my body, i don't want them sued over patents just as much as i want them to stop suing other companies.

there's only losers in this war!

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FAIL

@Silverburn

The problem is that when they got lowwer priced phone sthan apple, with bigger scrren and free OS and different designs, and still could not beat tem, they decided to just plain old copy them. Even samsung lawywers when asked to decidee which was wiched two a number of attempts before guessing correctly.

The galaxy II is a copy palin and simple. I mean you can tell straight away that an HTC Android phoone looks nothing like an iPhone, even the HTC HD2 which is the most iPHone like , can be distinguised easily.

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"palin and simple"

You're wrong but this phrase is genius.

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Samsung doth protest too much, methinks...

The standards-based patents HAVE to be accessible under FRAND, and Samsung knows that. They can go to court about exactly how much Apple needs to pay, but they can't use their patents as a basis for banning a mobile phone until that process has been exhausted.

Meanwhile, Apple's patents relate to stuff they actually, y'know, invented and designed. For all the "You started it, Apple, now how do you like them bananas?" comments, the fact remains that there are very few other companies defending patents for stuff they developed themselves.

Not trying to defend the patent system, but Apple are at least using the original principles behind it.

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FAIL

Stuff they actually, y'know, invented

Because, y'know, Apple actually invented and designed the rectangle.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps Apple should just buy Samsung and have done with it.

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What we need here..

...are some grown ups to come along and bang their collective heads together.

And then take a step back and re-inject a bit of sanity into the whole bloody mess that is the patent market.

I'm no fanboi - I have an iPhone because it does what I want it to do. But I realise I don't want it to do an awful lot - but these companies need to stop wasting time, effort and money on lawyers chasing bloody rainbows where the only losers are us, the consumer.

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Devil

@ danny5 I think you'll find lawyers will be the winners .

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Devil

ah yes

now how could i forget about those.

Apple loses, Samsung loses, we lose, but the lawyers are having a ball.

bah i say!

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Apple has no truly original design in the iPad/iPhone.

It looks like a star trek padd!

It looks like my notebook sitting on my desk, you know with paper in it..

Icons look just like my old Amiga desktop 20 years ago! A grid of icons, WOW!

The courts should have thrown out the apple design claims unless samsung were selling them AS iPads....

People want iPad like devices without the iOS or Apple, so let them buy them!

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Facepalm

Interestingly...

...there is a Star-trek pad application for the iPad, so it looks and sounds like a trekkie pad.

Oh wait did I say "interestingly"? What I mean was "oh FFS, there's a what now?"

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"Fascinating."

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Mushroom

More More More!!!

We need more patent cases and more patent filings, we need 10 new cases for every case resolved, we need to clog the entire system up with so much paperwork and backlog that it collapses under its own weight.

Then in the aftermath we will have groundwork for a new system that actually works and several years supply of toilet roll.

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Yag
Facepalm

Fighting fire with fire...

... and stupidity with silliness.

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Mushroom

Why not?

So only Apple can sue everyone else using their stupid worthless "patents"? It is only fair for other parties to fight back.

The whole bloody stupid patent system need to go.

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I think the best idea would be to ban both apple and samsung devices until they can come up with a mutually acceptable compromise.

of course if one company refuses to compromise their product should remain banned while the other should have the ban lifted

this should solve the endless litigation that seems to be going on these days!

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WTF?

Huh?

"specifically UIs for the 'in flight mode' indicator (airplane icon); for customising a smartphone’s home screen; and for browsing applications categorised in a tree structure (in an apps store)"

As was said earlier but I still cant wrap my mind around it:

How the hell can flight mode, customizing a homescreen and the tree structure for browsing be patented?

I mean as it stands with flight mode do we get sued if we turn off our phone while on a plane because thats "flight mode"?

Customizing a homescreen.....let me repeat that, customizing a homescreen? Seriously? How come they haven't gone after MS et al who have been doing this for years. Personally I feel customizing the homescreen is down to the end user not the device manufacture. Sure they are welcome to put what they want on it when I get and first power on the device but if I feel like customizing my homescreen to be some extreme pron then its upto me. If I want to remove all the manufactures default shortcuts and put in my own for stuff I actually use then its my choice.

And need I say more about the tree structure?

I'm usually against Apple in this stuff but for once it appears that another company is definately in the wrong here and needs to be shot.

On another note I have a suggestion that could easily solve this. Put the two companies legal teams in a room with half a brick each. Last one standing wins.

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Coat

There's no Siri in Japan anyway - it would be silly

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Anonymous Coward

Apple's cases are rubbish

Hey,

the car manufacturers could go down the same way as Apple - they all look sort of the same - 4 wheels, boxy body etc (must register a patent...)

this is all rubbish and a wast of productive dollars. the court systems are already overloaded and don't need this rubbish. This is exactly why America is no longer a great civilisation - people have become lazy - it is easier to sue rather than work.

Now what can I patent (desk phones, calculators, tea pots....) Apple get a life and actually "invent" something instead of taking other peoples ideas, improving them and then trying to claim them as your own.

W.

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