back to article Samsung's Apple ban bid tossed out by Dutch court

A Dutch court has rejected Samsung's bid to get bans on iPhones and iPads, saying that the Korean company can't seek an injunction based on standards-essential patents until licensing talks have been exhausted. However, the court also said that technical arguments on the validity of some patents and whether Apple was breaching …

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Anonymous Coward

Oh no

Some one's going to say biased judges being bribed with iPads or something

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh no

Two squabbling under fives.

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Bronze badge

...even the packaging

Please tell me they are not complaining that Samsung sell their phones in a box?

I know that you always pitch high then allow yourself to get knocked down to where you are happy to settle, but really, packaging?

The sooner Nanny MacPhee knocks their heads together the better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...even the packaging

Yes packaging.

http://peanutbuttereggdirt.com/e/custom/Apple-vs-Samsung-3-Package-Design.html

Clearly influenced by apple

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...even the packaging

I've seen photos comparing the packaging, and I have to say it did look like the designers couldn't be arsed and just copied apple's packaging. Same goes for a lot of their stuff, even things like chargers and adaptors look near identical to apple's designs. A quick search on the web will show you a few embarrassingly similar designs.

There's definitely some truth in apple's copying allegations against samsung. Doesn't apple to any of the other companies (outside of a few chinese knock-off shops) though.

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Silver badge

Re: ...even the packaging

However:

Were apple REALLY the first to use the following in their packaging?

- Rectangular box

- Silver lettering

- A picture of the product on the front

- The product in a cardboard insert visible when you open the box

I'm pretty sure that I've had more than one mobile phone through the years that meets some, or all of the above criteria. Apple didn't 'come up with the idea', they only have the audacity to claim they did. If Samsung copied them a bit, then so what? There's nothing distinctive to Apple about the things they are claiming, they didn't invent anything to do with the packaging, they just want to stifle the competition.

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Devil

Re: ...even the packaging

Good job Apple is not in the cereal business isn't it? All those similar^Winfringing breakfast box designs that Kellogg's has to compete with... we'd all be paying $50 for a box of cornflakes by now.

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Boffin

Re: ...even the packaging

The actual explanation may be simpler. Is it possible that Samsmug and crApple are buying boxes from the same packaging supplier?

"You want to package and protect a fondle slab? How big is the fondle slab? Yeah, we have a box here that might suit"

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Mushroom

"And although its bargaining power is limited, Samsung does hold SEP that Apple needs for its gear."

I think this is the issue for the android device makers. Apple (and MS who're involved too) have fairly strong patent portfolios that cover general device usage. Samsung + motorola have strong patents around 3G and a few other standards, but they're SEPs.

The recent court decisions (and statements from the EU) are saying that the SEPs aren't much use as a 'weapon' - they have to be licensed fairly, and for cash if the licensee wants that. They can't demand access to other patents in return (although many companies will do just that if it's in their interest).

So we end up with apple + MS in a pretty strong position, and samsung + motorola looking a bit toothless. They're going to have a big say in the outcome, when it finally arrives.

MS are pretty much just asking for some money to use their patents, which (to me at least) is very reasonable on the whole. It's just a reflection that they've spent much more time + effort developing all the bits that make up these devices, so the money flows their way.

Apple? They don't seem to be interested in the money - they want their devices to stand out, and they want exclusive use of a lot of the stuff they've developed. From what I've seen it looks like they're offering android makers access to all the basics they need to make phones + tablets in the same way MS are, but they're holding back all the juicy bits they think makes the iOS devices stand out.

If apple get their way, it's going to mean android devices lose various features. Probably lots of small stuff, like the slide-to-unlock feature, flick scrolling that bounces when it hits the bottom of the content, tapping on phone numbers in web pages to dial. Probably a lot more. Probably mostly small stuff, but they add up - android would get quite a bit worse overall.

Is it right or wrong? Fuck knows. I know I'd be bloody pissed off if somebody copied my work. I also know I'd be outraged if somebody sued me for using their work - if it was something very simple and obvious, and not a complex + hard won, very innovative thing.

It's fun watching it all kick off though :)

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Mushroom

Double standards-essential patents

"Suing Apple based on standards-essential patents (SEP) has been a losing tactic for Android phone manufacturers Samsung and Motorola so far, with courts by and large upholding the rule that the intellectual property involved in an industry standard has to be licensed to everyone who wants it fairly."

So while everyone who wants to advance the technology is forced by law to share their work with Apple for a reasonable fee, Apple go around patenting every obvious "design" that they come up with - or more accurately, that they buy out - and try to stop the real innovators using their work for themselves. Seems fair - if you're Apple.

It seems the Romans displayed almost supernatural prescience when they made their word for "apple" the same as the word meaning "one who is evil".

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Silver badge

Re: Double standards-essential patents

Yep, thats exactly right. Where groups of companies come together to share a bunch of patents in order to make a standard that they can all profit from, then they all have to agree to license them to anyone for reasonable prices. This seem harsh to you, Jedit?

When it's not standards-related stuff, the first person who comes up with and patents the idea has first crack at commercially exploiting it. You're complaining that Apple keep coming up with stuff first, and its not fair?

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FAIL

Re: Double standards-essential patents

'...who wants to advance the technology...'

You don't understand. SEPs are set in stone and can not be worked around - that's the whole point. If you try and advance the technology of the standard, you break the standard - which you are not allowed to do. If you come up with a technological breakthrough to something 'not' part of the standard, you can patent it and claim it as your own. Samsung, Moto, Apple or whoever are free to innovate in this way.

In latin, mālum "an apple", mălum "an evil", are similar but as different as say ...'lead a horse to water' and 'this lead musket ball will blow your brains out'.

Context and knowledge are, as always, in short supply with Apple naysayers.

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Silver badge
FAIL

"You're complaining that Apple keep coming up with stuff first"

Apple came up with the optimum solution to two-variable geometric equations before anyone else? It's a technological breakthrough to surround a display with a bezel of approximately even thickness on all sides?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "You're complaining that Apple keep coming up with stuff first"

Clearly Apple came up with a lot of stuff that Samsung thought was worth copying.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging."

What, so it's a slab with roudned edges so you don't poke yourself ont he corner, it has a touch-screen that you poke and swipe at, and it comes in a box? Well, colour me amazed at how obvious all of that isn't.

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Anonymous Coward

It's called Trade Dress and is very well under stood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dress

Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging (or even the design of a building) that signify the source of the product to consumers.[1] Trade dress is a form of intellectual property.

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WTF?

Two wrongs...

Samsung are suing over patents that everyone agrees are essential and cannot be used to sue competitors.

Apple are suing because somone is using similar packaging and rounded corners.

And how much money is this wasting?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two wrongs...

None at all, these are critical questions that have to be answered, and any money being spent is totally justified. If you don't believe me, just ask a lawyer.

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Stop

Non-Discriminatory

It seems to me reading this article that Moto was being fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. Apple approached them to license their SEP. Moto turned round and said, "OK well what we usually do is cross-license, so you can have ours, and we can have yours."

Apple is the one who said, "No, we don't want to be treated like everyone else, we want merely to purchase these *at a price we set* and give you no access whatsoever to our patents."

FRAND does not mean you dictate how much you get to spend on SEP, it merely means the SEP holder must offer it to you for similar price to every other customer.

If this were about buying oranges from the fruit stall, what Apple are doing is walking upto the fruit stall and demanding that they only pay $x per lb; whereas the fruit seller is arguing that people usually trades him apples for oranges but if he was to sell them then they'd be sold at $y per lb.

This isn't over yet, and something tells me that if MS can get away with 5% of Android phones at POS, then 2.5% of an iPhone at POS starts to sound Fair and Reasonable...

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Silver badge

Re: Non-Discriminatory

If you read the article, what actually happened was that Apple said "Er, excuse me? We bought these chips from Qualcomm, who've already licensed them from you..". The Dutch agreed.

Moto do not usually cross license SEP patents for all SEP and non SEP patents owned by a company. Normally, you pay a few cents per device for SEP patents. Moto wanted in the region of $2.50 per device. It's discriminatory and not fair or reasonable for Moto to charge Apple $2.50 a device, and Qualcomm 15 cents a device - SEP patents have to be licensed FRAND.

What MS have got Android manufacturers to agree to pay for non SEP patents is irrelevant.

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