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back to article Apple ban win: Now you can't buy Samsung gear no one was buying

The Obama administration has decided not to use its veto powers to overturn a ban on the import of certain aging Samsung devices - a ban that had been won by Apple at the US International Trade Commission. "After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, …

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The ITC moves too slowly for it to matter either way

Whether or not the Apple ban or the Samsung ban were/are applied is irrelevant, since by the time all the appeals are exhausted the devices are obsolete.

Even if Samsung wanted to continue selling these obsolete phones, they knew when the ban would take place,and that it is only a ban on import, not on sale. If they thought they might sell a million more of them over the next year or two they could have filled a warehouse with them last month and continued selling them, and the ITC ruling wouldn't hurt them at all.

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Meh

Re: The ITC moves too slowly for it to matter either way

Whichever way you look at it, even if you squint standing on your head looking through the bottom of a green wine bottle in a dark room, it still smacks of favouritism and protectionism.

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WTF?

Re: The ITC moves too slowly for it to matter either way

Yeah. Let's ignore the fact that Samsung were attempting to use FRAND patents in a manner that wasn't Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory.

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Re: The ITC moves too slowly for it to matter either way

The typical excuse of the itards... So now, asking for the exact same thing that Samsung asked everybody else isn't Fair because apple didn't want to pay anything at all?

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Headmaster

@Regtard "....Samsung were attempting to use FRAND patents in a manner.........."

One could also point out that Cupertino's attitude to any negotiations with Samsung where they claimed they were willing to license* to Samsung but demanded** $30 to $40 per device as their price for not starting their judicial carpet bombing campaign against the Koreans indicates very strongly that Apple was not interested in coming to a settlement that involved anything other than abject surrender by Samsung. Their intention was very clearly to destroy Samsung (and thereby seriously damage Android) in the US market.

*One should also take into account IMHO that the kind of patents granted to Apple and many other companies by the US patent office make an absolute mockery of the concept of rational law.

**Otherwise known as "demanding money with menaces" a practice that would earn any ordinary individual a jail term.

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Re: @Regtard "....Samsung were attempting to use FRAND patents in a manner.........."

"One could also point out that..." Blather, blather, blather.

Indeed one could, but one would be wrong.

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Re: The ITC moves too slowly for it to matter either way

Actually I believe that this and the article are wrong. The listed devices in the ban are only examples and that all devices infringing the patents are in fact banned. There is likely to be further battles about which devices also implement the same patents.

The Apple case was somewhat different in this regard because the newer devices were licensed to use the disputed patents because they used different components that came with licenses.

I haven't studied the details of Apple's patents in use here or the Samsung ones used against Apple and I have no view on the invalidity or infringement of any of them. I was very glad though that Samsung was not allowed an import ban based on FRAND committed patents. If appropriate a court can set royalties and if appropriate penalties against Apple and I'll have no complaint but an import ban or injunction is in almost all cases inappropriate for FRAND committed patents.

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Childcatcher

Exposing the true purpose of patents

So once again we're reminded that anything which might actually be a real invention, i.e. that which is "essential", is not afforded the privilege of a state-protected monopoly, specifically and paradoxically because it's "essential", and meanwhile the only things that do qualify for this protectionism are trivial aesthetics.

Patents are therefore about meaningless trivialities, not invention.

I suppose we should really thank the US government for being so honest, for a change.

Now, perhaps they'd care to explain why such trivialities deserve this monopolistic "protection" in the first place, but actual inventions don't?

The patent system is beyond broken, it's literally backwards.

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Design patents

Patents are not just issued for good ideas. They are issued for all sorts of things.

Indeed, in the Olde Days, land ownership was determined by government patent.

The major purpose of design patents is to prevent people replicating the look of a product so as to fool customers. That was probably more of an issue in the old days than it is now. We now have other ways to provide this protection: trademarks (eg. protecting logos) and the fact that people are generally more literate and less likely to be duped by counterfeit products.

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I know saying this will be unpopular. But this is entirely the right decision. Most now understand what FRAND refers to. But I've noticed most wade into this debate without understanding what standards essential patents and how they may or may not be technically essential patents. A standards essential patent is a patent on a design that is incorporated such that it becomes a mandated design aspect of the standard. Often standards essential patents are not technically essential. So if we are camera companies and want to agree a new standard for interchangeable camera lenses, there may be a couple of different locking mechanisms put forward. Each camera company might have it's own locking mechanism and they may be as good as each other's, but one has to be chosen for the standard. In this case, if each company has patented it's locking mechanism, one is chosen to be mandated by the standard and will, for this reason become known as standards essential. It will not however be technically essential.

Now understand, each companies locking mechanism patent isn't worth much because their competitors have alternative solutions. However the patented locking mechanism that gets chosen for the standard can potentially come to be worth a lot, because once the standard is established, everyone has to use it.

As part of the standards making process, companies Agee to put their patents into a patent pool so users of the standard (which includes pool members and their customers) do not have to fear being sued. Patent pool members especially have to agree that patents which are chosen to be standard essential will always be licensed on a FRAND basis. The whole point of a patent pool is, because the web of IP ownership can be so complex, customers should be able to use a technology without having to acquire all licenses up front. Most pools are designed to work that way. Additionally patent pool participants need to know they and their customers will not be held hostage by a member who's patents have been chosen to be standard essential. A condition of joining the pool is that pool members give up the right to aggressively pursue license fees.

All Samsung's patents used against Apple are standards essential and not technically essential. They choose to put them in a patent pool (nobody is ever forced too, famously Qualcomm held technically essential patents out of the 3G standard for years, because they had the best patents and could do so until the pool agreed to give them the special terms they wanted) and only have the value they have because they choose to allow them to be used as part of a standard (and agreed to the rules). Companies contribute to patent pools in the belief their patents will be worth more if if they continually accrue small incremental fees because they are part of a standard that gets used more than their patented inventions otherwise would be. You agree to forsake the right to hold-up pool members or their customers.

Samsung, on being sued by Apple, realised they had no patents they could reply with. They found all the patents relevant to Apple's business that they own, had already been contributed to patent pools (and they had been quite happy to accept the conditions of being part of the pool when they joined). They then unconscionably took advantage of the fact that though they had previously agreed to license the patents on a FRAND basis, the enforcement of civil agreements is a distinct legal process from the legal avenues available to to the patent owner (this incidentally is a reason they won the injunction, because the ITC's first duty is to enforce the rules and laws around patent ownership, not the civil agreements of patent pools. They do have some leeway to take patent pools into account but it seems they decided to avoid the politics and just look narrowly at the case, leaving the politics to the president).

Samsung have in effect torn up their patent pool agreements and use the patents that should have been out of reach for aggressive action, to attack Apple.

Apple chose not to contribute their patents to a patent pool, so retain the right to do whatever they wish with them. Samsung tried to make it a condition of licensing their encumbered standards essential patents, that Apple should be forced to cross license their unencumbered patents. Brazen. They have essentially made up new provisions entirely outside the scope of the patent pool and have been behaving as though their patents have not been contributed to pools at all. This is why they are now under anti-trust investigation in both the US and Europe.

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Anonymous Coward

It was more about Apple paying a fair and reasonable fee to use the patents that Samsung owned. Apple wanted to dictate the price they paid instead of paying the same as everyone else. They have been caught doing the same with ebooks, which is why they are being fined for price fixing.

Apple will screw everyone they can in order to get what they want. They have a belief that they are "special" and as such deserve special consideration. Normal laws and behaviour are beneath them.

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Yet again it shows that standards essential patents have less power than non-essential features.

Seems you can't even get paid for essential patents if Apple decides to use them.

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@SuccessCase

Upvoted for the effort. Although you missed the bit where Apple helped themselves to the patents without permission. This is somewhat frowned upon.

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Re: @SuccessCase

To all above. No I didn't forget about that. As I said, it is the very purpose of a patent pool that companies should be able to proceed without needing a license and expect to be able to negotiate on a FRAND basis. The reason for this is that the web of IP ownership can (and very often is) be extremely complex and if all licenses have to be agreed and settled before proceeding with patent pool a technology, many players would never be able to proceed at all. This is precisely the case with the iPhone IP. Apple's argument was that since the iPhone is more than a phone (e.g. Is a computer/music player/games machine as well as a phone), they should have to pay a royalty rate based on the cost of the subsystem the standards related too (the baseband chipset) not the the whole phone. This is similar to the argument if you build and sell a house containing an integrated burglar alarm, you shouldn't have to pay a royalty rate for any patent fees for burglar alarm tech based on the sale price of the house. Apple should have been able to proceed without a prior agreement and should have still been able to expect Samsung to negotiate on a FRAND basis (if companies can't have such expectation, there is so much IP involved with any standard and so many ways it can be argued a license is required, little in the way of standards based tech would be brought to market).

In the event Samsung argued a royalty rate was due directly to them, should be payed on the whole price, that Apple should pay an exorbitant license fee rate far outside what is common for FRAND patents (the value if which is largely dependent on the very fact they have been selected for the standard) and that as a condition of the license,Apple should be forced to cross license their own non FRAND patents, and finally that they would use FRAND patents to hold up Apple kit if they didn't comply (e.g. Precisely the action patent pools supposed to prohibit) . Apple, quite understandably, refused to negotiate beyond requesting the initial terms on the grounds that there was no point as clearly Samsung were treating their patents as though they were non FRAND encumbered devices, wanted to use them as weapons to counter sue Apple and the only possible next step was to go to court. The courts have agreed on this point (check Judge Posner's excellent guidance ruling on the dispute which summarised all this quite clearly) . Unfortunately, due to the way the law works, that was insufficient to prevent Samsung from using the powers and processes a patent owner has, which are cannot be disinter-mediated by the patent pool, from seeking an injunction. In other words the law around patent pools can be seen as insufficient for them to work as designed if a company like Samsung wants to tear up the spirit of the agreement. Except the law isn't without a variety of instruments. Samsung's behaviour vis-a-vis patent pool patents is so concerning and so damaging to the fair and reasonable expectations of companies to be able to use patent pool tech, they have as a result ended up being investigated for anti-trust violations in the US and Europe (separate mechanism from their right to sue based on patent ownership). The EU have found against them already and have asked with urgency they propose a remedy for their anti-trust position (they of course have very strong powers if they deem the remedy isn't sufficient).

Essentially pretty much the entire legal world is in agreement, they're in the wrong (though of course there are plenty of lawyers willing to argue all available avenues / technicalities for a fee). As mentioned Samsung did it more out of desperation and to show the market they are responding, than out of belief they actually had a chance of winning. Undoubtedly, as a strategy, this has proven to be the best one they could have adopted, the alternative was to bend over and lube up for Apple. They delayed that day, saved share price as a result and have grown revenues and market cap hugely in the interim. So in business terms clearly it was the best strategy available to them. But now they have to desist in using their FRAND patents as they have.

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Anonymous Coward

How is 2.5% of the full retail price of the phone when the patent in question covered less than 0.1% of a part, which itself accounts for a small part of the devices function, in anyway reasonable. When someone comes to the negotiation table (as Samsung were reluctant to do so) with that idea of reasonable, the best course of action is to walk away.

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Joke

Re: @SuccessCase

<quote>Apple's argument was that since the iPhone is more than a phone (e.g. Is a computer/music player/games machine as well as a phone)</quote>

Well maybe they shouldn't have named it an IPhone then ;)

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple wanted to dictate the price they paid instead of paying the same as everyone else."

[citation needed]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @SuccessCase

Moto is trying on the same tactic.

The concept of "patent exhaustion" seems to have completely escaped Samsung & Moto and their highly paid lawyers.

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Re: @SuccessCase

"Moto is trying on the same tactic."

Agreed and they to have been hauled before the Anti Trust commission for doing so. What is more, Google contribute a lot more funds to political lobbying than Apple. It is notable that for a company the size they are, Apple have a minuscule budget for political lobbying; which is actually a legacy of Steve Jobs being tight on the purse strings. So the notion they are paying their way into favour actually doesn't fit with the facts. It might seem reasonable to assume the govt and legal system are siding with Apple against Samsung (US against foreign), but there is no reason at all to assume they would siding with Apple over Google and yet Motorola, owned by Google is getting an equally firm rap on the knuckles for their mis-use of FRAND patents. It doesn't really make sense to say this is down to policy corrupting political contributions. Plus of course the reasoning behind the rulings is publicly available, very detailed and actually, if people bothered to read it, very fair (funny that, judges are actually quite good at their jobs). But hey, if the reality doesn't fit with the story people have decided on and want to read, they interpret it along the lines of the outcome they prefer.

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So how come?

Apple can get a ban on 100% of the phone when the patent in question constitutes probably 0.1% ?

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>"Apple wanted to dictate the price they paid instead of paying the same as everyone else."

> [citation needed]

Indeed - though that was my understanding of the issue. Everyone paid 2.5% (or whatever) of retail and Apple didn't want those terms, they wanted to make make up their own.

It was Non-discriminatory, certainly, (is "fair" the same thing?) but the "reasonable" was in dispute. It was "reasonable" for Samsung's other customers but if you make a special case in order to attain "reasonable" for Apple, have you breached the "non-discriminatory"?

I'd probably normally have sided with Apple, but Apple's patent antics have cost them all benefit of the doubt from me. Samsung have been playing up too a bit, but with the state of the industry, but in my estimation, choice in each market segment is a little more important than one company amassing a few billion dollars extra.

For further silly issues between big companies, I think we need the "tennis challenge" rule. Three incorrect challenges and you have to wait five years to before you can challenge again.

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Again illustration of the extreme ignorance over this case.

The patent pool rate was 2.5% for essential technology. Samsung were claiming 1) that Apple were not licensed and 2) since their patent is essential therefore it would only be licensed to Apple for the full 2.5% rate for the patent pool patents - thus completely ignoring what it means for their patent to be standards essential (a favour by the patent pool granted to Samsung on the basis they behave reasonably) and not technology essential (where they own a key essential technology worth 2.5% in its own right and not just because it was granted special status on the the basis Samsung behave reasonably!)

Apple quite reasonably stated they had tried to negotiate, but on receiving the terms sheet there was exactly one round in the negotiation, it had just taken place, and the next step was to see Samsung in court.

Again, to everyone that understands patent licensing, it is clear Samasung had no intention of providing acceptable terms but just wanted to keep an action going against Apple, probably just for shareholder PR value alone so they could point to a counter action while Apple was suing them over their own IP (with Samsung understanding most people don't understand patent licensing and that they could throw up an argument they were behaving reasonably). As I said, the strategy still paid dividends, even though the legal result was pretty much (and rightly) doomed to failure. However there is little doubt Samsung have been acting in bad faith vis-a-vis acting as a responsible member of the patent pool. The legal judgements detail this quite clearly.

Most commenters of course like to aggregate all their feelings about a company and pronounce judgement on that basis rather than on the facts of the individual case (the voting on here illustrates that). Go on the facts of the case however, and it is clear Samsung have acted badly.

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Anonymous Coward

"Indeed - though that was my understanding of the issue. Everyone paid 2.5% (or whatever) of retail and Apple didn't want those terms, they wanted to make make up their own."

You, like the hordes of morons spouting bullshit here were misinformed, and that misinformation probably came from the trolls here or somewhere similar.

A big problem of the internet is that popular opinion gets elevated to an apparent truth quite easily. Poorly researched articles posing as journalism doesn't help either (not picking on this article specifically, this is a general comment).

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An Inconvenient Samsung

When influencing the White House it never hurts to have an ex-US Vice President on the board of directors.

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Headmaster

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

@SuccessCase: So basically Samsung is being punished for not patenting utter trivialities like Apple does.

I'm quite prepared to believe the possibility that Samsung has no patents that aren't either "standards essential" or irrelevant to Apple, but personally I believe that if one is being attacked by a company as hostile as Apple, using such trivial claims, then all bets should be off, and any entitlement the attacker has to FRAND terms should be revoked, thereby giving the victim the means to defend itself. See the patent provisions of the GPLv3, for example.

The other point to consider, as another poster already noted, is that Samsung did in fact already offer Apple a license under FRAND terms, but Apple rejected it and demanded preferential terms, which is itself a violation of FRAND licensing conditions. I wouldn't exactly characterise that as "brazen" behaviour on Samsung's part.

But as I wrote in a comment to an earlier article, this was never about what's "fair or reasonable", it's purely about the fact that Apple is Too American To Fail. If recent events have taught us anything, it's that expecting justice from a county like the US, which actually reveres its monopolistic gangsters instead of punishing them, is utterly futile.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

Trouble is that Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable. 2.5% of the retail value of the phone on for a patent that covers 0.00375% of a component of the phones function is not, by definition, reasonable or fair, especially when Samsung's licensing shenanigans (redaction of license for 3rd party suppliers etc.) are taken into account. Samsung are not some beleaguered underdog. They are a manipulative and insidious organisation that lie, cheat and steal. Frankly, they deserve far worse.

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Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

Admittedly I've lost track what the component was, but using percentage of phone mass or volume is a pretty poor metric. If, for example it was related to 3g processing, then you can expect it to be pretty small and light, however you won't have a phone without it.

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Childcatcher

Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

OK, so the royalty rate was too high and Samsung tried to tie the agreement to cross-licensing of Apple's non-FRAND patents, both of which are violations of FRAND conditions, but remember Apple struck first with its belligerent litigation (or "thermonuclear war", as that tyrant Jobs put it), based on utterly trivial claims ("rounded rectangles" and other nonsense), so under the circumstances I believe Samsung was perfectly justified in defending itself with the only measures it could, to try to balance a profoundly unbalanced patent system that allows trivial and obvious "inventions" to be used as monopolistic weapons.

I just find it ironic that the company that decided from the outset to play fair, by voluntarily dedicating its technology to a standard, thus losing any patent leverage, should be attacked by a corporate thug like Apple, which "invents" nothing of consequence and thus has nothing to dedicate to any standard in the first place (even if it were so inclined), and the company that played fair ends up with no legal recourse, and has to break the skewed rules just to restore some semblance of balance.

What's "fair or reasonable" about that?

The fact is this case would never have happened had Apple not had the opportunity to patent such trivialities, then wield them with such aggression. The USPTO is a joke, little better than a vending machine that spits out monopolies for cash, with absolutely no due diligence whatsoever. Corporate thugs like Apple then gleefully capitalise on this lax system, whilst the US administration chuckles on the sidelines, stroking the big wads of greasy cash the "IP" lobbyists slipped into their back pockets.

The stench of corruption is overpowering.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

"but remember Apple struck first with its belligerent litigation..."

That doesn't fucking matter! The facts are taken case by case. What Samsung did *in this specific case* was abusive and they are luck not to be facing greater censure!

What's fair about Samsung continually copying FUCKING EVERYONE and getting away with it?! Don't paint them to be an innocent, benevolent underdog when this is clearly not the case! the do not represent all that is honest and good. FFS.

"The stench of corruption is overpowering."

And yet the overwhelming evidence is that the corrupt party is Samsung.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

"Samsung are not some beleaguered underdog. They are a manipulative and insidious organisation that lie, cheat and steal"

Oh, much like Apple then

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Roo
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Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

"What's fair about Samsung continually copying FUCKING EVERYONE and getting away with it?! Don't paint them to be an innocent, benevolent underdog when this is clearly not the case! the do not represent all that is honest and good. FFS."

Apple copied Samsung's patented IP.

Apple refused to license and pay for Samsung's IP.

Apple refused to negotiate licensing terms, they chose to litigate instead and received zero penalty.

Whether something falls under FRAND terms is only relevant as far as the cost of licensing or penalty for failing to properly license the technology. In this case it appears Apple have received no penalty for copying Samsung's IP, whereas Samsung received a fairly harsh penalty for a practically identical infringement.

I tend to have more sympathy with Samsung, developing 3G was expensive, they contributed some key components to the spec. By contrast detecting a jack in a socket is very old tech and relatively trivial to design and implement. Even a whipper snapper like me has seen 40 year old bit sof audio kit that does exactly that, Apple had a wide range of prior art to steal from when patenting that 40+ year old 'innovation'.

The fact is Apple have got away with paying nothing for a very important and very expensive to develop piece of original IP, meanwhile Samsung has been whacked for ripping off a piece of IP that has at least 40 years worth of prior art behind it. Read the patents. Take a look inside kit that came out prior to Apple's patent if you want to get a real understanding of the issues at stake.

Of course you can carry on ranting & raving too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

"Apple refused to license and pay for Samsung's IP."

Because Samsung weren't offereing FRAND terms, as they were supposed too under an agreement that Samsung had made. What part of that don't you understand?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

It doesn't matter how trivial it is, but it does matter if it is SEP & FRAND. It also matters if the patent in question is used in a comms chip that Apple sources from some other company that already paid the patent. "Patent exhaustion" - look it up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

@homer. The problem with you illogic, is that if Samsung wants to copy something Apple invented they have to negotiate a fee. There is no obligation on Apple to license any patent and Apple cannot be forced to do so by Samsung because Samsung have SEP patents in the pool. This would be true no matter which two company names you substitute. Samsung are the bad guy here, there is no point in trying to argue otherwise.

Samsung did not and do not have to copy the iDevices in any way at all. That was a conscious decision. Normal for Asia where copying is what they do best. Samsung were behind the curve (like everyone else) and decided copying was the only way to catch up. Now they find they cannot copy everything they need to invent replacement stuff instead - too hard - easier to try the gangster method with the SEPs.

I notice that my Meego mobile phone has "bounceback". I can safely assume Nokia paid Apple for that?

And for the morons not old enough to remember Nokia has, and still has, a very heavy hand in the mobile patent world and has never had any problem throwing its weight around when it felt their property was infringed. This, for many many years before Apple even entered the market.

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Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

Well, if the component in question is so meaningless as to only cover 0.00375% of the phone, then if Apple didn't want to pay for it, they could've just not used it, right? It's obviously totally useless.

No? It's essential to the operation of the phone? Then stop trying to downplay its worth.

Samsung offered Apple the same licensing under FRAND as everyone else had, and Apple decided to just use it without paying anything.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

"Samsung offered Apple the same licensing under FRAND as everyone else had, and Apple decided to just use it without paying anything."

[citation needed]

I get tired of seeing this repeated. I want to know if it is true, not get a downvote from a moron!

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Roo
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Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

"Because Samsung weren't offereing FRAND terms, as they were supposed too under an agreement that Samsung had made. What part of that don't you understand?"

Which bit of "Apple refused to negotiate licensing terms" do you not understand ?

It is standard practice to start the licensing merry-go-round turning with a ridiculous offer, that's hardly a trade secret, surely you are familiar with the practice known as patent trolling ? :)

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Childcatcher

Re: "What's fair about Samsung continually copying..."

You mean like Apple does?

What's fair about Apple oppressing an entire industry with patently bogus claims to "invention", such as "rounded rectangles"?

Any system so corrupt that it supports something as ridiculous as the monopolisation of basic and wholly unoriginal geometric shapes, or any other palpable trivia, is clearly untenable, and therefore its rules should rightfully be broken, assuming that corrupt system can't simply be abolished.

Although it's worth noting that, as broken as the patent system clearly is, it only seems to be certain companies, mostly Apple and patent trolls like Nathan Myhrvold (along with his many thousands of fake companies), that abuse it so brazenly with utter trivia, so maybe it's those dubious companies that should be abolished, not just patents.

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Definitely puts an end to the fantasy that America is a free market

One rule for American companies another for foreigners. At least they're being open about their protectionism.

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Re: Definitely puts an end to the fantasy that America is a free market

Free trade for us

Fuck you for the world

Wasn't it always thus? "Too American to Fail" above has a great ring to it.

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Re: Definitely puts an end to the fantasy that America is a free market

Indeed, can't understand why so many of our politicians endlessly such up to this untrustworthy lot.

Anyone following the recent BP fiasco will not be surprised.

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Even the USPTO operates that way

I was recently involved in a case to overturn Microsoft's claim that some software I had written violated their patent.

One thread of the attack was to show that MS's claims were not novel and the patent was thus invalid. I was shocked to discover that the US courts would not accept "foreign" prior art as evidence against novelty.

No sirree, new in USA is good enough.

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Childcatcher

Re: '"foreign" prior art [not accepted] as evidence against novelty'

Really? So foreign prior art is inapplicable to your alleged foreign infringement?

That's astounding hypocrisy, even by the Yanks' already low standards.

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Of course there's no conflict of interest

America at it's finest, but what would you expect from them? Ban an American company? No bloody way we'll do that, but we'll ban their competitors over a similar issue no problem at all.

Well i've always had a "fuck apple" attitude and that's not going to change, so fuck Apple.

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I would have thought that rounded corners would fall under the FRAND banner also, if only to stop mankind from jabbing itself upon inserting a smartphone into its pocketses.

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Time for the rest of the world to start protecting themselves from american businesses then. As anyone should know you can't ever trust an american company under any circumstances, why not just stop importing american goods. All they really have is IP. Everything else can be done better, elsewhere.

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Double standards

Apple ban - bad for competition! Samsung ban - not bad for competition.

Regardless of your thoughts the fact is Samsung won a ban that was vetoed because it would apparently affect competition. The products weren't the newest available from Apple but that didn't matter as it would still somehow affect competition. Now when the opposite happens it won't affect competition? The clearest message here is that the US will protect US companies even when they fall foul of US law.

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Re: Double standards

Paul, I think you're interpreting it wrong. The key words are 'for Apple'

Samsung won a ban that was vetoed because it would apparently affect competition for Apple

Now when the opposite happens it won't affect competition for Apple

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audio-jack insertion and removal??????

You can patent that?

I'm filing a patent for bum wiping...I will make 7 billions in no time. Andrex, you will bow down to me.

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