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back to article Apple, Samsung get a room to settle patent war. Forgive us if we don't hold our breath

With the start date of their next trial looming, Apple and Samsung have agreed to try to settle their long-running patent disputes through a mediator. Bloomberg reports that the bitter rivals announced their intention to enter talks outside the courtroom in documents filed with the US Federal Court in San Jose on Thursday. The …

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Apple will never settle, they will ask for some stupid amount for their bogus patents yet claim anyone else's patents are worth only pennies.

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Anonymous Coward

No one wants to be accused of being a cheat,thief and a liar, and then shown and proved to be exactly that.

Samsung realise the game is up......

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quote: "No one wants to be accused of being a cheat,thief and a liar, and then shown and proved to be exactly that."

As long as you aren't suggesting that Apple is none of the above, then I'm fine with that statement. This being the same Apple that is bitching and moaning about the auditor forced upon them after being found guilty of price fixing, after all. ;)

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> No one wants to be accused of being a cheat,thief and a liar, and then shown and proved to be exactly that. Samsung realise the game is up...

Of course you DO realize that Samsung previously obtained an injunction banning the patent-infringing iPhone 4, only it was overthrown by the White House because it was "not in the public interest". You win some, you lose some. But Apple can't really lose in the US, of course, as has been shown by the aforementionned get-out-of-jail-free card.

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Ah, another person who doesn't understand FRAND

Doesn't understand how patents come to be FRAND, and how they can't charge different prices to different licensees just because they're being sued by one of those licensees.

No one should be able to enact an import ban based on FRAND patents. Surely if Apple doesn't invent anything themselves and Samsung is the font of invention as Apple haters claim, they ought to be able to come up with a single non-FRAND patent they could have used to try to get that import ban?

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Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

There is nothing new in smartphones, their Os's or their interaction systems.

Everything we see in iOS, Android, WinPhone etc is rehashing of older tech and ideas that have been around for 30+ years.

This nonsense has to end and the US court system needs to end it.

If someone invents a phone that makes me a cup of tea, brings it to me in bed and then goes off to work in my place, then yes that is an original idea and is worthy of a patent.

Rounded corners and slide unlocks or any of the other warmed over crap I see on the phone OS's of today is not original or patentable.

American courts, wise up. Tell these jokers to sling their hooks. If you do that then the price of phones can drop because they aren't constantly spunking all their money on lawyer fees.

American government, give the patent office some money to clean up their act and put these wasteful clowns back in their respective boxes.

Apple & Samsung, grow up. You are acting like pathetic children arguing over who gets to sit in the puddle at the end of the sandpit. Have a bit of dignity, we're bored of you now.

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Stop

Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

There's very little in the world that is totally new. Almost everything was based on earlier inventions. That doesn't make the new stuff trivial and not worth protection. Apple didn't patent the idea of the smart phone (there were plenty of examples that came before), but aspects of how their design works. Ask RIM if it was new and revolutionary. Samsung's idea of competing was to copy a whole bunch of that design (and they even wrote a manual which said precisely that, and was shown in evidence in the trial). If they hadn't been so blatant about it they could probably have got away scot free.

Historically it's a pretty common occurrence. Companies fight for ownership of new ideas in the courts as well as the marketplace. Things sort themselves out after a while. Both companies being willing to talk shows that things are settling down and sorting themselves out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

What was new was the combination of multitouch, capacitive screen and finger input.

The Smartphone pre-iPhone tended to be either 0-9 keyboard based or use a stylus. Clunky, fiddly geek toys. The iPhone made the smartphone someone everyone wanted to own and use.

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Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

"Samsung's idea of competing was to copy a whole bunch of that design (and they even wrote a manual which said precisely that, and was shown in evidence in the trial"

Great another clueless amateur who has no idea how design development works. This is a type document that can be found in every company on the market as it is a critical study of the competition and how to improve one's own products. The only difference is that Samsung had to show theirs whilst Apple were able to hide their document.

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FAIL

Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

I'm quite familiar with design documents. I've never seen one that is a point by point comparison against a competitors product, saying that our product is wrong and make it work/look more like the competition.

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Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

Some people love to twist history. For years I've been hearing arguments about how Android just happened to look like the iPhone but had been under development for years, so the similarities were just co-incidental. But in the recent book "Dogfight," Google's Chris DeSalvo, working on the Android project, admitted what those who were attentive the first time round already knew. On first seeing the iPhone he said:

“As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.’”

People forget Samsung shamelessly copied the iPhone physical design and proved by the point by radically changing their phone style only after they were sued by Apple. Before they changed their style, many of the more vociferous Android users were claiming the similarity was purely co-incidental and Apple had no right to protect it's design language and were bastards for attacking Samsung on that basis. Yet once the S3 was launched and Samsung suddenly had their own design language, the same users were suddenly proclaiming how wonderful it was and how there is no need to copy stupid Apple. They completely (deliberately) failed to see the simple reality that Samsung changed their strategy and proved Apple's point there was no need to copy, only after being sued. Copyright lawyers have a phrase for what Samsung were doing. It is called "camping on" a competitors design.

I'm not saying Apple are whiter than white. These are competitive businesses and everyone has to, to some extent, copy good ideas to compete. However there is a difference between copying a good idea seeking to improve it and executing a new design whilst doing the copying and shamelessly "camping on" a competitors design hoping some of the brand value they have built will rub-off and give you a boost. The former is competing, that latter is unfair, cheesy and wholly lacks class.

Personally I think it is good that a business can ensure it's designs remain distinct. Nokia didn't ever feel the need to copy Apple and style wise they have kept a distinct identity and with regard to hardware design have always been streets ahead of Samsung. As a consequence they garner respect. Sony too are beginning to return to the design strength they once had. As a consequence of the laws being as they are, users aren't fooled by cheap knockoffs a business doesn't get it's design language diluted to the degree it would otherwise be and, some will disagree with this statement, but overall when a company can build a distinct readily identifiable style and identity I think that helps consumers too. I like it that I don't live in a country filled with cheap knock of signage like "McDibbles" or sellers touting crappy counterfeit £70 "iPhons." By all means sell cheap phones, just don't "camp on" the brand another business has worked hard to build.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

" Samsung's idea of competing was to copy a whole bunch of that design"

Do you work for Apple? NO

Did you design for Apple? NO

Did you have any direct dealings? NO

So your erroneous opinion is just that. An uninformed opinion based on no facts.

Did Samsung create 'droid? NO

Are all phones just a rectangular block? YES

Apple did not invent the smartphone, they made a mediocre device desirable to those with more money than taste (think the porsche cayenne).

Apple will always win the 'merica because of the obvious bias, it doesn't mean that it's right or just.

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Stop

Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

Erm, that's what the US court found during the first trial, and Samsung actually admitted during the retrial over the damages amount. It's a finding of public record. YOU might not agree with it, but then I doubt that you've heard the amount of evidence that the jury did.

It's not just US court bias either. Korean courts seem to be agreeing also.

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Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it

Nokia wouldn't copy Apple designs even if there was no protection.

True, many of the pre N9 designs were definitely not slick, mainly functional (N900 for instance) but Finnish design in general is world famous, especially amongst designers (they have an impressive design museum in Helsinki to prove it). Many old Nokias are loved for their clever, sometimes even iconic designs, not all, but many.

Apple have had three designs and one of them was poor (glass back, Antenna-gate), one is okay (as far as I know, the iPhone 5 is a reasonable phone, although super expensive for what you get) and one was good-ish (the original iPhone did do things no-one else had done although it lacked even 3G, almost laughable and cemented my view that people don't have a clue since it still sold very well. It also lacked even the ability to get its time from the operator, had no HSPA when they finally did do 3G - basically, behind the curve continually).

Holding a lovely rounded, warm, tough, monoblock Lumia is so much nicer than carefully holding a metal rectangle with a glass back and a glass front (presumably carefully to avoid ruining the crappy reception).

And I feel a lot less worried should it fall from my grasp, as all phones will do.

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FAIL

I can only see the lawyers getting money here

This will go on for years.....and even lawyer fees are not going to be the same as the settlement amount.

Funny that Apple folded with the RC4 SSL stuff but goes at this like a rabid Jack Russell terrier.....it's not principle then, right?

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Facepalm

Wise up Apple (and the US Patent Office)

It isn't like people who buy Samsung or other Android devices would pay the Apple premium to get an iPhone whether Apple wins or loses. All they are really doing is hardening opinions against them with this bully tactic.

Like MonkeyScrabble said, half (if not more) of what they have patented shouldn't really be patentable, either because of prior art (I wonder if the Star Trek tablets had those rounded corners? Oh look... http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/Tablet_STTNG_The_Bonding.png) or because they are not innovations (those rounded corners again; plenty of old Nokia feature and smart phones had curvy corners and do/did you see them behaving this way?).

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If anything..

It shows Apple they should have cheaper hones and get more iphones into the market place for less cost. Why cant we as people challenge Apple's extortionate prices in court. Break down their most expensive phone and it shouldn't cost more than £200

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Re: If anything..

All you've really shown in that post is that you would get an iPhone if you could afford it. I'd love a Rolls Royce for £10 but that aren't happening either, but guess what I can afford the ford focus which does the same thing but does not look as good.

If Apple phone was rubbish they would have simple gone out of business by now, but they haven't and they continue to make money hand over fist, but you have other cheaper choices to make and constantly whining on about how Apple doesn't make cheaper phones is a waste of your energy and time, just ignore them.

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Anonymous Coward

Proof you are wrong!

"All you've really shown in that post is that you would get an iPhone if you could afford it."

Anyone seen "Benefits Street" on C4? Every pikey has iPhone! All with the same erroneous belief that it lifts their status.

This "you would have one if you could afford one" rubbish needs to be challenged, if only to steer those with this fallacy in the right direction.

Just cause something is expensive does not make it desirable or cool (there are plenty of utterly hideous and over priced products out there). If you believe this tripe you are a total and utter mug being played like a fiddle by the marketing men. Clearly 'having money' does not make you clever!

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Re: If anything..

The Ford Focus is very nice looking car, RRs are not - suitable for old fat men only. Very rich, fit men drive Bentleys in preference.

Now, maybe a Lambo or a Ferrari if you want to pick a car people really would prefer.

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"The move comes following a request by Judge Nancy Koh in November that each company submit a proposal outlining possible "settlement opportunities" in advance of their next trial,"

Apple's proposal probably went something like: "We want Samsung to bend over and take it! Yeah! Yeah! Oh god... Ye--e-e-ah!"

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All a costly game

The ruse has worked very well in selling mid range technology at a higher price.

Perception is everything. In the end costs are always paid for by the general public due to lack of competitive technical innovation.

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I wonder if Google are rergetting releasing Android under ASL?

Given the number of features from Android that iOS now contains, I wonder if Google are now regretting the use of the Apache Source License which enables Android source code integration into closed source/proprietary products...

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Re: I wonder if Google are rergetting releasing Android under ASL?

That license only matters if someone is taking Android code and putting it directly into other products. Taking notification center as an example, Apple may have copied the idea of having a notification center screen accessible from the home page, but they didn't copy Android source code. The Android source code would be useless to Apple, it would be like trying to copy Windows source code into Android.

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Re: I wonder if Google are rergetting releasing Android under ASL?

Copying the notification idea, look or mechanism would be wrong as far as Apple are concerned and the tables were turned. Rubber banding is a far less useful mechanism as they fought that like swines.

As for code, code contains algorithms, often more useful than the code although it's possible that anything clever would not have been portable anyway - mind you, they are both *nix derivatives. In this case just copying it after looking at it would be enough, the implementation is not a big deal - it is the thought that counts.

Still, one can port Linux to windows (and vice versa - automatically) reasonably well (including threading) with a set of macros (requiring no source code edits) that have little or no affect on performance.

I get that their APIs are different but more different than Windows and Linux?

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Re: I wonder if Google are rergetting releasing Android under ASL?

Sure you COULD use the same source code if you used a bunch of macros and wrapper functions, but why would anyone do that in the real world?

Apple sues over things that define a product's look and feel, not features themselves. If they had a notification center and it was accessed by flipping the phone over and back upright again quickly (to take a stupid example) they'd sue over that method of accessing it, not the existence of a notification center itself - unless their notification center layout and iconography were copied.

So they sue over a particular way of letting the user know they've reached the end of a scrolling area, not the entire notion OF notifying the user they've reached the end of a scrolling area. Because, and think about it, desktop software never notified you - it just stops scrolling when it gets to the end (whether you're scrolling with the space bar, scroll bar or scroll wheel) You don't need to be notified if there's a scroll bar, and even many previous touchscreen devices included a scrollbar.

They had to figure out a way of providing feedback that you reached the end of the scrolling area since there's no scrollbar to look at, so you can tell the difference between "end of scrolling area" and "my swipe down to scroll isn't registering right away for some reason". Android should have done with crumpling the page and springing back, it would have been different and IMHO far superior visually as notification of what is happening. The GPU in the first iPhone wasn't powerful enough to do that, however.

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Facepalm

FFS

Are these pricks STILL at it!?

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Holmes

"when Judge Koh ruled that several of the South Korean firm's smartphone models violated Apple's patents on the design and function of the iPhone. "

I thought it was the JURY that made that determination. Or are we talking about a different court case?

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