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Iphone The Courts Apple

Samsung Tries To Ban Import of iDevices To US 201

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
tekgoblin writes "The battle between Apple and Samsung has just heated up again. Samsung has filed a complaint to the International Trade Commission to ban import of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod products to the U.S. From the article: 'Samsung, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones whose Galaxy devices compete with the iPhone and iPad, claims Apple is infringing five patents, according to a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington yesterday. The ITC, which can block imports of products found to violate U.S. patents, must decide if it will investigate Samsung’s claims.'"
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Samsung Tries To Ban Import of iDevices To US

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  • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:02PM (#36616462) Journal

    If Samsung succeeds in obtaining this ban, then that's billions of dollars they lose in sales of flash memory to Apple. Who's in charge of that outfit?

    -jcr

    • by YodasEvilTwin (2014446) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:06PM (#36616500) Homepage
      Samsung sells everything to everyone. I'm sure they'd happily take a small profit hit now in order to force Apple to pay them royalties on every device they have sold and will sell. It might not work out in their favor, but it's probably worth a shot.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Samsung sells everything to everyone. I'm sure they'd happily take a small profit hit now in order to force Apple to pay them royalties on every device they have sold and will sell. It might not work out in their favor, but it's probably worth a shot.

        Good point. Apple takes 57% of mobile industry profits, selling just the iPhone which has only 4% of the entire mobile marketshare. Everyone else, including the likes of Nokia, RIM, LG, Samsung, ZTC, etc. who sell the rest of the phones, gobble up the remaining

    • Not so sure about that - don't Apple pre-pay for their flash memory, and won't it be on a contract where Samsung deliver X units every Y months ? Samsung don't care if Apple can't *use* the ram, the contract is just for supply.

      Of course, Samsung will lose out on future contracts if they play this game, I'm sure Apple will (ahem) investigate Toshiba's flash-ram parts next time around, but perhaps Samsung think this is likely anyhow, so if they've already burnt their bridges, why not go for it ?

      Simon.
      • by mr1911 (1942298)
        It is very unlikely Apple pre-pays anything. It is very likely the contract has enough escape clauses that Apple does not need to take anything if the mood strikes them.
        • One of the stated strategic advantages (by Tim Cook, the COO) of Apple's cash pile is to be able to pre-pay for strategic resources such as flash RAM, and therefore reserve enormous quantities at excellent prices. He (and Oppenheimer) have said this several times in Q&A section when they're reporting quarterly numbers.

          Simon
          • by mr1911 (1942298)
            I believe they sign contracts to lock in capacity, but I find it hard to believe any cash actually changes hand before the parts are delivered. To be correct, the sentence should read "One of the strategic advantages of Apple's cash pile is that manufacturers believe you can pay when the time comes to deliver the large portion of their capacity they ran for you".

            I could very well be wrong, but pre-payment does not fit any Apple MO I have seen.
    • Apple has already shown they pretty much don't want to do business with Samsung in the future. Moving their chip fab and several other components to competitors.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I guess the apple fanbois can forget about AMOLED then.

        • Oh, what a shame. I am not an Apple phone user, but am considering it for my next phone, when iPhone 5 or 6 rolls around, whichever has LTE on VZW. If it had an AMOLED screen, I would NEVER buy one. I had an early HTC Incredible with the AMOLED screen, it was absolutely horrible. Sure, it looked nice if you were in a pitch black room, but pretty much anywhere else it was horrible. Out in the sun, forget about even trying to look at your phone, you won't be able to see a thing. That was my shortest own
        • by IrquiM (471313)
          Who cares? They'll get the new cornea display!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious (11933) *

      Personally, if I had a customer as insanely and stupidly litigious as Apple, I wouldn't much care about losing them.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:27PM (#36616744) Journal

      Of course Samsung will not succeed in obtaining the ban; it's not the goal. Everyone knows that it's going to end up as a settlement and a cross-licensing agreement, they're just haggling over who pays and how much.

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      Samsung knows they won't get this ban. That isn't their strategy. They just want a cut of the money. You must understand one thing to make any sense of civil corporate law: No one ever wants to go to court; they want a profitable settlement.

      After all, if you were a Samsung executive, and you did not suffer from recent substantial brain damage, would you think that hordes of customers who've just been denied the chance to buy the iProduct they've been looking forward to buying are going to reward the comp

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        They don't want a cut of the money. They just want Apple to stop suing them. But now that they're fighting things might get a little bitter.
    • by X.25 (255792)

      If Samsung succeeds in obtaining this ban, then that's billions of dollars they lose in sales of flash memory to Apple. Who's in charge of that outfit?

      They are negotiating.

  • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:03PM (#36616472) Homepage

    This is just getting retarded, it's like watching a bunch of school kids bully each other then go to the teachers.

    • Well, you know who started it, and you know whose ass is getting pounded.

      I am loving this.

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      Apple started it!
  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:04PM (#36616484)

    In fact, *Nobody* can produce a smart phone without infringing on *Somebody's* patents.

    You want IP reform? Take EVERY infringing product off the market. Let's see congress and the Executive branch do without their Blackberries and their iPhones. It is stupid to allow the thousands upon thousands of bogus patents to be used as a patent thicket to protect a few big companies. These are NOT inventions, in the sense viewed by the framers of the constitution. Most are little minor tweaks obvious to anyone working in the industry. But the costs to consumers in more expensive products and less competition and slowed innovation is huge and vast.

    It is time we limit tech patents to 3 years. But regardless of the reform, reform is needed.

    • Patent Length (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xzvf (924443) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:21PM (#36616670)
      When patents were first introduced in the UK, their length was 14 years. That was based on apprenticeships lasting seven years, and two generations of apprentices learning how to build and operate a device. If it could be argued that it takes a software engineer six months to become proficient in a programing technique then software patents should only be one year. Look and feel patents, if it takes 12 weeks to master creating that look and feel, then the patent should only be six months. Something that takes a four year engineering degree to master, gets eight years. A doctorate, 16 years. This would reduce the load on the patent office, because it wouldn't be worth the effort to patent simple things.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        How would this help the Patent Office? If people patent less stuff, then the USPTO gets less fees. The whole point of the USPTO is to make money in fees, so the more patents filed and approved, the better. That's why they don't put much effort into making sure patents aren't invalid because of prior art, and zero effort into invalidating them because of obviousness to a practitioner of the art: rejecting a patent application means less money in fees for the USPTO, so why would they do that? Also, lots o

        • Unless I'm misunderstanding the reason for the language in the present legislation being worked on the USPTO does NOT retain the fees from applications.
        • How would this help the Patent Office?

          Simple. With shorter term patents, companies would need to constantly patent random bizarre stuff all the time. This would equal more revenue for the Patent Office.

          As to whether this would increase innovation, I still think companies are of the mindset that lititgation is more cost effective than innovation.

    • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @12:07AM (#36618988)

      These are NOT inventions, in the sense viewed by the framers of the constitution. Most are little minor tweaks obvious to anyone working in the industry.

      I see this argument all the time but let's be real for a second here - in the smartphone category, there's a very distinct "pre-iPhone" era and "post-iPhone" era. It may seem obvious _now_ but, until the iPhone came along, it clearly wasn't that obvious because damn near nobody else was doing it. Now? After the iPhone? Yeah - everyone and their cousin is producing a smartphone that looks and acts like an iPhone so it all seems so obvious. Until the iPhone came along, however, it wasn't obvious at all.

      Here - I'll make it even easier to understand with an car analogy. Well, a minivan analogy, to be exact. At one point, minivans had one sliding door on one side of the minivan. That's what they all looked like. All of them. It was a holdover from the minivan's utilitarian predecessor - the cube van. Then, one day, someone got the bright idea of putting a sliding door on the other side of the minivan as well. And, low and behold, everyone started doing it because "it's so obvious." But, until the first one appeared, it wasn't obvious - if it had been, everyone would have been doing it. It wasn't obvious at all.

      While many people want to believe that the iPhone is not inventive and is just a collection of obvious ideas, that's not even vaguely true because, if it was obvious, there would have been a ton of iPhone-like phones already on the market. It wasn't until the iPhone came along that suddenly "it's so obvious" happened followed by everyone doing what Apple had done because, you know, "it's so obvious."

      Sliding doors on both sides of a minivan. iPhone. Obvious, only after you see it done.

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      You can, if you avoid US
  • FTFA:

    The patents in the ITC case are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display

    I wonder how specific these patents are and how similar the Apple products are to them. Did they patent transmitting TCP/IP over wireless on a phone (something obvious), or do they have their own proprietary protocol (less obvious)?

    I have a feeling there might be a lot of obscurity involved in this case.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      FTFA:

      The patents in the ITC case are related to ways to transmit multiple services over a wireless network; the format of data packets used for high-speed data transmission; integrating Web browsing into a phone; a way to store and play digital audio; and viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display

      I wonder how specific these patents are and how similar the Apple products are to them. Did they patent transmitting TCP/IP over wireless on a phone (something obvious), or do they have their own proprietary protocol (less obvious)?

      I have a feeling there might be a lot of obscurity involved in this case.

      They use programs - which is a pretty evil thing when you get down to it.

      Now if Apple used a couple tin cans and a string Samsung wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

  • by Liambp (1565081) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:18PM (#36616644)

    They are going to have a hard time finding a judge or jury who isn't addicted to some Apple product methinks.

  • by gmezero (4448) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:23PM (#36616700) Homepage

    Seriously, right off the bat when Apple sued Samsung the first thought that crossed my mind was "how is this going to work out", Samgung is simply going to counter sue the crap out of them. Then when it was noted that the iPhone contains Samsung parts, I just shook my head at the stupidity.

    I'm sure the person at Apple that was getting pats on the back over this slick move is now picking the shoe parts out of their ass.

    You know the extra delicious bit of irony with this new turn is that we have a Korean company suing an American company and filing for injunction to prevent the American company from shipping their products because they've outsource production overseas. HAhahaha. Globalization? How's that working out for you?

    • If you really think that Apple didn't know they used Samsung parts, and they didn't expect counter-suits, then you really don't understand businesses in general and Apple especially.
      • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:23PM (#36618078)

        If you really think that Apple didn't know they used Samsung parts, and they didn't expect counter-suits, then you really don't understand businesses in general and Apple especially.

        If you think Apple aren't betting that Samsung is not a vindictive company you dont understand law suits in general.

        Apple are suing because Samsung smart phones are taking sales away from Apple phones. Apple derives over 50% of it's income from phone sales (a single product) so they've got a lot to lose if phone sales are threatened, namely their astronomical share price.

        The suit was an act of a desperate company, if you cant see that you dont understand how tech business work. Those at the top dont worry about others, those who fall behind sue everyone (and that children, is how bubbles burst).

        Samsung hold all the power here, if Apple becomes too bothersome, they'll just find a way to get rid of all their current contracts. Apple does not make up that much of Samsungs sales and the products they sell to Apple can be sold to many other customers (Sony, HTC, HP, Dell).

        • by Phleg (523632) <stephen@@@touset...org> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @12:04AM (#36618958)

          Apple are suing because Samsung smart phones are taking sales away from Apple phones.

          Apple is suing because that's how the game is played at this point. Trot out your patents, so does the other guy, and settle on some cross-licensing agreement that (if you've calculated right) puts you in a better position than your competitor. Or encourages your other competitors to follow suit in licensing your patents. You clearly do not understand this level of "business chess". That's alright, but you just really ought to shut up about it until you learn more.

          ...they've got a lot to lose if phone sales are threatened, namely their astronomical share price.

          Share price is an arbitrary value without knowing market cap. If you actually meant "share price", you have no idea how the stock market works. If you actually meant "market cap", you might understand how the market works, but are laughably far from reality. AAPL is currently trading at a 15.92 P/E ratio, compared to a 19.32 P/E for GOOG, an astronomical 2,424.63 P/E for LNKD, and 10.15 P/E for MSFT. However, AAPL has (as of last quarter) nearly 10% of their share price in cold, hard, liquid cash. Assuming a zero growth rate, AAPL will have more cash on hand than its current share price in less than five years [bullishcross.com].

          So tell me, please, how Apple's share price is astronomical.

  • The whole industry (Score:5, Informative)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @06:27PM (#36616746)
    is throwing lawsuits around willy nilly: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2010/10/mobilesuits.jpg [gawkerassets.com]

    Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody. That graphic's a little old, but it still illustrates just how messed up the patent system must be.

    • Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody.

      What else are you going to do with all of those lawyers? Feed them to the sharks?

      • by FSWKU (551325) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @09:02PM (#36617944)

        Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody.

        What else are you going to do with all of those lawyers? Feed them to the sharks?

        Can we? Please???

        • Pretty much all the big players are being sued by somebody.

          What else are you going to do with all of those lawyers? Feed them to the sharks?

          Can we? Please???

          Please no!

          I need more reactive targets for my shooting range...

  • They're on very slippery terrain. Apple could go to another manufacturer for their iDevices cpus and flash nand. It's not like Samsung is the only company manufacturing Flash memory or ARM processors. Samsung stands to lose a pretty big customer in that case.

    -iPod, check
    -iPod Touch, check
    -iPad, check
    -iPhone, check
    -AppleTV, check (I don't think they sell those that much though. :)

    • by Wovel (964431)

      It was 1 million Apple Tvs in December, not huge by Apple standards but it is still significant.

    • by terjeber (856226)

      Sigh. Why is it that maths is so hard for so many people.

      Phones and the like is about 50% of Apple's business. Apple is 3-5% of Samsung's business. Apple took a gamble, assuming Samsung would fold. They did not, and this now only has the potential to hurt Apple. Sammy won't even get a small paper cut.

      This is going to end with Apple dropping its law suits against Sammy, Sammy doing the same for Apple. Apple getting some nice consolation price from Sammy and Sammy taking a cut out of every iStuff sold. Good m

  • by TopSpin (753)

    A South Korean company blocking the import of Chinese made products of a US company on the basis of US patents. Amusing. Also, it's not going to happen [macdailynews.com]. At least not this election cycle.

  • Filing a complaint at the US ITC is now part of the standard arsenal for software patent lawyers. Actual bans are very rare, a Qualcomm phone ban is the only one I remember, and the ITC has also said explicitly that bans are only possible at the request of product developers, not trolls.

    That said, in terms of stock prices, market confidence etc. filing a complaint at the ITC is probably a win in itself in this legal system that encourages competitors to shoot each other rather than out-do each other.

    http:/ [swpat.org]

  • How could you even get a patent on "viewing digital documents using a touch-sensitive display"? It is a passive activity of the "user", not the system and there is no description on the system responding in any way to the "viewing".

    It should have been rejected unless if they at least rewrote it as "displaying digital documents using a touch sensitive display" because that is something that the device actual does.

  • And we always thought Apple were a US company. Or are these products made in Chinese sweatshops by any chance?
  • When the economy grinds to a halt, and the only people making a living are lawyers, maybe - maybe - we'll get change.

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