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EU Iphone Patents Apple

Samsung May Try To Block Next iPhone In Europe Too 271

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the can't-we-all-get-along-here dept.
phonewebcam writes with a report in The Register about the ongoing spat between Samsung and Apple. From the article: "Samsung could try to get the iPhone 5 delayed or banned in Europe, a source has told South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper today. The Korean giant is considering a lawsuit against the next version of the Apple smartphone due in October, in the expectation that iPhone 5 will make use of some basic telecoms technology that Samsung has patented. ... It comes a day after The Korea Times quoted an anonymous Samsung exec saying that the company would attempt to do the same thing in Korea."
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Samsung May Try To Block Next iPhone In Europe Too

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:55AM (#37466802) Journal
    "Turnabout is fair play."
    • by Wolfling1 (1808594) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:01AM (#37466874) Journal
      Or... payback's a bitch.
      • by Wovel (964431)

        Or cutting off your nose to spite your face is fair play bitch. Samsung makes more money selling iPhones than Samsung phones...I would imagine it is quite a bit more profitable too.

        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          No - Samsung is making some money off of components, but Apple is the one getting the lion's share of the profit.

          • by Wovel (964431)

            Samsung presumably sells their components at a profit....

          • Seems like Samsung should just stop that contract.. and see what happens as Apple has to source flash memory from multiple suppliers to keep up with demand..

        • That might be why they are aiming at the upcoming iPhone, not the present one...

          Apple, so rumor has, has been reducing the Samsung slice of the BOM substantially of late(A4, Samsung, A5, somebody else, I'm not sure what they are doing for flash memory...), out of some mixture of desire to get a better deal and reprisal against a competitor. Once the slice falls below a certain level, it stops making sense to tolerate Apple's legal shenanigans in order to move more components, and starts making sense to t
          • by Wovel (964431)

            Samsung will still be making the A5. The rumors are that TSMC will make the A6. I can see why you would dump a supplier that steals your designs. I can't see why you would dump attack a massive customer of one of the conglomerates core businesses just to prop up the mobile division.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Kartu (1490911)

              Stealing design of a rectangular device with rounded corners is shameless indeed.
              I wonder, why does one need a Fab to steal that...

        • by sosume (680416) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:05AM (#37467812) Journal

          Apple has changed to many other suppliers for its components (the A5 chip comes to mind) so this argument is not valid anymore. Samsung stated that at first, they bent over and let Apple have their way in order to keep a 'healthy' business relation. But after the Galaxy line got blocked in the EU, generating a huge loss, Apple choosing other manufacturers over Samsung, and still acting like a small female dog over patents, Samsung has become quite angry and now Pandora's box is open it seems. I sincerely hope they destroy Apple or at least let them bleed with their childish tactics: crying that they are the underdog while suing all competition out of the market.

        • Or cutting off your nose to spite your face is fair play bitch. Samsung makes more money selling iPhones than Samsung phones

          Citation? Samsung is making a huge profit [theaustralian.com.au] right now through their smartphone sales, whilst their profits from most other components is falling. In Q2 of this year, Samsung sold way more phones [arstechnica.com] than Apple. Phone sales, right now, are top dollar for Samsung.

          And if Apple's sales of an iPhone5 gets blocked, what do think will happen to Samsung's sales? Do you think they might just happen to rise even further?

    • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:29AM (#37467346)
      In this case I think

      “You don't mess with the 800 pound gorilla!” [wikipedia.org]

      is more apropos. Samsung is the GE of S. Korea

      Here is a list of industries under Samsung

      Electronics
      Shipbuilder
      Financial
      Chemical
      Retail
      Entertainment
      Flash memory
      Aviation
      Optical storage
      Mobile phones
      Smartphones
      Hard disk drives
      • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:56AM (#37467708)

        Wow... I had no idea Samsung was so big.

        Samsung / Apple

        • Revenue: US$ 172.5b / US$ 65.23b
        • Net Profit: US$ 13.8b / US$ 14.01b
        • Total assets: US$ 294.5b / US$ 75.18b
        • Total equity: US$ 112.5b / US$ 47.79b
        • Employees: 276,000 / 49,400
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by sosume (680416)

          Funny to see what an absurd profit Apple makes on its customers, compared to the competition, and then have all the fanbois defend that as a unique selling point. The Stockholm syndrome comes to mind...

          • by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @11:22AM (#37468764)

            Funny to see what an absurd profit Apple makes

            You're right. Apple shouldn't be allowed to make any profit.

            Or do you think that they should be able to, but you think that the actual amount of profit they should be able to earn should be decided by someone else, like you?

            The Stockholm syndrome comes to mind...

            What should we call the syndrome that makes whiny haters trot out boring, over-used, poorly-applied mems like that, phrased in a way to make it sound like they're really clever and just thought it up? Really? You were betting your see-how-cool-I-am comment on the hopes that people hadn't already seen that misplaced bit of snarkiness a thousand times already? Let me guess, you also use "M$" when referring to Microsoft, because that is just so damn inventive on your part, right?

            Anyway, back to profit. Please mention the correct profit number that Apple should make so that you won't hate them. A precise number would be ideal, thanks.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by coop0030 (263345)
            And yet Apple's competitors are having a difficult time matching the price of the iPad, and the Macbook Air (with comparable quality). Maybe they're just a much more efficient company? Maybe it's a better run business to generate higher profits than their competitors? Nah, has to be 'fanbois' giving away their money...
            • On the other hand, have you looked at MacBook prices ever? A bare-bones 13in (i5, 4GB RAM, no discrete graphics) costs more than a loaded 17in laptop (i7, 8GB RAM, 540M, 1080p screen, Bluray drive, more hard-disk space) from other manufacturers. I've used MacBooks. Their build quality is good, but not that good.
        • by Fjandr (66656)

          So what you're saying here is that, despite being a larger company, Apple is less diverse and requires nearly 3x the revenue of Samsung per year to make less net profit.

          Samsung, on the other hand, makes basic technologies and innovations that allow companies like Apple to exist in the first place.

          Gotcha.

          • Better read that chart again dude, seems you got some of those numbers mixed up.
            • by Fjandr (66656)

              Quite right. I confused the headers. That's what I get for posting while half asleep.

            • by Fjandr (66656)

              It did strike me as a little odd that Apple's numbers for revenues were so much higher given the differentials in the classes of products the two makes, but apparently not odd enough for me to re-check that I read it correctly.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Apple has kicked a tiger square in the balls and is about to learn why that's not a smart play.

        So, who's up for applesauce?

  • Isn't it great to see someone turn round to a bully and say "no you give me your lunch money muthufucah"
    • by maxume (22995)

      How do you pick the bully when you are discussing enormous multinational consumer electronics companies using the legal system to try to disrupt their competitors?

      • I assume you haven't been reading the news recently? I think most people have a fairly good idea of who they think the bully is in this situation.....
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Steve Jobs was notorious for bullying his employees. I had always hoped that one day I would see the headline "Berated Employee Finally Loses It and Kicks Steve Jobs Right in the Fucking Pancreas." Sadly, no one ever had the guts (or maybe his fanatical employees considered anything short of prostrating themselves in front of their messiah to be blasphemy).

  • May the Messier object win...
  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:04AM (#37466926)
    ... Tomorrow HTC, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG...
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:06AM (#37466964)

      If they decide to block Samsung's products with frivolous lawsuits, then yeah... I expect that's what'll happen.

      But so far, it's only Apple that's tried that.

    • by myurr (468709)

      Hopefully all those manufacturers will be looking at the bullshit lawsuits Apple has been firing around to get Samsungs products blocked from various market and will be wondering if they're next. Maybe then they will all work together to try and get IP law brought up to date into a more sensible form that benefits all, as was originally intended, rather than a select few who game the system.

    • Unlikely, except perhaps for Nokia, since the others are all Android phone makers and the patents Samsung is using were borrowed from Google.

    • by cyfer2000 (548592)
      Great, people can get out their bathrooms, finally.
    • by Elbart (1233584)
      It's all about deterrence. All the companies could sue each other until the end of time, but they aren't or weren't, because it hurts the business. Unless it was some blantant and stupid rip-off. Apple said F IT and sued Samsung over rectangles and glass front and other obvious stuff, so Samsung goes nuclear, too.
      • If it was so obvious, then how come pre-iPhone every smartphone was either a Blackberry or a Blackberry wannabe? Post-iPhone practically every phone on the market looks like an iPhone, works like an iPhone, and RIM is a financial mess and also utilizing the 'copy-Apple' playbook.

        I guess that's the problem with Apple's minimalist designs. It's always 'obvious' after they come out.

        Really, this is Samsung's fault. All they had to do is use icons that differentiated the phone from the iPhone but instead they wa

  • Noooooo!!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:05AM (#37466930)

    It was as if millions of European hipsters suddenly cried out in pain, and were suddenly silenced.

    • by lfourrier (209630)
      Yesssssssssss!
    • I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that the market share of Apple is higher in the US than in Europe...

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that the market share of Apple is higher in the US than in Europe...

        But unless they have an extremely high level of empathy they won't be crying out in pain over the next iPhone being blocked in Europe

  • Problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:05AM (#37466936)
    it would be great idea, but Apple and Microsoft already have "being an asshole" patent in their pool.
  • Good times when devices get a battle on technological specs, features and UI, not on tribunals.
    • That would require actual innovation and effort in engineering.

      Lawsuits require much less effort. If nothing else they slow the release of the products and give themselves a head start. It's a "can't lose" situation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:15AM (#37467098)

    This is blatant abuse of patent law and we need reform NOW. Information should be free and software patents are stupid and this is ridicul....

    Wait, someone is doing this to Apple?

    FUCK YEAH, it's about fuckin' time! This is awesome and I fully support this, go Samsung, FUCK YOU APPLE!! I HOPE YOU GET CANCER STEVE JOBS!!!!!

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:20AM (#37467188)

      It's sort of like when you hear that someone got attacked by a pit bull. You feel sorry for them at first. But then you learn it was Hitler.

    • by stevedog (1867864)
      I don't think many of us would have supported this if it came out of nowhere. It didn't even come out of a response to Apple suing them. It came about because Samsung tried to trust the courts to issue the only ruling that made any sense at all... And instead they got their product banned from sale. What do you expect them to do, sit back and say, "man, this sucks"? They are only playing by the rules that a major first-world country defined, and even then only because they really have no other choice.
    • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@nOspaM.cornell.edu> on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:44AM (#37467538) Homepage

      Not quite as simple as you make it sound.

      Apple has been slapping Samsung with weak "look and feel" patents.

      Samsung is firing back with a bunch of core hardware patents... The patents they're using are closer in idea to what the patent system was originally designed for, as opposed to Apple patents which are an abuse of the patent system.

      There is also the fact that Samsung is using these in a defensive role... Apple are a bunch of douchebags who rather than seek reasonable licensing fees (this happens a LOT and you never hear about it because sane companies ask for reasonable and non-excessive fees), immediately seek injunctions to have devices removed from the market.

  • Who likes Apple, and why?!

    Samsung has all the sympathy due to Apple's pathetic and strung-up attempts to block a winning competitor.

    Couldn't we just agree to dismiss Apple to the garbage bin? The world would be such a better place without them, copy-cats.

    They are even rivals to Microsoft and SCO as to retarded campaigns.

  • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot&ideasmatter,org> on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:23AM (#37467220) Journal

    Choose one:

    • * egregious espionage and mutual ripoffs of billions of R&D investments that then become unrecoverable, or
    • * constant ongoing patent wars that chew up hundreds of millions in legal costs and require billions of investment into patent warchests

    The whole situation has happened before, though. 150 years ago we had a similar war over the patents for sewing machines. It eventually led to the Sewing Machine Combination [wikipedia.org], which was a patent pool that created a 20-year cartel of four manufacturers. They were the only ones allowed to produce cutting-edge sewing machines.

    Notably, the next major innovation in sewing machines (the rotary hook) sat unexploited until the combination expired in 1876 (sources here [wikipedia.org] and here [wikipedia.org].

    • Your anecdote about the sewing machines explains why pretty well.

      Cartels and imaginary property are two huge enemies of progress. What needs to happen is regulation of patent enforcement. If major show-stopper patents (or whatever legal mumbo-jumbo) like being a rectangle can be patented then you shouldn't be granted a monopoly on it. And that's no matter how long that monopoly lasts - technology these days moves forward exponentially faster than it used to.

      • Sometimes I go all hippy-spiritual and think maybe patents slowing down progress is actually a good thing. The world is moving so fast, people can't keep up. If we can stave off progress for 14-28 years, that'll give us all time to catch up on the current technology before we have to start learning the new stuff.

        Then of course I snap out of it.

  • No one can... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JavaBear (9872) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:23AM (#37467224)

    Basically, with the current climate in the patent world, no one can really produce anything as complex as a smartphone, that does not infringe on someone else's patents or design.

    • Climate change could be good... in the Patent World. Global warming in the Patent World might cause such violent storms that the ensuing peace would be a long time of great calm. A new age of the Patent World, in which technology will thrive without the chaos caused by unstable patents.

      (Feels weird writing new age stuff.)

    • Every smartphone manufacturer seems to be suing every other manufacturer. So if we take this to it's ultimate conclusion, then nobody will be able to release any smartphones, as all other manufacturers will be blocking them. Mabe if that happens, then we'll might see some sanity return.

  • Han is just shooting back.
  • I know they're just fighting Apple on the same grounds but... with all the fanboys just waiting for the newest super greatest next product from Apple, won't this just hurt Samsung in the long run?
    A pissed customer may never come back.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      It's worse if you allow a competitor (who is also a customer) limit your ability to do business.

      Sometimes it's better to ignore bullies. But this is a bully bullying a bully. And this bully, in Korea, is treated as royalty. This bully's bully has the war-making backing and influence of their government. If you think the influence of business over government in the US is bad, you haven't seen what Samsung's influence over Korea is like.

      • by Arrepiadd (688829)

        I understand that Samsung may have very loyal fans in Korea but this story is about Europe. Samsung may not be able to fight off Apple in the US but going and screwing Europeans hardly seems like an appropriate answer.

        The problem here is how the patent system is being abused but the end result is millions across Europe may see themselves unable to buy iPhone 5. I couldn't care less, my cell phone does all I need but for some people having the latest gadget is the most important thing. If you see yourself un

        • by X.25 (255792)

          I understand that Samsung may have very loyal fans in Korea but this story is about Europe. Samsung may not be able to fight off Apple in the US but going and screwing Europeans hardly seems like an appropriate answer.

          Actually, Samsung has very loyal fans all over the world. They're just not suffering from inferiority complex and don't see a brand as a religion, so you don't hear much from them.

          They just like using good quality products which Samsung makes.

          They are not emotionally attached to them.

    • by sosume (680416)

      You could say the same about Apple. I think there are way more people with Samsung products that people with Apple products, therefore, according to your logic, Apple is screwed.

      • by Arrepiadd (688829)

        My "logic" does not say anything about reciprocity. The difference in this case is Apple sells loads of iPhones and everyone knows what they are, whereas if you ask a random person what does the Samsung Galaxy S look like they won't know (obviously I'm not talking about us at Slashdot). A lot of people care about the iPhone and everyone knows what it is, a few people feel the same way about the Galaxy S.

    • by Asic Eng (193332)

      My guess is that most people see this as Samsung fighting back, so they are more likely going to be given a free pass. Now if Apple would offer to drop this whole nonsense and Samsung would continue to pursue them, that would likely turn public opinion against them.

      Also Apple is in a somewhat unfortunate position here, because it's easy to understand why their patents on a rather trivial shape are stupid. I've worked a long time in telecom, so I suspect Samsung's patents might be just as stupid - most pat

  • If these are core cell patents, they would be RAND, and I can't see why Apple wouldn't have already licensed them.

    Unless Samsung is trying to pull another Nokia, and that didn't work.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      Samsung hasn't actually done anything. I am sure some middle manager spouted off about getting back at Apple in Europe when the iPhone 5 comes out and then one reporter devised it must be true and now all the rumor and tech sites post it as fact.

  • by MrMickS (568778) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:52AM (#37467652) Homepage Journal

    Afterall I didn't think Apple were suing over patents, instead it was over the fact that Samsung had ripped off the iPhone interface for the Galaxy S etc. If Samsung went back to a more standard Android application launcher they could probably get this whole sorry mess sorted. Instead they are defending their right to use the the interface that Apple developed.

    I thought that the patent infringement cases were with HTC.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:15AM (#37467926)

      Nope. The injunction was under the insane and ridiculously vague EU Community Design [osnews.com] system. Specifically, apple drew something vaguely tablet-like on the back of a napkin before the ipad even existed, filed it - which results in automatic approval - then used it to sue Samsung years later, being sure to file in Germany since there's no requirement to inform the other party there.

  • ...how this is good for consumers, let alone how Useful Arts are being promoted.

  • Does not matter who threw the first punch the fact they are both hurting the consumer in doing so makes them both douchbags in my books.
  • Apple wasn't interested in any type of licensing agreement. They wanted Samsung's products ban. Why not return the favor? Apple wants to take a scorched earth approach to dealing with competition. By all means, give it to them.

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