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Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the off-to-court dept.
Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEOs have been ordered by a court to hash it out over a two-day period. U.S. Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming its position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said, 'I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it,' he also said, 'if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred.' Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew, with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."
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Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:33PM (#40096191)

    It's like when we were kids and my sister and I would fight. My mom would tell us to "settle it yourselves, or I'm going to settle it for you!" Mom always ended up having to settle it because each of us knew we were right and refused to find middle ground.

    Of course, looking back - I was the one who was right, and my sister was wrong.

    • by MachDelta (704883) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:17PM (#40096473)

      I would LOVE to see a judge walk out, call the CEOs to the bench, grab them both by the ear and yell "PLAY NICE OR I'LL TAKE BOTH YOUR TOYS AWAY" and then dismiss these ridiculous lawsuits.

      • by neurocutie (677249) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:33PM (#40096573)

        I would LOVE to see a judge walk out, call the CEOs to the bench, grab them both by the ear and yell "PLAY NICE OR I'LL TAKE BOTH YOUR TOYS AWAY" and then dismiss these ridiculous lawsuits.

        Dismissal? What the judge should do is take away both set of patents!

        • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

          I would LOVE to see a judge walk out, call the CEOs to the bench, grab them both by the ear and yell "PLAY NICE OR I'LL TAKE BOTH YOUR TOYS AWAY" and then dismiss these ridiculous lawsuits.

          Dismissal? What the judge should do is take away both set of patents!

          If I have mod points, I would mod you up !!

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @01:12AM (#40096969)

          Dismissal? What the judge should do is take away both set of patents!

          That would hurt Samsung more than it would hurt Apple.

          Because Samsung's patents are FRAND, and by taking it away, it means everyone who implements a cellphone (ANY cellphone) no longer has to negotiate with Samsung on those patents.

          Apple's patents are design dress patents, which have a much shorter life (5 years), and really cover a specific design of product. If you wonder why companies periodically change the design of long-running products, it's usually because their design patents are about to expire, and the design isn't iconic enough to apply for a trademark (e.g., the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle IS trademarked, and it's why only Coke comes in those bottle designs).

          Of course, the two sides can never come to an agreement - Apple knows Samsung's patents are FRAND, and since they're essential to implement a cellphone, believes they already got a license through purchase of Qualcomm chips. (Basically, Apple buys chips from Qualcomm, of which part of the price of those chips is used to pay for the patents paid to Samsung etc.). Samsung believes Apple should still pay, akin to the recording/videogame industry saying if you buy a CD/game secondhand, you still owe them money. Whether or not that is true, is up to bunch of agreements between Samsung, Qualcomm and Apple.

          Apple's beef with Samsung is the design of their tablets, and Samsung believes they're distinct enough ("we don't let lawyers design our products"). Since it's not an FRAND issue, Apple values part of the whole Apple Experience(tm) is the product design and thus values it highly.

          And it's also why Apple's push for nano-sim will never succeed. Even if Apple gives away patent licenses to anyone who asks for whatever terms they want. Nokia and RIM are opposing Apple purely because if Apple gets a patent into the FRAND pool, it means Apple pays a lot less money to them for their FRAND patents. Apple's got the money and everyone wants some of it, and they definitely do not want Apple getting their patents into the standard at all. Even if Apple's implementation is techically superior to Nokia and RIM's design - they will vote for an inferior standard in order to keep the Apple goldmine coming.

          • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:15AM (#40097917) Homepage Journal

            There's no such thing as "design dress patents".

            Are you perhaps conflating trade dress and design patents?

            P.S. How can something blatantly false be at +5 informative?

          • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:57AM (#40098065)

            Because Samsung's patents are FRAND, and by taking it away, it means everyone who implements a cellphone (ANY cellphone) no longer has to negotiate with Samsung on those patents.

            The fact that the patents are FRAND patents means there should be zero negotiations involved in licensing the patents. It should simply be "the price we charge everyone is x% - that's your price too." Done. That's it. That's the point of a FRAND patent. That is Fair, Reasonable, And Non Discriminatory - FRAND. Any attempt to negotiate a different rate with different companies is the exact opposite of FRAND terms,

            And that's why Samsung is in the wrong - they are attempting to get more from Apple than they do from other companies. That is not Fair, Reasonable, and certainly not Non Discriminatory.

            • by MrDoh! (71235)

              Not a lawyer here, but isn't that WHEN the rate is offered, you can't charge crazy amounts? Is there something that FORCES you to sell to your competitor?
              ie, to stop FRAND applying, simple telling Apple 'sorry, we don't want you as a customer for our patents' is the thing the sammy lawyers are arguing here?

              • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @06:10AM (#40098109)

                Is there something that FORCES you to sell to your competitor?

                Yes. Non Discriminatory. Anyone offering a FRAND patent (typically a patent that has been accepted into an industry standard) _MUST_ license the patent to anyone and everyone who is interested in licensing it at a Fair and Reasonable rate. Almost always this means that the license rate is lower than a non-FRAND patent would garner but the idea is that you make up the money due to the fact that everyone who wants to participate in that industry standard must license from you - you make it up in volume. But, yes, they MUST license to anyone and everyone, even if they don't want to.

                Fair, Reasonable And Non Discriminatory. FRAND.

            • by oxdas (2447598)

              FRAND patents don't work that way. There is not x% that everybody pays. Most FRAND licensing deals in this space involve small cash payments, but the bulk of the value is patent cross-licensing. This is the same issue between Apple and Motorola, as well as Apple and Nokia (that Apple settled for above FRAND payment rates, but no cross-licensing).

              Apple is arguing that they should get the same rates as everybody else despite no patent cross-licensing deals. Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia think Apple should

        • Yeah right. Those patents are, indirectly, the judge's source of income, or at least his raison d'etre.

          It would be, at the minimum, moral suicide for him and his colleagues.

          • Yeah right. Those patents are, indirectly, the judge's source of income, or at least his raison d'etre.

            That's silly... like arguing that a criminal judge shouldn't put away criminals or only give them minimal sentences because adjudicating criminal cases is "the judge's source of income", and the more crime there is, the better...

            there is PLENTY of patent law cases and IP cases to have to deal with, so no need to bend over to help out software patent trolls just to keep "business"/income flowing...

      • by Rik Rohl (1399705) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @03:00AM (#40097357)

        What the judge needs to do is issue a global injunction to both companies preventing them from shipping any tablets until the entire legal process is finished, including any appeals. That'd get them both talking real quick.

        Pity that can't happen.

      • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:22AM (#40097943)
        Commercial cases like this between big companies is exactly what the law is supposed to do. When negotiation breaks down, the next level is litigation in which a third party (judge) assesses the case based on expert interpretation of the evidence. In non-civilised societies that next level doesn't exist and commercial disputes are dealt with with weapons. Recourse to the law is a sign that at least one party is unreasonable, but it is better than the alternative.
        • by Rogerborg (306625)
          Counterpoint: I'd rather be stabbed in the spleen than give money to a lawyer.
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I'd rather be stabbed in the spleen than give money to a lawyer.

            Then you'd better hope that you never go bankrupt, get sued, or get divorced. If the other party has a lawyer and you don't, you're going to get your ass handed to you.

    • My mother used to decide who was right and compel the other to backdate royalty payments then give a percentage of any future sales. If we still didn't agree, we could appeal to a superior parent - Grandma.
  • Grammar Nazi (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schitso (2541028) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:36PM (#40096213)
    "each side confirming it's position"
    Is this what the world has come to?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You are of course referring to your insatiable need to actually post such a correction?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Slightly off topic, but 'Grammar Nazi' almost makes me believe the Grammar Hague is run by 16 year olds with mobile phones.
  • When you have as much money as Apple there is very little it cannot gnaw upon.

    That said, all of these lawsuits are getting silly and hopefully ALL of the companies going into multiple lawsuit gyrations these days settle down.

    • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:33PM (#40096581) Journal
      In any normal case, that would be true. But as Samsung is the major (still only?) supplier of screens for the iPad3, the relationship is more complicated. Tim Cook isn't taking his current position because he really hates lawsuits. He's taking it because he figures that even if Apple wins the legal battles against Samsung outright, it could still end up a Pyrrhic victory.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You would think they would be happy, with regard to the design patent suits, particularly given Jonathon Ive's statement about Apple's designs:
      “We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” he explains.
      iMore [imore.com]
      Since that appears to be working they are now complaining about it, as though it's a case of we did it "right", and we did it right "first" so now everyone else must continue to do it
    • No not necessarily (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:10AM (#40096717)

      If everything went absolutely against Apple in all cases (not likely but just saying) they could wind up with a ton of money but nothing to do and no easy ability to make more. I mean if Apple had a situation where their products were ruled to be violating other companies' patents, and other companies wouldn't license them, plus suppliers stopped working with Apple (Samsung is a big supplier of parts like their screens) they would have a situation of nothing to sell.

      Money doesn't solve that. In the long run it could solve a supplier issue as they could build their own production lines, but that takes quite a bit of time and still wouldn't solve patent issues. If the patents are fairly trivial, sure they could work around them, however if they are more fundamental to mobile phone operation or the like they might be fucked.

      I don't see that as likely but don't make the mistake of thinking that lots of money can solve the problem. Apple is likely going to have to learn to play nice with others.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @04:04AM (#40097645) Journal

      Samsung can answer the question "You and what army of killer robots". Apple can answer the question "You and what army of hipsters who are to worried about their lattes to ever make a stand for anything". I know which one I would be more afraid to anger.

      People forget that Samsung is an old fashioned giant, it may not have as much cash but it has business in nearly everything under the sun. Anything from ships to military to the chips that Apple so desperately needs. Samsung could loose all its mobile income tomorrow and it easily survive on everything else with full backing of the Korean government and its US military customers. Apple would be bankrupt and torn to shreds by its share holders and nobody has any incentive to keep it going. The world needs Samsung as a supplier, Apple? Nah.

      It is what happens when you outsource all your actual production, just in time delivery sounds nice, but it means your suppliers own you once they realize this themselves. GOOD just in time delivery makes certain that you have a choice of suppliers and that none of them can survive without your business. Samsung can EASILY survive without and in fact, if they stop shipping to Apple, they kill a major competitor to their own products.

      And if you think Apple can just go to someone else... they are all asian giants to. All of who would be perfectly happy to see Apple die and take over its business.

      A lot of business stability exists because the status quo is just easier to keep. But Apple upset that, when you stir the calm waters, the sharks surface.

  • Grammar (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Its, its, a thousand times ITS!

    • I agree, its totally ridiculous.

  • there is this thing called 'thingiverse', and another thing called 'grabcad', and another thing called 'shapeways', they are your death knell.

    what you do is not hard. its not difficult. its not even that special. volunteers on the internet can do what you do, and they can do it better, and they can do it for free. the only thing you have is hordes of factory wage slaves who live under a dictatorship. that can do alot, but it can only do so much for your bottom line.

    ask yourself. why would someone support a

    • what you do is not hard. its not difficult. its not even that special.

      Actually, that is AMAZINGLY untrue. What Apple and Samsung both do is make products that have many, many finely crafted parts, between both software and hardware. I would say in fact that BOTH companies are special, the products they are producing are light years ahead of what open source hardware designs could produce, and even the software is polished well beyond what open source is capable of.

      why would someone support a system where

      • >humans should be shining like the amazing end result of evolution that they are.

        I was with you up until that sentence. Evolution does not have a direction or an end result. Considering how rare our kind of intelligence is, it's not even clear that it has lasting evolutionary value and long after we are gone bacteria will continue doing its thing.

        • Evolution does not have a direction or an end result.

          Of course evolution has a direction. It is always optimizing for conditions, and humans ended up being the creatures that could fit in any niche. Once that optimization was found, game over basically.

          Some people want humans to be no better than other animals but plainly that is false due to the success humanity has enjoyed across the globe. You cannot undo that. No other species could even evolve at this point to take our position unless we let them o

          • Our success is due to the exploitation of resources. If those resources fail, game up. The human race very nearly went extinct in the Mesolithic. Don't think it could not happen again.

            No other species could even evolve at this point

            Except that it wouldn't be at this point, and it doesn't have to be a single species. Evolution presumes the passage of time. Already bacteria are evolving that are resistant to all our known antibiotics. And as Jay Gould observed, from the point of view of life on Earth as a wh

            • Incidentally (Score:4, Informative)

              by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:34AM (#40097989)
              I know I shouldn't reply to myself. But my sig actually exemplifies my comment. Written by Tennyson in 1844, before The Origin of Species, it reflects his sudden realisation of the implications of fossils of species that no longer exist - that "Nature" (as it was called at the time) has no interest at all in the survival of any particular species. His "no not one" is his further realisation that this includes us.

              It's a bad state of affairs when a significant number of people in developed English speaking countries have a worse understanding of biology than a poet writing before Darwin published.

          • by unapersson (38207)

            We could undo that. "How about a nice game of chess?"

      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, that is AMAZINGLY untrue. What Apple and Samsung both do is make products that have many, many finely crafted parts, between both software and hardware. I would say in fact that BOTH companies are special, the products they are producing are light years ahead of what open source hardware designs could produce, and even the software is polished well beyond what open source is capable of.

        They are light years ahead of what open source designs could produce under the current system

        That's not really surprising given that the current system greatly favors the few over the many and the power of open source is the many.

        Of course the same thing was said about the several very expensive Unix OSes compared to the free ones. We kept hearing about how Linux and *BSD were 'interesting' but were and always would be mere toys compared to SCO, Solaris, AIX, etc. Right up to the point that the free OSes

        • To be included, they would have to enjoy significant personal ownership of the resulting design

          You have a different definition of inclusion than any talented person I have ever known.

          People don't really CARE if they own something, they care if others use what they have built.

          • by sjames (1099)

            They care about more than that. Can J. Random engineer at Apple produce his own variant where his ideas are implemented rather than rejected by marketing? Only if he is an owner. Otherwise he ends up in court for stealing Apple's "valuable intellectual property". Does he get to decide if he contributes? No, he can decide not to but people who can't design products themselves decide if he can.

    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      Rated -1 "Fails to grasp basic economies of scale".

      Look, I love the maker revolution stuff. Been a follower and supporter of things like the RepRap/Makerbot projects for as long as they have existed. But no, printing everyday stuff is not right around the corner.

      You mention Shapeways in your post but have obviously never used it. Ever priced something out there? Getting a set of WalMart quality eating utensils from Shapeways would cost more than a set of actual silver silverware. Yes, it is a wonderful and

  • by Anonymous Coward

    American Business schools give young whippersnappers all kinds of fucked up advice (like to Dell: continue to cut costs by outsourcing to a Taiwanese company ....good... untill Asus eats your lunch). Here is another one. Send product assembly to Foxconn because they can abuse Chinese labor like no one else on earth. Communist, shmomunist. Wanna eat? We have work. Just chain youself to that post and we will let you eat and sleep nearly every day! And in another cost saving measure: oursource difficult

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:07PM (#40096403)
    I think the real story here is that people still believe innovation is possible in the United States. The patent on originality isn't set to expire here for another 150 years plus the life of the author, at which point, the rest of the world will send researchers and film crews in to study our city ruins and study the native peoples...
  • Stop selling them parts for their iPhones!!!

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Apple isn't interested in selling or winning, they just want to delay things for as long as legally possible, using every means possible. Samsung know this and still want to make money selling Apple parts. This has more to do with the corrupted legal process than anything else. No matter what happens it will be appealed through higher and higher courts and when it is at the highest legal level with about a couple of months to go then Apple will negotiate, to get there might take a year or more.

    • But the money is soo sooo sweet.

    • Yes, because Samsung wants to erase several billion dollars worth of income from their balance sheet. That's a very simple solution. It's also very stupid.

  • Us being anti-patent-everywhere people. The more these companies tear each other apart, the more obvious it becomes to disinterested observers that the system is broken.

  • But the US company will win.

  • .... needs to send these CEOs to the Octagon [wikipedia.org] to settle things.

  • Biased summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:10AM (#40096713) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions.

    None of that is in the article. So, Fluffeh is the new Fox News?

    In general, two companies failing to come to an agreement means... two companies failed to come to an agreement. Not, "one company is 'worried' and 'has bitten off more than it really wants to chew'."

    • In general, two companies failing to come to an agreement means... two companies failed to come to an agreement. Not, "one company is 'worried' and 'has bitten off more than it really wants to chew'."

      And perhaps, just perhaps, he meant "perhaps" when he wrote "perhaps"....

      • In general, two companies failing to come to an agreement means... two companies failed to come to an agreement. Not, "one company is 'worried' and 'has bitten off more than it really wants to chew'."

        And perhaps, just perhaps, he meant "perhaps" when he wrote "perhaps"....

        So it is just like Fox News, sliding smoothly from news to editorial with nary a transition.

  • Soooo... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by WillyWanker (1502057)

    So basically Tim is willing to talk so long as Samsung willingly acquiesces to all his demands and Apple isn't required to give up anything.

    Perhaps he not doesn't realize that's not how mediation and arbitration works?

  • SO... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Osgeld (1900440)
    Using samsung products as intended is now "inventing their own products" by apple?

    You didnt invent the hardware, you didnt invent the rounded rectangle, even your precious steve was quoted as stating "Rectangles with rounded corners are everywhere! Just look around this room!"

    http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Round_Rects_Are_Everywhere.txt&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date&detail=medium&search=round

    You didnt invent grey metal, nor glossy piano black, or the widescreen for
  • Unbalanced (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chowdahhead (1618447) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @12:59AM (#40096917)
    The problem is that Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, and Ericcson spend billions of USD annually on research that has contributed to the underlying technology that makes mobile phones work. Apple hasn't and has little to offer in a cross-licence agreement, since most of their mobile patent holdings consist of weak software patents--many of which probably wouldn't hold up under reexamination. I can imagine why the negotiations have failed, but I've also wondered if the FRAND licenses held by component manufacturers like Qualcomm extend to Apple.
    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      By definition FRAND licenses apply universally. You could build a chip in your garage, pay the fee and be good to go, no questions asked.

      Part of the problem is that traditionally most companies have been happy to work out alternate licensing agreements. Apple is the first big player to actually pay the FRAND costs instead of negotiating.

      • Part of the problem is that traditionally most companies have been happy to work out alternate licensing agreements. Apple is the first big player to actually pay the FRAND costs instead of negotiating.

        My understanding of the problem is that Apple didn't pay FRAND fees from the get go, but only when Samsung actually came up and told them they're infringing; and now refuses to pay out any fees for the period when they did not have a license.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        Part of the problem is that traditionally most companies have been happy to work out alternate licensing agreements. Apple is the first big player to actually pay the FRAND costs instead of negotiating.

        The problem is that there is no $ value assigned to patents. A cash price that Apple considers "fair" is not the same cash price that Samsung considers "fair". What exactly is a "fair" price for an essential wireless patent? Read this article [engadget.com] part-authored by a Chicago patent attorney:

        In reality FRAND is nebulous and undefined, with almost no specific rules for determining what a "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" license actually is. Nokia could be asking for $1 per iPhone -- chump change for Apple -- or it could be asking for $100 per iPhone. As of right now we have no real way of knowing -- but since all Nokia's asked the court to do is set a price, it's clearly willing to simply accept cash and move on.

    • Re:Unbalanced (Score:5, Interesting)

      by romiz (757548) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @07:25AM (#40098343)

      I've also wondered if the FRAND licenses held by component manufacturers like Qualcomm extend to Apple.

      It does not. One of my previous employers tried to play this card with the MPEG-LA for digital TV decoders, and in the end they had to settle and pay for the MPEG2 patents. But Apple lawyers may be more skilled and success where others have failed.

  • Apple vs Samsung. Oracle vs Google. Microsoft vs Motorola.

    The thing about the Patent Wars was that it used to be a cold war. Each side with their stockpile of threats. "Yeah we infringe on your patents A,B,C. But you infringe on our patents D,E,F. Let's settle this peaceful-like. And in the meanwhile the little guys who don't have enough clout to get a seat at the table lose out. Innovation stagnates.

    But now, aha! It's not a cold war anymore. The Big Guys are fighting! And it will only get wo

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