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Australia The Courts Apple

Samsung Sues Aussie Patent Office In Apple Suit, Apple Sues Back 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the court-room-blitz dept.
schliz writes "Samsung has sued the Australian patent commissioner — and by extension the Australian Government — in an attempt to force a review of patents key to its global battle with smartphone rival Apple. The Korean manufacturer claims that the commissioner should not have been able to grant four patents used by Apple in its case against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Government solicitor will face Samsung in court on June 25." Not to be outdone, niftydude points out that Apple has filed a motion in a California court to prevent Samsung selling its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S III in the US.
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Samsung Sues Aussie Patent Office In Apple Suit, Apple Sues Back

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  • MAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sensationull (889870) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:36AM (#40254509)

    Mutually Assured Destruction:

    This is like the nuclear deterant, but without the massive death toll to keep it at bay.

    They should all sue each other out of the market and let companies who are not such tools have a shot at the market.

  • by lechiffre5555 (1939278) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:42AM (#40254547)
    letting the consumer/market decide? Isn't this what capitalism is about, the consumers choose based on price, quality, features etc..... We seem to be in some sort of meta capitalist market now where the courts decide who can buy what. "All working as intended" ?
  • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:48AM (#40254593)

    It makes more sense if you consider that the "free market" that big businesses have been all about is really just code for allowing them to abuse consumers and employees. Then this kind of systemic abuse actually makes sense as just one more step in the pattern.

  • Re:MAD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:48AM (#40254595)
    This more like those cartoons where one character keeps finding obstacles to place in their opponent's path. It slows both of them down and eventually gets repetitive, predictable and boring.
  • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:08AM (#40254675)

    From your link:

    Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 now ranks as the UK’s most popular handset based on live searches and sales, according to the uSwitch.com Mobile Tracker.

    Assuming the accuracy of these statements, the current rate of sales of the Galaxy SIII is exceeding that of the iPhone 4S. I think it's more surprising that the iPhone 4S is selling so well several months after it was released than a top-end brand new phone selling better than it. Only time will tell whether the SIII ends up being truly more popular than the 4S.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:13AM (#40254691)

    Isn't Apple that all the time sues Samsung or, (... put another Android phone maker here).

    When it comes to tablets, I think Apple is the lead horse regarding lawsuits, but the entire technology industry uses the courts as a 'business partner'. Just look at all the patents that are bought and sold when troubled or failing companies need to raise money, or when large companies want to strengthen their positions against their competitors.

    Would it mean that Apple is losing more and more ground compared to Android ? Patent justice is the last method when you have no more alternative to compete.

    Apple has no other option but to lose ground to competitors. They were the first largely successful tablet on the market and grabbed a huge percentage of sales. As competition comes along Apple can't realistically hold onto its entire marketshare. That doesn't mean that they are failing or being driven out of the market, it's just the reality of the numbers.

    Don't think that Apple can't compete just because they're spending as much time on legal maneuvers as they do on R&D. They're still the market leader in tablets, they're near the top in smart phones, and they're only going to branch out further into the new areas of consumer electronics. They may act like dicks a lot of the time but that doesn't mean being a dick and being competitive are mutually exclusive.

  • Re:MAD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hlavac (914630) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:27AM (#40254739)
    Unfortunately the radioactive fallout is still there, as anyone who enters the market will be immediately sued to death too.
  • Re:MAD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:46AM (#40254827) Homepage Journal

    They should all sue each other out of the market and let companies who are not such tools have a shot at the market.

    Corporations never die and patents do not simply walk into mor— er, they do not vanish. And when corporations die their patents often end up owned by trolls. You do NOT want this to end in fire.

  • Here's my fantasy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:02AM (#40254935) Homepage

    The courts get fed up and ban every single mobile company on the planet from selling phones for a year. Then they can come back in to apologize for their shit and maybe they'll be allowed to play again.

    Your business is making and selling phones, not preventing other people from making and selling phones. I'm no longer buying any electronics product of any company who is plaintiff in a patent infringement case.

  • Re:MAD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yacc143 (975862) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:11AM (#40254999) Homepage

    Copy? Android is being developed since 2003, the T-Mobile G1 was released 2008 only a couple of months after the iPhone 3G (which was the first "smartphone" iPhone, the iPhone of 2007 not offering apps), so I guess Android was really quick at copying the stuff, you know, Google engineers had lined up at the Apple stores to get an iPhone 3G, and to save time, because the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 was in preproduction already, patched the copied features into the firmware by editing binary files directly, ...

    If you want to claim copying, then I guess Apple as a company with a tradition of polishing things that they ripped off (you know, Apple did not invent the GUI, they ripped it off from Xerox) can also be accused of copying, I mean, other companies had mobiles with web browsers (Nokia, Win Mobile phones, Sidekicks, ...), apps (about the same set), touchscreens (Winmobiles) and so on. Furthermore most if not all companies sued by Apple are old hands in the mobile business, meaning that they together more or less developed the underlying standards (GSM, UMTS), investing in basic research and development, while Apple simply is a freeloader builting on it. Which leaves the FRAND patents as a problem => how can Apple get the same deal as most other companies. I mean they basically have no critical patents to cross license, ...

  • Re:MAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:33AM (#40255129)

    Satire... I have a Galaxy Ace, and have no trouble telling it from my boss's iPhone. There are some cursory similarities, but the reality is that there's really only so many ways that a large-screen small handheld device can be put together and still have something that's functional. The only truly functional alternatives while keeping the same basic use are a clamshell and a slider, and both make for a heavier and larger device. In this day and age, people seem to want smaller, thinner, lighter devices, and so the bar is winning out as the most popular design.

    Compare how the software actually functions on the devices, and tell me that Samsung copied the iPhone. While doing so, please ignore that the software actually comes from Google, and that Android was actually in development since 2003 (and that Google acquired them in 2005), while iOS was first announced in 2007. You'll have more credibility if we just sweep that little tidbit under the rug.

  • Re:MAD (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:06AM (#40255289)

    Compare how the software actually functions on the devices, and tell me that Samsung copied the iPhone.

    The functionality software is Android, which is a Google product. For sure they copied Apple too, but lets not confuse who copied what.

    And yes, as far as "how the software actually functions on the devices", much was copied from the iPhone. e.g. inertial scrolling with elasticity.

  • Re:MAD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:09AM (#40255315)

    Let us also sweep under the rug the fact that android in June of 2007 was vastly different from what it was after iPhone was released and google had their "oh, shit" moment...

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:17AM (#40255385)

    Apple's design IS distinct. It's minimal design is exactly that : distinct.

    The design itself is a natural evolution of the device as a whole, not Apple's particular spin on it. Allowing Apple to patent a rectangle with rounded corners is like allowing Craftsmen to patent a hammer with a handle and a claw. Now nobody else in the world can sell a hammer without radically changing the design and making it less efficient? Come on.

    If the only way a competitor can avoid litigation for their patent is to actually make their own competing product harder to use, then that's a sign that the original patent should never been granted in the first place. Do people honestly expect Samsung to cram a bunch of hardware buttons on the front of their devices just because Apple removed them and now "owns" a minimal look? That's going to degrade their product's functionality, just the same as having to design a hammer with the claw coming out of the top of the head, or the handle coming out of the top with the intention of swinging it underhanded. Nobody would buy that piece of shit hammer, obviously.

    Since most human beings are using these devices with the same appendages (their hands), the device is going to be roughly the same shape, and since most people's hands are about the same size, there's not going to be much variation on size before usefulness is impacted. They're all phones, and function dictates form. Imagine if Ford was able to patent such generic design concepts? How many cars would there be on the market if no one else was able to produce one with 4 wheels and doors on the sides? How stupid would every competitor's car be if they actually had to design around such a ridiculously broad and over-reaching patent? Who would drive the fucking things?

    Now, I'm sure Apple would be happier than a pig in shit if their patents were upheld and they got to basically own the concept of a smartphone in totality, but that is totally against the spirit of patent law in the first place, and everyone knows it. The only people defending this nonsense are Team Apple cheerleaders, not because it's actually right or makes any sense, but because it's their team.

  • Re:MAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:25AM (#40255467)

    Yeah, because there is an infinite number of ways one could design a device that has exactly the same function, being used by people with about the same sized appendages in the same sorts of ways.

    Head on down to your local hardware store, and look at the hand tools, and think about why every hammer looks pretty much the same, every screwdriver looks pretty much the same, every wrench looks pretty much the same...and now imagine how fucking retarded they would have to be designed if a single manufacturer owned such a broad and over-reaching patent. Imagine how many would sell if they had to be deliberately designed to be less effective just to get around a ridiculously generic design patent.

    If the only way a competitor is supposed to get around Apple's stupid bullshit patents is to cram unnecessary hardware buttons onto their device, or make it work less efficiently, then there's a problem with the patent, and it likely never should have been granted in the first place.

  • Re:MAD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:36AM (#40255575)

    Yeah, because there is an infinite number of ways one could design a device that has exactly the same function, being used by people with about the same sized appendages in the same sorts of ways.

    That you haven't the imagination to think of a different way of doing things isn't an excuse for copying. Strangely, before the iPhone came along, phone manufactures managed to come up with many very different designs. Now most copy the iPhone to a greater or lesser extent.

    Head on down to your local hardware store, and look at the hand tools, and think about why every hammer looks pretty much the same, every screwdriver looks pretty much the same, every wrench looks pretty much the same

    I'll tell you why they are allowed to be. Because the ideas are old enough not to be patented or design patented.

  • Re:MAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:55AM (#40255721)

    No, I can think of a lot of different ways to design a phone, the problem is, Apple's design patents are so generic that the only way to avoid them is to design a less efficient product. If they own a "minimal design", then every manufacturer out there has to cram buttons on the front of their device? Come on, that's just stupid.

    I could design a spherical cell phone, and nobody would buy it. Why? Because the most efficient shape for a communication device is a rectangle about 4-6 inches across. Look at every damned television remote, holy crap, all basically the same design. Why? Because they all have the same function, and they're all being used by hands about the same size.

    Imagine if someone owned the concept of a rectangular remote control with buttons on the front, and now imagine how fucking retarded every competitor's remote would have to be to avoid that generic patent. How healthy could a market be with those limitations?

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