Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:33AM (#40254497)

    Apple called Samsung a doodoo head and is currently grounded.
     

  • MAD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sensationull (889870) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:36AM (#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.

    • Re:MAD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:48AM (#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.
    • Re:MAD (Score:5, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:02AM (#40254651) Homepage

      Apple is the aggressor here. They started the war, they are the ones trying to get Samsung products banned from sale. Samsung mostly tries to defend itself by getting patents invalidated, with occasional and IMHO misguided attempts at having Apple products banned in retaliation.

      There need to be severe consequences for failed patent litigation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hlavac (914630)
      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 @05:46AM (#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.

    • 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.

      You really think that's how MAD works? In this situation the only ones that can *survive* are the established players with lots of patents. A new player has nothing to defend itself with and would immediately be sued into oblivion by one of the companies with patents.

    • Mutually Assured Destruction:

      Hardly. This is just them playing their cards to see who has the strongest case before settling in or out of court. Eventually, things will all be dealt, a sum will be decided upon, and somebody will pay up and might even get something for it. I'll be surprised if this actually affects either companies bottom line much in the end, let alone be detectable by any consumer not paying attention to tech site news.

  • I was wondering how long this kind of thing would take. companies suing the patent authorities for granting f-ing stupid patents that are so broad that they cover anything.
  • by lechiffre5555 (1939278) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:42AM (#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 @04:48AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, capitalism is leveraging your capital to increase it, the principle method is assumed to be a mixed or free market, but everything that increases capital is fair game.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      We tried "features" and got the its "4G" sales effort:
      http://www.theage.com.au/business/accc-seeks-225m-bite-from-apple-20120608-200p8.html [theage.com.au]
    • Isn't this what capitalism is about, the consumers choose based on price, quality, features etc...

      In a perfect world...in the real world, people buy stuff because they watched an awesome advertisement, or got it stuffed down their throats, or because it is so shiny.

    • by MrMickS (568778)

      There has to be some benefit to R&D or people won't do it. If you invent a new dohickey get it to market but someone else with deep pockets then copies it, under-cuts you, and stops you reaping the benefits, potentially putting you out of business are you just going to shrug your shoulders and say "it's just capitalism in action."?

      Some of the patents are too broad, some of the things Apple is using are ridiculous, however there is no doubt that Samsung has copied Apple's products as near as it can in or

      • Samsung could have put more differentiation in their interface

        Er... didn't Google's Android team design the interface? Or are you referring to the actual hardware?

      • How long before others do the same? Who cares? This isn't rocket science, the actual work going into software and usability research simply isn't expensive ... it doesn't need absolute monopolies over basic ideas to make it worthwhile. Simple first to market advantage is more than enough to earn it back.

        I don't have GoogleVision, I have a sense of history ... we've been through this before. I know that I couldn't even use KDE if Apple (and Xerox) had not lost the first time around ... and I know that if App

    • letting the consumer/market decide? Isn't this what capitalism is about, the consumers choose based on price, quality, features etc...

      Yes, and what design patents are about is protecting your particular design aesthetic and brand so that consumers can make that choice. If you went into a store and saw two identical bottles of soda labeled Coke, but one was really by Pepsi, wouldn't that seem to be intentionally confusing to try to mislead you into buying their product? Similarly, if you see two iPhones, but one was really a Galaxy, wouldn't that seem to be intentionally confusing to try to mislead you into buying Samsung's product? That's

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:45AM (#40254565)

    Ultimately, lawyers and courts (when used for stuff like this) are overhead costs that are to be minimized. Don't get me wrong: the individual companies can come out better, but the customer always loses. All those lawyers are paid by the customers.

    And I think we'd be better off without them.

    • by AlecC (512609)

      I agree. The cost/benefit of the patent system is our of whack. Without saying it has no benefits, in the software arena the costs it is burdening companies, and hence consumers, with are much greater than the benefits. Does anybody think Apple would /not/ have implemented swipe to unlock because their competitors would copy it? How many research man hours went into this startling invention?

      • by taustad (122826)

        Does anybody think Apple would /not/ have implemented swipe to unlock because their competitors would copy it? How many research man hours went into this startling invention?

        Apparently Apple was not first with swipe to unlock anyway:
        http://www.androidcentral.com/apple-granted-patent-slide-unlock-even-though-it-existed-2-years-they-invented-it

  • Telling! (Score:2, Funny)

    by RivenAleem (1590553)

    I've never seen two children running so fast as when they both want to be first to the teacher to tell on the other. God I hope these corporations don't grow up, or we'll have a scene from Deus Ex. I'm call it now. One of these corps will order a hit on the HQ or R&D site and that'll be the end of this.

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

    • by ballpoint (192660) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:09AM (#40254679)

      I've been a pragmatically happy iPod owner, but one of the reasons I bought an Android phone was Apples behavior wrt patent lawsuits. If they want to continue to shoot their own foot, so be it.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:13AM (#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.

      • by yacc143 (975862)

        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.

        Well, they are quite a bit away from Android in smart phones, market share wise they are neader to Windows Phone than to Android, tablet-wise the same will basically happen, it will just take some time => it's basically Apple against all other manufacturers, again, offering not one model, that by religious decree has to fit everyone, Android tablets offer all kinds of form factors. From cheap to expensive, from small (= oversized phones) to huge (>10"), different types of display technology (no pun in

        • by Dog-Cow (21281)

          I hate this. Why are supposedly intelligent people unable to properly categorize and make valid comparisons?

          iPhone is a device.
          Android is a platform.

          Is there a single phone family that runs Android that has more market share than the iPhone?
          Is there a single model running Android that beats any single model of the iPhone?
          Is there any cutting-edge model running Android that beats the iPhone 4s?

          I actually don't know the answer to any of those questions, but at least the comparisons are valid. I have a feeli

          • by Compaqt (1758360)

            Um, yeah, someone posted above that the Galaxy III is beating the iPhone in sales in the UK (which AFAIK isn't a totally carrier-dominated market).

            Prior to that the Galaxy II was beating the iPhone 4s.

            And, yeah, the Galaxy III beats the pants off the iPhone 4s. Nice new design, thinner than the iPhone, and 1280 x 720 pixels (Super AMOLED).

            If the iPhone 5 comes out with lower specs than the Galaxy 3, expect the iPhone to wither except among fans. Prediction: they will delay the release until they can get som

      • 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.

        The last innovation they made in phones was the iPhone 3G. the 3GS, the 4, and the 4S have all been progressive updates of their existing invention, and as technology advances we're getting closer and closer to the point where the last generation is "good enough" and people stop upgrading. And I'd be reluctant to say that the 3G was actually innovative, since the appstore (which showed up with the 3G, and is the only real addition over the original iPhone) is something that had been done already in WinMo an

  • by chrb (1083577) on Friday June 08, 2012 @04:46AM (#40254579)
    FTFA:

    Apple claimed that the new phone, which is yet to go on sale in the US but went on sale in Australia last week, could cause it "irreparable harm," citing press reports that mobile companies had already sold more than nine million units in pre-orders.

    Hardly surprising that Apple is worried, according to the Telegraph the Samsung Galaxy S3 has now overtaken the iPhone 4S as the UK's most popular phone. [telegraph.co.uk]

    • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:08AM (#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 pointybits (818856) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:54AM (#40254877)
        On the same chart (uswitch.com mobile tracker) the Galaxy S2 has outsold the iPhone 4S every month except April 2012, which was the only month that the 4S ever hit #1. So really the S3 is just taking the place of the S2.
      • by yacc143 (975862)

        Probably, the S2 managed this feat already for a good number of markets.

        Another interesting tidbit, from a local network operator is that the S3 is the first phone beside Apple products, where they had preorders before the specs were released.

    • The Samsung S3 handset is popular based on "live searches and sales" from the article you submitted. I'd rather just go off actual sales if Samsung actually released any.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        I'd rather just go off actual sales if Samsung actually released any.

        It's not just Samsung - Apple also does not release its monthly sales figures for the UK and other regions. That's why all of the media cited figures are just estimates; the uSwitch mobile tracker [uswitch.com] is based on actual sales from one of the most popular price comparison sites in the UK, so perhaps it has more validity than quoting some random analyst company.

  • This technology IP "war" is ridiculous. If motor manufacturers had the same intent there would only ever be one model with an IP registered "internal combustion engine" No other such engine would pass these idiotic patent laws. This is the greatest limitation to the development of new technology solutions. It is a fact that all new developments are built on previous knowledge. If this continues all development will stall, we might as well go back to the stone age.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This technology IP "war" is ridiculous. If motor manufacturers had the same intent there would only ever be one model with an IP registered "internal combustion engine"

      Read it and weep.

      [...]Ford independently developed its own hybrid system at the same time Toyota was doing its own. The basic architecture of both systems is the same and both are based on the concepts developed and patented by TRW engineers in the late 1960s. When Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid, Toyota went after the Blue Oval for infringing on its patents. Ford had patents of its own on the technology that Toyota was using. Eventually, the two companies reached a cross-licensing agreement that gives bo

      • RIM was in a similar situation, with two companies, one of them RIM, trying to do the same thing, and both getting patents in the area. The problem for RIM was that they beat their competitor in the market, so the competitor didn't need RIM's patents (because they failed to sell things), while RIM needed the competitor's patents and had to pay hundreds of millions.
  • by phonewebcam (446772) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:02AM (#40254649) Homepage

    I was wondering how you thought your upcoming iPhone5 stacked up against the S3. It's too close to launch to change it now, so these desperate acts speak volumes.

    • I was wondering how you thought your upcoming iPhone5 stacked up against the S3. It's too close to launch to change it now, so these desperate acts speak volumes.

      I'm not sure that the two are directly related. Apple has been using Samsung as a patent punching bag for the last few years. I can't foresee a day in this decade when Apple isn't trying to sue Samsung for something. Just wait until Samsung has a manufacturing issue with some of Apple's components and Apple sues Samsung for sabotaging their parts supply. Grab a comfy chair, a barrel of popcorn and a good book 'cuz this is going to get boring.

      • If I were in charge of Samsung, I'd have had "supply difficulties" long ago, around about the time of each new lawsuit. It would be hard to prove a deliberate malicious reduction in supply, and furthermore, hard to say if that's in fact, illegal. Nobody is forcing Apple to use parts made by their primary competitor.

        • by Lars T. (470328)

          If I were in charge of Samsung, I'd have had "supply difficulties" long ago, around about the time of each new lawsuit. It would be hard to prove a deliberate malicious reduction in supply, and furthermore, hard to say if that's in fact, illegal. Nobody is forcing Apple to use parts made by their primary competitor.

          That would only result in Apple going elsewhere, and Samsung losing a lot of money and then suing Apple for being anti-competitive.

          • by Terrasque (796014)

            That would only result in Apple going elsewhere

            They already tried [appleinsider.com]. It didn't go well.

            It also seems like Apple relies on Samsung for the iPhone 5 processor [technorati.com], too. Maybe Samsung is the only manufacturer with the right set of tools for building them?

  • by asylumx (881307) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:34AM (#40254763)
    Am I the only one whose mind went straight to the fruit of the loom guy dressed as an apple when reading the headline "samsung sues aussie patent office in apple suit?"
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:58AM (#40254911) Homepage
    The USPTO in particular should be drowning in a sea of lawsuits by now. They'll only change their grant-by-default policy when rubberstamping idiotic obvious non-inventions costs them more than it earns them.
  • by Epell (1866960) on Friday June 08, 2012 @05:59AM (#40254919)
    Those two should just screw and get it over with.
  • Here's my fantasy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:02AM (#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.

  • I'm sure that will go well for them. It is always a good idea to bring litigation against an arm of a sovereign governmen - Particularly when the Government Solicitor is representing the other party...
    • by Zocalo (252965)
      Not sure whether this is a stroke of genius or insanity on the part of Samsung's legal team, as it does create some potential conflict of interest issues for the other party, but as you say - "let's take the government to court" seldom ends well. It's also going to be interesting from the practical point of view; a lawyer is supposedly an impartial representative of their client, and it's kind of hard to be impartial when you arethe client. This is why you will quite often see law firms and members of the
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...where governments do not interfere in things like this, and the big cellphone companies generally do not consider it worth it to litigate on points like this (even in the more progressive African countries that have stable judicial systems).

    This means that cellphones are forced to compete on the basis of some of the most unheard of things, y'know, things line "price" and "features".

  • This is getting ridiculous. I know the lawyers are having fun and getting rich, but there's no way this system of intellectual property will hold for much longer.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:21AM (#40255431) Homepage

    They would have patented the use of four wheels.

    The point is that in other industries, we do not see the petty suits over similarities. Perhaps we don't see them because we aren't looking. But the only issue I recall even remotely similar to this in terms of pettiness is the patent on "rotating table inside of microwave oven." For the longest time, people had to buy little devices or turn their food by hand because the ones with rotating tables inside were too expensive and the patent holder's license was too high.

    I suppose we are seeing SOME patent issues in cars now that I think about it. Toyota holds patents related to the Prius pretty close and it's literally keeping hybrids from being developed. Yes, there are other hybrids out there. Just not many and not as successful. It's not that people don't want them, it's that they don't all want the same frikken car!

    Lawyers don't want this to end. The judges aren't tired of this either... perhaps some are, but certainly not the ones in East Texas. The other parts of government are too busy collecting contributions and donations, walking through revolving doors and anything except "bribery" to even consider reform or intervention.

    We'll just have to be content watching goliaths tear each other apart and all that.

    • And they would patent cars with rounded corners.

    • They would have patented the use of four wheels.

      The point is that in other industries, we do not see the petty suits over similarities. Perhaps we don't see them because we aren't looking.

      Poor analogy. And yes, you're not looking.

      Premium cars (Porsche, Ferrari, etc) sometimes aren't available in even top-tier racing games, and regular cars never look similar to premium cars, because they're protected by IP laws too [internatio...office.com] (registration wall on second viewing, clear site's cookies to view again). Ferrari didn't win the copyright aspect, but did win the trademark violation claims, and the toy cars had to be destroyed even though there's no way they'd be mistaken for a full-sized Ferrari.

      They won the

  • Finally, someone has sued the world patent offices for their culpability for the trillions of dollars per year caused by their dangerous incompetence in granting tens of thousands of completely invalid patents every year -- obvious solutions to trivial problems that were already invented. 99% of all software patents are invalid!
  • Apple uses like 30%+ of Samsung components in their iOS devices. Samsung is getting rich off of that fact and using the stuff they learned making iOS device components in their own line of Android components. Apple has been enjoying the relative supply stability, quality and reliability of Samsung parts.

    One of these companies need to grow a set of balls and do one of two things:

    If Apple grows a pair first then dump using Samsung parts in retaliation for all the cloning of Apple products Samsung has done in

  • No, seriously, please keep it going - you're doing more to the current IP madness to a grinding halt than any companies before you... thanks for showing the general public how patently insane the current situation is...

  • stop feeding the lawyers and get on the the business of feeding R&D and competing on the merit of your product.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

Working...