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Android Patents The Courts Apple

In Wake of Samsung Verdict, HTC Does Not Intend To Settle 286

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the today-is-a-good-day-to-die dept.
Taco Cowboy writes "The recent lost by Samsung in a court battle against Apple apparently does not put a dent to other parties determination to fight Apple, inside and outside of the court system HTC's Chairperson, Ms. Cher Wang, has publicly re-iterated her belief that the $1 billion jury verdict against Samsung in the U.S. 'does not mean the failure of the entire Google Android ecosystem.'"
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In Wake of Samsung Verdict, HTC Does Not Intend To Settle

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:33AM (#41165545)

    Putting aside the question of whether a company can patent stuff like a rectangle with rounded edges and other obvious design features, all these patent lawsuits of recent years have made me wonder how it's possible these days for any software or hardware startup to even get going. It seems almost a given that any company that comes up with any new idea or piece of software these days, and subsequently makes even a modicum of money off of it, is pretty much guaranteed to get hit by a slew of patent lawsuits, some perhaps from big-name companies with deep pockets and lots of lawyers.

    As someone who has thought about going into indie software development myself, this scares the hell out of me. I can't imagine investing a ton of time and money into some innovative new product, only to be drowned into bankruptcy by patent trolls and the software big guns who have quietly patented every obvious element of design and every trivial element of every bit of software and hardware (even those with with decades of clear prior art). I'm not sure I would even consider trying anymore without the investment of a big patent law firm just to protect me.

    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:43AM (#41165691) Journal

      Tesla innovated just fine. He died crazy and poor while lesser men made themselves the gatekeepers to his creations and robbed the masses blind, sure... but he still innovated. Well, invented... innovation is the dumb-grunt work, really... but the principle is the same.

      Just because you're a slave doesn't mean you can't work.

      • by Merk42 (1906718) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#41165887)
        Nikola Tesla also died long before all this patent happy business the GP is talking about.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          Nikola Tesla also died long before all this patent happy business the GP is talking about.

          Tesla was alive when the patent wars over an automobile with internal combustion engine was on(though, that got squashed eventually).

          Easiest is to just not sell in USA. but it's friggin sad that despite there now being software and parts available for everyone to build phones, we didn't actually get any more phone producing companies to the western market than before.

        • by alen (225700)

          no, they had lots of patent lawsuits in the 1800's as well. its the reason tesla and edison worked on AC and DC and different hertz equipment

        • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @10:26AM (#41167475)

          Tesla innovated just fine. He died crazy and poor while lesser men made themselves the gatekeepers to his creations and robbed the masses blind, sure... but he still innovated. Well, invented... innovation is the dumb-grunt work, really... but the principle is the same.

          Just because you're a slave doesn't mean you can't work.

          Nikola Tesla also died long before all this patent happy business the GP is talking about.

          Slave?? Tesla was issued at least 278 patents internationally, wikipedia has a list of his American patents [wikipedia.org]. Westinghouse for example licensed Tesla's patents for large sums of money so Tesla was an 'evil IP monopolizer' or 'gatekeeper' as you put it. Also keep in mind that patent trolling was a problem in Tesla's day just like it is today so it's not exactly as if the late 19th and early 20th centuries were some sort of patent lawsuit free golden age of innovation.

    • This. I can't even begin to think of an equivocal thing that has happened throughout history. Perhaps union busting might come close, but for sweet jesus sake, the way these patent lawyers are working is just sickening. It's funny how you hear so much about tort reform and other such garbage from politicians but you don't hear a peep about patent trolling or the abuse of IP rights which is more of a hampering force on our economy than all of the malpractice lawsuits in the history of forever ever have be
      • by tgd (2822) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:10AM (#41166153)

        This. I can't even begin to think of an equivocal thing that has happened throughout history. Perhaps union busting might come close, but for sweet jesus sake, the way these patent lawyers are working is just sickening. It's funny how you hear so much about tort reform and other such garbage from politicians but you don't hear a peep about patent trolling or the abuse of IP rights which is more of a hampering force on our economy than all of the malpractice lawsuits in the history of forever ever have been or will be.

        I feel the need to post this on ever damn patent story on here. Read your history. This is both nothing new, and pretty tame by patent battle standards. The industrialization of the US happened both in spite of, and *because* of these sort of patent battles. The patent battles over things like programmable looms and sewing equipment made Samsung vs Apple look like something Judge Judy would preside over. And the fallout of those battles during the 19th century established the foundation of the companies that went on to fund the continued industrial growth and innovation in the US.

        And the answer to how you can innovate these days is simple -- the same way every other company did over the last 200 years. License what you think is critical, ignore the things you think you can get away with, and patent as much as you can because the cheapest way to license patents has always been to cross license patents. Oh, and really study your history. They say there's nothing new under the sun, and in IP and technical litigation, that is absolutely true.

        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          And the survival rate of such companies will be, exactly what?
          "Over the last 200 years" only a very small percentage of people could afford starting an industrial business.

          • And the survival rate of such companies will be, exactly what?

            Well, if we're talking about the patent-whoring machines founded by the likes of J.P. Morgan, George Westinghouse, and John Rockefeller...
            pretty [go.com]
            damn [wikipedia.org]
            good. [thinkprogress.org]

        • by Artraze (600366) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @10:42AM (#41167689)

          At the end of the 19th century there were a total of about 650,000 patents granted. Now there are over 8,000,000. There's a bit of a difference. Moreover, may of those patent battles were over fairly significant innovations, or at least ones which would require a fair about of investment in terms of time and money to use. Are we seriously comparing pinch-zoom to a sewing machine? Something that requires a day of effort at best and can be rolled out in under a week to something that one builds a manufacturing facility around? It'd barely be the equivalent of using different colors on some knobs on the sewing machine, in terms of relevance to the overall device/complexity. It's something that is _only_ worth patenting to use as a part of an attack portfolio.

          And while that's not to say that _never_ happened a hundred years ago (because occasionally it did), these days it's standard operating procedure. I have to side with the OP. This is a different world.

          • by DRJlaw (946416)

            At the end of the 19th century there were a total of about 650,000 patents granted. Now there are over 8,000,000.

            The majority of which have expired. You neglect the fact that patents will expire appx. 5, 9, or 13 years after grant due to non-payment of maintenance fees, and 17 years after grant or 20 years after filing even with full payment of the maintenance fees. Pretty much any patent with a number below appx. 5,300,000 has expired.

            There's a bit of a difference.

            Yes. The number of different areas

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        It's funny how you hear so much about tort reform and other such garbage from politicians but you don't hear a peep about patent trolling or the abuse of IP rights which is more of a hampering force on our economy than all of the malpractice lawsuits in the history of forever ever have been or will be.

        Apple is an American company, the reason is pretty obvious. You can be sure that if the IP lawsuit traction *against* them overseas continues, the US politicians and media will be up in arms about how foreign countries are being anti-competitive and monopoly-enforcing and basically anti-American. National interest is determined solely by self-perceived "justice" (or lack thereof) so when it goes against us (even though this trend doesnt really benefit anyone but lawyers) that's when you will start to hear

    • by DevotedSkeptic (2715017) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:49AM (#41165785) Homepage
      I agree, the patent system is so broken it is only a new venue for attorneys to grow rich, while innovators and consumers suffer. What is even more disturbing and wrong is the ability to patent life forms, or even genes. Centers performing cutting edge cancer research cannot always have access to genes or genomes they wish to study because they are simply unable to afford the price of admission (licensing). It really is a sad state of affairs.
      • The patent system was never designed to protect creators or the public. It was designed to protect the people who exploited those parties. Patents protect the capitalist who owns the factory that manufactures the goods. Copyrights protect the capitalist who owns the factory that binds the books. The system isn't broken, it's doing what it was designed to do... preserve and increase the power of the few over the many and make that power completely arbitrary and unbound by the will of the people.

        • by Sique (173459) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @10:10AM (#41167223) Homepage

          The first artist who got a copyright on his own work was Albrecht Duerer - 100 years after the first copyrights (imprimatur, as they were called then) were handed out, and only because he was the Albrecht Duerer [wikipedia.org], and some people felt that his works were actually his to profit on. The first law to recognize that an artist has a general right to his own works was the Statute of Anne 1710 -- 250 years after the first imprimatur. All those laws and principles were designed foremost to protect the manufacturer, the rewarding of the creator has always been an afterthought.

    • The sad truth is that there is pretty much only one way: Make so much money so quickly that you build up a war chest capable of mutually assured destruction if someone sues you. Otherwise, your best bet is to get just big enough to be bought by a megacorp and hope that they give you the leeway to keep working on your project relatively unfettered.

      Independent inventors/developers/designers/whatever simply don't have a chance in today's patent environment. Ironically, they are screwed by the very system tha

    • Did it not occur to you that perhaps this is what the larger firms want? By setting up this confusing system in such a manner, it makes it nearly impossible for smaller companies to innovate. That ensures they do not have to face nearly as much disruptive technology as they otherwise would, and their revenue streams remain secure.
    • by Chrisq (894406)
      I think that America will only realise that this is a problem when its too late. Wait until the Chinese market is bigger than the US market, and any imports are hit by bans because someone has patented a "device with three buttons and a flip switch" or whatever.
    • by MrDoh! (71235) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:55AM (#41165907) Homepage Journal
      Know how you feel. I had a few voip ideas and at the moment, I can't find anyone actually with a product out that does what I had planned, but when looking at patents, it's a minefield. There's so many patents I could see as /almost/ being the same, methods of communicating type stuff, control channel, that if I did well, I'm sure there'd be a line of lawyers. Still, the lawyers I've spoken with are happy to start the ball rolling, and have recommendations on lawyers to hire WHEN I get sued. They know how the lay of the land is at the moment. I've given up. That slim chance to make enough money to pay for lawyers to fend off the others? Stuff it, not worth the headaches.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That's the whole point. The "obvious" rectangle with rounded corners only became obvious after Apple came up with it. How were tablet prototype designs before the iPad was released?

      The "obvious" swipe movement to unlock a device only became obvious after Apple came up with it. How come it wasn't "obvious" before the iPhone was released?

      • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:33AM (#41166573)

        That's the whole point. The "obvious" rectangle with rounded corners only became obvious after Apple came up with it.

        I think you're mixing up two words there; "obvious" and "popular".

        You remember the 1994 device by Fidler, right?
        http://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/screen-shot-2012-06-05-at-11-03-06-am.png%3Fw%3D604 [wordpress.com]

        To him, a rectangle with rounded corners must simply have been an option. To others, sharper corners were an option. yet others had maybe pondered square devices, or round, or triangular.
        Point is - none of them are "obvious" per se - they're simply one of many choices out there that, if you were to ask a person, would come up with.
        There's certainly advantages to a rectangle - we're used to rectangles. Be it horizontally when dealing with TVs, computer screens, etc. or vertically when dealing with newspapers, magazines, books, etc.
        There's also advantages to making the corners round. Making them razor sharp simply makes them uncomfortable to hold.
        In that way you could say it's certainly a more obvious choice than a triangular, sharp-cornered, screen.

        The thing Apple did do - through its marketing prowess, among other - is make it popular. But its popularity is not what makes it obvious.

        Similarly slide-to-unlock. No, 'slide' mechanisms weren't very popular until the Apple's use of it. That in itself isn't what makes it obvious, though. The average lock on a public restroom stall may be what makes it obvious - because if you ask 100 people to come up with ways to perform an action (not necessarily unlock) given a 2D surface on which a continuous/non-continuous position may be tracked, 'slide' is more than likely to come up as one of the first suggestions.
        So why didn't others use it before? Because there weren't 100 'others'. There was Palm, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, essentially. Most everything else were what you would now call 'feature phones' and unlocking those is pretty universal.. '*, OK' or '#, OK'. Maybe that was patented, too, and everybody licensed that from whoever held that patent. I should hope not, though. They copied that model - Windows Mobile required pushing an on-screen 'unlock' button or *, followed by an on-screen button or the 'enter' key, for example. If Microsoft were told by, say, Ericsson that they patented 'a two-tap method for unlocking' and to quit using it and also get all devices banned from sale (instead of just licensing it out for something a little less ridiculous than e.g. $10/device), odds are that Microsoft would have implemented a slide action - and thought of 50 more ways, patented them all, etc.

        There is a difference between these two, though.
        The former is form following function. Nobody wants to be jabbed in the hands by the throwing star tablet and look at the accompanying screen because it's just impractical - so the rectangle with more or less rounded corners is something that you eventually tend to evolve toward. Granting a patent on that, or even its use as a component in a patent (design or otherwise) is shenanigans.

        The latter, however, is completely arbitrary. To use the bathroom stall analogy - there's knobs you have to turn, buttons you have to push, bars that you have to flip over. If the cleaning crew wants to access the maintenance room, they may have to enter a pin, or hold up a card (NFC), etc.
        There's so many ways in which to implement a device lock/unlock method that at least when faced with patent litigation, it's not worth the bother to fight over keeping a 'slide' mechanism on your device unless you're fighting it out of principle (i.e. believe the patent should not have been granted OR that it should be FRAND).
        That's not to say that the horizontal slide is innovative, ground-breaking, etc. Just a lot more 'meh'.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Wovel (964431)

          You clearly have little grasp of obviousness in an IP sense. There was a good story floating around a couple says ago. You should read it. What you think != what is.

      • I can't agree on the rectangle with rounded edges issue. Desks, keyboards, crockery, remote controls, hole punchers, plastic containers - all these things have rounded corners (and all of which are in my area of view as I type so my list is not exhaustive). Rounding off corners prevents injury and resolves the issue of weakness where an angle would produce a point e.g. a credit card.

        The shape of electronic devices is unremarkable as a tablet/e-book/smartphone generally has the shape of a piece of paper

    • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:14AM (#41166225)
      "Putting aside the question of whether a company can patent stuff like a rectangle with rounded edges"

      OK I expect this from an Android fan forum, but I expect more out of Slashdot.

      Apple has a trade dress patent. There are around 10 individual characteristics that make up the image of an iPhone. This includes rounded corners, grid of icons that can be swiped, lower set of icons that are static, edge to edge glass, black or white with chrome borders, etc.

      Apple does not own a patent over any of the individual characteristics. To say they do is flat out ignorant. To violate trade dress, you need to copy all or almost all of the individual characteristics. Simply having rounded corners is not something that Apple has an exclusive license on.
      • by Shagg (99693) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:56AM (#41167007)

        Have you read the D504889 patent?

      • by jpstanle (1604059)

        In the United States, there is no such thing as a "trade dress patent." Trade dress is a legal concept that is related to both trademark and design patents, but it is certainly not a type of patent.

        As far as the rounded rectangle thing goes, look up D504889. All you need to do to violate that patent is make an "electronic device" that kinda looks like that (a flat rectangle with rounded edges), no need to involve trade dress at all.

        • That has fuck-all to do with rounded corners. HTC (D617793 [google.com]) and Samsung (D641018 [google.com]) have similar patents to protect the look of their devices, as do most companies.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        Apple has a trade dress patent. There are around 10 individual characteristics that make up the image of an iPhone. This includes rounded corners, grid of icons that can be swiped, lower set of icons that are static, edge to edge glass, black or white with chrome borders, etc.

        Trade dress is NOT supposed to apply to functional aspects of the product. See this article [sughrue.com] and this one [nolo.com] for more details. Rounding the rectangular corners of a phone or tablet is functional as much as it is aesthetic; consumers gen

    • Cross License. Microsoft spends a lot of money licensing other people's tech and in return they expect others to license their tech.

      Though it does seem like it would be hard for "the little guy" to improve upon Apple or Microsoft's designs because I doubt they can afford to license Apple's patents.

      And of course I don't see how you can patent a rectangle with rounded edges. It amazes me that no one rounded the corner on a rectangle until 2007 /sarcasm :)
    • It's not possible to do anything really, if you're a small time independent. I wrote my own video and audio codecs, encryption algorithms, and distributed file transfer protocols, virtual machine, and put together a secure unified messaging / VOIP / File sharing system. It's basically in beta -- All the features work, and I'm just working out a few small scaling issues. I wrote every line of code myself. My "dependencies" are OpenGL, Pulse Audio, X11 or Win32 -- Basically, an OS, and low level audio / video APIs. I didn't implement anyone else's protocols or formats, and still the Software Patent Minefield prevents me from monetising or open sourcing the system. Fortunately this is a multi-year "free time" project that began as a bunch of smaller learning experiences, not my bread and butter. Eg: "I wonder how would one create a video codec?", I asked myself, then just did it -- The same for making compilers, interpreters, encryption, etc. (cipher block chaining can turn any one way hash into a two way cipher). Making new software isn't really hard at all; It doesn't take genius, just takes time.

      Due to the current patent laws I can't afford to publish my software (except to friends and relatives) -- A single lawsuit would be the end of me even though I've never looked at a technology related patent. If I open source the code, that just opens me up to patent trolls so they can try to find their exact way of doing something in my code, then sue me for retroactive "damages" caused -- Yes, even just my own personal use of the code I wrote myself can be considered infringing and thus "damaging".

      The messed up thing is that both Patent and Copyright in the USA were created for the express purpose of benefiting the society as a whole. Patents and Copyrights grant a monopoly over works for a limited period of time to incentivize creators to make their works open to the public.... Uhm, that falls flat on it's face when you consider that Open Source projects jump the gun -- They don't want the monopoly at all, and explicitly allow the public to benefit directly at the time of publication. So, since Free (libre) Open Source projects already meet the stated purposes of the patent & copyright laws, forfeiting the monopoly by choice, shouldn't they gain exemption from patent lawsuits to repay them? Ah, but then anyone could just implement a software patent and open source it, and the whole software patent market falls flat on it's face, see? Patents are stupid -- Any Artificial Scarcity of Information is stupid in the Information Age.

      The USA's forefathers didn't contemplate a market would exist in which people would create things explicitly for the public to use free of charge. The founders weren't perfect, that's why they allowed amendments... As it stands it's questionable whether one can even place something into the public domain as soon as its created (Automatic copyright + "It's free" + "Nope, changed my mind, its not free" == ??) We should be treating every law with deep suspicion and testing every law's effectiveness via the scientific method. Otherwise we're operating by untested hypotheses. We don't really know if patent or copyright laws are actually beneficial to society as a whole. I'm fed up and ready to do the experiment: Abolish patents.

      I say "not possible to do anything", but what I mean is anything of real importance. Making games is a less risky venture, so I'll try that on the side now.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        curious, how does it prevent you from open sourcing? wouldn't patents just prevent people from actually using it?

      • Stop living in fear (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        Form an LLC (super cheap) and release the software.

        You will not be sued, at worse you might get a letter claiming you violate some patent. If so just ignore it.

        The WORST that can happen is yes, your company gets sued. So then you close it off and you are done.

        But far more likely is nothing with happen and you can just continue to sell your software.

        The way things are now it's already like you have already been shut down. Why pre-suppose a very unlikely case?

        I'm not saying the software patent situation is

    • I'd say do it, but just not in the USA.
    • even if it's on a remote system in Europe... and don't sell any products in the U.S.A. directly. Outsource the importation into the U.S.A.
    • by kbonin (58917)

      The modern American Software start-up business model is simple - rush to market, and hope to either: 1) Be acquired by someone with a large enough patent portfolio to provide defensive cover, or 2) become highly profitable quick enough that you can afford to defend yourself by the time a predator notices you.

      Note that #2 is becoming more difficult as the big patent predators like Intellectual Ventures are moving their way down the food chain, hoping to capture a larger share of start-up capital before compa

    • by Shagg (99693)

      That's the whole point. These laws and lawsuits are a way of stifling competition, they have little to do with protecting innovation.

    • by Quila (201335)

      Putting aside the question of whether a company can patent stuff like a rectangle with rounded edges and other obvious design features

      It seems obvious now, but the tablets on the market didn't look like that until after Apple's design patent (note, design patent, not utility patent).

    • by Wovel (964431)

      Be original. If you are going to leverage someone's IP, license it. If you can't, do something else.

      Your comments seem to indicate you believe Samsung was suprised by all this. Samsung knew they were copying Apples features. T was a risk v reward calculation. You don't have to avoid being a developer, just don't take risks you can't afford. From the day Samsung released their first touchscreen android phone, they knew. They knew they would be sued. They knew why. They knew they would likely lose. Th

  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:41AM (#41165649)

    And it's not because they're like "Cheap iPhone knock-offs".

    • by fermion (181285)
      Actually it is. As much as I hate to admit it, MS actually made the innovative phone. As has been noted the problem with the iPhone is that at the end of they day, it is a $2000 phone. With Android on sale at Virgin and Boost and Cricket, all one needs is $200 to start, and then scrap together $50 every month, if you can. Android also has the inexpensive unlimited data plans and tethering plans which provides cheap internet. I know many people who have android phones because it provides cheap internet
      • by neokushan (932374)

        Just because Android devices are, generally, cheaper, doesn't mean they rip-off the high-end devices and appeal solely to the lower-end tier. Android's most popular models are all comparable (in price) to the iPhone - I'm talking about the likes of the Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. Sure, there's always the Apple "premium", but those devices are generally more powerful and more feature-packed than the latest iOS device.
        Likewise, those that can't afford an iOS device would just as likely get a different dev

    • If Android had retained the Blackberry knockoff form factor and function of the initial prototypes?

      • by neokushan (932374)

        So you're saying that the iPhone was the first phone design to use a keypadless interface?

  • by sa666u (2626427) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:42AM (#41165675)
    Of course they won't settle. One should never negotiate with terrorists.
    • So why does the Federal Government settle all the time with Goldman Sachs....
    • Reminds me of the Black Eyed Peas song Where Is The Love:

      Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
      But we still got terrorists here livin'
      In the USA, the big CIA
      The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK

      Innovation may be alive, but the individual innovator who does not work for a multinational is dead. Unable to create anything because they are frozen in fear over the threat of litigation.

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      Wish I could mod you +6, Apple have become everything they pretended they were against.
      I have multiple friends who abandoned Microsoft many years ago because they are an evil monopoly and are now vehement, blind Apple supporters. They are blind to see Apple is just as bad at the top as Microsoft was.

      I don't want Apple to die, despite how much they deserve it for their disgusting atittudes. We need competition. but good lord do they need to be knocked down a few rungs, I am eager for Google and partners

  • by alphax45 (675119) <kyle,alfred&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:43AM (#41165683)
    Of course it doesn't. Apple was after Samsung for the phone (hardware) and touchwiz (interface) components that were "copied". They are not interested in fighting Android (Google); yet....
    • "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told his biographer. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        ...I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank...

        What was he going to do, take it with him? :p

  • Here's the thing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sudden.zero (981475) <sudden.zero@nospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:46AM (#41165737)
    ...it wasn't just the shape of the tablet/phone it was about the overall deliberate copying that Samsung did. The biggest point was that Samsung had internally distributed documents comparing the Galaxy S III to the iPhone 4s, and said documents stated that their device needed to perform more like the iPhone.
    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      ...it wasn't just the shape of the tablet/phone it was about the overall deliberate copying that Samsung did. The biggest point was that Samsung had internally distributed documents comparing the Galaxy S III to the iPhone 4s, and said documents stated that their device needed to perform more like the iPhone.

      No they didn't thats not true. Its a great document you should read it. What it actually is is a stock application vs stock application comparison with its rival, OMG! Its things as exciting as Samsung show temperature as graphic, Apple show temperature as a number and a graphic and stating that both should be shown is the better choice.

      I personally think that is a sensible. I'm pretty certain that that is nothing to do with patents, and nothing to do with owned technology, but the bottom line is Samsung w

  • HTC isn't Samsung (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:50AM (#41165797)
    When you put HTC phones, iPhone, and certain (not all) Samsung phones side by side, the HTC ones are the ones that look different. Which means Apple won't succeed, and won't try to succeed, with charges related to design patents. On the other hand, the different looks may also be the reason or part of the reason why Samsung is selling more phones right now than HTC.
    • On the other hand, the different looks may also be the reason or part of the reason why Samsung is selling more phones right now than HTC.

      Well that, at least, is about to change!

  • About Cher Wang (Score:3, Informative)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#41165885) Homepage

    I believe that one of the reasons for the lopsided Apple/Samsung verdict was the RDF surrounding St. Steven Jobs. People think of him as an inspirational figure, and they're likely to believe his company's claims.

    I just wanted to state that Cher Wang is just as much an inspiration as Jobs, even though she hasn't sought the limelight or appeared in black turtlenecks at worldwide developer conferences.

    "Indeed, she rarely makes headlines at all, although she started her own multibillion-dollar company and made her own fortune.

    "Ms. Wang is one of the most powerful female executives in technology whom you have never heard of. The company she founded, the HTC Corporation, makes one out of every six smartphones sold in the United States, most of which are marketed under brands like Palm and Verizon."

    more [nytimes.com]

    She also founded VIA in 1987.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not that I am suggesting anything specific about Ms. Wang, but somehow she studied at Berkley after taking college prep school in Oakland, CA, which she went to after leaving school in Taiwan. Consider the expense of that (nowadays this would cost at least $150,000 with the visa fees and whatnot).

      The article hints at the already-present richness of her family:

      "When she was a young girl, Ms. Wang said, her father would take her on monthly visits to a local hospital he helped finance"

      As usual, the rich and p

      • by jrumney (197329)
        If I had teenaged daughters, between Cher Wang and Paris Hilton, I know which daughter of the rich and powerful I'd want them to aspire to be like. There's nothing wrong with making the most of your huge head start to produce something wonderful of your own. It certainly beats pissing it away in an attention seeking life devoid of any real value.
  • by redelm (54142) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:05AM (#41166083) Homepage

    Sure, 1B$ looks nice on the surface. But some victories are too costly (sow the seeds of final defeat) if they create and rally your opponents. HTC is one sign.

    Thanks to activist shareholders, Apple cannot even settle for something reasonable (~100 M$ & xlicence) and will have the full slog ahead; including most likely losing supply of their high-res (RetinaTM) displays from Samsung. Do they have a second-source? From my PoV hi-res is the only Apple advantage -- software is fungible (but maybe not for the mass-market).

    • They're called contracts - Samsung isn't going to stop supplying Apple with parts. FYI Samsung would and have sued people over IP infringement. It happens all the time.
  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:12AM (#41166179)
    I've been following this since day one, and I gota say, Apple comes out looking like the bad guy every time. Litigate > innovate in Apple's eyes. Always has been. Remember the Apple clones? Every card carrying geek here knows that Apple "borrowed" a vast majority of the iPhone's functionality from smart phones that existed 5-7 years before the first iPhone. That Apple suing because they were "copied" is utterly ridiculous, at least to people who watched the smart phone race from the beginning. Only the uninitiated find any validity to Apple's arguments.

    And Apple, you feel people are being deceived into buying non Apple products? You who deceive people into buying Apple products with deceptive ads, demagoguery and appealing to people's ignorance about technology? How long ago was it that you claimed the Power PC was better than the Intel chip you now sport? Where did the in house Apple benchmarks go that supported your wild claims that the Mac was faster than the PC. It wasn't that long ago that you changed the meaning of PC (oh that's a workstation, not a PC) so you could falsely claim that your computers were better than any PC running any OS. Deceived indeed. Your empire is built upon deception, hardware lock-in and lack of freedom for consumers.
    • by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:25AM (#41166435) Homepage
      How long ago was it that you claimed the Power PC was better than the Intel chip you now sport?

      Well, it was during the time that the PowerPC was better (by which I assume you mean faster) than Intel. Its architecture was always superior to the x86. That was most of the 90s. It was only after Motorola took it over, repositioned it and stopped trying to keep up that Intel's performance overtook it again with new architectures and technologies. Apple just did the pragmatic thing (unthinkable to some) to keep their products competitive.
  • This is not new.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by rimcrazy (146022) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:18AM (#41166287)

    I worked in the Semiconductor industry from the mid 70's up to around 2003. In the startup phase all startups were sued by the big guns but there was always a method to the madness. You don't sue a company that has no money unless it is defensive. They would all sit back and wait until you started to get successful. They the suits come in and throw a stack of patents 3' high on the table and say "Today we are running a special, we want 1% per foot on your revenue or we will litigate each and every one of these along with a few hundred more we did not bring today and if you settle right now we will throw in a set of Ginsu Knives" Both companies end up settling for something and a cross license deal and life goes on. It is what it is. A lot of the patents are so basic you could not make a chip without violating them. TI has one around injection molded packages that you could not make a plastic package without violation. It's probably expired by now but I'm sure they have "refreshed" it 10 times over.

  • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:22AM (#41166365)
    HTC was king of Android phones a few years ago. Once Samsung started stealing Apple tech, they took the crown from HTC.

    Now that HTC and Samsung should be competing on an even playing field again, I predict HTC will overtake Samsung for good this time.
    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      HTC was king of Android phones a few years ago. Once Samsung started stealing Apple tech, they took the crown from HTC.

      Now that HTC and Samsung should be competing on an even playing field again, I predict HTC will overtake Samsung for good this time.

      Ignoring the obvious "stealing comment" [shame on you] I will quote HTC CEO Peter Chou with this thinly veiled reference to Samsung “our competitors can leverage their scale, brand awareness and big marketing budget to do things which HTC could not do. The fast growth from the last two years has slowed us down.”

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

    The jury did not seem to think objectively [1] and also appear swayed by the foreman who seems to have gotten away with throwing out the biggest piece of evidence in Samsung's defense[2]. I was surprised that the trial went as it did, handled by a judge with very little experience[3], considering the future of the mobile industry was riding on it. "Rounded corners and Rectangular design"? Righ, Apple, you might as well be suing everyone in the industry becuase I can't find a device that _doesn't_ infrin

    • If you're going to put an iPhone and one of Samsung phones in front of regular non-technical people with no horse in the race they are going to notice that they look suspiciously alike. Samsung would have to build a pretty strong, nearly airtight case to overcome a hurdle like that. Clearly they didn't. That's a jury trial, you're dealing with people not law evaluating robots.

  • The term 'going Dutch' are usually applied to situations where you are supposed to take care of yourself in a group situation. Now those Dutch are pretty crafty folk, and do they have some good ideas every now and then. One of those ideas has been inscribed on a wall to remind people of what happens when you give in to tyrants. The monument was made to commemorate 30 resistance fighters who fought in a struggle which makes this patent business pale beyond recognition, but the inspiration given by these line

  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:56AM (#41166999)
    HTC has been making smart phones and PDAs for longer than the iPhone existed and those post iPhone have very little in common. They certainly don't ape the "trade dress" of the iPhone or iPad which is what got Samsung in trouble. Neither the shape of their phones, nor with HTC "Sense" user interface looks remotely like anything from Apple except in superficial ways. Indeed Sense has appeared over the top of several smart phone operating systems, not just Android and doesn't resemble iOS either.

    So I think HTC have good reason to tell Apple to go fuck themselves. They probably also benefit from Samsung's misfortune given that the two of them are the leading smart phone vendors on Android and therefore in direct competition even if they share the same ecosystem.

    • Um, OK? That was the entire point of this article. Samsung made specific choices to create hardware and modify Android that violated Apple patents. HTC hasn't made those same choices. Hence the entire Android ecosystem is still safe as long as you aren't as dumb as Samsung.
  • The recent lost

    Shouldn't that be "loss" ?

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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