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Japan Patents Apple

Samsung Beats Apple In Tokyo, Itching To Sue Over LTE Patents 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-for-you-one-for-me-one-for-you-one-for-me dept.
AmiMoJo writes "A court in Tokyo has ruled that Samsung Electronics did not infringe on a patent relating to transferring media content between devices. Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji dismissed the case filed by Apple in August, finding that Samsung was not in violation of Apple patents related to synchronizing music and video data between devices and servers." This particular battle is just one front in a patent war that spans ten countries and dozens of cases. Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market. Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location (#8,254,902). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.
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Samsung Beats Apple In Tokyo, Itching To Sue Over LTE Patents

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  • by realsilly (186931) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:40AM (#41189271)

    Well, from all I've heard, the US jury really dropped the ball on following instructions in the US trial, it sounds like Japanese jurors looked at things differently.

    • by kenorland (2691677) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:42AM (#41189311)

      No, different patents. But it's the same m.o.: Apple steals other people's ideas and products, creates a barrage of iffy patents and copyrights, invests in a massive marketing campaign to create the false impression that they invented the technology, and then sues the hell out of everybody else.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alen (225700)

        you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

        its like cars. every automaker has patents on their cars and specific engines. yet they all operate the same way and use the same fuel. everyone just has to make their own algorithm or slightly different way of injecting and burning fuel. been l

        • by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:57AM (#41189485)

          It doesn't matter, what matters is that Apple is hurting all customers including their own, in the long run, by instigating spurious patent battles based on a rotten patent system. Whether it is an iphone, a Samsung phone or whatever else, you pay a hefty fee to lawyers anytime you buy a new phone.

          • by firex726 (1188453)

            Yea, everyone stole from each other and just cross license from each other.

            Apple is the new guy on the scene and decided to go nuclear and start this war with everyone else.

        • by kenorland (2691677) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:06AM (#41189581)

          you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech

          In order for something to be patentable, it needs to be a novel, non-obvious, and useful invention in a technical area, and we call "novel, non-obvious" insights "ideas". "Ideas" become "inventions" when they are about something that is also useful and in a technical area. So, not all ideas are patentable, but all patents (theoretically) require some idea at their core.

          You are absolutely right that most of Apple's patents are "for specific implementations", and that is the core of the problem: Apple takes other people's novel, non-obvious insights and then creates a massive patent portfolio on implementations. And because juries aren't that good at figuring out the differences and are swayed by Apple's marketing prowess and commercial success, they then side with Apple when these cases go to court. As a result, inventors and innovators get screwed and Apple just keeps copying and stealing.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            The "obvious" part needs to cover simple moving of an idea from one related appliance to another. For example Apple didn't invest the MagSafe connector, Japanese kitchen appliance manufacturers did. People were burning themselves tripping over deep fat fryer leads. Apple should never have been granted a patent on using the same design with a laptop, it is just too obvious that the technology could be used on anything that needs power.

            Even the part about the connector being palindromic is dubious. Japanese m

        • by jrumney (197329)

          you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

          Vel [ycombinator.com], is that you?

        • you can't patent ideas, most of the iOS patents are for specific implementations on the current touch screen tech. the fact that we had some kind of pinch to zoom 20 years ago has no bearing on current tech. different screens, different algorithms need to be created.

          Patents are for protecting the ideas of inventions, not inventions themselves.

          Inventions are covered by copyright, trade secrets, etc.

          Protecting implementation of the invention by patent is also useless. Actual implementation might change, while underlying idea remains. And that's what patents are designed to protect.

          IOW, any implementation of pinch zoom from 20 years ago must have automatically invalidated any pinch zoom patent filed later. Now, if Apple had patented particular way to implement t

          • not concept. Originally the patent was to cover the specific method of implementing an idea (like a better gear tooth pattern, or a more efficient mechanism to husk corn, or whatever.)

            However, in the case of software patents they really do seem to be patenting an idea. So current patents are so broadly worded that they really do essentially cover the idea of pinch-to-zoom, or the idea of having a little marker showing your location on the current page while scrolling. If we held true to the original rule

        • You can attempt to patent every possible permutation of its application. If you're a jerk.
        • by RobbieCrash (834439) * on Friday August 31, 2012 @11:49AM (#41190949)

          This is incorrect. The fact that there was pinch-to-zoom 20 years ago, means that the Apple implementation is not a new, novel, non-obvious idea. If it was new, novel and non-obvious, the concept wouldn't have existed before. You're making the same mistake that the jury foreman made, thinking that each part has to be interchangeable in order to qualify as prior art. As this [groklaw.net] Groklaw article clearly points out, that's simply not the case.

          The fact that the exact methodology used by the touch screens is different, doesn't mean that the idea didn't exist 20 years ago. Not only that, but pinch to zoom is about as obvious a method to zoom in when you have a tiny touch screen as there is.

      • The humans have played their hand, now we get ready to play ours.

      • Why in the hell is parent modded informative? He doesn't provide any specific example of what he is claiming. For the marketing campaign, there are whole countries without a single billboard or TV commercial from Apple that still get good sales of Apple products. It would be interesting to see a comparison in the marketing expenses of Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft to see wich one has the mayor expenses in marketing.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:51AM (#41189411) Homepage

      Actually they don't have juries in Japan, they have a system of lay judges. And I don't think they even have them in civil cases.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      No. It is not even close to the same patents.

  • by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:40AM (#41189277)
    Obviously this is blatant abuse on both sides. It no longer about genuine infringement it's about sticking it to the competition or getting back at them. Now the patent system is it's own worst enemy, stifling innovation and progress. What a shame.
    • by synapse7 (1075571) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:50AM (#41189395)
      If I had products being banned for having rounded corners I would think at that point the "good guy" in me would be dead and I'd be going after them any way I could.
    • The patent system has been bubkis for a long time now. It is merely a feeding ground for the way too many lawyers that graduate each year with nothing to do. It's original purpose was to protect the hard work of engineers and inventors while providing the governments with a way to track the technological explosion of the last few centuries. It unfortunately is not designed to handle the fact that ideas can be separately developed in isolation. This weakness combined with the overpopulation of lawyers has le
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        The patent system has been bubkis for a long time now. It is merely a feeding ground for the way too many lawyers that graduate each year with nothing to do. It's original purpose was to protect the hard work of engineers and inventors while providing the governments with a way to track the technological explosion of the last few centuries. It unfortunately is not designed to handle the fact that ideas can be separately developed in isolation. This weakness combined with the overpopulation of lawyers has lead us to this point where we have to deal with these worthless legal battles over and over again.

        The sad thing is that pretty much any politician, on either side (or in the middle) will tell you the same thing: the patent system protects our innovators. Never mind that almost all politicians are/were lawyers themselves, and that lawyers as a professional group have more influence than any other when it comes to the political process... We must keep the laws because they protect our innovators!

    • by macbeth66 (204889)

      Not a shame, in my opinion. The US always plays things to the brink. This type of activity will cause the whole patent system to impode. Good. Then they can rebuilt it with innovation in mind. That would also have beneficial side affects for Copyright law.

      IMHO. INAL. ETC.

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:41AM (#41189303)

    Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market

    Either I'm missing something, or that doesn't make a lick of sense. LTE is all FRAND (just like 3G) isn't it? So what are they going to sue over exactly?

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:50AM (#41189397) Homepage Journal

      Apple has, thus far, been difficult when it comes to licensing FRAND patents. Essentially, a patent holder will say something like "Our standard rate is 2.5%", at which point Apple responds with "NO FAIR!!! Our phone is EXPENSIVE! You set that rate when phones were CHEAP! Not going to pay!" *stamps foot*

      ...which is another reason the Samsung verdict in the US made no sense. Apple did just that, and after the foreman made his "Let's punish Samsung for stealing inventions", they opted not to punish Apple for refusing to pay anything for patents it knew it had to license.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

        by DevilM (191311) <`devilm' `at' `devilm.com'> on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:57AM (#41189483) Homepage

        It must be fun just to make things up. Of course, the rest of us who like real information spend the time reading from credible sources. Unfortunately, there is no information available on the situation with Samsung and LTE. However, when looking at court records from Nokia v. Apple on 3G FRAND issues, the record is quite clear. Nokia didn't want more money than Apple was willing to pay. They wanted a cross-license on Apple patents that Apple was unwilling to provide. According to Nokia, Apple was the only phone vendor unwilling to cross-license.

        It was all eventually settled with Apple paying Nokia and not licensing their patents. Same thing is likely to happen to Samsung. Apple will not allow anyone to use their patents in a competing product for better or worse. But, Apple doesn't mind paying for standards essential patents.

      • by Wovel (964431)

        Apple's primary defense was and will continue to be exhaustion. Apple does pay someone else to make the chipsets. In most cases M and S are trying to make Apple pay twice.

      • How come we never hear about them refusing to license these patents to their competitors? Oh, right, because they are FRAND patents and Apple plays by the rules.

        http://www.cringely.com/2011/07/01/the-enemy-of-my-enemy/

  • by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:44AM (#41189331)
    Apple should focus on bringing the best product to the market not the most expensive. Many people buy Samsung because you don't have to drop $600 on a phone. Apple is on its way to being the biggest patent troll in history.
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:47AM (#41189365)

    For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

    How is that patentable?
    Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

    Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

      How is that patentable?
      Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

      Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

      yes. you can even sue people for it.
      it's an apple article you know.

      inventions can be obvious nowadays if you haven't noticed, you just have to find someone on earth from under a rock to whom it's not obvious.

    • For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

      How is that patentable?
      Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

      Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

      While I agree, I'm happy to let Apple have all the patents it wants regarding locking down devices. It provides all the more motivation for Android to be open and free.

      • by cdrudge (68377)

        While I agree, I'm happy to let Apple have all the patents it wants regarding locking down devices. It provides all the more motivation for Android to be open and free.

        And by more open and free, you mean more restricted. What if I WANTED some type of a "lock down" feature on my Android Phone?

    • by Wovel (964431)

      You have to read the whole patent and understand what it is actually doing. No Android apps do this. I can not be done b simply an App.

      • by jrumney (197329)
        Most of the claims in that patent are standard features of Locale, one of the Google Android Developer Challenge winners from the launch period of Android. Locale was publically demonstrated at MIT in early May 2008, almost 2 months before Apple filed their patent. Only claim 10 (phone refusing to leave sleep mode within an area), which probably is not technically feasible unless by "sleep mode" they just mean display backlight off, and claims 15 onward (which require infrastructure) are not preempted by Lo
    • For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

      How is that patentable?
      Not only is a obvious, it is already implemented by various android applications. Tasker probably being the most famous.

      Can you now patent stuff people are already doing?

      I think it depends on the relative size of legal budgets. There's no way the people behind Tasker, for instance, could win a law suit against Apple about this. In fuzzy fake numerical terms, the ratio of legal budgets is the inverse of the ratio between the legal standards to which the companies is held. If can outspend you by a factor of 10 on lawyers, then you need to be at least 10x more "in the right" to beat them. Considering the money Apple can actually spend on lawyers, they could probably get aw

    • by mkraft (200694)

      People who don't understand (or read) patents, really shouldn't comment on patents. You can't just read the title of the patent and says "well duh that's obvious" since the title of a patent doesn't describe the process on how it is done. That's the thing most people don't understand. Ideas aren't patentable, end results aren't patentable, only the process leading to the end result is patentable.

      Take your example "sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or commun

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:47AM (#41189367) Homepage

    "sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater"

    I've been calling for this feature since the 90's.

    It should NOT be patentable. Seriously, I am so fucking sick of patents.

    How do we stop this insanity.

      • by Wovel (964431)

        Cool App. Nothing at all like the system Apple's patent describes but cool App.

    • by Dog-Cow (21281)

      I don't know all the details of this situation, but what you write is irrelevant. People had the idea for human flight for thousands of years, but that doesn't stop Boeing and Airbus from obtaining thousands of patents on their aircraft.

      Ideas are not patentable, implementations are.

      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        You must be kidding right? Until around Wilbur and Orville's time, most people thought flight was either impossible, would be stuck to air balloons or would be achieved by imitating birds with non-fixed wings.

        The actual implementation and conception of fixed wings that could carry a heavier-than-air vehicle were novel and non-obvious at the time.

        The fact of the matter here is that many of these patents, while claimed to be for specific implementations, are vague enough to cover just about all implementation

    • Yes, this system sucks. All other systems suck worse. Do you have a better system?

      My vote is that software & consumer electronic patents should expire after 3-4 years.

      • Yes. No patents. The Renaissance was one of the greatest periods of human creativity and invention in recorded history, and it happened entirely without the creation of laws surrounding the restriction of ideas. There was innovation and art before there was ever the idea of "intellectual property". The system would evolve to be drastically different, no doubt, but it would continue to exist without IP. No, I don't have any hard evidence for this, because nobody in the modern world has tried getting rid
  • by jrumney (197329) on Friday August 31, 2012 @09:58AM (#41189495) Homepage

    Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location

    It seems like an interesting strategy for Apple to protect the reputation of their restricted development platform by patenting technologies that are already used in Android applications which demonstrate clearly the benefit of a more open approach. Sadly the patent will probably hold up, as the first public release of Locale seems to have been in October 2008, 3 - 4 months after the Apple patent was filed. The patent application would have still been non-public at that point, so rather than the Locale developers copying Apple, I suspect both were inspired by the same presentation from somewhere; Apple's approach was to patent the ideas they'd got from elsewhere and sit on it, the Android approach was to make an app and get it out there.

    • by jrumney (197329) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:25AM (#41189807) Homepage
      9 May 2008 [techcrunch.com]: Android application to dynamically change device settings based on location publically reported on in tech press. 22 June 2008: Apple files patent for that exact idea. Now that's what I call innovation.
      • by Wovel (964431)

        Except that is not what they patented. They patented a device that communicates with a smartphone to change the phones settings when it is a certain location. You are talking about an App that lets a user create location based settings. The two things are very different.

        If you bothered to read you would know that. You obviously did a little research. All you early had to do was click the patent link in he article. You could have saved some trouble.

        • by jrumney (197329)
          If you bothered to read yourself, you would see that the Apple patent tries to cover both what Locale does (claims 1 - 14), and what you claim the patent is for (claims 15 - 29).
        • by Nemyst (1383049)

          So basically Apple patented Bluetooth car receivers changing the phone's voice output and input (those are "settings", are they not?) to the in-car speaker and microphone when in range?

    • by Wovel (964431)

      Summary was intentionally bad. You should read the patent.

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:03AM (#41189541)

    with bluetooth being the communication path. Had little linux machines with a bluetooth dongle which tracked visible bluetooth devices and also sent messages requesting silent mode and so on. It was just a minor part of a research project at uni, we did get pretty good tracking data though just from setting up nodes around the building and recording what devices were seen. You couldn't be sure that Bob usually arrives at 8:00am, went to his office, and then to the espresso machine room, and then back to his office every day - but his phone sure did.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      Yours is a lot more similar than the Android apps people keep bringing up.

  • I have patented the following:
    A method for clipping toenails with a lever driven cutting device.
    Either grow long nails or pay up.
  • Sammy probably buys several of every new cellphone to examine them for unlicensed IP to keep the lawyers busy. I'm pretty sure all of them do this.
  • For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

    Umm. Already do with with the Tasker app.

  • by Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) on Friday August 31, 2012 @10:56AM (#41190261)

    Who in hell is issuing patents on configuration settings? That isnt a unique goddamn invention. Of course, neither are pinchy finger motions. The "Kids in the hall" should have patented that one when they were crushing other peoples heads.

  • Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday... For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

    Gee, a feature so obvious and so simple that nobody except corporate 'we own everything' bastards would even think of patenting it. And the best part for Apple is, the technology already exists - it'll probably take about a day's work to make this happen, and then they'll have a monopoly on an absurdly simple and easy 'technological advancement'.

    Why do we continue to accept such an obviously and fatally broken patent system? Yeah, I know 'bread and circuses' is the correct answer, and it pisses me off.

  • GOOG et. al. want to play this game, AAPL is up 1 set by a score of 1Billion to love, the match isn't over and patents are not WIN-WIN strategy in-play, but tactical, a move used to advantage. Thermonuclear is both decisive and definitive without regard to consequence, HoneyBadger style. AAPL have dry powder, ammunition, troops and a plan which just as the gauntlet Steve Jobs laid down implies will end battle in a way that precludes all response. Game, Set...Match

  • by na1led (1030470) on Friday August 31, 2012 @12:46PM (#41191637)
    If these patent wars continue, there will be an endless amount of patents for everything imaginable. Someone needs to draw a line in the sand, or nuke this whole patent system altogether!
  • ...has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. It is not an invention per se as there is nothing new. It is not novel either, as the same thing has been done on many different types of devices before someone at this company thought to file a patent for it. Let's pick the thing apart, shall we? Claim by claim - though we'll skip a few for brevity.

    Claim 1 asserts a base station which communicates with wireless clients and pushes relevant configuration data to them. It can only do that when the wireless device is

  • by accessbob (962147) on Friday August 31, 2012 @01:38PM (#41192327)

    Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device depending on its location (#8,254,902). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.

    Sorry Apple, I got there first (ad this is just one paper, I began disseminating the work 2003).

    Dodd, R., Green, S., and Pearson, E. 2009. User capability in an adaptive world. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGMM international Workshop on Media Studies and Implementations that Help Improving Access To Disabled Users. Beijing, China, October 23 - 23, 2009 pp. 79-88. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1631097.1631110 [acm.org] New York, NY: ACM Press.

    Abstract

    General computing devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, personal, and mobile; and bring expectations of multimedia delivery with them that are traditionally the domain of desktop computing. Given their small form factors with restricted interaction modalities, optimizing interaction between user and device becomes critical to the usability and accessibility of the device. To this end, we present simple but powerful models of user capability, capacity, and preference that allow for a wholly adaptive and optimized user experience, with the models driving selection and configuration of appropriate interaction modalities, and themselves adapting their settings in order to reflect both changes in the environment, and the history of user behaviour . In order to achieve this, user profiles are no longer collections of purely static values, but may also contain functionally dependent properties that are changeable in response to external events. The models themselves do not perform any adaptation, but aim to drive the adaptation process.

  • Locale for Android won the Google Android student competition in August 2008, and existed far before that. I am quite certain that it could be easily proven that Locale existed prior to the date of this filing, and it enables the ability to change settings based on location (among a plethora of other things)

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