Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Networking Iphone Patents The Courts Wireless Networking Apple

Samsung Expected To Sue Apple Over iPhone 5 LTE Networking 283

Posted by timothy
from the knock-down-drag-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Geek.com: "The courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung seems to be far from over, and come tomorrow Apple is in for a major headache as soon as it makes the iPhone 5 official. That's because Samsung is poised to sue the company over patents it owns relating to LTE connectivity the new smartphone is expected to use. All Samsung needs to confirm is that the iPhone 5 is shipping with 4G LTE and it can then apparently set its lawyers into action. As is typical with these patent lawsuits, Samsung will most likely seek an import ban meaning the iPhone 5 may not be able to leave its manufacturing plants and make it to the U.S. to fulfill pre-orders. If such a thing ruling was made, Apple would most likely do a deal that meant it no longer pursued Samsung product bans, and might even forget about that billion dollar payout." Samsung's not the only one hoping to gain some leverage: itwbennett writes, "Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad 3 may violate a pair of patents bought by HTC back in April 2011 that cover methods used in 4G devices for faster downloads. International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender said it would take 'clear and convincing' evidence to renounce the U.S. patents."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Samsung Expected To Sue Apple Over iPhone 5 LTE Networking

Comments Filter:
  • Fuck it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:29PM (#41301271) Homepage Journal

    Let's just have an official monopoly on cell phones. Then the government could suppress competition directly and completely, instead of this piecemeal price raising done through patents.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:35PM (#41301363) Homepage Journal

      The only winners here are the law firms. The customers suffer limited feature availibility rather than a enjoy a robust market of the best each manufacturer can produce. It's a pretty rotten system. "You can only buy what our lawyers and patent portfolio will allow you to from out competitors" Really makes the patent system look like a tool of would-be monopolists.

      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:48PM (#41301553)

        Really makes the patent system look like a tool of would-be monopolists.

        The point is patents is precisely to grant monopolies. Everyone using patents is, in some sense, a monopolist.

        Patents are a lot like chemotherapy. When they're limited in scope and duration, they can be a net-positive. Unfortunately, today's patent regime is more like a big dose of polonium.

      • The majority of US politicians often have a legal background. Many whom have worked at a law firm. They are (by design) an entirely different class of people. So of course they are the winners. What politician would have it any other way?

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          The majority of US politicians often have a legal background. Many whom have worked at a law firm. They are (by design) an entirely different class of people. So of course they are the winners. What politician would have it any other way?

          And when it doesn't work in their favor, they find ways to deregulate or subsidize which ultimately works very, very well for them later.

          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            >>>And when it doesn't work in their favor, they find ways to deregulate or subsidize which ultimately works very, very well for them later.

            You mean the politicians find ways to REGULATE to give themselves favorable market and/or make it more difficult for the competition. For example: A requirement that all sellers (even kids with lemonade stands) must have a $10,000 license. The existing large corporation can afford it, but not brand new businesses. So the new business owner just quits before

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        The problem isn't the patent system, it's the patent office getting paid for every patent they grant, not for how many they reject.

    • The big difference for me is that there are many ways to design the look and feel of a tablet, but few ways to make a 4g lte device. Based on Samsung and htc patents, is it even possible to design around them? I thought that was the purpose of frand licensing, to prevent monopolistic behavior.
      • by Samalie (1016193)

        I'm not sure the 4G LTE patents in question are FRAND-based.

        If they are....well then Samsung is just being an asshole, and while their claims would be held up in court, it is of minimal effect to Apple - they just pay the proper FRAND terms.

        If they're not....then Apple is going to get faceraped, and justly so.

      • by Chirs (87576) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:08PM (#41301875)

        Samsung and HTC both have standard FRAND licensing rates. However, generally everyone just cross-licenses patents instead of paying cash royalties.

        Apple doesn't want to cross-license, but also complains that the (standard, charged the same to everyone) cash royalty rates are too high.

        • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:48PM (#41302543)

          Samsung and HTC both have standard FRAND licensing rates. However, generally everyone just cross-licenses patents instead of paying cash royalties.

          Apple doesn't want to cross-license, but also complains that the (standard, charged the same to everyone) cash royalty rates are too high.

          Actually, in the lawsuit where that was discussed (Nokia vs Apple), Apple claimed that Nokia was undervaluing the patents Apple held, not that the licensing rate for the FRAND patents was too high. It's a subtle difference.

        • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:52PM (#41302605)

          When has Apple made such a complaint? They have an issue with Motorola, who is provably trying to charge Apple more than other companies. IOW, ignoring the ND portion of FRAND.

          • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:08PM (#41302875) Journal

            Depends.

            I have a patent. You wish to use my patent. I will charge you one million dollars to use my patent. Now, cash is fine, but what I really want is access to a couple of your patents. I figure those two patents are worth $999,999.97. So let me use those patents and pay me 3 cents and we'll call it even.

            Apple now comes along and says, "No, you can't use our patents and paying one million dollars isn't fair because other people are only paying 3 cents."

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      Let's just have an official monopoly on cell phones.

      That's precisely why all of this is happening. The outcome of all the litigation will eventually determine who you can legally buy a phone from.

  • by Sydin (2598829) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:30PM (#41301285)
    With any luck, this tangled web of patent wars will go on for so long, and reach such an intensity, that legislatures will finally recognize the problems with current patent laws. If our court system has to be tied up into a knot who's density rivals that of dark matter in order to get the point across, then so be it.
    • As soon as 1 congressman's iPhone 5 pre-order isn't fulfilled, I guarantee you they'll do something about it.
    • by icebike (68054) * on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:49PM (#41301581)

      There is some indication this is already happening. The Congressional Research Service [thenextweb.com] released a report about it, and the report even used the word "Trolls" in the title.

      Still the report is weak on actual recommendations, and spends a portion of its content defending trolls. Its encouraging for an arm of congress to even use the term Trolls, but with no clue as to a recommended solution there is a long way to go.

    • by macbeth66 (204889)

      The only way that Congress will ever start fixing things is when they come to a head. Brinksmanship. I so hope this screws up everyones' desires for the iPhone 5 and the public outcry becomes deafening.

      I've showed folks some of the various artciles regarding the case and they had no clue there was even a case in the courts.

      "Rounded corners? Really? You can patent those?"

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:32PM (#41301313) Homepage Journal
    now that Steve Jobs is dead, there is no reason to continue his personal thermonuclear war. Tim Cook should get together with Samsung, Google, HTC et al and sign the equivalent of ABM treaty [wikipedia.org] and cross-license all patents like all normal industries.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      now that Steve Jobs is dead, there is no reason to continue his personal thermonuclear war

      Isn't the reason obvious? Apple is not a well-diversified company; they make a small number of shiny gadgets from which they derive the vast majority of their massive profits. Their personal computer division, software sales, and app-store/itunes sales are peanuts by comparison. Android, and Samsung in particular threatens those massive profits. That Tim Cook would not do everything in his power to destroy Android is completely counter to his role as CEO (to ensure those massive profits).

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:01PM (#41301763)
        Without iPhone/iPad, Apple would still makes lots of money. [apple.com] Apple would make an estimated $30B in revenue instead of $140B (based on Q3 estimates). Profit margin might be in the 30% range instead of the 40% though.
        • Sure, they would still make boatloads of money. But why have one boatload when you could have two boatloads (corporate shareholder logic)? Just imagine the board meeting, where the board points to Android sales skyrocketing, and iPhone sales (and Apple's profits) falling proportionally, then asking Tim Cook what he's doing about it. His answer of "Well, we still make lots of money selling other things, there's enough to go around" isn't going to be particularly compelling.

          Then again Android sales have sk
          • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:17PM (#41302993)
            The problem is that you think that Apple's sole motive is profit and sales and these lawsuits are about hurting competitors. Apple's belief has been that their competitors are copying them. You can disagree with that assessment or not. I don't think Apple cares if they are the #1 company in terms of size or marketshare. Their primary focus has always been making the best products they can while making profits. MS however has always been concerned with being #1.
        • by goombah99 (560566)

          Without iPhone/iPad, Apple would still makes lots of money. [apple.com] Apple would make an estimated $30B in revenue instead of $140B (based on Q3 estimates). Profit margin might be in the 30% range instead of the 40% though.

          Apple's wife has been piling that cash up in a rented foreign storage locker. She can't figure out how to launder it all back to the US to dividend to stock holders without paying taxes on it.

          Maybe apple will realize it has enough money and see the danger of trading patents with Tuco Samsung-manca.

        • by medcalf (68293)
          A large part of my parents' retirement is in Apple stock, not by design but because the other stocks they hold are basically worthless. (And before you start calling my parents the 1%, my father was enlisted military, then a GM auto assembler, and my mother was an accountant for the Air Force.) So tell me, why would they accede to a change that would cost them nearly 80% of the largest portion of their available savings for retirement as the stock crashes back to reflect the change in earnings? And why for
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by goombah99 (560566)

        Another rational for not cross licensing patents in this case is that Apple's patents are design patents and Samsungs are methods implementations for standards. Design patents are intended to distinguish a product so licensing them makes no sense. Standards are intended to unify operations so licensing their methods for money in non-discriminative ways makes sense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wouldn't that just hurt the little guys?

      • by Githaron (2462596) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:42PM (#41301467)
        That is why we need major patent reform. The current system seems to favor the big dogs. The little guys can't spend resources defending their patents and the big dogs can use patents to fight each other and squish little guys.
        • by alexo (9335)

          That is why we need major patent reform. The current system seems to favor the big dogs. The little guys can't spend resources defending their patents and the big dogs can use patents to fight each other and squish little guys.

          Be careful of what you wish for.

          The only people in a position to institute a reform are the "big dogs".
          And I highly doubt that the reformed system will be better for the "little guys" in any way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slashmydots (2189826)
      That's how they've done business for 20 years and Jobs only hired people exactly like him. Every single division in his company is in have a monopoly or act like you do mode.
    • by icebike (68054) *

      now that Steve Jobs is dead, there is no reason to continue his personal thermonuclear war. Tim Cook should get together with Samsung, Google, HTC et al and sign the equivalent of ABM treaty [wikipedia.org] and cross-license all patents like all normal industries.

      Tim Cook needs to get his product blocked and his patents invalidated before he will see the light. The Samsung verdict is 90% sure to be overturned on appeal if for no other reason than Jury Misconduct, and the patents Apple relied on were trivial UI features (software patents).

      But as long as Cook's lawyers keep dragging in billion dollar judgements for million dollar expenditures Cook will not stop.

      Maybe if Cook spent the Lawyer money improving the iPhone's user interface the man who's campaign chest he

    • by DickBreath (207180) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:07PM (#41302859) Homepage
      Good luck trying to get an ABM treaty after you've just fired a bunch of nuclear weapons and some of them have even exploded.

      For a long time there was uneasy peace. Nobody was stupid enough to pull the trigger on a full scale patent war. Not even Microsoft. Even dancing monkey boy was willing to merely extort money.

      For mutually assured destruction (MAD) to work, all players have to be rational and sane.

      Enter Apple.

      By Steve Jobs own words, and Apple's continued actions, this won't end until Apple is pounded into the ground and nothing but dust is left.

      I for one will be laughing myself silly once a patent nuclear weapon lands in Apple's back yard. And it will happen. Then we will hear a chorus of whining like nothing ever heard before from the fanboy reality distortion field cult.

      The good thing that will come of it will be to draw attention to the broken patent system and how it is seemingly designed for abuse.
  • This is not possible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:34PM (#41301351)
    There is no way in hell this is possible. They made a phone centered around an entire transmission technology that another company owns and they didn't have a license for? THAT ISN'T POSSIBLE. No company is that stupid. You don't assemble an entire product and then cross your fingers and hope Samsung licenses it out to you AND THEN sue them for 1 billion dollars and win. Surprise, no LTE for you. What is really going on here? How legitimate is the patent(s) Samsung holds? I'm going to take a guess they don't own LTE itself in its entirety at least, right?
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      The question is if Samsung (and Apple) are negotiating in good faith on FRAND terms. By this type of action on Samsung's part, I would tend to argue they are not.

    • by Godai (104143) * on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:41PM (#41301459)

      Most of the patents all around are pretty stupid. It sounds like Samsung doesn't have a patent on LTE, but on connecting to LTE networks that it would probably be impossible for Apple not to violate. Much in the same way that designing a phone that's not ugly violates patents from Apple. Its pretty obvious that Samsung's been waiting in the tall grass for an LTE iPhone to give Apple a little bit of karma; that its happened so close the other trial just makes the comedic possibilities that much more salivating.

    • by gutnor (872759) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:48PM (#41301563)

      That is not a patent that you violate or license, that is a web of patents specifically designed to cover as much of technology as possible so that any implementation, no matter how different from the competitor will violate at least one. Why do you think Samsung is so confident that they do not even to see the iPhone5 to be sure it violates their tech, just the spec: 4G LTE - we got that cornered ? Maybe they even sell the ships to Apple that Apple will be sued to use.

      In the past we had the cold war between tech giant through cross-licensing, behind doors agreement and patent blackmarket. At least it seems we now enter regular patent war. Hopefully it will be quick and mean, so that we get at last a profound reform of the patent system.

      • That is not a patent that you violate or license, that is a web of patents specifically designed to cover as much of technology as possible so that any implementation, no matter how different from the competitor will violate at least one. Why do you think Samsung is so confident that they do not even to see the iPhone5 to be sure it violates their tech, just the spec: 4G LTE - we got that cornered ?

        Then they should already be suing over the latest iPad which has LTE and not waiting for the iPhone release? This article is all FUD anyway as Qualcomm is the chip provider and has the right to pass on the license.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:48PM (#41301567)
      Apple doesn't make their own comm chips, they buy them from Qualcomm. Qualcomm licenses the patents from Motorola, Samsung, etc. So, yeah. (Some of the earlier iPhones didn't use qualcomm chips and Motorola successfully sued over them).

      That said, Motorola and Samsung have both told Qualcomm that they can no longer re-license the patents to Apple (non-discrimanatory much?). To which Qualcomm said: go fuck yourself. And so far, the courts have agreed.

    • by Noughmad (1044096)

      That's because things like "bounce when scrolling to the end of the list" are more important to the general public than a patent for the technology that makes the phone work.

  • by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:39PM (#41301433)
    It doesn't matter who fired first anymore.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sydin (2598829)

      It doesn't matter who fired first anymore.

      Not to you, but it does to Apple. They fired first, and now instead of taking the usual potshots at one another, all the other companies are just firing on Apple. At the very least, they seem determined to reduce Apple to a cinder before turning on each other.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Mabhatter (126906)

        Not really. Steve claimed patents on iPhone from day one. No other phone ad ALL the features iPhone did when it was released. In fact, when Google was designing Android, they LEFT OUT certain features like the pinch to zoom because Apple had a patent on those feataures from 2000 era Fingerworks multitouch devices.

        Google had inside information because their boss sat on Apple's board. Samsung had inside information because they were selling the parts. They brazenly chose to copy and lost that bet.

        The Dyson V

        • by macbeth66 (204889)

          Not really. Steve claimed patents on iPhone from day one. No other phone ad ALL the features iPhone did when it was released. In fact, when Google was designing Android, they LEFT OUT certain features like the pinch to zoom because Apple had a patent on those feataures from 2000 era Fingerworks multitouch devices.

          I had forgotten about that pinch thing. I though you couldn't patent the obvious. Years ago, when I tried my first touchscreen with Windows, I tried to do a zoom in using the same technique that all the smartphones had. Does that mean that I would be considered Prior Art, if I had written about how I had envisioned it working? I might never have gotten a patent, but this whole pinch thing is bloody obvious.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:45PM (#41301517)

    Just as Samsung's failed 3G (UMTS) lawsuit..this one will fail too.
    There is a tiny but mighty detail : patent exhaustion.

    Apple, well all phones, uses transceiver chips by Qualcomm or a competitor of them. Qualcomm/whatever has licensed all relevant patents to make those chips. Any buyer of such a transceiver is automatically covered by that license.
    Patent exhaustion will thereby nullify any lawsuit. It's simply an empty threat by Samsung.

    Even worse. Both, the EU and the SK government are investigating Samsung for FRAND patent abuse. It will get only worse for them now as it is evident that Samsung is not playing by the rules.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Any buyer of such a transceiver is automatically covered by that license.

      Or not - maybe Qualcomm have a license to manufacture products using those patents, but they might not have the ability to pass onwards to their clients a license to use those patents, which may have to be negotiated with the patent holder. Yeah, it's stupid isn't it - but as a B2B situation it may be the situation.

      In addition the Samsung LTE patents are new or specific enough that they won't come under FRAND - maybe in a year or two when the standard is well established like 3G.

    • by JDG1980 (2438906)

      Apple, well all phones, uses transceiver chips by Qualcomm or a competitor of them. Qualcomm/whatever has licensed all relevant patents to make those chips. Any buyer of such a transceiver is automatically covered by that license.

      If this is true, then why did the Raspberry Pi Foundation have to negotiate separate licenses with MPEG-LA to enable H.264 decoding (and then extra optional licenses on top of that for MPEG-2 and VC-1)? By your theory, those fees should already have been covered by Broadcom when

  • So if I read this right, this one Samsung patent could completely negate the recent Apple-Samsung patent U.S. court case. Why didn't these two companies realize this and come to some kind of truce before it ever got to court. Seems to me they may have wasted a whole lot of time, money and resources that could've gone toward better things. Maybe they were absent from their kindergarten class when they taught about 'cooperating' with their fellow classmates.
    • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sydin (2598829) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @12:53PM (#41301635)

      Why didn't these two companies realize this and come to some kind of truce before it ever got to court?

      Because Apple made the stupid move of suing Samsung in the first place. The telecommunications and technology companies were previously in a sort of Mutually Assured Destruction scenario: where everybody held patents that they could sue almost any other company for, but they kept quiet so long as those other companies didn't sue in turn. It wasn't a good system by any means, but it more or less worked. Apple suing Samsung was the equivalent of throwing MAD out the window and jamming their finger on the big red button, and praying everybody is dead before they get a chance to fire back. Surprise surprise: Samsung is still alive, they also have a big red button, and they're pissed.

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      The samsung patent is a FRAND patent. It's part of an industry specification (supported by the FCC) and they have to license at a reasonable rate. Samsung's actions are a completely unrelated legal issue.

      I think if this is a real threat, Apple already has an initial shipment in the air right now. They will have SOMETHING on the ground before Samsung's lawyers can get to court.

      • I think if this is a real threat, Apple already has an initial shipment in the air right now. They will have SOMETHING on the ground before Samsung's lawyers can get to court.

        Then Samsung can sue for a large multi-billion settlement too. There would be a bit of irony if they did. "There is no 'good' karma. There is no 'bad' karma. There is just karma."

    • by na1led (1030470)
      It's a game of Chess. You never reveal you plans to your enemy. Apple knew they needed LTE for the iPhone 5, that is part of the reason they took so long to release it. They had to play head games with Samsung so they could put them in a stalemate.
  • The thing that leaves me confused is this. If any use of LTE means Apple has violated Samsung patents, where was Samsung when the iPad 2012 was released earlier this year? That includes LTE support, and it's been shipping for quite some time.

    It sure seems like Apple would simply be using Qualcom chips, and Qualcom would not be happy about the potential for any vendor using said chips to be sued by Samsung....

    How would a judge accept a ban on Apple LTE phones when an iPad has been shipping for a while wit

  • Somehow I'm picturing HTC, Apple, and Samsung in a 3-way shootout. Hmm, I wonder which one will end up arguing with a chair 40+ years from now?

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:02PM (#41301791) Journal

    It should be fun to watch, especially since I live in a country where Apple doesn't dictate what can and cannot be imported.

  • I'm starting to think the leading job requirement for designing a cell phone is soon going to be the patent attorney. Once upon a time products were designed by engineers, not attorneys.

  • I believe it was Apple's plan all this time with suing Samsung, so they would make a deal in the end to allow the iPhone 5 to use LTE, and drop all existing lawsuits.
  • So they would be seeking to ban the sale of a product that contains their own parts, thereby limiting their own sales?
    • by Lifyre (960576)

      Apple has been steadily decreasing the number of Samsung parts. Also is Samsung has to stop selling a few parts in order to sell a few phones (which I suspect are higher margin AND higher revenue) it makes perfect sense.

  • Patent exhaustion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @01:33PM (#41302313)
    Qualcomm already licenses the necessary 4G/LTE patents when making their wireless radios. Samsung has tried, and failed, in the past to also charge those who are purchasing the radios (in this case Apple). This is nothing but FUD.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

Working...