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Apple Wins Again — ITC Rules They Didn't Violate Samsung Patents 149

Posted by Soulskill
from the mercy-rule-goes-into-effect-soon dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A preliminary ruling from the International Trade Commission found that Apple did not violate four of Samsung's patents in the design of the iPhone. 'The patents in the complaint are related to 3G wireless technology, the format of data packets for high-speed transmission, and integrating functions like web surfing with mobile phone functions.' The complaint was filed by Samsung in 2011, and a final confirmation is due next January. Apple has similar claims against Samsung awaiting ITC judgment; the preliminary ruling is expected in mid-October."
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Apple Wins Again — ITC Rules They Didn't Violate Samsung Patents

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  • I'd be curious to know the details regarding this technology because it seems to me like it covers very specific functionality. I mean, how does Apple win here but Samsung loses on something as ambiguous as design. It gets me wondering if judges and juries aren't approaching these cases with the preconceived notion that Apple is an "innovator" and couldn't possibly have used someone else's technology. It seems most people's sense of innovation is dictated by how nice industrial design looks and feels.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      it's a preliminary ruling, it's not a final judgment in any sense. So at the moment, it means basically nothing.

    • The problem with specific patents is they're specific. This is great for innovation, because it means that the patentor can't sue to stop competitors, but it means the patentor can't sue to stop competitors.

      As for Apple's patent's validity, you don;t have to like that design patents exist, you don't have to agree with the patent office for issuing them, but you do have to acknowledge that they DO EXIST and they HAVE BEEN ISSUED, which means they can be violated.

      • Patentor is not meant to be able to stop competitors completely. He should only be able to stop competitors from using his genuine inventions, prompting them to seek other solutions. When a patent is overly broad, and, in effect, applies to the idea and all possible or practical implementations of it, it doesn't do anything to promote innovation, so all that remains is the anti-competitive aspect. In other words, the bad without the good.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Perhaps instead, it could be that there's an inherent bias in being on slashdot, and that apple's case had merit, while samsung's didn't?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnasher719 (869701)

        Perhaps instead, it could be that there's an inherent bias in being on slashdot, and that apple's case had merit, while samsung's didn't?

        I think slashdot is so overrun by Google fans and Android fans that the exact opposite seems to be the case. There are lots of cases recently where people have been basly insulted for nothing but the crime of uttering an opinion favoring Apple.

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Well quite –that's exactly the point I was trying to make, that it's not the courts with the "inherent bias", it's the population of slashdot, with an enormous pro-android bias.

        • What's funny about Slashdot is that every single group hereabouts thinks that Slashdot is biased against them. Pick pretty much any topic and any side in it, and you can find a post where someone's complaining about how they're being downmodded etc because they're going against groupthink. For Google/Apple in particular, there are ample examples of people complaining about both pro-Google and pro-Apple bias.

          • What's funny about human nature is that every single group hereabouts thinks that everyone else is biased against them. Pick pretty much any topic and any side in it, and you can find a situation where someone's complaining about how they're being oppressed etc because they're going against groupthink. For Google/Apple in particular, there are ample examples of people complaining about both pro-Google and pro-Apple bias.

            FTFY!

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Perhaps the most appropriate response here is that, yes slashdot is, 'er' 'overrun' by computer geeks and nerds for whom 'Apple' have very little appeal being under specced over-marketed fashion statements. It's just the way computer geeks and nerds roll, get over it Apple marketdroid, overrun indeed, pfft. Of course blatant marketing biased 'opinions' will be always be targeted and not so much for the content of the opinion but to prevent the forum being flooded with those advertisements 'er' 'opinions' (

          • by beelsebob (529313)

            Perhaps the most appropriate response here is that, yes slashdot is, 'er' 'overrun' by computer geeks and nerds for whom 'Apple' have very little appeal

            Which shows your inherent bias – I am a computer geek and nerd, but Apple holds great interest to me. They make the best (as far as I'm concerned) operating system for day to day use out there, they make high quality hardware that I'm willing to pay for, and they make devices that create an enormous market for my code to be sold to... Being a geek and a nerd does not imply hatred of apple, or that apple is not appealing.

            It's just the way computer geeks and nerds roll, get over it Apple marketdroid

            No, it's the way that some people who identify themselves as anti-establishment/a

            • by rtb61 (674572)

              Your poll is totally revealing of the sheep syndrome that somehow the majority must follow the minority because it is profitable for the minority, how about some disclosure when you have a vested interest. Sorry computer geeks and nerds tend not to be sheep and resist marketing pressures.

              • by beelsebob (529313)

                Your poll

                What poll?

                is totally revealing of the sheep syndrome that somehow the majority must follow the minority because it is profitable for the minority,

                Can you explain the logic behind that assertion? No where in my post did I mention "following others" or "doing what the majority do", instead, only that a certain set of products happened to meet my needs, and the needs of other geeks. Secondly, that meeting our needs meant that we used them, and were interested in them. How is this symptomatic of "sheep syndrome" as you put it?

                how about some disclosure when you have a vested interest.

                My vested interest is that the products apple make are useful to me, and other geeks.

                Sorry computer geeks and nerds tend not to be sheep and resist marketing pressures.

                Okay, but what relevance does th

    • Re:Inherent bias? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fwoop (2553110) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @12:31PM (#41346527)
      The ITC is inherently biased for US companies when it comes to bans. A ban can be rejected if it is deemed to hurt the US economy, so there is almost no way a foreign firm can ever ban a US company's products. In fact, I am not sure this has ever been carried out.
    • by godawful (84526)

      It could also be that ones dislike of Apple can make them just as deluded. I'm not saying one way or the other here, but you see a lot of posts on /. of people blindly bashing apple.. Blindly, I'm sure they don't think that's the case, but none the less, when you can't look at both sides objectively (and honestly, we never get _all_ the details), then of course it's going to seem outrageous.

    • Re:Inherent bias? (Score:4, Informative)

      by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @12:47PM (#41346633)

      I mean, how does Apple win here but Samsung loses on something as ambiguous as design.

      Because some of the Apple design patents were not ambiguous and listed a sufficiently distinctive combination of features to make it clear that Samsung had copied the original iPhone design. Meanwhile, everybody seems to forget that the jury did chuck out the infringement claims in relation to the iPad and the iPhone 4.

      • by micheas (231635)

        The jury somehow concluded that a clunky phone with a keyboard violated Apple's design patent while the Galaxy Tab that is a dead ringer for the iPad and is almost indistinguishable from an at 20 feet away did not.

        The jury's verdict didn't make much sense, they decided all the border line stuff in Apple's favor, and the stuff that Apple should win on unless the patents were declared invalid Samsung won. The jury decided to give Apple a little over a billion dollars and then spread the money over the claims.

  • If i ever get in trouble, I want Apple's lawyers defending me. They can't seem to do wrong.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or they are actually correct in their assertions of violations.

      While one may disagree with the laws, until they are struck down they stand.

    • Re:Geez! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Bill Dimm (463823) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @10:07AM (#41345773) Homepage

      If i ever get in trouble, I want Apple's lawyers defending me. They can't seem to do wrong.

      Seems more like they can do wrong exceptionally well ;-)

    • by boorack (1345877) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @11:24AM (#41346153)

      With 600B+ market cap, whole market moves every time Apple moves. And with 600B+ market cap everyone expects Apple to grow even bigger. In a world driven by money (and only money) the only possible outcome will be Apple winning on all fronts, regardless of how much harm will it cause to everyone else (including consumers). Looking forward I expect judges mysteriously ruling in favor of Apple dubious patents and punishing competition every time regardless of their arguments. And even if tables turn in this debacle and Apple gets burned for the first time, I see Congress quickly passing a law "fixing it" - basically setting competition in an uphill battle against Apple or even outright graning monopoly on consumer electronics to Apple in some way.

      Welcome to crony capitalism.

      With 0.3-0.6% of GDP directly attributed to Apple and its basically unlimited funds for lobbying (bribing) politicians, your lovely (US) government cannot afford letting them lose their current market cap - it would harm whole market and trigger an avalanche of failing pension funds (lots of them also heavily invested into Apple itself) which in turn would bite government crooks in their lazy asses. Wall Street crooks also cannot afford Apple bubble popping exactly for the same reasons. Given that the biggest thread to Apple's profit is margin compression caused by maturing smartphone/tablet technology, I bet that both government and wall street will do everything they can to keep competition out of this space, heavily influencing courts, panels and commisions dealing with Apple's cases.

      • by Robadob (1800074)
        +1 Informative Used all my mod points earlier :(
      • by sokoban (142301) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @12:12PM (#41346401) Homepage

        With 0.3-0.6% of GDP directly attributed to Apple and its basically unlimited funds for lobbying (bribing) politicians,

        Except Apple spends 1/10th as much as Google does on lobbying and doesn't have a Political action committee to funnel money to politicians like how Google does.

        your lovely (US) government cannot afford letting them lose their current market cap - it would harm whole market and trigger an avalanche of failing pension funds (lots of them also heavily invested into Apple itself) which in turn would bite government crooks in their lazy asses.

        Because that really stopped antitrust cases against Microsoft in the 90's.

        • Except Apple spends 1/10th as much as Google does on lobbying and doesn't have a Political action committee to funnel money to politicians like how Google does.

          That would be because Apple doesn't have to care about net neutrality and other goodness, while Google does due to their business model.

      • You know that not so long ago another company had a huge market cap, it was bigger than apples once adjusted for inflation. Their market cap is *lot* smaller now. You think this will turn out different? I don't think so.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Apple barely lobbies at all. It has come up in several earnings conference calls. Their products lobby for them . . . :)

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @10:01AM (#41345745)

    Domestic company wins.

    If this were an American company suing an American company, the ruling would be done around 2020. Then the damages would be minimized when a new government is sworn in.

    • Domestic company wins.

      If this were an American company suing an American company, the ruling would be done around 2020. Then the damages would be minimized when a new government is sworn in.

      Samsung has a plant in Texas.

  • Nope... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Apple Wins Again

    Nobody wins. We all lose.

  • *in his best prof farnsworth voice* Samsung and Apple finally settled their patent war in combat slaying each other. Now i've invented a new phone and we have to deliver the packets using this new ray I made that will transform the ship into radio waves.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the US court, it was decided that the US company Apple did not violate any of Korean company Samsung's patents. In the Korean court, it was decided that the Korean company Samsung did not violate any of US company Apple's patents.

    I wonder if someone had the idea to patent the three dots in menu items to inform users that another selection window will open instead of an action being performed. I mean, if "rubber banding" and "rounded corners" are all patentable, why not other obvious things?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Korean court found Apple violated two (FRAND) Samsung patents and Samsung violated one (non-FRAND) Apple patent.

      But don't let facts ruin your ignorance.

  • I wonder how much it cost Apple to bribe the ITC?

    To say the I dislike Apple and Apple products would be a massive understatement!

    • by toriver (11308)

      Why do you think there were bribes involved? Do you think every court decision is bought instead of evaluated on the merits of evidence and arguments? Which corrupt country do you live in?

      • Why I live in the USofA, where we have lead the planet in "government for hire" for decades now!

  • Apple should be sued by Gene Roddenberry's estate for the look and feel of the ipad being ripped off from Star Trek Data Pads.

  • Samsung: The open steppe, a fleet horse, falcons at your breast, and the wind in your hair...

    WRONG! Apple, what is best in life?

    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!
  • ...i went into a shop because i wanted to buy myself a new samsung galaxy s3 phone. when i unpacked it at home i realized that i got an iphone 5. they made it look like a samsung phone because these sell like warm rolls... just kidding, i'm happy with the sgs2 running cm10...
  • Wonder if the judge(s) at the ITC got a free iPhone?

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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