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Samsung Drops European Injunction Requests Against Apple 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-will-be-peace-in-our-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this IDG News report: "Samsung dropped all claims pending in European courts in which it asserted patents that are essential for mobile communication devices to prevent the sales of Apple products in Europe. The injunction requests against Apple, which aimed to get courts to impose sales bans on infringing products, were withdrawn in the U.K., France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Samsung only withdrew the injunctions requests — other litigation against Apple in Europe continues, Anne ter Braak, a spokeswoman for Samsung in the Netherlands, said in an email on Tuesday. While Samsung said it withdrew its claims in the interest of protecting consumer choice, it could have to do with a European antitrust investigation."
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Samsung Drops European Injunction Requests Against Apple

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  • Who cares (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seeteufel (1736784)
    Why shall I care about these patent battles between companies which deserve to suffer, because they did nothing to stop patent law extention to software? May they all rott in hell.
    • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:48PM (#42331343)

      Because it's not really Apple or Samsung that are suffering. It's us. The consumers who are literally paying for the benefit of stagnation and lack of choice.

      Apple and Samsung like the weather in Hell just fine.

      • by iamhassi (659463)

        Because it's not really Apple or Samsung that are suffering. It's us. The consumers who are literally paying for the benefit of stagnation and lack of choice.

        Apple and Samsung like the weather in Hell just fine.

        Um, what? Apparently you don't remember what passed for a smartphone in 2006. Apple completely revolutionized phones and deserves all the credit, everyone else just copied what Apple did, and Apple got tired of them copying. We were suffering in 2006, now we are living great with technology straight from Star Trek.

        • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Informative)

          by Cerium (948827) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @08:40PM (#42332277) Homepage

          Ugh. Enough of this backwards justification for this crap.

          Do a few minutes of 5th-grader-level research and you'll find that there were more than a few phones/pdas/whatever that had touch screens with grids of icons before the iPhone existed. The tech simply wasn't cheap (or cool) enough yet. Apple was simple in the right place at the right time.

          Your memory of how things got to where we are now is fuzzy at best. :/

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by MightyYar (622222)

            All of the Palms had grids of icons, but I have the Palm that was contemporary with the first iPhone, and the experience just can't be compared without writing a 7 page post. The web experience on the Palm was utterly atrocious. There was a convoluted way to get Opera Mini to run after installing some Java stuff on it, but you still had this terrible resistive touch screen and stylus-focused OS. There is a reason that Palm abandoned that software platform, and it had nothing to do with "cool".

            • Re:Who cares (Score:4, Informative)

              by Cerium (948827) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @12:49AM (#42333753) Homepage

              Okay, so let's just pretend for a second that I didn't specify any other device types or reasons in my very short example. Let's also ignore the mental acrobatics you performed to disregard the remainder of that chunklet of information I posted in a seemingly feeble attempt at steering the clearly biased back toward the gray area within which the rest of us live.

              Let's pretend all of that. Even still, you're saying that the iPhone was a technological evolution of devices that were not only already in existence, but established enough that there were known workarounds for the seemingly terrible user experience.

              Even if that were exactly the case, to hold Apple so highly for their "accomplishments" that you feel they're justified in suing everyone else for "stealing" mind-numbingly obvious IP is sociopathic at best.

              Look, If you guys enjoy living within the walled garden of Apple, great. I'm happy for you. However, to think they somehow developed everything in a vacuum and everything to come after is a mindless copy... Jesus Christ, man.

              • by MightyYar (622222)

                I didn't want to pretend that I had experience with every other device on the market. I did have experience with Palm. I liked it a lot at the time. I had played with Windows CE devices and found them to be more capable, but less usable than the Palm. Blackberry continues to have a sub-par internet experience, and it was very much lacking when the iPhone came out.

                Today the situation is different. iPhone, Windows, and Android all have very similar internet browsers. All use the iPhone's basic interface. I th

          • by Joce640k (829181)

            Yep. Apple didn't even innovate the name...remember the iPaq? [wikipedia.org] A phone/PDA made by Compaq.

        • by oxdas (2447598)

          As others have said, from a functionality standpoint, there is nothing Apple added to the party with the iPhone in 2007. Apple did package that functionality in user friendly way and made it cool. I will give significant credit to Apple for expanding the smartphone market, but they did not create the smartphone, the touchscreen phone, or rows of icons (and the original iPhone didn't have an App store). There is nothing that could be done on an iPhone in 2007 that I couldn't do on my phone in 2004.

          • I will give significant credit to Apple for expanding the smartphone market

            The smartphone market would have expanded with or without Apple. Apple just happen to have launched a smart phone at the right time. They could have launched one 5 years prior and it would have sucked just like anything available that year.

            • by oxdas (2447598)

              I also believe the smartphone market would have expanded without Apple. However, in my opinion, the iPhone helped the market grow much more quickly that would have occurred otherwise. Afterall, smartphones had been around for years before the iPhone and didn't experience such explosive growth until the iPhone. While numerous other companies were developing new smartphone operating systems, the success of the iPhone pushed those projects higher on the priority list of their respective organizations. In ad

              • Afterall, smartphones had been around for years before the iPhone and didn't experience such explosive growth until the iPhone.

                Apple entered the smartphone market because it was about to explose. The market did not explose because of them. It's certainly not Apple's entry to the market that made Nokia get 69% year on year growth and RIM 112% that year.

                Beside, you could also say that the smartphone market didn't experience such explosive growth until the first Blackberry, Android, Windows mobile or Symbian smart phone and that would also be true. Apple isn't the exception here.

    • May they all rott in hell.

      They ported Rise of the Triad to Android? COOL!

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:30PM (#42331153)

    You have to think, with the relative lack of victory by any of the phone makers (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google) in the court of law, that at some point the legal bill would come due and companies would start coming to their senses about fighting in the courts vs. the market.

    Samsung is already doing really well in the market as it is, so why should they bother to try and limit what other devices companies can sell? The same thing goes for Apple.

    With any luck in 2013 we'll see all of the lawsuits subside as sanity takes hold.

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:43PM (#42331289)

      Samsung is already doing really well in the market as it is, so why should they bother to try and limit what other devices companies can sell?

      Given that Samsung asked for this injunction after Apple tried for a similar injunction in the USA (which, conveniently enough, was just denied), I would expect that this was just a tit-for-tat maneuver to convince Apple that the stakes were getting a bit high.

      So now that Apple no longer has the injunction option in the USA, dropping the European one by Samsung just makes sense.

      • So now that Apple no longer has the injunction option in the USA, dropping the European one by Samsung just makes sense.

        If they thought they could win, it makes little sense to drop the case now.

        If they never thought they could win, it made little sense to go through the very considerable cost of initiating the lawsuits, just to "show Apple a thing or two" (tit for tat). Since it had no impact on Apple all it did is cost Samsung a lot of money! At the very least Samsung should have waited to see if Apple'

        • Wrong. It DID cost Apple money. They would have spent considerable amounts, possibly even more than Samsung, in investigating the claims, buying "presents" for the various judges, etc. If the cases had have gone ahead without Apple having done any preparation, they almost certainly would have lost. Apple are becoming more comfortable in the courtroom than in the market place - they definitely would have come prepared and anything that involves lots of top quality lawyers costs lots.
          • Ok, good point that Apple had to take some action in response to those suits. But at this point it's probably no more than Samsung took to file them; in any case it still cost Samsung money, and has no impact on Apple at all which has a lot of cash. End result is that right now Samsung is out that cash, even if it did hurt apple some. There is no winner there.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        This is exactly it. Now that there is not an injunction in the US for the Samsung phones, they are proving it was a defensive move, not offensive, by dropping it. I assume if Apple dropped their lawsuits in the US, Samsung would probably drop theres in Europe as well.
    • You have to think, with the relative lack of victory by any of the phone makers (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google) in the court of law...

      Yeah.

      Ok.

      Um.

      Over $1 billion.

      That's a "relative lack of victory in the court of law"?

      While that case is still playing out (and probably will for a couple more years...), I'd say that a major victory has been won and the others are hoping to duplicate that win. While it would be nice if they all worked out cross-licensing deals (or, in the absence of such a deal, stopped copying each other...) and got on with making cool stuff, I don't see that happening just yet.

      • Over $1 billion.

        That's a "relative lack of victory in the court of law"?

        Yes, I think overall it is a loss. At this point Apple may well be approaching that figure on legal fees.

        But in addition to pure monetary outlay, think of all the industry goodwill from customers and suppliers (like Samsung) this has cost them. That $1 billion does hardly anything to Samsung so as far as they are concerned they really did get away with a slap on the wrist relative to the success they have had.

        It's not like Apple has

        • Over $1 billion.

          That's a "relative lack of victory in the court of law"?

          Yes, I think overall it is a loss. At this point Apple may well be approaching that figure on legal fees.

          ... in terms of legal fees paid by Apple since 1975? Maybe. That particular case? No... Patent litigation is expensive - I know, because I'm working on one right now (ugh) - but you're off by an easy two orders of magnitude. They've probably spent around $5-10 million on that case.

          • They've probably spent around $5-10 million on that case.

            I'd bet it's way more than that, consider alone the multi-hundred page documents the gave to the jury.

            However I'm not talking about just this case, I'm talking about all the lawsuits total. Out of all those suits this is the only one they made money on.

            As my use of the word "regardless" implied though, it doesn't matter if the lawsuits totaled cost less than $1b, because the loss of goodwill (the technical accounting form) easily surpasses $1b when c

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      No, it's because of several things.

      First, Samsung would be doing to Apple what Samsung accused Apple of doing. Remember the reason that Samsung got to see the HTC-Apple contract? Samsung said that they believe that some of the patents in that contract are the same ones Apple sued Samsung for and is asking for an injunction for. Now if Apple is willing to license the patents out (say to HTC), injunctions should NOT be an option. Oh, the patents Samsung is suing Apple for that they just dropped? Patents that

      • Really good point about FRAND. These companies thinking they can extort whatever fee they like from companies that have a lot of money from patents covered under FRAND are really playing with fire.

        • Because Samsung isn't doing that to Apple.

          There are two prices that are available to EVERYONE.

          1) A rate that Apple are being asked for. Apple are refusing to pay that much "because our phones are more expensive".
          2) A rate that is cheaper if you pool your patents. Apple refuse to pool patents.

          So in this case there is nothing about Samsung extorting whatever fee they like from companies from patents covered by FRAND.

          So what case are you talking about?

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:30PM (#42331155) Homepage
    I assume they thought they'd lose or it would have rammifications on them and what they can charge others in the future. I'll be really surprised if they decided to be nice to Apple.
  • Maybe Apple and Samsung are realizing that nobody but the lawyers win when they put so much effort into suing each other. While Steve Jobs was mad at Google for producing Android behind his back while key members of Google sat on their board, maybe Apple is starting to realize that just like the Microsoft situation where almost the same thing happened with their Operating Systems that in order for Apple to win Google and others don't have to lose. It's should be about having the best product and nothing els
  • The real solution to this patent mess is to completely eliminate all patenting.

    A second best solution would be a return to the original idea that patents are for very limited times and then move into the public domain. Adjusting for market lifespan changes that should be about two years.

    A third best, and more likely scenario, is to put everything under FRAND like rules. All patents must be licensed to anyone in a fair manner after a period of two years from the original patent filing.

    Let's stop enriching th

  • And the rest... (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Mr_Silver (213637)

    While Samsung said it withdrew its claims in the interest of protecting consumer choice, it could have to do with a European antitrust investigation.

    And that they are FRAND licenced, so they don't have a leg to stand on.

    Oh and that they are under investigation in Korea for potentially abusing wireless Standards Essential Patents.

    Plus the US Department of Justice is also looking at potential antitrust abuse by Samsung.

    Not to mention that the FTC has made it clear that it won't tolerate the use of FRAND-encum

    • Apple employee much?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Not to mention that the FTC has made it clear that it won't tolerate the use of FRAND-encumbered Standards Essential Patents to block competitors in the US."

      So what about video codecs?

      Oh, right, only worrying about patents from non-USA companies, right, forgot.

      Hey, did you know that the Samsung licencing IS FRAND? If you pay with only cash it's one price, if you want you can barter with other goods (patents).

      But if Apple were allowed the cheaper rate for patent pooling members without pooling the patents,

    • And that they are FRAND licenced, so they don't have a leg to stand on.

      The F in FRAND stands for fair, not free. They weren't FRAND licensed - reason being, Apple never licensed them. The question in dispute isn't the cost of the patents going forward, its punitive damage for not paying the FRAND cost upfront. If there's no punitive component to the cost, then there's no disincentive.

      • by Mr_Silver (213637)

        The F in FRAND stands for fair, not free. They weren't FRAND licensed - reason being, Apple never licensed them. The question in dispute isn't the cost of the patents going forward, its punitive damage for not paying the FRAND cost upfront. If there's no punitive component to the cost, then there's no disincentive.

        I never said it meant free, you must be confusing me with someone else.

        Qualcomm and other chip suppliers already licence the patents, they then include that cost into the cost of the chip and pass

  • Another way of interpreting it: Samsung does not wish to be perceived as a greedy thug like Apple.

  • Obviously, someone at Samsung realized that the EU is likely to reform patents, and disallow all their patents as a result.

  • I purchased an S3 clone a few weeks back direct from China - couldn't be happier with it, and several work colleagues have expressed interested in getting one too. For all I know the phone infringes on multiple patents - I don't know, nor do I care! While the 'brand name' companies squabble over patents, Chinese manufacturers are stealing their lunch.
  • I see a lot of articles in the various "news press" that fail to do even the most rudimentary fact checking before reposting with their own take on this. Most post some variant of "Samsung drops pantet lawsuits in Europe". That is not what this is all about. They are dropping all their attempts to get injunctions based on standards essential patents in Europe. This is most likely because the EU is looking into the matter, and the EU can stomp a company pretty hard if they are found to violate competition ru

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