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Apple Sues Samsung In Germany Again 172

New submitter tguyton writes "Apple is going after Samsung again in Germany, this time over 10 phones including the Galaxy S II. It should come before the courts in August, a month before their tablet case in September."
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Apple Sues Samsung In Germany Again

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  • How do we... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sez Zero ( 586611 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:29PM (#38727474) Journal

    ... get rid of the legal structure in place that makes this type of lawsuit have a good enough chance of prohibiting or delaying a competitors product that it makes good financial sense to proceed?

    I wish that money spent on lawyers was spend on engineering, or alternatively, entertaining commercials.

  • Re:How do we... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:33PM (#38727530)
    Unfortunately, it is the lawyers themselves who have a disproportionate influence over the legal structure itself. They are also the only ones who would know how to fix it and every reason not to. Hence, our current problems.
  • Re:How do we... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:36PM (#38727568)

    we 'buy' justice from the legal store (system).

    is there any wonder that the store owners don't want to give the secret to 'stocking the shelves' away? or let people produce their own goods?

    a bit far for an analogy but the point is that they line their pockets due to how bad the system is. they have NO REASON to make the wheels turn faster and more efficient. they would argue themselves out of jobs.

    it really is that simple. if tax laws were simple, we would not need accountants and such.

    people keep complexity because their job 'depends' on it. nothing much more than that.

    therefore, don't EVER expect it to change. its a constant, like gravity.

  • Re:How do we... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:39PM (#38727600)

    Agreed, though it would also be nice if Samsung spent the money they currently use for copying to just build new things. And it's not just Apple.

    Remember when the Motrola Razr was popular and Samsung introduced the "Blade"?

    Remember the laughably named "Innov8", which was an homage to Nokia's N96?

    And remember when RIM sued Samsung for copying not only the Blackberry design, but trying to trademark "Blackjack" as the name of the clone?

    There is a lot wrong with the legal system, and Apple deserves a lot of blame. But Samsung is hardly some innovative company that Apple is targeting merely to slow down legitimate competition. Samsung's whole business model is to let others innovate and then rush in with a clone. Let's do something about the legal environment, but let's also give innovators some protection from vultures like Samsung.

  • Re:How do we... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:48PM (#38727726)
    And one couldn't say the same thing about Apple? All the technologies that they use have been done before in one form or another. Heck, Jobs was often quoted saying Good artists copy; great artists steal...

    How is it ok (encouraged even) for one company to do it, but the other is just a vulture...?
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:11PM (#38728028) Journal

    I guess someone at Apple has finally watched [youtube.com] Galaxy S2 commercial?

    In online gaming, this kind of thing is usually remarked upon as "u mad?".

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:13PM (#38728048) Journal

    MS behaved once like a complete asshole and it slowly found itself in a world where nobody liked it anymore and it was starting to hurt the company. Nothing like outright revenge but in its proposed standards being ignored and its rivals providing each other with support just because. Or do you think IBM has no alterior motive in supporting Linux then because it doesn't care what it sells support for? IBM doesn't just sell patents to google for the hell of it either to fight Apple, or do you think IBM liked it when Apple ditched their CPU? Oh, not that it made much difference, Apple was a very small buyer but why help Google for just a tiny bit of cash with patents that IBM might one day need themselves?

    Reputation matters. How much? Well so much that MS has bought advertising space from GOOGLE to advertise its own browser despite that everyone who can USE Internet Explorer has it installed by default (it comes with Windows). Paying your competition to advertise a product given away for free... that was not the Internet Bill Gates envisioned in the 90's.

    Apple had a good reputation, god knows what for, pre-OSX the only time I saw Apples, they were crashing but still, it was a good rep, intresting devices and it never hurts to be considered the plucky underdog against the mega-corp. But right now, a LOT of mainstream media, at least in Holland, is presenting these cases as the relatively small Apple bullying the "small" mega-corp and super diversified semi-government Samsung... it would be like comparying say Harley Davidson against Yamaha. Sure both build motor cycles but HD isn't even in the same class when it comes to business clout.

    And yet in this case, many are starting to see Apple as the big evil giant stamping on its smaller cuddlier competitors. When Samsung becomes cute, you know you are doing something wrong with your image.

    Yet, the tablets do like a lot alike. Gosh, what do you know, so do many e-readers and for that matter phones. How many phones do you know that are rectangle with a rectangular screen and 12-15 buttons below it? Some form factors just belong to a type of product. Go ahead, redesign the refrigerator with a unique design that has not been seen before since the days of cupboards making started god knows how many centuries ago. Good thing Apple wasn't around when Gutenberg copied the printing press from the Chinese. We would have a thousand different book designs for each and every publisher.

    It would be better if plenty of people hadn't already found evidence of how many if not all of Apples own designs had been done by others before.

    Everybody copies from everybody else, in science they are even proud of it "if I seen furthest, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants". Artists are inspired by their predecessors but suddenly in our society the slightest hint of similarity is evil. And for what? To protect your profits so you don't have to innovate (compare the iPad 2 to say a device like the Asus Transformer or the Samsung Note)? That works, for about as long until someone passes you (IE6 anyone?)

    It doesn't surprise me that the "new" iPhone is just a small update and that none of them have really upped the stakes let alone tried anything NEW. Smaller, bigger, new design... just updates.

    If you want a color e-ink display, you got to go to Korea. Not silicon valley, korea. Go to China and you can buy mobile phones that run rings around western models, laptops with features and specs you just can't get here. The west has become so obsessed with lawsuits, real innovation has stopped. Sure, maybe Apple can stop Samsung now on one of its many different markets but what if next some Chinese company comes up with a NEW idea that Apple wants to copy? Oops, it just introduced around the world that implementing the same broad design as someone else is illegal. Apple and MS have both been in court before for this where they claimed the other copied something only to find they themselves copied it too.

    Apple is fighting a legal battle it i

  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:13PM (#38728050)
    There. Fixed that.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:21PM (#38728200)
    Sorry about teh unformatted post previous.. I am sure Slashdot is moving to WYSIWYG any day now ;)

    Let's be clear about one thing- IP lawyers are succeeding in creating a parasitic lifestyle on our industry and on our lives and futures. They impose themselves as non-value producing entities on an industry and then begin siphoning off money from that industry.

    They do not add value, they remove value; they do not promote progress, they retard progress. There are so many dollars being thrown off from any given product, and lawyers have conspired to insert themselves into that revenue stream, directly and negatively effecting your bottom line.

    This parasitic lifestyle is as good an example of the 1% staging a systematic assault on the 99%.

    In fact, The imposition of a software patent regime is as clear cut a case of the 1% consciously organizing to cut off economic opportunity from the 99% as you're going to find outside of a smoke filled room in Texas.

    There are about the same percentage of software developers who favor software patents as there are climatologists who don't believe in global warming. 98% of software developers want to write software, create a product, and add value.

    Precious few look at the patent troll lifestyle with envy and wish to pursue a career litigating over simple minded applications of middling value.

    But for those that do favor software patents, just exactly how do you propose to win at this game?

    That the realistic cost of acquiring a software patent starts at 15-30k and goes well north of there.

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/01/28/the-cost-of-obtaining-patent/id=14668/ [ipwatchdog.com]

    although note that one IP lawyer comments that "In Los Angeles it is not unusual for partners to charge in excess of $600/hour which makes your estimates on the low side."

    which is more than you're likely to make from your patent:

    The cost of patents is greater than the revenue they generate. ÃoeAbout 97 percent of patents generate less revenue than the patent costs." Return on patent costs. How much does it cost to patent an invention? (Andy Gibbs, CEO of PatentCafe.com Inc., quoted in Celia Lamb, ÃoeNew program at Sierra College aims to help would-be Pre Plastics,Ã Sacramento Business Journal, February 7, 2003)

    But never mind that, now that you have spent more than your likely savings on your one single patent, exactly what is it you're thinking about doing with this patent?

    Licensing it? Do you think that licensing is automatically negotiated and enforced by the government?

    No, you're going to pay a lawyer an hourly rate which is two to ten times what your own hourly rate is to approach, approach and then re-approach company after company none of whom are even slightly sympathetic to your request for a taxation on their profits and will, in fact, do everything they can to resist any kind of licensing deal, including using the tactic of exhausting the rent-seeker's financial ability to pursue rent.

    Oh so let them use your "intellectual property" you'll sue! For millions! Well, good luck with that. Because you're sure as hell not going to be doing that on your own unless you're in the 1% or can find some subset of 1% who are sympathetic to your quest to join their ranks via litigation.

    The cost to sustain an infringement claim starts at one million US and goes to 5 million and beyond. So unless you're befriended by some part of the 1%, you're not going to be enforcing your "intellectual property rights" anytime soon.

    So what do we have, really? We have a system which has the net effect of imposing an impossibly high barrier- call it a poll tax- upon the most vibrant and valuable form of economic participation our economy has - starting a company.

    And who created that barrier?

    Highly paid (1%) lawyers working for highly compensated (1/10 of 1% ) CEOs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:24PM (#38728236)

    It isn't just Apple that Samsung has a tendency to "draw inspiration" from. (...) So before the usual anti-Apple rhetoric starts a-flyin', keep in mind that Samsung is one of those companies whose business is centered on making commodity knock-offs of popular products. I don't blame Apple for suing to protect Jonathan Ive's design work, because if one of the knock-offs is low quality or problematic, it can end up hurting Apple's brand.

    So if say, Apple (ahem) "draws inspiration" from an inferior product and makes it higher quality, then would the "inspirer" not have grounds to sue since it can only enhance its brand?

    How does this hurt or help "their brand"? Does anyone mistakenly buy a Samsung product thinking it's actually made by Apple? An Apple product thinking it's a Samsung? Is there a stupid Apple logo on the back of Samsung's products, or something very similar? Should GM be suing everyone for making a vehicle with a steering wheel, a clear knock-off of their product? Should BP or Shell or 76 or whomever sue other people for making "knock-off" gasoline?

    Apple tries again to achieve monopoly through edict of the court system. They want to make a certain interface or whatever, and then live in a fantasy world in which no one else, somehow, responds to the demand pressures created by the desire for that product. Apple inhabits a reality distortion zone in which they, a VERY LATE COMER to the cell-phone game want to imagine that the fact that some people want to buy their version of a cell phone, that that means that ALL people who want to buy a cell-phone actually want to buy THEIR cell-phone.

    It'd be like a ugly person thinking that the hot person's rejection of advances over the years could ONLY be because the other person is gay (or straight, as the case may be) and not an actual rejection of him/herself. It's a comforting fantasy, but a fantasy nevertheless.

    They're delusional, and I hope everyone they sue counter-sues for the frivolous lawsuits they waste people's time with. Apple wants to imagine that when people consider buying a Samsung (or whatever) smart phone, that they are only doing so because what they REALLY want is an Apple "product". Again, Apple is delusional, possibly high.

    Imagine some hot chick in Hollywood suing another hot chick who came into the business a little later for taking movie rolls away from her, because CLEARLY the studio wanted to hire HER (the earlier chick) for the role. Afterall, the other hot chick is CLEARLY a knock-off of the previous one. Same pretty face, soft, plump, yet perky boobies; smooth, creamy, supple, toned thighs; long, lustrous platinum-blonde hair... see where I'm going with this?

    It would be nice if Germany just shut all this BS down right now, but they have no incentive to do so, even though neither company is actually IN Germany, so they should toss the thing out on lack of jurisdiction... or is Apple on the sly really Apfel GMBH? I thought Samsung was Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese... or whatever. In any case, NOT German. So who is this a German court's business? Because they sell there? What a buncha crap.

    I didn't need any more reasons to feel utter disdain for Apple, and here they gave me one for free.

  • Re:How do we... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:45PM (#38731112)
    Exactly. Lawyers have been able to inject themselves into the business of software and design to the degree they have because it represents a new source of revenue for them. Executives are all agreed on it because as bad as being sued is, it's better than facing an openly competitive field with no barriers to entry.

    Artificial barriers to entry like these patents increase the cost of goods, reduce the competitive field and drive monopoly rents.

    Without these rents, you would not have obscene profits and obscene salaries arrived at in this manner.

    You'd still have obscene profits but it would be in exchange for extreme value.

    But that would mean real work instead of lawyering, and the lawyers can't have that.

    It would also democratize opportunity, and the CEOs and politicians that are funded by them can't have THAT!

    We all know this is exactly true. We all know it's a game that is genuinely rigged to self reinforce the societal position of whoever has power and money currently.

    This is a deeply poison pill the effects of which no nation or civilization ever escapes no matter how draconic a regime they try to enforce.

    It's not substantially different than the corruption that drove the Arab Spring to topple its dictators.

    Software patents turn each and every programmer on this board a criminal on a daily, no, an hourly basis. That's not even an exaggeration, or hyperbole, or overstating the case; that's a material fact . It drive developers out of business and stops them from starting businesses every day

    How is this different from the events that set off the Arab Spring?

    from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12120228 [bbc.co.uk]

    Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, sold fruit and vegetables illegally in Sidi Bouzid because he could not find a job. Last month he doused himself in petrol and set himself alight when police confiscated his produce because he did not have the necessary permit.

    Call them what you like. The 1%. The Royal Family. The Coke Snorting Class. The Lawyers. The Politicians. The Executives. The Parasites. Whatever you want to call them, the fact is they never see it coming because they're so out of touch with the rage hey engender in everyone else. They think they can keep all "those" people under control because "those people" don't matter, have no power and are so fucked they'll never get unfucked.

    That's what they think.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev