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Apple Launches New Legal Attack On Samsung 490

walterbyrd writes "Apple Inc has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung Electronics Co Ltd from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, alleging patent violations. In a suit filed last week in San Jose, Apple said the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from its products. Those include the ability to unlock phones by sliding an image and to search for information by voice."
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Apple Launches New Legal Attack On Samsung

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  • hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tmann72 ( 2473512 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:20AM (#39019221)
    These kinds of software patents are patently bogus.
  • Yawn. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by piripiri ( 1476949 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:21AM (#39019245) Journal
    This is starting to become childish.
  • Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aajfby9338 ( 725054 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:21AM (#39019255)
    I like my Apple products, but this endless pissing match between them and Samsung doesn't endear them to me.
  • by djsmiley ( 752149 ) <djsmiley2k@gmail.com> on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:25AM (#39019291) Homepage Journal

    That google has had for a long time, and they had search by image. Please apple try and infringe on this. I hope google sue you into oblivion.

  • Apple vs Samsung. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimpop ( 27817 ) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:27AM (#39019307) Homepage Journal

    Apple is an outsourcing manufacturer of niche products. Samsung is a global innovator AND manufacturer.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:30AM (#39019379)

    In the end, this only benefits lawyers and kills future innovation.

    I don't see how Apple is benefitting long-term from this mentality and cultural mindset. It's a shortterm win at best and then a death by a thousand cuts as any of it's own innovations will be dealt with the same way by other companies.

    I don't particularly blame Apple for this, but they certainly could afford a few lobbyists to turn this crap system around.

  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Murdoch5 ( 1563847 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:32AM (#39019409)
    Apple should of never been allowed to get that patient! I would say the ability to unlock a phone through touch motion is active public domain knowledge and should fall outside the requirement for filing a patient. I think it's time for some major change in the US patient office. Technically Apple can now block EVERY single touch screen phone on the market and being developed. They have been allowed to secure a monopoly in a growing field, how on earth it that fair? Whats next is Apple going to patient toilet paper and go to court with everyone who goes to the bathroom?
  • bad first sentence (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:35AM (#39019447)

    What is up with the first sentence of TFA?

    "In a suit filed last week in San Jose, Apple said the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from its products."

    I think it's supposed to be saying "patents OF underling features THAT customers expect"... But this seems to imply that the reason that the patents are valid is because customers expect Apple to have the features that these patents cover, which is not a basis for a patent, and certainly not the basis for a patent infringement claim.

    I am very, very frustrated with the state of tech reporting regarding patents, and the tortured English and tortured understanding of the nature of the suit even in the very first sentence of this article just makes it worse.

  • I'll say it! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:38AM (#39019491)

    Hey Apple, Fuck You!

    Not a valid legal argument, but it's the patent system. Not sure any of it is valid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:39AM (#39019503)

    Memorable quotes for
    Looker (1981)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/quotes [imdb.com] [imdb.com]

    "John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power. "

    "The United States has it's own propaganda, but it's very effective because people don't realize that it's propaganda. And it's subtle, but it's actually a much stronger propaganda machine than the Nazis had but it's funded in a different way. With the Nazis it was funded by the government, but in the United States, it's funded by corporations and corporations they only want things to happen that will make people want to buy stuff. So whatever that is, then that is considered okay and good, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really serves people's thinking - it can stupify and make not very good things happen."
    -- Crispin Glover: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000417/bio [imdb.com] [imdb.com]

    "It's only logical to assume that conspiracies are everywhere, because that's what people do. They conspire. If you can't get the message, get the man.'' -- Mel Gibson (from an interview)

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, CIA Director

    George Carlin:

    "The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

    But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

    You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and yo

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:39AM (#39019509)
    I am long time apple user. I love their OS, their software, and they way they implement those things on elegant hardware. I will probably always be a mac (and linux) user. (disclaimer: I use an android).

    But all I can say anymore to mainly apple and a lesser extent other manufactures is:

    Give me a fucking break already! Aim for cooperation and interoperability. Those two things would benefit end users on both sides more than spending billions on squabbling! All of these endless back and forth lawsuits is ruining both the mac and android experience for me. I know I'm kinda rambling but I'm getting to a tipping point. Looking forward to WebOS this September.
  • Re:More to follow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:40AM (#39019519) Homepage
    apple has been making phones since what 2007? samsung/windows/rim/ pretty much everyone else in the game has been making phones since the 90s? moto in the 80s? I remember a phone I had in the late 90s I could do voice search on.

    I am almost forgetting about sony being evil with every new lawsuit out of apple.
  • Re:Voice Search (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:42AM (#39019543) Journal

    Let them keep it up. They're just building a case for patent misuse - the B&N case will be a simple how-to sue for patent misuse to be used on Apple.

  • by s0litaire ( 1205168 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:42AM (#39019547)

    If you can't innovate

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:46AM (#39019627)

    Most of the property they're "defending" is not really theirs.

  • Re:More to follow? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andydread ( 758754 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:48AM (#39019653)

    Android OEMs are an easy target due to Google's lack of indemnification and apparently lax attitude towards patent issues, but I suspect Microsoft would already be in the clear with licensing even if there were valid patent issues there.

    Lax attitude towards patents? SOFTWARE SHOULD NOT BE PATENTED. Google just happens to be on the right side of that issue. Software is authored works and hence should be protected by copyright which it already is. Just like books and movies and music. So do you have a lax attitude towards the patenting of book story concepts? Or are you in favor or patenting the concept of a love story or wars in space or whatever. Lets just say the concept of wars in space was patented so no one could write a book about wars in space regardless of the content. Would you be lax about those patents? or would you support and cheer for them? Do you write software? would you like your code to become subject to trivial patents that claim wholesale ownership of your code?

  • Re:Voice Search (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MogNuts ( 97512 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:49AM (#39019665)

    Yup. Now all the fanboys see Apple for what they are.

    I just laugh at all the comments over the years. Every time Apple applies and gets a new patent, every Apple lover replies with "b-but but but they'll never use them! And they're probably doing it to protect themselves!" or some other lame excuse.

    Well now the answer is clear. And they're worse than even SCO or Microsoft. At least they just wanted a cut of the money. Not Apple. They want to hinder one of the most useful and important things that benefit people today.

    Though what is interesting is, *for Apple to do this*, must mean that they are scared. Very scared. Can't compete with inferior tech, so let's litigate. They wouldn't do this if they were confident that its product really is superior, and really is "magical."

  • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDAustin ( 468180 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:52AM (#39019705)

    It's not that they are bogus but that there is substantial prior art for each of them that wasn't given to the patent office.

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:54AM (#39019737) Homepage

    No. The alternative is that they win the market BY BUILDING A BETTER PRODUCT.

    You're the perfect example of what's wrong with the current state of corrupt corporate culture. Actually competing on merit is something that isn't even considered.

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:57AM (#39019781)

    >> No. The alternative is that they win the market BY BUILDING A BETTER PRODUCT.

    Uh.. Have you seen Apple's sales figures? They've done exactly that. What, you think these lawsuits have had any effect on their market share?

  • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:57AM (#39019783)
    Or...it was given but never looked at because the USPTO is buried with applications that they can't possibly devote the required resources to properly vet.
  • Blame Apple 100% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:59AM (#39019823)

    Please do not blame Samsung, that is just not fair. If a guy gets mugged in an ally, and tries to fight back, do you blame the victim or the mugger? Apple is the mugger.

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:11PM (#39020007)

    The alternative is that they and similar companies silently cooperate with each other with practices like price fixing, cross licensing of patents and behaviour befitting a cartel.

    Cross-licensing of patents is actually a good thing, and something everybody in the cell phone market (except Qualcomm) was already doing for decades before Apple decided to enter the market. Price fixing, bad. But using ridiculous patents like "sliding an image to unlock the screen" is worse. They want to drive the competition out of business, and when they realized that they can't do that on the actual merit of their product, they have decided to resort to litigation. When they finally do establish the monopoly they seem to want, gods help us all.

    The amusing part of it is that Samsung has a very large number of patents they can bring to bear against Apple, if they really wanted to go for a full on trade war. Samsung is trying to cooperate with them, but when they finally do realize what Apple's game is... how long do you suppose Apple could last if Samsung and LG decided to stop selling them LCD's? For anything, including their desktop and laptop computers. You do realize there's only two companies producing anything approaching a significant number of LCD panels in the world today, and that everybody else is just reselling either a Samsung or an LG panel?

  • Re:Voice Search (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:12PM (#39020031) Journal

    Yup. Now all the fanboys see Apple for what they are.

    If only that were true.

    You need to remember that it's the fanboys that defended Apple's idiotic "look and feel" patent based on rounded fucking corners and square icons. They'll defend this just as insipidly.

    They wouldn't see Apple for what they are if Zombie Steve Jobs came back to fuck them in the eye.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:17PM (#39020095)

    Please explain how raising prices, reducting choice, and stifling innovation is a benefit to consumers?

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:18PM (#39020121)

    Cross-licensing of patents is actually a good thing

    I disagree -- it's fine for the large companies, but it blocks out small, perhaps more innovative companies.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:20PM (#39020153)

    Apples is clearly scared shitless of Sumsung's hardware + Android.

    Since Apple is so eager to endorse Sunsung as a superior hardware alternative, sounds like it needs to be my next phone purchase.

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:20PM (#39020163) Journal

    What, you think these lawsuits have had any effect on their market share?

    Uh... yes? Considering that the entire purpose of these lawsuits is to keep the competition off the fucking market in the first place, I'd say that's a pretty sane conclusion to reach.

  • Re:Voice Search (Score:2, Insightful)

    by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:59PM (#39020663)

    They see it as Mac vs. Windows all over again, and guess who won last time?

    This time though, it's Google behind the reins of their fiercest competitor. And unlike Microsoft, who's only interested in eventually assimilating everything they touch, Google doesn't try to control the ecosystems they build, only their little slice of it.

    It makes Android that much more dangerous for Apple, because it's the antithesis of what Apple stands for, and how Apple operates. A free (speech) and open system will always triumph over a closed system assuming the same features. All parties know this. And that's why Apple's desperately trying to reduce Android's features via patent lawsuits. They cannot compete in any other way.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:06PM (#39020763)

    Rising prices? How so. The entry level iPhone started at $499 when the first iPhone came out. It's gradually dropped and the entry level 4S is now $199.

    And you can now get an older model (the 3GS) for free.

    How is that raising prices?

    Less choice (if that's what we have) is a benefit. See the paradox of choice.

    Patents are a system to reward innovation. And we certainly do see plenty of innovation in the phone market.

  • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:12PM (#39020863) Homepage

    You're the perfect example of what's wrong with the current state of corrupt corporate culture. Actually competing on merit is something that isn't even considered.

    More to the point, I don't think it's even possible.

    Between all of the players, damned near everything is patented. And anybody who owns a patent (no matter how absurd) wants everyone else to pay them crazy licensing fees (Microsoft gets paid something like $5 for every Android device), and sues to keep you out of the market if you don't.

    Sadly, it seems like innovation has taken a back seat to lawyers, and it doesn't seem to be showing any signs of getting better.

    If you designed a better product, unless you were already a company with deep pockets, there's simply no way you could bring it to market.

    I blame the patent system more than I do the players -- it's been set up in such a way as to encourage lawsuits more than creating actual products. And, since we're talking about markets in the billions, I doubt companies can afford to purely compete on the merit of their products.

    Since the USPTO has now changed it to "first to file" instead of considering prior art, it's only going to make this worse. Pretty much every company is going to have to try to patent the most trivial ideas in order to give themselves something to fight back with. Because they no longer care if you've taken someone else's idea ... only that you filed first.

    If patents are still filling their role of fostering innovation, it's sure as hell hard to see it.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:44PM (#39021293) Journal

    There's no excuse for issuing patents that are not properly vetted. If you don't have the resources to properly vet patents, stop issuing patents.

  • by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:38PM (#39022277) Homepage

    Overcoming the paradox of choice is good for the manufacturer because it gets over a psychological hurdle that the customer would otherwise have to jump to make a purchase.

    It is not in any way a benefit for the customer. Making it easier, psychologically, to spend your money doesn't do jack shit for you.


  • Re:Voice Search (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:22PM (#39023035) Homepage

    Because Windows was more free than Apple. Any computer manufacturer could make a machine and sell it with Windows on it, by buying a license for it. They could not do that to make a machine running Apple software.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27