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Patents The Courts Apple

Apple and Samsung Agree To Settlement Talks 97

tlhIngan writes "It looks like the Apple v. Samsung war might be over soon. Both parties have agreed to meet to attempt to reach a settlement. While they are not required to settle (Google and Oracle recently went through the same process), it could be a positive signal that Apple might be willing to license the patents under Tim Cook, versus fight it out in court under the late Steve Jobs."
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Apple and Samsung Agree To Settlement Talks

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  • The dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by barista ( 587936 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:08AM (#39722445) Homepage
    Return of the King aside, the dead usually don't put up much of a fight.
  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:18AM (#39722539)

    I hope that this is a sign that saner heads are starting to prevail now that they no longer have an ego-maniac at the helm. Steve Jobs definitely had a very good sense of aesthetics and industrial design, which led to excellent products and services. But by all accounts he was, to put it mildly, an asshole.

    I really hope that under the current leadership, Apple will start learning to play more nicely with others without sacrificing the aspects that brought them to the point they're at now.

  • by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:25AM (#39722607)
    Well, patents are granted on the basis that the inventor discloses his idea and profits for a while, to the greater good of society as the knowledge base is extended. So FRAND is a corollary of that. On the other hand, slide to unlock and particular shades of round corners are non-functional decoration (because there are many other equally good ways to unlock or to shape a corner) and so offer no benefit to society. In our society, non-functional frizz, whether it is the shape of a corner or the wail of a "singer", is given a very high value because the country is run by arts graduates rather than scientists and engineers. We all know that in a post-industrial society intellectual property is the basis of the economy (insert further self-justifying media person rubbish to suit.)

    I believe that Samsung did try at one point to show that the "design features" of the iPad were actually obvious engineering features and so design patents were not applicable.

  • by AdrianKemp ( 1988748 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:33AM (#39722715)

    3G, GSM, etc. are not technical inventions.

    They are standards.

    When a standards body agrees to take a patent as part of the standard, they generally require FRAND licensing as part of that agreement.

    Nowhere anywhere does something *have* to be FRAND, but if you want it in a standard you're going to be going down that road.

  • Hm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:34AM (#39722727)

    it could be a positive signal that Apple might be willing to license the patents under Tim Cook, versus fight it out in court under the late Steve Jobs.

    Or it could be a sign that Apple realized they're fighting a losing battle so they're trying to salvage what little they can keep.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:38AM (#39722773)

    I still cannot understand why very technical inventions (such as 3G and GSM) can only be licensed under FRAND conditions, but fluff like 'slide to unlock' (have that in my toilet) or rounded corner ("they are everywhere!") yield massive license income.. I would really love to see this before a judge so we can finally get this mess cleaned up for good.

    Explanation: Some patents are part of a standard, and everybody _must_ use them to use that standard. If one company with patents used in the 3G standard for example refused to license their patents, then they would have a monopoly. If two companies refused to license their patents, then we would have no 3G phones. Therefore, whenever some standard is created, everyone has to agree to license their patents under FRAND conditions. If you refuse, they will change the standard so that your patents are not part of it.

    "Slide to unlock" is not _required_ by anybody. You can build a perfectly nice phone without using that patent. "Rounded corners" on the other hand is not something that is patented, or patentable, and referring to it seems to indicate that you are a bit clueless. You can get a design patent for a design which consists of many, many design elements, and only someone copying that combination of design elements would be infringing. I can get a design patent for a phone that has A, B, C, D and E, and you would then be free to create a phone that has A, C, D and E, but not B.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @10:43AM (#39722819)

    Sort of like Samsung saying "how about we do away with this lawsuit and just discount price of the massive amount of memory you're buying from us?"

    Samsung is a big company. The Samsung vice president of memory would tell the Samsung vice president of tablet design to f*** off if he were asked to sell memory to Apple cheaper. That's _his_ profit and _his_ bonus on the line, and he won't give that up because some other vice president had to produce a tablet design that gets them sued.

It's later than you think, the joint Russian-American space mission has already begun.