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Patents The Courts Apple

Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set 165

Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEOs have been ordered by a court to hash it out over a two-day period. U.S. Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming its position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said, 'I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it,' he also said, 'if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred.' Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew, with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."
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Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set

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  • Grammar (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:55PM (#40096349)

    Its, its, a thousand times ITS!

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:23PM (#40096509) Journal

    While the world media headlines are blaring "Apple sues Samsung" or "Samsung sues Apple", Apples is providing Samsung more one billion U. S. dollars to keep Samsung's Austin, Texas fab in operation

    There is more than meets the eyes

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @01:12AM (#40096969)

    Dismissal? What the judge should do is take away both set of patents!

    That would hurt Samsung more than it would hurt Apple.

    Because Samsung's patents are FRAND, and by taking it away, it means everyone who implements a cellphone (ANY cellphone) no longer has to negotiate with Samsung on those patents.

    Apple's patents are design dress patents, which have a much shorter life (5 years), and really cover a specific design of product. If you wonder why companies periodically change the design of long-running products, it's usually because their design patents are about to expire, and the design isn't iconic enough to apply for a trademark (e.g., the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle IS trademarked, and it's why only Coke comes in those bottle designs).

    Of course, the two sides can never come to an agreement - Apple knows Samsung's patents are FRAND, and since they're essential to implement a cellphone, believes they already got a license through purchase of Qualcomm chips. (Basically, Apple buys chips from Qualcomm, of which part of the price of those chips is used to pay for the patents paid to Samsung etc.). Samsung believes Apple should still pay, akin to the recording/videogame industry saying if you buy a CD/game secondhand, you still owe them money. Whether or not that is true, is up to bunch of agreements between Samsung, Qualcomm and Apple.

    Apple's beef with Samsung is the design of their tablets, and Samsung believes they're distinct enough ("we don't let lawyers design our products"). Since it's not an FRAND issue, Apple values part of the whole Apple Experience(tm) is the product design and thus values it highly.

    And it's also why Apple's push for nano-sim will never succeed. Even if Apple gives away patent licenses to anyone who asks for whatever terms they want. Nokia and RIM are opposing Apple purely because if Apple gets a patent into the FRAND pool, it means Apple pays a lot less money to them for their FRAND patents. Apple's got the money and everyone wants some of it, and they definitely do not want Apple getting their patents into the standard at all. Even if Apple's implementation is techically superior to Nokia and RIM's design - they will vote for an inferior standard in order to keep the Apple goldmine coming.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:15AM (#40097917) Homepage Journal

    There's no such thing as "design dress patents".

    Are you perhaps conflating trade dress and design patents?

    P.S. How can something blatantly false be at +5 informative?

  • Incidentally (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:34AM (#40097989)
    I know I shouldn't reply to myself. But my sig actually exemplifies my comment. Written by Tennyson in 1844, before The Origin of Species, it reflects his sudden realisation of the implications of fossils of species that no longer exist - that "Nature" (as it was called at the time) has no interest at all in the survival of any particular species. His "no not one" is his further realisation that this includes us.

    It's a bad state of affairs when a significant number of people in developed English speaking countries have a worse understanding of biology than a poet writing before Darwin published.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @05:57AM (#40098065)

    Because Samsung's patents are FRAND, and by taking it away, it means everyone who implements a cellphone (ANY cellphone) no longer has to negotiate with Samsung on those patents.

    The fact that the patents are FRAND patents means there should be zero negotiations involved in licensing the patents. It should simply be "the price we charge everyone is x% - that's your price too." Done. That's it. That's the point of a FRAND patent. That is Fair, Reasonable, And Non Discriminatory - FRAND. Any attempt to negotiate a different rate with different companies is the exact opposite of FRAND terms,

    And that's why Samsung is in the wrong - they are attempting to get more from Apple than they do from other companies. That is not Fair, Reasonable, and certainly not Non Discriminatory.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @07:20AM (#40098315)

    Samsung licensed the patents to Qualcomm who sold the chips to Apple. Apple is arguing that Samsung is attempting to double-dip - Apple already paid the license fee by purchasing the chips from a company who paid Samsung for the license.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday May 24, 2012 @08:40AM (#40098707)

    "The GSM standard is set - you don't just go around adding things to it."

    Then you don't get to put patents in it. Therefore you don't get FRAND. PART OF THE COST OF THE LICENSE is to put in to the pot.

    Hey, kid, get a clue here. Here's a taster of what one is like. Patents cover things like "how do you make a more efficient antenna cheaper?". That'd be a GSM worthy patent.

    What ISN'T worthy is "Make the box surrounding the GSM radio transmitter shiny black with rounded corners".

    "There is a fixed cost for implementing it for anyone who wants it."

    Yes, and that isn't being paid by Apple because Apple want the BETTER rate that others who get to put money in the pot for the GSM standard get.


    "Dimwad" ha.

    You clearly don't understand how this works. GSM is a standard. It is required to make a cellular phone.

    Companies all pool patents together to make the standard, in exchange for putting their patents in the pool the standards body puts them under FRAND terms.

    Company X comes along, who had nothing to do with establishing the standard. They don't even have a radio division, however they wish to make a cellphone. They are required to use GSM (otherwise the phone would not work), therefore they need to licence the patents. Fortunately, to prevent the incumbent manufacturers from preventing new entries into the market, the patent pool is covered by FRAND terms, so they HAVE NO CHOICE but to licence the patents to whoever wants to make a cellphone.

    It makes no difference what that company has to offer - it could be money, it could be other patents, it could be shares, it could be a pile of gold. The owners of the FRAND patents *must* licence them for the same value that everyone else paid.

    "Worthy" doesn't even come into it. They have no choice. They *can* argue about just how much Apple's "dressing up the box" is worth, but ultimately it comes down to a cash value and Apple could pay in cash if they wanted to.

    If I choose to make a cellphone in my garage, then I too have to pay the same amount that Apple is being charged, or that Motorola paid, or Sony, or Nokia. We all pay the same. Even though I have nothing to offer in return other than cash, that is how I would get to use the patents.

    That's the entire point of the FRAND system, and you don't seem to understand that. You're very quick to throw around terms like "dimwad" though, which is pretty amusing.

    There is no "better" rate - THERE IS ONLY ONE RATE AND IT IS THE SAME FOR EVERYONE. That is the literal meaning of "FAIR, REASONABLE AND NON-DISCRIMINATORY.

    The FRAND holders *cannot* offer a cheaper rate to those already in the pool, nor can they charge more for those who do not have anything in the pool. They must all pay the same. You can cross licence patents as payment, but they must have an assigned value. So, if company A and B who both have patents in the pool cross licenced patent A and patent B then the two patents are of equal value, but they do have a cash value, so that Company C can purchase a licence to use Patent A for the cash amount from company A, and the exact same amount of money for patent B from company B.

    They certainly can't say "well, your fancy box is nothing compared to our R&D for the antenna, so you don't get to use these patents, or if you want them you have to pay more". Bzzzzzzzzztt! Wrong!

    The purpose of the FRAND pool is to repay all that "worthy" R&D. It isn't to create a dick waving contest for "who deserves the money?". So, the big radio players made better antennas and a system for wireless communication? Great! Now it means that other manufacturers can make products that use those innovations by using off-the-shelf radio hardware. Want to get paid for that R&D? Sure! Join this FRAND pool - now everyone will use the same standard! But wait! If you thought you could use your standards-enforced monopoly to throw your weight around, think again! Conditions for including your patent in the pool are that you licence it to everyone for the same cost, regardless of who that is and what they have to offer in return. If all they have is cash, then that is what they'll pay with.

  • by Fjandr ( 66656 ) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @02:43PM (#40102031) Homepage Journal

    While that is almost without doubt the largest current reason, most countries don't like letting businesses arbitrarily refuse service. In practice it almost always requires cause, and the larger the business the less likely refusal without cause is to go unnoticed (and unpunished).

    After a quick perusal, it appears that in this case refusal to deal would run afoul of laws in the US, Australia, and the UK. In the US, it appears there are no (or limited) exceptions to the Sherman Act, which prevents a supplier from dealing selectively. In the latter two cases, it's because Apple is requesting supply in order to make products which compete with products Samsung makes, and so would be one of the cases in which refusal to deal is explicitly disallowed.

    As I suspected, even without contracts to supply parts Samsung could not realistically refuse to renegotiate a supply contract with Apple.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.