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Patents The Courts Apple

Apple and Samsung Both Get South Korea Bans 216

New submitter Mackadoodledoo sends this quote from the BBC: "A South Korean court has ruled that Apple and Samsung both infringed each other's patents on mobile devices. The court imposed a limited ban on national sales of products by both companies covered by the ruling. It ruled that U.S.-based Apple had infringed two patents held by Samsung, while the Korean firm had violated one of Apple's patents. The sales ban will apply to Apple's iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and its tablets the iPad and iPad 2. Samsung products affected by the ban include its smartphone models Galaxy SI and SII and its Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PCs."
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Apple and Samsung Both Get South Korea Bans

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  • Thats one way.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EponymousCustard ( 1442693 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:55AM (#41107881)
    to stop the patent wars! Ban everybody!
    • Re:Thats one way.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:12AM (#41108107)

      This is exactly what the US should do if they had half a brain. Nobody wins with software patents. Not even "Hello world".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Remind me, how do these patents benefit the public again?
      • by donaldm ( 919619 )

        Remind me, how do these patents benefit the public again?

        Well they do give the legal profession associated with patents a lucrative income. I suppose "pig's at a trough" (apologies to the pig) come to mind, but as for benefiting the the public, err no! :)

        • They benefit the public by keeping the lawyers occupied. Unlike many other areas of IP law (such as copyright), most patent law takes place outside the courtroom, and involves large corporations with lots of money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Notice the judge didn't ban the Galaxy S3 - this is a win for Samsung.

      • Re:Thats one way.. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Steve Max ( 1235710 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:01AM (#41108771) Journal

        He didn't ban the Galaxy S3. Nor the iPhone 4S. Nor the new iPad. Nor the latest Samsung tablets. It's a "win" for Samsung because they'll earn a slightly bigger reward, but that's it.

        • Re:Thats one way.. (Score:5, Informative)

          by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @01:39PM (#41112211) Journal
          Apple's Penalty
          $35,000 payment to Samsung for infringement on 2 patents
          Ban on iPhone 3GS
          Ban on iPhone 4
          Ban on iPad 1
          Ban on iPad 2

          Samsung's Penalty
          $22,000 payment to Apple for infringement on 1 patent
          Ban on Galaxy S2
          Ban on "certain other products"

          Net Cost
          Apple pays Samsung $13,000 (about the cost of an entry-level Hyundai)
          Each side loses millions of dollars in sales of its banned devices
          Samsung loses additional money because Apple buys components for the banned devices from Samsung []
          Each side pays its legal team hundreds of thousands of dollars for the representation.
          Corporate legal teams assure CEOs it was worth it because the costs will be much higher if they don't defend their patents.
          • Ban on "certain other products"

            Apparently, WSJ lists those as Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus. So each company has 4 devices banned.

    • Seriously. Do this in *every* jurisdiction!

      • So, all these different national courts all decide differently on patent issues. Maybe we need a one-world court to finally figure these issues out once and for all. Hmmm...., then of course we will need another, higher court for the inevitable appeal...
    • by flanders123 ( 871781 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:31AM (#41109235)
      This is like Dad getting fed up with his 2 brat kids fighting in the back seat of the car. "You two kids get along right NOW... or I'll turn this car around right now and NO ONE will get ice cream!".

      (Yes that qualifies for +5 Car Analogy)
    • I am more surprised that South Korea blocked Samsung (A South Korean company). I find that EU tends to be really good at cracking down on American Companies that have an European competitor (Intel vs AMD). But to block both companies shows a non-bias view of the problem.

  • Damages (Score:4, Insightful)

    by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:01AM (#41107945)
    I find it interesting that Apple was ordered to pay more in damages than Samsung was, even though Apple brought the suit.

    That seems pretty damning to me.
    • Re:Damages (Score:5, Informative)

      by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:05AM (#41108005)
      Apple infringed 2 essential patents, Samsung 1 design patent, apple should have had to pay more.
      • Not a design patent. The court has specifically stated that design patents do not apply here as they are all of the form follows function kind.

        The patent that Samsung infringed on is overscroll bounce effect.

    • Re:Damages (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dupple ( 1016592 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:44AM (#41108519)

      Samsung bought the suit in this instance in April last year []

      in response to Apple filling suit in the United States

    • I find it interesting that Apple was ordered to pay more in damages than Samsung was, even though Apple brought the suit.

      Yes, shocking that a Korean court would fine the American company more heavily than the Korean one.

  • I bet Chris Penn will shoot first.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:06AM (#41108023) Journal

    Considering that Samsung, just ONE CONGLOMERATE, generates 20% of the entire country of Korea's GDP, I hardly think the judge(s) would be capable of being impartial.

    Korean's are quite "feisty" (I've got some blood). I've been in numerous protests in Seoul where students would fight the police for days over some perceived fault by the U.S. Demonstrations by striking workers quickly become violent.

    • Considering that Samsung, just ONE CONGLOMERATE, generates 20% of the entire country of Korea's GDP, I hardly think the judge(s) would be capable of being impartial.

      Indeed, a conglomerate. So I don't see why the judge would have unreasonable difficulties to be impartial in a case that in practice involves a few non-flagship phone and tablet models...

  • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:07AM (#41108039)

    Starting to understand the whole MAD thing yet?

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:31AM (#41109225) Homepage
      MAD only works when all of the players are rational and sane. It worked for a long time because nobody is willing to pull the trigger, not even dancing monkey boy of the flying chairs, because doing so would be insane.

      Enter Apple.

      Steve: “Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

      Also Steve said don't steal our technology, invent your own. Yet Apple doesn't sue over technology but over mere style and perception and obvious design choices. Yet in the biggest hypocrisy ever, Apple won't license FRAND patents that are by definition Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory, and which others have taken a license for. Because Apple is special. Apple being special is not surprising considering that Steve himself was special enough that he should be able to park in handicapped parking spaces when it suits him. Whenever countersued over FRAND patents, Apple complains "but hey, this is an FRAND patent -- standards essential -- no fair!". Then why doesn't Apple buy a license for that patent like everyone else? If anything, the fact that it is standards essential, and FRAND ought to be a powerful reason to ban products from the market -- after all the license is *reasonable* and *fair*. But I guess it's not fair when Apple is the defendant.

      In the California case of Apple vs Samsung, perhaps the best outcome would be to simply ban both company's accused products from the market. This would still leave Samsung with phones and tablets that are not infringing and could be sold. It would leave Apple with none. Meanwhile Samsung also can continue selling dishwashers and other appliances, TVs and other consumer electronics, jet aircraft engines, etc.
      • The reason why Apple will not license the FRAND patents is that they are not being offered the same rates as the others who have purchased them. The N in FRAND is for non-discriminitory and that is where the problem is The FRAND patents in this case are being offered to Apple at rates 10-100x higher then normal or with cross licensing on Apples non-FRAND patents. Apple is rightfully insisting on the same terms as others have paid.
        • Not true. The mobile industry standard for most frand patents is 2.5%. What Apple claims is that, since it's phone is not the usual $50 phone, and is a $600 one, it should be eligible for a lesser percentage than the industry standard. Samsung, Nokia, Motorola et all disagree.

        • The reason Apple hasn't been offered the same rates as others is because most others who license them have actually contributed to the FRAND pool. Apple isn't a technology innovator: they just repackage what other people have already built. Therefore, they haven't contributed jack shit to the patent pool, so they get to pay their full worth.


      • Apple can only get anywhere near the mobile space because so many other companies have a reasonable approach to their IP.

        Apple stands on the shoulders of giants, then turns belches loudly into the giants ear.
  • Patent War (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:09AM (#41108055)
    Strange game. The only winning move is, not to play.
    • Re:Patent War (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:38AM (#41108431)

      Strange game. The only winning move is, not to play.

      The only winning move is being a lawyer

      • Or in more general terms, an arms dealer.

        In a nuclear war, being in the uranium business is quite lucrative.

        • In that case I'd rather be in the iodine trade. Everybody will want to buy the stuff - to protect against radiation poisoning. Market will be many orders of magnitude bigger than the U or even Pu market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:09AM (#41108063)

    ...of my mother threatening to bash my and my brother's heads together?

    • You'd think that with all the early childhood blunt head trauma you'd have a harder time remembering that.

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:10AM (#41108073)
    Well played.
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:11AM (#41108085) Homepage Journal
    I do not know what about what patents the incoming Patent War will be, but next one will be about patenting sticks and stones.
  • by chowdahhead ( 1618447 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:15AM (#41108155)
    I don't personally think the rubberband effect when scrolling is particularly novel or ingenious, or should be considered as an "invention". That's just my opinion. But I don't see how one can argue that a patent on a visual trick is held in the same significance as one (or two, in this case) that covers wireless technology. Developing the latter was likely to be vastly more costly and resource intensive. I think this type of ruling discourages real invention in favor of cheap software patents, and I don't want to see technology stagnate because of that.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      Please. ANYONE can come up with wireless technology. It's easy and simple. But NO ONE would ever dream of rubber band bouncing a list if you scroll too far!

      On a serious note, if all it too to be in compliance was to just stop a list when it gets to the end, I don't think my smart phone experience would be all that different. Now if someone came up with a carbon nanotube scrolling that doesn't bounce and is rigid, I think we all are screwed.

  • Cold War strategy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:23AM (#41108237) Homepage

    I believe this is what was referred to as Mutually Assured Destruction. That doctrine probably prevented nuclear war during the Cold War, but alas... Apple's not as rational as the Russians or Americans, so it lobbed the nuclear bomb of patent litigation anyway.

    • Governments understand the consequences of war, just as corporations do. The difference is that corporations don't give a shit about anyone else.

      We don't need to wonder if Apple, Samsung, and the rest lover their children too.

  • ... M.A.I.P.I., aka Mutually Assured Intellectual Property Infringement.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:33AM (#41108349)
    This is interesting because the judge banned all phones and tablets from both companies except the current generation of their products. From a legal perspective, this ruling does not make sense. The "bounce back" patent Samsung violated has been fixed in the Galaxy S2 and possible the Galaxy Tab, but they got banned anyway. And Apple's iPad 3 and iPhone 4S still use the communication technologies patented by Samsung yet they weren't banned.

    From a financial perspective, the ruling makes sense. Many of the components in Apple's products are made by Samsung, so banning the current generation of popular Apple devices would potentially hurt Samsung more than help it. At least the judge seemed reasonable in its explanation of why Samsung's designs did not copy Apple's designs.
  • Current patent law is monopolistic, anti-competitive and demonstrably absurd. Double KO.
  • Well played in a King Solomon kind of way, South Korea. However I don't think this will actually cause the companies to realize their mistakes that both are harming themselves. Companies are proving that anti-competitive tactics are the most effective way to make money. Get a temporary virtual monopoly on a market, no matter how short, if you can get enough momentum you will have a successful product.

  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:13AM (#41108927) Homepage
    In the Apple vs Samsung case in California the jury needs instruction from the court. It seems the rectangular jury table with round corners infringes upon Apple's patent and the jury is unable to proceed.
    • In the Apple vs Samsung case in California the jury needs instruction from the court. It seems the rectangular jury table with round corners infringes upon Apple's patent and the jury is unable to proceed.

      Unfortunately, this can't be resolved, because Samsung and Google have bought the publisher of the books containing the relevant law and are demanding huge license fees to allow them to be used in this case (even though the court has already paid for the books themselves).

  • And it works quite well, if only we'd adopt this as well.
    Kind of reminds me how my parents used to react whenever me and my brother couldn't learn to share something.
  • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:16AM (#41109953)

    I was going to read the article (I know, GASP!), but then I noticed that it pointed to the BBC. Considering the BBC's reliance on Florian Mueller for its patent coverage, I have to assume that the article is largely make believe. I'll wait until Groklaw posts about it.

  • Tit for tat.

    It's like the two kids who are constantly tattling on each other - punish both of them for tattling. I know, not the same exact thing but you get my drift.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @12:59PM (#41111647)

    Not really big on the idea of software patents. Even less so on UI widgets, icons etc.

    I can't see how these are 'innovation'.

    If I was judge in the California Apple v Samsung I'd like to fine them both $5 billion and give the money to NASA.

    I think that would promote the progress of science and useful arts.

    • That $5 billion would be better spent elsewhere. A large portion of money going to NASA ends up in the hands of Morton Thiokol, Raytheon et al. and from there into various people in Congress.

      I'd be like that internet billionaire guy who gives out $3 million prizes to people who come up with new discoveries in physics and math... I forgot his name though

  • by excelsior_gr ( 969383 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @01:43PM (#41112259)

    This will certainly be a boost for the LG phones in Korea.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter