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Iphone Cellphones The Courts Apple Technology

Feds Ask Supreme Court To Void Apple's $400 Million Award From Samsung (siliconbeat.com) 63

An anonymous reader quotes the San Jose Mercury News technology blog: "The $400 million awarded to Apple in a patent-infringement case against Samsung is a moving target... On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a "friend of the court" brief to the Supreme Court, asking justices to void the $400 million award and send the case back to a lower court to determine if a new trial is needed... Samsung has argued that it should be liable only for profits attributable to a specific design that violated a patent, not an entire phone, and that the law should be interpreted to impose liability related to "components of the phones, rather than the phones themselves, according to the brief. The department came down on Samsung's side on the component argument, and blasted a federal circuit court ruling that had upheld the jury award.
Ironically, earlier this week Steve Wozniak was praising Samsung for its innovation, both in virtual reality headsets and with a Samsung camera that takes a picture whenever you say "smile".
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Feds Ask Supreme Court To Void Apple's $400 Million Award From Samsung

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  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Sunday June 12, 2016 @12:45PM (#52299757) Homepage Journal
    Last month I went to Taipei to interview a retired display device geek for a story I'm writing. He explained that the touch display technology was originally German, and that his mentor bought it from the German firm hoping to use it in touch screen ATM (CRT based, I think) when the German company went chapter 11 ("They had a great technology, but no application"). They got it to work on small LCDs, and the Taiwanese group pitched it to a company making Ipods for touch displays, he's not sure how it went from there to telephones. Apple got the guys mentor to open a shop in Vancouver to claim the device was independently developed there rather than Taiwan. I still don't have all the history covered, still grey areas, and I've been studying this for years. I don't understand the utility of asking juries to award $400M patent awards based on "telephones" with "rounded corners".
    • I don't understand the utility of asking juries to award $400M patent awards based on "telephones" with "rounded corners".

      Even if it's a bit chancy, it's a great way to launder and write off 400 mil... The "lawsuit" is just another way of transferring funds

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Sunday June 12, 2016 @12:46PM (#52299763)

    This is the Obama administration giving their friends at Apple the UFIA.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's a price worth paying. Apple don't need the $400M if it comes with "iOS backdoor" strings attached.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Damn! I was wondering why the Feds were being Samsung's bitch. Now I see the light. I'm getting slow in my old age, I should have seen that right off the bat.

      • by epine ( 68316 )

        Damn! I was wondering why the Feds were being Samsung's bitch. Now I see the light. I'm getting slow in my old age, I should have seen that right off the bat.

        Because—as old crusty coot knows to the very marrow of his fragile bones—the most cynical available view is never wrong. My diagnosis is that old age is still penetrating your hard tissues. But take heart. The process is automatic. You won't even have to work for it.

        Hitchen's Author of America contains a super depressing page on Thomas

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          I'm getting old and slow. You've gone for senility. From the Feds fucking Apple over after the refusal to crack the iPhone to whites fleeing vengeful ex-slaves. Quite a trip. Now that I think on it I believe it might be drug or alcohol instead of senility.

    • Anyone who has any experience dealing with the federal government can tell that there's just no way they could make a conspiracy work, even if all the involved parties agreed (which is also impossible).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 12, 2016 @12:46PM (#52299769)

    Steve Wozniak was praising Samsung for its innovation ... with a Samsung camera that takes a picture whenever you say "smile".

    20th century innovation: The solid state transistor. The integrated circuit. Laser. Space travel. The internet.

    21st century innovation: A "camera that takes a picture whenever you say smile". Selfies. Facebook. The "selfie-stick".

    • And my Lg G4 will take a photo if you say Cheese, Whisky, Smile, Kimchi or LG.....

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      Steve Wozniak was praising Samsung for its innovation ... with a Samsung camera that takes a picture whenever you say "smile".

      20th century innovation: The solid state transistor. The integrated circuit. Laser. Space travel. The internet.

      21st century innovation: A "camera that takes a picture whenever you say smile". Selfies. Facebook. The "selfie-stick".

      Good thing we have 4-score+ years left in this century...

  • The next person that loses against the MPAA/RIAA should then bring this document out. Since only profits should be repaid then the person should owe them nothing as it is commonly known that due to creative accounting techniques music and movies don't make money.

    • I've thought the same thing. Although one is copyright and the other is patent law...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 )

      Apples and Oranges, my friend. MPAA/RIAA is copyright (and some trademark). This Fed thing is Patent, and the purpose for the award is, based on the jury's decision on the evidence, to get justice for Samsung making (huge) profits off stolen idea(s). Apple being a big company, the issue may get a little fuzzy. So, imagine if Apple were a tiny company of a few guys in a garage, making a few phones with their parents' money, and a year later Samsung is making billions of them that look and act just like t

  • Ironically... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This has NOTHING to do with Apple denying the Obama Administration's demand to add backdoors to their operating system.

  • They did support apple. What happened?

    • Samsung got caught up with their protection mon-... I mean brib-... I mean lobbying. Yeah, totally legal lobbying, yep. :)
  • Refuse to crack a phone for us? Well, well...I guess we'll just be filing a "friend of the court" against you in every case we can now. This is "banana republic" level of corruption and judicial interference.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      It may actually be a correction of banana republic behavior. They should have been putting the brakes on this well before now. I would be heartened by this except I don't believe any actual correction has taken place in government, it's just that Apple is no longer on the special friends list.

    • The problem with "X did something against Y, Y then takes a position Q against X that happens to be the right thing" is that you can't tell whether Y is acting because X did what it did, or because Q is the right thing.

      To put it another way, the Obama administration (and Samsung) is in the right here. It'd be interesting to know their motives.

  • Ironically, earlier this week Steve Wozniak was praising Samsung for its innovation, both in virtual reality headsets and with a Samsung camera that takes a picture whenever you say "smile".

    That might be ironic if Woz was a part of the lawsuit and claimed that Samsung never made innovative products. But that's not the case.

  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Sunday June 12, 2016 @03:06PM (#52300391)

    Both the Patent law and Copyright law are in desperate need of fixing, and letting courts bumble their way around is not the way to go.

    Current Patent law is drafted with the idea that you patent whole devices, at which point if you build something covered by patent without getting a license you should be liable for your "total profits". But today patents cover small bits in the device, and each device embodies thousands of patents. Courts (especially the Supreme Court) can say "Congress didn't think about that when it drafted the law, so we'll 'interpret' the language Congress actually wrote [total profits] to mean something that makes sense [the part of the profits which is attributable just to the infringed patent]. But this is a bad solution -- much better would be for Congress to change the law. At that time other urgent fixes (like the term of patents, the windfall rules for making out-of-patent and out-of-production rare drugs etc) can also be made.

    Copyright law is similar: rather than hope courts will restrain themselves (lowering absurd damage verdicts like the Jammie Thomas case) or restrain Congress (how did Eldred v Aschroft do?) we need to get Congress to fix the copyright term at something reasonable (say 20 years, renewable with registration once).

    • But it's incredibly difficult to assess "the part of the profits which is attributable just to the infringed patent" and that amount could even exceed the total profit made (if it increases market share, PR goodwill, etc). Let's say you patent a tech that halves the latency of PCIe. Assuming you demand reasonable per unit compensation, no major OEM would pay you licensing fees if they following argument was likely to hold "this is only one aspect of performance of one of many buses within our PC which conta
  • Seriously? So we're going to dissect the phone down to it's constituent components and base award off those that offend. Dude it's a fucking phone. The whole package not bits and pieces. There's a reason Google shoves stuff down your throat and does not let you pick and chose. Citing a 1920's case is a bit of a reach and also dubious of its conclusions.

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