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Samsung Infringed On Apple Patents, Says ITC 274

Posted by timothy
from the will-you-blame-this-on-the-free-market? dept.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that certain models of Samsung phone violate Apple patents, and are likely to be blocked from import to the U.S. From the article: "The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949, which relates to a touch screen and user interface and U.S. Patent No. 7,912,501 which deals with detecting when a headset is connected. The ITC said Samsung didn’t infringe on the other two patents. In a statement on the matter, the ITC said the decision is final and the investigation has been closed. ... As was the case with the previous ruling that saw Apple devices banned, the ban on Samsung devices won’t go into effect until 60 days but can be blocked by a favorable ruling following a presidential review. That seems unlikely as such a block has only been issued once since 1987 – last’s week’s ruling in favor of Apple."
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Samsung Infringed On Apple Patents, Says ITC

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  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @02:54PM (#44532063)

    Hammer is coming down ... on foreign companies.

    As though Apple were an American company? I've heard they have some sort of design office in California somewhere, but in any meaningful sense they're at least as much of a foreign company as Samsung. At least Samsung has some fabs in Austin and whatnot.

    I'm fine with a little protectionism if it means protecting American operations, but people get very confused about the difference between where a company's headquarters are and where it operates. It's like people who say my Toyota is a foreign car. It's 85% value added in the US - a lot more American than almost any Ford or GM model.

  • Re:not again (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 10, 2013 @03:06PM (#44532119)

    The difference is Apple have gone running to Obama for favors. You have to wonder why he would do anything for the largest tax dodgers on the planet.

  • Re:not again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitallife (805599) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @03:15PM (#44532169)

    They are both just companies doing the same stuff that companies normally do. None of it so far has really affected the consumers much. Neither of them is getting one up on the other either, so in the end they are just wasting their money. If people are unhappy with the way that corps work, we should be rallying to change the laws regulating them rather than wasting our energy debating the relative merits of common place aggressive troll lawsuits.

    Check out the new Slashdot iPad app [].

  • Re:not again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @03:33PM (#44532267) Journal

    Taxes mean nothing. Ask yourself this, who 'contributed' more to the party? Who supplies better drugs and hookers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 10, 2013 @04:13PM (#44532447)

    I wish slashdot had mod category of Sour Grapes.

  • Re:not again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Princeofcups (150855) <> on Saturday August 10, 2013 @04:34PM (#44532527) Homepage

    They both blatantly copied each other constantly, misused patents, misused lawsuits and injunctions, etc. All these individual little patent disputes are really annoying. They should each be barred from suing each other for anything that happened prior to a certain date so we can be done with this. Then, if they want, they can just duke it out in a paintball game or Mario Party 9 or something.

    And they are together keeping all other competitors out of the race through fear of being sued. They have no reason to stop. Together they are winning.

  • kindergarten valid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roguegramma (982660) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @04:35PM (#44532533) Journal

    As you can read in []
    the US patent office pretends that one of the conditions for granting a US patent is non-obviousness.

    Considering that it is very unlikely that someone swiping a finger across a touchscreen achieves a movement that is 100% horizontal and 0% vertical, it is obvious that any solution of the problem would tolerate a certain amount of vertical movement, and this is what that patent claim is about.

    US american companies are promoting politicians with a kindergarten understanding of science, so that they can profit from that bullshit: []

    Also, the invention of input gestures is not as novel as you seem to believe, because the patent was filed 2008, while for example the video game Black and White had gestures in 2001. Okay, it was mouse gestures, but there is no big difference to a touch screen regarding movement.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @05:24PM (#44532725) Journal

    it is neither fair nor non-discriminatory for the holder of the FRAND-encumbered patent to require licenses to non-FRAND-encumberd patents as a condition for licensing its patent/quote?

    And why not? Patent for patent seems like the most reasonable form of trade to me.

    Anyway, so far as I can see, from Samsung's (and everyone else's) perspective, what this story shows is that if you play nice - i.e. FRAND your patents - then this will cost you in long term when assholes like Apple come with a bunch of effectively essential, but legally non-FRAND patents of their own. So I suspect that future telecommunication standards created by corporate committees will drop the FRAND requirement, and form patent cartels instead. Which, of course, we're all much worse for. Thanks to the only kid in the room who insisted on not letting anyone play with his toys...

  • by zieroh (307208) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @05:35PM (#44532781)

    Do you think it's Fair for Samsung to demand 2.4% of the total price of the phone -- somewhere around $16 per unit -- for a tweak to the standard implemented by the Infineon baseband processor? Do you think it's Fair that Samsung is demanding this fee despite the fact that Infineon paid for a license to manufacture a part that used that patent? Do you think it's Fair that Samsung is essentially double-dipping here?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 10, 2013 @05:39PM (#44532797)

    Moronic Yanks have given their president absolute power - Obama is a dictator for his period in office like all new presidents now. Free to create any laws he wishes. Free to imprison or release any person he wants without oversight. Free to ignore ANY aspect of the Constitution or Common Law.

    Now King Obama, with a giant Apple cheque in his family bank account (fully legal under the Law that allows all Washington US politicians to engage in insider-trading or to accept bribes from US companies), freed Apple from the consequences of negative ITC rulings (against all principles of International Law). A Law that is selectively applied is no law whatsoever. So, King Obama is choosing to punish Samsung on behalf of his Apple sponsors. The ITC ruling is irrelevant because the US no longer respects the ruling of this body.

    Are you Yanks happy with this situation? Well you were happy when you murdered two million people in Iraq, and destroyed that secular society. You were pleased when Obama the butcher murdered the people protecting their secular regime in Libya. You are happy when Obama the genocidal war criminal sends the greatest terrorist army ever seen in Human history into the secular society of Syria, in order to create an extremist Islamic horror story run by the depraved women-hating, gay-hating beasts that rule in Saudi Arabia.

    Hitler had to pretend to be a nice guy at home, because the German people felt they had very high moral standards. By contrast, Obama simply has to say "let's murder those dirty foreigners" and you Yanks stand up and scream "F**k yeah, America is the best". Where the hell do you think this is going to end up?

    Does Apple really have to cheat, steal and bribe in order to have great success? Obviously not. But, given no reverse pressure from the moral climate in America, Apple simply gives in to temptation, and allows its wealth to achieve whatever it can, without regard to what is right or decent. But how the hell do you think the rest of the world views your despicable companies, and your despicable presidents? The world has always admired the business success of the USA, and the entrepreneurship of the US people. This alone ensured the US a position at the top table. But this repugnant evil that infests the USA today ensures the US has no long term future - you Yanks want another World War, and everything you do is in preparation for this. Why the hell do you idiots think you are growing your military power so obscenely, and engaging in as many murderous wars against defenceless nations as you can arrange?

    These ITC shenanigans are the tiniest symptom of an infinitely greater problem.

  • Fairness? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 10, 2013 @05:56PM (#44532865)

    Do YOU think it's fair to patent gestures, shiny icons, and rectangles? We can go down this rabbit hole all day.

  • by m00sh (2538182) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @10:26PM (#44533607)

    It's like people who say my Toyota is a foreign car. It's 85% value added in the US - a lot more American than almost any Ford or GM model.

    This is the bullshit that foreign car companies came up with after the domestic went full on patriotic heart-tugs to sell cars.

    They are assembled in the US. You can measure value added in any wonky way and come up with 85% value in the US.

    The fact is they are engineered, designed outside the US and the main operations of the company are done outside the US. That is the true value of the company. Putting parts together is not the main part.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday August 10, 2013 @10:48PM (#44533671) Homepage

    The patent is obvious bullshit. The designer and engineer of the touchscreen incorporated within the design the ability to detect motion on the screen. To then layer an additional patent on there that particular motions are total complete and utter USPTO patent bullshit. It's like saying that touch screen designer didn't design in the ability to detect where on the screen you are touching or what motion you make post touch basically a touch screen that doesn't work at all. That the US Patent passed that is total and complete corruption of the patent system.

    As for detecting what is plugged in, seriously what the fuck passed for obvious with the USPTO, seriously. Again a blatantly lawyer titled patent designed to run up fees.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @01:24AM (#44534029)

    The douchebaggy comes in when company A gives a million dollars in political contributions on the understanding that the tax laws will be changed to save company A a billion dollars in taxes. It's all legal bribery.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @01:36AM (#44534041)

    I don't fault any company from making use of a loophole unless they wrote the actual law to create the loophole they are using.

    And this is the problem with the American system. Politicians need fantastic amounts of money to win elections and it is cheaper for company A to make campaign contribution on the understanding that they can write a new tax loophole then to actually pay the tax. Of course companies B to Z also take advantage of the new loophole and then make campaign contributions so they can also write new tax law which company A also takes advantage off. Rinse and repeat a few times and you have the current system where companies A to Z all claim they're just taking advantage of existing loopholes.

  • by Rob Y. (110975) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @09:19AM (#44535195)

    It's douchebaggy when you pretend intellectual property that was developed in California comes from an Irish company for tax purposes and is subject to no tax. The law may say it's okay for an Irish company to pay no US taxes, but that doesn't mean Apple is really an Irish company. Yes they are dodging legitimately owed taxes through corporate structures that are pure fiction. Why anybody would say that's 'perfectly okay' because its 'perfectly legal' is beyond me. Unless you have a political objection to companies paying taxes at all...

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"