Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Dec 2012 23:11 UTC, submitted by someone
Legal "Samsung's move to drop all requests for injunctions against Apple in Europe may not be enough to escape sanctions from the European Commission over the alleged abuse of its standards essential patents. EC Vice President Joaquin Almunia said during a press conference on Thursday in Brussels that his office will continue with its investigation against Samsung and will release a 'statement of objections' within the coming weeks."
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Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Fri 21st Dec 2012 00:09 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Apple sue nearly every manufacturer over generic shapes and actions, and the government just give a green light for dumb intellectual property to be registered.

Samsung sue Apple over actual inventions, and they get investigated.

This world is going to the shits.

(yes I know Samsung's patents were dubious because of being FRAND, and in an ideal world they shouldn't have used them. But in an ideal world they shouldn't have had to counter sue because Apple generic design patents).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Laurence
by Nelson on Fri 21st Dec 2012 06:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It is much more than "Generic shapes and actions". Trade dress is something that is more or less simple to deal with.

It is a combination of the simplistic characteristics that you and many others like to harp on about.

Samsung is free to counter sue, just not with FRAND patents. If Samsung doesn't have much else to use, then they are nothing but a paper tiger and likely should take a license from Apple.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Sat 22nd Dec 2012 11:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

That's hardly fair though. Samsung's patents are from genuine R&D. There's real technology and inventions in their patents. They've designed protocols and hardware required to actually make a mobile phone. Where as Apple has taken a common everyday actions and tried to claim it their own.

If you ignore the FRAND aspect, Samsung's patents are a lot more in keeping with the idea of what patents are there for (to encourage invention and innovation by allowing the industries behind the technology breakthroughs to see a return on their R&D). Where as Apple are trying to use already established practices (like having a rectangular phone) to drive out competition.

What's more, Samsung do not decide which of their patents become FRAND. That's decided for them after some of their technology becomes incorporated as a standard. So by the same logic, I'd argue that most of Apples patents should be FRAND as most of Apples patents are considered "standard" for mobile devices. But sadly design patents seem to be exempt from FRAND.

So my point was Apple are deliberately abusing the FRAND system just as equally as they know full well that the likes of Samsung, Nokia and Motorola HAVE to licence their patents while Apple can continue to register frivolous ideas and raise legally valid infringement claims.

Thus my complain about who the whole bloody thing is backwards. The companies doing the inventing are getting sued while the leaches of the IT industry are allowed to steal (and yes, I said 'steal') those ideas because of a FRAND loophole.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Laurence
by kristoph on Fri 21st Dec 2012 17:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

It's pretty basic.

Apple has design patents which can be reasonably easily avoided (look at Nokia, they have no problems) so the EU has no objections to it's actions.

Samsung is asserting patents which prevent the sale of ANY mobile device and that has huge implications on the market and so the EU has objections to it's actions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Sat 22nd Dec 2012 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

It's pretty basic.

Apple has design patents which can be reasonably easily avoided (look at Nokia, they have no problems) so the EU has no objections to it's actions.

Samsung is asserting patents which prevent the sale of ANY mobile device and that has huge implications on the market and so the EU has objections to it's actions.

Samsung could easily avoid all of Apples patents, but their devices would be horrible to use as it would fail all of the standard user experience expectations and would undoubtedly be a crappy device to use.

Just as Apple could easily avoid all of Samsung's FRAND patents, but it would also fail all of the standards and end up being unusable.

If Apple are allowed to register such common ideas and gestures, then they should equally be part of FRAND. After all, users expect the same level of user experience standards to operate a handset (eg green phone = make a call) as telecommunications expect the same protocol standards to negotiate a phone call.

In this day and age, no single company should be allowed to own a standard expected way to operate a device.

Edited 2012-12-22 11:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by someone on Tue 25th Dec 2012 20:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

First of all, FRAND is a commitment Samsung makes to a standards body regarding the patent it has submitted for inclusion into a standard (they have a choice here). In return for a guaranteed stream of income for their IP, they have to make certain sacrifices so that essential standards are affordable to implementers.

Secondly, Samsung had already worked around Apple's iPad design by slightly altering the appearance of their tablet offerings. I also do not see why the phone icon has to have a green background or a square shape. On the other hand, there is no way for Apple to avoid Samsung's patents without breaking compatibility with essential standards such as UMTS, which would make their products useless.

Edited 2012-12-25 20:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by zima on Wed 26th Dec 2012 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I also do not see why the phone icon has to have a green background or a square shape.

Because it's standard for icons to be roughly square in shape? And for phone button or icon to be green...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by zima on Thu 27th Dec 2012 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple has design patents which can be reasonably easily avoided (look at Nokia, they have no problems)

The top Lumia models are, stylistically, oversized iPod Nanos 6th gen... Nokia is safe from silly Apple lawsuits probably only because it was part of the settlement between them, the one when Apple paid Nokia ~1 billion.

PS. And one would think you'd be the first to point out the similarity of new Nokia styling to that of iPod Nano 6th gen. Apparently not if it doesn't fit your narrative...

Edited 2012-12-27 23:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The hypocrisy of the European Commission
by ozonehole on Fri 21st Dec 2012 00:54 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

Could this situation be any more unreal? Apple starts all these dubious legal shenanigans, and Samsung is under investigation by the EC for trying to defend itself by using patents.

The biggest hypocrisy rests with the EC, which has pushed hard for software patents, and was only stopped by the European Parliament.

Maybe it is time to do away with the EC. This corrupt unelected body of bureaucrats routinely overrides the national interest of individual countries in the EU. The EC does nothing but create chaos that the courts and EP have to clean up. Is the EC good for anything?

Edited 2012-12-21 00:56 UTC

Reply Score: 0

someone Member since:
2006-01-12

Well, Apple's dubious law suits doesn't make Samsung's dubious move to countersue using FRAND patents legitimate. I mean there are patents protecting genuine inventions (not something like Amazon's one-click), and if Samsung's tactics are allowed, other companies holding FRAND patents on essential standards could have leveraged their patents to get those intellectual properties without any compensations to the inventors

Edited 2012-12-21 05:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

In a matter of days, OSNews commenters have proposed the US rewrite its Constitution and about 3 or 4 Constitutional Amendments to do away with jury trials and now the complete elimination of the EC -- just to get favorable court decisions for Samsung.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Even RIM has taken a license from Nokia. The only ones not wanting to play ball are Samsung and Motorola.

Both coincidentally are abusing FRAND. Sometimes I wish the idiots on these comments would get their wish, and every company with a FRAND commitment would be allowed to violate it.

It would make all of their precious open standards useless overnight.

Reply Score: 3

huh
by TechGeek on Fri 21st Dec 2012 01:57 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

So they are going to get punished for what they haven't actually done yet? That's rich....

Reply Score: 1

RE: huh
by Nelson on Fri 21st Dec 2012 06:54 UTC in reply to "huh"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Uhm, there is an ongoing investigation. Samsung hasn't been charged. Let alone punished.

Reply Score: 4

Everyone saw this coming
by Nelson on Fri 21st Dec 2012 06:50 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Most people were completely shocked at the callous disregard Samsung had for their FRAND commitment.

Apple's patents are not under FRAND, so they have no obligation to be Fair, Reasonable, and Non Discriminatory...hell, they don't have to license it at all.

Samsung made the CHOICE to enter a FRAND agreement. Choice. The benefits of receiving royalties from almost ubiquitous standards is that you must license them reasonably.

I'm glad the EC stepped in and put the breaks on this whole thing.

Samsung was offered a chance to license Apple's patents, that's an olive branch that does not get extended to everyone. They refused.

Apple is likely willing to license whatever patents Samsung was counter-suing with, but only under the stipulated FRAND terms.

Let's be clear: This isn't a choice Samsung has. They are completely boxed in. Take a license, Samsung.

Reply Score: 2

hipocriscy at its finest
by TechGeek on Fri 21st Dec 2012 18:35 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Its funny that in 2011 Microsoft wrote a letter to the FTC stating that it should be allowed to sue for an injunction even when using FRAND patents. Now that its on the other end of the stick, it seems to be a whole different story...

Reply Score: 0

RE: hipocriscy at its finest
by Nelson on Fri 21st Dec 2012 19:25 UTC in reply to "hipocriscy at its finest"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Really? Do you have a link handy?

As early as 2010 Microsoft was complaining about FRAND abuse by Motorola with regards to the Xbox 360, AFAIK.

Microsoft has always licensed their patents on FRAND terms, as they highlight every time they sign up an Android vendor for a patent licensing deal (Which is a combination of SEPs and normal Patents)

Reply Score: 4

In any case
by someone on Sat 22nd Dec 2012 02:35 UTC
someone
Member since:
2006-01-12

If Samsung's move was aimed at dissuading the EU from going with their probe (Their move came less than 48 hours before the EU announcement), it failed miserably.

Reply Score: 3