Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Aug 2012 21:16 UTC
Legal This week, Samsung started its defence in the big Apple vs. Samsung thing. First, Samsung pointed towards several cases of prior art, trying to invalidate Apple patents, surely something that's going to be the theme to Samsung's case. Later, Samsung pulled its own software patents out of its a... Neck, claiming Apple infringed them. The patents are just as ridiculous as Apple's, but alas, they have to do something in the face of Apple's anti-competitive aggression. Here is Shepard under a unicorn rainbow.
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Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Wed 15th Aug 2012 15:55 UTC
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"I'll choose and recommend to others to buy alternative, open hardware and low cost phones with custom linux OS. Screw you Apple, screw you Samsung. You're all about the money, patents and not the end users."

Untill some patent troll (including Apple and MS) comes and starts demanding royalties (or an ITC sale ban) from said open hardware. Is said open device capable of playing or recording H.264? Oh, you are using WebM. In that case, I see a feature that allows sending a photo the user just took via email, a slide to unlock feature and a rounded corner. Please pay us royalties/halt sales in the US, because you are violating or so non-obvious, non-overly broad "inventions".
So, the company that makes said open hardware will either have to comply and start cutting features 'till all is left is a CLI interface, or do what Samsung does: Defend the device any way they can. Aka fnding prior act, trying to prove patents are overly broad or countersue with own patents (of similar validity). Sure the latter is patent-trollish by itself, but as long as the patents are not used offensively, it's fair game.

Some FOSS people think FOSS is magically invulnerable to patent trolling, just because software like VLC and Handbrake is distributed from proper countries like France where soft patents don't apply. Unfortunately, if you want to sell things in the US (and UK and Germany), things are different. Soft patents apply to FOSS too.

As regards the trial, the best case scenario is a precendent where crap soft patents can be invalidated easily, and the USPTO being more carefull about what soft patents it accepts (hoping for abolishing soft patents in the US is unrealistic, since soft patents are now a business by itself among venture capitalist firms)

Edited 2012-08-15 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2