Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Aug 2013 09:36 UTC
Legal Recently, the ITC ruled in favour of Samsung, issuing an exclusion order against certain Apple products, barring them from being sold in the US. Several people have called upon president Obama to step in and overrule the decision (e.g. this guy) - however, not only would this set a very bad precedent for non-US companies, it would also simply be incredibly unfair if you actually look at the ITC ruling itself. Because of this, it is quite unlikely that Obama will step in.
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RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 1st Aug 2013 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Do you think that Samsung copies the designs of other successful companies as an important part of it's core business strategy?


No. Samsung copies, just as every other company - including Apple - does. To say that it's a "core part" of their strategy is idiotic.

Do you think that Samsung's copying has been highly focussed on Apple in recent years because of the latter's product successes?


See above. No.

If you do think Samsung copies do you then think that degree of copying by Samsung has sometimes gone too far?


No.

Do you think the use of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs ) as a weapon in legal actions is ever justified?


This specific case is not about a SEP.

Even if it was - yes, it can be justified, as I've explained. In cases where FRAND terms are offered, but the company seeking licensing does not accept them - as Apple has done here, according to the ITC - then yes, this is most certainly justified.

Counterquestion.

If proper FRAND terms are offered for a SEP, but they are not accepted, should the patent holder just bend over and take it? Because THAT would mean the end of the FRAND system. Why pay when you can just use the technology for free, without fear of legal repercussions?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[8]: Comment by Nelson
by Tony Swash on Thu 1st Aug 2013 19:30 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Nelson"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22


Counterquestion.

If proper FRAND terms are offered for a SEP, but they are not accepted, should the patent holder just bend over and take it? Because THAT would mean the end of the FRAND system. Why pay when you can just use the technology for free, without fear of legal repercussions?


I think you are wrong about the role of copying in Samsung's strategy but I suspect we will never find any common ground on that.

The FRAND/SEP issue is another matter. I think that if a company offers up some technical IP to be included in a standard it takes on a responsibility to offer that IP in a fair and non-discrimantory way. That means it must offer to anybody who wants one a license to use that IP on the same broad basis as everybody else has been offered. Essentially no charging more than other people pay and no using the SEP patents to strong arm other companies into cross licensing if they happen to have desirable IP. There is similarly a responsibility for those seeking a license to accept one that is on the same broad basis as has been offered to other companies, in other words to pay the going rate.

In particular seeking FRAND/SEP licensing terms based on a percentage of a final products value (as Samsung has sought to do) seems to me to be a breach of the whole principal that standard licensing is based on. If as an example there is a SEP patent held for some essential part of the telephonic functioning of a handset then that should be available for a certain rate to all comers and it would be wrong to make some customers pay a percentage of the final handset price.

You may not like patents and IP law or Apple's track record in all of this but I would argue that if you are remotely concerned with establishing open standards and interoperability, which I think you are, then you should openly condemn any abuse of the SEP/FFRAND system. If SEP patents holders are allowed to play a game with those patents in order to further their competitive position in any way (even if they find a way to do it which is technically legal) then that sort of abuse only has one outcome. The collapse of open standards. Nobody will trust any SEP holders ever again.

I am surprised you don't seem to see that. I suspect that if the roles of Apple and Samsung were reversed in this case your position would reverse.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 1st Aug 2013 20:51 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Essentially no charging more than other people pay and no using the SEP patents to strong arm other companies into cross licensing if they happen to have desirable IP.


Except, as the ITC has noted in this ruling, asking for cross-licensing is perfectly possible within FRAND - no matter how many times you say it isn't. It has been the standard practice in this industry for a long time, and Apple, as a newcomer, should have just accepted that. It would, in fact, have been *discriminatory* of Samsung to somehow not ask that of Apple, while they have been asking that of others.

You didn't address my question though, but then, that's nothing new. So, I ask you again: what if perfectly fine FRAND terms are offered, but the potential licensee refuses to accept them but uses the technology anyway (as Apple has done here)? Should companies then just bend over and take it, and not do anything? Or, should FRAND patents be freely available for everyone, at no cost, as Apple seems to think they are?

Why don't you want to answer that question?

Edited 2013-08-01 20:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3