back to article Samsung v iPhone 4S French entrenchment: 'TOTAL WAR'

Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war in the latest battleground for the world-spanning dispute between the two firms. The tech giants are now in Paris to argue over Samsung's attempt to get a preliminary injunction against the iPhone 4S in France, based on alleged infringement of its 3G patents. " …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2-4% ?

    That seems pricey...

    What will be interesting will be the reasons apple give for not paying it. Did they refuse outright, or have they just been "stalling"?

    1. thesykes

      Maybe it seems pricey, but, if for example Samsung charge HTC this fee, then it could be argued that possibly HTC are charging Samsung a similar fee for some technology for which they own patents. All hypothetical of course.

      This means that all the phone manufacturers are paying each other, making the actual payments a fraction of the top line price.

      That leaves any company who only holds patents on shiny, rectangular and with rounded corners in a quandary, as they are the only ones actually paying the full fee.

    2. Matthew 3

      2-4% is pricey?

      Apple are of course well known for their modest pricing policies. Especially in the App Store.

    3. Ammaross Danan


      It's unclear whether "device" refers to the iPhone itself, or some chippery in it. Even if it is the iPhone itself, 2-4% must be common, since it is REQUIRED to fall within FRAND.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge


      IIRC Apple used to collect 1% or USD 1 for every Firewire chip sold.

      As others have noted "fair" in this context is "about what the (cross-licencing) competition is paying". If Apple doesn't like it they should cross-licence. OTOH they can just stick another 10 % on the price and get the fanboys to pay for it - Iphone 4S = Iphone for Samsung.

  2. g e

    If only Crapple hadn't behaved like a spoiled child in the first place

    ahhhh hindsight, always 20:20

    I Really hope this all backfires on Crapple to the tune of BILLIONS. Nothing like something very costly to slap humility into a corporation.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yep! They started the mess.

      Now they're whining like a school girl. Be careful of what you ask for just might come back and bite you in the arse.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The South Korean company is also insisting that Apple won't pay the rate that Samsung has proposed for the FRAND licence, suggested at between two and four per cent of a device's price."

    This could be an interesting point as "FRAND" is by explicit definition "non-discriminatory" ... so if Samsung have already licensed these patents to other companies at this rate then they (Samsung) would be in breach of FRAND requirements if they allowed Apple to negotiate a better deal. I pretty sure (from what I've heard from corporate level patent people in the past) that FRAND licensing has to be on the same terms for everyone.

    1. Carnaby

      Cross-licensing patents are far more common

      Samsung has probably cross-licensed these patents to most of the competition, except Apple, who rejects that as their cases against Samsung then would fall, hence they have to pay the normal (high!) price to license these patents.

      The big mobile vendors have played this trick for decades to keep competition out of the mobile market.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @AC RE: "......FRAND licensing has to be on the same terms for everyone."

      An interesting and very cogent point - which makes it all the more amusing that Apple's lawyers apparently are alleging:

      "Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war"

      I recall that Sir Henry Wotton (March 30, 1568 – December 1639) is supposed to have said that "An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad* for the good of his country." Given that it is a matter of record that Cupertino started this legal war against Sammy, what does one say then about lawyers who are willing to lie on behalf of their client as long as they are paid enough.

      *Amusingly enough that expression in the English of the period could also be taken to mean "sleep away from home".

    3. It wasnt me


      I can't see FRAND being interpreted in this way. Samsung want 2-4% of the devices price. Everyone* wants an iDevice so the price and hence Apples margins are very high. If they ask 4% of an iPhone and 4% of some crappy Nokia selling for very little then that strikes me as a little discriminatory against Apple. The more value Apple can add to an iPhone the more they have to give Samsung? That sounds greedy to me. Wouldn't it be fairer to ask all licensees for a fixed amount per device?

      * OK, not everyone, me included. Don't like Apple Corp, devices are neat and appealing. Own several Samsung devices. Not trying to be a fanboi or start a war.

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Down

        No, percentages are, on balance fairer.

        If it is "some crappy Nokia", then the percentage represents a much smaller sum, with the company concerned (in this case, in your somewhat hostile example) earning much less on using the patent. No, Apple are taking the piss if they think that they are entitled to better conditions under FRAND than other companies get. Indeed their attempt to do so flies in the face of what the principles underlying FRAND are based on.

  4. jabuzz

    Cross licensing

    You can bet your bottom dollar that the Samsung FRAND terms require a cross licensing of all Apple's mobile patents. Apple is no doubt refusing to do this hence the problem. It will ultimately require a court to decide if this is "fair reasonable and none discriminatory", but on the surface provided they do the same with other manufactures, it would appear to meet the definition of FRAND.

    If the courts rule in Samsung's favour on this, and there is a good chance they will Apple are in deep trouble.

    I would note that this was a problem with Nokia back when the iPhone first came out. Nokia demanded cross licensing, Apple refused saying they did not need a cross licensing agreement they should just be able to pay cash to used the Nokia patents. The negotiations broke down and Nokia sued and as I understand Apple caved in and came to a settlement. That indicates that cross licensing is seen as the norm in the industry (unless you are Apple that is).

  5. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    <sob> <sob> "We attacked them to try and kill them off and get rid of THEIR product." <sob> <sob> "...and then they fought back and are trying to get rid of OUR product." <sob> <sob>

    <sob> <sob> "It's not fair; we're only blood sucking vampire lawyers." <sob> <sob>

    please FOAD

  6. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Hello pot, this is the kettle...

    "Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war in the latest battleground for the world-spanning dispute between the two firms."

    Apple - How dare Samsung resort to patent enforcement to defend against our patent enforcement litigation that we started... ummm, what were we saying?

  7. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    an attempt to push Apple out of the mobile market," the Jesus mobe maker's legal team whined

    Pot, meet Kettle.

    INAL so perhaps somebody can enlighten me, why are the G3 patents subject to FRAND, but not rounded corners and obvious gestures to unlock a phone?

    1. admiraljkb

      @Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Rounded corners were first used in carpentry and such to protect crotches from ledges. :) More recently Star Trek: TNG through Voyager had similar PADD's all over the place looking very much like iPad prototypes. Even similarity of names are troubling if I were an Apple attorney having to defend it as being an original idea. Too many hardware engineers raised on Star Trek. In fairness, it might have been a subconscious memory of the PADD's when they were asked to build the futuristic tablet that became the iPad.

      Similar gestures to unlock stuff have been used in books (and later movies) forever. The Star Wars films were one of the more recent films to use a sideways gesture to unlock and open doors. That's just what makes sense to a bunch of kids raised on Star Wars who later turned into software engineers trying to figure out a gesture to unlock...

      For both, they went with the "Go with what you know". Fair enough, the ideas had been protoyped in SciFi already in someone elses imagination. The patenting bit is the trouble. The US Patent Office really needs to do better research...

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


        Are you a 'merkin admiraljkb, you don't seem to understand irony.

        Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance) is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions. Ironic statements typically imply a meaning in opposition to their literal meaning.

        1. admiraljkb

          I'm a Texan first, (we've still got our own national identity, similar to the Wales and Scotland in the UK. )

          I enjoyed your post, and understood it just fine. Oddly enough it got me thinking about all the rounded corners and then gestures themselves going back millennia, and hence that reply. I should have pointed that out up at the top. Good humour typically does cause thought, so I salute you sir. Here's a pint.

    2. DAN*tastik

      People downvoting a post with the troll icon?

      So they agree that round corners and gestures should be patentable, or am I just confused?

      1. Tchou

        Don't worry bro. Nothing new under the sun.

  8. Shonko Kid

    "accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war"

    Isn't that exactly what they said they'd do, back in the summer?

    Can't help but think Apple have brought this on themselves.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oh yeah?

    "Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war..."

    First rule of not getting involved in a war you don't want is not to start it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple needs to grow the fuck up and accept that their fondle slab has some viable competition rather than screaming "It's not fair" like Harry Enfield's Kevin.

  11. M Gale

    Who fired first?

    Oh yes, that would be Apple.

    How did they think that Samsung wouldn't give them both barrels in the face?

    1. Lars Silver badge


      "How did they think that Samsung wouldn't give them both barrels in the face?"

      Perhaps because they really believe they invented the smart phone.

      It has been called the Jesus phone after all.

      And perhaps because the did not learn anything from the fuss with Nokia

  12. Julian 3

    This Is War

    If we don't end war, war will end us. H. G. Wells

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F' Apple - they started it. I for one am glad Samsung did not back down. Rounded corners, icons in a grid, my ass...

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Apple have patented your ass?

      1. Arctic fox

        RE: "Apple have patented your ass?" Sure they have - "A rounded discharge....

        .........device in two halves for the purpose of delivering large amounts of s**t automatically when appearing in court".

        Well, at any rate, we have seen them apply for a *large* number of even stranger patents. -:)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Apple's lawyers have accused Samsung of waging all-out patent war"

    Isn't that like, oh I don't know, wrong or something?

  15. Rupert Stubbs

    2% of the sale price?

    Well, Android phones already pay 5% to Microsoft, so it may just be that this is the rate that Samsung negotiated. Seems unlikely, somehow.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do Apple's lawyers...

    ... have any self-respect!

    Start a patent war, piss off competitor by gaining stupid judgement from apparently senile German judge, then whine when competitor fights back? This really is a classic example of why the world is screwed, if only they spent less effort on bickering over stupid things and channelled that money into R&D we'd all be a lot better off.

    Bunch of 'tards. We need to get the poisonous influence of bored lawyers on the make out of our patent systems, some form of independent specialist international court needs to setup so they make the right decisions based on real evidence, and punish those who bring spurious claims to reduce the temptation.

    1. Tilman Ahr


      Shirley you know what 2000 lawyers chained together

      on the ground of the Atlantic Ocean are...
















      ... a fairly decent start.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple? Ho yeah I remember, this company that had a success at the begining of the century after two decades of failures and fucked all up believing they were tech giants... Bah, who still buy from these loosers anyway?

    Anonymous, because Appliban religious fanatics.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    aww diddums

    Poor Apple!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Already Paid

    Part of the argument is that Apple have already paid under FRAND and Samsung are double dipping.

    Also please don't get copyright confused with patents.

    Alternatively, if you don't understand patents, which clearly many of you don't, please shut up and stop offering opinions on things you don't know about.

    How would you feel if you legitimately felt one of your patents was being ripped off? Pretty pissed off I'd imagine and you'd do something about it.

    Not liking apple is one thing, understanding the patent system and talking out the wrong orifice is quite another.

    1. Daniel B.


      if my "infringed" patents were on bullshit and/or common claims like "rounded corners" I would probably know that my patents are BS to begin with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        When you're being ripped off

        This has fairly well balanced look at what's going on in short form without too many details.

        It doesn't matter if you think copyright laws are BS, their implementation could be a lot better, it's the world we live in and the way the law stands, rightly or wrongly.

        Again pleas don't confuse copyright with patent, there are areas where they cross, but mostly it's pretty clear

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If my patent was being infringed...

      I wouldn't feel a thing. The company I worked for at the time now owns it.

      And that company only maintains a portfolio of patents in case someone else asserts a patent against them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So it's not your patent then is it, you ignoramus.

        A portfolio of patents can be used defensively of aggressively. If the company that holds what is no longer your patent is passive so be it.

  20. admiraljkb

    I would think that whether Apple is covered under Qualcomm's FRAND agreements would depend on the contracts as written between Samsung and Qualcomm, as well as the contract between Apple and Qualcomm.

    What nobody has reported on, is if Qualcomm's FRAND agreements with Samsung are transferable to a third party or not, and if there is a clause in Apple and Qualcomms agreements covering all licensing used in the Qualcomm chips. Depending on how the contracts are written between all affected parties, Apple *could* be infringing or not. It should be pretty cut and dry though. If Samsung and Qualcomm's agreements allow Qualcomm to mfg chips, but doesn't give a transferable license, then Apple is behind the 8 ball, and will have to pay a quick settlement fee and be on its way. In that regard, not sure why this ever got to court. A quick 15 minute review of contracts in the attorneys offices should have resolved it... Hopefully someone will report on the actual contracts soon, or the Judges will just look it over themselves and end this mess.

    Icon for obvious reasons. Never start a war with a company that holds a lot of technical patents, when most of what you have is "look and feel" patents which could be invalidated quickly in an afternoon by a single cranky judge. Yeah Apple, I'm looking at you. Would it have been soooo hard to have just played nice with your supplier and competitor Samsung, really?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >If Samsung and Qualcomm's agreements allow Qualcomm to mfg chips, but doesn't give a transferable license, then Apple is behind the 8 ball, and will have to pay a quick settlement fee and be on its way.

      Or buy Qualcomm.

  21. Joseph Lord

    Percentage not fair

    Two problems (at least):

    1) The more you add features and value unrelated to the patent the more you pay for the patent.

    2) What if you need to licence 25, 50 or even 200 different patents and they all want 2-4%.

    Imagine the licensing cost for building the 3G capability into a car for traffic updates. It would be several hundred pounds.

    A patent pool covering everything for 3G probably shouldn't charge more than $5-10 per device and Samsung should just take their slice of that. Even at double that Apple might be OK but given Samsungs total phone sales and lower average price they might be stung worse even after they get their fees from all the other manufacturers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would imagine the percentage would be worked out using the price of the device fitted to the car, not the car itself.

    2. Arctic fox

      @Joseph Lord. A significant part of the problem is that Cupertino do not.....

      ..........believe in reciprocity, they do not license - famous for it in fact. One of the reasons why their dispute with Nokia (when they had simply taken Nokia's FRAND patents without having negotiated an agreement) dragged out as long as it did was that the deal Nokia wanted included reciprocal licensing. This Apple would not agree to - they want to be able to demand FRAND terms whilst at the same time reserve the opportunity to start a patent war with the company they have just licensed from when they feel like it at some point in the future. They are well known for having a very aggressive approach in such situations. Their interpretation of FRAND appears to be "What's yours is mine and what's mine remains mine".

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Mutual Assured Destruction!

    That's the problem with resorting to confrontation, those damn opponents might actually push back. Between Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google, at this pace we will all be back to using 80s briefcase phones by this time next year!

    (I'm going to start working out with barbells so that I can hold a brick phone to my ear for a 20 minute conversation.....)

    And here's a good old-fashioned cold war MAD icon to set the mood!

  23. Peter Stone

    Why are Apple's lawyers kicking up a fuss? They should be glad, as they're getting to travel to exotic places around the world for free. Us ordinary mortals have to pay large sums of money for the same privilege!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @ Peter Stone

      You're forgetting that for lawyers, travel is an entirely different affair. You have to pack up the coffin, and half the time your capes come out of baggage claim needing to be pressed again. And there's always the risk that Van Helsing will find out you're in town and come after you!!

      1. peter 45

        Vampires traveling

        Don't forget working through that jet lag.

        Lawyers awake and alert in daytime. Aaaaagggghhhhhh.

  24. Wile E. Veteran

    True Proverb

    "Those who live by the sword die by the sword."

  25. Keep Refrigerated
    Paris Hilton

    More like Pot suing the Kettle

    This is like the Pot suing the Kettle because it is black and also heats water the same as Pot leading to tea and coffee drinkers to become confused.

    But then Kettle suing back because Pot refuses to license the right to brew under The keep Everyone hAppy (TEA) agreement. Then Pot complaining this is unfair because Kettle has entered into TEA agreements with all the other appliances in the kitchen to share electrical power outlets of which Pot has none.

    Paris, because she's also been screwed over things with rounded corners.

  26. lowwall

    You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!

    Never get involved in a FRAND war in Asia.

  27. Asher Pat

    Reading the article, wud anyone guess that Apple is trying to strangle Samsung elsewhere?

    Reading the article, an uninformed reader gets the following picture:

    There is an evil monolythic Asian corporation, that is trying to push a nice, fluffy-white underdog from the market, using som obscure methods that no-one understands and that are probably "unfair".

    The article does not mention the fact that it is Apple that uses despicably low methods to keep its overwhelming domination, how about prohibiting competitors sell rectangular devices, the likes of which have been on the market BEFORE Apple introduced its products (LG Prada was BEFORE iPhone and JooJoo tablet was out BEFORE iPad).

    I wonder why El-Reg feels to need to shiled the 300 kilo gorilla from competition. What is the brand of the journos phone and laptop, I wonder.

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