back to article New Sammy patent trial: Apple seeks $40 PER 'infringing' handset

Apple and Samsung are due to open up a new front in their epic patent war in the US today, with the fruity firm seeking an astonishing $40 per infringing device and Samsung planning to get Google engineers in to defend its case. Apple is claiming that 10 Sammy devices, including the popular Galaxy SIII, infringe on five of its …


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  1. M Gale

    Oh come on.

    STFU already. Fucking slide to unlock, again?

    People wonder why I detest Apple. I couldn't give a damn whether they imbue each iToy with concentrated joy and unicorn farts. They are Little Microsoft in cool clothing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh come on.

      Apart from the fact that Microsoft has not sought to ban Samsung or other Android devices in the courts, and most manufacturers have eventually agreed patent fees with Microsoft without any litigation.

    2. Richard Jones 1
      Thumb Down

      Re: Oh come on.

      Crapple have forgotten one major issue, no one else has copied the actual crapple so most purchasers will have bought their non crapple device because they are NOT a crapple.

      Me, I am still trying to work out what the attraction is for a stupid dumb device that goes flat almost as soon as you look at it and manages to only do what I do not want while doing nothing I need.

      Mind you, oh dear, my old Nokia is coming close to copying one crapple 'feature'. Its 8 year old battery only lasts a few of days now not the week or more it used to manage.

    3. ThomH

      Re: Oh come on.

      I don't wonder: you detest Apple because you haven't done a proper statistical examination of the field and you suffer from confirmation bias.

      Companies you've heard of that have sued Apple first:

      • Motorola;

      • Nokia (starting the first lawsuit of the smartphone era);

      • Creative Labs;

      • S3 (this is why HTC bought them);

      • Kodak.

      Companies you've heard of that Apple has sued first:

      • HTC;

      • Samsung.

      Other lawsuits during the period involving companies you've heard of:

      • Oracle v Google;

      • Microsoft v Motorola;

      • Microsoft v Barnes & Noble (over their use of Android);

      • Post-Nortel consortium (including Apple, RIM, Microsoft, Sony, Ericsson) v Google.

      (apologies for the horrid formatting; using ul/li actually looked worse and El Reg both doesn't allow double line breaks between paragraphs and doesn't do soft returns)

      I've not bothered listing everyone who now pays Microsoft because they use Android.

      Maybe you're arguing that Apple's patent claims are weaker than the others because they're all soft design patents? To me that would appear to be a fallacious argument because of the number of times Apple has been sued for patents that the companies involved were legally obliged to offer under FRAND terms but refused to do so. I'd say that using one kind of patent as permitted under law is less bad than using another kind of patent in a way you've legally prohibited yourself from doing so as in the first case everyone knows the rules, no matter how much you or I might think they're laughable, and in the second the rules are deliberately being broken.

      If some of my inevitable down-voters can engage with how I'd be wrong in an assertion that Apple is being no worse than the industry average then I'd be grateful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh come on.

        Others have sues Apple. But was that for infringing negligible and frivolous patents?

        PS, honest question, not a sarcastic one. It's never nice for a new entrant into a big shark infested business. Though I'd still not defend someone turning into a shark. I'd just call them all by their clothing.

        1. ThomH

          Re: Oh come on.

          @TechnicalBen — from the main other phone companies they were for hard engineering technical patents.

          Nokia's was about wireless technology and ended with an out-of-court settlement that guarantees ongoing licensing fees from Apple. I'm not knowledgable about wireless technologies to say a lot beyond that but I guess Apple accepted some sort of fault even if it legally didn't.

          Motorola's claims against Apple have yet to be concluded as they've been stayed pending an EU investigation into whether Motorola have broken competition law by asserting rights over FRAND patents. Though an investigation is just an investigation and nothing more; maybe Motorola acted inappropriately, maybe not. Regardless the dispute is (i) whether Apple acquired a licence automatically because the Qualcomm chips it buys are licensed and are the component that contains the intellectual property; and (ii) if not, whether Motorola was bound by FRAND agreements and/or whether such an offer was made to Apple appropriately.

          So technically that dispute is about whether the licensing steps Apple took were acceptable.

          From the non-phone companies, the patents asserted have been less impressive. Creative Labs won shortly before the iPhone for hierarchical menus and continue to receive royalties as far as I'm aware. Kodak sued essentially because the iPhone could show a preview before taking a digital image (though, in practice, the lawsuit was actually about ownership of a related patent and whether Kodak could sell it in bankruptcy, though the issue was still that Kodak wanted money for digital image previews).

          S3's claims included what appears to be a patent over taking a digital video signal in and sending an analogue video signal out, which sounds quite obvious to me but they ended up winning and then losing so probably sounded quite obvious to the judge. Another was essentially about the way the PowerVR does deferred tile-based rendering — rendering pixels from geometry in a certain order to maximise caching. I know S3 couldn't make the claim stick but I don't know whether it's because of a Motorola-type situation where PowerVR already pay the correct licensing or just because it was felt to be an obvious patent.

      2. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Oh come on. - No, you come on


        You are confusing quantity with quality. The suits laid by Apple are for billions while the others you listed are for millions. It looks to an unbiased observer like Apple are being excessively greedy.

      3. BillG

        Re: Oh come on.

        There are hundreds of thousands of patents at work in mobile devices

        So don't even think about inventing your own mobile device.

      4. Chet Mannly

        Re: Oh come on.

        "Companies you've heard of that have sued Apple first:

        • Motorola;

        • Nokia (starting the first lawsuit of the smartphone era);"

        You seem to have forgotten Apple sued Microsoft over their entire windows user interface...

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh come on.

      I wonder if Apple has given up on the rectangle with rounded corners thing?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Barack, we have a problem

    When you have your President covering your back and a patent office giving ok to any crap *in a mobile device* you came upon, you can bully whatever you want...

  3. MrMur

    When will Apple figure out that the best thing that could have happened to Samsung was get sued by Apple.

  4. Graham Marsden

    "There are hundreds of thousands of patents at work in mobile devices"

    And how many of those are actually Original Inventive steps and not covered by Prior Art or obvious to anyone working in the industry???

  5. Oninoshiko

    make Apple's request look ridiculously extravagant?

    It's not that hard, mostly because it is.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: make Apple's request look ridiculously extravagant?

      But it's about what Motorola were asking Apple for, and is over patents that aren't FRAND or required to build a smart phone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re "Apart from the fact that Microsoft has not sought to ban Samsung"

    It is a 2 prong strategy.

    Apple do the big headline 'sheep mindset training' court stuff whilst Microsoft are doing the amiable licensing and the laughably hypocritical stuff (eg Scroogle and privacy).

    Apple certainly pre-planned theirs. I bet they cynically leaked those supposed Jobs comments years in advance to train those mindsets. Business has few morals.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re "Apart from the fact that Microsoft has not sought to ban Samsung"

      So you're alleging a grand anti-Samsung conspiracy? Sounds likely to me.

  7. Captain Queeg

    Odd strategy...

    I have to say I think a defence of "we were working on it pre-patent" sounds quite desperate. As far as i'm aware (and no doubt if I'm wrong I'll be corrected) prior art needs to have been demonstrated and maybe even taken to market? "it was in the labs, honest" doesn't, I think, wash.

    You invent something and I just claim under oath I thought of it first? Doesn't sound good....

    Surely a better idea would be to just rubbish the patents with genuine prior art?

    1. Ben Burch

      Re: Odd strategy...

      I agree; I have never seen that as a patent defense and in my engineer's understanding of patent law, that is simply not how it goes!

  8. Glostermeteor

    Both companies should be threatened with fines unless they drop it

    All the patent wars just hamper innovation, this is not about invention or coming up with new ideas, this is about who's got the biggest lawyers. Both firms should be threatened with fines that would threaten their very existence (perhaps 5-10 times 1 years worldwide revenue) unless they drop this and focus on the market rather than the courtroom. All the patent claims whether apples or Samsungs, I could show you examples of their so called 'innovations' that predate their devices. For example I have a now 10 year old Palm device that has a slide to Un

    Lock feature, and Samsung's FRAND claims are ridiculous since the original inventors of those technologies were the US military and universities world wide. These patent wars just stop new players coming on the the market since you need more of a budget for lawyers than actually making phones.

    1. edge_e

      Re: Both companies should be threatened with fines unless they drop it


      I'm so bored of reading about ridiculous software patents, wish they'd all just FOAD.

  9. Zacherynuk

    It's just a form money laundering and tax dodging isn't it? Neither side care. They just want to be able to spend hundreds of millions of pounds hiring their own / known lawyers, propping up other ancillary 3rd party law / investigation / analyst firms that they have stakes in.

  10. Frank N. Stein

    Apple needs to stop making lawyers rich with this litigation nonsense against Samsung and bring fresh design and tech elements to the iPhone. Increase the battery. Speed up the CPU. And for goodness sakes, the iPhone is thin and light enough. Any thinner and lighter and it will just be more brittle and easily broken. Who wants that?

    1. Grikath

      who wants a more brittle Iphone?

      Simple answer:

      a) Haters.. the devices will be easier on your hands/feet when "remodelling" them after some snotty hipster sneers at you.

      b) Apple, because the devices will break faster, so that the Fanbois are ready for the Next Improved Underwhelming iteration of the iDevice that they've been prepping for the past year.

  11. JaitcH

    Historically, the market leader has been the ...

    victim of copying.

    In this case, second-placed Apple is accusing first-placed Samsung of copying.

    Theoretically, copying a less favoured second place holder would drag the first placed holder down.

    Apple is always trying to change laws of physics and history. Better they spent time improving their products like making an SD socket standard. Next they will be patenting electromagnetic communications, especially now Marconi isn't around to explain what he was doing in Newfoundland a century ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Historically, the market leader has been the ...

      Samsung hasn't always been ahead of Apple, you know. Back when the lawsuits started Apple was well in front of Samsung.

      And you're wrong that market (share) leaders are the ones getting copied. Is Ferrari getting inspiration from Honda's designs, or the other way around?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Historically, the market leader has been the ...


  12. DaddyHoggy

    I'm pretty sure my first Sony Ericcson and Nokia mobes automatically underlined telephone numbers (and occasionally bank account numbers and such like) and email addresses in texts and, if highlighted, gave me the option to save to contacts/call/text/email - both these phones pre-dated the existence of the iPhone - so how can this be an Apple patent? I really don't understand...

    Can somebody please try and explain this to me?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      "Can somebody please try and explain this to me?"
      US Patent Office

    2. Steve Todd

      Data detectors is an old patent, dating back to the 1990s when it was used in MacOS. Contrary to belief around here, sticking something on a mobile device doesn't mean that it isn't subject to the original patent. The only bit that is patentable is how you adapt it to work on mobile, and as far as I can see this required no adapting.

  13. Tom 13


    The date stamp on the article says March 31, not April 1.

    Ah well.

  14. Gannon (J.) Dick


    "Korean firm expected to call in Google engineers"

    The Spanish Inquisition has experience handling snakes with Apples. But do call in the Aztec Dispute Resolution Team. Their expertise is in Human Sacrifice, but they could do Corporate Attorneys (snakes with briefcases). Let them warm up on the Google engineers (snakes whose Corporate Motto infers no prior connection to the snake business).

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