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  • Apple awarded $1bn in damages from Samsung in US court

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-25 09:10:55
    Sad to see the result of this case in the US. A travesty.

    Software patents suck, and this is going to do nothing but stifle innovation.

    Apple... 'ultimate patent troll'.

    The patent game itself has become a dressed up method of extortion, and the patents granted by out-of-touch or unaware/uniformed judges can be ludicrous. It really does all come down to the judge who grants them or precedes over the patent argument at the time, and how far the companies are willing to go in order to secure those patents or a win.

    Quite simply, software patents need to be abolished.

    *****

    'A US court has ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn (£665m) in damages for infringing intellectual property.

    The jury decided several Samsung devices had infringed iPhone-maker Apple's software and design patents, but rejected counter-claims by Samsung.

    Apple will now seek import bans on several of its rival's products. Samsung has said it will appeal.

    Correspondents say the ruling is one of the most significant in a global battle over patents and intellectual property.

    In recent weeks, a court in South Korea ruled that both technology firms had copied each other, while a British court threw out claims by the US company that Samsung had infringed its copyright.

    But the year-long US case has involved some of the biggest damages claims, and is likely to shape the way patent licences are handled in the future.

    'Monopoly' gibe

    Samsung promised to appeal against the decision describing it as "a loss for the American consumer".

    "It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," the South Korean firm said.

    The statement added that it was "unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners".

    Apple, however, said it applauded the court "for finding Samsung's behaviour wilful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right".

    Apple said it intended to seek sales injunctions at a follow-up hearing on 20 September

    The two firms account for more than half of global smartphone and tablet computer sales.

    The nine-person jury at the federal court in San Jose, California had to consider 700 questions about each side's claim that its rival had infringed its intellectual property.

    It deliberated for less than three days before coming to a unanimous decision, rejecting all of Samsung's claims and upholding five of Apple's allegations, including:

    # Some of Samsung's handsets, including its Galaxy S 4G model, infringed Apple's design patents for the look of its iPhone including the system it uses to display text and icons

    # All the disputed Samsung devices had copied Apple's "bounce-back response", which makes lists jump back as if yanked by a rubber band

    # Several Samsung devices incorporated Apple's facility allowing users to zoom into text with a tap of a finger

    Apple had wanted $2.5bn in damages. Samsung had sought $519m.

    'Social cost'

    Michael Gartenburg, research director at Gartner, told the BBC it could be a good thing for consumers in the long run because it would force Apple's competitors to innovate.

    "Anyone who was even thinking about borrowing a technology or design from Apple will think twice about it now," he said.

    Other analysts point out that Apple could be the overall loser because the court case has helped boost Samsung's profile.

    Also, the South Korean firm has already brought out a new generation of products that should avoid the patent issues.

    However, Christopher Marlett of investment bank MDB Capital Group said there was a "social cost" for Samsung.

    "As a company, you don't want to be known as someone who steals from someone else," he said.

    Apple remains one of the South Korean company's biggest customers buying computer chips and, reportedly, screens.'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19377261
  • Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face. -- Apple and Samsung get South Korea bans

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-24 19:31:22
    'A South Korean court has ruled that Apple and Samsung both infringed each other's patents on mobile devices.

    The court imposed a limited ban on national sales of products by both companies covered by the ruling.

    It ruled that US-based Apple had infringed two patents held by Samsung, while the Korean firm had violated one of Apple's patents.

    The decision comes as a jury in California is deliberating on a patent trial between the two firms in the US.

    The sales ban will apply to Apple's iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and its tablets the iPad and iPad 2.

    Samsung products affected by the ban include its smartphone models Galaxy SI and SII and its Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PCs.

    The court ordered Apple to pay 40m won ($35,000; £22,000) in damages to its South Korean rival, while Samsung was told to pay Apple 25m won.

    The awards are dwarfed by the damages being sought by Apple in its case in California. It is seeking more than $2.5bn (£1.6bn) from Samsung, for allegedly violating its patented designs and features in the iPad and iPhone.

    'Differentiated its products'

    A Samsung spokesperson told the BBC that the court had found the South Korean firm guilty of violating Apple's patent relating to the "bounce back" function.

    The function lets users know that they have reached the end of a screen that they may be scrolling through on their devices.

    Meanwhile, Apple has been found guilty of violating patents relating to telecom standards held by Samsung, including technology that makes the transfer and transmission of data between devices more efficient.

    However, the court ruled against Apple's claims that Samsung had copied the designs of its products.

    "There are lots of external design similarities between the iPhone and Galaxy S, such as rounded corners and large screens... but these similarities had been documented in previous products," a judge at the Seoul Central District Court was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

    "Given that it's very limited to make big design changes in touchscreen based mobile products in general... and the defendant [Samsung] differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and [on the] side, the two products have a different look," the judge said.'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19364875
  • Apple and Samsung Should Fight in the Marketplace, not the Courtroom

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-24 19:21:00
    'As you’ve likely heard, Apple and Samsung continue to duke it out in what commentators have called the “patent trial of the century.” The case involves more than three dozen devices (such as iPhones, iPads, and Galaxy phones and tablets) and various patents, allegedly covering Apple’s designs, “double-click-to-zoom,” 3G technology, and various other functionalities. But what’s really at stake?

    Apple argues that it’s been harmed to the tune of $2.5 billion (!) and seeks to have Samsung’s products banned from the market. Samsung claims that Apple owes it at least $400 million in back royalties. Right now, the companies’ fates lie in the hands of the jury, but it’s not Apple or Google who stands to suffer the most harm: it’s the consumer.

    Depending on how the case turns out, consumers could find themselves with fewer choices, since — if Apple has its way — the Galaxy products will be off the market. (In fact, the judge in this case already enjoined the sale of the Galaxy Nexus phone, but the injunction was stayed pending the outcome of this trial.) Less competition is bad for consumers, and those who already own Galaxy products could find themselves with a more limited market for accessories and repairs.

    This lawsuit has garnered much attention, but it’s just the latest in a long line of intellectual property cases between parties big and small that abuse the system and misallocate valuable resources (you might remember such recent hits at Oracle v. Google and the Eolas debacle). The high costs of this litigation — usually well into the millions of dollars in a single case before any damages are even awarded — are often spread over many lawsuits, as parties take these fights to courts all over the country and the world. And it's not just the costs of litigation, but that companies feel a need to grow their own patent arsenal defensively. Taken together, these outrageous patent expenses are often ultimately borne by the consumer in the form of higher prices. Even worse, each dollar that is spent on lawyers and litigation costs is not spent on growing businesses, investing in R&D, hiring more employees, or otherwise benefitting our recovering economy.

    Our patent system is intended to incentivize innovation, in theory at least. Lately it’s become little more than a tool to squelch competition, and it’s not just the Apples and the Samsungs of the world who find themselves fighting these battles. It’s also small and innovative companies, local governments, foreign companies trying to make it in America, hobbyists, and even individual developers. The problems are particularly acute in the world of software: it turns out that software patents are nearly five times more likely to be the subject of litigation as other patents. In fact, lawsuits surrounding software patents have more than tripled since 1999.

    Apple v. Samsung is not the problem in itself, but it’s a symptom of a broken system. You can find some of our proposals to fix it at defendinnovation.org. We also support pending legislation that would make it tougher to bring bad lawsuits and a little easier to fight back and other self-help remedies for those who don’t want to waste their time and money fighting bad software patents. But it won’t be until the consumers stand up and take on this fight, too, that we will see real change.'

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/08/apple-samsung-should-fight-battle-in-marketplace
  • Samsung shows prior art from DiamondTouch for

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-14 18:11:09
    Samsung aims to bust Apple patents, pointing to two early 2000s gesture technologies which discredit the patents Apple is using to wage war on its rival.

    Samsung may have convinced Judge Koh to toss a few international handsets out of Apple's lawsuit, but the Korean firm still has Cupertino's patent licensing accusations to contend with. Their tactic? Convince the court that Apple's claim to the inventions are invalid, and that the technology was developed prior to the disputed patent's filing. It's called showing "prior art," and Sammy's done it before -- famously showing a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey in an attempt to put Apple's iPad design claims to rest. Today's examples were more grounded in reality, focusing on debunking Cupertino's claim to the "bounce back" effect that happens when a user reaches the end of a page and common multitouch zoom / navigation gestures.

    Samsung pitted the famous "bounce back" feature against an old PocketPC interface called LaunchTile, which allowed users to navigate through 36 applications by zooming in and out and a panning across a grid-like "world view" of said apps. Movement between grids snap to each zone, marking the end of a page. Apple shot back, noting that LiveTile's snapping navigation didn't work on diagonals, and cited other differences as well. Samsung wasn't deterred, however, and brought out DiamondTouch, a projector based multitouch table that utilized both one touch scrolling and pinch-based zoom gestures. The table even takes aim at the aforementioned bounce-back patent with a technology called TableCloth, which bounces back images that are pulled off screen. DiamondTouch's creator, Adam Bogue, told the court that he had demoed the technology to Apple privately back in 2003, noting that it was also available to anyone who visited the Mitsubishi Electronic Research Laboratories' lobby.

    If the jury takes to Samsung's claims of prior art, it could severely cut Apple's claims against it. Even so, Cupertino's lawyers aren't going down without a fight, and still have a number of navigation and design claims that Samsung hasn't addressed. The two parties are expected to keep up the fight for about a week, we'll keep you posted on the inevitable revelations as they come.

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/13/samsungs-defense-against-apple-patents-begins-with-diamondtouch/