Print 19 comment(s) - last by Natch.. on Sep 29 at 10:39 AM

Apple becomes the latest to jump on the complain train after FOSS Patents attacked the move

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) isn't happy with the fact that one of its two U.S. carrier partners -- Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) -- threw its weight behind rival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) in a civil dispute [1][2][3][4][5] between the companies.  

Apple has filed civil suit in 
Northern California District Court against Samsung claiming Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones steal the look of its patented iPhone and iPhone 4 design (U.S. Design Patents D618,677 and D593,087) and that it owns the exclusive rights to manufacture minimalist tablet designs via its 2004 "fat-iPad" design patent (U.S. Design Patent D504,889), and hence Samsung -- who makes the minimalist no-face-button Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- is in violation.  

Apple also asserts a single technology violation against Samsung, regarding a patent on lists that bounce back when you release them while touch scrolling (U.S. Patent 
No. 7,469,381).

As recent legal changes have made it harder to ban products from the market in corporate intellectual property disputes, Apple is seeking a back door, asking the 
U.S. International Trade Commission to ban imports of Samsung product, pending the outcome of the civil case.  As Samsung (like Apple) imports all its handsets and tablets from Asia, this would effectively ban sales.  

While the civil case and ITC complaint are intimately linked -- Verizon's amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief applies specifically to the civil case.  FOSS Patents 
attacked Verizon's motion earlier this week suggesting a possibly illegal/anticompetitive conspiracy between Android OS maker Google, Inc. (GOOG) and Verizon.  Mr. Mueller also complained that the brief would allow certain companies (implied: Samsung) to "steal" the intellectual property of "original innovators" (implied: Apple).

Apple unsurprisingly agreed with Mr. Mueller's analysis, issuing an 
Opposition Filing [Scribd] to Verizon's Motion.

11-09-27 Apple Opposition to Verizon Motion

The company's primary argument against the brief boils down to it complaining about Verizon's timeliness in filing the brief.  Apple's lawyers quote a judge in a previous federal case who wrote that an amicus curiae brief must be filed "no later than 7 days after the principal brief of the party being supported."  As Samsung submitted their Opposition brief on August 22, nearly a month before the Verizon filing, Apple contends the brief should be denied from consideration.

Apple admits, though, that there are no rules governing the timeliness of submissions at this level of the courts.  It writes, "The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for a non-party's submission of amicus briefs in district courts."

In the case that the court rejects its arguments on the grounds that there are no formal rules about timeliness, Apple wants the court to give it until October 6 to respond.  That would be precisely one week before the October 13th hearing, which should decide whether the Northern California District Court and the U.S. ITC agree to grant Apple's request on a ban on sales of Samsung's smart phones and tablets in the U.S.

Thus far Samsung has essentially won a case in the Netherlands, where the judge found it to violate the technology patent on scrolling (easily remedied by an OS update), 
but not the design patents (given how different Samsung's devices look).  By contrast, a judge in Germany -- Europe's third largest tablet market -- ruled in favor of Apple, upholding its claim to own sole rights to produce minimalist tablets.  Samsung's tablets were summarily banned from sale on the German market.

The presiding judge in the case is 
Judge Lucy H. Koh, the Motion hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, and the case number is 11-cv-01846-LHK "Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al".

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Dang it Apple!
By Darksurf on 9/28/2011 10:42:22 AM , Rating: 5
Please Apple, quit thinking you should own the rights to the knowledge of everything in the universe. Sadly, everyday you are making me wish Apple will just curl up and die after these lawsuits. You are doing nothing, but hurting yourself and innovation of new technology. Why not just try to come up with more appealing technology that is less locked down with more variety and properly compete with competitors instead of trying to take them out of the game by injuring them?

Apple, you make me sick.

RE: Dang it Apple!
By AMDftw on 9/28/2011 10:51:56 AM , Rating: 3
hope Apple chokes on it. Android ftmfw!

RE: Dang it Apple!
By vol7ron on 9/28/2011 7:22:28 PM , Rating: 3
I don't see how you can patent a minimalist design. You should only be able to patent features a product may have, not the lack of features.

Because the natural progression is starting from nothing, everyone has the same blank canvas, minimalist design. It's what we add to it, special functions that are added to it that should be allowed to be patented, not the other way way around.

The moment you start talking about design patents, you're going to get into a battle of actual design, not same concept. While I do own iPhones... this is the most ignorant court case I've seen in a while. It sounds like Apple is losing the argument and is resorting to "name calling."

RE: Dang it Apple!
By AntiM on 9/28/2011 11:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
How the heck can you patent a rectangle? Besides, Capt. Piccard used such a device long before it was possible to actually manufacture one. So I say, prior art, Star Trek.

RE: Dang it Apple!
By Solandri on 9/28/2011 1:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
And if anyone is hung up about Star Trek being a fictional TV show, not a practical business plan, the following dates from 1994:

RE: Dang it Apple!
By drycrust3 on 9/28/2011 11:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
not a practical business plan

So what about a company that is still in existence and that manufactured a computer with a touch sensitive screen prior to the establishment of Apple? Is that good enough?
Since when has "a practical business plan" been an excuse to get a patent for something that already exists? Can I patent a wheel? No! So how come Apple can patent something that was manufactured by another company? Is the fact the company is still in business enough evidence of their invention being a practical business plan?????

RE: Dang it Apple!
By DJ Brandon on 9/28/2011 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
It really is great to finally see an increasing folk see how bad Apple really is for the industry. What they do to companies and their gustapo like tactics. Steve Jobs as smart as he is thinks he is above and better than people. Insults nearly every other tech market out there. Shows no respect for the industry itself and is making a joke out of patents. I hope Apple gets what is coming to them. Maybe someday some of the Apple Fanbois will wake up and see what their 'Great Steve Jobs' is doing.

Why would I side with a whiner?
By xenol on 9/28/2011 2:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
Probably a "duh" memoment, but Apple looks like its getting desperate. They lost their thunder once Microsoft finally cleaned things up with Windows 7 (well, they may have a chance with Windows 8 if history means anything). They're losing ground to Android phones. And the PMP market is probably dying off slowly so the iPod line is no longer necessary.

And now they're going to claim that Verizon is having some under-the-table deal with Google and claiming "THIS IS A TRUST!"? The irony is killing me.

RE: Why would I side with a whiner?
By coolgra101 on 9/28/2011 6:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
What this is is a simple case of Apple trying to bully the market about and attempting to remove our right, as consumers, to purchase whatever device we desire. I can see them dragging Google into this legal dispute soon which is a battle I don't think they will win.

Apple losing ground to Microsoft in the computer market may simply be due to people waking up and realising that they can buy a high spec windows PC for about half the price of a high spec mac OSX PC. People may be thinking the same way with Android devices, considering the majority of them are far cheaper than an iPhone and work just as well.

Samsung could try the brute force option here to bring Apple down a few pegs by simply refusing to sell Apple the components they use in the iPhones, perhaps Apple have forgotten that quite a large number of these components are manufactured by Samsung themselves.

RE: Why would I side with a whiner?
By rhangman on 9/29/2011 12:15:20 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung would have to break supply contracts. No way they would be willing to do that. Fact is that Apple is already moving to alternate (possibly inferior and more expensive) suppliers.

RE: Why would I side with a whiner?
By Natch on 9/29/2011 10:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
Less for more.....the Apple way!! Guaranteed, the fanboys will eat it up with a spoon!

What this whole thing reminds me of is the child who is caught misbehaving, but continues to beg you to believe their story, and not even listen to anyone else's explanation of facts.

By rhangman on 9/28/2011 2:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone know if imports would be protected by the NAFTA if Samsung moved assembly of their US models from their Korean plants to their Mexican ones (currently used for fridges, etc. I think)? If so then an ITC import ban would be useless. I know Samsung have NAND flash fabs in the US, not sure if they have any other plants, but if they assembled in the US then an ITC import ban would definitely not work. That's if Apple are even able to get an ITC import ban.

Be much harder for Apple to move production to stop similar bans being sort by HTC, VIA, etc. although I believe Foxconn did recently acquire Cisco's old Mexican plants.

By LBID on 9/28/2011 3:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
NAFTA only covers the US, Canada and Mexico so far as I know.

By JediJeb on 9/28/2011 3:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
It it worked anything like it has in the agriculture market then if Samsung moves its plant to Mexico and Apple tries to out sell them in any way then Mexico will sue Apple for damaging a Mexican business's possibilities for success by being anti competitive.

Honestly NAFTA stinks for any US business it seems, but in Apples case I would not mind.

Possibility of 4G iPhone?
By PrezWeezy on 9/28/2011 5:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
Notice that October 6th is also right after Apple is supposed to release the newest iPhone? Also, notice the fact that Verizon is claiming the reason they are supporting Samsung is because Samsung uses the 4G network? So could it be possible that Apple really just wants to wait until they release a 4G phone so they can claim Samsung is no longer really the only ones using that 4G coverage? I just find the timing...interesting.

RE: Possibility of 4G iPhone?
By cmdrdredd on 9/28/2011 7:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
Er...well, Motorola, and HTC also have 4G phones and devices. Plus the leaks from the FTC don't mention a 4G antenna for the new iPhone. I think Apple is afraid that Samsung's new Droid Prime which Verizon passed over the Galaxy S2 for will make the iPhone5 look like your baby sister's vsmile.

RE: Possibility of 4G iPhone?
By nocturne_81 on 9/29/2011 7:49:53 AM , Rating: 2
I just find it hilarious that outside of the processor, the next iPhone's rumored specs match those of Android phones that came out more than a year ago.. 4g (one would ****ing hope so).. screen res.. front/rear camera res..

By Integral9 on 9/28/2011 10:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
It started off boring and slow with Apple trying to bullshit everyone with a bunch of smart talk: 'Blah blah blah. You gotta believe me!' That part of the trial sucked! But then the Chief J. just went off. He said, 'Man, whatever! This is bull shit! We all know that.' And he sentenced Apple's ass to one night of rehabilitation.

If only....

By KOOLTIME on 9/28/2011 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Copy write of a tablet size is stupid, as same as saying my 15" radial tires are copyright of every other brand of 15" tire simply because it fits on a 15" wheel for one car brand maker over another ??

Shapes and size's and colors have been excluded, as no company owns those rights. They did not invent colors or shapes or sizes. Anyone can make a electronic piece any shape size they want.

Apple using minimalist in its defense is wrong as that's a size issue which is not a design issue, which is not copy-writable.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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