Print 18 comment(s) - last by vapore0n.. on Apr 20 at 10:52 AM

Samsung claims that Apple is violating its wireless technology patents

We reported yesterday that Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in which it claimed that the South Korean company has copied elements of its hardware and software design. The prime offender appears to be the Samsung Galaxy S which does seem to "borrow" some exterior design and UI elements from Apple's iPhone 3GS.

Today, however, Samsung is making it clear that it doesn't intend to go down without a fight. Samsung -- a company which actually provides semiconductor chips and display panels for Apple's mobile products -- didn't actually refute Apple "copycat" claims in a statement to Yonhap News Agency, but did note that "We have no choice but respond strongly this time."

Instead of directly countering Apple's claims, Samsung made a few claims of its own with the revelation that Apple is infringing on its wireless patents. 

"Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property," Samsung continued in a statement. 

Apple may have drawn first blood in this battle between two tech giants, but we're certain that the two players will come to some sort of mutual agreement before a real bloodbath starts. After all, Apple was Samsung's second largest customer last year with over $5.68B in purchases.

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On Analysis: Apple's Claims Fairly Strong?
By ltcommanderdata on 4/19/2011 6:02:33 PM , Rating: 5

Niley Patel has a pretty thorough analysis of Apple's lawsuit. It seems to be a pretty reasonable complaint on Apple's part due to the application of trade dress which allows for complaints on look and feel. On casual glance it isn't hard to think that Samsung's TouchWiz UI is an iOS theme for Android. Which may be why Samsung isn't directly refuting that they are mimicing the iOS look and feel.

RE: On Analysis: Apple's Claims Fairly Strong?
By phantom505 on 4/19/2011 6:37:12 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, that's what they are trying to do? So pathetic. I won't be hard for Samsung to beat this. I can't believe anyone things there is anything to this, specially someone that bothered to go out and look for an article about it. It'll eventually get settled out of court via threats of endless litigation, which is the way Apple prefers to win anyhow.

A half baked lawyer fresh out of school could get those patents killed for obviousness. Just have to show icons are not unique, and neither are push buttons on electronics.

By ltcommanderdata on 4/19/2011 6:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think the logic behind this is the holistic sense. Yes, a few similar icons or some similar curves in the housing aren't going to convince people that substantial infringement took place, negatively affecting Apple. However, by putting together more than a dozen claims with associated patents, trademarks, and trade dress they are showing that these little things are adding up to make something distinctive in an iPhone that is being cloned. If I remember correctly, when the Galaxy S phones were first released many reviews specifically noted how similar the TouchWiz interface looks to iOS. So the similarity argument is there to necessitate a lawsuit. Whether its actually infringement is the question.

In any case, Apple suing Samsung is actually a good thing if you believe that Apple's patents shouldn't stand since litigation is the way to invalidate their patents. Rather than Apple silently holding on to them as submarine patents which we don't know the validity of casting a pale over the industry like the issue that is always raised against WebM.

By RamarC on 4/19/2011 8:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
every flatscreen tv mfg can get sued by everyone else if this carries. if not for the logo, could you really tell the difference between any of them? a big 16x9 screen surrounded by a glossy black bezel with recessed power, vol +/-, ch +/-, input buttons.

microsoft's office xml suit will be the bellweather on tech patents and for once we need to support M$.

RE: On Analysis: Apple's Claims Fairly Strong?
By jconan on 4/19/2011 9:26:55 PM , Rating: 5
Apple's ios isn't that unique and neither is it's case. It mimiced palm and the ui is more a less a grid of icons. How unique is the ios?

RE: On Analysis: Apple's Claims Fairly Strong?
By RW on 4/20/2011 12:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
Since Apple is using Samsung technology from displays to chips, they infringe on every Samsung patent related to those products, since the technology on Apple's products is not theirs but Samsung technology so are the patents.

So how could Apple even dare to speak on this one, maybe because they are an abomination that must be erased from the face of earth.

By ltcommanderdata on 4/20/2011 1:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
Em. Apple's not infringing on components bought from Samsung for the iPhone because they paid for them. What's more they have long-term contracts and licenses for them. And there have been reports that Apple is actually paying Samsung to build factories to make them.

Besides that for many technologies Apple has direct design license from the source like ARM for the CPU and ImgTec for the GPU. And some of the patents used by Samsung in their processors now actually belongs to Apple since Apple bought Intrinsity which contributed to the Samsung's Hummingbird SoC for example.

By UnWeave on 4/20/2011 10:07:32 AM , Rating: 2
The system is flawed, but it's not so flawed that you can patent something, sell it to someone to use in their products, and then sue them for using the thing you just sold them. That would be insane.

By gamerk2 on 4/20/2011 8:50:52 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed; the IOS is a rip-off of Palm, so this is how it works:

Microsoft is being played by Samsung
Apple is being played by Apple
Xerox is being played by HP [Palm]

Again, Apple V Microsoft still stands; mearly having a simmilar look and feel is not by itself enough to win this lawsuit.

By VitalyTheUnknown on 4/19/2011 9:20:51 PM , Rating: 3

Apple is suing Samsung for allegedly ripping off the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad.

Here's the problem: it's not clear that anyone has ever won a "look and feel" lawsuit. (The legal term is "trade dress.")

Nor should they. Fast-following and imitating is a big part of what makes free markets work. It helps competition and helps bring innovations to consumers faster.

So what's the deal?

It's the same reason why Microsoft is suing makers of Android phones: to give Android a price.

Android is free. In some cases, it's even cheaper than free, with Google sharing some revenue from Google searches on Android phones with partners. This is hugely disruptive to both Microsoft and Apple's business models; Microsoft because they make money on software licenses, and Apple on hardware. And this disruptive approach is winning: Android is surging past iOS in marketshare.

A lawsuit from a big company, even if doomed, still takes a lot of time, energy and money to fight off. So a Samsung or someone else might settle, accepting to pay some form of license. If that happens, Apple can go around the other manufacturers asking for the same license and have a much stronger claim. And now OEMs have to factor that cost into the decision to choose Android. And all of a sudden, Android has a price.

(Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry -

By omnicronx on 4/19/2011 9:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Even if you are correct what exactly is the point?

Apple may have a lot of patents, but Samsung also has a nice amount of patents in their portfolio, especially in the area of the integrated components found in the very devices in question.

My guess is this is merely a power play move to secure a cross-licening agreement with Samsung as they are not going to win the litigation game against this giant.

By sprockkets on 4/19/2011 9:09:53 PM , Rating: 5
Uh, Steve? Hey this is Samsung Semiconductor. We had an incident in our factory yesterday. All your A4/A5 processors were damaged along with the fab equipment. We are so sorry for your loss.

We'll try to get around to fixing the issue very soon.

Have a nice day. And GFY.

RE: uh...
By BernardP on 4/20/2011 10:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
Charlie has similar comments about this:

By sprockkets on 4/19/2011 9:19:52 PM , Rating: 3
After all, Apple was Samsung's second largest customer last year with over $5.68B in purchases.

Not really. They may be number 2, but they accounted for 4% of Samsung's profits.

If my "customer" did that, have a nice day. You aren't worth 4% of my profit for all that trouble.

RE: but
By vision33r on 4/20/2011 9:45:28 AM , Rating: 2
The industry is very open market right now, Samsung is not the only maker ARM CPUs, NAND, and LCD panels. Apple can easily flip over to another brand easily. The iPhone is no different than many phones out there, parts can be produced by other maker easily.

RE: but
By vapore0n on 4/20/2011 10:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
We are talking billions here, not chump change.
Samsung is not going down because it will cost them their cellphone business if they bend over to Apple. But they sure wont be telling Apple to take their business elsewhere.

Nucleear Wessels!!!
By morphologia on 4/19/2011 10:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is the corporate equivalent of Mr. Chekov from the original Star Trek. If you're as old as me :) you may remember how Chekov constantly claimed that the Russians, his people, invented pretty much everything. Even things for which people from other countries were well known to have been the originators, he claimed that everything was Russian. That's Apple, in person form.

For Apple to cherry-pick one of the dozens of manufacturers that make iPhone-ish smartphones (and not even the earliest one, mind you) and tablets, especially Samsung, without whom the iPad would be largely impossible, is just idiotic. It's the kind of smug, narcissistic, oblivious self-worship that makes me dislike Apple-preachers, only it's the pure form straight from the source.

Yes, Apple makes very good products. That doesn't mean they absolutely must be the only ones doing so, and it definitely doesn't mean they can turn on a partner or affiliate that helped them get where they are today.

RE: Nucleear Wessels!!!
By morphologia on 4/19/2011 10:32:10 PM , Rating: 5

This (as well as the previous post) was typed from my HP TC1100, a tablet computer that predates the iPad by 6 or 7 years...and runs a full, multitasking-capable OS (Windows XP).

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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