Print 6 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Jan 9 at 4:55 PM

Could this be the end of the U.S. patent war? It's a start

Apple and Samsung have been fighting with each other over mobile patents for years now, but the two have agreed to play nice and attend a mediation session next month. 

According to a new report from Reuters, Apple and Samsung have agreed to meet regarding settlement opportunities on or before February 19 for U.S. patents. 

Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon and Apple CEO Tim Cook are expected to attend along with in-house lawyers. The case is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 11-1846. 

The two tech giants have been warring over patents with one another for over two years now. It largely began in April 2011, when Apple called Samsung an iPhone and iPad copycat. From there, lawsuits have been flung back and forth all over the world. 

Apple and Samsung: Bros at last? [SOURCE: Ubergizmo]

In August 2012, a California jury decided that Samsung infringed on several Apple patents and should have to pay $1.05 billion in damages. However, Judge Lucy Koh -- a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California -- said that sum may not have been calculated correctly. 

Koh later vacated $450 million of that award, and left Samsung with the remaining $600 million to pay. 

A more recent trial aimed to decide if Samsung should pay more or less of that $450 million that was vacated. Judge Koh called a meeting Wednesday to help the jury learn how to properly calculate the final sum. The jury then decided that Samsung should pay $290 million, and the South Korean electronics maker now owes Apple about $890 million total.

Apple and Samsung have engaged in many patent battles around the globe, though, since 2011. Hopefully this mediation session will help, as it comes right before another smartphone patents court date expected in March. 

Source: Reuters

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‘Other designs are possible’
By amanojaku on 1/9/2014 10:13:16 AM , Rating: 4
There is little question that the physical design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 closely resembles that of Apple’s iPad. Much like the physical design of any given flat panel television resembles that of any other model. Much like the physical design of any given laptop computer resembles that of any other model. Much like the physical design of any given Blu-ray player resembles that of any other model. Much like the physical design of any given ballpoint pen resembles that of any other model.

I’m no German judge, but the iPhone 4 certainly seems to borrow from the “smooth, simple areas” and “minimal design” seen on the Prada smartphone LG unveiled in 2006. The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and the original iPhone resemble LG’s design pretty closely as well, but the iPhone 4 definitely bears the most striking resemblance to this 45-month-old handset.

Again, designs and innovations need to be protected, but to what extent and at what cost? The current system is not sustainable. As end user pricing is forced downward and margins get tighter, companies like HTC, ViewSonic and Acer will not be able to turn a profit when they have to pay companies like Microsoft every time they sell a phone.

The simple truth is that a system shaped by lawyers may not be the best system for corporations. And it is certainly not the best system for consumers. Things need to change.

RE: ‘Other designs are possible’
By testbug00 on 1/9/2014 11:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
Brought up a good point, but, well, other designs are possible. The largest one to point towards here is Nokia and the design that the Lumia 800 started.

The iPhone gets away with it due to the Prada not being popular. Samsung did basically say they had a crisis of design when the iPhone came out (Which is not the best thing to see in court) which suggests they used Apple as inspiration directly. I don't know if the iPhone 4 followed the Prada phone.

Either way, this whole thing is stupid anyhow.

RE: ‘Other designs are possible’
By Samus on 1/9/2014 12:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
It'd be like Zenith or Magnavox going after RCA or Sony in the 60's for making a TV that happened to be the 'shape of a box'

The whole thing is truly ridiculous. Yes, Samsung was influenced by Apple's touch-centric products, as was everybody else, as was Apple influenced by previous generation products. It's called progress.

Although, come to think of it, I think we've taken a step backwards with making everything touch-based, especially phones, large screens (20"+) and vehicle controls, for a variety of mostly obvious reasons I don't think I need to list. I don't think anybody will argue the superiority of a physical keyboard (ala Blackberry Torch/Palm Pre) or the ludicrous exercise you get from waving a finger over a large touch screen for an hour (if you can make it that long.) Vehicle controls are an obvious blow to human logic.

By Reclaimer77 on 1/9/2014 4:55:04 PM , Rating: 1
And this is the danger with the current patent system. Patents are essentially a Government granted monopoly. When you have a monopoly on a specific product or way of doing something, as long as it's VERY specific, that's one thing.

When you have a monopoly on an IDEA, well, that's when the problems with the system begin to show. Because then you are restricting innovation instead of protecting it, as patents were originally intended.

We've all heard Job's rant about Android, and ever since Apple has behaved as if they own the very concept of the smartphone, the idea of it. Just because they were granted a bunch of bullshit vague "design" patents on shapes and colors or whatever the fuck. And how exactly do you patent a "minimalist" design? "Minimalist" is entire subjective!

no way...
By milktea on 1/9/2014 10:44:53 AM , Rating: 2
There's no way the patent lawyers would ever let that settlement happen. Because that could mean the end of their career. *haha*

here's to hoping
By ciparis on 1/9/2014 11:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
It's possible the corporate CEOs could reach an agreement on this. There's no chance the mobile department heads would; too many egos, too much 'honor" on the line.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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