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Samsung's Lee Younghee  (Source: The Korean Herald)
Android manufacturer promises to be more aggressive, bring more suits to end Apples "free ride"

Lee Young-hee, head of global marketing for mobile communications at Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930), in an interview with the Associated Press Friday blasted rival Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  She complains, "We've been quite respectful and also passive in a way.  However, we shouldn't be ... anymore.  We believe Apple is free riding [on Samsung's patented technology]."

The remarks echo the claims of her rival.  Apple's South Korea spokesperson retaliates, "It is no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Ms. Lee adds, "We'll be pursuing our rights for this in a more aggressive way from now on."

That could spell trouble for Apple in local courts like Japan and South Korea.  Samsung is currently working to ban Apple's best-selling iPad 2 and the company's soon-to-be-release iPhone 5.  The moves come as a matter of self-defense [1][2][3][4][5].  In Germany, Europe's third largest tablet market, Samsung's best-selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet was banned after a judge granted Apple a court-enforced monopoly on minimalist tablet designs.

Apple and Samsung are number one and two, respectively, in phone sales by manufacturer.  Currently 23 lawsuits have been filed between the companies, in ten different countries.  

Samsung's infringement claims against Apple stem largely from its deep portfolio of wireless communications patents.  Much like Apple, Samsung is essentially inferring that Apple must broadly alter its product from what the market seemingly demands to bring it out of infringement.

Much as Apple says Samsung cannot make a minimalist tablet, Samsung says Apple cannot make a tablet with wireless communications onboard.

Apple is very upset about this claim as many of the patents involved are filed under the "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (F/RAND) principle.  F/RAND applies to patents developed as part of industry standards.  It states that companies must pay you fair licensing fees for the patent, but you must express willingness to license the IP.

Samsung also has Android OS-maker Google Inc.'s (GOOG) growing patent library backing it, should it need the help.  States Ms. Lee, "We still have a very good relationship. We are working very closely with Google."

Google recently grew its IP catalog by acquiring Motorola Mobility and purchasing 1,000 patents from International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM).


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RE: Apple ought to be careful here.
By bupkus on 9/23/2011 5:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is much easier for Samsung to add a few buttons on the face of their table...
I have posted this before that Samsung can etch false buttons on the face of their devices. It is after all a matter of appearance and not functionality. In fact, they can do any number of creative things just to make them look different enough to avoid exclusion from a market.

The rarely mentioned issue of going to foreign courts is the prospect of home court advantage. I wholly expect national and regional pride to tip the scales in the Far East in Samsung's favor. This will (as I have posted before) become an issue of trade agreements that Apple will argue via their lobbyists in Washington DC in my view a non-starter.


By evo slevven on 9/24/2011 8:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
From a design standpoint they've done quite a bit to differentiate themselves from a iPad. For some reason, form what I inferred, the "fat iPad" look or anything rectangular seemed to have been the issue with the German court.

Nonetheless, if a "square" tablet isn't considered fair use for a design shape in a tablet, I don't see why the wireless portfolio of Samsung is considered by Apple as fair use; logic dictates rectangles have been pretty "fair use" since paper so yea...


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