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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: Screw Apple
By Reclaimer77 on 9/23/2011 7:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
My Galaxy S II looks NOTHING like an iPhone. It's thinner, there is no rim at all let alone a metal one, and it's larger than an iPhone. Except for, duh, it has a rectangular shape because the screen is rectangular. And there are buttons at the bottom because where the hell else WOULD You put buttons? And of course it's black! Practically every consumer electronic device is black. When is the last time you've seen a white television set or computer monitor? I guess Apple invented using black too lmao...

Obviously on a phone and pad the screen is going dictate the shape of the thing because that's all these are; mobile screens.

As far as icons, really? Is this the early 1990's all over again where people tried to claim rights to a graphical UI? I thought we were really past all that kinds of silliness, but nope. Here we are again with Apple trying to claim rights to shapes, colors, and "minimalist designs".

RE: Screw Apple
By michael2k on 9/24/2011 4:37:52 PM , Rating: 2
Icons are protected under copyright. The 80s was a different case because Apple had licensed technology to Microsoft for Windows 1.0 and the judges held those licenses still applied to Windows 3.0; otherwise it would have been a standard copyright case.

Samsung has never licensed the artwork, packaging, or design, insofar as the merits of this case go and is liable for any infringement the judges deem applicable.

RE: Screw Apple
By Helbore on 9/25/2011 2:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that's not quite true. Apple sued Microsoft because they allowed windows to overlay each other in Windows 3, which was not licensed under their agreement. When it went to court, the judge threw out around 200 Apple patents.

It's exactly the same situation all over again. Apple have been liberally patenting ideas that really should not be patented, then trying to sue all the competition out of the market.

Last time this happened, Apple lost and failed to compete successfully with Microsoft and were nearly destroyed in the process. They're running scared that the same thing could happen again and consequently, are pulling the same crap they did back then.

Hopefully they will get slapped back once again, just like the last time. If they don't and manage to successfully force the competition out of existence we can kiss goodbye to innovation in the marketplace.

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