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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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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.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan














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