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Apple agrees to license some low level patents

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has asserted that if it wins over Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) in its slew of international lawsuits [1][2][3][4] [5][6][7] it will not license certain patents.

The approach is somewhat unusual in a market where companies like Microsoft, Corp. (MSFT) usually use their patent library to pressure rivals into lucrative licensing agreements [1][2].  Rather, Apple looks to “one up” competitors’ products with its IP library in order to make its own product more attractive.

In the past, Apple has patented certain technologies that are rather relatively obvious (e.g. its GUI patents including U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381) or cover ubiquitous industry standards (e.g. multi-touch) that were well-researched academically but were patented by Apple once the technology became mass-producible. 

Some have accused Apple of fighting dirty in suing with obvious patents and, thus far, refusing to license industry-standards (e.g. the rectangular tablet design and multi-touch).  Similar allegations have been leveled against Samsung, who in its countersuits has used certain industry-standard wireless patents covered under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (F/RAND) terms.  While Samsung also uses non-standards patents in its suits, its plan to see a ban on Apple's products using the F/RAND IP is controversial -- much like Apple's identical initial strike.

In the court filing Apple did leave the door open to licensing some patents, rather than refusing to license them and seeking a ban.  Apple's lawyers write:

However, he emphasises that such discussion was part of the broader discussion of a framework by which Samsung Electronics Co Limited could continue to sell its products with some elements of Apple Inc’s intellectual property, such as some 'lower level patents', available to them but would cease copying the features and functionality of Apple Inc's products, and the iPad in particular.

What is unclear is what patents exactly are among those "lower level" ones that Apple would be willing to license.

Samsung isn't taking any chances.  The New York Times reports that Samsung has filed suit seeking a sales ban on the iPhone 4S via preliminary injunction in Japan's Tokyo District Court and in Australia's New South Wales Registry.  The ban would apply to all of Japan and all of Australia if Samsung sees success in its respective claims.
Samsung wants Apple's iPhone 4S banned in Australia and Japan [Source: Apple]

James Chung, a Samsung spokesperson, states, "We are actively responding in (the legal battle) with Apple."

On Sunday Samsung Chief Operating Officer and President Lee Jae-yong journeyed to the U.S. to attend the memorial service of late Apple co-founder Steven P. Jobs.  He said that he would be meeting with Apple's new CEO Tim Cook, but it was unclear whether peace talks would be on the agenda.

Mr. Lee comments, "I will have a chance to meet Cook, but I'm not going there for business purposes. I'm going to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, and I don't know what I will talk about with Cook."

Samsung and Apple now have over two dozen lawsuits in over 10 countries worldwide regarding supposed infringements of mobile device intellectual property.

Sources: Samsung Fires Back at Apple iPhone 4S, Federal Court of Australia



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RE: Just more of Apple
By bupkus on 10/17/2011 1:09:47 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
This bickering can only lead to the consumer being harmed.
Not this consumer. I don't buy Apple products simply for the price. I have cheaper and at least as good as options. I should note that I don't use a smartphone. If I could honestly justify the expense I just might go with Apple. I hear it just works... whatever that means.


RE: Just more of Apple
By KingofL337 on 10/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: Just more of Apple
By cruisin3style on 10/17/2011 2:18:53 PM , Rating: 5
He said he doesnt have a smartphone, so with

pc vs mac
mp3 player like sansa fuze vs ipod
almost any tablet on the market vs ipad 2

the non-apple option is cheaper and usually just as good if not better, or it is so much cheaper that you can live with any drawbacks


RE: Just more of Apple
By MrTeal on 10/17/2011 2:26:57 PM , Rating: 3
The 3GS might be free on contract, but that contract definitely isn't free. Compare the cost of a cheap smartphone data plan to the cost of just owning a vanilla cell phone, and even a $20 a month difference will be almost $500 over the 2 year term.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Natch on 10/17/2011 3:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that you can also get Android or Windows phones for free or cheap, with a 2 year contract. Sort of makes the whole point of calling an iphone (or ANY smart phone) comparitively "cheap" a moot point.


RE: Just more of Apple
By sigmatau on 10/17/2011 10:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
A 3GS is a garbage phone now. It is already slow and clunky with ios4. The phone is like a little brick that slides off anything you set it on except a pretty flat surface.

Heavy and fragile. When you drop it, I bet it doesn't bounce. Mine cracked from a 3 foot fall.


RE: Just more of Apple
By espaghetti on 10/18/2011 7:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Dear butterfingers with no knowledge of how to update software,
Be more careful, maybe buy a case and update your software..lol jk have nice day!


RE: Just more of Apple
By jnemesh on 10/17/2011 5:24:32 PM , Rating: 5
Once you get your "free" phone, however, you are locked into buying EVERYTHING from Apple. You MUST use iTunes, you MUST purchase apps from Apple's store and ONLY Apple's store, and Apple is doing everything it can to make sure your e-books, music, and movies are purchased from Apple as well (or, if buying from a competing service, that Apple still gets it's 30% cut!).

And your statement that the iPhone doesnt need iTunes is flawed. No, you dont need it to activate and use the phone, but if you want to do anything else, guess what? You have to use iTunes to manage everything. Have fun!


RE: Just more of Apple
By espaghetti on 10/18/2011 7:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
I've paid apple for one song and I have a lot of albums on my iphone.
Who told you that the media can only be what you buy from a digital service?
Itunes has an import cd feature.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Helbore on 10/18/2011 5:49:13 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, you don't need to connect your iPhone via iTunes to get it to work as a mobile phone anymore! Apple finally catches up with 20-year-old dumbphones and 10-year-old smartphones.

Well done Apple. You truly are the innovator of innovators. Now go forth and sue every other company for having made a phone that doesn't require running through bloatware to activate.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Kiffberet on 10/18/2011 8:29:58 AM , Rating: 2
Oh no, the Chinese and koreans are stealing all our technology and closing down American industry. This must stop!!

Except if it's Apple, then let anyone and everyone copy all their ideas and steal all the technology they can get their hands on. If apple sue, then its 'stopping innovation'.

If you don't like Apple thats fair enough, just don't complain when the courts rule in their favour, because YOU DONT KNOW ALL THE FACTS.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/18/2011 9:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
And neither do you, and Apple is not going to win.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Pirks on 10/18/2011 1:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Apple was winning all these years and you always were whining about them and "predicting" their demise "any time soon". You think this is going to change? Why would it?

I see anti-Apple trolls like you whining for many years, and nothing ever changed. You just keep predicting "oohh uuhh TOMORROW I KNOW FOR SURE THIS TIME APPLE IS GOING DOWN!!!". Yeah, keep predicting, idiot. Looks kinda funny.


RE: Just more of Apple
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/18/2011 4:30:05 PM , Rating: 1
You are an absolute fucking idiot


RE: Just more of Apple
By Pirks on 10/18/2011 4:53:28 PM , Rating: 1
yeah go fuck yourself too


RE: Just more of Apple
By Helbore on 10/18/2011 1:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even American, so have never had a rant about Koreans closing down American business.

Nice pointless rant, though.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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