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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: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By KingofL337 on 10/17/2011 1:30:06 PM , Rating: -1
They are trying to be compeitive, not monopolize. Any other company comes out with any technological improvement, they do the same.

Intel does it with it's FAB tech.
Toytoa does it with the Pirus Hybrid Tech.
Samsung does it with OLED.
Sony does it with BluRay.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By icemansims on 10/17/2011 1:40:17 PM , Rating: 3
No, they don't.

All of your examples license their technology.

By using such absurdly broad patents (minimalist rectangular tablet) and refusing to license anything, they are trying to have the government enforce a monopoly for them. The US and other governments need to just shut them down by rendering those patents null and void.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Pirks on 10/17/11, Rating: -1
By gamara1 on 10/17/2011 2:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because someone at Apple was a technical consultant for Kubrick in the 60's when a similar tablet was used in the movie 2001. A patent is supposed to require that the submitter provide evidence that they orginated the patentable item. Unless they can provide sketches from the 60's, they can't.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/17/2011 3:01:07 PM , Rating: 2 it's not

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Pirks on 10/17/11, Rating: -1
By DeluxeTea on 10/18/2011 1:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
Cool story bro.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/18/2011 8:24:40 AM , Rating: 1
Um...yea, I work in sure what the fuck you are babbling on about. You are still an idiot regardless.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Pirks on 10/18/2011 1:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe, judging by your posts here you must be working "in technology" by cleaning some technology company offices and taking out their garbage :)))

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/18/2011 4:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
Judging by your posts, you still live in your mommies basement.

By Pirks on 10/18/2011 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
haha you wish clown :)))

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By gamara1 on 10/17/2011 2:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft was hit with Antitrust Lawsuits in Europe for the mere inclusion of a default browser and media player. Meanwhile Apple has forced not only the use of iTunes on all of their iP* devices as a media player(Worse than what Microsoft did with Media Player), but they are also requiring any media purchases on the device be run through the iTunes store so they can get their cut. They are worse than the mob, and if you don't like it, they come after your kneecaps.

RE: Apple's tactics are bad for all consumers
By priusone on 10/17/2011 4:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
The EU will have their way with Apple when they are big enough to hit them with a multibillion dollar suit. I'm not sure why they haven't already, but I have complete faith that it is coming.

By captainBOB on 10/17/2011 5:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't have 90%+ of the computer OS market, Microsoft is being pegged (unfairly) because their inclusion of such software will almost completely block out competitors with similar functioning software because the default is good enough for most people, why bother looking at anything else?

Yes, that's unfair, it sucks, but that's how it goes in business, fairness is a pipe dream.

By michael2k on 10/17/2011 5:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
As long as Apple prices themselves to under 30% of the market, I don't think anyone will be able to nail them for antitrust.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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