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Print 22 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Nov 24 at 6:30 PM

Disclosure could give Samsung leverage when bargaining with Apple, help it stay ahead

When it comes to sales only one Android OEM has passed Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in U.S. sales.  In fact, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) has left Apple far behind in sales; in some quarters its top handset outsold Apple's only handset (the iPhone).  Meanwhile Samsung is the only Android OEM to be strongly profitable, although it still trails the lower volume Apple in profits.

Given that state of affairs, it perhaps makes a bit more sense why Samsung has been Apple's number one target in court.  So far Apple and Samsung are one and one.  In the UK Apple lost a major case to Samsung and was forced to print an apology ad; meanwhile in the U.S. a jury went the opposite way finding Samsung guilty of $1.05B USD in "willful infringement" (that case is being appealed).

Now even as Apple and Samsung lock horns for a second trialU.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose courtroom Judge Paul S. Grewal has made a key ruling which may give Samsung leverage at the bargaining table.  In a court order on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Judge Grewal ordered [PDF] that Apple had to disclose the terms of its intellectual property cross-licensing agreement with HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).

Apple v. Samsung
Apple will have to give fiscal details of its licensing agreement with HTC to Samsung.
[Image Source: Gizmodo]

Apple and HTC settled up earlier this month, with Apple reportedly getting less than half what Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) gets in Android licensing fees.  The licensing deal is set to last for 10 years.

The Cupertino company, despite having a stacked, high-power litigation team likely settled with HTC in part because HTC is struggling in sales and isn't much of a threat.  Now it may regret cutting a relatively reasonable deal with the Asian OEM, as it may look unfair and uncooperative to the judge and jury, should it reject a similar statement by Samsung.

According to reports while Microsoft squeezed only $10 USD per handset from HTC, it gets 50 percent more -- roughly $15 USD per handset -- from Samsung.

The document in question has been labeled "Attorneys-Eyes-Only", so it is unlikely the media will get their hands on the exact licensing details; particularly after Samsung was already admonished in the last round for allegedly leaking Apple court filings to the press.

An injunction hearing will be held on Dec. 6, at which point a California district judge will decide on whether to temporarily ban U.S. sales of Apple's iPhone 5 and/or Samsung's Galaxy S III, in addition to other Samsung "Jelly Bean" products.

Source: Judge Grewal via SBNation [The Verge]



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Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/22/2012 4:17:14 PM , Rating: 5
Whether you hate Apple or love it, whether you hate Samsung or love it, whether you strongly support the U.S. Judicial System or feel it must be dismantled at all costs...

This is an extremely bad precedent. To require private, one on one dealings between company A and company B to be turned over to both company A's and B's competitor (remember, HTC is a competitor to Samsung too) is a travesty. The patents about which the licensing agreement pertain are not standards essential patents. They are not subject to FRAND rules. These are patents held by HTC and Apple that neither have committed to openly license.

Now the judge has ordered private dealings to be given to the competitor. What's the chance that Samsung's legal team will "accidentally" spill some, or all, of the details of the agreement to Samsung's management and not report that spillage to the court? Virtually 100%.

Apple, with HTC's support, was willing to provide the entire agreement with just 33 words and numbers redacted out. There is no rational justification for Samsung's lawyers to know those details. There is no legal precedent for the court to force Apple to license the patents to Samsung for the exact same terms they did with HTC.

What's next? Does Samsung get to demand -- and receive -- copies of the cross licensing deal between Apple and Microsoft? Based upon this precedent how could the court deny that demand? Where does it stop now? Can Samsung demand copies of every licensing deal with any company for any mobile device related patent?

The court has opened a Pandora's box the court cannot close.




RE: Extremely bad
By BladeVenom on 11/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/2012 12:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
So every licensing deal Google makes should be public record?

So every deal Lockheed Martin does should be public?

So every deal Motorola does should be public?

You are naive beyond belief.

If every company's competitor knew every internal working of every other company, the business community would grind to a halt. That's just fact.

Clearly you've never run any business, not even a small one.


RE: Extremely bad
By dark matter on 11/23/2012 5:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst your insulting the other writer for not being able to run a business, I feel I need to remind you that you don't understand the word "context".

No doubt, you're an absolute astute businessman, with many businesses under your belt.

No imagine you own shop A, and across the street is shop B.

And at the end of the drive is shop X.

Now, how would you feel if you're business was told to stop selling by shop X, because what you're selling is killing his business, and only he can sell his product.

Yet at the same time you see shop owner X and shop owner B making a deal over the same product he's tried to get you to stop selling.

You're the one obviously never run a business. Because ANY businessman worth his salt would be demanding to see the content of the deal between X and B.

Idiot.


RE: Extremely bad
By retrospooty on 11/23/2012 7:08:08 AM , Rating: 4
"No imagine you own shop A, and across the street is shop B.
And at the end of the drive is shop X. Now, how would you feel if you're business was told to stop selling by shop X, because what you're selling is killing his business, and only he can sell his product. Yet at the same time you see shop owner X and shop owner B making a deal over the same product he's tried to get you to stop selling. You're the one obviously never run a business. Because ANY businessman worth his salt would be demanding to see the content of the deal between X and B."


Exactly... I would only add - If Apple wants to keep the courts out of its business than Apple should STOP involving the courts in its business. Plain and simple.


RE: Extremely bad
By Retrospotting on 11/23/2012 7:21:55 PM , Rating: 1
go stick your finger up your arse dude and suck on it.


RE: Extremely bad
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/24/2012 8:23:03 AM , Rating: 2
How classy Pirks...

You are a real winner....


RE: Extremely bad
By retrospooty on 11/24/2012 1:31:57 PM , Rating: 3
LOL. Can you imagine having so little of a life that you actually take the time to create an email address, then a new ID just to add zero to the debate? Now he has done it several times to me, you and reclaimer...

It's really kind of sad. Maybe this person wasn't loved as a child... And certainly isn't loved now.


RE: Extremely bad
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/24/2012 6:30:17 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think he has ANY life at all.

Sad part is, he claims to have children, or so I thought I read. I feel pity for his children and wife if he actually does. The way he acts, is quite pathetic for an adult.


RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/2012 2:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
If you think I was insulting the previous poster, and that was not my intent but rather to cast his post in the context of not knowing how businesses really work, then you have no little knowledge of what an insulting post really is (but for an example see the last line of your own post). Clearly you have no personal knowledge of the flame wars that used to erupt many years ago and virtually are non existent today. A bit of context might be helpful.

And, actually, I have run a business (actually, I've done a couple of start ups) and I have been an advisor to a few of businesses that I didn't start. And even the startups are/were not little businesses. In one the largest funding from a single source was $1.5 billion and the largest single contract, so far, was $500 million.

I'd say I know how to run a business.

The issue is not as simple as the situation you portray. The issue is that shop X has been granted a legal right to be the only one to sell products with specific features/capabilities -- that it has never pledged to share with everyone. (I'm not going to get into whether I think shop X should have been granted that legal right in the first place. I think I've made my stance on that quite clear in previous threads: virtually all systems and methods patents should be killed.)

Shop X legally could (and in some cases has) been able to stop both shop A and shop B from selling products with those features. Then for some reason, a reason that both shop B and shop X are willing to share with shop A, shop X is willing to license those features with shop B. The financial dealings of that sharing is purely between shop X and shop B.

So the court has said that the details of the agreement between shop X and shop B must be 100% shared with shop A. My question comes to this... and EVERYONE is ignoring it in an effort to bash shop X -- where does this stop? Does shop A get to demand copies of every even remotely similar agreement between shop X and anyone else? Does shop A get to demand copies of every even remotely similar agreement between shop B and everyone else?

In my case both of my two biggest startups have critical patents. Patents we have not licensed to anyone. Right now, no one can build what we build. Other companies has tried to get the rights to do it and have lost. They've even tried to invalidate the patents and have lost.

However, if we licensed those patents to Lockheed Martin, and only Lockheed Martin, to build similar products, do Orbital Sciences, Space Systems Loral, Raytheon, Arianespace, etc. get the right to see all the details of that patent license agreement?

And bye-the-bye, I've been called an idiot by much better people than you.


RE: Extremely bad
By Strunf on 11/23/2012 7:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
Both companies are quoted on the stock market, if I hold stocks from them I in part am also owner of the company, if so why shouldn't I be able to check the in and outs of each deal they do, actually quoted companies are already "forced" to disclose many of the business deals.

Also many patents must obey to the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND), key word non discriminatory which implies everyone pays the same.


RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/2012 2:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
A stockholder in a public company does not get to know the details of each and every detail that company makes. For example, you can't be a stockholder in Apple, owning a single share, then go in and demand to see all the files or any single file you want to see. It does not work that way.

Think of this rather extreme example: You're the CEO of Ford. You also own stock in GM and Chrysler. Does that get you the right to go in and see the details of every deal that GM and Chrysler have done with their suppliers? IF a certain supplier is selling an item to Ford for $11.00 but selling it ti GM for $10.50 and Chrysler for $11.05. Can you use that inside information to go back to that supplier and demand the $10.50 price?

The anser is no. You don't get that information in the first place. Public company or not.

You as a stockholder get to vote on the board. You as a stockholder get to vote on they bylaws of the corporation. You as a stockholder get preferential treatment to sue the company if you think the board and officers are not fulfilling their financial duties to the stockholders at large (not just you as an individual stockholder). You as a stockholder do not get access to all the deals the company makes (other than specific requests due to the fiducial deals situation I just mentioned).

And, just for clarity, none of the patents in the Apple-HTC deal are with regard to Standards Essential Patents that come under the FRAND rules. These are not patents Apple has committed to license at large. Besides, FRAND does not mean that "everyone pays the same".


RE: Extremely bad
By C'DaleRider on 11/24/2012 4:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A stockholder in a public company does not get to know the details of each and every detail that company makes. For example, you can't be a stockholder in Apple, owning a single share, then go in and demand to see all the files or any single file you want to see. It does not work that way.


Completely depends on the amount of stock amassed. True, one single share doesn't give much leverage at all, just a single vote on what issues the BoD decides to have voted upon.

On the other hand, that same person/entity acquiring like 10% of the outstanding shares of stock of a company may indeed give that person/entity the right to a seat on the BoD. And at that point, that person/entity has the right to see everything, as any entity with a seat on the BoD has.


RE: Extremely bad
By sprockkets on 11/22/2012 6:49:13 PM , Rating: 3
The only person to blame for this is apple themselves, for claiming at the trial that licensing those patents would have caused irreparable harm. Then they turn around and license them for HTC to use.

quote:
Apple, with HTC's support, was willing to provide the entire agreement with just 33 words and numbers redacted out.


Yeah, with the most important numbers relevant, the actual price. Good going dumb a.


RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: Extremely bad
By someguy123 on 11/23/2012 1:08:33 AM , Rating: 4
How do any of those scenarios apply to this one? The court order is due to apple filing suit and claiming it could not license its patents as it would damage their brand. Licensing to HTC is clearly contrary to their own claims.

This is not a precedent for demanding confidential information on private licensing, this is apple caught in its own lies and the judge demanding licensing terms in order to find what apple considers to be "proper" licensing terms seeing as they've established such terms with HTC.


RE: Extremely bad
By hexxthalion on 11/23/2012 5:24:14 AM , Rating: 1
you're assuming that the licensing deal with HTC is about the same stuff as with Samsung. What you're forgetting though is the fact that before all this mess started, Apple approached Samsung and offered them licensing deal. Samsung rejected and got sued.

Samsung wasn't willing to take license, HTC in the end was and managed to get 'sweet' deal from Apple.

The patents in question are not FRAND ones and both HTC and Apple can charge for them whatever they want, that's why it's called cross-license agreement, they've agreed.

Samsung didn't and because of the fact that these patents are not FRAND ones, Apple can charge more or charge less Samsung for the same stuff they license to HTC.


RE: Extremely bad
By sprockkets on 11/23/2012 2:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung was offered $30 for any phone and discounts on certain os and form factors and $40 for tablets.

I would say no too.


RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/2012 2:29:08 PM , Rating: 1
I've never seen anywhere (at least not any reliable source) where Apple said they could not license their patents. In fact, any such a statement would be contrary to fact: Apple has a vast cross licensing deal with Microsoft that has been in place for some time that covers many, if not all, of these patents. They did say they were not willing to license them to Samsung at this time (even though Apple had originally tried to license them to Samsung).

And even if your premise were true -- which it is not -- both Apple and HTC were willing to give Samsung all the terms and conditions of that licensing agreement. They just didn't want to give out the dollar amounts. If Samsung wants to meet all the same terms and conditions, then negotiate the dollar amounts, they might be able to strike up a deal with Apple.

Many posters forget that both Apple and Samsung admit that Apple executives went to Korea to meet with Samsung about licensing Apple's patents long before the lawsuits started flying. However, both before and after the Apple-HTC deal was announced, Samsung executives have publicly stated they will never enter into a similar deal with Apple.

So if Samsung won't license from Apple, what benefit to Samsung is there in getting the details of the Apple-HTC deal? Oh, yes, its so that Samsung can rally the Apple haters around the world for Apple trying to keep details of the Apple-HTC deal private. "See, Apple continues to be a clandestine, secretive, evil company. If only Apple would tell its competitors the details of its private dealings it would be 0.000001% less evil."

So, contrary to your belief, this is not Apple caught in its own lies. Nor is it even about Samsung wanting to get the exact same deal with Apple. It is about one company demanding and getting confidential details about the dealings of competitors for no other reason than an attempt to embarrass both those competitors.

The real travesty is the cascade effect this could have on other businesses if this precedent is let stand.


RE: Extremely bad
By someguy123 on 11/23/2012 6:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
According to reuters they specially said:

quote:
During the Samsung trial, Apple IP chief Boris Teksler said the company is generally willing to license many of its patents - except for those that cover what he called Apple's "unique user experience" like touchscreen functionality and design.


Then they licensed it to HTC. There is no global precedent for demanding internal licensing information no matter how lengthy your ranting.


RE: Extremely bad
By hexxthalion on 11/23/2012 5:17:59 AM , Rating: 1
you don't get it, do you? apple has agreement with htc. htc had to agree to provide details, they both were happy to provide licensing deals without the numbers and samsung agreed, though mentioned that it might need full details at the later stage. instead, judge decided to see it all now even though he doubts relevance to this case.

sometimes the hatred for apple and microsoft is just staggering, how about you calm down and look at facts as they are?


RE: Extremely bad
By ritualm on 11/23/2012 8:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
No, it isn't.

By denying Samsung of the terms of the Apple-HTC settlement, Judge Grewal is essentially green-lighting Apple to do whatever it pleases, anti-trust and anti-competition be damned.

Why do you find it acceptable that we as individuals must shed every last parcel of our precious privacy to get LESS security with each passing day, yet Apple - as a corporation, not an individual - can enjoy more privacy protection than the rest of us?

Apple, HTC and Samsung are all publicly-held companies. Apple refuses to license its patents to Samsung, but allows HTC the privilege. To not force Apple to disclose the terms of its settlement is to further reinforce the perception that the US justice system, much like its maligned patent system, is corrupted beyond repair.

Why do you hate freedom?


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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