Print 15 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Nov 27 at 1:45 PM

Addition would put almost Samsung's entire current lineup in jeopardy

With a 10-year licensing agreement with HTC Corp. (TPE:2498ironed out -- and with two-way lawsuits with Motorola Mobility dismissed with prejudice not once, not twicebut three times -- the war between Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Android hinges on one final battle.  That battle is the ongoing litigation between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and Apple, the two most profitable smartphone makers.

I. Ban on the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III?

On Sunday, Reuters reported that Apple has filed to tack on six new Samsung products to its second major court battle with Samsung.  Among the products is the popular phone-cum-tablet, the Galaxy Note II.  Apple also wants to tack on the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III, running the new Android "Jelly Bean" operating system, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Samsung Rugby Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini.

Last week Judge Paul S. Grewal of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose courtroom ruled that Samsung could add Apple's flagship iPhone 5 to the suit.  He also ruled that Apple could add a number of Samsung products to their suit.  

At first it appeared that the Galaxy S III -- Samsung's flagship phone-form-factor device -- might be on that list.  Now it appears Apple is still fighting to get that one tacked on.
Galaxy Note II
The Galaxy Note II is among the devices targeted by Apple's latest ban request.

Last week, despite Judge Grewal expressing skepticism of Samsung's justifications, he handed the Asian OEM a key win, ordering that Apple must disclose copies of its licensing agreement with HTC. However, the disclosure is under a strict seal of privacy meaning the media will not be privy to it.

II. War Continues Even as Both Sides Look to Shift Last Round in Their Favor

Apple alleges that Google Inc.'s (GOOGJelly Bean operating system, along with Samsung's proprietary user interface enhancements illegally borrow patented technologies from iOS -- mostly in terms of designs, animations, or software mechanisms.  Apple has stirred up controversy by patenting a number of its features in iOS; most recently it won a design patent on animating turning pages, despite Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) offering a visually identical technology in 2002 (which is still live), prior to Apple's filing.

Samsung, meanwhile, alleges that Apple refuses to license and stole its communications and video standards patents, along with a handful of user interface patents.  Samsung's claims have also sparked controversy, as some argue it should be required to license those patents to Apple and should not be allowed to use them to pursue litigation against Apple, under the so-called "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing rules that govern such standards patents.

Whichever side you are on, it's hard to deny that the first round when entirely to Apple.  Apple scored a $1.05B USD verdict in the first jury trial, while it was found innocent of all of Samsung's counter-claims.

Korean Won
The verdict in the first trial cost Samsung $12B USD in value. 
[Image Source: 
SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg]

Samsung feels that victory was unjust and has appealed.  It believes the jury foreman -- who did not disclose his involvement in a prior legal dispute with a Samsung subsidiary -- misled fellow jurors.  It has also questioned potential juror bias, as Judge Lucy Koh allowed some jurors to serve who had family members who held significant amounts of Apple stock and would profit off Samsung's misfortune.  Judge Koh reasoned that this was okay, as the jurors themselves were not shareholders.

Apple meanwhile is looking to capitalize.  While its push to ban Samsung's product from U.S. sales has been stymied by some of its key patents in the case being engaged in various stages of invalidation, it has moved to make the best of its win by looking to triple the damages to $3.15B USD.  Apple could potentially triple the damages as the jury found the infringement to be "willful".

Overseas Apple has fared worse; in the UK Apple lost a major case to Samsung and was forced to print an apology ad.  In South Korea, Samsung's home nation, Apple was found guilty of minor infringements, as was Apple.  So far the U.S. verdict is somewhat of a red herring amidst the general international legal community, which has -- by and large -- pushed the pair to solve their differences via some manner of cross-licensing deal, rather than by wasting court time and requesting consumers be denied access to products.

Source: Reuters

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Really? The Note 2?
By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 11/26/2012 2:37:39 PM , Rating: 4
There is absolutely no way anyone could make a reasonable argument that someone could confuse the Galaxy Note 2 for any product that Apple makes. No-one can accuse it of being an iPhone or iPad copycat. What possible justification can they come up with?

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By AmbroseAthan on 11/26/2012 2:42:58 PM , Rating: 3
I have to agree for the most part based on my general knowledge of tech products. But on the counter point, I am amazed how many non-tech people think my white Note II is an iPad Mini when I first pull it out to use it. It baffles me.

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By JackBurton on 11/26/12, Rating: -1
RE: Really? The Note 2?
By Granseth on 11/26/2012 2:56:50 PM , Rating: 4
If thats the case, shouldn't Samsung sue Apple for making something that looks remotely like the Note II?

I can't remember everybody suing each other when every phone looked mostly the same in the pre-Iphone area, so I can't understand why they allow this practice to go on today.

And I am really tired of reading about these cases in every media. Can't the media stop reporting before there is a final verdict. (yeah, yeah, I know these sort of things generate hits and make money, but it's sport of sad that I can't add a no-lawsuit filter to my tech-pages on the net)

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By ritualm on 11/26/2012 5:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
I can't remember everybody suing each other when every phone looked mostly the same in the pre-Iphone area, so I can't understand why they allow this practice to go on today.

Apple hates competing against other companies.

A toymaker in Asia tried to sell Steve Jobs figurines, but was forced to stop all production because Apple said El Jobso is untouchable as a product subject topic.

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By retrospooty on 11/26/2012 5:37:25 PM , Rating: 3
"Apple hates competing against other companies."

Of course they do... The last time they had to compete, they got outsold, out developed outpaced and totally outmanuevered in every possible way by Microsoft. They would have gone out of business if not for a cash bailout from MS themselves in the late 90's.

It's all starting again with Android. Outsold - check. Out developed -Check. Outpaced -Check - Totally outmanuevered - Check.

The difference this time is Apple has a bajilllion dollar warchest. Sad that with all that money, they arent developing crap, just suing while the competition runs circles around them. Seriously. IOS has gone no-where in the past 3-4 years.

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By StevoLincolnite on 11/26/2012 7:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
I had a Gigabyte convertible Netbook and people thought it was an iPad. I mean seriously.
The average joe just isn't that smart.

This is a perfect example:

Essentially an iPhone 4 being passed as an iPhone 5 and people fell for it.

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By haukionkannel on 11/26/2012 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 3
I didn't know that Apple has now paten for the pen also...


RE: Really? The Note 2?
By Jeffk464 on 11/27/2012 12:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
How about instead of suing they come up with a phone as nice as the galaxy note 2.

RE: Really? The Note 2?
By Theoz on 11/27/2012 1:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Likelihood of confusion has nothing to do with patent law. The only question would be whether the Note falls within Apple's claim language and whether the patents are valid. However, trademark infringement often hinges on likelihood of confusion.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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