German court tosses Samsung's 3G patent suit, Apple's slide-to-unlock complaint

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


A German court handed out two rulings on Friday, tossing one lawsuit from Samsung against Apple over 3G standards, and another suit Apple lodged against Samsung over touchscreen slide-to-unlock functionality.



Judge Andreas Voss in the Mannheim Regional Court issued the two patent rulings on Friday, tossing out the third Samsung complaint in a row, and one of two suits Apple has lodged over slide-to-unlock, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Samsung has already announced that they will appeal their dismissal, and it's expected that Apple will appeal their own as well, though the company declined to comment.



The two decisions on Friday mean that now four of 14 Mannheim cases between Apple and Samsung have been ruled on. Six of those are complaints Apple has filed against Samsung, including another related to slide-to-unlock with respect to a utility model, which Mueller explained is a special German intellectual property right.



"Samsung Still hasn't been able to enforce any intellectual property right anywhere on this planet against Apple, while Apple has had some successes (though only preliminary ones so far, most of which were subsequently lifted)," he wrote.



Friday's rulings wrap up what Mueller declared to be a "phenomenal" week for Apple in Germany. It kicked off on Monday when the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court ruled that Motorola Mobility cannot further enforce its standard-essential patent injunction against Apple in Germany during its appeal, which indicates that Apple is "highly likely" to succeed in that pursuit.











And then on Thursday, Apple won another decision over Motorola related to a photo gallery patent. Those victories combined with Friday's dismissal of the Samsung complaint mean Apple won three of four court rulings made in Germany this week.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • umadbrah?umadbrah? Posts: 2member
    Good. I mean, srsly: slide to unlock? Total bogus that such a thing can be patented. I get why a company like Apple would file it: all giant companies file ridiculous patents, but they do so for defensive reasons.



    The fact that Apple tried to use this patent in an offensive way is just ridiculous.





    the Samsung patent on the other hand is about actual tech that required R&D and actual talent.

    Yeah, it's under the FRAND flag, but if Apple isn't paying the requested fair fees, they are in the wrong.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A German court handed out two rulings on Friday, tossing one lawsuit from Samsung against Apple over 3G standards, and another suit Apple lodged against Samsung over touchscreen slide-to-unlock functionality.




    Did the court say WHY they did this?



    The article seems to be "keeping score" while providing little or no insight.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,262member
    Florian Mueller is going out of his way to put a happy face on it, but I sincerely doubt Apple was indifferent to having the slide-to-unlock patent claim to be determined un-infringed by Samsung.



    Of course since this is Germany, there seems to be no end to court specials. In this case there's a Utility Model to consider. What's that? I wondered the same thing, since the patent infringement claim had been tossed. Here's a simple explanation:

    http://www.abitz.de/En/GermanUtilityModels



    So no worries about prior art that originated outside of Germany. Of course that means that any decision on the German Utility Model claim won't extend outside of Germany either, any more than Moto's cloud-services injunction against Apple.
  • drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by UMadBrah? View Post


    Good. I mean, srsly: slide to unlock? Total bogus that such a thing can be patented. I get why a company like Apple would file it: all giant companies file ridiculous patents, but they do so for defensive reasons.



    The fact that Apple tried to use this patent in an offensive way is just ridiculous.





    the Samsung patent on the other hand is about actual tech that required R&D and actual talent.

    Yeah, it's under the FRAND flag, but if Apple isn't paying the requested fair fees, they are in the wrong.



    1. Slide to unlock is not what the patent is about, it is the title of the patent. It is a very involved patent and even in Germany, two different regional courts (Munich and Meinheim) came up with two rather different interpretations for it. So read a bit more please on the topic.



    2. Samsung and MMI are asking for 2.5% of the total end product for using a FRAND patent. Given the FRAND nature of the things, we should find out whether they are seeking the exact or similar arrangement with other companies or not! I doubt they are, in this case even Qualcomm which is the manufacturer of the chips is siding with Apple which has made this case quite something...



    3. Following up from above, if you think 2.5% of the end product is fair, then Airbus should pay 2.5% of the total value of each airplane to Samsung or MMI et al. for providing wifi in the cabins. Given that this is about 1 patent, how would you value the rest of the patents?



    4. Please read a bit more on the difference between FRAND and non-FRAND patents!
  • jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by UMadBrah? View Post


    Good. I mean, srsly: slide to unlock? Total bogus that such a thing can be patented. I get why a company like Apple would file it: all giant companies file ridiculous patents, but they do so for defensive reasons.



    The fact that Apple tried to use this patent in an offensive way is just ridiculous.





    the Samsung patent on the other hand is about actual tech that required R&D and actual talent.

    Yeah, it's under the FRAND flag, but if Apple isn't paying the requested fair fees, they are in the wrong.



    FRAND terms require fair fees. You can't charge apple $15 and then charge Nokia $3 just because Apple has more valuable products. And since they are part of standards, you shouldn't be able to have an injunction either.
  • adamiigsadamiigs Posts: 355member
    Please don't feed the trolls.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Florian Mueller is going out of his way to put a happy face on it, but I sincerely doubt Apple was indifferent to having the slide-to-unlock patent claim to be determined un-infringed by Samsung.




    We don't know that the court said that. The article is silent as to WHY.



    Wait - I take that back.





    The court never heard the case. They could not have made any decision as to the merits.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post


    3. Following up from above, if you think 2.5% of the end product is fair, then Airbus should pay 2.5% of the total value of each airplane to Samsung or MMI et al. for providing wifi in the cabins. Given that this is about 1 patent, how would you value the rest of the patents?



    It's very typical for FRAND royalties to be based on the price of a finished product rather than one specific chip.



    "Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation."



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royalties

    The footnotes lead to the source links if you wish to delve deeper into it.
  • lfmorrisonlfmorrison Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    FRAND terms require fair fees. You can't charge apple $15 and then charge Nokia $3 just because Apple has more valuable products. And since they are part of standards, you shouldn't be able to have an injunction either.



    If injunctions were totally taken off the table, then there would be no point in anybody agreeing to pay to license anything -- somebody could keep on wilfully infringing, and keep on wilfully refusing to pay fair license fees, and the process could go on indefinitely without resolution. The threat of an injunction is a tool which motivates an infringer to bargain in good faith.



    That being said, injunctions for FRAND patents should be reserved for cases in which a truly fair offer has been made, and the infringer has wilfully ignored the offer. Of course, that point has definitely not been proven in this case.
  • mauszmausz Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    FRAND terms require fair fees. You can't charge apple $15 and then charge Nokia $3 just because Apple has more valuable products. And since they are part of standards, you shouldn't be able to have an injunction either.



    Unless there is also a cross-licensing of other patents as well between samsung and nokia. I have read this somewhere else (can't seem to find the link right now). FRAND licensing can be different to different licensees if they are part of a "bigger" deal
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    We don't know that the court said that. The article is silent as to WHY.



    Wait - I take that back.





    The court never heard the case. They could not have made any decision as to the merits.



    We do know why.



    The judge found that Apple's construction claim was very specific, with Samsung's implementation of a similar method differing enough to make Apple's claim of infringement unlikely to succeed.



    "The court's slide-to-unlock ruling hinged on the manner in which the brush of a finger across a screen unlocks a device. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple's unblocking function has an on-screen start and end point and works when a finger sweeps in a roughly straight line. However Suwon, Korea-based Samsung's slide-to-unlock feature differs in that it permits "gestures of any path between start and target," presiding judge Andreas Voss told the courtroom."
  • drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    It's very typical for FRAND royalties to be based on the price of a finished product rather than one specific chip.



    "Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation."



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royalties

    The footnotes lead to the source links if you wish to delve deeper into it.



    I am not sure which link you are referring to since there are more70 sources in the footnotes. However the full product rate is only applied in certain industries like material science and pharmaceuticals. This is due to the nature of the products as if you do not use a certain molecule then the whole thing will not work.



    In the case of electronics, this does not necessarily apply (some companies may be happy to do that! also there may be a branch of electronics which may practice this!). As no one is forced to use your patent! Companies volunteer their patents to Standard setting agencies under FRAND terms. They are not forced to do so. Also they are getting paid by the manufacturer for every chip which is sold (in this case Qualcomm but it can easily be TI or Intersil). You cannot have a double dip in both the chip and the end product!



    Saying all this, again these are FRAND patents. If Samsung wants 2.5% of the end iPhone then Apple, MS could claim 2.5% of anything that Samsung has which supports hardware acceleration! and other companies do the same... We will have nothing left! Law and the spirit of the law is there for a reason.
  • irelandireland Posts: 16,070member
    Go Apple!
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrFreeman View Post


    I am not sure which link you are referring to since there are more70 sources in the footnotes.



    Here's a PDF on the subject if you're really curious on the methods used to determine FRAND royalty rates.



    Formulas for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Royalty rates

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...32c_EA&cad=rja
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Posts: 483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post


    Please don't feed the trolls.



    Please define Troll. Anybody that disagrees with you? Anybody that isn't salivating Pavlov-style over everything Apple? If they say anything critical at all, then they should be ignored or criticized?



    Please don't feed the Troll haters. Oh, dang. That's me.
  • bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    It's very typical for FRAND royalties to be based on the price of a finished product rather than one specific chip.



    "Royalties are typically agreed upon as a percentage of gross or net revenues derived from the use of an asset or a fixed price per unit sold of an item of such, but there are also other modes and metrics of compensation."



    FYI in terms of the FRAND patent, while Apple does benefit from the use of the patent, Apple is not, technically, Samsung's customer. Samsung licensed Quaalcom to produce the products that enable the technology represented by the patent. Apple bought and Quaalcom sold those chips on the basis of them being licensed by Samsung.



    Samsung withdrew licensing for the products sold to Apple (after the fact for some parts), but not for other customers of Quaalcom. Instead of trying to collect royalties of 2.25% of the sales price for the product that Quaalcom made, they are now trying to collect that royalty against the Apple product containing the product that Quaalcom made.



    Hardly fair or reasonable. For all intents and purposes, Samsung is manipulating the rules to both gain a larger payday and to unfairly hurt their chief competitor in the marketplace.



    For comparison, this is analogous to a patent holder of technology critical to LCD screens made by Samsung refusing to license their product for use in Hondas unless Honda paid a royalty equal to 2.25% of the retail sales price of the Honda. That would amount to a royalty, exclusive of manufacturing costs of approximately $607 (on a $27,000 vehicle) on a screen that is 4x5 inches in size.



    If you call THAT fair, ...
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    FYI in terms of the FRAND patent, while Apple does benefit from the use of the patent, Apple is not, technically, Samsung's customer. Samsung licensed Quaalcom to produce the products that enable the technology represented by the patent. Apple bought and Quaalcom sold those chips on the basis of them being licensed by Samsung.



    Samsung withdrew licensing for the products sold to Apple, for some parts after the fact, but not for other customers of Quaalcom. Instead of trying to collect royalties of 2.25% of the sales price for the product that Quaalcom made, they are now trying to collect that royalty against the Apple product containing the product that Quaalcom made.



    Hardly fair or reasonable. For all intents and purposes, Samsung is manipulating the rules to both gain a larger payday and to unfairly hurt their chief competitor in the marketplace.



    For comparison, this is analogous to a patent holder of technology critical to LCD screens made by Samsung refusing to license their product for use in Hondas unless Honda paid a royalty equal to 2.25% of the retail sales price of the Honda. That would amount to a royalty, exclusive of manufacturing costs of approximately $607 on a screen that is 4x5 inches in size.



    If you call THAT fair, ...



    No, I don't call it fair. It's also not atypical for royalties to be based on the product sales price.



    You might read the PDF I linked above for a better understanding of formulas for determining a fair recompense for FRAND-pledged IP.
  • drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Here's a PDF on the subject if you're really curious on the methods used to determine FRAND royalty rates.



    Formulas for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Royalty rates

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...32c_EA&cad=rja



    Thank you for the link however Chrome does not allow it as it is flagged to be duplicate heading!



    However the point would be that there are a few thousand standard FRAND patents in each phone or laptop (lets assume 1000). Now if we apply the 2.5% to each one of the patents we have to give 2500% of the value of the end product for the FRAND royalty which is not really practical.



    I am not disputing your comment on the FRAND value being based on the end product value. However for an electronic device with such large number of players and the number of patents, it is not practical nor reasonable.
  • sleepy3sleepy3 Posts: 244member
    You know what's funny?



    These lawsuits and patent wars have been going on for years now and what has changed? in iOS OR ANDROID? NOTHING!!!!!



    Who has benefited? NOBODY!!! (Well....the lawyers but they are scarcely people)



    I don't know why people concern themselves so much with this legal stuff when in truth and in fact the chances of anything in a courtroom causing a 'death blow' to any platform is about the odds of MC Hammer making a musical comeback. Not gonna happen (No disrespect to hammer, love you dude...no homo).



    I cant for the life of me figure out why the media hypes this up so much. I mean, is this really what generates the most hits these days?



    Its all business. Apple will win some, Google will win some, in the end they will all settle, or workaround or whatever.
  • pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    No, I don't call it fair. It's also not atypical for royalties to be based on the product sales price.



    You might read the PDF I linked above for a better understanding of formulas for determining a fair recompense for FRAND-pledged IP.



    Yes, but once again, Qualcomm already has licensing agreements and pays for the use the FRAND patents. The royalty is based on their *chip's* sale price. However, Moto told Qualcomm it was revoking its license with respect to Apple only.



    Use common sense, for once. If 2.5% of a smartphone's sale price was fair for a single FRAND patent out of a much, much larger patent pool, the royalties would quickly add up to be more than the sale price of the device. You think that's fair or reasonable? The point of FRAND is really to protect competition and the consumer by keeping prices down. Unreasonable royalties, when aggregated, could exponentially drive up the price of components for some companies, perhaps keeping them from the marketplace.
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