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Apple accuses Motorola, Samsung of monopolizing markets with patents

post #1 of 132
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In its patent disputes with Samsung and Motorola Mobility, Apple is again calling attention to its competitors' use of "F/RAND encumbered" patents that have been declared essential to implementing open standards, noting that both companies are deceptively monopolizing markets to "harm or eliminate competition."

F/RAND encumbered patent claims

Apple has a series of technical and design implementation patents that it is wielding in an attempt to stop competitors from copying its products. However, many of its patent cases have involved counterclaims based on patents that are associated with a particular industry standard, such as WiFi or 3G mobile networking.

Companies that own patents which are elemental to such a standard commit their intellectual property to "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" licensing, which essentially means that while everyone has to pay royalties to the patent holder to use the technology, the patent holder has agreed to provide licensing terms to anyone on "fair and reasonable" terms.

Apple itself participates as a minority patent holder in the MPEG LA video standards patent portfolio, for example, collecting a portion of the royalties paid by licensees but lacking the power to prevent competitors from licensing and implementing these standards because of its F/RAND commitments to the standards organization.

In its legal dispute with Nokia, Apple argued that many of Nokia's patents were F/RAND encumbered and therefore only required a negotiated agreement between the two companies. Apple subsequently settled with Nokia by paying F/RAND licensing terms.

As noted by FOSSPatent blogger Florian Mueller, Nokia's lawsuit against Apple separated implementation patents from F/RAND licensed standards-related patents.

Apple argues Motorola, Samsung are seeking to monopolize through standards

However, Apple's legal battles with Motorola Mobility and Samsung both argue that those companies are not making the critical distinction Nokia did, and instead are muddling together implementation patents (which competitors can work around by creating their own ways of doing the same thing) with standards patents that are required to build products that are compatible with prevailing industry standards.

When Motorola Mobility attempted to dismiss Apple's case against it, Apple argued that Motorola had engaged in anticompetitive misconduct by attempting to use its standards-related patents as weapons, something that standards-essential patents are forbidden from doing through F/RAND licensing commitments.

"By making false commitments that led to the establishment of worldwide standards incorporating its own patents and eliminating competing alternative technologies," Apple argued in a federal lawsuit, "Motorola [Mobility] has become a gatekeeper, accruing the power to harm or eliminate competition in the relevant markets if it so desires."

Most of Google's Motorola patents can't protect the Android ecosystem

Mueller reports that the judge in the case stated that "these allegations [raised by Apple] imply that Motorola engaged in anticompetitive conduct and has achieved monopoly power." The report further explained that while the judge hadn't ruled definitively that Motorola had committed antitrust violations, it did refuse to grant Motorola's motion to dismiss Apple's case on those grounds.

His report also notes that 7 of Motorola's 18 patents were previously 'declared essential to industry standards,' and therefore restricted by F/RAND commitments that limit them from being raised defensively as valid counterclaims against the infringement of Apple's implementation patents.

Mueller noted regarding Motorola Mobility's patents that "yesterday, M-CAM founder and CEO Dr. David Martin simply called them 'crap' on Bloomberg TV," adding, "And the relatively best ones MMI has -- which wasn't discussed on Bloomberg -- are subject to FRAND commitments."

Mueller said that claims that Motorola's Google-acquired patents are "so powerful that they can protect Android as a whole" are "completely off base," and described those making that claim as "issuing statements that blow the strategic value of MMI's patents completely out of proportion," adding that "Googlorola won't help Samsung, as I explained before."

and Samsung needs help

Mueller noted that Apple's accusations against Samsung are worded even more harshly, stating to the court that "Samsung's serial standard-setting abuses [...] inflict continuing harm on consumers, competition, and Apple alike," and describing "Samsung's subversion of the standardization process."

Apple's lawyers state that "Samsung has unlawfully acquired monopoly power in markets for the technologies purportedly covered by patents which Samsung claims are essential to industry standards ('declared essential patents') by deceiving standards-setting organizations ('SSOs')." Further, "having obtained this ill-gotten monopoly power, Samsung has engaged in a relentless campaign of illegal and abusive assertions of its declared-essential patents to try to coerce Apple into tolerating Samsung's continuing imitation of [the iPhone and the iPad]."

Apple also asserts that the F/RAND rules of standard-setting organizations "are designed to protect the telecommunications industry from the sort of anticompetitive ambush Samsung has perpetrated here."

Mueller noted that "Apple never accused Nokia of deceiving standard-setting organizations. Basically, Apple and Nokia just had a commercial dispute over the demands that an owner of FRAND-committed patents is allowed to make, but Nokia was transparent at all stages."

The scathing tone of Apple's most recent filings against Samsung suggest a similar level of outrage and frustration expressed in previous claims that Samsung was issuing delay tactics to avoid facing its day in court until it had introduced a wide variety of new products into the US market over the next year and a half, while also suggesting to the US court that Apple had "doctored evidence" in a separate case being argued in Europe. Apple successfully argued for an expedited trial that will begin this spring.
post #2 of 132
I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.
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post #3 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.

Please... Why?
post #4 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea9999 View Post

Please... Why?

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"
post #5 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"

While I'm certain there are exceptions on both sides, from what I've read it does seem to be the case that Apple infringes on core technology patents that should be useable by everyone, while Apple's patents being infringed upon are design patents where coming up with something different is possible. Case in point, Samsung modifies the Android app drawer (which has a unique scrolling design) to be a 4x5 grid of icons, bottom row static, and the 4x4 changing in discrete sets with a gray/white dot page indicator below - i.e., exactly like in every way to Springboard.
post #6 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Absolutely. +1
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #7 of 132
Oh Apple, really..?
post #8 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.

I would have to agree......

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post #9 of 132
In short: Apple successfully argued for an expedited trial that will begin this spring.

Let the battle of Legal Staffs and Technical Staffs begin.
post #10 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.

It doesn't matter you're not buying it. You have no privileged information over several years to see the reason for their legal actions.
post #11 of 132
DED - sell your Apple shares; it is impacting your ability to think clearly.
post #12 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.

Seriously, do you have a problem with the argument that F/RAND-encumbered patents should not/cannot be used as counterclaims in a patent suit? I am interested in your thoughts.

Macintosh 512Ke.......

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post #13 of 132
Nice Report from M-CAM and Bloomberg Interview:


M-CAM PDF Report: http://www.m-cam.com/sites/www.m-cam...20Mobility.pdf

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/74556883/

I hate it when web sites can't get their video feeds working for crap. Go here and the video never loads: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...rap-video.html

After several tries and killing npviewer.bin a few times it finally loaded.

It's rather ironic when he slams Google and talks about Arthur Anderson which was was a big customer of ours at NeXT.
post #14 of 132
Uneducated comment, but I think there is a difference between protecting your designs and innovations and throwing old patents around or as this article talks about, patents for general, old standard technologies.

Quite frankly though, I say it comes down to the consumer. I'd be ashamed to be carrying around a knock-off with poorer user experience. It's like when you don't want anyone to know your Coach bag is a knock off. From a distance, looks great. But the material is crap and the seams break open faster, etc.
post #15 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"

I think it's probably a little more complicated than that. Unless patent law is notably simple.
post #16 of 132
I'd be impressed if you could explain Apple's position on the matter. You certainly will not be able to do so merely by reading this article. Educating us on Samsung's patents at issue and FRAND licensing in general would be nice. In the very least, a follow up as to why you don't buy Apple's argument.

Apple didn't make the same arguments with Nokia even though Nokia was also asserting FRAND patents. So, clearly Apple is not regurgitating arguments.



Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying Apple's position on this matter.
post #17 of 132
Again, I'd be impressed if you could actually explain the difference between FRAND patents and unencumbered patents. If you understood that difference, you'd understand why it is not the same thing for Apple to be suing Samsung as it is for Samsung to be suing Apple.

Samsung gave its patents up to a standards body so that Samsung could help create a standard whereby it wouldn't' have to compete with other competing technologies. Those patents are available for anybody to use. Apple doesn't need permission, although it might have to pay a reasonable and nondiscriminatory fee. Apple didn't give its patents up to create a standard. The difference is akin to somebody who offers to allow a bunch of kids to play with his basketball to complain when the kids actually played with his basketball [which is how Samsung is behaving], and the kids breaking into the owner of the basketball's house to steal the ball [Apple arguably is akin to the basketball owner here].

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"
post #18 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"

with you on that one.
post #19 of 132
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post #20 of 132
I don't know the details of all the various disputes going on, but the distinction here seems reasonable.

So far Apple's dispute with sammy and others has centred around the manner in which their products are being mimicked in one way or another, that effects how Apple and "the consumer" differentiates their products from others.

Google/Moto and Samsung on the other hand are trying to leverage tech standards they've developed and licence in defence of design practices intended to affect market perception.

Ultimately, if the two are confused tech standards become weapons that have the power to lock competitors out completely, or threaten them into submission when the holder wants a piece of the blockbuster product action that Apple or others have developed on top of those standards. That definitely seems anticompetitive.

Apples successful products with consumers is derived from their design prowess not the necessary standard tech that products need to conform to or are constructed with.
post #21 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

Uneducated comment, but I think there is a difference between protecting your designs and innovations and throwing old patents around or as this article talks about, patents for general, old standard technologies.

Quite frankly though, I say it comes down to the consumer. I'd be ashamed to be carrying around a knock-off with poorer user experience. It's like when you don't want anyone to know your Coach bag is a knock off. From a distance, looks great. But the material is crap and the seams break open faster, etc.

I think this is exactly right. Apple is trying to protect its products. These other companies are coming back with patents that have long been part of broadly licensed basic technologies. People are too quick to dismiss anything involving IP these days. There are legitimate, straightforward uses of intellectual property and releasing a highly innovative product only to have it copied is a clear cut example of something the courts should protect against.
post #22 of 132
I wonder if Samsung and Motorola lawyers know what they are doing. They seem to get beaten on every angle. So far they did terrible job.

Quote:
Mueller noted regarding Motorola Mobility's patents that "yesterday, M-CAM founder and CEO Dr. David Martin simply called them 'crap' on Bloomberg TV," adding, "And the relatively best ones MMI has -- which wasn't discussed on Bloomberg -- are subject to FRAND commitments."



Google know this and this is I think they didn't buy Motorola for patents.
post #23 of 132
This is interesting.

To simplify - in exchange for having their technology included as part of a standard, a company accepts a fair and reasonable payment (licensing fees) in lieu of the suing the offending party. Standards generally mean interoperability. This calculus is well understood by all the major players.

For patents not covered by standards, well, that is where differentiation occurs. What a number of companies have not realized is the true value associated with a superior implementation. That is one of the strengths of the current Apple portfolio.

The problem occurs when your a company whose strength is in the former, not the latter.
post #24 of 132
I find it funny (and more than a little sad) that everyone is jumping on solipsism for his comment. He's a member who (Largely) sides with apple in a given debate. He makes statements supporting them (even ones just as short) and people agree, even some of the same people questioning him now.
post #25 of 132
I don't know how anyone could defend Samsung. Apple is designing lots of great mobile technology, and this one company has decided to copy it almost completely. Apple does the R&D, Samsung looks at the Apple products and decides to make the same thing. And then, when Apple calls them of the infringement, they call Apple out for it. No one likes a patent troll, but Apple has clearly been inventing new tech. Samsung clearly is knocking it off. i really hope Apple wins this in court. It would send a clear message to these other companies that they will have to design their own stuff.
post #26 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

I find it funny (and more than a little sad) that everyone is jumping on solipsism for his comment. He's a member who (Largely) sides with apple in a given debate. He makes statements supporting them (even ones just as short) and people agree, even some of the same people questioning him now.

When he and I agree it coincides with my experience at NeXT and Apple with I don't know what his experience or views comes from so chalk it up to a random sample where we'll hit n' miss on issues.
post #27 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I wonder if Samsung and Motorola lawyers know what they are doing. They seem to get beaten on every angle. So far they did terrible job.





Google know this and this is I think they didn't buy Motorola for patents.

Motorola wins either way they slice it. If Google pulls out they must pay them $3.5 Billion for doing so. If they absorb the merger then MMI investors feel vindicated after a decade plus of terrible management seeing mountains of engineering talent disappear.

The video interview is far more weighty than the article write up here on AI.
post #28 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think this is exactly right. Apple is trying to protect its products. These other companies are coming back with patents that have long been part of broadly licensed basic technologies. People are too quick to dismiss anything involving IP these days. There are legitimate, straightforward uses of intellectual property and releasing a highly innovative product only to have it copied is a clear cut example of something the courts should protect against.

So apple shouldn't pay for fundamental technology, but they can sue the pants off of someone because they got a trade dress for a black slab?
post #29 of 132
In light of this, Google acquiring Motorola doesn't make a lot of sense. Either they want to collect some royalties (probably not worth the price paid), they want to make their own devices, or they made a big mistake. Maybe their trial lawyers don't understand patents that cover standards or more likely they really want to make their own device and are just trying to spin it a different way. The big Android companies are HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. HTC and Samsung are having major legal issues... so why not buy Motorola and go it alone? Maybe Google decided that ad royalties isn't enough to sustain Android...
post #30 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

So apple shouldn't pay for fundamental technology, but they can sue the pants off of someone because they got a trade dress for a black slab?

Exactly...Apple started suing everyone then complains when companies start building their patent portfolios to protect against being sued.....

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post #31 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

So apple shouldn't pay for fundamental technology, but they can sue the pants off of someone because they got a trade dress for a black slab?

Apple has licensed their technology.

The problem comes when the FRAND holders want to sit back and use their FRAND patents to get every bodies else's successful technology. So lets say HTC licenses Frand at a certain going rate, when apple wants that rate the FRAND holders say "we'll let you license it but we also want the use of your inventions.

Imagine that microsoft gave all oem's a certain rate to install windows, but then tried to use their monopoly to say to say HP we will give you oem rates on windows but we also want the patents on Web OS, otherwise we are going to charge you double on your oem windows license.
post #32 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

So apple shouldn't pay for fundamental technology, but they can sue the pants off of someone because they got a trade dress for a black slab?

NO, that is the mistake many people are making. You can sue if someone is not licensing your FRAND patents... No issue there. What you cant do is use the patents as a counter-claim when being sued. All you can do is sue (separately, like Nokia and I think HTC as well). The two disputes can't be joined.

If you could do that, then you wouldn't really be licensing on non-discriminating terms.
post #33 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

Apple has licensed their technology.

The problem comes when the FRAND holders want to sit back and use their FRAND patents to get every bodies else's successful technology. So lets say HTC licenses Frand at a certain going rate, when apple wants that rate the FRAND holders say "we'll let you license it but we also want the use of your inventions.

Imagine that microsoft gave all oem's a certain rate to install windows, but then tried to use their monopoly to say to say HP we will give you oem rates on windows but we also want the patents on Web OS, otherwise we are going to charge you double on your oem windows license.

you have been drinking to much cider.....from your examples...Like what Apple did to AT&T to carry the iPhone? Or like Apple is doing to Intel to continue to carry their chips and not go with their own chips (A5?) in Apple laptops and desktops? In fact OEMs do this all the time.... They use leverage to gain better pricing and position.

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post #34 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post

Apple has licensed their technology.

The problem comes when the FRAND holders want to sit back and use their FRAND patents to get every bodies else's successful technology. So lets say HTC licenses Frand at a certain going rate, when apple wants that rate the FRAND holders say "we'll let you license it but we also want the use of your inventions.

Imagine that microsoft gave all oem's a certain rate to install windows, but then tried to use their monopoly to say to say HP we will give you oem rates on windows but we also want the patents on Web OS, otherwise we are going to charge you double on your oem windows license.

Which may be true.

But look at the playback. Apple sues these other companies for patents and trade dress, some of the patents VERY broad. These companies fire back, and Apple asserts that these companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using patents.

I think that's why solipsism might not buy Apple's position.

It seems to me like this is another point for the "patents are broken" argument. Basically, if you create something SO useful and SO fundamental, you're SOL in the current market, because the really important patents don't give you much in the way of lawsuit protection, let alone an arsenal.
post #35 of 132
The difference in the case of patents is that companies are legally required to license F/RAND patents for the same fees to any and all interested parties. In the cases you mention that's a physical seller/buyer model which isn't encumbered by the same laws.
post #36 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

NO, that is the mistake many people are making. You can sue if someone is not licensing your FRAND patents... No issue there. What you cant do is use the patents as a counter-claim when being sued. All you can do is sue (separately, like Nokia and I think HTC as well). The two disputes can't be joined.

If you could do that, then you wouldn't really be licensing on non-discriminating terms.

So what you're saying is that the current patent system is weighted to protect trolls and to punish companies that develop fundamentally game changing technology (Wifi, 3G) by making these patents un usable to protect against lawsuits?
post #37 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Because I think it's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. I know I'll have people screaming at me that this isn't related to Apple's patent wars at all, but whatever. I tend to agree that it's a bit disingenuous to complain about somebody suing you when you are suing them right back. It pretty much comes across as Apple screaming, "But they started it!!"

Utter nonsense! Claiming something is merely a schoolyard dispute doesn't make it one. Standards organizations are crucial parts of a working technical infrastructure. If companies and organizations agree to F/RAND and change their tune when the industry standard is adopted it undermines the whole process. Why agree to standards if you have good reason to believe agreements will be ignored routinely at future dates? If we are going to continue being saddled with this often destructive patent system, we should at least expect players to be held to the agreements they make in the standards process. Otherwise more chaos will result.

The contrast between Nokia on the one hand and Motorola/Samsung on the other should help clarify the issue to unbiased observers.
post #38 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

Which may be true.

But look at the playback. Apple sues these other companies for patents and trade dress, some of the patents VERY broad. These companies fire back, and Apple asserts that these companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using patents.

I think that's why solipsism might not buy Apple's position.

It seems to me like this is another point for the "patents are broken" argument. Basically, if you create something SO useful and SO fundamental, you're SOL in the current market, because the really important patents don't give you much in the way of lawsuit protection, let alone an arsenal.

It seems all you did was reading the title and the comments. Apple is not saying "companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using patents.". Apple is saying "companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using FRAND patents.". What Apple is saying is that Samsung sued without even making a FRAND offer.

I suggest you read Mueller original article. AI missed the critical and most important part of this whole thing.
post #39 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

It seems all you did was reading the title and the comments. Apple is not saying "companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using patents.". Apple is saying "companies are trying to lock competitors out of markets using FRAND patents.". What Apple is saying is that Samsung sued without even making a FRAND offer.

I suggest you read Mueller original article. AI missed the critical and most important part of this whole thing.

I'd prefer not to read any more Mueller than I already have to.

I know Apple is asserting their claims based on Frand patents held by the other companies. What I'm saying is that this just further proves that the system is messed up because it means that if you develop something SO groundbreaking, it becomes useless when someone wants to sue you over a glass slab.
post #40 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

I'd prefer not to read any more Mueller than I already have to.

I know Apple is asserting their claims based on Frand patents held by the other companies. What I'm saying is that this just further proves that the system is messed up because it means that if you develop something SO groundbreaking, it becomes useless when someone wants to sue you over a glass slab.

Then maybe Samsung and Motorola shouldn't have declared their patents essential to the industry standard. Once you do that you give up a lot but you are guaranteed to collect a fee. You can't double dip (Seinfeld joke).
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