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South Korea called "courageous" for investigating Samsung's patent abuse

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Samsung's "enormous political clout" in South Korea speaks well of the decision by the nation's Fair Trade Commission to investigate allegations of its standards essential patent abuse.

Apple has charged that Samsung is abusing the standards essential patents it has already committed to fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory licensing terms, and instead using them to block Apple's products from the market, notes patent blogger Florian Mueller

Mueller wrote in a report at FOSS Patents that South Korea's regulatory agency has joined the European Commission in looking into Samsung's efforts to use its standards essential patents to seek injunctions against older iPhone models.



The move follows a Korean court determination that both Apple and Samsung had infringed the other's patents, resulting in national sales injunctions against older models of devices from both companies.

While the injunctions are likely to be stayed while the ruling is being appealed, the decision created the impression that Korea was seeking to maintain an appearance of fairness while also seeking to protect Samsung, a massive conglomerate that makes up 15 to 20 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

Mueller described the decision by Korea's FTC to investigate Samsung as "courageous," given the what he called the "enormous political clout" Samsung has in its home country. He added that it "shows that the Korean government is not prepared to turn its country into a FRAND rogue state only because it may suit Samsung's short-term tactical needs in a global patent spat."

Who is abusing patents?



Mueller also noted a report by the Korean Times that cited U.S. Department of Justice antitrust chief John Read as diplomatically telling Korean delegates at a antitrust conference his "hope" that Samsung "can sell its products in the United States despite the verdict" reached by a U.S. District Court jury that awarded Apple over one billion dollars in damages and returned profits over its patent infringements.

Apple's more outspoken critics (including those who oppose any legal protection for intellectual property) have vilified that jury and its decision, with well known Groklaw blogger Pamela Jones recently castigating the jurors as "little patent fascists" that "failed to fulfill their function," for not determining that all of Apple's patents were invalid.

Jones grew famous for her detailed coverage of the SCO lawsuits which alleged broad copyright claims against Linux users, and has since written extensively about the legal battle between Oracle and Google over Android's infringement of Java copyrights, in both cases conveying a highly negative view of intellectual property holders and a heroic portrayal of the open source projects those cases targeted as infringing.

Blurred lines in the vilification of patent holders



However, the legal battles between Apple and Samsung aren't as easy to simplify down to an open source David fighting back against a dominant Goliath armed with proprietary patents and other intellectual property rights. Both Apple and Samsung are asserting patent rights against each other, and both are seeking sales injunctions against each other's products.

The difference is that Apple is seeking to protect what it views are its original inventions, while Samsung is attempting to leverage its patented contributions to open standards (such as 3G and LTE mobile networking specifications) to extract punitive sales bans and monetary awards that Apple insists are neither fair, nor reasonable nor nondiscriminatory, in hopes that these demands will force Apple to give up all of its intellectual property rights and allow Samsung to continue to use the successful results of Apple's research and development in place of its own, less successful ideas.

While becoming a symbol of "patent oppression" among the critics of patents, trade dress and other forms of intellectual property following the adverse $1 billion verdict in its case with Apple, Samsung itself has also recently taken on its South Korean neighbor LG, alleging that the firm has stolen its own proprietary technology secrets related to OLED HDTV panels, and is demanding millions in damages.

Similarly, while critics of both intellectual property and Apple have painted Samsung's Android software partner Google as the hero in fighting off Apple's intellectual property cases, Google's own Motorola subsidiary has, like Samsung, increasingly stepped up its efforts to block Apple's product sales through standards-essential patent licensing demands, the same behavior that has resulted in patent abuse investigations in the US, EU and now Korea.
post #2 of 41
"Who is abusing patents?"

?! WTF, yeah, Apple has patented essential stuff and then sued companies about it.

uh huh, it's not even a question man.

 

 


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post #3 of 41

I think I will reserve judgement on how courageous they are until I read the findings of their investigation.

post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

"Who is abusing patents?"
?! WTF, yeah, Apple has patented essential stuff and then sued companies about it.
uh huh, it's not even a question man.

The big difference that you're conveniently not mentioning is that Samsung's patents are part of FRAND and Apple's patents are not.  Samsung is required to license their FRAND patents.  Regular patents by ANY company (including Apple) that is not subject to FRAND does not have to be licensed at all.

 

What other stories would you like to spin?

post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

"Who is abusing patents?"
?! WTF, yeah, Apple has patented essential stuff

Apple has only sued over SEP if the party didn't license it, as they should. Something being SEP doesn't make it free for the taking just cause you don't feel like paying

These 'essential' patents as you and Google are calling them are not really. Thus FRAND etc do not apply.

Samsung on the other hand is abusing wireless standards patents which are under FRAND rules.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The big difference that you're conveniently not mentioning is that Samsung's patents are part of FRAND and Apple's patents are not.  Samsung is required to license their FRAND patents.  Regular patents by ANY company (including Apple) that is not subject to FRAND does not have to be licensed at all.

What other stories would you like to spin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple has only sued over SEP if the party didn't license it, as they should. Something being SEP doesn't make it free for the taking just cause you don't feel like paying
These 'essential' patents as you and Google are calling them are not really. Thus FRAND etc do not apply.
Samsung on the other hand is abusing wireless standards patents which are under FRAND rules.

I think you two are better off trying to use logic and facts to tell a puppy why it should pooh on the carpet.

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post #7 of 41
To a person "Pamela Jones" who probable never generated a new or unique idea on her own has no real room to say what is worthy of patent or not and whether a company should be allow to profit from all their hard work. I find it interest that people who do not have single creative or unique bone in their body is only interested in everyone sharing their ideas with everyone else and no one should profit from their work.

I bet if people began publishing her commentary and making money off and not giving her any credit for her particular way of wording things she would scream foul.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Apple has only sued over SEP if the party didn't license it, as they should. Something being SEP doesn't make it free for the taking just cause you don't feel like paying
These 'essential' patents as you and Google are calling them are not really. Thus FRAND etc do not apply.
Samsung on the other hand is abusing wireless standards patents which are under FRAND rules.

 

Apple has not sued over SEP's, they are above that behaviour.

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post #9 of 41
The solution to this is really simple. Samsung agrees to let Apple use its FRAND patents in exchange for Apple letting Samsung use its SEP patents. It's only fair. Boom. Done.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post

The solution to this is really simple. Samsung agrees to let Apple use its FRAND patents in exchange for Apple letting Samsung use its SEP patents. It's only fair. Boom. Done.

 

Samsung already uses Apple's SEP patents, those relating to H.254 for example.

 

SEP = standards essential patents

 

FRAND (sometimes RAND) = fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, the terms under which SEP's are meant to be licensed.

 

You seem to have some confusion over what these terms mean.

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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The big difference that you're conveniently not mentioning is that Samsung's patents are part of FRAND and Apple's patents are not.  Samsung is required to license their FRAND patents.  Regular patents by ANY company (including Apple) that is not subject to FRAND does not have to be licensed at all.

 

What other stories would you like to spin?

 

You're conveniently not mentioning that lots of stuff Apple is patenting are things that they didn't even invent.

 

Don't get me wrong. I love Apple's products, but their bullsh¡t has to stop sooner or later.

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

I think I will reserve judgement on how courageous they are until I read the findings of their investigation.

What he said...

post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

 

You're conveniently not mentioning that lots of stuff Apple is patenting are things that they didn't even invent.

Such as?

 

go ahead, say the rectangle.....

post #14 of 41
Originally Posted by xRCx View Post
go ahead, say the rectangle.....

 

Don't be ridiculous!

 

The rounded rectangle.

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post #15 of 41
"Mueller described the decision by Korea's FTC to investigate Samsung as "courageous," given the what he called the "enormous political clout" Samsung has in its home country."

The Chaebols have long been given virtual immunity to the law in Korea as they were seen as the driving force for the country's economic recovery and nation building. Now, however, many Koreans have had enough of the Chaebols' flagrant disregard for laws. Just recently the President of Hanhwa
(One of the larger Chaebols) a was sentenced to jailed for, I think, five years. In the past the courts have gone easy on company leaders dues to the reasons above, usually giving suspended sentences or acquitting. Samsung will not be given a free ride in Korea anymore. As Mueller alludes to, Korea wants to be seen as a good country to do business with. It wants to break away from its protectionist stereotype. It will take time though.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Samsung already uses Apple's SEP patents, those relating to H.254 for example.

SEP = standards essential patents

FRAND (sometimes RAND) = fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, the terms under which SEP's are meant to be licensed.

You seem to have some confusion over what these terms mean.

What's h.254? Did you mean h.264? Apple has a grand total of four patents in AVC/H.264, they are one of the smallest entrants in it.
post #17 of 41

I'll believe that the Sth Korean Fair Trade Commission is fair when they find against Samsung and enforce it — merely investigating is nothing. 

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post #18 of 41

You want the puppy to poo on the carpet?! No wonder you're a solipsist. 

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

 

You're conveniently not mentioning that lots of stuff Apple is patenting are things that they didn't even invent.

 

 

They get to patent a certain implementation. 

 

Apple understands the patent system, uses it, and we get great products. 

 

The problem seems to be that one company "gets" how things work, while others sit around in a race to the bottom. 

 

Yes, Apple is absolutely horrible for using established mechanisms (and doing it legally) to register ownership of and protect their intellectual property. This is what Apple has *always* done. It's how they operate. And it has, in part, helped them redefine the face of consumer tech like no one else, several times over. 

 

The last thing consumers will do is complain about this, and they aren't. 

 

What *really* need to be done, is for the courts to do their jobs (the very reason they exist) and adjudicate these disputes. This way we'll have greater clarity. Apple's win over Samsung has already provided clarity. Now on to the next one. 


Edited by Quadra 610 - 9/8/12 at 7:13am
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post

The solution to this is really simple. Samsung agrees to let Apple use its FRAND patents in exchange for Apple letting Samsung use its SEP patents. It's only fair. Boom. Done.

 

You can't ransom FRAND patents. 

post #21 of 41

If a government organization has to be considered "courageous" to do it's job then the company it is overseeing is too big and needs to be broken up so that it can be effectively monitored!

 

This reminds me of the big banks in this country! Too big to fail is by definition... TOO BIG!

 

KRreagan

 

PS: This new forums editor sucks rocks!

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by xRCx View Post

Such as?

 

go ahead, say the rectangle.....

 

Apple is patenting designs copied from Braun (here)

Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).

Siri was first? Check Xiaoi bot was out in 2010 (here)

 

Should I continue?

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

Apple is patenting designs copied from Braun (here)
Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).
Siri was first? Check Xiaoi bot was out in 2010 (here)

Should I continue?

Continue? I'm waiting for you to start with a valid claim.

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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

 

Apple is patenting designs copied from Braun (here)

Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).

Siri was first? Check Xiaoi bot was out in 2010 (here)

 

Should I continue?

 

 

You're entitled to your opinion, as . . . some dude on the internet. 

 

Courts and juries, however, are also entitled to their *informed* opinion. 

 

Apple holds patents for some of the technologies in their products. That's really all that needs to be said. 

post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).

 

Should I continue?

 

"The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device."

 

There is something missing from the Neonode, something that is specifically described as being part of Apple's patent,

 

Can you guess what it is?

 

Here's a hint:-

 

 

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post #26 of 41

Just as long as "courageous" doesn't translate to the "courageous congress investigations"

where industries destroy oceans, bribe (called campaign donations) those who regulate them, and write their own bills.

 

The usual investigation costs a lots of money (due no doubt to catering) and typically finds nothing to be concerned about.

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

"The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device."

 

There is something missing from the Neonode, something that is specifically described as being part of Apple's patent,

 

Can you guess what it is?

 

Here's a hint:-

 

 

 

 

Exactly.

post #28 of 41

It amazes me how people are so ill informed about the specifics of some patents.  They take the time to comment, but don't take the time to research.  Bloggers are not patent attorneys or journalists.  They offer their opinion on the subject, and it is seldom an informed one.  It's all about the fine print in the patent, and if that fine print will hold up under legal scrutiny.  Just because someone feels a certain way about patents does not make them any less valid.  Intellectual property is just that, property, implying ownership.  If a person or company has offered them up as SEP or FRAND, then they should have to abide by those terms, not use them for extortion.  If they are private, non-FRAND, then all bets are off regardless of who the company is.  Why is this so difficult to comprehend?  

post #29 of 41
The South Korean government, like any government are all show. They are not going to bite the hand that feeds them, nor do they want to. They want the Samsung profits to continue to roll in and line their pockets. I bet the investigators will make a big show of the "investigation" only to find that Samsung is not doing anything wrong. Case in point, their CEO pardoned for bribing government officials. If they weren't tough enough to stand up to Samsung then, they will fold like cheap lawn chairs now. Nothing changes, just like any government in the world. To quote my daughter' Aladdin movie: "Remember the Golden Rule: The one with the gold makes the rule. "
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

 

You're entitled to your opinion, as . . . some dude on the internet. 

 

Courts and juries, however, are also entitled to their *informed* opinion. 

 

Apple holds patents for some of the technologies in their products. That's really all that needs to be said. 

 

Yes... as informed as the people that gave Microsoft the patent for the scroll mouse (here).

 

Your faith in judges is outstanding.

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

 

Apple is patenting designs copied from Braun (here)

Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).

Siri was first? Check Xiaoi bot was out in 2010 (here)

 

Should I continue?

 

So this is your argument?

 

 

 

 

Wow.

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

 

Apple is patenting designs copied from Braun (here)

Apple patented slide to unlock. That was already around on WinCE (here).

Siri was first? Check Xiaoi bot was out in 2010 (here)

 

Should I continue?

 

We're used to these sort of nonsense allegations by now, and they aren't very interesting by themselves, given their absurdity. What is interesting is that a) these are actually presented in the first case as instances of "copying" and b) that they actually get repeated by some number of people as instances of "copying".

 

There are of course, a couple of obvious probable sources for this misinformation: Samsung, Google, and other co-conspirators, driven by the need to justify their actions and grasping at straws. Fandroids with such an emotional commitment to anything Android that the need to exonerate it is so tied up with their own egos that clear judgment goes out the window. Apple haters who have an irrational need to attempt to make Apple look bad. And, of course, trolls, who just pull this stuff out even though they know how ridiculous it is.

 

But, regardless of the original "source", this stuff seems to take on a life of it's own, despite how ridiculous it is. Why is that? In part it's probably due to a combination of the factions mentioned above, all with a need to make their position seem more tenable. More disturbingly, I think, it's because a lot of people simply can't distinguish between mindless copying and inspiration (assuming their even was inspiration in these instances, and we aren't just looking at vague coincidences), between innovation and imitation. That's the really disturbing part of these "allegations": that someone could actually look at these examples and a) actually think they represent instances of "copying" and b) think that this alleged "copying" somehow equates to the actual copying that Samsung, Google and other co-conspirators engaged in. I guess part of that is that they just want to believe a certain idea, so anything, no matter how weak, that can reinforce that idea is embraced as "evidence".

 

It's a sad commentary on human nature that some will throw away logic, reason and discrimination to accept anything that supports what they want to believe. That facts often don't really matter. That a spin on reality can be just a powerful as the truth.

post #33 of 41

So... your're saying that this is absurd:

 

But this isn't:

 

 

Hypocrisy... hypocrisy everywhere.

 

Still no answer about Microsoft's scroll mouse patent (here). You actually think that that's "normal"?

 

Also... GooPhone just patented THIS and is going to sew Apple if the iPhone 5 is remotely similar to their design.

 

The patent system is totally messed up. If you can't see that, you're totally blind.


Edited by heffeque - 9/10/12 at 9:03am
post #34 of 41
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post

Also... GooPhone just patented THIS and is going to sew Apple if the iPhone 5 is remotely similar to their design.

 

If you think that anything will happen in this case other than arrests and imprisonment for theft of corporate secrets and intellectual property, you're totally blind.

 

The patent system is totally messed up. If you can't see that, you're totally blind.

 

Guess I'm blind for thinking that the system is fine and that idiots are abusing it. 

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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

If you think that anything will happen in this case other than arrests and imprisonment for theft of corporate secrets and intellectual property, you're totally blind.

 

Guess I'm blind for thinking that the system is fine and that idiots are abusing it. 

 

I remind you that GooPhone already patented it, so the government already recognizes it as the original, so it would be Apple copying GooPhone, not the other way around.

 

Apple is a big company and can probably "fix" the "problem" by pressuring the Chinese government (I'm sure they have their ways, specially now that Apple's wallet is stuffed with money... or threatening to take their production to Malaysia  or some other country... or who knows what they'll do).

 

Also... a system is not "fine" if there's a way of abusing it.

post #36 of 41
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post
I remind you that GooPhone already patented it, so the government already recognizes it as the original, so it would be Apple copying GooPhone, not the other way around.

 

… What in the world makes you think Apple hasn't patented the design of the 6th iPhone?!


Also... a system is not "fine" if there's a way of abusing it.

 

Then no system ever made by the hand of Man is fine, has ever been fine, or ever will be fine. Your implication is that this makes the system unusable. That is fallacy.

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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

… What in the world makes you think Apple hasn't patented the design of the 6th iPhone?!


 

 

Then no system ever made by the hand of Man is fine, has ever been fine, or ever will be fine. Your implication is that this makes the system unusable. That is fallacy.

 

Not in China, otherwise GooPhone wouldn't have been able to patent their phone.

 

The current patent system is unusable and is being systematically abused. Example: Miscrosoft was given the patent for the scroll mouse (link above). I still haven't heard your informed opinion about it. You seem to keep it out of the conversation for some reason.

post #38 of 41
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post
Not in China, otherwise GooPhone wouldn't have been able to patent their phone.

 

You think that duplicate patents have never been issued? Really?

 

The current patent system is unusable and is being systematically abused. 

 

Completely incorrect, partially correct. 

 

Example: Miscrosoft was given the patent for the scroll mouse (link above). I still haven't heard your informed opinion about it. You seem to keep it out of the conversation for some reason.

 

Because it has nothing to do with the conversation.

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post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Because it has nothing to do with the conversation.

 

That ridiculous patent has nothing to do with the fact that the patent system is flawed?

 

It's totally related. Your argument is invalid.

post #40 of 41
Originally Posted by heffeque View Post
That ridiculous patent has nothing to do with the fact that the patent system is flawed?

 

It's totally related. Your argument is invalid.

 

The act of being able to patent a hardware or software feature is valid. The existence of enough prior art makes that one invalid.

 

Were it the first instance thereof, of course it could be patented.

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