or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Japan court orders Apple to pay $3.3M for infringing on click wheel patent
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Japan court orders Apple to pay $3.3M for infringing on click wheel patent

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
In a decision handed down by the Tokyo District Court on Thursday, Apple has been ordered to pay $3.3 million to a Japanese inventor for infringing on patents with technology involving the iPod click wheel.

iPod Classic


The patent in question was filed by a company owned by Japanese inventor Norihiko Saito in 1998, some six years prior to Apple's launch of the click wheel on its iPod lineup in 2004, reports Kyodo News.

Thursday's suit is the result of multiple court actions spurred by Saito's request to Tokyo Customs to ban the import of iPods with click wheels. In response, Apple filed its own suit to confirm that the feature did not infringe on existing patents.

Finally, a countersuit lodged by Saito demanded damages for 100 billion yen, or roughly $1 billion at current exchange rates. Presiding Judge Teruhisa Takano denied the huge award, instead granting the $3.3 million in damages partly based on the iPod's massive sales.

Apple first introduced a click wheel-toting iPod in the device's fourth generation, combining a capacitive surface with mechanical mechanisms for easy one-handed control. The component carried through the iPod lineup as new models were released, including the iPod Photo and Color, mini and all nanos up to the sixth generation.

When the iPod touch was introduced in 2007, Apple slowly began phasing out the click wheel as multitouch screens provided an overall better user experience with enhanced functionality in a smaller package. Today, the only iPod using the click wheel tech is the iPod Classic, which has not seen a major design refresh since it launched alongside the iPod touch.

Prior to today's decision, Saito attempted to settle with Apple out of court, but a suitable agreement could not be reached.
post #2 of 26
At $1 billion, I should say an out-of-court settlement could not be reached.
post #3 of 26
Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.
post #4 of 26
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post
Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

 

Be quiet.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

 

How do you know it's genuine?   The courts in all countries make terrible mistakes when it comes to patents all the time.   IMO, a wheel with clicks should not be patentable, only a specific engineering implementation of that click wheel.   After all, didn't analog TVs have a wheel with clicks (the tuner) before the advent of electronic tuning?

 

Also, the original intention of protection on patents was supposed to be for patent holders who actually produced products with them.  Did this Japanese company do so?

 

Whether Apple really violated the patent, I don't know.    Maybe they did and maybe they didn't.   The $3.3 million this guy received is probably way more than fair even if they did violate the patent. 

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

Do really think that invention is/was worth a Billion dollars?
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by APPLGUY View Post


Do really think that invention is/was worth a Billion dollars?

 

I don't think it is either, not by a long shot, but look at it this way.  Say I invent something and claim it's worth a billion dollars.  You want to use my invention but don't feel it's worth that much money.  Are you then entitiled to use it without my permission because you don't like my price?  Samsung did the same thing with Apple's rubber banding patent and it was equally wrong.  They didn't like Apple's asking price so they just used it anyway without paying for it.  It's wrong when Apple does it and it's wrong when Samsung does it.  It's wrong when anyone does it.

post #8 of 26

I don't know enough about his patent to judge the merits of his claim. But I doubt his patent was worth $1 billion.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

I don't think it is either, not by a long shot, but look at it this way.  Say I invent something and claim it's worth a billion dollars.  You want to use my invention but don't feel it's worth that much money.  Are you then entitiled to use it without my permission because you don't like my price?  Samsung did the same thing with Apple's rubber banding patent and it was equally wrong.  They didn't like Apple's asking price so they just used it anyway without paying for it.  It's wrong when Apple does it and it's wrong when Samsung does it.  It's wrong when anyone does it.

 

I know you're just trolling, but ... if there any reason to believe that Apple knew about this patent before they made iPods that (supposedly) infringe on this Japanese patent?  This is about figuring out a) whether they infringed at all, and b) if so what is fair compensation.  This is 100% different from seeing a competitor do something (that's covered by a patent) and just copying that.

post #10 of 26
I buy Apple because mos to fthem have amazing designs and well built UIs but the click wheel is not one of them. It's not easy. It's awkward. It's unnatural. It's one of the Apple's bad UI designs - along with iTunes.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

 

I know you're just trolling, but ... if there any reason to believe that Apple knew about this patent before they made iPods that (supposedly) infringe on this Japanese patent?  This is about figuring out a) whether they infringed at all, and b) if so what is fair compensation.  This is 100% different from seeing a competitor do something (that's covered by a patent) and just copying that.

 

Let's assume that Apple didn't know about the patent (highly unlikely as Apple is a smart company who does their research), I don't believe ignorance of an existing patent would stand up in a court of law.  I suppose it's possible that Apple used the invention without ever contacting the inventor, but that seems pretty sleazy to me and I don't think Apple would act in such a manner.  Obviously asking for $1 billion dollars after the fact is outrageous and I think everyone (including the courts) agrees on that one.


Edited by DroidFTW - 9/26/13 at 3:30pm
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

 

That's a very ignorant comment. Do you know what the original patent is actually for? I highly doubt it was for a capacitive surface click wheel, that combines scrolling and clicking the way Apple's does, one that scrolls different functions (scrolls down a list, increases/decreases volume, or scrubs forward/backward through a music track) depending on the context of what's on screen.

 

Most of the time these non-productive patents are for overly-general things like "a dial used in an electronic device, that rotates and could possibly be clicked into position." It could be even more general and nonsensical than that. These general patents don't even have to describe the method of achieving the function. It used to be that the patent had to describe a method of doing something, and if somebody else did the same thing by different means, it was not a patent violation. Now it's ridiculous.

 

It would be like someone patenting the general idea of a "flying machine", then suing the Wright Brothers.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

 

I'm thinking this was yet another case of someone filing a patent and then sitting on it, never actually building a product or even the prototype. Then they sit back and wait, like a spider guarding his web, for a real company to come up with the same technology and a real product. 

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

I don't think it is either, not by a long shot, but look at it this way.  Say I invent something and claim it's worth a billion dollars.  You want to use my invention but don't feel it's worth that much money.  Are you then entitiled to use it without my permission because you don't like my price?  Samsung did the same thing with Apple's rubber banding patent and it was equally wrong.  They didn't like Apple's asking price so they just used it anyway without paying for it.  It's wrong when Apple does it and it's wrong when Samsung does it.  It's wrong when anyone does it.

 

So then the judge, more knowledgable about the issue than either of us, made the judgement the claim was worth  0.33% of the billion originally demanded. Working through the system seems to me. Maybe Apple offerred 500 million to settle the dispute and the claimant wouldn't settle for anything less than the billion? (i.e. they couldn't come to terms) Well then it goes to courts and then they just lost 496.7 million... oops. 

 

And "want to use" presumes knowing the patent existed and agreeing (which Apple did not) that the patent applies. When you disagree the patent applies the court is where you wind up: that's the system.


Edited by jfc1138 - 9/26/13 at 4:17pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

List of companies that Apple was interested to pay for their genuine inventions:

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

Myth busted.

Next time you're sitting in your mother's basement trying to boost your self-esteem by trolling on the internet, and desperately get any form of recognition, you may wish to stop and do your research for the smallest period of time before posting.

Now go back to looking at that hot picture of your sister.
If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
Reply
If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
Reply
post #16 of 26
Apple Lawyer - "$3.3 million! Betty, bring me the petty cash drawer "
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
Reply
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
Reply
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Apple Lawyer - "$3.3 million! Betty, bring me the petty cash drawer "

Exactly.  With the kind of cash that Apple has on hand, I'm sure they were able to dig $3.3 million out of the couch cushions in the break room!

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emrul View Post

Sad that Apple doesn't seem interested to pay for genuine inventions by others.

 

Sad that you believe that. Taking an idea & implimenting it your own way is not breaching copyright, etc. That is what Apple tried to prove, 'Apple filed its own suit to confirm that the feature did not infringe on existing patents.'

 

 Unfortunately they lost, but at only $3.3M, & the fact the wheel is on the way out now, doubt Apple will take it any further. If they can.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Now go back to looking at that hot picture of your sister.

Maybe the kid was just suffering from Wilf

How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Maybe the kid was just suffering from Wilf

 

LOL!

 

"Plus, I so freakin' love the return of the Dock!"

 

Utterly agree!

If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
Reply
If you value privacy you can now set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in iOS and OS X.
Reply
post #21 of 26

'One Billion Dollars'?  Who is this guy, Dr. Evil?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #22 of 26
Wait a minute....I always understood that it was Phil Schiller who came up with the click wheel idea. Anybody have anything on this?
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

I don't think it is either, not by a long shot, but look at it this way.  Say I invent something and claim it's worth a billion dollars.  You want to use my invention but don't feel it's worth that much money.  Are you then entitiled to use it without my permission because you don't like my price?  Samsung did the same thing with Apple's rubber banding patent and it was equally wrong.  They didn't like Apple's asking price so they just used it anyway without paying for it.  It's wrong when Apple does it and it's wrong when Samsung does it.  It's wrong when anyone does it.

As the suit was for a billion I'm sure the inventor's desired settlement was quite high to the point Apple just played it out letting the courts decide. This isn't Apple's first rodeo and they knew this route would result in paying less.
post #24 of 26
Damages??? Hahahah, damages!!
post #25 of 26
If I invent something new, genuine and useful and patent it, that that patent exists to recognise my contribution and to ensure I'm compensated for its use. Whether or not Apple knew in advance of the patent is irrelevant. Equally irrelevant is for someone else to determine 'fair value' - most of us don't live in a communist society where others get to decide what one should be paid for their contributions. In the capitalist system, the inventor gets to set a price and and a licensee has the must license the invention at the set price or must not use it.

Do I think its worth a billion dollars? Is irrelevant, I can't go into a store and pay what I think is fair for a newspaper, magazine or groceries - I pay the stated price or I leave without the product.

What I am curious about though is when did the inventor of this patent assert his right to the invention. The online articles I've seen state he applied for an injunction in 2007, several years after the iPod was released - did the inventor wait to see how popular the iPod was and then decide is price? We probably will never know but I believe the value of a patent should be determined at the outset, and not be determined by the eventual success of its use in a product.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I'm thinking this was yet another case of someone filing a patent and then sitting on it, never actually building a product or even the prototype. Then they sit back and wait, like a spider guarding his web, for a real company to come up with the same technology and a real product. 
Yes. And also note that it has been nearly 10 years since the date Apple allegedly began infringing on this patent. Why no legal action until now? Surely, the "inventor" knew of iPods before this year.

It is typical for patent trolls to do nothing for years, waiting for the amount of alleged infringement to grow as much as possible, and then sue just before the patent expires (it's been about 15 years since the original patent's filing - anyone know how many years it is before Japanese patents expire?)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Japan court orders Apple to pay $3.3M for infringing on click wheel patent