German court tosses Samsung's 3G-related lawsuit against Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


One of Samsung's numerous lawsuits against Apple in Germany, accusing the iPhone maker of violating a patent related to 3G/UMTS wireless communications, was rejected by the court on Friday.



The decision from Judge Andreas Voss was the first ruling on seven different patent infringement claims Samsung has made against Apple in Germany, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Those six patents are tied up in four other lawsuits, while Apple has accused Samsung of violating six of its own patents in Germany.



Friday's ruling is particularly noteworthy because the judge chose to reject Samsung's suit, rather than issue a stay. Though Voss did not provide a reasoning for his pronouncement, if he had determined that Samsung's 3G patent was invalid, the outcome of the lawsuit would have been a stay rather than a rejection.



"There are two reasonably likely possibilities: either Apple's products weren't deemed to infringe on the patent in a technical sense or the court believes Samsung's rights are exhausted and Apple has, by extension, a technical license," Mueller wrote.



"If the reason for the rejection was technical non-infringement, Samsung's other assertions of 3G/UMTS patents in Germany could still succeed. However, if the reason was patent exhaustion, all but one of the four remaining Samsung lawsuits in Germany (one over two patents unrelated to 3G, including a smiley input patent) would likely be thrown out as well."



The ruling comes only days after Apple filed its latest suit against Samsung in Germany, a country that has been the origin of many complaints between the two companies. Apple's most recent complaint has asked the German court to ban the sale of Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone along with nine other handsets and five tablet models.











A court in Germany previously sided with Apple and temporarily halted sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the South Korean electronics maker quickly redesigned the device to create the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. The German court found that Samsung's modifications to the redesigned tablet were enough to avoid Apple's patented designs, and the device remains available for sale.



Mueller noted that there has been a "high drop-out rate in multiple jurisdictions" for the lawsuits between Apple and Samsung. However, neither company appears to be backing down on its strategies.



"There's too much at stake, and as long as neither party has leverage, there's no pressure to settle," he offered in his analysis. "Apple and Samsung are currently the most profitable wireless device makers in the world. Neither legal fees nor the distraction that these lawsuits create pose a serious problem to their business."



The courtroom showdown began last April, when Apple filed the first lawsuit, accusing Samsung of copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. Both companies are now engaged in a worldwide legal battle that has sparked lawsuits in 10 countries across four continents.

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    More good new. . For now at least ...
  • Reply 2 of 22
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...

    Friday's ruling is particularly noteworthy because the judge chose to reject Samsung's suit...



    That's the right attitude, this type of lawsuits should not be allowed to court.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,194member
    Seems like the German courts are getting a bit tired of these FRAND patent cases, likely not just with Samsung and Apple but all companies (we just don't hear about the others because they aren't such great hit fodder).



    Seems like the cases always turn out the same. yes the patent is or should be under FRAND. yes the wording of the deal with the component maker includes licensing that covers usage by the component end user. yes asking the said hardware company to pay a license violates FRAND so its out.



    Rather than waste time, the German Courts are just refusing to listen to the whole thing. While I wouldn't say that all patent cases should be treated this way I can see the logic with these FRAND cases. Especially on tech that is going out the door.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Seems like the German courts are getting a bit tired of these FRAND patent cases, likely not just with Samsung and Apple but all companies (we just don't hear about the others because they aren't such great hit fodder).



    Seems like the cases always turn out the same. yes the patent is or should be under FRAND. yes the wording of the deal with the component maker includes licensing that covers usage by the component end user. yes asking the said hardware company to pay a license violates FRAND so its out.



    Rather than waste time, the German Courts are just refusing to listen to the whole thing. While I wouldn't say that all patent cases should be treated this way I can see the logic with these FRAND cases. Especially on tech that is going out the door.





    Apple recently lost (at least temporarily) to Motorola on FRAND patent claims.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Why didn't the German court throw out all of the three suits filed by Samesung? Obviously it's a sham and a last desperate hail mary before they go down into history like Kodak. And LOL at their pathetic attempt on smiley faces. What a pathetic company. They rob Apple blind and then claim they dropped a coin in Apple's house and they want it back. WOW.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Why doesn't Apple get it over and done with, and buy Samsung ?!
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JPDLVMH View Post


    Why doesn't Apple get it over and done with, and buy Samsung ?!



    Anti-trust regulators from every single country would be on them in a shorter amount of time than if Apple announced it was buying Intel, even.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Don't worry, Samsung, you still have a chance with your emoticon patent.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    Don't worry, Samsung, you still have a chance with your emoticon patent.



    Apple just got Samsunged, did they?



    Seems Samsung just got Appled.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    kimghkimgh Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JPDLVMH View Post


    Why doesn't Apple get it over and done with, and buy Samsung ?!



    A. Samsung is most likely not for sale, to start with.

    B. You DO realize how big Samsung is, don't you? It's HUGE. Samsung is Korea, Inc., essentially, and they make lots more than just cell phones. Apple is a minnow compared with Samsung.

    C. So, the Korean government would NEVER permit such a transaction.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimgh View Post


    A. Samsung is most likely not for sale, to start with.

    B. You DO realize how big Samsung is, don't you? It's HUGE. Samsung is Korea, Inc., essentially, and they make lots more than just cell phones. Apple is a minnow compared with Samsung.

    C. So, the Korean government would NEVER permit such a transaction.



    Indeed.



    So Apple just makes an offer for the Samsung cell department that the shareholders can't refuse.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    kimghkimgh Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Indeed.



    So Apple just makes an offer for the Samsung cell department that the shareholders can't refuse.



    What possible reason could Apple have for doing this? If you say it's to eliminate a competitor, I doubt the board or the shareholders would allow such a frivolous waste of money.



    Apple buys small companies that dovetail strategically with their long term plans.



    And I'm also pretty sure that Samsung would never part with its mobile division for nearly any amount of money Apple is able to offer.



    Apple has a lot of cash, sure, but that does not make them able to do anything.



    And: suing Android out of existence is probably a more reachable and cheaper strategy than buying the competition.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimgh View Post


    What possible reason could Apple have for doing this? If you say it's to eliminate a competitor, I doubt the board or the shareholders would allow such a frivolous waste of money.



    I know, I'm just saying.



    Quote:

    And: suing Android out of existence is probably a more reachable and cheaper strategy than buying the competition.



    Indeed it is.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimgh View Post


    You DO realize how big Samsung is, don't you? It's HUGE. Samsung is Korea, Inc., essentially, and they make lots more than just cell phones. Apple is a minnow compared with Samsung.



    Correct me if I'm wrong (I could only find info for Samsung Grp. that was from last year), but Samsung ("Samsung Group"), the corporate conglomerate netted about $21.2 billion in 2010, and held about $350 billion in assets. Apple OTOH had $14.0 billion in net profit in 2010 and held about $100 billion in assets.



    Samsung Electronics Co LTD, the company we're actually talking about here, whose parent is Samsung Group, that makes all manner of electronics including cell phones (and also owns the foundries that make the memory Apple et al use in their devices), has a current market cap of about $160 billion (although only traded on the S. Korean mkt.), compared to Apple's $395 billion. The corporate guidance from Samsung ahead of their next earnings report (next week) suggests $4.8 billion USD profits. Apple just reported their Q4 earnings at $6.62 Billion USD.



    Apple certainly isn't a 'minnow' in comparison to Samsung Electronics, if anything it's a slightly larger fish. Even in comparison to the parent Samsung Group company, Apple is somewhat smaller (maybe half the size, and employing less than 1/5th the number of employees), but certainly not orders of magnitude as is implied.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Why the heck would Apple want to buy a copycat company with pathetic little assembly plants? By the way Samesung Electronics is not a Korean company. Maybe Samsung is Korean but Samsung Electronics is over 50% owned by companies that are not Korean. Just STFU if you don't know what you are talking about. Samesung is a pathetic Korean company that were bought out by foreign companies and Apple would never buy some pathetic company like samesung. Just patent kill them like the copy cats they are and move on.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Originally Posted by kimgh

    What possible reason could Apple have for doing this? If you say it's to eliminate a competitor, I doubt the board or the shareholders would allow such a frivolous waste of money.

    I know, I'm just saying.



    Quote:

    And: suing Android out of existence is probably a more reachable and cheaper strategy than buying the competition.

    Indeed it is.



    Apple needs to sue Google. Cut the head of android
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jannewmx View Post


    Why the heck would Apple want to buy a copycat company with pathetic little assembly plants? By the way Samesung Electronics is not a Korean company. Maybe Samsung is Korean but Samsung Electronics is over 50% owned by companies that are not Korean. Just STFU if you don't know what you are talking about. Samesung is a pathetic Korean company that were bought out by foreign companies and Apple would never buy some pathetic company like samesung. Just patent kill them like the copy cats they are and move on.



    I hope you'll forgive me for saying so, but this post reads as fairly hostile.



    If you consider the fact that they're headquartered in Korea, their top executives are Korean nationals, they're part owned by the Korean government and the parent conglomerate whose brand they use is also undeniably Korean, you're kinda' left with the fact that that Samsung Electronics actually is Korean - despite who else is investing in it. Also, a 'pathetic little company' isn't an entirely apt description. Samsung is a not insubstantial company (see my previous post) on a similar order of size as Apple Inc (a rather large company, in terms of value). That they shamelessly ... cough ... 'borrow' ... Apple's designs to try to capitalize on Apple's popularity, however, is not in question (well, actually it is, what with the court cases and all - but really, is anyone honestly going to try to say they don't try to 'borrow' other companies ideas?).



    That aside, you're right, why would Apple buy them? To kill a competitor? First off, why? They're not really hurting Apple's business. Let Samsung cater to the market they're targeting and let Apple cater to theirs. Apple would take a loss in the process anyhow. No, that'd be a silly business move. Apple just finalized that solid-state memory manufacturer purchase, and it seems like that'd be the biggest reason to buy a company like Samsung Electronics, that or maybe the display panel manufacturing - but they got what they needed without all the liabilities of of the rest of their (Samsung's) business.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post


    Apple needs to sue Google. Cut the head of android



    Look, we know that their CEO saw iPhone OS before its release. We know that Android is purposely copying iPhone OS and has since the announcement of the first iPhone.



    That just can't be proven in court, so Apple has to do proxy battles. Otherwise yes, they would have sued Google on the launch date of Android in 2008 just like they sued Microsoft for Windows.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    kimghkimgh Posts: 13member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Look, we know that their CEO saw iPhone OS before its release. We know that Android is purposely copying iPhone OS and has since the announcement of the first iPhone.



    That just can't be proven in court, so Apple has to do proxy battles. Otherwise yes, they would have sued Google on the launch date of Android in 2008 just like they sued Microsoft for Windows.



    I am not any kind of lawyer, but I have seen opinion to the effect that the usual strategy in defending patents is to first go after the "small fry" and get a judgement in your favor, then use that as precedent in going after the big fish.



    Apple is merely using the proxy battles similarly: to establish the validity of their patents before rolling over Google on this. IMHO, anyway.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimgh View Post


    I am not any kind of lawyer, but I have seen opinion to the effect that the usual strategy in defending patents is to first go after the "small fry" and get a judgement in your favor, then use that as precedent in going after the big fish.



    Apple is merely using the proxy battles similarly: to establish the validity of their patents before rolling over Google on this. IMHO, anyway.



    That, too, is a perfect possibility. I buy that just as much.
Sign In or Register to comment.