Smartphone companies, including Apple, have little to show for patent litigation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
An all-out patent litigation war between the biggest players in the smartphone industry, including Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft, has yielded very little for all parties involved.

Courts around the world have rebuked claims made in lawsuits from smartphone manufacturers, The Wall Street Journal detailed in an industry profile this week. The report was filed in response to the news on Monday that the European Commission found that Google's Motorola Mobility had abused ints dominance in mobile patents when it sought an injunction against Apple's iPhone in Germany.

Samsung Phones


The most high-profile victory thus far was won by Apple, which was awarded $1.05 billion by a jury in a patent suit against Samsung. But that decision is under appeal, and Apple has yet to see the money, while the judge vacated 40 percent of the award in March.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has also moved to invalidate some patents that are key to Apple's litigation claims, specifically inventions related to pinch to zoom and rubber banding user interface elements in the company's pioneering iOS platform.

Apple also temporarily won injunctions in the U.S. against infringing Samsung products like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone, but those bans were eventually overturned and sales were allowed to resume.

Patent litigation in the smartphone market has done little to shake up the status quo. Apple and Samsung remain the dominant players, together accounting for 100 percent of the industry's profit.

Meanwhile, competitors such as Nokia, Microsoft, BlackBerry, HTC and others remain bit players in the lucrative smartphone industry, as their own legal efforts have failed to secure any major, industry shaking victories.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last year that he would rather settle litigation than take it to court, but added that he will do whatever is necessary to protect his company's intellectual property. He said if he could get a guarantee preventing future patent infringement from competitors like Samsung and Motorola, settling would be the preferable option.

"The key thing is that Apple not become the developer for the world," Cook said. "We need people to invent their own stuff."

And one Samsung executive characterized the current sprawling litigation as "a loss" for the smartphone industry as a whole. Samsung VP David Eun said at last year's "D: Dive Into Media" conference that he felt lawsuits were stagnating innovation.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    This, of course, ignores the Apple v. Samsung trial, even though it mentions it, claiming that the appeal has any chance whatsoever of succeeding.


     


    And all the invalidations of Motorola stuff, courtesy Apple.

  • Reply 2 of 29
    The patent litigation is a "scorched earth policy" -- it's about denying companies the right to your IP -- NOT about profits.

    Samsung made billions copying Apple and only got a wrist slap -- but that Wrist Slap was actually beneficial to Samsung because it forced them to innovate. There are a few nice interface features on the Samsung -- but they are also hackneyed and poorly implemented. All the things that diverge from the iPhone, I can't really intuitively figure out -- there are little icons and status updates all over my Android phone and even with my background in interface design -- I can't figure them out. I'll just wait for some 14-year-old girl to explain them to me.

    This works out for Apple as well strategically; Samsung being forced to innovate and pretend it didn't rip off every other company on the planet for tech and ideas makes them conclude (like Microsoft did) that they are innovators. It's only a matter of time before everyone gets sick of the bloatware and hackneyed and poorly thought out "gee wiz, look what I can do" features. Can't wait for that waterproof Summer Galaxy Z phone that reads bubbles so I can use it in the pool!
  • Reply 3 of 29
    wingswings Posts: 261member
    A benefit that you can't directly measure in dollars is that it deters other manufacturers from walking all over your IP.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,591member
    You can't plagiarize other people's work so why do we allow companies (*Sammy*) to infringe on patents?
  • Reply 5 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

    You can't plagiarize other people's work so why do we allow companies (*Sammy*) to infringe on patents?


     


    Because "infringe" is somehow difficult to discern.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    normmnormm Posts: 531member
    All the copiers are throwing up dust to try to prevent Apple's patents from stopping them.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    eldernormeldernorm Posts: 232member
    WOW Neil, hate Apple much?? I had to read the article 2 times to get the drift of what you were saying.

    APPLE FAILS To GAIN much money FROM LAWSUITS. Samsung says they do not copy, Samsung says they tell truth. Samsung says they innovate and will innovate again as soon as there is something great to copy. ER.. scratch that last part.

    No mention that Samsung is being charged with paying bloggers to lie and post negative bloggs online (some are so bad its totally obvious [Apple bad. Samsung good. buy samsung. hurry]

    Motorola sale to Google for 12 BILLION to buy patents to fight Apple seems a total waste as patents are almost all FRAND. Courts saying FRAND is just that. Settle but no injunction.

    Bla, Bla, Bla. Point is Apple has been making great headway across the world and while they would rather have companies not steal / copy IP, they will sue if required. This can set the stage for years to come.

    Just a thought.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member


    It's hard to say whether the litigious nature of these companies hinders or helps innovation. I think patents should be very strong and hold a lot of weight in court, especially software patents, but should have a short life span. This would perhaps help short term innovation a lot with them trying to out-innovate one another, but in the long run humans as a species would benefit the most.


     


    Thoughts?

  • Reply 9 of 29
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member


    mutually assured annoyance. 

  • Reply 10 of 29
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    This, of course, ignores the Apple v. Samsung trial, even though it mentions it, claiming that the appeal has any chance whatsoever of succeeding.

    And all the invalidations of Motorola stuff, courtesy Apple.

    Considering 2 of the parents used by apple on this suit are undergoing review at the USPTO, I think Samsung would have a good chance of getting some of the damages removed on appeal.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by majjo View Post

    Considering 2 of the parents used by apple on this suit are undergoing review at the USPTO, I think Samsung would have a good chance of getting some of the damages removed on appeal.


     


    Which were those again? I've forgotten. 

  • Reply 12 of 29
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Which were those again? I've forgotten. 

    915 and 381
  • Reply 13 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by majjo View Post

    915 and 381


     


    I can't see them being invalidated permanently.

  • Reply 14 of 29
    willb2064willb2064 Posts: 49member
    The only winners in all this back and forth litigation are the lawyers, who are laughing all the way to the bank.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    macfandavemacfandave Posts: 603member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by willb2064 View Post



    The only winners in all this back and forth litigation are the lawyers, who are laughing all the way to the bank.


    Let's not forget the paid expert witnesses -- the other actors in this idiot kabuki theater who get paid regradless of the outcome.

  • Reply 16 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,415member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by willb2064 View Post



    The only winners in all this back and forth litigation are the lawyers, who are laughing all the way to the bank.


     


    Considering patents are essential to any technology business (not to mention nearly every other business as a competitive advantage), lawyers would be involved in any event. It's all a cost of doing business and it all eventually gets passed down to consumers, so long as the company survives.

  • Reply 17 of 29
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,424member


    Judges love their paychecks and job security. Naturally they'll do nothing to jeopardize that.

  • Reply 18 of 29
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    Patents are irrelevant when your largest supplier is also your most successful rival.

    [URL=http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/14/7_8b_in_parts_will_make_apple_largest_customer_of_rival_samsung/]Samsung has essentially lost $7.8 bn in revenue from Apple[/URL] annually, which almost certainly would have much greater in 2013 considering the growth of Apple sales.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,699member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    Patents are irrelevant when your largest supplier is also your most successful rival.



    Samsung has essentially lost $7.8 bn in revenue from Apple annually, which almost certainly would have much greater in 2013 considering the growth of Apple sales.


    The way that Apple is spreading around it's inventory purchases Samsung would likely lost some percentage of those sales anyway IMHO. Apple is increasing it's efforts to avoid single-source components and thus a lock-in to only one supplier. 

  • Reply 20 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    Patents are irrelevant when your largest supplier is also your most successful rival.



    Samsung has essentially lost $7.8 bn in revenue from Apple annually, which almost certainly would have much greater in 2013 considering the growth of Apple sales.


     


    Samsung are not loosing. Their profits have skyrocketed.

Sign In or Register to comment.