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Apple: Samsung making 'standard-setting abuses' with patents

updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue August 30, 2011

Apple fights Samsung on patent terms in lawsuit

Apple in a response to Samsung's countersuit late Monday accused the Korean company of abusing its stance on patent licensing terms. The firm accused Samsung of "serial standard-setting abuses" by illegally getting monopoly status in fields where its patents are billed as essential to the technology and promptly 'tricking' standards bodies by hiding its requirements around Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms, letting it abuse its claims against others. Apple contended that Samsung's lawsuit was an "anticompetitive ambush" and was exploiting this to try and make Apple drop its self-proclaimed legitimate anti-copying complaints.

"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 iPad and iPhone]," Apple attorneys insisted.

The allegations maintained that Samsung had sued Apple first and only afterwards made a FRAND offer. If so, Samsung wouldn't have made a good faith offer before turning to the courts, Apple said. It further accused Samsung of hypocrisy, making the very same complaints of hidden FRAND terms against Ericsson, InterDigital, and Rambus. Nokia may have control over supposed 3G technology patent ownership, but it and Apple both agree that negotiations had been underway.

A more contentious claim pointed to Apple's countersuit against Motorola, where the iPhone maker implied that Motorola had become a "gatekeeper" by helping make standards that it knew related directly to its own patents. A court statement touching on these had acknowledge Apple's implied allegations of monopoly but didn't actually confirm Apple's point of view. Motorola's own lawsuit is using seven patents it has attached to industry standards.

Apple has clear motivations in trying to accuse Samsung of standards abuse by dropping the lawsuit. Samsung had previously moved to try and dismiss Apple's opposing claims by insisting that it was putting all the onus on Samsung and not talking about the patents themselves. Apple could simply make any defenses in the regular case without resorting to an attempt to declare Samsung's patent claims invalid, Samsung said.

The strength of Apple's argument will depend on whether the court believes accusations of monopolistic behavior can both be handled by the court and are relevant to the case. If it won, however, it would leave Samsung virtually no choice but to settle with no ongoing countersuit, multiple Apple preliminary ban wins in Europe, and a sped-up trial date for Apple's initial lawsuit. Although some companies will pursue such cases to the end, many prefer to settle rather than risk bans on some of their products. [via Florian Mueller]

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesnt make sense

    Apple does exactly the same thing

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    About FRAND

    ...Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms...

    Basic technologies fundamental to cell phones are subject to FRAND licensing terms. If, say, Motorola unfairly prevented some companies from using their patented technology while allowing others to license it, they would be violating the FRAND terms.

    On the other hand, industrial design is not subject to FRAND. If Toyota made their Lexus LFA look exactly like the Ferrari 458 Italia, Ferrari could sue them if they have patented any of the 458's design cues.

    Apple has patented their industrial designs and sued PC makers for copying iMac in the past. Successfully. (Just google "Apple sues eMachines for iMac look-alike".) And now they're suing Samsung for copying iPad and iPhone. Same thing.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    Electronista is biased

    If you get all your information from Electronista you'd think Apple was doing very well in these suits.

    That's very debatable, many of Apple's claims have been tossed out. While its normal for patent claims to be declared invalid, and to be whittled down - apple is far from assured of any outcome.

    Read it for an opposing viewpoint. The truth may be somewhere in between - or neither of these two viewpoints.

    But its becoming very obvious that electronista is biased. Ashame, because I like macnn.

    I don't mind someone saying Mac OS X is great - superior, what have you, but bias about legal outcomes in patent disputes? That's a bizarre bias.

    Are we fans of Apple technology, or are we fan's of the stock market?

  1. I-ku-u

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poorly written article

    This is the most poorly written/edited article I've seen in years. Run-on sentences, pronouns used with multiple possible object nouns and just poor grammar.
    For example, consider the one sentence,
    "Apple has clear motivations in trying to accuse Samsung of standards abuse by dropping the lawsuit."
    Is this sentence about Apple dropping the lawsuit, or Samsung? And why write "in trying to accuse" - how can one be motivated to try to accuse as opposed to simply accusing?

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