11.18.12

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Apple’s Patent Case Against Samsung (Android) May be Destroyed

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 9:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Car on fire

Summary: Apple’s settlement can harm the Apple vs Samsung case

The Apple vs HTC case is over with a seemingly peaceful settlement. The speculations that HTC pays Apple seem to be pure fabrication. Tim Worstall, writing at Forbes, says that this might have some serious implications for the Samsung case (with billions of dollars at stake). To quote:

A little piece of legal finagling that could have some very interesting results. Apple has, as we know, settled with HTC over patents. And reached a general patent cross licensing agreement. Yet Apple, in the Samsung cases, seems to be saying that there are certain patents that it would never license. For getting mere money for them would never be enough. It’s on that that the potential Samsung product bans rest. For judges, if money’s a good enough compensation, prefer not to ban products.

Samsung asks the judge to see the settlement’s details:

Apple settled its patent disputes with HTC last Saturday, and lawyers from Samsung were paying attention. Papers filed in federal court Friday show that by Monday afternoon, Samsung was asking to get a look at that license agreement.

It isn’t exactly clear what patents are covered in the agreement, but at least two of the patents Apple was using against HTC were also being used against Samsung. If Apple licensed those patents, that wouldn’t be in accordance with how a key Apple witness described the company’s patent policies. At trial, Apple IP chief Boris Teksler said the company tended to not license its most “unique user patents” at all, especially to competitors, as Reuters noted today.

Here is what Reuters wrote:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When Apple Inc and HTC Corp last week ended their worldwide legal battles with a 10-year patent licensing agreement, they declined to answer a critical question: whether all of Apple’s patents were covered by the deal.

The article says that “Apple co-founder Jobs promised to go “thermonuclear” on Android, and that threat has manifested in Apple’s repeated bids for court-imposed bans on the sale of its rivals’ phones.

“Cook, on the other hand, has said he prefers to settle rather than litigate, if the terms are reasonable. But prior to this month, Apple showed little willingness to license its patents to an Android maker.”

Is this the end of it then? The report says that: “Specific terms are unknown, though analysts have speculated that HTC will pay Apple somewhere between $5 and $10 per phone.”

That is pure speculation and most likely just FUD. Let’s hope that Apple is willing to withdraw its legal actions and start competing based on merit, not patents.

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3 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Gravatar

    When will you get that Apple *does* compete well on merit – their devices have the highest user satisfaction ratings in the industry (important for users) and Apple makes the most money from their sales (important for the company).

    Where do you think they are not competing well?

    With that said, I think they need to look hard at their long term strategy or risk a repeat of the Mac OS / Windows situation where they had the better product but let Windows almost kill them… and then they reacted by stagnating for years. Hopefully the executive shakeup will show fruit and Apple will learn from the past.

  2. mcinsand said,

    November 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

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    Perhaps reality is sinking in at Apple, in that this litigation strategy is only waking people up to how empty Apple’s claims to innovation really are. The more attention the Samsung case gets, the greater the population that realizes that Apple only repackages, remarkets, and puts that cult symbol with a bite missing on the cover.

    Michael Reply:

    What on Earth makes you think that Apple is not innovative? Perhaps you can think of a company that has innovated more… keeping in mind that Apple has completely changed many industries: desktop computing, tablet computing, smart phones, the music industry, and perhaps more. They have also earned the highest user satisfaction ratings in each of those industries for years.

    By all means, do point to the more innovative company.

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