U.S. Judges skeptical of Apple’s claims of iPhone patent harm by convicted patent infringer Samsung

“Apple Inc told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday that rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should be barred from selling products that infringe on its smartphone patents, but the judges were skeptical,” Diane Bartz reports for Reuters.

“Judge Kimberly Moore was skeptical that Apple was being harmed since it already licenses some technology to other companies. ‘You’ve already licensed these patents up the wazoo!’ she said,” Bartz reports. “Judge Sharon Prost said she was ‘having a hard time getting past irreparable harm.’ But on rebuttal, Apple lawyer William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hall & Dorr LLP said other smartphone companies, like Google Inc and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, had not licensed the technology.”

Bartz reports, “Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP said the South Korean company had all but stopped using the patents, so no injunction was needed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The legal system is broken. As it was with the Mac through to today, Apple’s intellectual property will never be protected. Samsung sold an estimated 73 million smartphones last quarter. Obviously, a large percentage of those should have been Apple’s sales, if Samsung hadn’t been knocking off iPhones for the past 7+ years. Therefore, Apple obviously was harmed. Very significantly. If Samsung et al. were made to pay back what they’ve really stolen from Apple, they’d all be bankrupt.

That said, our prediction is coming to fruition at least:

An iPhone with a larger screen option will hurt Samsung immeasurably more than myriad, unending traipses through the legal morass.MacDailyNews Take, May 2, 2014

Apple grabbed 93% of the mobile industry’s profits in fourth quarter 2014.

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    1. Not hard at all. Read MDN’s Take:

      Samsung sold an estimated 73 million smartphones last quarter. Obviously, a large percentage of those should have been Apple’s sales, if Samsung hadn’t been knocking off iPhones for the past 7+ years.

      That’s a huge chunk.

    2. It does seem difficult to make the case for irreparable harm since:
      – the B&E left the family MOST of their property
      – the assault left him most of his teeth
      – the bomb left most of the school standing
      and so on.

      Clearly, as SJB points out, if Samcopy hadn’t sold 73 million of their rip-off products, a good chunk of that number would likely have been iPhones instead.

      1. He’s not saying there’s no harm, he’s saying there’s no *irreparable* harm. In other words, whatever harm is done can be repaired after the fact, with money.
        That second part seems to be more theoretical than practical, but that’s a different problem.

        If the ruling is for no injunction, that doesn’t mean the judge thinks there’s no damage being done. It means whatever the damage is can be worked out later.

        1. S S, Hmmm, then by later you mean some time in the next ice age?? Apple won two lawsuits for a billion dollars. Yet samsung keeps selling patent related phones and NOT PAYING the billion.

          Maybe the judges think 1,000,000,000,000 dollars is chicken feed.

  1. The legal system forces a very narrow focus on a few patents. If the court were allowed to look at the bigger picture, with all the utility and design patents and the trade dress that has been methodically copied by Samsung (and other copiers) then maybe the outcome would be different.

    Still, sitting out here as a stock holder that has been harmed by the theft of “my” property by Samsung, I am very disappointed with the ineffectiveness of our legal system.

    Our court system is overloaded, backlogged, and largely ineffective. Our Federal Congress has approval ratings dipping below 10%. The leader of the administrative branch of our government has approval ratings dipping below 50%. The borrow and spend Republicans are perpetually in stalemate with the tax and spend Democrats. Both parties are more focused on the wins and losses of their party than the good of the nation. Just how healthy is our government?

    Thank God for small businesses, commerce, and the resiliency of the American people who continue to march on.

  2. Once again, hurt the companies where it hurts most — in their pockets. Lawsuits don’t do justice, nor are they speedy.

    Stop buying damn dung from Samsung. In fact, we’ve already seen that start to hurt them. KEEP NOT BUYING.

    1. Disagree with your first point. Lawsuits may not (always) do justice, and they are not speedy for sure. Especially when all-important precedent has not been set. Yet in the end, including after hearings by esteemed and smart judges in Courts of Appeal, landmark lawsuits can ultimately have a huge effect. To wit: it took Pom Wonderful 5 years to establish their legal right to sue Coca Cola’s Sunkist division for false advertising. But working through the court was, unfortunately, the only way to do it. (Shame on the US legal system for taking so long.)

      Agree with your second point: Boycott Samsung. And every other sleazy company out there.

  3. Winning the lawsuit yields not-so-much. The lawyers get paid, and that’s about it. I’m beyond caring.
    MDN’s take is spot on. Apple is winning where it really matters, and I think that AppleWatch is one more nail in the coffin for Samsung, as Apple’s Smart wearable will more deeply embed users in the ecosystem, and those users are NOT going anywhere, (except back to the Apple Store this Fall for their 6s and 6+s phones.)

    Apple’s got it right. So who cares about Samsung.

  4. The main problem seems to be that Apple keeps going up against a bunch of liberal bitch judges who couldn’t hold down a real job in the real world. Women’s suffrage my ass.

  5. Apple should have sued Samsung in East Texas. /s

    All joking aside, the U.S. court system is so slow that by the time any judgment is truly final, the patents are effectively worthless. In some cases several generations of newer technologies have come and gone in that timeframe.

    Samsung’s lawyers (Quinn Emanuel) know this. That is why they repeatedly try to minimize the impact by saying Samsung has replaced most of the infringing aspects of their phones — all the while making every effort to delay the case and drag it out. Their final goal? To be able to say, “there is nothing in currently shipping phones that infringes any Apple patent. Ban all the old phones. We haven’t shipped any of them to the U.S. in a couple of years. You can’t ban the new phones because they don’t infringe.”

    The whole system — patents and patent protection through the courts — is completely broken. It is *so* broken it may not be possible to fix it even **if** we could get Congress and the Administration to consider fixing it.

    1. The obvious repercussion of their illiteracy is the demolition of the incentive to INVENT anything in the USA. No incentive? No invention. It’s at that point that people in search of incentives turn to crime. That’s the story of both Russia and China.

      #MyStupidGovernment at work undermining my great country!

    2. I’m constantly saying that competition is the father of innovation. But when your ‘competitor’ is a scam rat who’s blatantly ripping off your IP and selling it on the cheap, then your stupid court system says that’s just fine with them… So long innovation! That’s the stupid court system literally aiding, abetting and inspiring crime, at least from my POV. 😛

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