Apple urges court to force Samsung to remove patented iPhone features from its phones

“Apple urged a U.S. appeals court to force Samsung Electronics to stop copying certain features of the iPhone,” Susan Decker reports for Bloomberg News. “A federal jury last year said Samsung was using Apple’s patented features for autocorrect, slide-to-unlock and quick links. The judge in the case refused to order Samsung to remove those features, saying there was no evidence they drove sales of smartphones so Apple should instead be compensated with money.”

“This case and one other are all that’s left of a four- continent battle that’s engulfed the world’s biggest smartphone makers for the past four years,” Decker reports. “In December, Samsung asked the Washington appeals court to toss a $930 million verdict won by Apple. That appeal is still pending, as is the underlying infringement finding and $120 million damage award in this case.”

“Patents give their owners the exclusive right to the invention. Without the ability to block sales of rival products using the invention without paying, the patent’s value is decreased,” Decker reports. “Lee said that a Samsung victory on this issue would preclude any patent owner from obtaining an order to stop use of its inventions… A victory for Samsung would amount to forcing Apple to accept a compulsory license of its inventions, said Nick Rodelli, senior analyst at CFRA, a New York-based-based forensic accounting and legal research firm.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The clusterfsck continues. Everyone on the planet can plainly see what Samsung has done for years and continues to do to this day, unless they have on a judge’s robe, it seems.

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26 Comments

  1. If it were up to me SameScam would recall all infringing sold products, refund full retail price to customers that bought them, pay Apple actual damages (profits on phones sold), and triple punitive damages. There is no justice in the courts for the kind of rip-off that ScamSkunk got away with. 😀

  2. Judges(s) should be mandated to serve on patent defense to small business owners for one year to see how the system works. This should be a community service and free. Least they understand the cost and dangers of this kind of theft and what their, often bonehead, decisions cost.

  3. Apple will have to appeal eventually to the Supreme Court or user interface and gesture patents could become a thing of the past.

    I know congress will reconsider some issues with patent law, but the obvious reason we have patents is to encourage companies and indivduals to “invent” is to further our economy and thus the employment of our citizens.

    If we destroy patent damages, ultimately it harms the small company and individuals who both invent products and work for a living for those who do invent products.

  4. The judges all seem to not understand Patent law and what the consequences are resulting from there stupid findings or verdicts. If Samsung and others are free to use whatever any company invents then what good are patents? They do nothing to protect the intellectual property of the inventor when it comes time to go to court. So companies like Apple spend millions and millions developing there own tech only to have others like Samsung and every other copycat use it in there products and make millions off of it with no loss on developing the technology. The courts seem at this point worthless along with what used to be a Patent. Patent means go ahead and copy our tech because a court of law will do nothing about it anyways.

    1. Possibly the problem is patents are becoming politicized and liberal judges don’t want to appear to be unfair at risk of willful ignoring of patent law or the purpose of patents, and to the patent holders detriment.

      Maybe these judges spent too much time in a commune somewhere or suffer from a commune mindset – what belongs to one belongs to all. Dangerous socialist thinking. We should replace all judges with this conflict of law interest.

      1. Much as I consider this to be a problem of court ignorance, this bad attitude of ‘you invent it, we ALL own it’ is blatantly socialist and fits right in with the consequences I see: That of decimating the incentive to INVENT. As has been consistently and historically proven: Socialist societies are the least inventive societies. People REQUIRE incentives and/or remuneration of some kind as the reward for thrashing through the invention process. I’m an extremely collaborative person, as opposed to competitive, and I am saying this! I too require appreciation for my efforts, dammit!

        1. Exactly my concern as well. Also the further BS rationalization used stating “well the idea was so obvious to begin with.”

          Well if it was why didn’t someone ELSE patent it?

          The tendency to minimize invention these days will be it’s downfall as you say. Not that Apple isn’t being amply rewarded for it’s ideas and inventions but it shouldn’t be the type of reward that means judges can interpret it as “you’ve been successful enough, let others reap fortunes from your R&D efforts.”

          1. “You’ve been successful enough, blahblahblah” are the words of madmen. I’ve read a lot of crap from such madmen justifying the wholesale ripoffs Samsung ad nauseum have perpetrated in recent years. I wish I could shove their head into a future where their insanity is made real so the could see the repercussions. I have that wish a lot about a lot of subjects.

            1. Yeah wouldn’t that be NICE to rub in these stupid judge’s faces? The future repercussions of their poor patent-law-defying decisions?

              The Koh’s and Cote’s of the world richly deserve multiple wedgies and tar & feathering. At the very LEAST being unceremoniously angrily grabbed by the scruff of the robed neck and drop-kicked out of the judge’s chair to the nearest civil servant job they can’t do any damage with.

              (Whew! Got THAT out of my system, sort of…) 🙂

          2. I think you answered your own question.. If IS obvious to begin with there is no need to spend the substantial time and money to patent it. For gesture patents I’d have to say, if you already have precedent of using said gesture to manipulate real world objects for a similar purpose it should automatically be invalid.

  5. So I can reverse engineer any electronic piece of equipment and start selling the same thing with my name stamped on it?

    …and judge “Puppet” will agree?

    Apple needs to get a few of the big boy companies attention on this and work with them.

  6. “The judge in the case refused to order Samsung to remove those features, saying there was no evidence they drove sales of smartphones”

    Is it just me, or do judges sometimes sound really stupid when they tell us their thought process for making decisions?

  7. I think (like MDN) releasing an iPhone with bigger display was lot more effective in dealing with intellectual property violation and copying from Samsung; it hurt Samsung’s phones sales a lot more than all the bunch of suits Apple has brought up on them. However, let me tell my view on the issue.

    It wasn’t smart of Apple’s lawyers to go to court with this argument
    “Samsung’s copying of Apple’s work/designs affects sales of iPhone”. BIG MISTAKE.

    Because of that, they were requested to SHOW HOW so, or HOW MUCH Samsung’s blatant copying affectED Apple’s sales. Which in turn obviously, these lawyers had difficulty in doing/showing [let alone clearly]; more so, showing IF THE “DAMAGE” WAS SIGNIFICANT [ENOUGH] could potentially be a question/thought/argument the judge would allege.

    And obviously/naturally the judge would come up with, as article mentions, “there was no evidence they drove sales of smartphones so Apple should instead be compensated with money” at some point.

    The “right game plan” to go to court whining was arguing that Samsung’s BLATANT AND EVIDENT copying (of designs and technology) was infringing intellectual property; THAT JUST THAT, copying was VIOLATING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and because of just that, Samsung’s products had to be banned (in whatever territory) or its infringing components removed from the [violating] products.

    That WOULD NOT REQUIRE SHOWING how it affected sales. That right plan would only require SHOWING WHAT’S ALREADY VISIBLE AND EVIDENT.

    PLUS, what’s the point of protecting intellectual property (designs and technology through patents)?, if/when I tell the system in charge of overseeing/policing such violations, there are parties violating such intellectual property, I have to still show extra numbers/consequences (in this case sales related) or how significant the damage is.

    The right thing to do was arguing that COPYING WAS WRONG AND UNFAIR, JUST FOR THE SAKE OF COPYING OTHER PEOPLE [ART] WORK and nothing else.

    1. I agree that the approach Apple lawyers took is what is making it difficult to ‘win’.. However should they have gone for the tack you mention it is possible that no damages will be rewarded and a ‘grace’ period would be given in which offending devices could be made compliant. Also much more effort would have placed on proving/maintaining the validity of the patents in question.

      1. “it is possible that no damages will be rewarded” Why?

        I don’t know if Apple was going after damages but, I don’t think that would be a smart thing to do or whether that’s convenient for Apple. Would it not be better to have the court ban sales of Samsung’s infringing/violating devices or issue that injunction thing (note I’m not a lawyer, I just know that’s one of the things they were throwing at each other) because of the [blatant] use of other’s protected work?

        “a ‘grace’ period would be given” Why?

        I may agree with the likelihood of this one:
        “more effort would have placed on proving/maintaining the validity of the patents in question”

        1. Depending on what was being claimed to be infringed it could be corrected on devices already sold (e.g. software related). There would be no remaining infringement in that case, so no basis for payment of damages.

          Yes, I agree the tack that should have been taken would be to request a ban. However since “innocent till proven guilty” is the starting point, I highly doubt any ban would take effect in time for the infringing devices’ effective sales period (Appeals and all could just take up all the time).

          A grace period could occur based on the nature of the infringement and how little it would affect sales of either product while it is being corrected.

          I really think the patent system currently in place for software is broken. I believe the core idea of patenting is to provide a reasonable period of time for a patent holder to make back his investment in R&D and make a reasonable profit, not to stifle innovation as it appears now. At the same time if a patent is filed and not used and/or actively licensed for use in a commercial product/process by the patent holder in a reasonable amount of time, the patent becomes null and void to discourage patent trolls. This will also allow innovation to continue at a good pace w/o all the ‘roadblocks’ currently existing due to patent troll activity.

  8. “Judge! I invented it.. Jury agrees …I dont want anybody else to use it .. Its my invention , my R&D Effort and my investment… for my own use ! ” ..
    Whats so complicated about that?

    1. AND, if I remember reading the IP law right, this is ONE OF THE PRIMARY/FUNDAMENTAL REASONS TO PROTECT your ideas/inventions in the first place:

      “nobody else to USE it”

      So, if that’s the case, STOP USE BY OTHERS, WHY WOULD I STILL HAVE TO SHOW EVIDENCE whether it drives sales or not, or whatever?

      The thing should end when I show it’s my idea/invention others are using; that’s it.

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