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How Google Drove Samsung Away 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-stay-out dept.
itwbennett writes "The patent licensing agreement between Microsoft and Samsung this week set off a firestorm of childish tit-for-tat between Microsoft and Google. But more telling is what Samsung had to say about its relationship with Google: 'Samsung knows it can't rely on Google. We've decided to address Android IP issues on our own,' a Samsung official told The Korea Times. The only good news to come from all of this, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is that we may be headed for a courtroom showdown over just what patents Microsoft believes are in violation, which really is what should have happened to begin with." Update: 09/30 20:05 GMT by S : As it turns out, the so-called "Samsung official" cited by The Korea Times turned out to be patent blogger Florian Mueller.
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How Google Drove Samsung Away

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  • Re:Just do IT! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:12AM (#37564582)

    I can't wait to see the whole patent system destroy itself. Then we can do IT.

    Sounds nice, but it looks like more like the patent system destroying IT, right now. The lawyers are winning.

  • FUCK you MS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sunr2007 (2309530) on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:36AM (#37564686)
    If microsoft says that every android device violates their patents then its nothing but just a Extortion racket they are building up by threatening other vendors. Im glad that a company like B & N has balls where as HTC and samsung c not. I'm never buying any windows product ever in my life again. lets start boycotting all MS products. OTOH why Department of Justice/antitrust regularities cannot look into deals like this?
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Friday September 30, 2011 @05:37AM (#37564692)

    From TFS:

    The only good news to come from all of this, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is that we may be headed for a courtroom showdown over just what patents Microsoft believes are in violation, which really is what should have happened to begin with.

    I completely disagree with the idea that the first thing you should do in a patent dispute is to take someone to court. Look at the difference between Apple and Microsoft as far as Samsung is concerned. In the case of Apple, Samsung has been taken to court in various districts around the world and has been prevented from selling some of their products at all in certain countries. Suit has met with counter-suit, and lots of lawyers have got just a bit fatter. This will either end with Samsung having to scrap their product line, or settle this all out of court with some deal. Either way it will cost them a bundle.

    On the other hand, Microsoft negotiated a deal, during which time Samsung was not prevented from selling their products anywhere. The end result is still a deal with another company, but without the cost and PR problems that lawsuits generate.

    Why should the former be the preferred option? Yes, more details on the patents would be appreciated but the companies involved with these deals must be given more information, otherwise they would not make the deals. I imagine a lot of the patents would be the absurd type, just like Apple's patents in the Dutch case [swpat.org]. But I am sure that some of their patents (VFAT, ActiveSync) would stand up in court though.

  • by Hope Thelps (322083) on Friday September 30, 2011 @06:17AM (#37564834)

    The major manufacturers would have only come to terms with Microsoft if they came to the conclusion that in a drawn out court battle, Microsoft would win.

    That's obviously untrue. They will enter into an agreement with Microsoft if it's advantageous to do so. There are any number of scenarios where that would apply. For example, a 10% chance of Microsoft winning and being awarded $10 billion doesn't compare well with a straight payment of $100 million. A certainly of Microsoft losing but with Samsung paying substantial legal costs along the way doesn't compare well with a series of agreement that net out to essentially nil cost to Samsung (for example agreeing to pay license fees for Android but receiving funds for an advertising campaign for Samsung Windows devices). And so on. We'd need a copy not only of this licensing agreement but of any related deals to decide who won or lost here.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Friday September 30, 2011 @06:24AM (#37564872)

    I'm surprised the shareholders of Google haven't done more to urge Google to spend their profits on supporting Samsung.

    Samsung is a global industrial cartel with $172 billion in revenues in 2009.

    Samsung can fight its own battles.

  • by pootypeople (212497) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:13AM (#37565056)

    Why should a court case be inevitable now? Microsoft will NEVER detail what patents that they believe Linux infringes on. Folks have been begging them to do so for years so that if Linux infringed on any Microsoft patents that code could be reworked. Microsoft would have little ammunition for its shakedowns if they actually put their cards on the table.

  • Re:Just do IT! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daem0n1x (748565) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:15AM (#37565074)
    Yes. The "thing" is called "parasite".
  • by dbIII (701233) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:20AM (#37565098)
    Microsoft offers variable discounts instead of a fixed price to large OEMs like Samsung that buy a lot of Microsoft products. If Samsung don't play ball they could lose a lot of those discounts and their products with Microsoft software on them are suddenly a lot less competitive or have a lot less profit margin than other OEMs.
    See ASUS and the eeePC turnaround for a blatant example. The Asustek CEO gave a presentation at a trade show about how wonderful the new release was, had lunch with people from Microsoft, then issued a PUBLIC APOLOGY that afternoon that the eeePC didn't have MS Windows XP on it and cancelled the product he'd launched in the morning. Microsoft was a pitbull that had his balls by the teeth so he just had to do whatever it took (no matter how personally humiliating - total loss of face is a pretty massive deal at an Asian trade show) to get them to let go or he'd most likely lose a big advantage in the Microsoft OEM space which is a massive piece of ASUS's market.
    So Samsung, ASUS etc are screwed while B&N, Google etc do not have a special OEM discount deal so have nothing to lose.
  • Re:Just do IT! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by king neckbeard (1801738) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:33AM (#37565162)
    Tomato, Tomatoe. Microsoft, Apple. Republicans, Democrats. It's all two sides of the same coin.
  • by andydread (758754) on Friday September 30, 2011 @07:59AM (#37565312)
    You completely miss the point. The NDA is required before even entering to negotiations. The NDA is about PATENTS which are public information. Telling people to sign a NDA so they cannot discuss public information is part of a delberate attempt to keep alleged infringement secret from the Linux community so that they can extort money from anyone that produces a Linux device or computer from TomTom to Buffalo to ACER and others. Your support for this egregious activity is telling.
  • Re:Just do IT! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Friday September 30, 2011 @08:07AM (#37565362) Homepage

    You have this strange idea that patents come from research. Where did you get this idea? Many of them come from fairly obvious ideas with some sort of twist added to it such as "over the internet" or "with a can opener on it."

    If the patents which were awarded REALLY resulted from actual hard work and protected people who actually make things, we wouldn't actually be seeing the mess of trolls and money grubbing we see today. Instead, we see mobile phone failures such as Microsoft making more money off of competitors (because their phones are better) than on their own products which they can't seem to pay people to use. We see trolls who literally make nothing at all, have empty offices in east Texas, one owner/employee/operator and a business name that makes them sound like real companies suing people for a living.

    One of the main problems is not with what you idealistically identify, but this other nonsense of derivative and adaptive patents, software patents and the existence of patent troll operations.

  • by Fri13 (963421) on Friday September 30, 2011 @08:55AM (#37565786)

    Please, someone working with Samsung, HTC or any of those companies, please send the documents to wikileaks. Let them to rip off the sensitive data of who leaked it to cover your asses and blow up the whole fucking shit back to Microsoft face.

    Do the right thing and show the world what kind asshole and abusive corporation the Microsoft is for whole world.

    Do the right thing.....

    At somepoint, someone need to stand up and stop the stupid chair game so everyone could actually sit down and start helping whole world without one corporation ruling what and when can be invented and brought to public.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Friday September 30, 2011 @10:50AM (#37567102) Homepage

    I'm surprised the shareholders of Google haven't done more to urge Google to spend their profits on supporting Samsung.

    Samsung is a global industrial cartel with $172 billion in revenues in 2009.

    Samsung can fight its own battles.

    ... and lose. I bet this deal came about quicker because Apple is destroying Samsung in courts around the world. Samsung claiming that Google should be taking care of all this is like claiming that Linus should be fighting for your right to mod an XBox to run the Linux kernel on it... Yeah, Google makes a tablet version, but they didn't go out of their way to force anyone to break a patent, or use someone else's design.

    As of yet, Google has not been found in violation of any patents and they don't sell it commercially, it's free. Samsung, on the other hand, makes money for free off Android. So yeah, they have to defend it.

    The moment Google has to make licensing deals on patents, Android will cease to be free... and by that, I don't mean to companies, but to small developers just wanting to use it on homebrew devices. It'll become the Unix of the mobile OS world. Open source, but huge license fees to use so as to pay for the lawyers to protect it.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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