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Patents The Courts Your Rights Online

Ericsson Seeks US Import Ban On Samsung Products 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-we-go-again dept.
angry tapir writes "Just a few days after Ericsson filed several patent-infringement lawsuits against Samsung in the U.S., the Swedish mobile phone company also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), asking for an import ban of a wide range of Samsung products, including the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note. Ericsson alleges that Samsung violates Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing patent-infringing products into the U.S and selling them."
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Ericsson Seeks US Import Ban On Samsung Products

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  • I believe Ericsson was a quite popular brand of phone in the dumbphone era, but their reputation has since died off.
    Are companies that are unwilling to compete simply going to sue their competitors? Instead of devoting their resources to innovating, they're wasting their time and money on lawsuits while other companies are free to spend their time doing something interesting on their own.

    Samsung sells a lot more than just phones, and I don't know if these companies are just trying to sue them into obliv
    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday December 03, 2012 @06:37PM (#42174287)

      I believe Ericsson was a quite popular brand of phone in the dumbphone era, but their reputation has since died off.

      This is a company that made something like $26 billion in revenue last year. They're still a first-tier vendor for back-end equipment.

      Maybe we should make some law that says a person's patents don't count, provided they stop making products that attract the attention of shallow cellphone trend blogs.

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        They've certainly not been idle with the times...
        Ericsson products [ericsson.com]

        Definitely geared more towards business / infrastructure, than the S3's market, oh well.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Definitely geared more towards business / infrastructure, than the S3's market, oh well.

          Actually, the problem is the licensing of FRAND patents that Samsung had from Ericsson expired (Ericsson owns a few essential 3G onwards patents that are FRAND licensed). Samsung refused to relicense the patents.

          It's not whether or not they're i the same market, it's that the S3 (and many others) use 3G and possibly LTE patents that belong to Ericsson, and that Samsung and Ericsson have failed to negotiate a new licensin

          • by penix1 (722987) on Monday December 03, 2012 @09:10PM (#42175401) Homepage

            Just so you know, to make a cellphone you have to license a lot of patents from Ericsson, RIM, ex-Nortel (now Apple), Google/Motorola, Samsung, and the list goes on and on and on and on...

            That is because of the standards being reliant on patent technology. FRAND be damned. That whole concept needs to go away in standards. It isn't a standard if the barrier to entry is that minefield.

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              That is because of the standards being reliant on patent technology. FRAND be damned. That whole concept needs to go away in standards. It isn't a standard if the barrier to entry is that minefield.

              Well, the 3GPP went the other way compared to the MPEG association. With MPEG, you can license EVERY h.264 patent you need by paying the fixed fee schedule offered by the MPEG Licensing Authority (aka MPEG-LA).

              Of course, people dislike the patent pool idea as well because it offers no flexibility. Like how consum

              • And an interesting thing about this case - Ericsson is doing to Samsung what Samsung is doing to Apple, and indeed, Ericsson's arguments are practically identical. It's a very interesting situation, to say the least. (Likewise, it's probably similar to the rates Google/Motorola are asking from Apple and Microsoft and such, too.

                So, the smart thing for Samsung to do is to take it to court, make sure they lose and then use the loss as precedent against Apple.

          • by fatphil (181876)
            Everyone who's worked in the industry has called that cluster of companies "the mafia" at one time.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)
      Samsung is kind of hard to compete with nowadays, they're like the Microsoft of the 90s, everybody wants to take a shot at the pie they're holding, but Samsung is responsible for a lot less BSOD (possibly better QC), so their PR isn't quite as bad.
      • Samsung is kind of hard to compete with nowadays, they're like the Microsoft of the 90s

        Samsung is nothing like Microsoft...In fact Microsoft is still Microsoft only in the phone world its FUD; Bully Tactics; Burning Partners have got it treated like a clown that gives you cancer by both carriers and customers

        The sad thing in this market anyway they are closet to...what Nokia was and could have been, several fledging operating systems including the successer to Meego [Tizen]; its own [Bada] and even Windows...its just the Market wants Android.

        If I was arguing beyond Phones I may even say Sony

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I believe that you and the submitter both have confused Ericsson the Telecommunication systems company with Sony-Ericcson their mobile phone subsidiary which they completely sold to Sony in 2012. Ericcson is the worlds largest supplier of telecommunications equipment and invented a huge chunk of the technology used by Samsung.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Last I checked Ericsson had close to 40% of the world-wide core network market, i.e. the stuff on the ground.
      They also sit on a lot of Radio essential patents.
      Samsung says they want a licence closer to the old one, but Ericsson has offered the same as they offer everyone else to Samsung now.

      Ericsson also spun off their handset business as a joint venture with Sony quite a while ago and finally sold their half to Sony recently. So Ericsson and Samsung are no longer competitors in this area but they do compet

    • Ericsson is one of the companies that invented cellphones. How are they not relevant?
      They're not a cellphone manufacture anymore, so Samsung isn't a competitor.
      They hold patents for GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA and LTE. They are the largest mobile network provider. That's pretty relevant.
  • by Fieryphoenix (1161565) on Monday December 03, 2012 @06:32PM (#42174255)
    How dare anyone out there sue Samsung, after all she's been through! She loves her Galaxy! She went through a lawsuit! She had many business partnerships, her customers turned out to be (sob) litigious and now she's going through an appeal.All you companies care about is patents and making money off of her! SHE'S A CORPORATION! What you don't realize is Samsung is making all this money and all you do is file a bunch of crap against her.
  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Monday December 03, 2012 @06:35PM (#42174273)

    ... is sucked up by lawyers and judicial staff by way of my handset manufacturer.

    On any given day you can replace "handset manufacturer" with "OS vendor", "service provider", "app developer", etc.
    This system stinks and it doesn't function in my interests as a consumer (or an engineer, for that matter).

  • world wide patent laws need to be reworked

  • More innovation??? I can't stand it!

  • Wouldn't a US ban on Samsung products constitute a ban on... pretty much everything electronic? I doubt there's a single electrical device in your home that doesn't contain at least some Samsung components.

  • by crow (16139) on Monday December 03, 2012 @07:22PM (#42174641) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps Samsung should bypass all these attempts at import bans by doing the final assembly locally. The physical assembly can still be done wherever, but the potentially patent-infringing software can be loaded on in the destination country, so what is shipped overseas does not infringe on the patents.

    Or even sell them with something other than Android on them, but with something simple that allows the carriers to update them upon activation. Then they aren't infringing on any software patents until after they are sold!

    • Then they'll get sued instead. None of these patents are "software patents". They cover the network technology, nothing to do with Android.
  • Seriously, how else can a free market possibly be free if silly things like patents and copyrights get in the way. If people think you are worth the higher bucks, then higher bucks they will pay. This getting governments involved to enforce monopolies is totally gotten out of hand.

    • by mirix (1649853)

      What you really want is open/free communications standards. Ericsson doesn't even make phones, they make backend / tower equipment.

      They obviously can't compete for the best handset, as they don't make any.

      If you want to make a phone that supports WCDMA or UMTS or LTE or whatever G we're on now, you gotta pay licensing fees, it's as simple as that.

      Only thing else you could do, is come up with your own protocol that no provider supports. Which is pretty useless, and isn't very feasible at this point... things

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        The problem with "free and open standards" is today it is simply a way to get your hat handed to you.

        OK, manufacturer A spends tens of millions developing code and hardware for a new, higher efficency, faster protocol. Nearly all of this is simply software because, well, that is how things are done these days. There is nothing really interesting or new that is going to come along and be implemented in hardware.

        Under a free and open standards policy, the documentation for this protocol would be freely avai

  • Have just successfully argued that Samsung can't get an injunction against Microsoft products because blah blah financial remedy table pound, say, Your Honor, y'all hail from Seattle, right?

    I wish Ericsson all that they deserve to get from lying down with rats.

  • by mattis_f (517228) on Monday December 03, 2012 @08:36PM (#42175201)

    Ericsson no longer makes phones. They're a highly profitable company building cell phone networks with lots of patents in the wireless tech-sphere. Samsung and Ericsson are not, in other words, direct competitors and this is not a case of competing through the courts. Key part from TFA:

    "The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

    "Samsung had licensed Ericsson patents before. However, according to a statement released by Samsung last week, Ericsson demanded 'significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio,' adding that it planned to 'take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims.'"

    This is purely about the money. The two companies stopped negotiating, Samsung is betting that going to court (they must have known a lawsuit was coming) will end up better for them than paying Ericsson's fee.

    • by Reemi (142518)

      Samsung is moving into the mobile network infrastructure market and hence is planing to become a competitor. This is probably the key for the dispute, Samsung will most likely use the IPR in other product segments than mobile phones only.

      Ericsson has as well a 50% stake in ST-Ericsson, selling mobile platforms for manufacturers like Samsung. note, the S3 mini is based on an ST-Ericsson platform. Samsung has an own LTE platform as well. So Samsung is both a customer as a competitor to Ericsson in this area.

      Y

  • Meanwhile, Nokia drops case vs Xtrauf, proud US makers of rubberboots.

    Nokia: We found out their boots were actually made in China.

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/alaskans-say-xtratuf-boots-lost-trademark-durability-after-manufacturing-move-china [alaskadispatch.com]

    Nokia: while we haven't been in the rubberboot business for decades, we felt we needed to, just like Ericsson with phones, make our _former_ presence heard.
    Q: What have the damages to you been from Xtraufs move to China?
    Nokia: Why ask us? Ask that question to S

  • The US has hundreds of ports of entry and most of them aren't secured in any meaningful way.

    For the last 15 years or so it has been illegal to import unlicensed DVD players. Philips gets $5 for each player license. When you buy a DVD player that costs less than about $50 it is clearly unlicensed - there is no room in the pricing structure for Philips to get $5 from the manufacturer. So, what is the US doing about this? Well, it is illegal to import these things so there is a complete import ban on these

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