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Ban on Certain Samsung Products Appears Likely ITC Ruling 90

Posted by timothy
from the king-solomon-at-work dept.
Ars Technica reports that "On Friday the ITC filed a redacted version of a remedy suggested by ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, in which he recommended a ban be enforced against Samsung products that were found to infringe upon four Apple patents. The judge also recommended that Samsung post a bond for 88 percent of the value of its infringing mobile phones, as well as 32.5 percent of the value of infringing media players, and 37.6 percent of the value of infringing tablets." That sounds like a clear loss for Samsung, but the judge "also approved several workarounds suggested by Samsung that might permit the company to continue selling the implicated products (which include the Transform, Acclaim, Indulge and Intercept smartphones, according to Computerworld). These workarounds would sidestep infringing on Apple's four patents—which include one design patent and three technology patents." Ruling and remedy have yet to be approved by the panel whose word would make them final.
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Ban on Certain Samsung Products Appears Likely ITC Ruling

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  • Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @06:45AM (#42425345) Homepage Journal
    Now if we can ban all other products that infringe on all other patents, our transformation can be complete and we can finally move back into caves!
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by someone1234 (830754) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @07:06AM (#42425401)

      Either that, or just wipe all the trivial, already expired or otherwise invalid patents from the registry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apple will try to patent living in a cave. Failing that they will just add 'while living in a cave' to everyday things that everyone already does:

      Eating - while living in a cave
      Sleeping - while living in a cave
      Painting on the walls - while living in a cave

      • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2012 @07:34AM (#42425451)

        No, no, no, it would be

        • iEating - while iLiving in a iCave
        • iSleeping - while iLiving in a iCave
        • iPainting on the iWalls - while iLiving in a iCave

        which are obviously and clearly innovative. All the one you cited have prior art.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      iCaves on the other hand will be accessible to every iConsumer registered at the iOvermind's office.
    • Look like they have succesfully bribed ITC to block devices competing with them and drop cases against them (eg. Motorola case). And I suspect that whole Wall-Street estabulshitment is backing them - money junkies and banksters are too much invested in Apple to let any competition threaten Apple's obscenic margins. This is scenario I'm worried about for some time: monopolistic cash cow artificially created by Wall Street crooks. Openness coming with Android is what they're fighting against, not Samsung. Add
      • by the_B0fh (208483)

        Seriously, what kind of crack are you smoking?

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          When you have nothing worthwhile to contribute you resort to a baseless attack. Let me guess you work for Apple marketing and patents ;P.

          • by the_B0fh (208483)

            Err, it's more like how the fuck did he link genetically modified organisms, drug money, libor and housing bubble to iPhone versus Samsung Android phones?!

            If you're playing that game, then *EVERYTHING* is linked, and then there's nothing left to discuss.

            If you don't see that, then what kind of crack are *you* smoking?

      • by sdsucks (1161899)

        Sure, and Google & Samsung are on the "peoples" side, eh? Maybe your argument would make a little more sense if it wasn't obviously biased drivel.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @07:35AM (#42425453)

    Maybe your R&D department can cook up some great new products. But if there is even the slightest crack anywhere in them, where a patent lawyer can jam a crowbar into . . . you might as well forget it. Your legal costs would be more than the entire R&D cost of the project.

    So I wonder now how companies plan development projects these days?

    Executive: "What will you need to develop this new product?"

    Manager: "80 programmers, 20 management & support, . . . and . . . 1000 lawyers.

  • A large amount of the trouble with patents comes from the fact that:

    * The patent office doesn't have the resources to properly validate platent claims. They basically grant anything, and assume that validity will be litigated in the courts.
    * The courts tend to assume that anything granted must be valid.

    So, why not change it to:

    * The patent office merely registers the patent filing. It acknowledges the inventor's name, and publishes the details. but, at this stage, the patent is not deemed valid..
    * When ther

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You mean:
      * Patent office merely registers useless patents
      * Actual patent suit gets competition locked in courts while patent is carefully examined

      (In other words, almost like now)

      • by terec (2797475)

        The difference is that, right now, the burden of proof is on the person challenging the patent (presumption of validity), so patents are extremely hard and expensive to overturn. The burden of proof should be on the person asking for the patent when challenged in court.

        In different words, it would be "just like now", but what actually happens during the lawsuit would be very different.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2012 @08:13AM (#42425557)

      Supreme court ruled that to be non-obvious and invention had to be more than the sum of its parts. So pinch zoom on a handset isn't new just because its on a handset. It existed before on a computer and a handset is just a computer, so what's the invention? Calling it a handset instead of a computer???

      IMHO the Obviousness test used today is also to blame.

      Apple should not have been granted those patents on other people inventions. They did not make the first rounded rectangle touch computer, they did not invent the camera icon to represent a camera. The assembly of those two items does not a new invention make.

      Patent should be declined by default, but also the 'more than the sum of the parts' test was sound thinking too.

      • by Xest (935314)

        I was watching a show on TV here in the UK last night, which was going on about some guy who invented kites with two strings so you could better control them in about 1979 and was being hailed for his excellent work in coming up with this simple but magnificent idea that gave greater control over them.

        Only the problem is in parts of Asia like Afghanistan, and China they've been doing this at least 100 years prior, but likely much more than that.

        I guess the "inventor" of a product in this day and age is who

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237)
      That's perfect. So while the poor inventor gets slowly bankrupted, the pirate with deep pockets takes all of the money for the invention. Since the patent is not valid, it has no value to investors who might pay the inventor a living wage.

      You're a complete fucking genius.
      • by Richard_J_N (631241) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @09:01AM (#42425667)

        No.
        In the (exceptionally rare) case where a patent is genuinely a good and valid one, the owner can get to prove it is valid when he goes to court.
        In the common case (trivial and bogus patents), the failure of the patent-office to deny them would not hurt the defendant.

        In general, however, I think that the entire patent system is worse than useless, and we should simply abolish "intellectual monopolies".

        To address your point, many people have the mis-perception that patents help small inventors. This isn't true. Small inventors are far likely to be harmed by the predatory actions of a large company (which uses its own patents to crush the small guy) than they are likely to be protected. To put it another way, If I have an idea, I want the right to use it. Patents give me the right (which I don't want) to destroy your business; they also cause me the risk (which I greatly fear) that someone else wilI come along and destroy mine.

         

    • A large amount of the trouble with patents comes from the fact that:

      * The patent office doesn't have the resources to properly validate platent claims. They basically grant anything, and assume that validity will be litigated in the courts.

      Except that 90% of patent applications are initially rejected. A far cry from "they basically grant anything".

      * The courts tend to assume that anything granted must be valid.

      So, why not change it to:

      * The patent office merely registers the patent filing. It acknowledges the inventor's name, and publishes the details. but, at this stage, the patent is not deemed valid.. * When there is an actual patent suit, this is the time when the patent is carefully examined, and the question of validity can be debated in court.

      Think of this as "lazy-evaluation" for patents.

      There are registration-only systems in a few countries: Hong Kong, for example, and you can imagine how solid patent rights are there. Another one is Australia - they have a two-method patent system in which you can either get a real patent with examination and prior art search and a presumption of validity... or you can get an invention registration, as you suggest... And Slashdot simply loves to m

      • I'm suggesting that 90% of the ones that are currently granted should be rejected.
        The Australian system is actually a good idea - it means that inventors can have their rubber stamp cheaply, and that it doesn't arm the patent trolls.
        But seriously, when more than half the patent suits are brought by non-practising entities (the balance tipped last year), and when patent thickets are so severe that innovators have to just ignore the patents and hope not to be sued... the system is broken.
        We should just scrap

        • The Australian system is actually a good idea - it means that inventors can have their rubber stamp cheaply, and that it doesn't arm the patent trolls.

          It's a great idea, if you don't want to actually help inventors, but just want to take money from them. Frankly, I'd rather see inventors encouraged to innovate, rather than just hitting them with fees and giving them a useless piece of paper.

          But seriously, when more than half the patent suits are brought by non-practising entities (the balance tipped last year), and when patent thickets are so severe that innovators have to just ignore the patents and hope not to be sued... the system is broken.

          In what way is that broken? I understand that you hate trolls, but to imply that it's their non-practicing status that's the bad part, rather than their extortionate methods, or forum shopping, or the like, is just insane. Plus, what about other non-practicing entities

          • Patents are bad in practice, but they are wrong in theory too. The philosohpical problems are: independent invention, and the shoulders of giants.

            * If you and I independently solve the same problem and create a product, then we should both have the right to make our businesses from it. Just because I filed first doesn't mean that you stole my idea, nor should it give me the right to crush your business.

            * If I invent something, I maybe did 0.001% of the work. Everything else was drawn from the public domain

            • Patents are bad in practice, but they are wrong in theory too. The philosohpical problems are: independent invention, and the shoulders of giants.

              * If you and I independently solve the same problem and create a product, then we should both have the right to make our businesses from it. Just because I filed first doesn't mean that you stole my idea, nor should it give me the right to crush your business.

              On the contrary - as Jefferson stated, monopolies are an embarrassment to society, granted only because the of the great benefit to society gained by the exchange. Specifically, we grant patent rights not as a reward for some invention, but as a payment grudgingly made in exchange for public disclosure. If you and I independently solve the same problem and I publish it first, either voluntarily or in exchange for a patent, then when you later come along and do the same thing, how does society benefit? You a

              • If you and I independently solve the same problem and I publish it first, either voluntarily or in exchange for a patent, then when you later come along and do the same thing, how does society benefit? You aren't adding anything to the public domain, because I've already done that. Why should society give you anything or allow you to benefit from the embarrassment of a monopoly, when you've given nothing to society in exchange?

                Well, that might be true, excepting that no engineers ever read patents (they'd get hit for triple damages). Patent applications are usually phrased in a way which makes their coverage broad, and their utility as documentation low. Also, usually multiple people solve the problem at the same time. The one who gets the patent is frequently the least "deserving". [The "not obvious to one skilled in the art" test should kill most of the patents, but it doesn't].

                Improvements are inventions, too. It's that "better" part of "build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."

                Of course. You took my mousetrap and improved it..

  • This is insane (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @09:12AM (#42425687) Homepage

    The judge also recommended that Samsung post a bond for 88 percent of the value of its infringing mobile phones, as well as 32.5 percent of the value of infringing media players, and 37.6 percent of the value of infringing tablets.

    Software patents are completely out hand. This is not what the patent system was intended to do, this is madness.

    • This is not what the patent system was intended to do, this is madness.

      On the contrary, this is precisely the intended effect i.e. elevation of power and profits of the only group that really matters in this: the lawyers. You will take note that irrespective of what comes out of this (Apple loses, Samsung loses, whatever) the lawyers (and bankers - all that money has to get deposited somewhere - also just think of the magnitude of "transaction fees") get their money. A huge pile of money.

      In a society run b

  • Racism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mister Liberty (769145) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @09:15AM (#42425693)

    The US is just terrified by the Far East economic boom.
    It will continue, it is reactionary, and it's also a losing strategy.
    US, cuddle your Apple baby and cry.

  • by MikeRT (947531)

    But as a conservative this just smacks of central planning and the old adage of picking the winners and losers. I have never seen any explanation of why Samsung should be punished like this instead of everyone because they all infringe on each other. Yet somehow the rules don't seem to be getting applied even remotely fairly...

    Really, we need to jettison the entire punishment and start over if we are going to have patents. Keep the products on the market, but require that the company keep an accurate tally

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      No, this smacks of protectionism, something both conservatives and liberals are fond of; remember, this ruling comes from the ITC.

  • by RenHoek (101570) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @10:23AM (#42425883) Homepage

    I'm glad the patent wars are being fought out in the telecom industry, instead say the computer hardware or software industry, in hopes that people will see the folly of this idiotic and in the end destructive set of laws concerning patents.

    But I have no illusion that if this is not stopped, it will spill over into every other aspect of our lives, from patents in software (which is already ramping up) to foods, cars, books and more. The damage will be impressive.

  • Apart from the problems with the patent system, the ITC is out of control. The ITC is part of the executive branch and has no business adjudicating the validity of patents. There needs to be a serious house cleaning at the federal level; unfortunately, the guy to do it didn't even get invited to the debates.

    • The ITC is part of the executive branch and has no business adjudicating the validity of patents.

      1) What branch do you think the Patent Office is part of?

      2) The ITC can't actually invalidate a patent, they can only "find a patent invalid" and refuse to grant an injunction based on that patent. Even after an ITC finding of invalidity, the patent can still be used in federal court, though the defendant will almost certainly bring up the ITC ruling to try to convince the judge to invalidate the patent.

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        1) What branch do you think the Patent Office is part of?

        Do you have trouble understanding the difference between granting a patent and challenging a patent?

        The ITC can't actually invalidate a patent, they can only "find a patent invalid"

        My, you are fond of stating the obvious. You are also splitting hairs.

        The ITC makes decisions on the validity of patents and imposes what effectively amounts to remedies and penalties. The fact that they can be challenged in federal court does not change the fact that they

        • 1) What branch do you think the Patent Office is part of?

          Do you have trouble understanding the difference between granting a patent and challenging a patent?

          Then by that reasoning, the Patent Office shouldn't be able to invalidate a previously granted patent, and yet they can.

          The ITC can't actually invalidate a patent, they can only "find a patent invalid"

          My, you are fond of stating the obvious. You are also splitting hairs.

          The ITC makes decisions on the validity of patents and imposes what effectively amounts to remedies and penalties. The fact that they can be challenged in federal court does not change the fact that they are acting like a court themselves. But unlike a court, they aren't bound by the rules by which normal legal proceedings have to be conducted.

          I assume you already know this, but for anyone else that might be reading, the only penalty that the ITC can hand down is to block the import of illegally infringing products, which is arguably part of enforcing importation laws and thus the responsibility of the Executive. And while the ITC does not use the exact same rules as a federal court, they do have their own set of similar rules.

          • by stenvar (2789879)

            Then by that reasoning, the Patent Office shouldn't be able to invalidate a previously granted patent, and yet they can.

            No, not at all. Reversing an administrative decision and making a decision in a dispute between two parties are two entirely different things.

            However, the argument that the ITC shouldn't be allowed to rule on the validity of patents just because they are part of the Executive branch makes no sense at all.

            It may not make sense to you. But we have a dispute between two parties, and a decisio

            • As far as infringement goes, you have a good point. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with it, but it is a reasonable argument. Invalidity, though, is in theory completely independent of what's being accused of infringement. An ITC finding of invalidity is conceptually no different than if the defendant submitted a request for reexamination with the Patent Office, which can and does often happen.
  • None of the Apple patents are inventive, creative or novel. They are all freaking obvious and all probably have a large amount of prior art.
    The fact that defense of such lame patents can get this far at all is a travesty.

    • None of the Apple patents are inventive, creative or novel. They are all freaking obvious and all probably have a large amount of prior art.

      Then I'm sure you have some citations to said invalidating prior art? Or is this just one of those gut-feeling things?

      • 6 Ways Apple's iOS 5 Just Copied Android

        http://www.businessinsider.com/how-ios-5-copied-android-2011-6?op=1

        • 6 Ways Apple's iOS 5 Just Copied Android

          http://www.businessinsider.com/how-ios-5-copied-android-2011-6?op=1

          ... And? Sorry, we're talking about some patents here, not whether iOS uses features from Android or even vice versa. Maybe you're in the wrong thread?

  • If Android is a "stolen product," then so was the iPhone
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/02/if-android-is-a-stolen-product-then-so-was-the-iphone/

    6 Ways Apple's iOS 5 Just Copied Android
    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-ios-5-copied-android-2011-6?op=1

    Perfect proof to prove who are stealing what #boycottapple
    https://plus.google.com/103756891133345817009/posts

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