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Patents Businesses Cellphones The Almighty Buck The Courts Apple

Samsung Agrees To Pay Apple $548 Million Over Smartphone Patents (theverge.com) 64

An anonymous reader writes: After years of legal wrangling over smartphone patents, Apple and Samsung appear to have reached an agreement. The two companies released a joint statement (PDF) saying Samsung will pay Apple $548 million before December 14th. Apple must send them an invoice before they'll pay. It's not a complete stand-down; even their agreement contains disagreement. "The statement notes that Samsung 'continues to reserve all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple,' although in the same document, Apple disputes these rights. ... Not only does the joint statement reserve Samsung's right to take some of this money back in any future cases, but this summer, the South Korean company announced it would be requesting a U.S. Supreme Court review of its legal case." At the very least, it's a big step toward resolving the mountain of patent issues between the companies.
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Samsung Agrees To Pay Apple $548 Million Over Smartphone Patents

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  • The only comment I have about this is: PJ, please! Bring us Groklaw back! I miss Groklaw so much!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2015 @10:02AM (#51056341)

    Glad to see this pioneering and innovative company is finally getting paid for all their hard work.

    Samsung should try doing something *original* instead of *stealing* from the genius that is Apple. Quite honestly, they got off easy with this settlement. Samsung should be out of business for such despicable practices.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I love people like you. I can see the angst in your faces when you see me use my note 5. The awesome stylus and the wireless charging really get your panties in a wad.

    • Ok, I'm stumped. I can't tell if you're making a sarcastic response or if you are a genuine Apple fanboi.

    • What's interesting is that the USPTO invalidated Apple's main design patent in this case [fosspatents.com]. But hardly any of the mainstream media reported it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gotta love the US patent system.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Particularly when Samsung's R&D did the real work, and their plants made the components Apple use.

      What I find most remarkable, is how Apple have managed to remove Sony's blue-prints from all court records. Which show designs of iPhone style devices long before Apple started their own work on these products. Sony was first, Apple have their designs and corporate docs, yet whenever these are presented as a defense, the judge (same one incidentally) strikes them from the record. Hmmm, why oh why?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They are to prevent competitors from making knock off parts or cloning exact looks. If the shape is larger, smaller, different in the slightest it is different and not a violation.

        This is all non-sense overreach and is completely crap that the court allowed it to move forward and miss instructed the jury about what they were allowed to determine. I believe Samsung should ultimately win if the Supreme Court finally strikes down this bullshit payday for courts and lawyers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Only anti-patent morons constantly complain about rounded corners, which can only be covered by a design patent. This settlement is about Samsung infringing utility patents, which cover innovative functionality in hardware and software, not just the appearance.

      • Oh? What patents do you think this is about? Why are they innovative? The only other patent I have heard mentioned is slide to unlock, which is hardly innovative.

      • Only anti-patent morons constantly complain about rounded corners, which can only be covered by a design patent. This settlement is about Samsung infringing utility patents, which cover innovative functionality in hardware and software, not just the appearance.

        I haven't read anything about the agreement to see which patents it covers, but there was at least one design patent that was part of the lawsuits.

  • Since it lists all the ways this agreement is not an agreement and ends with:

    "At the very least, it's a big step toward resolving the mountain of patent issues between the companies."

  • by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Friday December 04, 2015 @10:34AM (#51056517) Homepage

    Apple: "That'll teach you to infringe our patents. Now give us the money."
    Samsung: "Fine, here you go."
    (Hands over check for $548 million)
    Apple: "Thanks. Oh, by the way, how is the manufacturing of our new processors coming along?"
    Samsung: "Oh, erm... Our running costs have gone up, so we're going to have to pass the increase onto you, I'm afraid."
    Apple: "How much has it gone up by?"
    Samsung: "$548 million"
    Apple: "Fine, here you go."
    (Returns check)

    • by Movi ( 1005625 )

      Samsung Mobile and Samsung IC are different companies (but under one mothership mind you). Apple wouldn't dare piss off the #1 producer of Flash chips in the world

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Samsung Mobile and Samsung IC are different companies (but under one mothership mind you). Apple wouldn't dare piss off the #1 producer of Flash chips in the world

        It goes both ways, actually. Because Samsung doesn't want to piss off a major component purchaser either.

        Because parts have a long lead time, and if you're ramped up to produce 10M flash chips a month and you piss off Apple, that's 10M flash chips that's going to be sitting in your warehouse. And that's not a good thing because it means you have e

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Yep, its a giant corporate centipede with each corporations mouth sown to the next ones butthole.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday December 04, 2015 @10:40AM (#51056545) Journal

    I'm starting to get the notion that these patent lawsuits are a way for big multinationals to further dodge taxes. Not only are civil penalties often deductible, but civil awards are very often not taxable.

    So, it's sue me, sue you and can you scratch a little lower on my back, please.

    • I'm starting to get the notion that these patent lawsuits are a way for big multinationals to further dodge taxes. Not only are civil penalties often deductible, but civil awards are very often not taxable.

      If true that would be insane, especially if it also applies to settlements. Companies could just always pay eachother with settlements.

  • by DriveDog ( 822962 ) on Friday December 04, 2015 @10:44AM (#51056585)
    I seriously doubt that intelligent people outside of the patent/legal profession would think any of either of their patents hold any merit. The best invention would be a way to send a message back to those who originally created patent law and tell them how ridiculous, abused, and twisted it is all going to become, so write it very carefully and define it very narrowly.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      Why would those that created patent law care? The creators likely were the same group of people that ultimately represented plaintiffs and defendants in patent lawsuit. They created guaranteed continual employment for themselves and for generations to come.

      • Perhaps I should've been more specific—not necessarily Venetians in 1450 but US lawmakers in 1790. Sure there was corruption then, but I don't think they would've set up something as ugly as what we have now if they could've avoided it.
    • Hey this case alone has kept thousands of lawyers, judges, legal aids, interns, office assistance, and expert witnesses employed for many years.

      Won't someone think of the jobs!

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      I seriously doubt that intelligent people outside of the patent/legal profession would think any of either of their patents hold any merit. The best invention would be a way to send a message back to those who originally created patent law and tell them how ridiculous, abused, and twisted it is all going to become, so write it very carefully and define it very narrowly.

      While the current patent legislation is insane, take a look at all those who benefit from it. You can always see who wants things *they way they are going* by following the money.

      Big corporations, big banks, multinational law firms and their cronies in legislative and judicial branches all prefer the situation as it stands now.

  • The summary makes the agreement sound like it was hammered out by lawyers representing third grade kids. One kid says "I will pay, but disagree on why and can get my money back later". The other kid says "I agree, but disagree that you should get your money back". Rich kids these days!
  • And the lawyers continue to profit while we pay higher prices.
  • Sure patent agreements are resolved between companies which still results in preventing other players from entering the market. Even with all the FRAND patents the barrier to entry is insurmountable

  • Tief tiefin' from a tief make God laugh.
    Beggah from a beggah make Him cry.

    Cockroach 'ain ga no business in fowl cob.

    Patent troll issa like a pile a goat dung sittin' on top of hill...
    waitin' fo wind to blow.

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams

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