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Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple

8/1/2012 09:41 PM EDT
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yalanand
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
yalanand   8/2/2012 8:31:27 AM
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Battle between Apple and Samsung is getting intense.As pointed by Samsung, I am sure Apple might have violated some patents as well. Needs be seen what will be the outcome of this court battle.

Les_Slater
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Les_Slater   8/2/2012 7:34:14 PM
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The whole patent superstructure is flawed and much of the litigation by the powerful only succeeds in stifling innovation and competition.

Ed608
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Ed608   8/2/2012 9:46:13 PM
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OK, everybody says that the patent system is broken. So where is the discussion on how to fix it? Lets here about some concrete solutions that should be put in place.

Ogemaniac
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Ogemaniac   8/3/2012 8:46:02 AM
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Limit the USPTO to granting 500 patents a year, to whichever patents are deemed the most novel and useful. Throw the rest in the trash.

Ed608
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Ed608   8/3/2012 9:42:26 PM
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I think the quality of the issued patents is the issue, not the quantity. If an innovation is truly unique and therefore patentable, then why stifle innovation by arbitrarily limiting these to a maximum number of patents per year? That's analogous to limiting your inbox to 500 messages. Some of those are spam, but there certainly are many valid messages too.

timemerchant
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
timemerchant   8/3/2012 10:28:47 AM
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A better search for prior art would be a starter. Even a simple search through FreePatents Online would pick up things the patent attorneys choose to ignore to get their customers' dubious patents through. Remember MIPS with their unaligned access, sheer BS but a patent that was not invalidated.

jaybus0
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
jaybus0   8/3/2012 1:29:10 PM
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Yes. In fact, I believe there should be a peer review process, where the results of the peer review weigh heavily in the PTO's decision making process. This relies on a first-to-file system, of course, since some of those peers will certainly be working for the competition.

C VanDorne
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
C VanDorne   8/3/2012 6:36:01 PM
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Cato Institute's Timothy Lee weighed in on software patents in an article entitled "Patently Absurd" - National Review, October 3, 2011. It was an interesting read.

LennyP
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
LennyP   8/4/2012 1:00:36 PM
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Let's start by eliminating patents on software and return them to the realm of copyright just as other writings are.

jaybus0
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
jaybus0   8/3/2012 2:13:03 PM
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The patents being granted are far too broad in scope. For example, Microsoft's 2009 PDA button push patent. Or some of the video compression algorithms that are basically nothing more than Chebychev approximations dating to the late 19th century. A peer review process would help weed out some of this chaff.

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/2/2012 9:41:35 PM
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Technology patents need to be limited to 3 years since that is the lifespan of most new innovations. If the patent is not in application within a reasonable period (18mos?) then it should be released preventing obstructive use of patents.

Ed608
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Ed608   8/2/2012 10:07:54 PM
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Three years seems to be way too short a period compared to the current 20 years protection. Companies/Individuals may not be willing to devote as much resources to creation and innovation if they will only be able to recoup and benefit from their patents for such a short time. Your argument for 3 years does not make sense: If the lifespan of most new innovations is about 3 years as you say, then why would others still want to copy it? It must still be of significant value if after 3 years others still want to use it.

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/2/2012 11:35:53 PM
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Ed608: Because the delta of 3 vs 20 is so great is not a good reason not to change it. "NEW" technology gets the premium cost of a new idea. Then, the clones and others who can leverage/built-upon the available technology. One can sell low-cost clones long after the features are no longer innovative. Imagine a brick were patented preventing building homes without paying royalties. The brick was new for a while and those who want the newest homes can get them of brick. But, after a reasonable time (certainly not 20 years) then bricks can be used to build bridges and roads and the public can benefit from the value of this and new things can be made from bricks. An innovator can design/patent a better brick fetching the high sale price of the new value... repeat. If the brick cannot be used for 20 years then we cannot get decent roads at a reasonable cost and we cannot create improved ideas based upon a brick for 20 years. Now for the worst case... obstructive patents. Patents often obstruct innovation and progress. A large number of companies buy/bury patents that will create a better product. They do not apply these in improvement of the product. If the idea were available in a reasonably short time then progress can occur. If one does not apply the patent in a reasonable time (~1/2 the life of the patent is my thought) then the patent owner does not prevent use. This allows for application and further innovation based on that foundation.

David.Bley
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
David.Bley   8/2/2012 9:46:42 PM
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Lawyers are parasites. They create nothing of value and consume the time and money of those who are creating value, not to mention stifling innovation. I find any company larger than the individual inventor (who can't afford a lawyer anyway), that uses the legal system to compete or eliminate a competetor, nothing less than reprehensible. Haven't we figured out that all innovation has a foundation of the work that preceded ours. I very much dislike the fact that this useless stuff is found newsworthy in a technical arena.

LennyP
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
LennyP   8/4/2012 1:08:58 PM
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Most lawyers are naught but hired guns doing the biding of those who buy their services. It is the people that hire the lawyers to do the fighting and that run the companies and that buy the politicians and pervert the legal system to ensure their power and profits that need to be restrained who are the parasites.

rick merritt
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
rick merritt   8/2/2012 9:50:26 PM
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Yet, it seems to me Apple had a unique and big Aha! moment in seeing how the smartphone should include an open Web browser with an interface that is simple to use based on a multitouch screen--the Web in your pocket. I don't think anybody really got that before them. Don't they deserve some patent protection on such a big Aha! Isn't that what the patent system is all about?

timemerchant
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
timemerchant   8/3/2012 10:33:44 AM
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Repackaging is not patentable. Web browsers existed before. In fact, the iPod patent should not have been awarded IMO, but Apple "persuaded" the Patent Office that their packaging was unique. Yeah, sure, and for 17 or 20 years depending on when filed.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
old account Frank Eory   8/3/2012 9:52:18 PM
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Repackaging is indeed patentable. In many patents, the claimed invention is an innovative combination of technologies that already exist -- and are individually patented -- such that the innovative combination enables a new application or a new solution to a problem.

sethmilman
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
sethmilman   8/2/2012 9:51:50 PM
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Les is correct in that, like most bodies of law, the patent system is flawed. In fact, I have yet to come across any area of law that is perfect. On the other hand, the patent system is invaluable for small companies and startups. It helps them procure funding, create revenue streams, and protect their newly-hatched technology from being reverse-engineered. Obtaining patent protection is often a make-it or break-it event for startups. Also, even if large, established companies (like Apple and Samsung) don't need patents to procure funding, a strong patent portfolio can help those companies fend off litigation or reach a settlement more quickly.

Les_Slater
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Les_Slater   8/2/2012 10:10:34 PM
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I agree with David Bley that lawyers are parasites that don't create any value. They are SOMETIMES necessary though to protect space where value can be created. That's a very complex issue. As far as Rick's aha! argument is concerned we do have to look at the concrete. Apple has been an innovator and should not be blatantly copied to the extent that they cannot fund further innovation. The issue as I see it in this case is that Apple is stifling progress. But we can't solve the big issue that technology has outstripped the economic, political and legal structures of current society. There needs to be fundamental change.

Wilton.Helm
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Wilton.Helm   8/2/2012 10:55:43 PM
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Of course (once the lawyers all get paid) the end result of this battle is likely to be the usual cross-licensing. Reality is, even if one side (Apple in this case) starts out looking for damages, these wars often get resolved not by a judge or jury, but by the lawyers for the two companies doint tit for tat to grant each other more or less what they are already doing. Often the original goal of such lawsuits is nothing more than to force the other side to share its patents. Lawyers get rich, both sides get what they want. They still compete. The small guy who doesn't have the portfolio or army of lawyers generally lets left out in the dark and cold. Quite frankly, that is the biggest reason companies collect portfolios of patents. It's a grown up version of kids trading baseball cards!

selinz
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
selinz   8/3/2012 12:24:05 AM
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Rick, I think you could easily argue that the old Windows mobile platform had a touchscreen with internet explorer before Apple did it. Apple executed the Windows Mobile concept much better than Microsoft did. And now that others are executing better than Apple, they're crying about it.

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/3/2012 5:49:03 PM
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My Handspring Platinum browsed the internet (using WAP) via the Sprint phone plug-in. I forget how long ago that was. But it was one of the earliest "smart" phones with internet capability I know of. I think I still have these items somewhere :)

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/3/2012 6:10:34 PM
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Correction: This was a graphics phone :) http://www.geek.com/hwswrev/pda/visorphone/

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/3/2012 8:49:15 PM
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OOPS - I also forgot to mention that this touch screen Smart/PDA phone was in my hands, with a graphic web browser at least 5 years before the iPhone was announced.

abrokalakis
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
abrokalakis   8/3/2012 9:41:31 AM
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Rick, excuse me but my Sony Ericsson feature phone (K750) had Opera browser installed and I had bought it in 2005! No implementing a feature better than its prior incarnations does not make you an innovator. IF it actually does (and I tend to agree on that as I think that we evolve progressively and not revolutionally) then the whole patent system is a total bullshit. (excuse my language).

timemerchant
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
timemerchant   8/3/2012 10:40:53 AM
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I own an iPhone, iPad, Apple server and laptop, but as a software developer, after these nonsense suites against your supplier, they are my last Apple purchases and will be moving to Samsung devices for embedded and Linux (been using Unix/Linux since 1983). Apple's Objective-C is not faster than C/C++, but like Microsoft with C# and Sun with Java, just a form of vendor lock-in without a speed increase. With the iPhone becoming so popular, will the Apple desktop survive? The server range was discontinued a few years back.

Cookie Jar
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Cookie Jar   8/3/2012 3:44:31 PM
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Just as a composer of music holds the copyright and collects royalties every time his music is played, the inventor of the patent should also collect the royalties every time his patent is used. Companies should not be allowed to own the patents of their employees, only have the right to license them from the patent holders.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
old account Frank Eory   8/3/2012 10:06:40 PM
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The company is the one making the investment and providing the environment and the tools that enable the employee to be an inventor -- not to mention also paying the employee for doing that work. But this is not the only reason that employers require employees to assign over all of their inventions that were created while employed at the company. Imagine that you invent something that if you quit your job and took your invention elsewhere, or started your own company, could do great harm to your previous employer's business. If they didn't own the rights to your patent, they would effectively have paid you and made an investment that was against their own best interest.

chipmonk0
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
chipmonk0   8/3/2012 3:44:46 PM
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Unless Apple beefs up its serious Engineering side ( i,e. not just the aesthetic look and feel but also the hardware / software guts ) I can foresee a replay of the Mac debacle circa 1987 - 97 when Windows pushed them to less than 3 % market share. Apple now has the $$$ to invest but does it have the management to implement such a strategic change ?

JHAL847
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
JHAL847   8/3/2012 5:29:26 PM
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Although the lone inventor still exsits, much more IP today is being generated by development teams and in many cases working in conjuction with expert consultants and university researchers. The complexity of technology today has created specialization. This is not for free, somebody is footing the bill. The investment and effort to launch a product today is huge. Besides the design people you have huge efforts in marketing, quality, procurement, and testing. You will not have innovation if no one will find it worth investing the capital to launch the products. My last two patents took over five years to make it through the USPTO, if it will be worth my company's effort they want some protection. As far as innovation being reduced, I think that figuring a way to solve a problem in a manner different from that shown in a particular patent stimulates more innovation and force you to come up with new ideas that you may not come up with if you merely copied others. There are limitless possiblities if you allow them to manifest.

Les_Slater
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Les_Slater   8/3/2012 5:43:08 PM
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The corporation, no matter how large, foots the bill for development. There is an enormous societal cost that creates the environment for that 'development'. The whole body of culture, prior art in the broadest sense, the education and government footing the bill for university research. The problem is that there is much social content in all development but a narrow insistence of private ownership.

Les_Slater
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Les_Slater   8/3/2012 5:43:50 PM
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That should be no corporation...

JHAL847
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
JHAL847   8/3/2012 6:24:49 PM
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Industry foots the bill for much of the university research, I was just visiting such a program yesterday. hey until we have a new economic system that is not based on capital, we do what we can.

Les_Slater
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Les_Slater   8/3/2012 6:36:55 PM
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Industry based on capital is getting to be a pretty big problem. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand hos gotten to be an uncontrollable monster.

Luis Sanchez
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
Luis Sanchez   8/5/2012 8:30:39 PM
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All this about patent fights is like the gossip of the high-tech industry. I even think is something to be a shame of. Patent infringement by itself is evidence that company B has less wits than company A and that's why instead of innovating on it's on way and style it copies. But further, when one realizes the kind of things that are being patented, one can't help thinking that the USPTO is granting patents to very simple and lame things. This is perhaps talking about corruption as a comment above mentioned "persuading" to receive a patent. As any field in human society, being powerful sometimes allows for bending the rules in favor. And, haven't you question if there's another reason behind the patent litigation? perhaps this is a way to affect in a side-way the competitor and ensure the position in the market. isn't it?

kwerner068
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
kwerner068   8/6/2012 9:52:50 PM
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Interesting discussion, but it has slipped away from the interesting question: How do we fix the USPTO? The patent office is grossly understaffed and patent inspectors are often under-educated. The result is that far too many patents are accepted when they should be invalidated. The suggestion that patents be limited to 500 a year is extreme, but it does recognize the essential problem that inspectors don't have the time to adequately vet applications. Another comment about the excessive generality of some patents is on the mark, but a great many patents focus on tiny points of remarkable triviality. These applications clog the system and really have no value for the company making the application because many alternative (and equally trivial) solutions often exist.

sranje
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
sranje   8/5/2012 8:48:59 PM
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Apple has every right to defend its IP and creativity. We would all still use Nokia's "smartphones" -- without Apple's reinventing MP3s, phones, tablets, and ultrabook PCs All glory to Apple - its enforcing product pre-launch secrecy and IP protection are fully understandable

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/6/2012 5:54:28 PM
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sranje: My Visor Phone played MP3s and browsed the web with a graphics browser, downloaded/played music, and books, and audible content... My MPMan played MP3s and Audible content. So, doesn't prior art prevent patenting these items as much as 5 years later?

fmotta
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re: Samsung lays out countersuit against Apple
fmotta   8/6/2012 6:15:16 PM
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I had my MPMan in 1998 :)

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