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Samsung offers ceasefire in patent wars

samsung eu standards-essential patents five-year pause the guardian

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#1 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 16:48

Samsung has offered a five-year pause in seeking European sales bans against rivals over standards-essential patents (SEPs) as it seeks to evade a huge fine from regulators.

 
Rivals including Apple, Ericsson and Nokia will now be able to tell the European Commission - whose antitrust unit publicised the proposals on Thursday - whether they agree with it or feel that it is too weak, a process called "market testing". Apple didn't comment on whether it would submit a response.
 
But Samsung's proposals were described as "full of loopholes" by one longtime observer of the smartphone patent wars between Apple, Samsung, Nokia and others. Florian Müller, a patents blogger who has consulted for Microsoft and Oracle, said that the proposed deal is worse than that imposed by the US's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Google's Motorola subsidiary over the similar use of SEPs to try to impose sales bans.

Source: The Guardian

 

As much as I like Samsung as a company it's good to see the European Commission standing up to anticompetitive business practices. Businesses should not be allowed to abuse their patent portfolios to stifle competition, especially not with the sales bans we've seen attempted recently. Apple is also guilty of such behaviour, so this isn't about taking sides.




#2 Shadrack

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 17:28

Did you see this on MacRumors:

 

Apple's Massive 'Steve Jobs Patent' for the iPhone Reconfirmed in its Entirety

 

 

 

As we speak, the Steve Jobs patent is even stronger than it was before someone (presumably Samsung and Google) challenged it anonymously. On September 4, 2013, the USPTO issued a reexamination certificate confirming the patentability of all 20 claims because the prior art neither anticipated this invention nor renders it obvious.

 

Looks like Apple is just getting wound up.



#3 OP theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 17:53

I hadn't, actually. That's quite a turnaround from the previous preliminary ruling. However, European law is much stricter when it comes to software patents - they have to be tied into a technical process (i.e. have functionality at a hardware level) to be valid and so, as far as I'm aware, that patent doesn't apply to the EU (or at least many aspects of it don't). Apple has been trying to get competitors products banned in the US but that would fall outside of the scope of the European Commission.

 

The whole patent system is ridiculous. It used to be that the patent system protected innovation but nowadays patent trolls buy up or file patents for a wide range of uses and use them to extort companies who come up with similar uses, while massive multibillion dollar corporations have armies of lawyers trying to getting competing products banned from the market.



#4 gameboy1977

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 19:33

Samsung's Antitrust Settlement Proposal Stinks



#5 OP theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 19:48

I agree and I would be surprised if the EC accepts the current proposal, especially if Apple, Nokia and Microsoft object as is to be expected.



#6 chrisj1968

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 20:29

I hadn't, actually. That's quite a turnaround from the previous preliminary ruling. However, European law is much stricter when it comes to software patents - they have to be tied into a technical process (i.e. have functionality at a hardware level) to be valid and so, as far as I'm aware, that patent doesn't apply to the EU (or at least many aspects of it don't). Apple has been trying to get competitors products banned in the US but that would fall outside of the scope of the European Commission.

 

The whole patent system is ridiculous. It used to be that the patent system protected innovation but nowadays patent trolls buy up or file patents for a wide range of uses and use them to extort companies who come up with similar uses, while massive multibillion dollar corporations have armies of lawyers trying to getting competing products banned from the market.

So the picture I'm getting then is the patent fiasco is more about stifling innovation and rather a hammer to hit everything that is a nail(competition) and be the only player. Patent laws and systems need a huge change and.. NOW!



#7 Growled

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 15:54

So the picture I'm getting then is the patent fiasco is more about stifling innovation and rather a hammer to hit everything that is a nail(competition) and be the only player. 

 

I believe that's pretty much it these days.