Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, and more side with Apple against Samsung

Sale of older iPhones, which include the iPhone 4, to be banned in the US after Aug 4.

The (not yet banned) iPhone 4 is an attractive option at $0.99 on AT&T.

Business sure makes strange bedfellows as Apple and Samsung continue to go at each other in the courtroom, with each winning key lawsuits in various cases. Last month, Samsung won a key point against its bitter rival: The International Trade Commission (ITC) banned the import of older Apple iPhones which include the 3, 3S and iPhone 4. Rightfully so, the Cupertino giant is worried that this will eat into their profits so are in the process of challenging that ruling.

Enter Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle. According to Betanews, all three of these technology giants have come to Apple's defense. The basic premise of the argument is that "standards essential" patents should not be used to ban the sales of devices. This would include patents that are based on wireless technology, as that is a key component of a mobile device. The list of companies doesn't stop there, as both Verizon and AT&T have also taken an interest in the case. Instead of arguing directly with the ITC, the wireless carriers went directly to the Obama Administration, asking US Trade Representative Michael Froman to invalidate the ITC ruling; the United States has not reversed an ITC ruling since 1987.

Although the iPhone 3 and 3S is no longer sold in the US, currently a few providers are still offering the iPhone 4 for sale, one of them being AT&T which have it on sale for just $0.99 with a two year contract.

While we understand the reasoning for the requests - all of the companies in question stand to lose a lot of money if Apple's phone is not sold in the marketplace - we can't help but wonder why important technology patents, like wireless communication, should be invalidated but frivolous designs like "rounded corners" should cost a potential infringer billions. 

Source: Betanews

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the way I see it is apple got caught with it's pants down and now wants to moan when samsung whip it out and wop one up their rear...... here's a glass of concrete apple harden the F up either take it like a man or stop using someone else's IP without paying for it

I am not a fan of software patents, but given the amount of patent trolling I see them do I have no sympathy, in fact I'm glad that Samsung are giving them a taste of their own medicine. In fact all of the companies on that list use their legal teams very aggressively so I hope Samsung stick it to the lot of them.

What Samsung should do is say "We'll license this tech to you at 1.5% of your profits in exchange for an agreement that you'll drop all these frivolous lawsuits you have against us."

SharpGreen said,
What Samsung should do is say "We'll license this tech to you at 1.5% of your profits in exchange for an agreement that you'll drop all these frivolous lawsuits you have against us."
Why should they? Here is what the fans don't understand and I am not calling you a fan. Samsung refused to disclose how much they are charging everyone else. There is good reason for that. When it comes to licensing, a deal is based off the number of products you plan to cover. Typically prices go down when you purchase more. So lets just say Motorola is one of Samsung's customers. Moto sells how many phones per year? Lets assume they sell 25M on average. Should they pay more or less than someone selling 50M devices? More...right? But suppose since they make far less devices that Samsung cuts them a nice deal. Then APple will say, well we should get the same deal they are offering them.

Which is false. Anyone who has done sales know that even if the product is one price, when you offer it, you offer it in a way to make money, not break even. 2.4% is not absorbent. Especially compared to what Apple claimed Samsung should pay for infringement. What's that? For every $650 iPhone they sell, that's $15...right? I don't think that is asking to much when what you are licensing is the main function of your device. Without the chips Apple has no WiFi/3G/4G capability on any network. Basically the iPhone will then be an iPod Touch.

We already know that Apple costs are about $200 per phone. Which means for every 32GB and 64GB iPhone they sell, they are making a huge amount of profit and these aren't even the top sellers, the 16GB is.

As the court dic states, Samsung made an offer, Apple never even made a counter offer. So screw them. Pay up or lose money and pay up on top of it.

Price break to drop all lawsuits? NO. Why should they. As Samsung stated in another case, they tried to license some IP from Apple and Apple simply refused to negotiate saying their IP isn't up for sell, yet they made a deal with HTC on those same patents. That is why Apple will never see any of that money in the US case bec it will be thrown out once the facts emerge.

If Apple felt that Samsung was asking to much, they should have made a counter-offer. They didn't. So why the hell is ATT, Microsoft and Oracle siding with Apple? Because they are stupid.

If I was Samsung, I wouldn't sell components to any of them. I'd say make your own crap and we will just see who wins on the open market which right now Samsung would win in the mobile one easily.

TechieXP said,
Why should they? Here is what the fans don't understand and I am not calling you a fan. Samsung refused to disclose how much they are charging everyone else. There is good reason for that. When it comes to licensing, a deal is based off the number of products you plan to cover. Typically prices go down when you purchase more. So lets just say Motorola is one of Samsung's customers. Moto sells how many phones per year? Lets assume they sell 25M on average. Should they pay more or less than someone selling 50M devices? More...right? But suppose since they make far less devices that Samsung cuts them a nice deal. Then APple will say, well we should get the same deal they are offering them.

Which is false. Anyone who has done sales know that even if the product is one price, when you offer it, you offer it in a way to make money, not break even. 2.4% is not absorbent. Especially compared to what Apple claimed Samsung should pay for infringement. What's that? For every $650 iPhone they sell, that's $15...right? I don't think that is asking to much when what you are licensing is the main function of your device. Without the chips Apple has no WiFi/3G/4G capability on any network. Basically the iPhone will then be an iPod Touch.

We already know that Apple costs are about $200 per phone. Which means for every 32GB and 64GB iPhone they sell, they are making a huge amount of profit and these aren't even the top sellers, the 16GB is.

As the court dic states, Samsung made an offer, Apple never even made a counter offer. So screw them. Pay up or lose money and pay up on top of it.

Price break to drop all lawsuits? NO. Why should they. As Samsung stated in another case, they tried to license some IP from Apple and Apple simply refused to negotiate saying their IP isn't up for sell, yet they made a deal with HTC on those same patents. That is why Apple will never see any of that money in the US case bec it will be thrown out once the facts emerge.

If Apple felt that Samsung was asking to much, they should have made a counter-offer. They didn't. So why the hell is ATT, Microsoft and Oracle siding with Apple? Because they are stupid.

If I was Samsung, I wouldn't sell components to any of them. I'd say make your own crap and we will just see who wins on the open market which right now Samsung would win in the mobile one easily.


Ha it was more a bad joke than a serious suggestion. I know full well it won't happen.

According to the facts, Samsung stated many times they offered Apple lots of times to license the tech and they refused. Apple thinks they should use other peoples tech for free, while they think they should be paid for using rectangles and on screen slide-bolts.

Its shouldn't matter that these chips are required for the device to work. What is suppose to matter is, Samsung made these chips. They manufacture and design them. They own them. If Apple wants to use them they need to pay. They have refused.

And here is what is funny. Apple wants a ton of money from claiming Samsung is using there looks an style which are not needed for a device to work, but dont want to pay for the most important parts of the device? What kind of hypocrisy is that?

Either Apple is going to pay money or lose money or both. Its Apple's move the ITC has decided.

Samsung were asking for 2.4% of the selling price which is exotrionate, and wouldn't disclose how much they were charging everyone else (it definately isn't 2.4%!).

Samsung are essentially using this standards essential patent to hold Apple at ransom, because they've been caught with their pants down stealing loads of Apple's ideas and patents.

DomZ said,
Samsung were asking for 2.4% of the selling price which is exotrionate, and wouldn't disclose how much they were charging everyone else (it definately isn't 2.4%!).

Samsung are essentially using this standards essential patent to hold Apple at ransom, because they've been caught with their pants down stealing loads of Apple's ideas and patents.

ITC case 337-794

"The Administrative Law Judge concludes that the evidence does not support Apple's allegation that Sarnsung failed to offer Apple licenses to Samsung's declared-essential patents on FRAND terms. Patents have the attributes of personal property. 35 U.S.C. § 261. Their value, in terms of licensing, varies according to a myriad of factors, and it is not enough for Apple to say that Samsung's license offer was unreasonable based on Apple's rationale.

"Remarkably, even though Apple complains that Samsung's license offer was not FRAND, Apple has not shown that, as a member to ETSI, it ever availed itself of the process and procedures of the ETSI under Clause 4.3 of the ETSI Guide on IPRs, which provides for mediation by ETSI Members or the Secretariat. (RX-0713 at Clause 4.3.)

"It is not enough for Apple to complain that Samsung's license offer of 2.4 percent of the selling prices of Apple's devices, is unreasonable, since there is insufficient evidence of customs and practices of industry participants showing that Samsung's demand is invidious with respect to Apple.

"Furthermore, negotiations often involve a process of offer and counteroffer before the parties arrive at an agreed price, but Apple's evidence does not demonstrate that Apple put forth a sincere, bona tide effort to bargain with Samsung. Rather, it appears that Apple and Samsung both decided to negotiate licensing terms between each other through the tortuous, and expensive, process of litigation.

"More than what has been cited by Apple is necessary in order to establish that Samsung violated its obligations under Clause 6.1 of Annex 6: ETSI Intellectual Property Rights Policy. More than that, Apple needs to establish a legal basis for foreclosing enforcement under Section 337 in this investigation, which Apple has not done."

- ITC case 337-794


Well Apple brought this crap on themselves. How dare these others try to get in with Apple? How the hell does Microsoft and Oracle give 2 cents about iPhone sales? What you all should have did, when Apple was suing Samsung for frivilous things like rectangles and screen locks, you should have told APple it isn;t worth it and that they need to simply move forward.

Now Samsung actually has something to fight with and they all want to side against them? Screw Ya'll. Samsung offered Apple a chance to licensed the tech and they refused. So now they are being sued and they need to pay up and not ship any products as Apple requested with Samsung products. Apple is never going to see one penny of that money they won in the lawsuit here in the USA. Every court outside found all the patents to be invalid and not "novel" as it is required.

Tell these other guys to mind their own business. If ATT and VZW stand to lose money? Stop selling infringing products. Its that simple.

Even if the radios are standard, they do require licensing. Samsung was perfectly ok letting Apple use the stuff with no fuss until APple started suing them with BS. Now that Samsung is fighting APple back, these companies who in particular Microosft and Oracle dont even like each other and MS certainly has had its fight with APple, are now siding with them?

Obama isn't going to go against the ITC decision. The ITC is basically a court and the court has made a decisions. Deal with it.

If we as citizens have to deal with the decisions of a jury even when it is obvious someone is guilty, then the corps need to deal with it too.

"bans on standards-essential patents should not be permitted except under extraordinary circumstances"

Here's how it sounds to me:
Patents that contributes and improves on essential standards/technology should not have the same level of legal protection as non-essential/trivial patents, unless its our own ("extraordinary circumstances")

So what's the incentive to improve and contribute to existing standards, when proprietary, non-essential patents are better protected?
Everyone should just do their own thing, and after a bout of "wars", only 1 company and its customers emerge victorious.
From then on, the loser companies can either 1) give in and license the technology, or 2) invent a "killer" alternative and challenge again, or 3) work together and ... create a standard. =_=

Its all about volume. If you contribute your patent to a standard you are pretty much guaranteed the ability to monetize that patent over the life of the standard. And since these standards are adopted industry wide, you have a huge potiential market to monetize. So even if the revenue per user of that patent is less, it is generally more than made up by volume and sustainability.

Now, if you go proprietary, you have to convince other companies to use your idea and then pay for your patent. The vast majority of the time the company using your patent will quickly engineer around your patent so it no longer infringes. And since it's not part of an industry standard, this work around is "easy" to do and incorporate.

I'm not sure how Samsung could successfully block the sale of these devices given the nature of the patent.

I was under the impression that companies could use standards essential patents (SEP) as declared by the industry standard-setting organizations and were generally protected against litigation as long as the patent was properly licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND). Once the patent is considered essential, the license to use the patent is compulsory, since otherwise it could institute a monopoly and limit competition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...on-discriminatory_licensing

Edited by ahinson, Jul 30 2013, 2:04pm :

ahinson said,
I'm not sure how Samsung could successfully block the sale of these devices given the nature of the patent.

I was under the impression that companies could use standards essential patents (SEP) as declared by the industry standard-setting organizations and were generally protected against litigation as long as the patent was properly licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND). Once the patent is considered essential, the license to use the patent is compulsory, since otherwise it could institute a monopoly and limit competition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...on-discriminatory_licensing

From the Bloomberg article:

Apple says:

Apple contends Samsung never made a fair offer and demanded that Apple pay 2.4 percent of the average sales price of every iPhone and cellular-enabled iPad, according to filings with the agency.

Samsung says:

In its filings, Samsung said it's been offering Apple a license since November 2010 and “Apple has never been willing to take a license on any terms.”

And the F in FRAND from wikipedia:

Fair relates mainly to the underlying licensing terms. Drawing from anti-trust/competition law; fair terms means terms which are not anti-competitive and that would not be considered unlawful if imposed by a dominant firm in their relative market. Examples of terms that would breach this commitment are; requiring licensees to buy licenses for products that they do not want in order to get a license for the products they do want or requiring licensees to take licenses to certain unwanted or unneeded patents to obtain licenses to other desired patents (bundling), requiring licensees to license their own IP to the licensor for free (free grant backs) and including restrictive conditions on licensees' dealings with competitors (mandatory exclusivity).

They are not doing it to support Apple, it is to protect their own interest because it could easily be against them next time.

To be honest Apple tried to destroy Samsung rather than reason with them. I feel no pity for their ban, as lame as it is. Enforce rounded corner rulings but things that take actual skill like wifi comms we should just all agree to freely use despite who made it/patented it/licensed it...

Apple will continue to sell its products like it has and still make more money than Samsung doing it. http://appleinsider.com/articl...ned-apple-in-mobile-profits

I agree, I have no sympathy for Apple as they bought this on themselves. Does make life difficult for me though as I own a Samsung Windows Phone!!!

Please look up what FRAND is. By law, you can't sue somebody for using something patented which is vital to a device's functionality. Which in this case, wireless tech, is absolutely necessary. Something like physical design aspects aren't vital to functionality, so those are fair game. Whether something is a square, circle, triangle, whatever, it doesn't matter. If you take away wireless tech, you're left with a door stop. The law says you have to license the tech for vital functions.

Yes, it's stupid to an extent, but the law is the law. Apple hasn't been doing anything wrong by patenting dumb things since the law allows it. When somebody like Samsung steals their property, Apple is obliged by law to protect their property. Otherwise, a patent is absolutely worthless, don't you think? Everybody bitches and complains about it, but fail to use common sense to assess the situation...

Astra.Xtreme said,
Please look up what FRAND is. By law, you can't sue somebody for using something patented which is vital to a device's functionality.

Why wouldn't you be able to sue, agreeing to license your patents under FRAND doesn't mean you must remain quiet if someone uses those patents without a license.

Astra.Xtreme said,
When somebody like Samsung steals their property, Apple is obliged by law to protect their property. Otherwise, a patent is absolutely worthless, don't you think?

It the point of patents is using them as a weapon against competitors then yes, they would be worthless if you were obliged by law to use them.

Fortunately you are actually not required to do so in any shape or form.

ichi said,

Why wouldn't you be able to sue, agreeing to license your patents under FRAND doesn't mean you must remain quiet if someone uses those patents without a license.

It the point of patents is using them as a weapon against competitors then yes, they would be worthless if you were obliged by law to use them.

Fortunately you are actually not required to do so in any shape or form.

I guess I should have been more clear. FRAND states that a patent of something vital to a product's function, has to be licensed to competitors. What they can't do is block the product, which is what Samsung is trying to do. Sure maybe Apple will have to pay some sort of royalty to Samsung when the case is said and done, but that's as far as it can go.

Astra.Xtreme said,

I guess I should have been more clear. FRAND states that a patent of something vital to a product's function, has to be licensed to competitors. What they can't do is block the product, which is what Samsung is trying to do. Sure maybe Apple will have to pay some sort of royalty to Samsung when the case is said and done, but that's as far as it can go.

They can block the product if Apple refuses to agree to the FRAND license terms proposed by Samsung and uses the patents without a license.

The actual issue is not whether products can or cannot be blocked, but rather if Samsung's FRAND terms were actually FRAND.

If they are found to be then Apple will have to pay (which they have allegedly so far refused to do because of their opinion on the non-FRANDness of the license terms) or get stuck with their products blocked.
Also, going by similar cases of patent infringement, if Samsung's proposed FRAND terms stand then I'd guess Apple would have to pay some kind of fine in addition to the royalties, proportional to the profits from the products using the unlicensed patents.

But again that's all only if Samsung's FRAND terms stand.