Yes, this move by Samsung against Apple was a tactical one in a nasty battle in which billions of dollars are at stake. Yes, it’s just business. But it’s ill-conceived. Even leaving aside the ethics of asserting a patent against a feature designed to help the blind, this is unwise. It’s the PR equivalent of punching yourself in the face. Samsung has now identified itself as a company willing to accept the loss of accessibility for the vision-impaired as collateral damage in its battle with Apple. It has made a big public move to make it more difficult for the blind to use computers.
I still believe it’s the wrong thing to assert an accessibility-related patent in a dispute like this one. Samsung didn’t assert this German patent in an effort to protect its investment in accessibility. It elected to use an accessibility-related patent as a tactical weapon. Patent protection and enforcement can be justified in certain scenarios. For example, if there are two companies competing in the market for hearing aids, it’s generally legitimate for them to assert accessibility-related patents against each other. I would also support the idea of accessibility patent enforcement in cases of willful infringement, and if Samsung had only requested monetary compensation in this action, it would have made a much better choice than by trying to achieve, through the pursuit of an injunction, the deactivation or (more realistically) degradation of the voiceover functionality Apple provides to its German customers.
Asshole Samsung | The Loop
Maybe Samsung can find features that help people with other disabilities to attack next.
The internet was abuzz yesterday with reports that Apple’s infamous “bounce-back” patent, US 7,469,381, was “tentatively invalidated” by the US Patent Office. That’s one of the patents Samsung was found to infringe, and any action by the USPTO will have major consequences. Unfortunately, all those reports were extremely premature —patents can’t be “tentatively invalid,” just like people can’t be “tentatively dead.”
More on “the Steve Jobs patent” | The Loop
‘No iPhone without Samsung patents‘ | The Korea Times
The chief executive of Samsung Electronics has expressed confidence about the ongoing patent battle with Apple, saying that no smartpohone can exist without patents from Korea’s technology giants.
“The truth never lies. Without Samsung-owned wireless patents, it’s impossible for the Cupertino-based Apple to produce its handsets,” said Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun.
No iPhone without Samsung’s wireless patents | The Loop
This is going to be a long battle.
Apple and Samsung are the only two companies making serious profits in mobile, and mobile is the future of all personal computing. The stakes simply could not be higher — of course they’re going to sue the shit out of each other.
久しぶりに日本発アップルニュース — でも、アメリカの裁判とどう違うの？
スマホ・ＰＣ間の同期技術、アップル特許の構成要件外 | 日本経済新聞
サムスンが勝訴、アップルの特許侵害せず＝東京地裁 | Reuters
Tokyo court: Samsung didn’t infringe Apple patent | USATODAY.com [AP]
Apple vs. Samsung: The Longer View | Businessweek
Oracle has filed a legal complaint against Lodsys — the company that’s taken aim at app makers on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and other technology platforms for infringing on its patents — with the hopes of invalidating them.
Oracle sues patent troll Lodsys | The Loop
パテント・トロールに腰を上げたアップル | maclalala2
The only way one can get a deal with Apple that relates to all of its patents is a cross-license. However, Samsung is, on the current basis, rather unlikely to win injunctions against Apple. It may not obtain any at all, or just some that don’t have enough strategic impact to force Apple into an all-encompassing cross-license agreement.
It’s not surprising that Samsung pursues a multi-platform strategy. However, without a backer with a powerful patent portfolio behind them, any other platforms may also draw Apple’s ire at some point, though Apple’s enforcement activities are exclusively focused on Android so far.
‘Thicket of patents’ | The Loop
Apple to Samsung during negotiations.
アップル、日本でもサムスンを提訴–Reuters報道 | CNET Japan
泥沼の訴訟合戦から見えてくる アップルとサムスンの関係変化｜inside Enterprise｜ダイヤモンド・オンライン
Appleの対Samsung訴訟, 今度は日本に転移 | TechCrunch Japan
［Apple and Nokia patent dispute ends | Image］
[FT]特許で勝ってアップルに屈したノキア | 日本経済新聞
Nokia’s patent victory over Apple on Tuesday was hailed as a rare victory for the ailing Finnish mobile phone maker against its booming US rival.
Yet the agreement by Apple to pay Nokia for intellectual property used in the iPhone is also a painful reminder of missed opportunities for Europe’s best-known technology group.
The fact that Nokia has demonstrated its ability to defeat Apple — after the most bitterly contested patent dispute that this industry has seen to date — is a clear proof of concept. Other companies whom Nokia will ask to pay royalties will have to think very hard whether to pay or pick a fight.
This is also very significant with a view to Android. Given that Android is in many ways a rip-off of Apple’s operating software, Android-based devices are highly likely to infringe on largely the same Nokia patents that Apple now felt forced to pay for.
Nokia enters into patent license agreement with Apple | Nokia [Press Release]
The financial structure of the agreement consists of a one-time payment payable by Apple and on-going royalties to be paid by Apple to Nokia for the term of the agreement. The specific terms of the contract are confidential.
“We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees,” said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Nokia. “This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”
Apple’s License Claim Disputed | Lodsys, LLC
We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the 3rd party Developers that are responsible for the infringement of Lodsys’ patents and they are responsible for securing the rights for their applications. Developers relying on Apple’s letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple’s own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple’s responsibilities to them.
「われわれは以前、Lodsysの特許を侵害しているのはサードパーティーの開発者たちであり、彼らは自らのアプリケーションの権利を確保する責任があるという立場を示したが、今でもその考えは変わっていない。Appleの書簡を頼りにしている開発者も損害を被ることになる。そうした開発者には、Apple自身の開発者契約を精査して、Appleの開発者に対する責任の範囲が実際にどの程度なのか確かめることを強く求める」［CNET Japan 訳］
For the app developers who have been sued, this is now a very critical situation. As I explained in my Lodsys FAQ, patent litigation in the United States is extremely costly. The most important thing for those app developers is to clarify with Apple — and to the extent that Android apps are involved, with Google — whether they will be held harmless and receive blanket coverage including possible damage awards.
In this section of my Lodsys FAQ I already explained that in my view Lodsys had a Plan A and a Plan B from the outset: preferably Lodsys would like Apple and (with respect to Android) Google to pay up to address the problem, but failing that, Lodsys was (as no one can doubt today) fully prepared to take action against little app developers.
Lodsys、アプリ内課金の特許侵害を改めて主張–アップルに反論 | CNET Japan
パテント・トロールに腰を上げたアップル | maclalala2
Samsung’s lawyers demand to see the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 | This is my next…
Samsung claims that it needs to see Apple’s future products because devices like the Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1 will presumably be in the market at the same time as the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, and Samsung’s lawyers want to evaluate any possible similarities so they can prepare for further potential legal action from Apple.
So why is Samsung even pursuing this? I think it’s a calculated gamble for additional leverage. Apple and Samsung held negotiations for a year before giving up and heading to the courts, and I’m reliably informed that there haven’t been any substantive settlement discussions since Apple first filed its complaint. That means talks have been at a standstill for a long time now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung was trying to put some additional heat on Apple to try and kick negotiations back into gear.
Sure, Samsung, we all wish Apple would open its kimono | Fortune Tech
サムスン、アップルに将来版iPhoneとiPadの提示を求める | CNET Japan