Apple and Samsung's patent war: Can a settlement add up?

Apple and Samsung's patent war: Can a settlement add up?

Summary: The developments in the Apple and Samsung patent litigation have spiked again. Do these moves point to an ultimate settlement. Maybe.


That never-ending Apple vs. Samsung patent war being waged around the world has flared up again with a bevy of developments that could point both sides to at least ponder a settlement.

Among the key developments:

Combine these developments with Apple's recent patent agreement with HTC---another Android poster child---and perhaps this war can be put to rest.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that he hopes the Samsung litigation "works out over time." Cook is pragmatic and Samsung and Apple are great partners as well as competitors. That situation isn't sustainable over the long term.

With the latest courtroom developments, I'd argue that chances are looking better that the two will settle. Simply put, there's more money for both sides being partners.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Google, iOS

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  • apple must stop suing

    FOSS based products and focus on M$.
    LlNUX Geek
  • Apple and Samsung must go thermo-nuclear

    They must increase their efforts to destroy each other. The best outcome would be both Apple and Samsung die. Leaving the grounds for better and hopefully more ethical companies to thrive.
    • Ethical companies???

      And who are these more ethical companies????
      • For sure

        For sure that Apple is not one of those new ethical companies...
  • Weedling Samsung spin...

    FRAND abuse is not going to win. Expect the EU Commission to reinforce FRAND licensing commitments within a month - this is the real reason for Samsung's climb down. It's not some magnanimous gesture, it's the cold light of day finally dawning. That and the $1B hit they will have to pay. Good work Apple and Microsoft, not forgetting all the other entities backing the former. The US next.
    • FRAND ??? Could you explain that concept to Apple.

      The only company to demand everyone elses product access. The only company to keep their own stuff. The only companies products to connect to itunes. Give us a break frogbrain.
      • Do you even know what FRAND means?!?

        Seriously, do you?
        It is not up to a single company to determine if a particular technology is a standard, and it is no single company's obligation to license patents with FRAND terms. Apple is hardly under any obligation to do so, especially when no one else is using their tech.
        More to the point, first, they are NOT the only company that "demand everyone elses [sic] product access" whatever that even means, they are not the only company to "keep their own stuff" and they are certainly not "the only companies [sic] products connect to itunes".
        As for your ad hominem, get a spelling checker before you start calling out others for their intelligence.
  • They should adapt the patent system

    Allowing companies to patent ideas is the worst move towards innovation.
    • Solve crime by making it legal.

      Allowing companies to patent ideas was introduced precisely to promote inno
      Henry 3 Dogg
      • Because clearly no law can ever cause more bad than good

        All laws are infallible and must never be changed.
      • Is copying ideas a crime?

        If so, is it a crime to use anyone elses ideas without paying the originator or his heirs, no matter how old the idea is, or is there an intrinsic time limit? For example, should we be trying to track down Aristotle's heirs so we can pay them for using his ideas on logic, or are they too old to require protection? If so, what constitutes "too old"?

        And please don't try to claim that the definition of crime is violation of law; otherwise one could "solve crime by making it legal".
        John L. Ries
        • Copying idea isn't a crime unless

          those ideas are patented. the crime is a patent violation not copying the ideas. The patent is a protection of the idea.
          • In other words...

            ...patent infringement isn't a crime because its intrinsically immoral, but only because the law says it is. And as at least in the U.S., patent infringement is considered a civil tort, rather than a criminal offense, it is not in the eyes of the law even a crime (nobody goes to jail for violating a patent).

            So if you're right, we could tighten up the patent system with the goal of making it much harder to commit a crime (your definition) and making it much more likely that the system will have the effect of encouraging innovation, instead of discouraging it, and you would have no objections.

            Is there anything I'm misunderstanding?
            John L. Ries
          • I want that edit button back!

            What I meant was "accidentally commit a crime".
            John L. Ries
          • "Is there anything I'm misunderstanding?" Yes, all of it.

            First, nice straw man argument, but the O.P. not only did not say that "patent infringement isn't a crime because its intrinsically immoral", he did not say anything that could reasonably be interpreted as such. In fact, he said the exact opposite. Taking someone else's idea and making money off it is illegal AND immoral.
            Second, your original point is not only absurd, it evinces a complete ignorance of the actual patent system. For instance, of course there is an intrinsic time limit. Said limit is specified directly in the statutes.
          • There is not an intrinsic time limit (that I'm aware of)

            There is a legislated one (20 years by act of Congress).

            The original poster, like many others I've seen, called patent infringement a crime. That begs the question of whether it's inherently immoral to copy others inventions/ideas without permission (if so for how long?), or is it merely wrong because it's illegal?

            So let me ask you. If there were no patent laws, would it be immoral to copy the work of living or recently dead inventors without permission? If so, then for how long? For extra credit, why?
            John L. Ries
          • Yes, it is

            First, since the patent system is a legal construct, that construct determines the time limit. It is part of the legal specifications. That is the DEFINITION of the word "intrinsic".
            Second, you appear to also not know what the term "beg the question" means. Begging the question is a logical fallacy that involves assuming the original point. It does NOT mean "makes one immediately wonder the following".
            Third, even if it did, it does NOT "beg that question". Not that it would be even remotely relevant, since what is illegal is NOT the copying, per se, but the making of money off the idea as if it were your own, money that might otherwise arguably have gone to the originator of the idea.
            Fourth, the existence of patent law is irrelevant to the morality of the issue, so "if there were no patent laws" has no bearing on the discussion. No, copying is not immoral. Again, what is immoral is making money off that idea at the expense of the one who had it. For how long? That is a question that, in the absence of a legal framework (as necessitated by your ridiculous supposition) would be determined on a case by case basis, so there would be no clear number. A number could only be determined if you averaged over all possible occurrences.
            Why? That depends on your personal philosophy. Since I am of the Utilitarian school, I would make a Utilitarian argument, that such theft harms not only the person whose idea was appropriated, but also society at large, as it undermines the motivation for future innovation. As such, and as it undermines societal advancement as a whole, as well as takes from the individual innovator, it can reasonably be determined to be an act of selfishness with anti-societal effects. Such acts are deemed immoral in most accepted moral systems.
            Was this supposed to be some sort of silly trick question?
          • Plagiarism is usually considered immoral

            And I am in agreement on that point (even if the idea is ancient). But making money off the ideas of others? People have been doing that for as long as there has been money. Making money off of other people's ideas at their expense is a more interesting case and I'm not sure how it's to be defined (is it a matter of competing with living inventors, or with their heirs and assignees as well?)

            It looks like you're trying to argue that people have a natural right to control their own creations (and you're certainly not the first), but that opens lots of cans of worms, as I hope you can see. The framers of the U.S. Constitution did not make such a claim. but instead *authorized* Congress to " To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". If you take that view of it, then it's not a moral issue at all, but only a legal one.

            You can of course, believe it to be a moral issue if you choose, but you're going to have to come up with a more coherent case than the one you've presented to persuade me of that.
            John L. Ries
          • Being that I am not particularly concerned with "convincing you"...

            once again, I am at a loss what you think your point is.
            But that said, to address your post, yes, using other people's ideas for person profit has been around for ages, as has the feeling of righteous indignation at the act, as well as legal frameworks of one kind or another, or societal proscriptions, designed to protect the originator. So once again, what is the point on this appeal to the past?
            As to your fragile Constitutional argument, it all falls apart when you take into account that many of the framers who allowed a loose construct were aso the ones that served in the legislature that then proceded to construct a more rigid one. Your argument that because the framers of the Constitution (as if the U.S. is the only country with patent laws, originated the idea, or is the only country that matters) left the matter up to future legislatures to specify, and chose to leave it flexible is proof of any lack of moral basis, is absurd. Nor does it provide and defense of this argument. It merely states that they left the matter legally ambiguous. It says NOTHING about whether they themselves felt any moral imperative, and in fact, the fact that they chose to provide Congress with this authority makes it reasonably clear that they did.
          • So, in summary, your position is:

            1. That it is immoral to copy the ideas of others without permission (including heirs and assignees, or no?), regardless of whether or not there are any laws prohibiting it. I assume that we don't need to go looking for heirs of long dead creators so that they can be properly rewarded for their ancestors' efforts. but you can tell me if I'm wrong.

            2. That legislators are morally obligated to secure to authors and inventors exclusive control over their own creations, regardless of whether or not such laws actually promote "progress in science and the useful arts" and even if they have the effect of retarding it (for how long and how broadly?).

            Feel free to correct me.
            John L. Ries