Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

Summary: Apple launched its latest lawsuit against Samsung with an ITC complaint as the war between two key partners continues.

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TOPICS: Apple, Samsung
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Apple launched its latest lawsuit against Samsung with an International Trade Commission complaint that seeks an injunction to prevent the Korean giant's key Android smartphones and tablets from being imported into the U.S.

Bloomberg first reported the Apple ITC suit and Florian Mueller is handicapping that patents in question. Apple has five technical patents and two design patents aimed at Samsung's Android army. In many respects, Apple's move with the ITC isn't surprising. Samsung also has an ITC lawsuit against Apple. Meanwhile, the two parties are duking it out in courtrooms around the world.

As noted before, the strangest thread through these Apple-Samsung duels is that the two parties are key partners. Apple procures memory, screens and components from Samsung. Samsung competes with Apple, which also happens to be the Korean company's largest customer.

The ITC lawsuit reads like the other Apple complaints against Samsung. The gist:

  • Apple created categories.
  • Samsung copied the hardware and designs.
  • Samsung is trying to poach sales by being a copycat.

This paragraph in the ITC suit sums up Apple's take:

"Many of Apple's innovations have become so popular and so recognized that they have become virtually synonymous with Apple's products and the Apple brand. Indeed, an Apple product can be readily identified, for example, by the way it operates and interfaces with its users...

As a result, Apple's innovations and products have been the subject of widespread imitation by Apple's competitors. Others have attempted to capitalize on Apple's success by copying its innovative technology, distinctive user interface and overall product design."

Apple then goes on to name Samsung as one of Apple's "principal infringers."

Note that Apple's lawsuits revolve around the user experience. What if Android improves to the point where the user experience is seamless? Can Apple sue over that?

Clearly, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 closes a lot of the hardware gaps with Apple. The difference is that Android is improving, but not quite seamless. Apple's aim is to head Samsung off at the pass.

Let's assume that Apple and Samsung settle differences somehow. Apple's relationship with Samsung the supplier and the competition is hard if not impossible to rectify. Money may save the Apple-Samsung marriage, but the odds aren't looking good.

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Topics: Apple, Samsung

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32 comments
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  • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

    Samsung just needs to cut Apple off.
    Droid101
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Droid101
      Totally agree, apple is overreaching in some areas....
      clikonco
      • Samsung can not cut Apple off, and, by the way, the latter buys memory from

        @clikonco: ... Elpida, flash memory from Toshiba, screens (for iPad and iPhone 4) from LG Display and Chinmei Innolux (Samsung does not have IPS licence from Hitachi displays, so all of reports of any relation to supplying IPS displays for Apple are false).<br><br>So while Samsung is Apple's biggest supplier, especially since it produced A4/A5 chips for Apple, it is not that bigger comparing to few other companies.

        Yet the legal dispute has nothing to do with Apple-Samsung collaboration on component matters -- it is mutually beneficial to both companies. <b>Samsung can not cut off Apple, and Apple can not "punish" Samsung</b> for copying looks and UI of iPhone/iPad by severing purchases since other suppliers can not produce enough needed components.
        DDERSSS
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Droid101
      I liked Apple when it was the underdog.

      But now Apple is behaving like a pitbull. With the monopolistic way that Apple controls software distribution on its iOS platform and the way that it sues consumer alternatives -- it is seems to be transforming into an anti-competitive bully.
      If it becomes too large, too anti-competitive, and too controlling, then it will lose good will.
      And anyway patent law has become a joke. It's being twisted to become another way for large corps to squelch competition, rather than a means to foster innovation.

      How can innovation thrive when algorithms (could E=MC^2 or F=MA be patented in today's age?) and processes that involve human nature & human behavior (ie: UI) become owned property.
      voltrarian
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @voltrarian<br>1) Nothing in Apple's behaviour meets the legal definition of "monopolistic". Even if it did, having a monopoly is NOT illegal.<br>2) Nor is it anti-competitive.<br>3) The entire POINT of patent law is to squelch competition. How on earth are you proposing that it intends to "foster innovation"?!? It does so by preventing competition, so the original patent holder can profit.<br>4) General relativity is NOT an algorithm. Neither are the kinematic equations.<br>5) UI is NOT human behaviour. Please, pray tell, where is the mouse-clicking center in the brain?
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @voltrarian
        Apple never thought they were the underdog.
        I believe the word was 'elite' ?
        12312332123
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @DeusXMachina

        In most civilised countries monopolies are illegal. That's why we have such a thing as the MONOPOLIES COMMISION because a monopoly is anti-competitive (by definition....) and stifles innovation completely. That's why it is called a monopoly - get it?

        However, Apple although they do not have a monopoly in the strictest sense, unfortunately hold so many cards in the consumer space, that they have completely eroded the tech from technology. All the new gadgets are becoming mindless pop-tech useless trash. We have been set back 5 years by Apples 'market-leading' innovation because people like Apple products. The same way that they like Big Brother, so we have endless crap TV and the same way they like Girls Aloud, so we have to hunt for decent music, instead of hearing it every day.
        12312332123
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @TRAXXION

        "In most civilised countries monopolies are illegal. That's why we have such a thing as the MONOPOLIES COMMISION because a monopoly is anti-competitive (by definition....) and stifles innovation completely. That's why it is called a monopoly - get it?"

        Bull. Name one.
        Thanks for making it clear that you DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @DeusXMachina

        Monopolies are regulated in Europe at least and I know that the US has competition law too. If there were no regulation of monopolies then no company would ever have to be broken up by government, or prevented from buying a competitor. By handy chance we have just such a situation here in the UK, where NEWS Corp, were prevented from buying a full stake in BSkyB outright. We all know this is a FACT (including you), so why the defensive pose?
        12312332123
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @Traxxion

        This is not correct. Monopolies are NOT illegal, either here OR in Europe. It is not a companies fault if they occupy a market segment no one else does, either through innovation or superior business practice forcing competitors out of business. What IS illegal is the abuse of a monopoly position. Using your monopoly to bully your suppliers and customers, because they have no other recourse. This is not pedantry, but a very important distinction. That is what Microsoft was found guilty of. It is also what AT&T was found guilty of, and why they were broken up.
        There is no defensive pose, here. It is merely an exasperated response to having to deal with this same misstatement of facts, over and over again.
        DeusXMachina
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Droid101 This lawsuit is EXACTLY why I will never own anything from Apple. I have a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and Samsung Galaxy Tab, both of which I love.
      jdelaney60
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @jdelaney60 There are two sides to every story and none of us here know all the details. You have decided to judge this case on what you have heard or more than likely based on your dislike for Apple before this even came up. I personally am an Apple fan (not fanboy) but have enough common sense to know that I don't have all the details in this case so CANNOT make a judgment call on who is right or wrong. Anybody that does is just basing it in their on bias.
        non-biased
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Droid101

      Apple just needs to cut Samsung off. New suppliers of components can be found. Apple's innovation is much rarer.
      jorjitop
  • So Apple's claiming that they invented seamless user experience

    so anybody else that makes a rock solid seamless user experience is copying from Apple.

    So Android tablet makers have a choice - create a crappy, slow, barely functional user interface, or get sued by Apple?

    Ok, I don't even know where to begin, it so ludicrous
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Will Pharaoh They seem to have been pretty successful at the first option ;-)
      non-biased
  • Apple shuold shut up

    and drop its greedy lawsuit against android makers!
    The community is watching and Apple should remember what happened to other FOSS foes like SCO...
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Linux Geek
      and Linux Geek. :P
      Ram U
    • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

      @Linux Geek

      Apple is just trying to save Android users from themselves. Most do not realise that they are becoming members of the Google spynet.

      And Google, is not a great participant in FOSS. They certainly use open source, but their contribution is minimal.
      jorjitop
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @jorjitop too bad you're missing the cynicism emoticon on your keyboard :-p
        belli_bettens@...
      • RE: Apple files ITC suit vs. Samsung: Can this marriage be saved?

        @jorjitop
        The 'google spynet' exists only under your thin foil hat!
        The real danger is people being brainwashed by Apple into submissive sheep by the grand cult master $teve Job$.
        Linux Geek