Samsung

What the world needs now is more litigation to stifle technology innovation, and Samsung looks determined to follow Apple's lead and try to make it happen.  In an interview with the Korea Times, and unnamed senior executive from Samsung Electronics has said that Samsung is preparing to attempt to block all sales of the upcoming iPhone in Korea.  He also gives a bit of insight into the mind of Samsung corporate, telling us that Samsung was willing to let the "copycat" argument go so that the relationship with Apple (who uses Samsung parts in many of their products) was not put under stress.  Apple's complaint and subsuquent injunction against Samsung at IFA in Germany, which caused the highly anticipated 7.7 inch variant of the Galaxy Tab to be pulled from the show, created a turning point of sorts, where Samsung has filed against Apple for technology patents in Australia

In Korea, Samsung is preparing to say that unless Apple drops mobile telecommunication functions from it's iPhone, it would be impossible for it not to infringe on Samsung's mobile patents.  The patents in question, as well as the total number, were not identified.  As a result, Samsung wants all sales of the new iPhone blocked in Korea.

It saddens me to see Samsung follow this path.  Competition is healthy for the entire mobile eco-system, and having an "eye for an eye" attitude only hurts the consumer.  Unfortunateley, Apple's current strategy of domination through lawsuits looks like it may have awoken a sleeping giant -- Samsung is one of the largest electronic manufacturing compaines in the world, and likely holds patents that many other manufacturers are infringing upon, as does Motorola (Nokia flashback, anyone?).  In the end, someone with a lot of money will be giving a little of it to someone else with a lot of money, but nobody really wins in these types of war games.

Source: Korea Times (Korean)

 

Reader comments

Samsung seeking to block sales of upcoming iPhone in Korea

76 Comments

Yep! Like the old saying goes, "Don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house!"

Apple should have know better. They stand to get stomped on the wireless technology side.

Besides, TV's with relatively the same "look and feel" have been on sale (including by Samsung) for well over a decade before the iPhone and iPad came out. I can't believe that Apple is seriously claiming that their "innovation" is taking what has been common practice in TV's and shrink it and "add" "rounded corners"! Really?!?

I'm glad Samsung is fighting back. You don't bite the hand that feeds you! Apple and Samsung had a somewhat "okay" partner ship. Apple was using Samsung's parts. So who are you gonna sue your partner while continue using them as if nothing ever happened.

"Samsung was willing to let the "copycat" argument go so that the relationship with Apple (who uses Samsung parts in many of their products) was not put under stress."

"... Apple's mobile telecommunication functions from it's iPhone, it would be impossible for it not to infringe on Samsung's mobile patents."

By those two quotes alone, Apple should be put in the ground. Not only for being wrong, but back stabbing one of it's partners just to get ahead and remove the competition. This just shows Apple will do anything to create a monopoly!

So Apple should pay for all the research and development for these phones and it OK for Samsung to copy the design and use the same technology because they manufacture the chips? Not sure if I agree with Samsung on this one.

No one is saying that. Apple copied many things to make the iPhone and iPad and others copied them as well. There are so many shared concepts being used across OS and UI for the mobile revolution. Because someone files a patent to protect "Click on Icon have program start" or "swipe screen to move" does that mean no one else can ever build a solution that includes that function? That is basically what is at stake. They all pursued patents on little pieces of code and other pieces that are needed to make these things work. If there is a fight over each item or a claim that one form factor or icon looks like another - companies burn resources fighting claims and playing defense instead of innovating. Apple, Oracle and MS started this. They are all after an edge and in the end an edge and licensing dollars.

I hope that the Korean judges are bias enough to actually let this happen. You play with fire for too long and you might be burned.

While I respect the authors objective viewpoint and the comments they make are entirely valid, I don't think I'm alone in being quite happy to see this happen.

Apple have for far too long taken steps to bully and harass technology manufacturers to protect the idea that they are the foundation and creation of all mobile innovation. I wouldn't be surpised if Apple aren't preparing to re-write history to make themselves the creators of mobile phones, touchscreens, multimedia, digital music AND the very act of creative thinking in a human being.

Apple started it. And maybe two wrongs don't make a right but you gotta stand up and say listen to me son. Papa's still the man of the house. You sit down and shut up while grown folks is speaking. Show you how we did it back in my day. O, wait. today is my day.

stifle innovation? Hardly. While I hate to admit that if it weren't for apple our phones probably wouldn't be what they are today - I can't say I have really seen any innovation from them in a loooonnng time. There is not one thing about an iPhone that makes me feel jealous or feel like is missing from android hardware. So long as Samsung sticks to just messing with apple I say go get em. Apple is like the mayweather of the phone world and its there time to get put back in their place. @

True, but if Apple didn't make the first all touch screen phone no one would miss it if it were never there. And I'd my BB keyboard back!!!! L O L

Apple didn't, LG prada was out before the original iphone, had capacitive touch screen and look like a rectangle with bezels and rounded corners. A lot of the windows mobile phones had touchscreens before that, they just had resistive instead of capacitive touchscreens. Apple was probably the first of make use of multi-touch gestures, but certainly not the first one to make touch screen devices, capacitive or otherwise.

Apple was first to use multitouch on a phone. but they didn't create multitouch. Multitouch was around long before Apple got around to using it for mobile phones. Apple didn't create most of the technologies they use. They are Very good at finding new uses for existing technology, hence why we can consider them innovative. But creative? They haven't been creators in a lonnnnnnnnggg time.

oh how isheep make in their minds is funny. So apple invented the capactive screen? Isheep tend to believe that other manufacturers weren't waiting for that hardware to mature some more before sending it out the door so it wouldnt have a price tag so high it wouldn't sell.

But then the next resort they invented mobile gaming. No it already exsisted before hand. While no good neither was the hardware
Apple never innovated on their own, what they do is market that's all.

The system is broke to begin with. I say let Samsung and the rest of the manufacturers teach Apple a lesson about frivolous lawsuits. Then maybe it will raise public awareness and jump start the process of patent law reform.

I dont think Apple will get much sympathy here! They have been the schoolyard bully for YEARS, and now the pigeons are coming home to roost! Seriously, you cant BAN Samsung's products, and have their newest tablet pulled from the IFA show floor and not have any repercussions! Good for Samsung! I hope they succeed in having the iPhone banned. Hopefully that will only be the first country to realize that they are infringing ACTUAL PATENTS, not just nebulous design work.

(while they are at it, they REALLY need to look at iOS 5's notifications! I cant understand why they feel the need to sue over designs while STEALING designs from their competitors at the same time!)

Saddens....? What the hell is wrong with you??? Samsung should just sit back and let Apple block them out of markets while they wait on the courts to sort it out? They stand to loose a lot of business like that. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander and no one is going to piss the copy cat iPhone 5 anyway.

Yes, saddens.  Any company that uses corporate lawyers and legal BS as a shield is wrong.  I'd much rather see Samsung spend that money for a media blitz saying just how much of their technology Apple uses and relies on, and that they could petition any court to stop sales of iThings -- but don't, cause that's how assholes operate.
All this does is hurt people in Korea that would rather use an iPhone.

I have to disagree. Nothing will hurt iphone sales except for a ban. The sheep don't watch samsung commercials because the shepard won't let them play on an iphone. Google needs to hurry up and get to the "k" release of android, call it Kool-aid, and have the sheep drink up.

I disagree 100%. Apple chose this path...at this point, their competitors have no choice but to fight fire with fire. As unfortunate as it is, once a corporation chooses to fight their battles in the courtroom instead of in the competitive marketplace, it doesn't leave their competitors much choice but to fight back. The best possible outcome is that Apple will see where this is headed, and that the suits will be settled out of court. If Samsung and others don't file suits of their own, Apple will have no incentive to settle.

If Samsung tried doing that, Apple would probably try to sue them for slander. Apple needs to be on the receiving end, just to see what it feels like.

Good luck to samsung, all the best. Apple deserves to be banned from the world. Maybe then the world will realize or at least notice how stupid these patents really are.

Saddens you? This article is the best flame bait I have seen in a while. You should be embarrassed to say something like that in an Android based website.

All the Android Manufacturers should get together and sue the living **** out of Apple. Ever since Apple started hitting Samsung with lawsuits about how they copied Apple, I've built this hatred for them. We the consumers lose eventually. Yes, Samsung does lose money, but we lose the whole idea of competition. Apple wants to be the only hardware and software manufacturer of smart phones. I would rather use a non-smartphone than use the iPhone aka The Kiosk phone. Unlike Android, which is more or less like a Personal Computer in your pocket.

Jerry,

If you're sad, then you should start writing for Apple maybe?
You are sad because Samsung refuses to get slapped around?
What kind of article is this?
Maybe in your personal life you allow strangers to slap you around and disrespect your work and steal your income, but out in the corporate world, some people have balls? ever seen one of those? prlly not.

Or I realize that Samsung doing this is the same as Apple doing it, and am not a blind fanboy who can't wait to say ANDROID RULEZ FU APPLE!!!!1111!!!!  Ligitation to kill competition is wrong, no matter who does it.

Can't help it if I see a different picture than you do.  At least I was civil about it :)

Jerry is just a pacifist. He hates Apple as much as anyone else here ( or at least thats the impress that I get from him on the podcast. )But me not like that, BURN APPLE!!!

For the record -- I don't use any Apple products, and see little value they offer to consumers.  They are a company who built their "empire" on the backs of open-source developers, who now try to claim they innovated.  I  don't try to force my opinion on anyone else, and my wife enjoys her iProduct.

Well said, Jerry-O.

No need to be nasty there Hacknet. When you say things like that, you only make yourself look like a douche instead of really getting your point across.

Do you think Apple have the resolve to methodically and deliberately kill off a competitor in their key sector; even if it costs them a few billion? Because personally, I think they do.

I hope the futility of such an act, stops them.

Why?
Because he said this opinion? Jerry have the right to express his opinion too

Are you telling me that because this is Android Central, Jerry can't be neutral ? Or like a certain Apple product?

I thought that being an Android fan is different than Nokia fanboys , but you fanboys are giving us a bad reputation

The best defense is a strong offense. I think the only way Samsung or any Manufacturer is going to get Apple off their high horse is to play HARD BALL. I hope Samsung is successful stopping the sale of Apple products in their country. Then maybe these big dogs can settle down and cooperate with each other. Apple needs to be knocked down a few pegs. Go get em Samsung.

So what you want is for Samsung TO just take it like a man and do not do anything on the name of innovation? Samsung should have done this long time ago. GO SAMSUNG.

btw this has nothing to do with US patent law. So don't say our system is broken. This is happening internationally.

But also, BOOYAH. That's what happens when u are a jerk.

Samsung fighting back actually makes me want to go out and get a sg s 2 ET off contract. Fight the good fight but you have to respect where Jerry is coming from. Just a different opinion and he's not in any way saying what Apple is doing is warranted

If they all want to win the patent war someone needs to buy webos because HP/webos has the patent for the smartphone itself.

United States Patent 7,555,727
Integrated handheld computing and telephony system and services

Disclosed is an integrated handheld computer and telephony system. Integration of the handheld computer and telephony system is at the physical and operational level. For example, the integrated handheld computer and telephony system physically integrates a handheld computer with a mobile (e.g., cellular) telephone. In addition, the handheld computer is distinct from telephony system in that they are logically separable. However, they are also operationally integrated, for example, the telephony system executes a telephone application on the processor of the handheld computer. Likewise, the handheld computer can execute applications, for example, a phone book, that can be used to launch the telephony application.

Doesn't sadden me at all. Apple started this. Maybe if others start to bite back, Apple will see the error of their ways and drop their suits in exchange for their competitors dropping theirs. I'm sort of surprised that the author of the post doesn't see it this way...seems pretty obvious.

Hopefully, Samsung's policy of Mutual Assured Destruction will cause Apple to back off and settle its other lawsuits.

The problem with Apple is that, unlike Microsoft, it's not just out to make money by licensing patents, but to completely obliterate its competition with import bans. This scorched earth policy is what necessitates an equally aggressive response from Samsung.

I'm hoping that Samsung wins this case, and then both companies negotiate a settlement that allows all consumers the freedom of choice to decide what products to buy.

I hope crApple crumbles. Karma is a ...ya know.

Android fans (in our close knit communities like this) are out-numbering the proprietary-worshiping high-grade bean coffee sippers.

Samsung would never win a media war. Apple is what it is because of its media manipulation & resulting religious following.

It has to be court based where the judge & jury is *hopefully* unemotional, unlike the buying public.

Slug it out, I say!

Im so tired of this stuff but you know what Apple needs to lose for they will stop there bs those assholes in no cal started this s h i t time for Samsung to finish it fu apple i hate you

Ok,

And Apple deserves it but honestly, how many Koreans are interested in buying an iPhone? Have any Koreans stood in line to buy iPhones in the past? Is Korea a big market for the iPhone? Seems to me that if they really want to hurt Apple, they'd go after them in the EU or some other territory where people are more likely to buy an iPhone because I've never heard of Korea being a big iPhone market. Don't get me wrong, Samsung should sue Apple somewhere that they are likely to win but Korea? Seriously?? I just don't see not selling in Korea as hurting Apple much, if at all.

"It saddens me to see Samsung take this path" ... are you out of your mind. Apple is f$@&ing samsung over all around the world and you expect them to just bend over and take it? I used to be an apple fanboy, but after this crap they are pulling.... never. Things like cornings gorilla glass deserve a patent. The concept of a touch screen does not deserve a patent, nor does an app to view images by sliding your finger and seeing the image slide. You've lost a fan and credibility in my eyes

Things like cornings gorilla glass deserve a patent. The concept of a touch screen does not deserve a patent, nor does an app to view images by sliding your finger and seeing the image slide. You've lost a fan and credibility in my eyes

And you approve of Samsung suing Apple?  More power to you, but I think patents on ideas is wrong, no matter who tries to use them.

But Jerry...do you not agree that Apple started all of this? What other course of action is available to Apple's competitors? Simply relying on the logic and good will of the court would be pretty foolish of them...if Apple wins in the courtroom, it would be a huge blow. It seems to me that, given Apple's decision to try to gain a competitive advantage through lawsult, companies like Samsung have no choice but to try to fend of Apple's lawsuits by filing their own. Only then is there a chance that this will all be settled out of court, which is by far the best solution for the consumer.

What course of action would you suggest?

Sorry Jerry but your thinking in a pretty butterfly heaven would be nice and all... if it were the reality. But if someone tells you they're going to curbstomp you the first chance they get and then when the chance comes they try and do it, you don't just lie down and die. You give them worse than what they tried with you. So yeah for me, I totally approve of them suing Apple. I wouldn't stop there either. I wouldn't renew contracts, I'd refuse sale of products, refuse manufacturing....everything! I'd even make exclusivity deals with partners and anybody else, who've had similar dealings with Apple. I'd do this until you either bury Apple or Apple agrees to stop their foolishness.

Jerry is right. If we are upset about Apple suing over patents, we should be equally upset about an Android OEM using the same tactic to stifle competition. I want to see Apple, Android, and even Windows Phone all thrive and compete because competition brings innovation and we all get better devices. Being able to patent abstract concepts instead of actual code or actual hardware is limiting an otherwise thriving industry and stifling innovation. I don't want Samsung to take this laying down, but I don't want them to sink to Apple level either. I just want good phones and for these huge companies to compete in the market rather than in the courtroom. Is that so much to ask?

For everyone ragging on Jerry, AC is not run by blind fanboys and they are always impartial and fair when they report on stories, which is why I respect them more than other Android fansites and more than the other sites in the SPE network. Apple does make compelling, innovative products, I just don't like their politics and the way they limit customization and choice. Samsung shouldn't stoop to their level.

I have to call BS on Jerry. Samsung is dealing with a company that has almost limitless resources (70+ billion in the bank). The only way to fight this battle is to hit them where it hurts. By blocking new revenue, let apple burn thru several billion over a few quarters fighting these BS lawsuits. Let see if Apple shareholders like that.

This isn't going to hurt Apple. South Korea is not a huge market for them and its likely that most of Samsung's patents are FRAND encumbered anyway (for insight into what that means, read Florian Mueller's blog at fosspatents). All this is going to do is cause more lawsuits and hurt consumers by limiting their choices. This is the exact thing we rage at Apple for doing - it is not a better action just because its coming from Samsung. It just perpetuating this vicious, stupid patent war cycle.

Apple is the one that brought this battle to the courtroom. Now that it's been brought there, Samsung has no choice but to defend themselves. The only way that they can defend themselves is by playing the same game.

This isn't some theoretical battle, or one that can be won by taking the high road. Sometimes, your tactics are decided by those of your opponent.

oh i love it!!!! hoooray for samsung!!! its time samsung step up. for the last 20 years, i dont remember hearing companies blocking products to be release from other companies. it kinda ridiculous!! for apple to keep blocking product release is kinda childish!!

Because Apple is the one that decided to try to gain a business advantage in the courtroom. Now, Samsung and all the rest have no choice but to defend themselves. While it may be theoretically nice to take the high ground, taking the high ground in a court battle is the surest way to guarantee you lose. Bringing lawsuits of their own is the only real way to bring about the best solution for everyone - an out-of-court settlement.

Welcome to war. In war the goal is to kill your opponent, not sit there an just take it. Apple was the one that changed the game by starting to sue people instead of just competing. When your opponent goes nuclear you don't throw stones at them.

The patenting of ideas..and thoughts..are wrong, no matter how you look at it including the basic functionality of a product. Sammy here, has a right to protect it's property as well as apple does but apple has brought this upon themselves by suing any and all competition. Not just for royalties, but out of countries!

If all this was the case for apple, why hasn't FORD sued all car manufacturers for using wheels? Or the wheel pattern itself? Seats? The use of an engine? FORD did this first but you don't see them all suing each other just because the stitching on a seat has the same pattern. But this is what apple is doing and has done. Sit back and wait for new tech to roll out, copy it, then patent it as thier idea then sue everyone that has something "similar" to thier copied idea.

Litigation sometimes isn't the way to go but in this case...Sammy...Kick apples bung hole!!

Actually, Benz (now Mercedes Benz) was the first car maker. Ford was made just shortly after and was the first American built car.

Instead of everyone using the car analogy, which is incorrect, a more accurate would be televisions. With TV's you have the same design features, same display features and some propitiatory features.

And so far Samsung has just focused on their radio technology patents. But, let's not forget, Samsung has what is probably the largest patent portfolio in the world on display technologies. Once they add those to the mix, Apple may well not be able to sell anything with an antenna or a display. Hmmm ... that would rather narrow their opportunities a bit.

Frankly its time to seriously cut off Apple from the chips it buys from them. Not 100% but start squeezing them. Depending on what type of contract they have with Apple of course. I would say drop volume on memory being provided by 40% at this point. And when it comes time for the next round of contracts increase the cost of the processor they use by 100%.
Yes Samsung would be loosing sales but frankly it already is with German sales....prob not nearly as much as what would happens if they started cutting off Apple, but lets be fair...this is war. Apple fired the first shot by going well past the traditional approach of competition to going the legal route. I see no reason why Samsung can't counter by cutting off Apple "supply line".

Oh and before some smart guy comes along and says Apple will just pick up and go somewhere else. Wrong. The number of companies in the world that makes memory is smaller then you would think. With the number of iPhones Apple puts out or plans on putting out loosing even one supply source would hurt them. Its not smart to bite the hand that feeds you.

Jerry,

I have great respect for your opinion. Please help me, and some of the other commentors understand what you believe would be a legitimate course of action for Samsung?

In an earlier post you mentioned the possibility of Samsung using the media via commercials and ads to explain their position. I take it you suggested this approach as a way for Samsung to fend off Apple through the court of public opinion?

The challenge with that particular approach is that Apple has a huge following that is not neccessarily related to their techonology, but rather based on a cult like obsession. Much of that following is within the very media outlets Samsung would have to overcome in order to get their message across.

I don't believe Samsung's motivation for their lawsuits are the same as Apple's. In this case I think Apple crossed a line at the IFA conference. Apple is not just filing lawsuits and allowing the process to play itself out in the courts. Instead, Apple has crossed a line that is horrific, in that they have gone so far as to effectively stop Samsung from selling its products within a whole country.

I believe that Samsung would have been perfectly fine to allow the courts to sift through the patents and determine who owes who, but when one company goes so far as to have their competitors product removed from store shelves, conferences, and the like; then they have crossed a line.

So please help us gain an understanding of what Samsung, or any other manufacturer, in Samsung's position should do? They have to do something, and their response must be equally and just as effective as Apple's. Otherwise, the cancer that Apple has started will gain momentum and spread beyond Germany, and the fate of Samsung Mobile will be in jeopardy.

If Samsung does not fight back, and I am open to suggestions on what they should do, they will be destroyed by the "media" who are already in love with Apple, and in many cases believes that Apple can do no wrong.

I believe Apple prefers a long term strategic advantage over short term loss, even a big one. They are cash rich with great margins and a huge, very stable, market share. So - what is that 60 billion dollar stash in Cupertino for?

Even if Samsung excluded Apple's main products from the Korean market, Apple can absorb such losses with ease (even for years) while they keep hitting Samsung in other markets. So . .

What end result are Apple really aiming for?

How hard can Samsung hit Apple, if this skirmish becomes a war?

Samsung can fail to renew contracts with Apple which would be a huge blow, seeing as how Samsung manufactures large portions of electronics that make up IOS phones. They can also start pursuing litigation in other countries besides Korea with these very same patents. If they should win permission to do this in Korea, it will give them precedent. It will then make it easier for them to pursue this type suet in other international markets. This isn't a skirmish anymore. Apple has thoroughly pissed Samsung off. Apple is a big company but so is Samsung mobile which is backed buy a much larger Samsung corporation which also happens to be backed by a bank. A very large national bank. Which has traditionally been willing to absorb losses to gain profit down the road. A very long road. Hint: its the same bank that backed Kia and Hyundai.... and look at those two now!

I for one approve of this move. As long as Apple insists on going down this road then it behooves the rest of the mobile corporation community to commit all their resources to act in the same fashion towards Apple. Apples insistence to have the "Only we can be innovative" attitude is troubling to me. And in no way do there business practices support an innovative society. So to all, including Samsung.... go get em!

I say "Go for it!" Let everyone sue everyone over patents until the system breaks or a mutual detente is reached. "Playing nice" just perpetuates a status quo that needs to die...