How Microsoft Avoided Apple's Legal Wrath (and Why Samsung Didn't)

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Penterax

Samsung has license agreements with Microsoft, which leads me to believe they aren't opposed to paying reasonable licensing fees if they believe there is any justification at all for a claim.

This business of $30-40 per unit though - that's just insane. If Samsung thinks Apple's claim have any merit they might go for a more reasonable number, say fifty cents to a dollar, but there is absolutely no justification for such a high licensing cost.

It almost makes me wonder if someone misread those numbers by a few decimal places, and Apple actually asked for $.30 and $.40, instead of $30.00 and $40.00. That would make more sense.

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zaznet

Apple doesn't want to license anything to Samsung which is why they asked for an absurd price.

Apple won't settle this case because they don't expect to have anything to lose. Hopefully Apple starts to actually lose in the counter-suits of these court cases as that is the only hope we have of them changing their tactics.

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Zeimos4387

I think that you need to rethink your math there Penterax. Take the Samsung Galaxy S III 32Gb edition for example. It costs $650 (without contract). If you think that $325 ($0.50 on the $1.00) is a more reasonable number than $30, you are sadly mistaken. $30 is 4.62% of $650 and is not that bad of a price. I am sure that Samsung would have agreed to pay if they thought that there was a legit reason to pay.

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zaznet

Actual licensing terms that are most often agreed to between competitors tend to be much cheaper than $30 per sold unit. It tends to be "pennies" per unit in items that sell in sufficient quantity.

Apple is trying to halt competitors from bringing products to market quickly. It's a plan that so far is paying off but could potentially backfire right in their face.

In this fight Apple does not need to "win" to succeed, they just need to not lose the counter claims.

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TerribleToaster

I believe he meant the range, 50 cents to 1 dollar, not actually paying them 50 cents per a dollar. Thus, if Samsung added the fee on top of the price and handed it all over to the consumer, it would be $680 vs $650.50. A noticeable difference in the other direction.

Of course, no one would licensing anything for that low, with the number of tablets Samsung sold, it probably wouldn't even cover the printing costs of writing the license.

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Zeimos4387

Okay. You may be correct there. I may have misunderstood the wording. And I agree with you. No one in there right mind would license a patent for that low of a price on items that popular.

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richeemxx

Ha I'm going to get killed with Apple-Fanboy lovers over this, but I hate to tell you folks. Apple would have dies without Bill Gates and the money he gave your precious Apple to survive. Disagree look it up!!

Apple does what MS can't do, and for a reason. They are/where a niche market. MS can never do a totally drastic redesign because they are so tightly tied to the enterprise. Image a gov agency trying to learn a new set of software every tear. Not going to happen!!

Its just the same reason Apple can't give you a 10x better iPhone every year. They are now tied to the consumer but at the same time they are milking the consumerism. You dummies complain about $4/gal gas but are willing to spend hundreds every year for a new phone or gadget with only slightly updated features. So why wouldn't companies milk you for all you got?

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Penterax

This business about telling people "look it up" is crap.

It's YOUR point, one YOU are trying to make, you want to give proof, then give it, don't tell people that they should look up whatever information you think they should so they believe what you do.

If you think it makes you sound knowledgeable - it doesn't. It makes you sound like an ignorant person trying to pass himself off as someone with a clue. Prove you aren't that ignorant person by providing the facts you claim exist.

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wrigleyjames

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/08/dayintech_0806/

Here is your precious link Penterax.

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Xenite

Sorry, I couldn't read the story. I would have to pay Apple $40 for using my rectangle shaped monitor.

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someuid

Apple isn't going after Microsoft because they know Steve Ballmer is no threat.

Look at Windows 8 and its attempt to get Microsoft into the phone and tablet market with Metro/Modern UI.

Look at the new short release cycle Microsoft is talking about, which is very similar to Apple's OS release schedule.

Look at the app store Microsoft is trying to build that Apple and Android already have.

Apple knows Steve Ballmer is 10 years behind and actually agreed to not copy Apple, which just puts Microsoft even further behind the curve.

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alabasterdragon

If Microsoft is trying to shoot itself in the foot with an bazooka, should Apple duck and cover or help steady the bazooka?

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alabasterdragon

This is a road that Apple and Microsoft have been down before. Last trip too them about 20 years. In the end they basically agreed to disagree. Steve claimed Bill stole his design (which he stole fair and square from Xerox's dumpster)...etc.

In the end they both fought to a bloody draw, and agreed to buy into each other, realizing that neither side would ever flinch or concede. Essentially they own each other, which means they own each other patents as part of the settlement they both agreed to before returning to their respective corners.

I'd say they are the real life example of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Stalemate!

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brettskiness

Win 8 might actually do ok. It's probably going to be a very rough transition but after that people might like it. As i've heard that several people who have been using win 8 for over a month didn't like it at first, but in time grew to really like it, while other several people (like me) who only used it for a week or a couple of days, disliked it. I'm kind of on the fence here because I disliked it too when i used it, but I wonder why those who use it for a long time really like it.

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livebriand

A lot of Apple's patents are really simple things that shouldn't be patentable in the first place. I don't blame Samsung for refusing to license them.

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bling581

I agree. I'm fine with patenting truly unique ideas but it's wrong when they start giving out patents on basic user functionality. Things like tap to zoom should be an industry standard for any touch screen device.

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Gezzer

Yeah the current patent system is a mess and needs a major overhaul. IMHO when a regulation or law no longer works as intended you see more and more litigation because it's broken. As we're currently witnessing.

This isn't new either. The master at this was Creative, who would take competitors to court for so called patent issues. Tie all thier resources up in court till the company went bankrupt. Then buy all the assets for pennies on the dollar.
Patents are meant to protect unique IP, and shouldn't be used as a weapon to bully competitors with. They also shouldn't be used to control a market's essential techknowledgey or protect very minor and obvious design choices.

Till these things are changed the market place will continue to be a battlefield where the true losers are us, the consumers.

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brettskiness

Yeah I've heard so many different opinions about this lawsuit. Apple is patenting the most simple of things and then using it to bully others. And then I also hear that Samsung really did copy them. We could probably argue all day about who is innocent and who is not, because nobody will really know the truth about the whole lawsuit, likely even after it is finished.

And your comment is so true. There's so much crap happening that companies patent as much as they can to protect themselves against other companies who would patent and then sue them. It's basically Attack and Defense running simultaneously for every company in the patent world, and just like you said, the only way to fix everything is to rebuild the whole system.

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Neufeldt2002

The lawsuit may in fact be a good thing. It is pretty much guaranteed to be appealed to the supreme court, which will hopefully force them to smack down stupid patents.

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Corfy

I find it more interesting that Microsoft has gone after several manufacturers of Android products over the last few years (to the point where Microsoft makes more money off Android products than off their own mobile products), but has yet to take on Google.

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Penterax

As I understand it, Microsoft's strategy is to win cases and make agreements with the manufacturers that use Android in order to bolster their suit against Google. Considering the rivalry between the two, I'd say it makes sense that MS would want to do everything in their power to actually win such a case, and so take the slow, well-built road, rather than just throw a legal team at Google.

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