Samsung says Apple would not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of their patented technology

Next week Samsung and Apple go at it in the courts again. I know, what else is new? Anyways, the Wall Street Journal posted some excerpts from Samsung’s trial brief. Of course Samsung’s argument is that they didn’t copy Apple’s iPhone one bit and that they were working on the next generation of mobile phones in the Summer of 2006, months before the iPhone was announced. These designs were based on market trends for increased screen sizes. They certainly weren’t going to scrap everything and change just because of the iPhone.

As to patents, Samsung said, “Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly twenty years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology.” Hit the break for some of the highlights.

Samsung has been researching and developing mobile telecommunications technology since at least as early as 1991 and invented much of the technology for today‘s smartphones. Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly twenty years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology.

For good measure, Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone. Apple‘s own internal documents show this. In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived of, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article that contained an interview of a Sony designer to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, the Sony designer discussed Sony portable electronic device designs that lacked “excessive ornamentation” such as buttons, fit in the hand, were “square with a screen” and had “corners [which] have been rounded out.”

Contrary to the image it has cultivated in the popular press, Apple has admitted in internal documents that its strength is not in developing new technologies first, but in successfully commercializing them. . . . Also contrary to Apple‘s accusations, Samsung does not need or want to copy; rather, it strives to best the competition by developing multiple, unique products. Samsung internal documents from 2006, well before the iPhone was announced, show rectangular phones with rounded corners, large displays, flat front faces, and graphic interfaces with icons with grid layouts.

Prior to the iPhone‘s announcement in January 2007, Samsung was already developing numerous products and models with the same design features that Apple now claims were copied from the iPhone. In the summer of 2006, Samsung began designing its next generation of mobile phones, based on the market trend of ever-increasing screen size. At that time, Samsung‘s designers envisioned a basic design: a simple, rounded rectangular body dominated by a display screen with a single physical button on the face.

As . . . documents confirm, Samsung independently developed the allegedly copied  design features months before Apple had even announced the iPhone. It did not switch its design direction because of the iPhone.

Apple‘s utility patents relate to ancillary features that allow users to perform trivial touch screen functions, even though these technologies were developed and in widespread use well before Apple entered the mobile device market in 2007. Samsung does not infringe any of Apple‘s patents and has located dead-on prior art that invalidates them.

Apple relied heavily on Samsung‘s technology to enter the telecommunications space, and it continues to use Samsung‘s technology to this day in its iPhone and iPad products. For example, Samsung supplies the flash memory, main memory, and application processor for the iPhone. . . .  But Apple also uses patented Samsung technology that it has not paid for. This includes standards-essential technology required for Apple‘s products to interact with products from other manufacturers, and several device features that Samsung developed for use in its products.

Long before Apple even announced any of its 3G products that use Samsung‘s standards-essential technology, Samsung had offered licenses for these patents (along with other patents) to virtually every major player in the mobile phone industry, successfully striking cross-licensing deals with all of them. After Apple released products that use the technology patented in the [two standards-essential patents at issue in the trial], Samsung similarly offered a cross-licensing deal to Apple, asking for a fair and reasonable royalty in return for Apple‘s use of Samsung‘s technology. Unlike all the major players in the mobile phone industry, however, Apple refused to enter a cross-licensing deal with Samsung.

Instead, despite the fact that virtually every other major industry participant was willing to take a license from Samsung for use of the standards-essential patents in this suit, Apple claimed that Samsung‘s patents are unenforceable.

source: WSJ


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Major_Pita

    Motorola concurrently has a standards issue going with Apple regarding use of Motorola patented streaming codecs that Apple wants fair use of while denying competitors the use of certain interface related-features that should be interface standards. I hope all these companies that Apple is messing with get together, co-ordinate and force the banning of Apple products into the U.S. Apple surely deserves the ‘Death by 1000 Cuts’.

  • RTWright

    Now this is something I knew already and I’m happy that Samsung is finally going to play hardball. Because a lot of this technology was being done LONG before the iPhone and iPad. The loyal users of Apple never want to recognize that Apple itself is a hypocrite. They claim and say one thing while doing another. Then cry foul when someone else becomes successful then lays false claims about such developments and technology being theirs exclusively. Nice one Samsung! I hope you win hands down!

    • stjom

      I agree. It’s because they paid tons of dollars for their iProduct and they want its image justified, well because it’s what they paid for.

  • Jim Macdonald

    Wow, stay on this story Rob. This is going to be a major motion picture one day.

  • sanman202

    I really hope that even some of the Apple faithful realize how bad of a company they are. They cry foul and stand back and watch companies like Samsung offer ground breaking technology and solid performers. Apple go make your next move and come out with something that is ground breaking and announce it first by showing the patent in in your name with the date it was patented.

  • Steve

    Well, they should tell that to he patent office then. You know, the ones who gave Apple the patents in the fist place.

    But honestly, as a user, I could care less if Apple copied Samsung or vise versa. As long as I can get a good user experience on my phone, I could care less on who invented what. I use an iPhone 4S and am quite the apple fanatic. But one thing is for sure, I am not involved in this patent thing, don’t want to get involved. If someone does make a move, it will be against apple/Samsung, not me.

    • a name

      I couldN’T care less!!!….

  • dmakun

    Can’t help but notice the comment of a typical Apple user on this thread. Dear “Steve” we are all consumers of these technology but you should care about how unethical your dear Apple is going about driving competition out of the market. Cause if they succeed you will have only that iPhone 4s with its decadent technology in your pocket for many years to come.

    • Steve

      Well, in a way, I get what you are saying. But is pointing at who is stealing from who in the comment section of articles going to change the situation in any way? I mean, I can talk and talk about what Apple did and did not steal all day. But is that going to make them want to stop suing?

      The point I’m trying to get at here is: what exactly are you going to accomplish by ranting about how you hate what Apple is doing in comments? Further more, if one brings more features to their product (through innovation or imitation, depending on how you view it) it only means a better experience for the end user (you).

      If they get sued for it, that’s their problem, not yours. If Apple is indeed headed for a monopoly, let the DOJ step in and move on. Our rants are pointless and will not change or affect the current situation whatsoever.

      • Ben Smith

        When Apple successfully wins a motion to ban the sale of Galaxy Nexus phones in the country you live in, or when Samsung or another company does the same to Apple, you may realize how this can effect you. The ultimate goal of Apple in this case is to ban a product. That directly removes choice from you and I.

        I actually just bought the phone Apple started this suit over and I like it a lot. I could say I don’t care now that I have it, but if Apple wins and a precedent is set, what products could I miss out on in the future?
        It’s not just some obscure fight anymore. These companies (and by that I mean pretty much just Apple) are starting to fight in ways that will directly effect what products I can buy. I might be okay with that if the products being banned were somehow unsafe or intentional rip-offs of another company’s product, but that’s pretty clearly not the case. I hope that explanation made sense.

  • Joon Yi

    Come on…Steve Jobs copied Microsoft and IBM and got to where they are because they copied other’s technology…

    And now Apple is mad because Samsung took something similar?…please