Apple Wins Another Patent Fight Against Samsung in Germany, but Samsung Still Profits

| Analysis

Apple vs. SamsungUS$290 million here, another failed patent accusation there, and pretty soon it adds up to Samsung looking like a copycat with bad lawyers and/or a bad intellectual property strategy. I'm going with both.

Florian Mueller reported that the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany issued a stay in a patent infringement case Samsung had filed against Apple. Mr. Mueller also noted that this brings the sum total of Samsung SEP victories against Apple to precisely zero.

As a further fun note, the decision was handed down in Germany just eight hours after a jury awarded Apple US$290 million in damages for Samsung infringement on Apple patents in the U.S.

The patent in question is EP1679803, a "method for configuring gain factors for uplink service in radio telecommunication system." It is part of the 3G standard, but there is a parallel court case deciding an invalidation action before the Federal Patent Court of Germany.

In that case, the court has so far found that while an infringement by Apple was likely, the patent was also likely to be invalid. That led the Mannheim Regional Court to stay its case, where Samsung is seeking damages for Apple's infringement.

At the heart of all this mess is Samsung's efforts to demand unprecedented licensing fees from Apple based on its SEPs in order to force Apple to license its non-SEPs to Samsung. That strategy has failed, miserably, and has landed Samsung in the crosshairs of regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Europe concerned about SEP-abuse.

In this particular case, Samsung seems likely to not only fail to win a licensing fee for its patent, it's likely to have its patent declared invalid. Smooth move, Ex-lax.

And to think, had it simply not deliberately copied Apple's design and utility patents and asked for the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing fees for its SEPs—like it promised to do when it submitted those patents to standards bodies in the first place—it would be at least a billion dollars richer today...

Ah, that's the rub. Samsung wouldn't be richer. In fact, Samsung would be billions of dollars poorer, and that's because Samsung has made billions more in profits from copying Apple. That makes the loss of SEP royalties and $930 million damage awards just a cost of doing business.

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Ronald Johnson

Nah, if Samsung has anything to look bad about its actually pandering to people who think Crapple products make them better than everyone else.  Crapple has destroyed the promise that personal computers had by sand boxing and over compensating their zeal for revenue.  Well, they have for a while.  Certainly, they confused people who are less informed and educated about computers.  But, if it makes Crapple users feel any better the real vendors that have their fingers on the pulse of moral, ethical, and responsible computer use have recently coughed up a huge hairball, too.  Talking about you G3, breaking my Java choices.  Bad.

Gosh Ronald Johnson. You sure have some emotion about Apple. I guess you don’t like the idea that Apple products have always been expensive, or that they don’t live in an open source garden. But if it makes you feel any better, lots and lots of really smart computer scientists and software developers love the company Steve and Steve created.

David Caruso  I see you have drunk the kool-aid.  Real smart people don’t design for or use Apple.  When i want to actually work, i use a real computer, not an over priced, over hyped toy.  You probably think Angry Birds is a real piece of programming.  Steve W. is a brilliant mind, Steve J. looked down his nose at the world.  All he did was to take someone else’s ideas and rounded the corners, be still my heart.  Might be why 80% of the world uses something other than Apple.  I will conceed that its opposite in the US, but we always seem to be behind the curve of late.  So go take your toy and play what ever angry thing you want, but i will be doing real work on a real computer, talking on a real phone.


As a direct result of these rulings against SEP, I foresee that open standards will disappear over the next twenty years to be supplanted by propriety standards controlled by the few major corporations that produce consumer products.

The era of cooperation is over.

Bryan Chaffin

daemon, these aren’t rulings against SEPs, they’re rulings against the misuse of SEPs. While being opposed to Apple’s use of proprietary SEPs is consistent with your philosophy, it seems to me you should be vigorously opposed to Samsung’s attempts to wield its SEPs as it has.

These losses by Samsung are what’s going to preserve the SEP system.


I love how on an Apple oriented article the first posts always seem to be haters, but I guess it is par for the course as we now know that Samsungs social media strategy is just as dirty as the rest of their business.  The real question now is, how much have you made from your posts?  I mean why objective when you can be paid to be a hater.

Sick Phathom

Gene Delgado

Hey Ronald Johnson, nice meltdown. You mad bro?

Randy Bobandy

Ahhhh iSheep….. blindly following Crapple, the company that does not innovate, only litigates…...

Pui Mongkonprajak

Koreans (and Chinese) don’t try to innovate they focus on copying and building it cheaper usually by having cheap poorer quality. look at Samsung they steal apple’s design and use Google’s Android, they are more like an OEM pushing sales their screens and processors

Laccey Chynna Xiong

Brb reading about the tablet pc that was announced by microsoft in 2001. Oh crap, that’s gotta be a mistake cuz apple is always innovative and thinks Of complex stuff (like round corners, fingerprint recognition technology) that no one will ever think of right? Maybe ford should sue toyota for making their vehicles run on 4 wheels. No lets take this further, lets have some descendents of the people who created the wheel to sue ford for not recognizing their hard work. Yeah that sounds about right. Now back to that HP tablet with a removable keyboard on wikipedia (which we all know is definitely a unreliable source shunned by schools all over the place but for some reason all of us use it). Man this is such an interesting article on this site. Omg this article…it gave me this wierd thought: what if this article on wikipedia is half true then that means apple just took some old idea (that was clearly years ahead of its time; no wonder why it wasnt adopted) and made the world think it is their own in a era that was ready? Man all these new questions! I guess its time for me to look up more unreliable wikipedia Information and see if there were any other things that apple might have ‘borrowed’ their ideas from?

Matt Revenaugh

@Ronald Johnson et al., If you dislike Apple with such a passion why are you washing your time reading a website called “The Mac Observer”? Just to troll and bitch about Apple? Go play in the corner with your Windoz Phone that you need to tap 10 times just to get to your mail. Or type away on the command line of you cool linux box. We sheep will be enjoying the rest of our day while you scheme in your lair of how to topple Apple.

@David Caruso, “real smart people” don’t call themselves smart. They choose their tools according to their needs. If it’s a good enough tool, it endears itself. Your “real” phone is prob. an Android? Did you get KitKat yet? I have iOS 7 already. Your “real” computer is prob. a Win machine. Having fun with 8.1? I just got Mavericks. No upgrades needed. Pretty nice.

And for all the other Apple haters, I bet you can’t walk into an Android store with a slightly damaged 11 month old phone and walk out with a new replacement. If you have an iPhone, you can.

Why is it that if don’t use Apple, you work yourself up to justifying it by hating their users?

Tyrelle Watts

@matt revenaugh first off, apple has been toppled. android been toppled ios. soon to be windows phone will topple ios. apple had a nice run with the iphone and ipad, but that run is coming to a end.

had it not been for microsoft extending a olive branch of a billion dollars apple wouldn’t even be here.

another thing the surface rt and pro both upgraded to windows 8.1. also windows 8.1 has more market share then maverick. so in reality apple has become stale. in the end the battle will be between microsoft and google.

that’s just how it is going to play out. what can apple do that android and wp can’t? actually there is nothing that it can do that either of the other player can’t.

one more thing actually i just tap my email tile when i see i have an email. so 10 taps not hardly. more likely 3 taps, actually more like swipe left, tap the letter of say o for outlook then tap outlook and boom i’m in my email.


Hey Ronald, Where do I sign up to be a Sam-bot? How much does it pay?


@Bryan Chaffin - the problem is the assumption that Samsung is misusing its SEPs. Obviously Apple was able to convince everyone that it was, however that doesn’t discount the fact that Apple was and has been refusing to pay for those SEPs…We don’t know the terms Samsung has with other companies, and none of what I saw was all that outrageous of a demand from Samsung. FRAND licensing does mean FREE, it means fair and reasonable. Apple has backboned all of its business on FRAND patents all the while not paying up what those patents are truly worth.

I think the point daemon is trying to make is that if I’m the only one willing to bring true innovation to the table and create the new tech that pushes the world and you don’t want to play under reasonable terms then I might not want to make it licenseable under SEP terms and only play with those companies that do. 

Tim Richardson

“In that case, the court has so far found that while an infringement by Apple was likely, the patent was also likely to be invalid” is pretty close to the Californian court case as well, since the 915 pinch to zoom patent at the heart of the copying allegations is invalid in all its claims according to the USPTO. Apple has one more chance to persuade it otherwise,  and then it can appeal, but since every single claim has been rejected and has stayed rejected even after Apple’s first response, it doesn’t look good.
If the 915 patent proceeds on this course, most of this $950m damages claim will presumably disappear in a puff.
These patents are a joke. They hardly ever survive review and it takes year and years to get anywhere.


mac is the leading technology in the world when it comes to computers, phones, lap tops and tablets and japan, like in the auto industry, copies everything leading american companies do and then cry foul when they lose! japan, korea, china, india there all copy cats and can’t build anything worth a crap to begin with! everything they sell here is junk! cars, trucks, radios, tv’s, phones, computers, lap tops and tablets are all trash! think i’m wrong? americans make the best products in the world…. hands down! i’m a 49 year mechanic with an A rating at the bbb and i know all foreign cars are trash! chevy and buick are the best vehicles in the world hands down! mac/apple build the only tech toys i buy! i will never have a jap phone, computer, lap top or tablet there all mac!

Shannon Villegas

I am personaly sick of the Apple this and that bull$#!?.  Give um hell Samsung!!!...


@johngeorge LOL 95% of Apple’s products are built in China, and 50 to 60% off the hardware inside the iPhone and iPad are built by Samsung.


@David Caruso - Smart people don’t use “crapple” products?  I guess the people here at Nasa didn’t get that memo:

Leon Fowler

Oh no the battery in my Galaxy Note 3 is about to die after 25 hours guess I’ll just pop a spare one out of my pocket so I can stay out here longer and wait for Bambi.
just another Apple Power grab the sheeple have no choice.

Robert Tubere

@David Caruso “Real smart people don’t design for or use Apple.” - It takes an absolute ignoramus to make a statement like that. 
“Might be why 80% of the world uses something other than Apple.” - Likewise, 80% of the world drive something other than Mercedes Benz. Do YOU know Why?
To keep your 80-20 going, it is always the 20% of the people that are paying 80% of the taxes, 20% percent of the people keeping the economy going so that the 80% have jobs.  You, in the 80%, are making statements that identify you squarely in the 80%. Some of you do not qualify to use Apple. Go, use Korean. Stay there. Stay out.


Samsung may still profit. But not if Apple gets an injunction to ban all Samsung smartphones from the U.S.  Not only can Apple get an injunction for the products that Samsung created by copying Apple, they get an injunction for newer products that don’t copy Apple but were created to avoid Apple’s patents. This makes Samsung’s loss potentially deadly to Samsung.



Samsung did not abdicate it’s right to patent royalties when it committed it’s patents to being subject to FRAND terms.

With the current rulings against SEPs, what possible reason would any company with IP have for cooperating with standards creation, when they know that by cooperating, they’re just giving up all their rights in fact, if not in law.

Bryan Chaffin

daemon, I can’t tell if you’re joking. Samsung need only ask for reasonable royalties for its SEPs and not demand royalties for SEPs covered by patent exhaustion. Apple has stated publicly that it will pay FRAND licensing terms when FRAND terms are offered.

If they are not offered—or if Apple refused to take FRAND terms—the courts will eventually impose royalties that are in keeping with the rest of the industry.

The same incentives that have always fueled SEP participation continue to exist, and that is small, but steady income streams.

To me, this is obvious.



I believe that Samsung did ask for “reasonable royalties” for it’s SEPs, it asked for the same agreements it’s entered into with other corporations. Steve Jobs believed he was special and didn’t have to take the same agreement that Sony, HTC, et all entered into and so snubbed Samsung, refused to pay for a license and went a head and infringed and dared Samsung to do something about it.

As for your assertion that the courts will eventually impose royalties, they had a chance to do that in the Apple vs Samsung trial last year and instead the Jury didn’t bother to consider them, they decided Apple won trial and that was the end of it.


LOL, wow Bryan, I just love the new class of TMO clientele.  Makes for terrific reading!  I especially like the hunter focusing more on his Note than on the buck he’s hunting, and Shannon wishing Samsung to “give um hell”.  There should be an IQ test to allow posting here!!  LMAO.



Fascinating responses to your article. Two trends in the responses attract my attention:

1) Responses from readers, bordering on the xenophobic, but nonetheless indicative of the calibre of comments I’m hearing from ordinary, non-Apple clientele in the USA regarding Samsung, and the perception that they are cheats, stealing American technology (not to mention British, Japanese, Canadian - an equal opportunity infringer to be sure), with a rising chorus of boycotting Samsung products. I wondered how long it would take for that sentiment to be triggered by Samsung’s almost taunting of US courts and public consumption behaviour. I’ve argued before, and still (not that they care what I think), that Samsung’s best response should be a charm offensive aimed at a Western, high income country audience. Instead, they’ve chosen ridicule and belligerence, which has never proven to be a winning strategy for hearts and minds. Samsung should be mindful, if not frankly concerned.

2) The industry agents who’ve posted their talking points for websites and social media. These are easy to spot; not simply the puerile posters who scrawl graffiti-quality drivel in the comments section (propaganda experts and trainers in public speaking - often the same - point out how effective these simple phrases are with a certain and substantial demographic), but those of some of the more regular commenters. The tell is in the esoteric quality of the arguments against Apple and for, in this case, Samsung, but the same applies for whomever against Apple their argue for, and which have ever the same two conclusions: a) Apple is not simply wrong, but unreasonably and egregiously so for their stance, which somehow defies industry standards (never mind that other companies have taken and continue to take the same counter measures when infringed upon), and that somehow Apple have managed to bamboozle, beguile or bully the courts to do their bidding - perhaps by using their Jedi mind tricks (there’s an app for that); b) Samsung (or whomever is the contending party) is somehow defending the people’s choice and their very right and ability to choose, and should they lose, the consumer will lose, industry standards and norms, indeed possibly the world order itself, may collapse, and it will all be because of evil, manipulating, unfair, and mind-controlling Apple.

Again, the tell-tale hallmark of industry-sponsored spin consists in that seemly random commenters focus on a common set of highly specific and esoteric arguments - coincidentally of course - that are the fulcrum of their claims and conclusions.

While I sympathise with your comment above that some of these comments should be jokes, they are anything but.

The upside of these posts, in my view, is that it indicates the prominence that TMO has acquired as a site. You must be doing something right.


Usually reading this site gives you some insight about Apple and the rest of the computer industry. This time a psychotherapist would have found it more interesting reading. Some people here are clearly delusional. One seems to have escaped from Guayana and still dreaming of kool aid. Another still hasn’t escaped his early childhood and memories of playing in a sand box.

John Dingler, artist

There has been an increase in the number of Samsunistas and Androidistanis here at this Apple related news site. Samsung has a reputation paying promoters of its own goods and services while poopooing Apple’s.

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