Apple gave Samsung plenty of notice before "going thermonuclear" with patent lawsuits

An iPhone looking at warped image of itself.

As the patent battle between Samsung and Apple continues to drag on, Apple claims that they had tried to settle out of court between July and September 2010,  before this whole hooplah started.  This is important, because it would indicate that Samsung was fully aware of the patents it was infringing upon. The court filing where Apple claims these previous negotiations reads:

On or about August 4, 2010, Apple representatives met with Samsung in Korea and showed a presentation titled 'Samsung's Use of Apple Patents in Smartphones.' This presentation emphasized Samsung's copying of the iPhone and identified two of the patents-in-suit (the '002 and '381 patents), giving Samsung actual notice of at least these patents, and many more. On or about August 26, 2010, Apple sent Samsung an electronic archive file containing claim charts further illustrating Samsung's infringement of Apple patents. A presentationdocument that accompanied these claim charts identified the '002 and '381 patents as two patents that Samsung products infringed, and it substantiated these allegations with text from the patents and photographs of Samsung devices illustrating infringing functionality. Apple later presented these slides to Samsung at a meeting in Cupertino, California on or about September 9, 2010.

The disagreements between Samsung and Apple span design to 3G,  and even the slide to unlock paradigm. Even as some of these complaints are resolved, there's no doubt that these two wireless giants will be grappling for months (if not years) to come.

It's also interesting given the comments made by Steve Jobs in his official biography, where he said he considered Android “grand theft” of iPhone ideas

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Jobs reportedly told then Google CEO and former Apple board member, Eric Schmidt:

“I don’t want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won’t want it. I’ve got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that’s all I want.”

So if Apple tried to negotiate, it likely wasn't for money but for Samsung (and other Android manufacturers) to stop using what he considered "Apple ideas". While Microsoft has been successful in getting Android manufacturers to pay them licensing fees, and they might have been amenable to working out a similar deal with Apple, simply removing functionality from their products could have been a deal-breaker.

Essentially, Microsoft seems content with merely making Android more expensive, while Apple wan't to make it less usable. Both want to make it less attractive, but Microsoft is targeting vendors,

It's hard to see the negotiations getting settled if those were the terms.

Source: The Verge

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Apple gave Samsung plenty of notice before "going thermonuclear" with patent lawsuits


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.>/Inigo Montoya>
Negotiations involve a give and take, a mutual compromise. The Verge uses the words negotiations, but it mentions only repeated presentations to convince Samsung they were infringing, not any inducements, or offers of compromise. A "you are wrong, and that's THAT" sort of attitude.
If Samsung felt they were doing nothing wrong, either because they felt they were not infringing or because they thought the patents were invalid, there was absolutely no reason for them to stop. Apple could offer inducements (i.e. you stop using these patents and we'll sign a long term deal with your display division) but there is no evidence that Apple did anything other than threaten to assert their patents.
To forestall the obvious response, YES I know that most readers here think Samsung is guilty. The point is what SAMSUNG thought at the time. If Samsung thought they could prevail, they would perceive any threats by Apple as empty saber-rattling. Apple could then choose to back off the threats and make it worth Samsung's while, or double down and take them to court. Obviously, Apple chose the latter.

Seeing as samsung manufactures a lot of apples components you would think apple would try to maintain a better relationship with them. I personally see a night and day difference between Samsung tablets and the iPhone. Both in looks and use there is no confusion.

Steve was a little off his rocker with regards to Android's "stolen" ideas. Android actually began development back in 2005 prior to the iPhone's release, and before Google was involved with it. So unless he wants to accuse his own staff of leaking info that far back, it's kinda funny. Truth is, you cant patent a rectangle with rounded corners. GM might as well patent a car with four wheels or two headlights.

True but Android looked NOTHING like the iphone. Infact it was closer to a RIM design. Once iphone caim out, Eric left the board, Google owned Android, and away they went with an interface resembling (not arguing as to degree or rights) the iphone os.

Steve had a point. I mean, they both make phone calls and have touch screens.
Wait, Apple didn't pioneer either of those ideas either.
Must admit the pull down notification window that came out in iOS4 looks mighty familiar.
It's all give and take, apple needs to let this go and move on.

Yes it's from a jailbreak app called mobilenotifier. Which apple bought and the devs still work for apple.

Gesture on the iPads are unique 4 finger swipe on screen opens multi tasking while bezels on blackberry are gestures and in now you can't expect for other OS to not use gestures no one patented that but you wanna talk about copying hp touch pad and webos products got ripped off by blackberry in interface and gestures

"Apple claims that they had tried to settle out of court between July and September 2010, before this whole hooplah started. This is important, because it would indicate that Samsung was fully aware of the patents it was infringing upon."
Or it could indicate that Samsung saw Apple's claims and tactics as SCOish or even worse, RIAAish.
We think you're violating patents, so pay us a ton of money and we won't take you to court.

I'm still confused why Apple seems to be asserting patents that are for IMO unimportant elements such as the unlock slider. One of the first things Mr. Jobs said in 2007 was that boy did they patent multi-touch stuff on the iPhone. Why are they not asserting their strongest and most important patents?
All that happens by asserting things like the unlock slider and what ever other mundane UI elements is people post in the comments how Android was really in development before the iPhone etc. No one is disputing who started developing the OS first. Apple's entire issue is they see companies using their ideas on their phones. They do not want these things to be standards or used by anyone else. Their business model is making and selling products. Microsoft's is licensing software. Google's is selling ads. Apple is simply trying to protect their business model; same as Microsoft and Google.

This is the perfect defense IF: None of iOS was copied from android. Since that's obviously not true, patent reform is far behind the curve. Things that you should not be able to patent: Rectangular device with round corners, Menus that scroll up and down, Desktops with icons on them which scroll left to right,... Am I making any sense? As far as I can tell these are the kinds of "Ideas" that Steve was fuming over. Problem is other devices already had similar ideas over 10 years previous. The only thing the iPhone did was make them finger-friendly and improve the touchscreen by using glass(although I'm pretty sure that capacitive touch was already around)...

I'm sorry I'm a iPhone user and soon to be Apple Genius Employee but in this argument I don't see how Steve could claim that Android stole from Apple, Can you hello Palm Apple ripped them off when it comes to the OS so bad its not even funny. Then let's not get into the Notification pull down why is it that they can take and add features from other OS but the second they believe that someone took something from them they want to go and I quote "THERMONUCLEAR" on someone?

This is nothing more than Samsung doing what they've done for ages and acting surprised that someone got upset. I used to work indirect years ago and I asked both our Samsung and LG reps why their phones looked identical to the others. They both said they were HQ'd almost across the street from each other and corporate espionage is normal in South Korea and since they both ripped off equally no one was upset. Well they thought they could rip off again and no one would be upset, but they messed up by picking A) a US company and B) Apple. If Apple presented them with proof of infringement, but didn't threaten, they probably just thought "Okay, neat, thanks for stopping by" like they've done for years. It wasn't until Apple started taking them to court that they finally realized this wasn't okay.