Samsung Stepping Up Attacks on 'Free Riding' Apple in Patent Dispute

samsung logoAssociated Press reports that Samsung is becoming more vocal about its efforts to go on the offensive against Apple in the patent dispute between the two companies, accusing Apple of "free riding" on Samsung's intellectual property with its products.

"We'll be pursuing our rights for this in a more aggressive way from now on," Lee Younghee, head of global marketing for mobile communications, said Friday in an interview.

Lee, a senior vice president at Samsung, did not say what form the South Korean company's stronger stance would take or if there would be more lawsuits. But her remarks suggest a definite change in tone. She described its previous approach as "passive."

Lee suggests that Samsung has been relatively "passive" in the dispute thus far out of respect for the fact that Apple and Samsung have a close relationship for component supplies, although Apple is reportedly looking to minimize its reliance on Samsung in that regard.

Lee said that Samsung has kept that relationship in mind amid the dispute with the Cupertino, California-based company, and has largely been pulling its punches.

"We've been quite respectful and also passive in a way" in consideration of those links, Lee said during the interview in her office at Samsung's headquarters building in southern Seoul. "However, we shouldn't be ... anymore."

It hasn't taken Samsung long to follow through on its promise to become more aggressive, as Dutch site Webwereld.nl reports [Google translation] that Samsung has filed suit against Apple in The Hague, requesting a ban on sales of Apple's 3G-enabled iOS devices in the Netherlands. The suit explicitly names the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, and original iPad, but does not limit its claims to the listed devices.

Apple argues that the patents in question are so basic to wireless telecommunications technology that they should be subject to FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) conditions that would require Samsung to license them to all competitors under fair and reasonable terms, which Apple does not believe Samsung has been offering in its discussions over the patents. FRAND conditions are applied by standards-setting organizations in certain situations to prevent companies from engaging in anti-competitive behavior by refusing to license patents that are crucial to a given industry.

Earlier this week, sources within Samsung also indicated that the company is planning to target the iPhone 5 with patent lawsuits as soon as it is introduced.

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Top Rated Comments

Popeye206 Avatar
166 months ago
Get out the popcorn... it's heating up!

Seems Samsung is trying to sound like the victim here.... seems to me everyone in this space is at fault to some degree.... Apple, HTC, Samsung... etc... What a mess.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realeric Avatar
166 months ago
Since Apple is claiming FRAND they are obviously infringing, but to what extent is for the court to decide.

Funny tho. Samsung is suing for an actual patent, Apple sued for a community design. It seems like you shouldnt throw stones in glass house unless your house is full of inside tech. Witch it isnt.

Apple might be infringing some patents since they are set as a standard which everybody must follow. There was only one way they could choose. This is the reason why FRAND rule exists.

Samsung has been infringing some patents because they just thought it looked nice and they didn't want to spend time to develop their own design. There were so many ways they could choose.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
166 months ago
If Apple is infringing - they should pay/negotiate/etc

If they aren't - then it should be dismissed.

End of story.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WhoDaKat Avatar
166 months ago
Samsung is nervous....

I think Samsung is starting to get worried. Bans all over the world seem to suggest that Apple is not "trolling" but in fact suggest that Samsung is infringing on Apples patents.

So what do you do in our beloved world when your accurately accused of doing something you shouldn't? You spin it to look like the person accusing you, is the person doing something wrong! This is just typical misdirection. Samsung must have hired a government lawyer. First they start saber rattling for the iPhone 5, which probably won't even come out this year. How do they know it infringes on anything? We don't even know that it exists? And then these basic wireless patents.. puleez.

This is all smoke and mirrors to try and distract Samsung stockholders while they 1) lose their biggest customer and 2) have to stop selling the only products that have even remotely competed with Apple. (Individual products, not the entire Android market flamers).

If I had Samsung stock, I'd be calling my broker.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
166 months ago
Patent lawsuits are a MAD scenario. Someone decided they wanted to play Thermonuclear War instead of a simple game of Chess and boom, here we are.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
166 months ago
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/20/business/worldbusiness/20samsung.html

New Bribery Allegation Roils Samsung

SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 19 — Samsung, which has vigorously denied bribery charges in a snowballing corruption scandal, sustained another blow to its image on Monday when a former legal adviser to President Roh Moo-hyun said the company had once offered him a cash bribe.

The former aide, Lee Yong-chul, who also served as a presidential monitor against corruption, said that the money — 5 million won ($5,445) — was delivered to him in January 2004 as a holiday gift from a Samsung Electronics executive, but that he immediately returned it.

Before sending it back, Mr. Lee said, he took pictures of the cash package, which were released to the news media on Monday.

“I was outraged by Samsung’s brazenness, by its attempt to bribe a presidential aide in charge of fighting corruption,” Mr. Lee said in a written statement released at a news conference by a civic organization. He did not attend the event.

James Chung, a spokesman for Samsung Electronics, said, “We are trying to find out the facts around these allegations.”

Samsung Electronics is the mainstay of the 59-subsidiary Samsung conglomerate and a world leader in computer chips, flat-panel television screens and cellphones.

Mr. Lee’s accusation appeared to support recent assertions by a former chief lawyer at Samsung, Kim Yong-chul, that the conglomerate had run a vast network that bribed officials, prosecutors, tax collectors, journalists and scholars on behalf of Samsung’s chairman, Lee Kun-hee.

Prosecutors are investigating Mr. Kim’s accusations, and political parties have introduced legislation that would establish an independent counsel.

Opposition political parties say an independent prosecutor is needed because Mr. Kim identified the president’s new chief prosecutor, Lim Chai-jin, as one of many prosecutors to have received bribes from Samsung. Mr. Lim denied the assertion.

President Roh’s office dismissed the call for an independent counsel as an election-year political maneuver. The South Korean presidential election is scheduled on Dec. 19.

As the scandal expanded, the chairman, Lee Kun-hee, was absent Monday from a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of his father, Lee Byung-chul, Samsung’s founder. Company officials cited a “serious cold and illness from fatigue.”

Lee Yong-chul, the former presidential aide, now a partner at a law firm in Seoul, issued his statement and pictures through the National Movement to Unveil Illegal Activities by Samsung and Its Chairman, an organization that was started by civic groups after Mr. Kim’s allegations were made public.

Calls to Mr. Lee’s office were not returned on Monday.

“This is proof that Samsung’s bribery has reached not only prosecutors but the very core of political power, the Blue House,” the group said at the news conference, referring to the South Korean presidential office. President Roh’s office called that assertion “pure speculation.”

Mr. Lee said the bribe he received in 2004 was delivered after an executive at Samsung Electronics asked him whether his company could send him a holiday gift. Mr. Lee said he accepted, thinking that it would be a simple gift.

He said that when he returned the money with a protest, the Samsung executive apologized. The executive said he had simply allowed his company to send the gift in his name and had not known it contained cash, Mr. Lee related.

The executive could not be reached for comment. Samsung said the man left the company in June 2004 and now lived in the United States.

Lee Yong-chul said he decided to go public after reading about the lawyer Kim Yong-chul’s whistle-blowing. He said he believed Mr. Kim’s assertion that Samsung had run a systematic bribery effort.

Samsung has denied Mr. Kim’s allegations as “groundless.” A couple of Samsung executives Mr. Kim accused of delivering bribes have sued him.

In his statement, Lee Yong-chul said the cash was delivered to him while prosecutors were investigating assertions that Samsung and other conglomerates had provided large amounts of illegal campaign funds to presidential candidates during the 2002 election, which Mr. Roh won.

Several campaign officials for Mr. Roh and his opponent, Lee Hoi-chang, as well as Samsung executives, were convicted of playing major roles in raising slush funds in that campaign.


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More recent:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1627411/former-samsung-prosecutors-expose-accuses-samsung-of-massive-corruption

Bribery, Massive Corruption at Samsung, Says Exposé by Former S. Korean Prosecutor

. . . In addition, a lawmaker said she had once been offered a golf bag full of cash from Samsung, and a former presidential aide said he had received and returned a cash gift from the company.

Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung, was convicted of hiding more than $42 million from tax collection, and received nothing more than a suspended sentence. The media decided not to mention the whistle-blowing book at all, despite it achieving remarkable sales for a non-fiction book in that country. (Not a single newspaper published a review, and the only discussion of the book mentioned its sales--but not its title or author. Yeah, you read that right. They left out the title.) Even worse, the media refused to print any op-eds or articles explaining, let alone backing, Kim Yong-chul's side, out of fear that Samsung would pull advertisements from their TV shows and newspapers.

--------------------------------------------

http://news.techeye.net/business/south-korea-makes-example-of-samsung-corruption

South Korea makes example of Samsung corruption

Samsung has been publicly forced to get its act together to stamp out corruption, with the South Korean government choosing to make an example of it.

According to a top industry consultant familiar with the company, Samsung's legal "philanderings" are no secret. While other companies are also at it, the South Korean government is keeping them safe as it looks to drive revenue and reputation to the country.

The comments come as news of shadiness inside Samsung spreads, after an inspection found that elements of the company were involved in corruption.

The findings led to CEO Oh Chang-Suk stepping down and Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of the company, claiming there would be some managerial changes.

However, he would not specify what the investigation had uncovered - only saying that it included taking bribes and enjoying hospitality from suppliers. He said the "worst type" of abuse was pressure on junior staff to commit corrupt acts.

"Corruption and fraud" at Samsung Techwin came about accidentally, and was a result of a "complacent attitude during the past decade", he told reporters

This isn't the first time Samsung has been alleged to have its hands in the till. In 2007 the company's former executives accused it of bribing police and politicians to stop probes into its management, while in 2009 the chairman, along with nine other senior executives, were indicted on tax dodging charges.

According to our analyst, speaking under condition of anonymity, these are well known facts.

"Let's be honest, Samsung's philanderings are not a secret, the company has been at it for years," he said.

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This is the sort of (criminal) organization Apple is dealing with.

Put nothing past them.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)