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Dutch Court Says Android 2.3 Violates Apple Patents

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the glad-that's-cleared-up dept.

Android 195

jfruhlinger writes "A Dutch court came to some interesting conclusions in the Apple-Samsung patent case raging there. The court rejected claims that Samsung stole intellectual copyrights, or that it slavishly copied Apple's iPad and iPhone. It did decide that Android 2.3 violated an Apple photo management patent — but said that Samsung could get around this simply by upgrading its phones to Android 3.0."

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195 comments

Patent, singular (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203018)

The court find that it violated one patent. It also decided that all of the other patents Apple cited were either not violated, or were likely to be invalid. Early days but it's pretty heavy stuff.

Clean everything! (-1, Troll)

UltraMand (2446018) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203032)

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Re:Patent, singular (1)

migloo (671559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203236)

A patent on a finger gesture Eh?

Re:Patent, singular (5, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203556)

Actually the court found the swipe to unlock gesture that was also under consideration 'obvious' while it held that the photo app used by Android was in violation. It's likely Android will simply update the app rather than license this from Apple. They are now getting into implementations rather than physical designs. I don't recall of the top of my head if there are any physical aspects to the Samsung lawsuits. I think those are currently going for Motorola or HTC in regards to slimline rocker switches. In any case, this was a natural extension of older physical methods being implemented in software. The next 20 years should prove interesting as more and more physical aspects of devices are implemented in software and digital realms.

For example, the swipe to unlock was lost due to a previous art that samsung submitted an image from a 1992 human interface design doc that discussed toggling 'switches' via a touch interface. This was the primary reason the judge found the patent 'obvious' and dismissed it.

I'm of two minds regarding software 'patents' when it comes to this sort of implementation. For instance, take something as simple as a music player of any type. Fully implemented in a digital medium now with only the 'box' holding the software itself doing all of the work where before with something like an 8-Track or Cassette required a full hardware implementation. I have to wonder if/when they will draw a line between the digital and physical realm for implementation.

In regards to the photo patent that Samsung lost on this one, it is yet another patent that was successfully leveraged against Android. Right or wrong, it is probably making smartphone vendors a bit nervous. There are some 50 lawsuits from various companies worldwide against Android. I'm doubtful that the Motorola purchase is going to be of much help against all of those, especially if they relate to Android rather than phone functinality.

Re:Patent, singular (0)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203778)

Anything a decent engineer can come up with when given the task to solve the problem at hand should not be patentable. Period.

Re:Patent, singular (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203866)

Samsung did loose the photo patent, but only because the gesture was *exactly* identical. I took a look at the ruling (available online [scribd.com] for those who can read Dutch). The judge basically narrowed the patent beyond what Apple claimed it covers. This is why the phone are infringing and the tablets are not, even though Apple claimed they are infringing as well. Because of the narrow interpretation it's trivial to avoid violation of the patent. So even there it's hardly a win for Apple, since it's now documented and widely published how you avoid this patent.

I also liked the reasoning for dropping the design class. Basically the judge agreed with Samsung that the similarities are functionality related, not strict design choices, e.g. you want a plate of glass wider than the screen to avoid an edge which will smudge when using the tablet, you want small bezels to maximize screen size and rounded corners because sharp corners are unpleasant and might cause wear on clothing etc. Once those things where eliminated from the model design Apple was basically left with a round button below the screen as an unique feature (on the front of the tablet) which is square on the Samsung devices. And the back of the devices isn't similar enough (by far) to violate a model registration. This is also a big loss for Apple because basically sticking a logo on the back and avoiding a round button below the screen is now officially[1] enough to make sure your tablet doesn't look like an iPad.

[1] This is ruling is only a preliminary injunction, a full case might still follow and the judges in Germany might rule differently. And of course, IANAL.

Re:Patent, singular (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203680)

Out of a dozen patents that should be either invalid or are invalid, the fact that the court recognized one as valid is still a loss, even if it is a small one. This is a victory for Apple, even if they "lost".

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/description?CC=EP&NR=2059868A2&KC=A2&FT=D&date=20090520&DB=&locale=en_EP [espacenet.com]

Just upgrade to a tablet OS... (2)

ryanmcdonough (2430374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203028)

Perfect. While you're at why not install windows xp on it to avoid patent issues.

Re:Just upgrade to a tablet OS... (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203622)

... you do realize that Apple's lawsuit was about their contention that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was a ripoff of the iPad? Putting Honeycomb on a Galaxy Tab doesn't really seem like that much of a stretch....

Re:Just upgrade to a tablet OS... (1)

ryanmcdonough (2430374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203780)

... you do realize that Apple's lawsuit was about their contention that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was a ripoff of the iPad? Putting Honeycomb on a Galaxy Tab doesn't really seem like that much of a stretch....

"but said that Samsung could get around this simply by upgrading its phones to Android 3.0" Note, not tablets.

Re:Just upgrade to a tablet OS... (1)

zebslash (1107957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203818)

Because as the court noted, their tablets are already under Android 3.0, and therefore are not affected by the patent. That's what they meant.

Re:Just upgrade to a tablet OS... (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203846)

And the grand-grand-grand-parent reminds that Android 3.0 is a tablet operating system, not designed for phones.

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Re:More Clean! Clean, Clean, Clean! (-1)

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Re:More Clean! Clean, Clean, Clean! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203410)

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Re:More Clean! Clean, Clean, Clean! (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203550)

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Re:More Clean! Clean, Clean, Clean! (1)

mdjnewman (2293194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203086)

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Re:More Clean! Clean, Clean, Clean! (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203430)

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Slightly confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203054)

I may be completely oblivious to the apparent change (which is possible since it is in the morning...) but, can someone point out what the actually change between 2.3 and 3x occurs that would void it from infringing Apples patent. It was pointed out that the 3x is used for the droid tablets but I am not entirely certain what exactly changes.

Re:Slightly confused (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203088)

I believe it uses a different gallery interface.

How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203056)

So users of 3.0 don't use "gestures on a touchscreen" for photo management ?

And how braindead is that patent ? It's a touchscreen : you don't control it by blinking at it.
Is there also a similar patent for use of "gestures on a touchscreen" for music management ? And for file management ?
Maybe a patent "use of gestures on a touchscreen" was not specific enough ?

Re:How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203068)

They don't use those particular gestures. There is more to a patent than its title, you know.

Re:How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (2)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203206)

There is less too ;) If gestures have been used once and again on touchscreens since decades ago I fail to understand how a patent about using a specific gesture for a specific task can even be considered.

Re:How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203296)

Right. I was answering the AC's question about why 3.0 doesn't infringe.

Re:How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203362)

Did anyone raise the PSM issue? Has that been decided by a court anywhere? Does it vary much by country?

I'm just thinking that in the US at least, there are strong arguments against patentability of a gesture.

Re:How many ways are there to use a touchscreen ? (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203326)

Well the patent is about pre-showing the next or previous photo when sliding the current photo to the side. That's what Samsung was guilty off.

I will never buy Apple products again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203080)

I have an iPod, I have recommended an iPod Touch to someone who would not have bought one without that recommendation. I will never buy or recommend Apple again.

Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (5, Informative)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203090)

No matter what alarmists will tell you, net result is:

        Samsung can continue to sell current Galaxy phones and must provide a trivial change to the picture gallery in the next 7 weeks.
        Samsung can continue to sell the Gaöaxy Tab.
        Apple has LOST all design and copyright related claims.
        Apple has LOST the infringement claim on one patent and the court deemed a third patent broken anyway.

http://jan.wildeboer.net/2011/08/samsung-v-apple-in-nl-happy-selling-samsung/ [wildeboer.net] [cache [googleusercontent.com] ]

Re:Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203322)

That would then be the polar opposite of NOS's reporting.

The news report [nos.nl] that they published only states that Samsung can't sell the three phones any more, although it also says that the tablet can still be sold and it also reports on Samsung's argument that the iPad's UI was stolen from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

P.S. NOS = Dutch Broadcasting Foundation. Of all the Dutch public broadcasters, it's the one mostly concerned with news.

Re:Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203382)

News reports are written for a deadline by people who know (sometimes) more than a layman in a given field and (usually much) less than an expert, often while using a standard template. They serve their purpose, but they aren't terribly accurate or reliable.

Re:Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203378)

Samsung can continue to sell current Galaxy phones and must provide a trivial change to the picture gallery in the next 7 weeks.

Yes! new android version for galaxy S II! Also, Apple lost a battle in their game of suing anyone who looks funny at them. Dutch courts FTW!

Re:Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203470)

new android version for galaxy S II!

Don't get your hopes up - they'll probably just delete the "next picture" and "previous picture" preview in the photo application.

Re:Apple lost in Dutch court, not the opposite (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203576)

It would seem safer for them to ready Android 3.x for the devices as those versions have explicitly been okayed, rather than tweak a single application whilst keeping the version that has been deemed infringing.

What it also means is that Apple can go after all Android 2.x devices to get them barred from sale, if they use the same gallery application.

All it means is that all the phone makers will be forced to provide 3.x updates for their phones - thus in the end helping the Android infrastructure move forward from 2.x.

The only issue is how ready for deployment the phone variant of Android 3.x is - I believe it is 3.2 that will have to be used, and it's probably that it won't be ready in 7 weeks time. But maybe the Android 3 gallery application can be back-ported to 2.3 initially.

Software patents in the EU?? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203098)

I am really confused now. I thought software patents weren't valid in the EU? How can this happen? Did the members of the Europarliament sneakily approve software patents anyway? Wouldn't be the first time they ignored the population. (I didn't say voters; they are not elected and the EU is not democratic)
Can someone explain how software patents became valid in the EU?

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203110)

Software patents aren't valid.

HOWEVER, if you can make your software patent sound like a normal patent you might get around it.

"Use of a computer device to display images controlled by swiping motions" (something I just made up) doesn't sound much like a software patent.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203124)

They aren't. It's not a software patent [espacenet.com] .

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203216)

I think I will try and patent turning a screw exactly four turns around. No, I'm not going to: it's as stupid as patenting specific hand gestures over a screen.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (2)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203292)

Yes it is. There are several things wrong with this patent.

1) "[0001] The disclosed embodiments relate generally to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portable devices for photo management, such as digital photographing, 5 photo editing, and emailing photos."
The Galaxy phone is a phone; not a portable device for photo management. Its main function is to call and provide PIM functionality. But this is not related to software patents.

2) "5 [0008] One aspect of the invention involves a computer-implemented method in which a portable electronic device with a touch screen: displays an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images; replaces the displayed array of thumbnail images with a user-selected photographic image upon detecting a user contact with a corresponding thumbnail image in the array, wherein the user-selected photographic image is"

The above is clearly software.

3) "programs. The one or more program are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors. The one or more programs include: instructions for displaying an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images; instructions for detecting a scrolling gesture comprising a substantially vertical movement of user contact with the touch screen display; and instructions for responding to the scrolling"

Clearly describing software.

4) "[0012] Another aspect of the invention involves a computer-program product that includes a computer readable storage medium and a computer program mechanism embedded"

Also software. The whole patent describes a software program that is used on a generic touchscreen device and describes the user interaction with photos. Flowcharts and process descriptions are given.

I tried to find where I can object to this patent, but somehow it seems this is not possible with the EPO.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203486)

They aren't. It's not a software patent [espacenet.com] .

Hmm... quacks like a duck...

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203610)

reminds me of the slightly older habit of taking an existing idea or patent and adding "...on the Internet" to it. Bam, new patent.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

pieterbos (2218218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203128)

The software patents are probably 'a device that uses specific gestures to browse through photos.'

The european parliament is democratic and has elections every five years, since 1979. Check wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . There may be lots of things wrong with it, but not that...

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203190)

The software patents are probably 'a device that uses specific gestures to browse through photos.'

The european parliament is democratic and has elections every five years, since 1979. Check wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . There may be lots of things wrong with it, but not that...

That's right, We in the UK also elect new figureheads every 5 years. But the senior civil servants remain in their posts for decades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes,_Prime_Minister

However, Wikipedia is IMHO wrong. "Yes, Prime Minister" was not a sitcom, it was a docu-drama.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203208)

All the EU parliament can really do is to delay legislation implemented by the commissioners & council of ministers, as while the EU parliament is elected, the council of ministers and the commissioners (who create the laws & policy) are appointed posts.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203130)

It amounts to a software claim in a patent for a whole device. It'll be interesting to see how the court takes the validity of that.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203146)

Weasel words. Software-implemented inventions can be patented in the EU. It's not the software that gets patented, but a device behavior which is created with software. You see, then it's a physical aspect.

The patent system is rotten to the core. Not just software patents, the entire patent system. It needs to be done away with and replaced with nothing.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203404)

The patent system is rotten to the core. Not just software patents, the entire patent system. It needs to be done away with and replaced with nothing.

Um. No. I know we tend to think patents are terrible because... well... most software patents stifle new innovation and are granted on things that we think are so obvious we could come up with them in a few minutes given the problem conditions. But even if that were true for software, it's not true, for example, in biopharm. It costs hundreds of millions, or even billions, to bring a drug to market. You either need a very good government grant system that is willing to spend money on wacky ideas too occasionally (so that you don't have the best-iron-lung-in-the-world problem), or you need patents.

You can reform patents. But if you want private industry doing product innovation, then for a lot of products, you need something like patent protection.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203530)

Private industry will do product innovation without patents. Why? Because if they did not, they would not profit. Innovation can be expensive, but when your choice is innovate or die, then you innovate. A company that can milk one innovation for many years, by keeping the competition completely out of the market or at a severe disadvantage due to licensing fees, has much less reason to keep innovating.

We tend to think that software patents are a special kind, but that's because software is "our turf". Have you ever wondered why the news always seems to be completely out of touch with the things that you're familiar with, while they always seem more competent on other topics? Well, they are not. The impression is a result of your perception being biased by your knowledge. The same is true for the patent system. It's just as broken in other fields as it is with regard to software.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203732)

> The impression is a result of your perception being biased by your knowledge.

Well, I would hope so, for all impressions that I get, although that is not one of them. =)

Software costs comparatively little to develop, with one or two major exceptions. Drugs cost a lot, with some exceptions.

Of course there will always be innovation, even with no patents, but the objective isn't just innovation, it's innovation even when a drug costs billions to bring to market. The drug will only be worth bringing to market if it can't be reverse engineered and copied quickly by competitors. This isn't software patents, where you have a thousand patents involved in your laptop. This is where you have maybe one or two key patents involved in the drug.

There are some negative side-effects even in pharm, things that do desperately need fixing--but just getting rid of patents would be a mistake.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203738)

The problem with Pharma is, that it takes about 10 years for a drug lead compound to get MDO'd, scaled up, tested, trial tested, safety tested, approved, retested, approved again, packaged, and distributed to market. You have to disclose the compound at some point early in this process, and it helps to have it patented by then already. Due to this safety bureucracy (which I completely agree with!), there is efficiently no "first movers advantage" - by the time your compound gets approved, everyone has heard of it, and replicating something is relatively easy (ESPECIALLY on medicines, which are usually low molecular weight, compared to polymers / proteins).

(I am a chemist)

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203724)

But even if that were true for software, it's not true, for example, in biopharm. It costs hundreds of millions, or even billions, to bring a drug to market.

Sure, like evergreening drug patents is an excellent way to bring drugs to the masses ...!

When big pharma spends more R&D money on evergreening than on new drug discovery (which is currently the case) then the patent system has problems. Big problems. I agree that we need pharma, and that drug design driven by pharma is vitally important as governments simply don't have the money. But the patent system as it applies to pharma is still rotten to the core.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203202)

The members of the European Parliament are directly elected by the people of the EU. It is the European institution that has the best claim to democratic legitimacy.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203854)

Yes, in part because it also uses proportional representation so is far more democratic than even national institutions like the British parliament where a party with 30% support can get effective 100% of power, and where 60% of voters votes don't even count.

For many Europeans such as those Brits stuck under the fucked up first past the post system, they actually have more of a vote in the European Parliament than they do in their national parliaments because the proportional system much more fairly recognises their vote. 1 vote in 400,000 people or whatever under a proportional system is still worth more than 1 vote in a 30,000 person safe seat under FPTP.

Calling the European Parliament undemocratic is rather amusing in the context of most Western democracies.

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203394)

They're not valid as such but.. [slashdot.org]

Re:Software patents in the EU?? (1)

EvilAlphonso (809413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203586)

I didn't say voters; they are not elected and the EU is not democratic

Not confused, clueless about the institutions. The European Parliament members are elected every 5 years by deirect election (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2009). You must mix up Parliament and Commission.

Mandatory Android 3.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203104)

Does this mean that they are required to release android 3.0 upgrades to all phones or only to new phones?

(did not rtfa)

A Victory for Consumers (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203118)

"but said that Samsung could get around this simply by upgrading its phones to Android 3.0."

Good, I've been waiting for an upgrade to 3.0.

Thank you European Court.

Re:A Victory for Consumers (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203416)

3.0 is only for tablets, so they won't update the phones to it. Next major update for phones will be Ice Cream Sandwich which isn't out yet.

Sigh... (1)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203126)

Yet another reason not to listen to people who wear wooden shoes.

Re:Sigh... (3, Interesting)

pieterbos (2218218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203138)

not to listen? They refused all claims except a rather trivial one that can be easily fixed. You should definately listen to us :)

Re:Sigh... (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203220)

Except the trivial one is a software patent.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203250)

Yes, the wooden clad ones have earned high praise in my book today.

This is about a preliminary injunction (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203172)

The judge decided only whether what Apple presented was enough to get a preliminary injunction or not. It is about stopping Samsung from selling right now or not. So this judge doesn't decide whether patents are valid or not. He decides whether he or she thinks that the patents would be found valid and infringed in a real court case. All the patents will be looked at for real at a later stage.

Re:This is about a preliminary injunction (2)

servies (301423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203214)

Incorrect: the judge in this case rejected all the other patents Apple brought in... This was not for a preliminary injunction, that case is still pending in Germany and probably will be hugely influenced by this outcome...

Re:This is about a preliminary injunction (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203252)

that case is still pending in Germany and probably will be hugely influenced by this outcome

That's possible I suppose, but it shouldn't. The case in Germany is solely about the shape of the device, not about the software.

Re:This is about a preliminary injunction (1)

Serpents (1831432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203544)

So let's hope the German case will be influenced by the fact that Apple provided doctored images comparing iPad to Galaxy tab, and iPhone to Galaxy S II as evidence

Re:This is about a preliminary injunction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203800)

That's possible I suppose, but it shouldn't. The case in Germany is solely about the shape of the device, not about the software.

This case concerns both. More detailed coverage here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14652482 [bbc.co.uk] including "However, the judge rejected several other patent issues, as well as Apple's claim that Samsung had stolen many of its design ideas."

Re:This is about a preliminary injunction (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203582)

Mod this up. The parent is right. These are expedited proceedings that only cover the question whether there is enough ground for a preliminary injunction.

IANAL, but here are some interesting snippets from the court's findings:

4.18 The court issues a preliminary judgement that the implementation used in the Galaxy S, SII and Ace is covered by EP868.
4.19 Samsung has posited that patent EP868 would be nullified by prior art WO458. However, WO458 does not in any way describe or allude to the "bounce on first move" approach covered in EP868. Therefore, EP868 is presumed valid by this court.
4.21 The GalaxyTab devices do not implement a "bounce on first move" approach. Therefore, those implementations are covered by WO458 and do not infringe on EP868.

4.35 The Samsung products are not covered by EP948 because the patent explicitly associates one "exclusive touch flag" with each view. Samsung's devices allow the association of multiple "exclusive touch flags" with each view [red: WTF?]

4.45 This court finds that there is a reasonable chance that EP022 will be found invalid in a reexamination procedure. A preliminary injunction based on this patent is therefore denied.

4.49 The court finds that there is no infringement on any Apple community designs. Contrary to Apple's assessment, only features as covered by the designs filed are eligible for protection. Physical devices based on those designs are not protected.

4.50 Assuming that CD181607 is valid, Samsung's GalaxyTab designs are unique enough to not be infringing. This is based on the observation that only the front side of the 'Tabs bear similarity, and that the front design as filed was known before the filing date [citing HP Compaq TC1000 as prior art]

4.54 regarding Apple's assertion of a "minimalist" design: minimalist implies that the design is predominantly determined by its features and ergonomics. Features such as transparent touch-surface and rounded corners are therefore not eligible for design protection, as a monopoly forces competitors to make compromise on the functionality of their designs.

4.66/4.74/4.85 from the prior items it must be concluded that the design CD748280/CD888920 and the Galaxy S/Ace will not leave the same impression on an informed user. Apple's market research findings do not sway the court to judge otherwise.

4.75 Regarding CD748694: since the design as filed does not suggest that the particular icons are ineligible for protection, the depicted icons will be considered along with their arrangement. Apple failed to supply a model in which the icons are replaced with empty squares. Also noted is that only the design as marketed by Samsung is viable for infringement. User modifications can not play a role in this process.

4.76 The Nokia 7710 predates Apple's CD748694 filing and covers much of the design: four coloured icons per row, each icon contained in a bezeled square with rounded corners, single-colour background. Black as a background colour is not eligible for protection either because that is a technical exponent (the screen itself is black, so leaving it black conserves power).

4.86 Samsung has succesfully argued that Apple's designs originate from the United States and those works do not enjoy copyright protection over there. It follows from the Bern Convention's article 2-7 that such a protection will then not be granted in The Netherlands.

My reading, all in all, is that Apple got their ass handed to them. The judge for the most part didn't even need to rule on the designs themselves.

Sigh. Trust the courts. (-1, Troll)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203188)

Typical.

Samsung gets away with copying the distinctive look of the iPhone* to an extent that most other smartphone vendors have managed to avoid.

Then they get done for infringing a stupid software patent about scrolling photos, which shouldn't even exist in Europe but has been sneaked in dressed up as a hardware patent, which could be a royal pain for anybody trying to make a smartphone.

* Forget Apple's allegedly doctored/cherry-picked images - just have a look at a random phone vendor's page [o2.co.uk] and see which ones look just like the iPhone... and blow me down, why are O2 using Apple's "fake" image of the Galaxy S: you know, the one that displaying the grid of icons instead of the Android home screen? Apart, perhaps, from the HTC HD7, all the other phones manage to incorporate the essential features of a touchscreen smartphone without looking just like an iPhone.

Re:Sigh. Trust the courts. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203260)

the photo patent is just about a certain navigation? one that isn't particularly good either.

apples design is easy to infringe because it's actually got no design.. it's the bare minimum. galaxies have more stuff(two capacitive buttons).

Re:Sigh. Trust the courts. (1)

pacinpm (631330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203438)

[...] just have a look at a random phone vendor's page and see which ones look just like the iPhone... and blow me down [...]

I would but unfortunately this page is blocked in my country and all I can see is this message:

Thanks for visiting the O2 Online Shop
 
Unfortunately, we are unable to sell to countries outside the UK.

I really can't understand this obsession with blocking. They can't possible get enough traffic from outside of UK to justify it.

Mark parent troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203526)

Typical.

Samsung gets away with copying the distinctive look of the iPhone* to an extent that most other smartphone vendors have managed to avoid.

Then they get done for infringing a stupid software patent about scrolling photos, which shouldn't even exist in Europe but has been sneaked in dressed up as a hardware patent, which could be a royal pain for anybody trying to make a smartphone.

* Forget Apple's allegedly doctored/cherry-picked images - just have a look at a random phone vendor's page [o2.co.uk] and see which ones look just like the iPhone... and blow me down, why are O2 using Apple's "fake" image of the Galaxy S: you know, the one that displaying the grid of icons instead of the Android home screen? Apart, perhaps, from the HTC HD7, all the other phones manage to incorporate the essential features of a touchscreen smartphone without looking just like an iPhone.

Am I understanding you correctly? You're bitching because the default android app picker is on the screen, instead of the home screen? Why not get bent out of shape if I show a picture of my phone playing streaming audio with the Pandora app, for the sake of being utterly retarded? Barring that, what would you suggest for a method of displaying the applications available on an electronic device, aside from using the familiar "icons" that almost any user will understand to be a small picture that starts the application when touched?

I mean, really?
For serious?

Re:Sigh. Trust the courts. (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203700)

Samsung gets away with copying the distinctive look of the iPhone* to an extent that most other smartphone vendors have managed to avoid.

Only because (shocking, I know) there is nothing distinctive enough in Apple's design. From OS News [osnews.com] :

Regarding the design related stuff - the Community Designs - of the iPad, the judge threw it all out, citing loads of prior art (like the Compaq TC1x00). In addition, the judge stated that only the front of the device shows some resemblance, while everything else is entirely different. The Kinght Ridder is also cited as relevant prior art - the judge threw out Apple's defense that the product never made it to market. To round it out, the judge also mentioned 'form-follows-function' several times. Most interesting note: the judge specifically mentions that by having such a minimalist design, the iPad basically makes itself less viable for design protection.

RT.

Re:Sigh. Trust the courts. (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203892)

Only because (shocking, I know) there is nothing distinctive enough in Apple's design.

There's plenty distinctive about the iPhone's design. Looks like the page I linked to above is blocked outside the UK, but try looking at the range of smartphones on the websites of some local vendors. There are plenty of competing smartphones that are, basically, dark colored rectangles with a large screen (as determined by function) yet still look nothing like an iPhone. There are a few, predominantly Samsung, that look remarkably like an iPhone, at least in the publicity photos.

It looks like Apple's problem is that its actual "community design" registration needed to be a bit more specific, and has come over as an attempt to "patent" a black slab.

Re:Sigh. Trust the courts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203796)

Samsung gets away with copying the distinctive look of the iPhone* to an extent that most other smartphone vendors have managed to avoid.

1. The iPhone looks NOTHING like any product of Apple's prior to it. They abandoned their unique design approach, and went with the industry standard black. I didn't think the iPhone was a Samsung, it just looks like any other generic small electronic device.

2. From the court ruling: Further, according to the court, Samsung does not "slavishly copy" Apple's iPad and iPhone.

Apple claims that they have invented black rectangles with slightly round corners. That's the crux of their "look and feel" argument. The arrangement of icons claims have been slapped down over and over by courts in multiple countries.
And I didn't notice any significant difference in the HTC version compared to the samsung one, and have seen plenty of applications including the standard Windows Explorer view of ANY folder on a computer which look just the same. If anything, Apple ripped that off from Microsoft.

So piss off, fanboi.

Confusing (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203196)

Looking at a 3.0 gallery app, and the 2.3 gallery app, they appear to do the same thing.
Wonder what the difference actually is that allows one to be ok and the other not.

Re:Confusing (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203302)

Given that patents are supposed to be about how your invention does something and not what it does, one would hope that this sort of thing happened more often.

Re:Confusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203654)

see my post here [slashdot.org] , item 4.21

A fine example of... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203262)

Software patents stifling progress. There is no honest use for software patents. They need to eliminate them if we are to actually encourage development and design.

Re:A fine example of... (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203372)

There is no honest use for software patents.

Yes there is. Some software methods do require the investment and effort which patents are supposed to temporarily protect. The problem is the duration of "temporary"; only a few years should be enough for software IMHO. And ofcourse the issue that most software patents require very little investment and effort; their implementation may take more time and money, but that's what copyright is for.

So does a math proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203842)

But you can't patent maths.

discovering a new territory takes effort and investment, but you can't patent "The American Continent".

Hell, making a shit sandwich takes effort and investment (especially if you've not had enough fibre in your diet). You can't patent it either.

There's NO REASON to allow software patents. RSA algorithm: necessary by banks to secure their internet transactions. Without that, they have to spend MORE money on couriers with cash or notifications. Therefore it would be made whether patented or not. Video compression means you can sell a small disk about 4 inches across rather than a large platter about 15 inches across, or do without medium altogether and have VOD, which are cheaper with compression than without. Therefore it would be made whether patented or not.

This is all very odd... (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203310)

Correct me if I'm wrong here - but I'm pretty sure that Android 3.0 is for tablets and not for phones.
Also why is Samsung being sued and found at fault for a software feature in an operating system that it does not own / write - its just a partner / vendor of Android - not the originator of the OS - so surely this should be a finding against Google - and not Samsung. I wonder what that dutch court is smoking...

Re:This is all very odd... (3, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203364)

Every one in the chain, including the end user, is viable for patent infringement. So it does not matter who made the software, Samsung uses the software / distributes it so Samsung can be sued in a patent court. If Apple knew that you as an end user had millions they could have sued you as well (there is a case where some end users of MS SQL got sued do the patent infringement some years ago).

Re:This is all very odd... (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203450)

Thanks for the informative reply (I'd mod you up if I could) - I hadn't realised that patent law worked quite like that. I doubt that end users can be sued - unless they can be proven to be profiting directly from their end user activities that violate the patent - also I would imagine that this interpretation of patent law probably varies per country - which is another reason why a European ban enforced by a single European country based on patent law - is unusual - as the interpretation of patent law across the EU is different in each member state.

Re:This is all very odd... (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203600)

This is not a Google-written application... it was written by Samsung, thus that's who got sued.

Re:This is all very odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203880)

Apple doesn't want Samsung's money. They want to *block* all competition by any means possible.

Re:This is all very odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203514)

schmoking the pancakesch!

Summary is quite bad. (5, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203312)

Wow, did the summary ever get this wrong. The court said that the Samsung supplied Photo Gallery application infringes on an Apple patent related to a swipe gesture to move from picture to picture that bounces back to the current picture if the swipe is not completed.

The default Android Photo Gallery application does not do this, but Samsung customized the version included on its phones with TouchWiz (hence the Nexus S does not infringe and is not part of the ban or the Tab 10.1 that uses stock Android too) to replicate this functionality of iOS.

Also, the solution is not to provide Android 3.0 for the phones, Samsung will simply remove this extra functionality from the application (either by reverting back to the stock Android application or by simply removing it from their customized app) and provide an update for the affected models, thus negating the ban.

Re:Summary is quite bad. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203542)

They've already announced that an update is on the way for the affected devices, removing the offending animation. Given that the decision's not effective for about two months I think they'll have it fixed before it even becomes an issue.

Re:Summary is quite bad. (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203696)

It's still bad that such simple idea is patentable according to the court.

Steve Jobs is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203336)

Mister Steve Jobs is dead so who cares about your 'patents' thing?

Numbered releases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203466)

Isn't it much easier to remember the difference between Android releases when using numbers? I can never remember if it's "Honeycomb" or "Gingerbread" that is the new one... And which one is is the tablet-only release again? Now I will at least know that 3.0 is the tablet-only release. It's maybe not quite as exciting, but I wish more people could stick to using numbers when talking about Android releases. (sorry for the off-topic)

1/10000 of the functionality (3, Insightful)

Pastis (145655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203578)

So one can block the sale of a device on a whole continent because it possibly infringes on a functionality that represents 1/10000 of the default functionality of the phone. My phone can call, video call, chat, do my email, take and edit videos, upload pictures to the net, scan bar codes for maintaining list of books and dvds, do anything a browser can do, play games like a console, be my alarm clock, and I can't buy it because of the way it reacts if I scroll half way my pictures in the photo editor ?

This is just wrong.

Re:1/10000 of the functionality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203668)

Yes, something is a direct copy, that something is infringing. How large the part of the functionality is, is not for a judge to decide. The decision is, that Samsung has 1,5 month to commit changes to remove this feature. Since it is small, this should be easy.

Overall win was for Samsung however, in large part, Apple does not get what it wants, this minor victory is peanuts compared to the initial charge was, and does not entail new products.

Meaningless victory (0)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203666)

As I understand it, the following are true:

1. Samsung only violated 1 of the patents brought before them.
2. They need only update the photo software in the phones they now ship, rather than the entire Android OS (which will be trivial and they've probably already done so).
3. The patent only applies in certain countries, not the whole of the EU.
4. The enforcement of the patents comes in somewhere around October.
5. I used to be open-minded about Apple. Now I just think they're a bunch of dicks.

Re:Meaningless victory (0)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203726)

Yeah, especially 5.

Using the courts to stifle a competitor is cheap.

I thought Apple prided itself on making better products, but by bringing these cases before a judge they admit they are not competing on quality anymore.

The headline should read (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203688)

Samsung Photo App violates one of Apples patents.

The sensational half truths that pass for headlines these days make me think I've wandered onto Digg by mistake

Ruling (1)

ath1901 (1570281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203798)

My dutch is very limited to sinaasappelsap but I believe this is the ruling:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/62981838/KG-11-0730-en-11-731-Apple-Samsung [scribd.com]
Maybe some dutch person can translate the it?

This is supposed to be the patent (in english):
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/description?CC=EP&NR=2059868A2&KC=A2&FT=D&date=20090520&DB=&locale=en_EP [espacenet.com]

What really bothers me is that this is clearly a software patent of the ridiculous kind (How to stroke a touch sensitive device horizontally. There must be prior art...) How could this be valid in civilized Europe? I thought we had said no to software patents (with a few exceptions) back in 2005 or such.

Excuse me? (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203858)

I thought we didn't have software patents in Europe? What's all this?
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