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Samsung Vs. Apple Tit-For-Tat Down Under

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

Patents 313

New submitter GumphMaster writes "In the latest edition of the Apple vs. Samsung patent fight, the ABC is reporting that Samsung has filed in Australian and Japanese courts seeking an injunction to halt sales of the iPhone 4S for alleged 3G patent violations. It remains to be seen whether Samsung has any better luck with the retaliatory strike in Australian and Japanese courts than it did with courts in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I expect that Samsung will fail partly because of overseas precedent, but mostly because their patents are sane, technical and narrow in scope (unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition). If this stupidity ever stops, then millions of dollars, euro, or Won that are being spent on lawyers might actually go into the innovation that patents are meant to promote. Who knows where that might lead?"

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MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (4, Interesting)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746820)

Not going to let Samsung do that, too...

Hey, buddy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746854)

So two wrongs make a right in this world? No wonder tooth paste costs me $9 a tube these days.

Re:Hey, buddy. (3, Interesting)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746886)

Well, MS wasn't 'wrong' in the 80's; Apple just wrote a poor contract that technically allowed them to use a desktop-style OS... after having paid Xerox for it in stock. MS just used shrewd business practices. IMO, they were unethical, but perfectly legal. Samsung, on the other hand, doesn't have such a contract, so I'm not sure how they're going to get away with this. I'd hate to see computing go straight from the MS dark ages to the Android dark ages.

Re:Hey, buddy. (1, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746972)

I keep hearing people claim that Apple didn't steal their desktop style design from Xerox and that they paid for it, but it never happened. Apple paid to take a look at what Xerox was doing, and was ultimately sued for stealing the look and feel from Xerox. That isn't exactly the sort of thing you'd expect if Apple had really licensed the look and feel. It did turn out to be a moot point when all was said and done because you can't copyright it, but still.

Re:Hey, buddy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747016)

Congratulations, Mr. Apple ultra-fanboi.

Seems that Xerox didn't agree with your Apple interpretation and sued Apple after Apple sued MS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_PARC#Adoption_by_Apple [wikipedia.org]

Secondly, "Desktop style OS" existed in 1984 on UNIX too. It just wasn't "popular".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Window_System [wikipedia.org]

Anyway, if one company was able to patent GUI, then the entire computer environment would be utterly and completely fucked. And today you are proclaiming that Apple "rectangular screen" is a valid patent. What's next? Patent the wheel? Just, wow.

Re:Hey, buddy. (2)

pookemon (909195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747266)

Patent the wheel?

Already been done [newscientist.com]

Re:Hey, buddy. (2)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747324)

Secondly, "Desktop style OS" existed in 1984 on UNIX too. It just wasn't "popular".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Window_System [wikipedia.org]

Far be it from me to defend an Apple fanboi, but the Apple Lisa predates this, being released in 1983. Everything, of course, stemmed from PARC, and a rather inexplicit agreement to "look" at Xerox's operations in return for Apple stock didn't give Apple IP rights to all GUIs (and thank god, too!)

"MS just used shrewd business practices" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747090)

And Apple's business practices aren't shrewd? Go away, fanboi.

Re:Hey, buddy. (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747216)

Apple just wrote a poor contract that technically allowed them to use a desktop-style OS

God forbid any company besides Apple be allowed to make a desktop-style OS.

Re:Hey, buddy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747448)

I'd hate to see computing go straight from the MS dark ages to the Android dark ages.

Probably just as much as I'd hate to see computing become a single vendor walled garden. Competition is goo.d.

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746880)

Apple stole Xerox's lunch money.

how can a person take sides in a matter between companies they don't work for? i suppose there's always Apple stock, but surely if that were the case you'd just buy up big when the press is bad and sell at launch dates?

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (2, Informative)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746914)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARC_(company)#Accomplishments [wikipedia.org]

"The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple, in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product."

I wish people would steal from me and offer pre-IPO stock...

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746928)

It was a negotiated deal. Nothing was stolen.

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (4, Informative)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746946)

Please read this article. It's not very long.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/16/110516fa_fact_gladwell [newyorker.com]

Apple asked Xerox politely if it could have its lunch money and Xerox handed it over willingly in exchange for lunch... futures.

Look, I don't know about making this a metaphor. Point is that the "Apple stole from Xerox" thing is basically a myth. It was all above board. Xerox may seriously regret giving away the idea of the century in exchange for basically nothing but that doesn't change what happened.

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746996)

If you read the article, you'd see that you're wrong. Jobs charged Xerox for the discounted shares in order to see what was going on at PARC, Xerox did not give Apple a license to use the look and feel or any of the IP. Later after Apple sued MS for stealing the look and feel, Xerox sued Apple for stealing the look and feel. Ultimately, the Xerox suit was thrown out on a technicality, but that whole business hardly sounds like an above the board deal.

Re:MS Stole Apple's Lunch Money in the 80's (3, Informative)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747116)

What the... there's nothing about lawsuits in there. It just talks about the negotiations between Xerox and Apple, and how Apple didn't just copy what they saw, but tweaked and expanded on it massively until it was a completely different product.

Xerox's claims were dismissed because the claims they made were not actual violations of law. The court also didn't uphold any of Apple's claims vs Microsoft either, other than some silly stuff about a trash can icon, so it's not like Xerox lost out because they didn't dot their 'i's while mean old Apple Legal raped and pillaged.

If Apple and Samsung are fighting it out (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746824)

Wouldn't that just open a market for knockoffs?

Re:If Apple and Samsung are fighting it out (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746956)

No. While they are both fighting each other (although Apple seems to have the better lawyers after a few salvo exchanges), be assured that should another phone enter the marketplace, these two would just as quickly turn on it in unison and then resume their own spit once the new player was out of the equation.

Whoever or whatever started it, both these companies are trying to really dig their heels in to be the ONLY smartphone company - they just happen to be each others biggest rivals at the moment.

Re:If Apple and Samsung are fighting it out (1, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747444)

I don't think that's quite true. Apple has initiated all of this and Samsung has retaliated quite reluctantly. I have been wondering why Samsung didn't launch this action months ago. Samsung doesn't seem to want to stifle competition, because they make money from phones Apple sells.

Well, it depends (4, Insightful)

dev897 (2487290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746838)

At least Apple didn't try to patent wireless data transfer [evenweb.com] .... Samsung has a patent (of course invalid) that covers pretty much all radio communications.... There is not good or bad, they all are bad, and lawyers win as usual....

Re:Well, it depends (5, Insightful)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747598)

"At least they didn't try"? Are you serious? How much money does Apple spend on such R&D please? How much Samsung, owning core 3G patents (and that worldwide, not US where you can patent basic ideas) and what not spends on it?

Apple "develops" in-house brilliant "design patents" like rectangle with rounded corners. Apple BOUGHT company that had multi-touch patent. Apple BOUGHT company that has developed Siri (former appstore app, now withdrawn)
Samsung spends money on real R&D.

Screw apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746842)

Patent the circle and the triangle.

Ipods got both of them in there.

Patent the particle too... apple uses those as well.

Bullshit Description (2)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746858)

Can we have a description that isn't plainly biased toward either Apple or Samsung with these patent lawsuit stories?

Re:Bullshit Description (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747014)

Last time I made a comment about Apple democratizing "App Store" when all the other stores were things different like "Steam", and then everyone wanting to get on the copycat bandwagon, I was deemed a troll.

So now on this topic, with courts actually agreeing on Apple's side that Samsung is actually copying Apple's designs, I'm sorry but I got other things to do with my hard-earned excellent Slashdot reputation than to lose it to fanboys who can't seem to understand the difference between a troll and an argument. So I'll stay a coward, thank you.

I would wish to have educated non biased discussions, but it will not happen. Slashdot has long chosen their camp, and it's Android, Jailbreak, design has nothing to do with it, and console ftw. I submit to you the Original iPod review: http://slashdot.org/story/01/10/23/1816257/apple-releases-ipod ... comments are ... Insightful :)

Re:Bullshit Description (2)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747608)

Name those "designs" that "courts actually agreeing on Apple's side" please.
So far we only have:
1) Duesseldorf judge agreeing that rectangular shape with round corners can be patented (unlike her Dutsch colleagues)
2) Dutch court disagreeing with most but one of Apple's claim ("obvious" / "prior art"), with a single exception in gallery view app, which is covered by updating to newer Android anyway

What are "all those courts" pretty please?

Re:Bullshit Description (3, Insightful)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747124)

Sure:

In the latest edition of the Apple vs. Samsung patent fight, the ABC is reporting that Samsung has filed in Australian and Japanese courts seeking an injunction to halt sales of the iPhone 4S for alleged 3G patent violations. It remains to be seen whether Samsung has any better luck with the retaliatory strike in Australian and Japanese courts than it did with courts in the Netherlands. I expect that Samsung will fail partly because of overseas precedent, but mostly because their patents are technical and narrow in scope.

Happier now?

For the record I do not own any Apple product, any Android based device (Samsung or other), or a mobile phone. I hold shares in neither company. Ultimately, I couldn't care less about these particular two devices, but I do care about the collateral damage to innovation caused by the patents-as-weapons mentality regardless of who is wielding it.

Re:Bullshit Description (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747272)

well said

Re:Bullshit Description (0)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747314)

I don't agree with many of Samsung design choices but I will fight to the death for their right to implement and sell them.

Not (primarily) about round-rects (5, Interesting)

Ster (556540) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746866)

... (unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition) ...

As previously stated [slashdot.org] , it's not a patent on round-rects:

I came across this yesterday and found it interesting (comparisons of what Samsung's tablets looked like before and after the iPad came out):

It seems like it's not quite as silly as it's usually been presented. (Don't get me wrong, I do think it's silly.)

-Ster

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (3, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747028)

It's not just that. It's also shit like this [samsung.com] .

That came from this/ screen cap. [flickr.com]

It's absurd.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747172)

Just a stupid mockup picture. I mean it is Google Maps and that is an obvious way to do it. As for actual look and feel, the Google Maps app on the samsung does actually look a lot different than the one on the iPhone. And it's not even made by samsung so I don't see why it would apply here anyway.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747274)

They couldn't even get screen caps from their own product!

It's on samsung's site! What the hell?

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747042)

Interesting comparisons. Just from the first link (hardware design [peanutbuttereggdirt.com] ), it looks like there's a better case that Samsung is copying Apple on phones than it is on tablets. (Incidentally, the iPad trademark matches the earlier Samsung picture frame [blogcdn.com] on every single point, which is even closer than the match between the iPhone and the Galaxy S.)

As far as interface icons are concerned, I'm not sure what the law says, but from a practical point of view I think it's best to encourage companies to imitate each others' interfaces whenever possible: it makes it easier for consumers to switch from using one to another.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747300)

Too right. Can you imagine if cars all had to have a different look and feel. No you can't put your accelerator there that's where ford put it, and all the other floor locations are taken so you have to put a hand accelerator on the roof.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (3, Informative)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747066)

Yes, we already know that it's not just "round rectangles." Even Gumph.

What he said was "[...] the patent-a-rectangle nature [...]," emphasis mine.

Even taken all together, Apple's design patent could be used to take practically all smartphones off the market, and certain aspects have been common in computers and phones for over a decade. The "patent-a-rectangle" part is just highlighting one obviously silly piece of a silly patent.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747076)

As previously stated [slashdot.org] , it's not a patent on round-rects:

From the link you provided, the only relevant difference between the Samsung Q1 UMPC (released 3 years before the iPad) and the Galaxy Tab (released 7 months later) is the rounding of the corners. (See your first link [peanutbuttereggdirt.com] , at the bottom right: there are two green ticks next to the Galaxy Tab which correspond to yellow dashes next to the Q1 UMPC, and both of them refer to the curved corners.)

So yes, this is about a patent on rounded rectangles: or at least, that's what the evidence you quoted implies.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747118)

They're claiming that stuff as trademarks? Wow, that's even worse than rounded rectangles.

The purpose of a trademark is designation of origin. It isn't supposed to be a user interface patent, or a method to lock in users by preventing competitors from creating a product that customers familiar with the trademark holder's product will have an easier time learning to use.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747132)

I like how they have an angled picture of the Q1 so you cant see that other then having more buttons, it is basically the same rounded corner rectangle as the iPad. Its just a different aspect ratio and is used in landscape mode primarily. Sound familiar?

Regardless of if Samsung did "copy" Apple, the idea that Apple should own a shape should be fought. Especially when that shape is the only practical one for tablets (and always has been).

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747308)

No, the Q1 is not basically the same rounded corner rectangle. It's design is far more different from the Galazy Tab than the Galaxy Tab is from the iPad. Notice:

  1. The Q1's corners have a very small circumference rounding -- much smaller than the Galaxy or iPad.
  2. The long edges of the Q1's rectangle also have a taper (extremely large circumference rounding) that neither the Galaxy or iPad have.
  3. The Q1's shorter edges of the rectangle have a front-to-back rounding that is completely missing from both the Galaxy and the iPad.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (3, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747168)

Trouble is, even looking at that list, when you see;
https://plus.google.com/u/0/100241261662852079434/posts/En6cqNeQqDJ [google.com]
on shows aired in 2003, that were rectangular glass fronted, rounded edges portable machines, it all appears obvious that Apple haven't really invented much, just taken what's out there and put polish on it. The move to better screens, everyone was leaving resistive behind.
Why do people link to just some of Samsung's designs with dates and skips things like;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JooJoo [wikipedia.org]
that was released March 2010 and shown before the iPad was even publically admitted to exist.

You can look at Apple's kit and say 'yeah, they look great, but truly innovative? or just another design style that the industry was moving to anyway, for some things, Apple got there first, for some things, they got there late, but still claimed they invented it.

I think that's what winds most people up about this, we've got devices on our desks that are claimed to be infringing that are obviously not, or other devices that came out before the ipad/phone but did all the same stuff.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747332)

That comparison is somewhat useful, but it doesn't tell the whole story. As it stands, it looks somewhat biased by omission. What did other manufacturers icons/design look like before the iphone was released? What did Samsung's other phones look like prior to the release of the iPhone? (Don't need to show all of them for each patent, just the closest to the iphone design.)

Examples:
Samsung: (colour scheme) J200, P310,
LG: Prada's design, four icons at the bottom of the screen, and the Prada's "phone" icon. (You'll note that Apple haven't sued LG over "their" design)
Motorola: A1000 (Grid of icons)
Nokia 7710 (see grid, icons)

While it is interesting to show two Samsung models before and after the iphone, it doesn't capture all relevant information.

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747408)

Yeah! It's about patenting primary colours, number of icons, and a rectangular box!

How dare Samsung violate Apple's innovative patents about box shape!

Re:Not (primarily) about round-rects (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747496)

I came across this yesterday and found it interesting (comparisons of what Samsung's tablets looked like before and after the iPad came out)

The problem is that these troll pages pretend that there was only ever Apple and Samsung designing phones and tablets. That wasn't the case.

If I wanted to play the same game, I'd say that the iPad is itself designed from the rounded-rectangle tablet PCs that came before it, like this [wikipedia.org] and the iPhone from the PDAs that came before it, like this [typepad.com] .

A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746892)

> "unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition"

This is Apple's cross to bear, designing and then popularising products of such elegance and simplicity that after they're released, the design appears bleeding obvious. An ex post facto judgment that this is what tablets always were, always should have been, and everybody knows that duh.

Except nobody bar a few design students with incredible vision (but without the support of large companies) knew it at all. If it was obvious then early 1990s tablet PCs would have soon had the same design.

If it wasn't for Apple's iPad and iPhone, Samsung's tablets and phones would look like this [askdavetaylor.com] and this [mobilegazette.com] .

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (3, Insightful)

sensationull (889870) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746918)

> Except nobody bar a few design students with incredible vision (but without the support of large companies) knew it at all. If it was obvious then early 1990s tablet PCs would have soon had the same design.

Oh you mean like the PADDs in STNG or the ones in all sorts of other SciFi since the 80s. They are the ones with the vision, the SciFi writers, producers and set designers. Apple just managed implementation.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1)

Fascist (80604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747034)

Well said

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747100)

The PADDs had larger bezels and buttons on the front. The iPad trademark (and the infringing Samsung products) do not.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (2)

scsirob (246572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747534)

What on earth is the value of a smaller or larger bezel? When is it no longer an infringement? When it is 1mm wider? 3mm? 60cm? Fact of the matter is that a square without buttons is not unique nor new. My Navigon GPS has no buttons, it's square, has a touch screen and existed before the iPad. It can run multiple programs (picture viewer, handsfree kit and moving map navigation).

Claiming rights on a rectangle is stupid.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747568)

Fact of the matter is that a square without buttons is not unique nor new. My Navigon GPS has no buttons, it's square, has a touch screen and existed before the iPad.

Just like paper maps ;-)

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746938)

If you want a better example of pre and post iPad tablet design, see Are android tablets ripping off iPad? [peanutbuttereggdirt.com]

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747170)

Archos 9 [slashgear.com] , the year before the first iPad.

If you want I can remake that web page you linked and put it where the iPad is and put the iPad at the bottom. Or are you finished trolling?

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (2)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747526)

I like that trick of having all the "pre" iPad stuff oriented one way, then having the iPad and everything following oriented another, in the hope that people don't notice that most tablets don't use the iPad aspect ratio. Any time people resort to trickery, it means they know their main point is questionable.

Also, tying into a comment I made above: what if you had all vehicles "pre" Model T and "post" Model T? How do you think that would look? Why do you think that is?

I didn't used to disdain Apple products until I started noticing that exposure to them really does seem to erode critical thinking skills.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747006)

If it was obvious then early 1990s tablet PCs would have soon had the same design.

No it's because the technology clearly wasn't there yet since there were many tablet designs that the ipad appears to have been copied from in scifi movies well before it came along, but you'll ignore that because you want to believe the design was invented by Apple and no-one had ever thought of such a thing before.

If it wasn't for Apple's iPad and iPhone, Samsung's tablets and phones would look like this [askdavetaylor.com] and this [mobilegazette.com] .

You mean just like how if Stanley Kubrick hadn't come along Apple's iPad and iPhone would look like the Newton, but of course it's ok for Apple to copy others, but not ok for others to copy Apple.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747420)

but you'll ignore that because you want to believe the design was invented by Apple and no-one had ever thought of such a thing before.

Here's the thing.

The technology was there when Apple did it. Apple did do it.

Other manufacturers didn't do it when Apple did it, when the technology was clearly there.

AFTER Apple did it, everybody did it.

As usual.

This is like the un-knowledgeable git perusing an art museum and looking at a piece they don't understand with a $100k sticker and SOLD written next to it, and turning up their nose going "I could have done that"

but you didn't

That's what you don't get.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747614)

And what you don't get is that "form follows function". All tablet designers were headed in that direction:

eg.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/03/samsungpictureframe.jpg [blogcdn.com]

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:Tablet.jpg [wikimedia.org]

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747512)

Yeah, just like the brilliant design students who decided to make computers smaller than a battleship, right? I mean, it seems obvious now that desktop computers should be smaller, thinner, and lighter, but we never would have guessed if it weren't for the first people who happened to do it after it was technically feasible. Pardon me while I roll my eyes.

Re:A clean uncluttered rectangle wasn't that obvio (3, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747516)

If it wasn't for Apple's iPad and iPhone, Samsung's tablets and phones would look like this [askdavetaylor.com] and this [mobilegazette.com].

Either that or... form follows function. Capacitive screens and more robust OSs have killed the need for buttons. This limits the design space available. A modern tablet (with or without Apple) would eventually have turned into a nothing but a face and a screen. All of those buttons on your cherry-picked photos are completely superfluous thanks to better technology (which Apple didn't invent). The only choice is the size of the screen, the color of the flat space around it, and whether to round your corners or not. Black is a normal color for these things, as well. Go to your local electronics store and see what the popular color for all gadgets currently is... You'll be shocked to learn that its black. Further... icons in a grid... really? I've have icons in a grid long before anyone even thought of smart phones. I've have hand-held devices (back when they were called PDAs) with icons in a grid. Actually a grid is the most sensible way of arranging small squares... Go figure.

I don't have a horse in this race. Both Apple and Samsung are behaving badly. But at least Samsung actually is using patents that DO something, which isn't nearly as dangerous as the shit Apple is pulling.

This is true, since there existed flat objects with rounded corners, and a centered touch sensitive screen before the iPad, or iPhone.

Unless the argument is that Samsung should have been forced to stick superfluous buttons on their modern devices, since obviously Apple is special.

Further, icons in a grid

Not-quite-objective summary (-1, Troll)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746902)

(unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition)

Ah, Slashdot... as professional as ever!

Apple's patent doesn't cover just a "rectangle". Apple has design patents and trademarks covering the overall look of the device, including the rounded corners, glossy panel, and size of the bezel. As a trademark, people should be able to look at an iPad and say "Oh, that's an iPad!" without seeing the logo. Upon a cursory review, Samsung's product looks very similar to an iPad, to the point of diminishing the uniqueness of the trademarked design. Samsung certainly appears to be aiming to cash in on the elitist market by offering a similar-looking product at a lower price. It's the computer equivalent of a Canal Street counterfeit Rolex watch. A non-infringing product would be one with a screen extending all the way to the edge of the device, or one with more decoration on the front, or any of myriad other alterations to the basic "rectangle" pattern.

Samsung's patents are technical in nature because they're for technology, not design.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (0)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746984)

I have to admit, I keep getting fooled at Best Buy.

I took a walk down their tablet aisle. I can easily tell the Android tablets from each other, but the damn Galaxy Tab and the iPad confuse me constantly.

One thing I noticed yesterday while looking was how Acer, Asus, Toshiba, etc. went and differentiated themselves from the iPad. The Toshiba has a little silvery spot by the camera on front. The Acers and Asus have token trim pieces that break up the glass-to-metal-rim look of the iPad. The Sony's a wedge but has that nice rounded corner on top. All very easily Not-An-iPad looking thing. Heck, the closest I could come to iPad would be a PlayBook, but it's 7" screen makes it so small it's easy to tell.

Hell, those 7" tablets all look very similar to me - I'm surprised Samsung doesn't go after Acer and RIM for their 7" tablets - they really look similar.

It also didn't help that the iPads were in landscape mode.

Samsung: Make your tablet distinct. Add some trim pieces like Acer/Asus/Toshiba/Sony did, or add a nice little stripe around the bezel or something. Hell, do the popular thing and make the frame customizable and sell various colored and patterned bezels! (Pink is a popular color amongst the fairer sex, hint hint. Pink gadgets SELL)

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747292)

Samsung: Make your tablet distinct. Add some trim pieces like Acer/Asus/Toshiba/Sony did, or add a nice little stripe around the bezel or something. Hell, do the popular thing and make the frame customizable and sell various colored and patterned bezels! (Pink is a popular color amongst the fairer sex, hint hint. Pink gadgets SELL)

You mean trim pieces like the blatantly obvious "Samsung" trademark logo emblazoned on the screen side of the device? ... or did I miss some sarcasm?

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747008)

You do realize that the iPad's shape is hardly unique, I mean for god's sake there's one in 2001 a movie that predate's the iPad by literally decades.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747062)

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747192)

Go to Hulu, look up John Doe, episode The Rising, 20 seconds in. Play it for 20 seconds and note all those iPads.
In 2003.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747494)

That's the closest to prior art yet, but still not quite there. I don't see any iPads. I see small computers that are about an inch thick, with a stylus interface. It's clearly not an iPad, even from the brief shots we can see. If I were walking down the street and passed someone using one, I wouldn't think it was an iPad. The differences are obvious.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747262)

Yes, exactly, we all know it's ok for Apple because they had 9 less buttons on the bottom whereas Samsung does not so, by the law of button count infringement, that means Apple doesn't infringe on the 2001 device but Samsung infringes on Apple's device.

Apple has a symmetric bezel as opposed to an asymmetric bezel and because of the well-known bezel symmetry vs beveled edge inequality it means that technically Apple's bezel is different to that of the device show in 2001 but the beveled edges (show here [expansys.com] ) are exactly identical.

And lastly with the profile, we come to another law of inequality regarding profile and aspect ratio, profiles differ but 4:3 is exactly equal to 16:9 and thus the latter does not constitute a difference.

Also sorry Samsung but the fact that your corner radius is different won't save you either, we can come up with a way to oppose that one if you choose to use it as a defense so don't bother.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747462)

Yes, exactly, we all know it's ok for Apple because they had 9 less buttons on the bottom whereas Samsung does not so, by the law of button count infringement, that means Apple doesn't infringe on the 2001 device but Samsung infringes on Apple's device.

The many buttons (or lack thereof) are an immediately-evident detail that shows we're not looking at a genuine iPad in 2001. When I searched on Google (for "2001 ipad" I think) to eventually find that page, I noticed small dots at the bottom of the 2001 tablet. That difference was evident in a thumbnail of a scene shot from a perspective of being 3 meters high overhead. That's a very obvious detail, and it contributes greatly to having an overall different appearance.

Apple has a symmetric bezel as opposed to an asymmetric bezel and because of the well-known bezel symmetry vs beveled edge inequality

The bezel is the frame around the screen. On the 2001 device, there's a thin bezel going around three sides of the screen, and a large bezel at the bottom to hold the buttons. The iPad has a roughly half-inch bezel around all four sides. The Galaxy Tab has a roughly half-inch bezel around all four sides.

it means that technically Apple's bezel is different to that of the device show[n] in 2001

Yes, exactly. Apple's bezel is different, because it's not the same.

but the beveled edges (show[n] here [expansys.com] ) are exactly identical.

Not exactly identical, but that's not really an issue. The bevel (meaning the smoothing of the edge, which is unrelated to the bezel being the frame around the screen) is a subtle enough detail that even a major change (like having no bevel at all) wouldn't do much to distinguish a Galaxy Tab from an iPad. At a glance, they look the same. Also note that the bevel can only really be seen in profile...

And lastly with the profile, we come to another law of inequality regarding profile and aspect ratio, profiles differ but 4:3 is exactly equal to 16:9 and thus the latter does not constitute a difference.

That's not what profile [google.com] means. It means "outline as seen from the side", and again the 2001 design is significantly different from the iPad. Not only do the buttons appear to be raised from the surface, but the bezel with the buttons looks slanted upwards at the bottom. When viewed from the side, the 2001 tablet would have a distinctly different appearance from the iPad. The Galaxy Tab appears to be the same thickness as the iPad, with the same perfectly-flat design.

Also sorry Samsung but the fact that your corner radius is different won't save you either, we can come up with a way to oppose that one if you choose to use it as a defense so don't bother.

That's another ridiculously subtle difference that would only be apparent in a side-by-side comparison.

All together, there are enough similarities in the design and few enough differences that from a distance, it's unreasonable to expect people to see the difference between an iPad and a Galaxy Tab. Conversely, there are enough differences that an iPad is clearly not copying any design from 2001. No, this is not an absolute definition, and there are no fixed rules on what makes something different enough to not infringe on a trademark.

For a simple test of whether something is likely to infringe on another product's design, try this test: Write down a verbose description of the design, using as few actual measurements as possible. For the iPad, this would be something like "A rectangular platform with a glossy front surface. The front has a touch screen surrounded by a bezel roughly half an inch wide. There is a single concave button on a short side of the bezel with a picture of a house on it. The reverse is nondescript, with few markings except an Apple logo. In profile, the device has an overall flat appearance and curved edges, and is roughly a quarter of an inch thick." Now write one for the Galaxy Tab, and the 2001 tablet. Compare all three. If two descriptions are mostly the same (in meaning), the products are likely indistinguishable.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747536)

It says "Samsung" on the front of it. Your turn.

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (1)

jkflying (2190798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747620)

And lastly with the profile, we come to another law of inequality regarding profile and aspect ratio, profiles differ but 4:3 is exactly equal to 16:9 and thus the latter does not constitute a difference.

Please, please, please check your math.

4:3 --> 1.33333:1
16:9 --> 1.7777:1

And the whole thing about patents is that if there is prior art, they are invalid. It doesn't matter if Samsung produces an identical copy, if there is any example of symmetrically bevelled edges anywhere before, it is invalid as a patent. If there is an example of anything with an equal corner radius, that one is also invalid. You can't patent a new combination of old things. Or at least *technically* you can't. If you know somebody in the patent office OTOH....

Re:Not-quite-objective summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747258)

(unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition)

Ah, Slashdot... as professional as ever!

Apple's patent doesn't cover just a "rectangle". Apple has design patents and trademarks covering the overall look of the device, including the rounded corners, glossy panel, and size of the bezel. As a trademark, people should be able to look at an iPad and say "Oh, that's an iPad!" without seeing the logo. Upon a cursory review, Samsung's product looks very similar to an iPad, to the point of diminishing the uniqueness of the trademarked design. Samsung certainly appears to be aiming to cash in on the elitist market by offering a similar-looking product at a lower price. It's the computer equivalent of a Canal Street counterfeit Rolex watch. A non-infringing product would be one with a screen extending all the way to the edge of the device, or one with more decoration on the front, or any of myriad other alterations to the basic "rectangle" pattern.

Samsung's patents are technical in nature because they're for technology, not design.

While I do think Samsung's tablet does look a lot like an iPad, the majority of the features included in the actual design patent are really generic.
A glossy screen?

So, pretty much any modern phone/tablet screen fits that definition.

The size of the bezel?

Everyone pretty much wants to use the same size bezel because of the cost of screens and the size of the human hand when holding it. It's like trying to patent the basic dimensions of a hammer. Obviously, if you are going to make a hammer, and you alter the relative dimensions a lot, you just end up with a less functional hammer, not a less distinctive one.

In terms of designing it so that everyone who sees it should recognize it... Well, if you look at the pictures in the actual design patent they are using in that case, you will not recognize it as an iPad at all. It looks nothing like an iPad. It doesn't even have the single button on the bottom. The only thing that vaguely distinguishes it is that it is a rounded rectangle.

The design of an iPad is pretty generic looking anyway. It isn't like an iMac, that has a really distinctive design. When I glance at a tablet, the only thing that let's me guess it might be an iPad is the icon on the button at the bottom of it. But, they didn't bother to patent that.

 

So I guess we've picked a side then (3, Insightful)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746968)

I'm so glad to see Slashdot his picked a side in this patent battle. I guess we'll just safely assume that Samsung only tried to submarine the entire 3G standard in retaliation of Apple's legal moves and would have never pulled that shit with less than noble intentions. I guess whenever Apple gets mad because one of their biggest business partners is aping their design cues and ripping off their trade dress, that they are trying to patent rectangles and smother innovation.

Got it.

Illiterate troll? (3, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746988)

Maybe if you actually read the patent and had some imagination you'd realize that there are different ways of doing things.

Apple's design process: let's do lots of research as to what works and doesn't, both in software and hardware.
Samsung's design process: let's copy Apple's.

Can Samsung's UX team point out exactly how they designed all of Samsung's hardware and software? Why do their icons look that way? Why have the sheen/gloss instead of a flat look? Why not make the icons circular vignettes instead of rounded squares? Why taper the back of your device just so?

They can't, because their work is basically Apple's work.

Samsung's UX and R&D team are sitting in Cupertino inside 1 Infinite Loop. Their secondary teams are in a Samsung facility sitting around and changing some little things here and there.

Have you ever seen any interviews with their design and UX teams? No. That's because they don't exist.

Have you ever heard the name of their head UI person? You'd think that, given the success of the Samsung tablet, that the person would be giving interviews left and right. Anyone? Anyone?

Here's an analogy that even a closed-minded geek can understand. You have a Wii, XBox 360, and a PS3. Which one of them looks like the other? They all have an optical drive and a bunch of A/V output ports. Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

khchung (462899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747074)

Where are mod points when you need them??

The console analogy nailed it right on the head.

The 2G phone models is another similar case. We have so many different models of 2G phones, all are basically rectangularish with a button pad and a display, with earpiece and mic at both ends. Yet when you take a phone each from two manufacturers, you can distinguish the two most of the time, as all of them are trying to make phones that are distinct from other manufacturers.

Another example would be cars (automobiles for your Americans). All are basically a rectangular block on top of 4 wheels, with 2 or 4 doors. Yet you would have no problem identifying one zooming past you in a second or two.

To claim that the iPad design is somehow obvious, you have to totally ignore all the various tablet designs that came before it, but didn't sell as well.

Re:Illiterate troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747316)

Where are mod points when you need them??

The console analogy nailed it right on the head.

The 2G phone models is another similar case. We have so many different models of 2G phones, all are basically rectangularish with a button pad and a display, with earpiece and mic at both ends. Yet when you take a phone each from two manufacturers, you can distinguish the two most of the time, as all of them are trying to make phones that are distinct from other manufacturers.

Another example would be cars (automobiles for your Americans). All are basically a rectangular block on top of 4 wheels, with 2 or 4 doors. Yet you would have no problem identifying one zooming past you in a second or two.

To claim that the iPad design is somehow obvious, you have to totally ignore all the various tablet designs that came before it, but didn't sell as well.

The issue isn't whether or not Samsung's tablet is distinctive from the iPad. It looks pretty similar. This issue is that Apple's design patent is really vague. In terms of the analogy of cars (that is cars for Americans, btw), Apple's patent would be on having a rectangular block on top of 4 wheels with no mention of doors at all. The special design features they would claim in the patent are that it will have clear coat over the paint, and that the overall dimensions of the engine compartment will be roughly the size needed to contain the hardware. Their drawing in the patent wouldn't have any doors, but they would have eventually designed it with a very distinctive door on the roof of the car. Their competitor would have also put a door there. And even though their patent was meaningless, placing a door there would make it seem too similar to most people.

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747492)

The console analogy nailed it right on the head.

Makes me wonder what history would look like if the "look and feel" of nails, bricks, rope, tiles, etc, were patented.

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747110)

Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

What would be the net result even if you could? At a glance you could quite easily mistake the AppleTV for a Western Digital Elements, doesn't really have any impact though. I bought a macbook air because of what it functionally is (running OSX), if samsung came out with an notebook that looked the same that wouldn't have changed my mind. Same with the ipad, i bought it because that's what i wanted - i don't particularly like the iphone but i wanted iOS apps - and a galaxy tablet would not have worked.

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747276)

Oh crap - I just bought a Samsung instead of an Apple.

Now I'm going hungry...

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747222)

Lots of people cannot tell one car from another. Does that mean one infringes on the design of another? Certainly not now. Maybe at one point in time a company designed the current pedal system (clutch, break, accelerator), and the standard PRNDL indicator for an automatic transmission. Should that have been protected? I dunno.

Personally I love my Galaxy S. But I don't care that it looks vaguely similar to an iphone (very few people think it's an iphone when I pull it out... the iPhone is very blocky compared to the galaxy S). As long as it was comfortable to hold to my ear (unlike some HTC phones that bite into you), I could care less about the color and exact shape. Despite me thinking that Apple's patent is ridiculous, it does seem like Samsung could get out of this easily if they wanted to and it would still be a great phone.

Re:Illiterate troll? (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747368)

Maybe at one point in time a company designed the current pedal system (clutch, break, accelerator),

Top Gear did a program on this. The earliest car they could find with what is now the standard layout of controls was (IIRC) a Cadillac.

Re:Illiterate troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747290)

Here's an analogy that even a closed-minded geek can understand. You have a Wii, XBox 360, and a PS3. Which one of them looks like the other? They all have an optical drive and a bunch of A/V output ports. Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

Your comment needs to have the shit modded out of it, and upwards. This, this times a thousand.

Re:Illiterate troll? (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747296)

The console analogy is a horribly flawed one. the look of a console apart from size has little to no effect on its use or function, The size and shape of a phone or tablet directly affect their functionality and use, tablets and phones have changed very little asthetically in the last 5 to 10 years, they are still the same basic shape and size they were long before samsung and apple came up with their designs. disgusted though I am to suggest it, a better analogy would be cars where the size and shape also affect its function and many people also struggle with telling car brands apart.

TRADEMARKS AREN'T PATENTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747302)

Thank you America, and your corrupt politicians and incompetent bureaucrats for destroying the distinction between a TRADEMARK and a PATENT.

Many of Apple's 'patents' are simply trademarks... 'Oh, it looks like an iPad' DOES NOT MEAN A VALID PATENT HAS BEEN INFRINGED.

Look and feel, before american corruption, were trademarks. There are enforcement mechanisms for trademarks, but the proof is inconvenient (ie no court is ever likely to find that a reasonable consumer would buy the Samsung product, thinking it was actually an apple...")

Do you see patent fights over the rectangleness of TVs? Last I looked every new LCD TV is nearly identical.

Apple shouldn't have been granted these patents in the first place....

Re:Illiterate troll? (5, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747336)

Can Samsung's UX team point out exactly how they designed all of Samsung's hardware and software? Why do their icons look that way? Why have the sheen/gloss instead of a flat look?

I don't know about the icons, but most laptops these days are glossy because that's what people tend to buy. This isn't something that started with tablets.

Why not make the icons circular vignettes instead of rounded squares?

Because a square shape is much more practical. It gives you more space to work with to come up with a descriptive picture. It's kind of like these things called "icons" some of us have had for decades on our computers. I've seen plenty of rounded icons on non-Apple devices long before the iPad.

Why taper the back of your device just so?

Ok, may have been copied. But it's a stupid thing to block a product over.

Have you ever heard the name of their head UI person? You'd think that, given the success of the Samsung tablet, that the person would be giving interviews left and right. Anyone? Anyone?

I can't name the head UI person of really any company ever. Most companies don't have celebrity designers.

Here's an analogy that even a closed-minded geek can understand. You have a Wii, XBox 360, and a PS3. Which one of them looks like the other? They all have an optical drive and a bunch of A/V output ports. Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

Those devices aren't trying to pack relatively standardized parts into the lightest and smallest packages they can. They don't have to support a flat display on the front or fit nicely in your hands. I have some ear buds that look a lot like some old ear buds I had from a previous brand. Should those companies sue each other because there's a limited number of practical ways to make a device fit in the ear?

I don't know why I'm even responding to an obvious Apple fanboy but that post being modded insightful is absurd.

Re:Illiterate troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747350)

Cool. Now why doesn't Apple go and invent their own 3G access technology.

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747398)

You have a Wii, XBox 360, and a PS3...Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

Of course the answer to this question is no, but unfortunately that's the wrong question, because the range of designs that can effectively serve as an appliance that sits near the tv and plays video games is much broader than the range of designs that fits in your hand and plays games or surfs the web.

Now the real question: You have an XBox 360 controller [newegg.com] , a PS3 controller [google.com] and a Logitech F310 controller [newegg.com] . Could you, at a glance, mistake one for another?

The human hand, unlike a common tv stand, can accommodate and effectively interact with only so much variation in a functional product. In a world without iDevices would Samsung have designed a device with square corners, despite the fact that these are obviously less comfortable to hold and more likely to scratch a person or be damaged during normal use? Would they have opted for a thicker bezel and smaller screen?

I have no idea to what extent one design team may have copied another, and thank heaven I'm not an IP lawyer or judge, but to say flat out that B must have copied A simply because B has features in common with A is a bit of a leap when not supported by facts, and a kind-of-related-but-not-really comparison of some other tech is not a substitute in the absence thereof.

Re:Illiterate troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747446)

Uh, wow. Apple rarely does any actual research. It used to not be that way, but it is now. Their usability is "a designer" who "designs" it now, and they market "pretty" as "usability."

Which is why it sometimes is great and sometimes is terrible. I know, I worked there on several products. This is also why QA can often become a problem for them once the software becomes too complex. There is no real standardized testing to speak of, but most of their software is simple enough with a limited base that only a few hit the edges and get a bomb.

You really, really are inventing the reality you want to be instead of knowing what is there.

Re:Illiterate troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747500)

You are biased against non-English speaking countries, and non-cultlike following of brands. Just because you haven't head an interview doesn't mean one does not exist. Besides, the design and UX of the N900 is absolutely brilliant, yet you do not find interviews floating around. Apple achieved mastery of hype and personality worship, so it follows that every product gets dissected every other way. As for your console analogy, it's really not convincing. Console companies can make them look like spaceships, and it wouldn't affect usability. For a tablet, I don't see any other possible design. And because it's 2011, nobody expects buttons to have sharp corners or be round! It's the same on KDE or Gnome and has been for a while. By your logic, my Palm from 2004 would be infringing on Apple's yet-to-be-seen trademark.

Re:Illiterate troll? (1)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747630)

I can't believe this post full of FUD was marked "insightfull"

Apple ldoes "lots of research as to what works and doesn't both in software and hardware"? Oh, seriously? And this claim is based on what, may I ask? How did "don't hold is that way" phone made it into prod, with company that is focused on anything but shiny design?

Icons on Samsung's Android phones look quite different from Apple's. In fact most of them are NOT rounded squares.

I haven't seen interviews with design and UX teams of most companies in this world. That surely proves they dont' exist. / /facepalm

Consoles do look different. But you can't easily tell who's manufactured particular DSLR.
Pretty much any product that is pushing into minimalist direct looks similar, TVs or Monitoris for instance.

In fact there are MANY things in this world, that look alike. And it is more than obvious, that when all you have is small border with big screen, things WILL look similar:

Samsung's Galaxy Tab, if anything, looks like Motorola Xoom, not iPad:
http://www.gadgetcage.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/ipad2-vs-xoom-vs-galaxy-tab.jpg [gadgetcage.com]

Lenovo's new 7" tablet can be easily mistaken for Samsung's 7" offering.

Stop the copying, Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746990)

Samsung merely needs to stop their sick copying of Apple... and license its technology to Apple under FRAND terms.

Copying is okay, to an extent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747004)

OK, I like copying. Copying means you get to stand on the shoulders of giants, or whatever other platitude you might like to sum up progression of ideas.

Copy the iPad and improve its design? Oh by all means, please; that gives us better products and also drags Apple forwards too. Everybody wins!

What Samsung has done (and I say this as an ex 2007 iPhone used and current Samsung owner) isn't take what Apple did and make a better version of it, by using the best and adding their own brilliance.

They just made something that looks the same [peanutbuttereggdirt.com]

Yay for conflation? (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747022)

Trademarks are not patents. Patents are not trademarks. You'll have a hard time getting a patent on a rectangle, but getting a trademark on an iconic design that just happens to be rectangular? Sure. Trademarks are there to protect the look and feel of products from copies, knock-offs, and imitations, and to ensure that consumers don't confuse products they see with one another. People, including the summary, keep referring to this as strictly a patent battle, but trademarks are playing a large role as well, and the "rectangle" complaint the submitter made is referencing trademarks, not patents.

Speaking personally, I'm a dyed-in-wool Apple fanboy, but even I didn't think too highly of Apple's recent complaints and lawsuits. That is, I didn't until I went into a Best Buy a few months back, walked up to what I thought was an iPad display next to the Apple section of the store, activated the device, and discovered it was a Galaxy Tab. If I got them confused both at a distance and up close, what hope does a typical consumer have? Trademarks are designed to prevent that sort of confusion, and I honestly think it's justified here.

Re:Yay for conflation? (5, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747254)

That is, I didn't until I went into a Best Buy a few months back, walked up to what I thought was an iPad display next to the Apple section of the store, activated the device, and discovered it was a Galaxy Tab.

Isn't that, in large part, because Apple's design avoids having anything that particularly distinguishes it as Apple? IE there is no Apple logo on the front. It seems to me that Apple is trying to claim what is essentially a lack of trade dress as trade dress, thereby gaining protection over something essentially generic rather than something specific.

I think it is a worrying technique because the trademark stops being a useful tool for the customer (ie letting them know a certain company stands behind a particular product) and starts being a weapon against other companies implementing fairly basic designs.

Re:Yay for conflation? (1)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747550)

Missed the shining silver "SAMSUNG" on it, did you?

Tit or tat didn't happen (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747044)

Sorry, just had to be said. My brain is tired.

I predict Samsung will lose... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747220)

simply because the iPhone is such a loved device the court wont want to halt its sale for fear of angry mobs.

Blah blah blah (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747270)

This had better not delay my retina iPad with LTE.

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Re:sale jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747594)

Do you sell uggboots too?

poor analysis (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747508)

Unfortunately, I expect that Samsung will fail partly because of overseas precedent, but mostly because their patents are sane, technical and narrow in scope (unlike the patent-a-rectangle nature of the opposition).

I know it's bad form to make fun of the Slashdot editors, but is this the best analysis they could find? Samsung will lose because their patents are sane, but Apple's are insane? The lack of legal understanding in that post is disheartening........Really, good patents are better, although underestanding what a 'good' patent is might take a little bit of research....

Yippee! An Aussie story on Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747580)

It's been nearly half an hour since the last one. I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms!

I dont think i help the arguement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747590)

But I bought my Galaxy S almost entirely because the interface matched my 3g iPhone I was replacing due to an aged battery.

In my mind the Galaxy S was an iPhone with replacable battery, more CPU, expandable memory and the ability to install apps other than just through a store without needing to jailbreak.

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