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In UK, HTC Defeats Apple's "Obvious" Slide Unlock Patent

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the patent-each-millimeter-as-unique dept.

Android 165

An anonymous reader writes "In a move that is likely to have wide-ranging implications for patent rulings around the world, a High Court Judge in the UK has ruled that HTC did not infringe on a number if Apple's patents. 'He said Apple's slide-to-unlock feature was an "obvious" development in the light of a similar function on an earlier Swedish handset.' Two other patents that Apple had claimed were infringed were ruled invalid, while a third was found not to apply to HTC. A statement from the Taiwanese firm said: 'HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit. We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace.' Apple declined to comment on the specifics of the case. Instead it re-issued an earlier statement, saying: 'We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.'" This after a similar victory for HTC in a different venue, when Apple's request for an injunction on some HTC devices was rejected in the U.S.

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Someone might want to tell HTC (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551087)

That they're not doing so well with competition in the marketplace against Apple.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (5, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551181)

Since apple tried to sue then with a bs patent they must be seen as a threat. This suit is nothing more then a stall tactic by apple to hopefully get a ban on import of HTC device even for a week or a month its a win for apple if that happened

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551277)

There was really no downside for Apple to sue with a legitimately granted patent. No bs to it.

And it isn't about HTC being 'a threat' any more than any other manufacturer. The presence of other copycat smartphones in the market could erode Apple's margin on iPhone, and they want to protect those margins.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551397)

Apple doesn't understand the meaning of "copycat" at least not in the sense of when they do/did it.

Younger Steve Jobs understood the importance of copycats in the market place... too bad older and now dead Steve no longer understand it. No matter. It will all result in something good for the market eventually and Apple will exhaust the patience of the judiciary of all nations and eventually win some legislation and perhaps some patent reforms around the world to prevent "everyone" from doing what Apple is doing.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552671)

Maybe it's their way of subtly trolling the legislature for the good of the public?

It seems the only way to get this shit changed is by companies like Apple abusing it so badly that people actually wake up about it.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551409)

The thing that will erode Apple's margin is when users realize they get the same sweatshop hardware for 10x the price from them.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (5, Insightful)

crypticedge (1335931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551429)

What exactly in the iPhone is new or novel? Everything done in it has been done in other phones before it, all they did was package up everyone else's innovations make it pretty and slap a logo on it and claim they invented the phone market. Slide to unlock was as obvious as it gets when your dealing with a touch screen. How would you propose you unlock a smart phone?

I guess they need to listen to their same line of not stealing others tech, because that's precisely what they did when they made the iPhone.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551525)

They made everything better. AND they sold the Sizzle, not the steak.

This is what the haters will never understand. All they see is 6oz bacon wrapped Filet, and say "I could do that cheaper" after looking at the $60 price tag. But what they mean is they can do a 12 oz Flank Steak on a BBQ for $6. It isn't the same.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551587)

While I will concede the point they sold the sizzle and not the steak (brilliant phrasing BTW), I don't necessarily agree with the point that the iPhone is the fillet. In light of the fact that their hardware has always been near the middle of the pack in the market but their price points have always been near the top I think they are selling flank and calling it fillet.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551685)

OK. I've never owned an iPhone (I tend to like WiMo7 or Android a lot better), but iPhones tend to have upper end hardware - not the best out, but typically the phone with better hardware are rarely more than a couple months older than the iPhones - for when they are released, the iPhones do then to have upper end, though not quite bleeding-edge hardware.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552497)

Buy an iPhone. Try to use it for a month. I assure you that you will reverse your opinion of the hardware.

Don't worry, we'll wait. Go ahead.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552893)

Sorry, I beg to differ. I've waited eighteen months for an Android tablet that has pixel-perfect, smooth as butter scrolling, which iPhone has had for several years now.

As a developer who has worked on several marquee apps on iOS and Android, I've always been disappointed by Android. The small details matter.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552691)

While I will concede the point they sold the sizzle and not the steak (brilliant phrasing BTW)

Probably because the phrase is not original :).

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553213)

No shit. It was a great use of the phrase.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (3, Insightful)

dremspider (562073) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551589)

No problem with being the best at something and trying to sell it for more, that is called healthy competition. The problem is Apple is trying to put the Flank Steak people out of business by saying that they are the only ones who should be allowed to BBQ. They are saying that the invented the beef and the bbq and no one else should be able to do this. Just because you are good at perfecting something, doesn't mean you should take credit for inventing something and claim broadly that no one else should be able to make any product remotely similiar to yours.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551619)

a car analogy to counter.

nobody but ferrari can make a ferrari..
but pininfarina still made the nicest designs and some of the nicest were done for alfa romeo and all italians have the same shit electronics bought from the same shit suppliers.

apple has sold others parts as their own inventions ever since 6502, only sprinkled with "magic" and claiming that anyone who buys the same parts from the same outside inventors/manufacturers is a stealer.

your steak analogy isn't that good either because it would have to be a 120$ steak served on a silver platter while the restaurant next door had filet mignon with bacon for 60$- only done properly(not wrapped) and with sauce of your choosing and fries instead of pickled dicks.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552661)

Shit electronics? I don't know about cars but I know for motorcycles Magneti Marelli makes world class ECUs. Bosch and other manufacturers can't compete in racing series.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneti_Marelli [wikipedia.org]

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

crypticedge (1335931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551661)

And you can take a Fillet Steak, marinate it and cook it for around $8 and have it taste far better than the restaurant mass cooked crap that usually has no flavor. Your not really helping the argument with that.

The sizzle as you put it is flair, its glitter, its not innovation. Suing over that is like suing because someone else went to your Halloween party dressed as your favorite character from a shitty book or movie. As for better, what did they do better? I know on my iPad (yes, I have one, doesn't mean I still don't think apple is a shithole of a company that does more harm than good) I experience 10x the crashes than I do on my android tablet. I can watch flash on my android tablet. What is better about an apple device? I don't see any better. I see a reality distortion field and too many people are drinking from the apple kool-aid to realize how little that company has actually done.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552373)

I can't know what "mass cooked" means, nor do I know what a Fillet Steak could be.

But if you've marinated beef and it ended up tasting better than what you've been served in restaurants, you've been going to the wrong restaurants.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553111)

Or, God forbids, he knows how to cook well.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551731)

Selling the sizzle usually indicates that the product isn't really significantly better - you just generate hype about it. So, I'd agree with that part of your statement.

As far as comparing types of steak - it's more like a 6oz bacon wrapped fillet from Apple for $60, while the high end competition offers 5-7 ounce fillets for $40-$50, just usually with marginally less bacon. If you really like bacon, then the Apple might be fore you - but otherwise, it's probably not worth the hype (sizzle).

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551859)

Your steak analogy is bad. You can easily make steaks just as good as some overpriced $60 restaurant steak, and even better, if you know how to cook steak (it's not that hard), and buy a quality steak, and you can do it for a fraction of the price. The key is, that $60 isn't just buying you a steak, it's buying 1) the labor to cook it (plus a guarantee that it's to your liking, if you screw up your own steak you're outta luck, but the restaurant will take back a bad one and redo or replace it), and 2) the restaurant experience: someone waiting on you hand and foot, a nice building and interior atmosphere, etc. You can make food at home that's better than some expensive restaurant, but you won't get any service, you have to spend time doing it yourself, you need to know how to cook yourself (lots of people can't cook worth shit, others can only cook certain types of foods well so they'll go to restaurants for the types of foods they're not good at), etc.

As far as I can tell here, we're not talking about making your own phones at home DIY-style, we're talking about other major companies making competing phones. To use your restaurant analogy, that's like saying it's impossible for someone else to start up a new steakhouse restaurant as good as some existing steakhouse, and that's clearly stupid; anyone with sufficient capital and a good chef can set up a steak restaurant just as good as a fine steakhouse. Similarly, there's nothing that special about Apple; another company of sufficient size and capitalization to hire skilled employees can do the same thing, and they have.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552475)

That's all well and good, but you can't patent a bacon-wrapped fillet if the bacon and fillet have already been made by someone else. That is the point here.

Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't win the slide-lock case. As far as i can tell, they were the first company to have a broad distribution of phones that had that feature.

That being said, I'm glad they lost due to their recent success with other, more bullshit patent trolling, such as "Oh no, we patented a rounded rectangle with a single button, you can't make your phone like that."

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40553015)

No, the point here is that they're claiming bacon-wrapped steaks are an easy jump to make, because before we obviously had bacon and we had steak. But, before Apple, people weren't wrapping steaks in bacon. Maybe other things in bacon, or wrapping steaks in other things, but not this particular combination.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552899)

"All they see is 6oz bacon wrapped Filet"

If that is your pinnacle for steaks, I suggest you don't comment further on any subject related to beef.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551593)

Why do we have to go over the 'nothing about iPhone was new' thing, in every iPhone story?

No one who used smartphones prior to iPhone can possibly take you seriously. By comparison all of the sucked unequivocally. They all had lousy battery life, or lousy interfaces, or lousy web browsers, or lousy processors, or no music player, or a music player with a lousy way to buy music, or no maps, or pay for maps, or spoken menu voice mail, or lousy button layouts, or they were too large, or had lousy screens, or idiotic ways to put the thing on silent, or were stuffed with carrier bundled junk software, or they broke easily, or their voice quality was awful, or they felt like they were made by Fisher Price, or any combination of these or a host of other details. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cherry picking the best bits of existing technology and putting them together to make a better product. And nothing wrong with making that product aesthetically pleasing and putting your company's logo on it.

And yes, they did invent the consumer smartphone market. Delude yourself all you like that everyone is stupider than you and just buy the thing because an ad told them to, But you and your like minded friends and every other smartphone manunfacturer had exactly the same opportunity to do exactly what Apple did, and you did not. That you are mad about that now doesn't take anything away from Apple's accomplishment, at least not among rational people.

As for slide to unlock, what phones had slide to unlock prior to iPhone? I don't blame Apple a bit for going after everything governments would give them, in terms of locking out competitors. After all, they exist to make as much money as they can. Unlike you I don't operate under the impression I'm friends with any for profit corporations, or that they make phones because I need a phone. They make them because they can make money off my needing one.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551745)

1. no, they did not invent the consumer smartphone market. It existed (at least in Europe) long before the iPhone.

2. I had a phone that had "slide to unlock" before the iPhone existed. Admittedly I slid the phone open, rather than my finger across a screen. The principle is the same though.

3. I had a phone that had pretty much all the iPhone did before the iPhone existed. The interface *was* a bit suck-y though. Note, that means Apple did not invent anything, they just had good design. Not the same thing at all.

To summarise, Apple make nicely designed products, and are great at UI and user experience. Some people seem to think that makes their product more innovative than it is and refuse to see that it's just another product, one that stands on the shoulders of giants.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551913)

1. No, it didn't. It was a tiny fraction of what it is now as it had not yet displaced the dumb phone / feature phone market.

2. That is the dumbest stretch of the imagination I can imagine, and I have a vivid imagination. I suppose chain locks for doors are prior art?

3. No you didn't, unless your defintion of 'pretty much' is as stupid your idea of prior art.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551939)

You seem to have a lot of anger. I will re-iterate.

1. Yes, they did.

2. Sliding a phone to unlock. The concept is the same.

3. Yes I did.

Sorry, I know this does not fit in with your world view, but sticking your head in the sand won't help.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551803)

This is obviously an issue near and dear to your heart so I cordially took the time to read your entire rant waiting for the part where you would explain what Apple had actually invented rather than a list of simple iterations on the hard work put forth by others previous to them.

Thanks for nothing, man.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552021)

Then again, the iPhone is the only one that still sucks after all those years...

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552311)

What exactly in the iPhone is new or novel? Everything done in it has been done in other phones before it, all they did was package up everyone else's innovations make it pretty and slap a logo on it and claim they invented the phone market.

Yep, that's why the iPhone sold like hotcakes and has been pretty much credited with jump starting the smart phone market, even at the supposed "premium" price for "substandard hardware" someone else claimed previously.

Slide to unlock was as obvious as it gets when your dealing with a touch screen. How would you propose you unlock a smart phone?

I guess they need to listen to their same line of not stealing others tech, because that's precisely what they did when they made the iPhone.

Yep, apparently everything in the iPhone was obvious, which is why so many different iPhone clones existed prior to the iPhone, since the smartphone market dates back more than a decade, and the iPhone was a late-comer.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552729)

What exactly in the iPhone is new or novel? Everything done in it has been done in other phones before it, all they did was package up everyone else's innovations make it pretty and slap a logo on it and claim they invented the phone market. Slide to unlock was as obvious as it gets when your dealing with a touch screen. How would you propose you unlock a smart phone?

Yep, that's why RIM, Nokia/Symbian, Windows Mobile, PalmOS are doing SO well these days. After all, the iPhone couldn't even compete against these smartphone heavyweights.

As for unlocking, let's see. Windows Mobile used either the keypad (hit Start, hit 9 I think). or tap the button marked "Unlock". Nokias were similer tap-to-unlock (touchscreen only - the ones with keypads you hit a key combo like menu for a couple of seconds or such).

And nothing out of Apple is innovative other than the packaging. An iPhone in 2007 did LESS than what a Symbian, WinMo, PalmOS, or Blackberry did back then. Just like an iPod in 2001 couldn't compete ("No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame"). Hell, we always awed Japanese phones for having the latest and greatest all crammed in there.

It just turns out packaging (and presentation) is actually much more important that people realize and laundry lists of features mean little (especially when items are implemented poorly, or definitions get stretched). (See aforementioned Japanese cellphones).

And yes, the same goes for Android. Even early versions of Android were still way better than than the smartphones that came before it (and iOS+Android basically pummelled them out of the market). Android was more "techy", up until ICS or so where Google really improved the UI significantly (haven't had a chance to try JB yet, but I'm told it's even better).

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551727)

And now the Apple shills...

It's a bullshit patent. In a proper patent system, the patent would never have been granted.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553227)

There was really no downside for Apple to sue with a legitimately granted patent.

Legitimately granted?

Nowadays patents are not really examined properly at the time they are filed for, the patent office just says yes then starts taking your money. The downside only comes when you try and sue (which costs you a small fortune) and the patent is chucked in the bin for being obvious.

This also now has the other downside for Apple that HTC are now in the clear over these patents in the UK whereas before they are in a grey area where they could be infringing so it was a risk for them to bring a device to market that might have been prevented from being sold. Sometimes patents can actually be useful just as a threat rather than actually used as a weapon, now these patents cannot be held over anyone else either.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552145)

Can't HTC counter sue over frivolous litigation?

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551223)

Heck with competing with apple, they cant compete with samsung.
After the past 2 years with an android phone, if it's not a unlocked nexus from google, it's a crap android phone. But samsung's latest quad core godliness may change my mind.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

crypticedge (1335931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551481)

Well considering apple has been in courts saying they couldn't compete with Samsung if the courts didn't grant the injunction against the galaxy tab back in 2011...

Samsung is the big dog on the block, and apple is afraid.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552175)

They can't. Samsung is both manufacturer and software developer. Apple is just software, all of their manufacturing is outsourced.

Samsung is a -VERY- known quantity and has been playing in the electronics industry in far more areas than apple for a very long time in the high-end stuff. Even their low-end items however are very high quality, I have yet to own a samsung product that I can complain about beyond "I wish it had feature x" which is usually available on the model up Samsung product.

Every LCD or LED panel in my house right now is a Samsung panel. I'm not normally brand loyal but Samsung has been so good to me for so long that if Samsung has a product in category x I just buy that one.

The only exception for me is some appliances. You can't beat a Maytag.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552943)

Samsung does make some high end Washers and dryers. But they are typically only found in homes that have walk in SubZero refrigerators.

Re:Someone might want to tell HTC (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551381)

Would you like to have 1% of a billion dollars?

You should work out that math.

Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (4, Informative)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551111)

Yesterday's discussion [slashdot.org]

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551227)

But this is a new day, and a whole new chance to bitch about lawyers and patents! If the masses don't get their Two Minutes Hate, they might actually start thinking, and we can't have that!

Follow the hivemind! Corporations are bad!

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551245)

Screw you.. this isn't an imaginary problem.

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551269)

Maybe the lawyers should stop doing so many things worth bitching about?

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551351)

As I've said before [slashdot.org] , it's not that lawyers do so many stupid things. By and large, they don't. Rather, Slashdot (and other news outlets) reports on the few stupid things to get reactions from people, because a rousing discussion is more profitable than objective journalism.

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551931)

No, lawyers don't do stupid things by and large, they do evil things. There's a difference. Their actions clearly make sense for them, because they make them lots of money. However, they harm other people and society with those actions, making them evil. It's just like someone stealing lots of money from people in a way that they don't get caught (perhaps robbing banks in a particularly clever way); it's not stupid, because it clearly takes skill to pull it off, but it only benefits them, and harms everyone else, making that action evil. People who do evil things deserve to be criticized for it, though obviously Americans like to praise such things these days because they think profit is more important than anything else.

It's their job. (1)

gila_monster (544999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552003)

When lawyers do stupid things, it's largely because they are paid to do them. They represent the interests of their clients in regard to legal issues. Client says "we own slide to unlock," the lawyers they pay find ways to make that stick.

This doesn't make me any more fond of the tactics they use in representing those interests, but it's important to realize that they aren't usually the driving force behind it.

People like that nozzle Carreon notwithstanding....

Re:It's their job. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552129)

So, in other words, instead of being the bank robber, they're the getaway driver. Being an accomplice doesn't make one less guilty.

Re:It's their job. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552157)

So your excuse for these scumbags is "Befehl ist Befehl"?

Some lawyers tried that defense before for their clients and it did not work, why would it work for the lawyers themselves?

Re:It's their job. (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552195)

That's very true, to an extent. There are also ethical standards which a lawyer can be disbarred for breaking, and as I recall (though IANAL) if a lawyer thinks something is illegal, they are obligated to tell their client. An allegation being questionable, though, is not a reason to dismiss it... it's a reason to argue for clarification.

Client says "this sliding thing is new", patent lawyer says "there's these older things, but they're all noticeably differently from ours", patent examiner says "okay, they're different enough", competitor says "but they're also similar!", lawyer says "the patent examiner said they were good", court says "no, they're too similar", media says "GIANT LAWSUIT BETWEEN ELECTRONICS TITANS COULD OUTLAW ALL PHONES".

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552313)

By and large, they don't. Rather, Slashdot (and other news outlets) reports on the few stupid things to get reactions from people, because a rousing discussion is more profitable than objective journalism.

Your criticism of news outlets is warranted, but /. isn't about reporting news, it's about discussing it. The more rousing the discussion, the better.

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552547)

That lawyer has only his clients' best interests in mind...said nobody ever.

Re:Dupe -- less than 24 hours ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551315)

Yes but it only got 136 comments yesterday, they're hoping today will attract more.

Can we please.... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551197)

Just end all software or method patents?

This is the problem and until it is fixed more of this sillyness will happen.

Re:Can we please.... (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551591)

That or the patent office should stop giving them out so haphazardly. It really would not shameful to tell Apple that no, they can't have a patent for "a box with buttons", but are more than welcome to pat themselves on the back.

And for the record, slide to unlock has been around longer than even computers. They're called crossbar latches [wikipedia.org] .

Samsung vs. HTC (2)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551257)

So what is HTC doing right that Samsung is doing wrong?

Re:Samsung vs. HTC (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551295)

It involves money, not engineering most likely.

Keep sending the checks... we'd hate to see that nice code get broken...

Re:Samsung vs. HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551393)

One is using a country with a judicial system which despite having an inept government has managed to remain fairly competent.

The other is using a country with a judicial system that has an equally inept government, but whose courts have also become pawns in a xenophobic game of protectionism along with the government.

I'll let you guess which is which.

Apple stole ideas from Android (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551259)

Apple is not nearly as innovative as the fanboyz think. Apple just protecting it's IP? Apple is stealing the IP from Android.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-ios-5-copied-android-2012-5#notifications-appear-at-a-bar-at-the-top-1

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551339)

Unless the Android notification bar is patented, Apple has very legal right to copy it.

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551415)

Unless the Android notification bar is patented, Apple has very legal right to copy it.

It's probably legal(and, in a great many of these cases, it is hard to feel warm and fuzzy about the quality of the patents that are being held as making certain duplication illegal...); but it's hard to argue that it is innovative. The two are largely orthogonal issues.

I wouldn't be inclined to say that cross-platform adoption of good UI elements is a bad thing for users; but I would say that there is only so much copying one can do while still having a right to a mystique of innovation...

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551499)

Because someone greased the govts greedy little ..... I mean paid a fee and filled out the paperwork they have some sacred ownership of the complete entire concept? Paitents should only be used if I build a specific way of doing things and specific thing I did makes the product individual ... A slide mechanism was an idea sparked from an age old concept? All of a sudden it's put on a computer screen and its new again?

Nothing, not one thing Apple has in their iGadgets is invented, iPhone is a fucking phone we had them before apple, iPod is a fucking radio we had them before apple, iPad is a tablet pc we had them before fucking apple.

Get the fuck over yourselves you pack of dimwitted brainwashed morons .... bahhhhhhh bahhhh black sheep have we any wool?

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551553)

You can't patent software! It's illegal - just for the moment, bribery and chicanery have allowed it.

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551343)

And a good thing it is that they did it. Can you imagine if someone had patented the layout of the pedals in a car? You'd have to relearn driving every time you got into a different brand car. "Slide to unlock" is a user interface convention, not an invention. Other manufacturers don't do it because it's such an ingenious way of unlocking a phone. They do it to avoid confusing their users. And the same is true for putting notifications where users expect them.

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552231)

After seeing Amazon patent "one click" I believe anything is fair game.

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552847)

Can you imagine if someone had patented the layout of the pedals in a car? You'd have to relearn driving every time you got into a different brand car.

That's why Cars and Clothes aren't allowed Copyright or Design Patents. They're too utilitarian.

I'm having a hard time classifying portable general purpose computers as non utilitarian, this being the Information Age and all. I mean, in the Stone Age, were not Stone Tools "utilitarian"?

Here's a nice TED talk dispelling the FUD that removing Copyrights and Patents removes the drive to innovate:
http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html [ted.com]

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551759)

What's amusing is that Android looked an awful lot like Blackberry until the iPhone came along. But, hey, the righteous need not look in that direction.

Re:Apple stole ideas from Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551947)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but apples notifications appear in a bar at the top that revolves into view and disappears, Androids notifications scroll across in the Status Bar. So they're not the same thing. If apple copied anything it's merely the location. Or have I messed something?

My work, do not steal!!! (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551361)

What is this, DeviantArt?

Re:My work, do not steal!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551449)

Go stick it up your ass, troll.

Patents laws (-1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551367)

Unless Slashdot has a decent-sized contingent of law geeks, these constant stories about patents are really inappropriate here. Are there "patent geeks" other than timothy...?

Re:Patents laws (2)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551581)

I'm a patent geek. Patent attorney, undergrad in Comp Sci, and working in-house at a software company. Of course my view somewhat differs from the vitriolic responses of most commenters on here.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the patent stories.

Re:Patents laws (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551791)

I'm sure they differ, as you are about to become part of the problem.

Re:Patents laws (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552261)

The big difference is he has probably read the patents, but that isn't a prerequisite for discussion around here. You can tell by the way everybody here thinks Apple has a patent on rounded rectangles. If he spoke up, he'd be chased out of here by a bunch of torches and pitchforks, plus a guy shouting 'lightning bolt!'

Re:Patents laws (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552397)

I actually did read that patent and I am not sure how "patent on rounded rectangles" is not a decent summary. I even looked at the diagrams.

Please elaborate on what you think a simple summary of the pantent should include.

Re:Patents laws (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553109)

I actually did read that patent and I am not sure how "patent on rounded rectangles" is not a decent summary. I even looked at the diagrams.

Please elaborate on what you think a simple summary of the pantent should include.

Seeing as how Apple doesn't actually have a patent on rounded rectangles I'm going to venture a guess that you ran across a story with a headline that says something like "Apple claims rounded rectangles!" and skimmed whatever they linked to, nodded your head, and went 'yup yup yup!' If I'm right, what you saw was a design patent that included a number of details about the particular non-functional shape of the device. Apple didn't sue Samsung because the Tab has rounded corners. They sued because Samsung copied twenty five details of the iPad, rounded-corners being one of them. It's a lawsuit over the sum of its parts.

You were mislead by a click-hungry site.

Re:Patents laws (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552239)

I would imagine they would differ, it is hard to convince someone to act against their own pocketbook.

Re:Patents laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551819)

When the patents are garbage and impact tech, it's appropriate.

Re:Patents laws (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553029)

Unless Slashdot has a decent-sized contingent of law geeks, these constant stories about patents are really inappropriate here.

What Slashdot has, is a decent-size contingent of people who routinely solve problems. Think of us all, even the newbiest programmers, as full-time inventors and architects. No, I'm not saying we're in Tesla's league. If we had to be, then there wouldn't be much of a problem! But the low barrier to software creation, means that now many millions of people have to deal with the same bullshit (and contribute to the same bullshit) that only the well-financed "elites" a century ago could.

That's how awesome software is, and also how awful and archaic software patents are.

It used to be there were only a few active industrial geniuses, and for every hour they worked, the industry could afford ten lawyer hours to patent search everything they did. Now that's impossible, and ten hours of lawyer time per hour of tech time, isn't enough lawyer anymore anyway.

If you're a programmer or designer, then patents matter. And the fact that every hour of your job, you may be violating any numbers of patents, which you'll only find out about many years later if your work ever gets noticed, is a real problem. Patents aren't just some intellectual game that lawyers play, it's a thing they do where force is sometimes used against us, by our own government.

That makes patent stories appropriate. Especially stupid patents. Remember that even though HTC won, they had to spend money to defend themselves. Some day, it may be your innocent ass either spending money on defense, or closing your business because you can't afford "justice."

Re:Patents laws (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40553613)

Unless Slashdot has a decent-sized contingent of law geeks, these constant stories about patents are really inappropriate here.

Slashdot has a decent-sized contingent of law geeks.

return to patent sanity? (1)

lotia (141844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551387)

Good to know that completely ridiculous patent claims aren't being upheld.

Fixing that Apple quote for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551425)

'We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.'"

"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should not notice that the technology they created, we've stolen and patented as our own."

Other slide-to-unlock devices. (4, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551485)

Good ruling. Here are some other slide-to-unlock devices [robinsonsantiques.com] which have been around for a while.

Re:Other slide-to-unlock devices. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552507)

Other slide to unlock devices...

The clit.

Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551577)

How is this submission materially any different than the similar one yesterday?

Do we really need to rehash this all over again?

Doesn't anyone moderate the submissions here? Were they all sick yesterday and didn't notice this exact same thing yesterday?

C'mon, let's stop regurgitating here, 'kay?

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552447)

FUCK YOU that's how is it materially different.

competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551611)

The elephant in the room is the belief that competition is "healthy". It's only "healthy" in the same way as killing your enemies and dragging their virgins back to your cave is "healthy", i.e. a primitive, antisocial manifestation of "might makes right" which we only continue to entertain because it keeps a few friends at the top powerful as long as everyone else at the bottom continues fighting each other.

Ooo (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551647)

Apple should have gone with the "They're a rectangle" thing. Wonder why they didn't. Maybe HTC isn't rectangle-y enough.

Re:Ooo (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552201)

Irrectangular dysfunction maybe?

Dupe of another front-page article (3, Informative)

Zouden (232738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551741)

Not only is this a dupe of another article on the front page [slashdot.org] , the summary quotes the same BBC article. Doesn't Slashdot have a system for at least checking the URLs of submitted stories?

Re:Dupe of another front-page article (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40551817)

+1 Dupe

Patents must be Novel, Useful, and Non-obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40551841)

Except in the US. Elsewhere there are minimum requirements, if the patent fails one of these requirements, it is not patentable.

Apple: "Oh, s***, the RDF is crumbling!" (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552307)

Sounds like what is, um, patently common sense is starting to win out.

Obviuos isn't the same thing everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552343)

For an inhabitant of Scandinavia it is obvious, that days are shorter in December than in July.
For an inhabitant of Kenia 1Km north of the equator it is not (but still true).

For a European, this patent is obvious.
For an American, it is not.

Case closed, next please.

Re:Obviuos isn't the same thing everywhere (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552577)

1. It's spelt 'Kenya'
2. You can't play the global market without paying attention to global standards of obviousness.

You argument about Europeans and Americans is baseless. It is clear to everyone that Apple is simply litigating to prevent competition.

Speaking of Kenya, don't be an ostrich.

Prior Art in SF (1)

snap2grid (630315) | more than 2 years ago | (#40552411)

Pretty certain there was a "slide to unlock screen" motion in a few episodes of Babylon 5; I'm thinking of the communication terminal in Londo's quarters. That would be in 1993 or so.

HTC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552687)

HTC is sticky, but pleased

Good artists copy, great artists steal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40552745)

Apple used this tagline in advertising in the late 1990s, and now they are upset that companies are stealing their ideas? My irony meter is now pegged at max.
I suppose the natural end of the great patent war of the 2000s will be in the courtroom, as companies pay to have obvious patents overturned. When the cost of litigation to nullify patents is less than the lifetime cost of paying the license fees, all the large companies will be doing it.

Finally, a judge sees through the ARDF. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40553607)

Finally a judge who can see through the garbage that Apple is shilling. While I admit that Apple does make some pretty products, refinement does not equal invention, and this whole process of their aquiring patents they 'might' use, only to turn around and sue other companies who either did it first or did it also, is really not the earmarks of a company that people should be buying products from.

In other news, Apple patented an 'HMD', completely forgetting and ignoring that others have patented similar technologies long before them...like Xybernaut, which patented virtually the same device back in 1997. Not to mention all of those wearable displays put out like iGlasses, and whomever else was selling them on Ebay for like $80 a set (And you can plug them into your iPod!). When they can't innovate, they litigate, and where they can litigate, they subjugate. It's sad that they have resorted to this, considering their roots, but it would be nice if more judges like this saw through the Apple Reality Distortion Field and realized that if any other company was doing this, they'd be told to take a hike, and that Apple does not deserve special dispensation just because they're Apple.

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