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Samsung: Apple Stole the iPad's Design From Univ of Missouri Professor

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the he-said-she-said-neer-neer dept.

The Courts 362

TheBoat writes with a bit from BGR on the Apple vs Samsung case: "We're starting to see a theme develop here. Now that it's Samsung's turn to present its case in the San Jose, California patent trial that regularly has the tech media abuzz, the company is taking an interesting approach. Rather than start out by arguing that its various Android smartphones and tablets do not copy Apple's designs or infringe on its patents, Samsung is arguing that Apple's IP is invalid to begin with. On Monday, Samsung argued that Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent was stolen from Mitsubishi's old Diamond Touch and on Tuesday evening, Samsung made a similar argument regarding the design of Apple's iPad. Samsung on Tuesday presented the jury with videotaped testimony from Roger Fidler, head of the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. In his testimony, Fidler stated that he began work on a tablet design in 1981. 'Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes,' he testified, adding that Apple staff saw his designs in the mid-1990s."

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And yet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998359)

somehow he didn't sell several billion dollars worth of his tablets...

Next thing you know Star Trek episodes will be prior art.

Re:And yet (4, Insightful)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998607)

I don't think it was his fault the technology wouldn't be ready for another 25 years...

Re:And yet (5, Insightful)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998859)

Why shouldn't a sci-fi show be able to qualify as prior art for design or UI patents?

Star Trek PADD as a concept would be prior art... (4, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998901)

...from a design POV it would be a argument worth making in court. It wouldn't even matter that they were non-functioning props. A US patent is just a drawing, it doesn't need to represent a working prototype.

How many fanboys install a Star Trek GUI app after unboxing their new iPads or Galaxy Tabs?

So... Samsung stole them from him too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998361)

Or they came up with them independently while Apple was stealing them?

Re:So... Samsung stole them from him too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998411)

no, Samsung didn't steal from him since he didn't come up with the phrase "force close".

And watch the fanbois swoop... (5, Funny)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998363)

...with tales of how Apple had released the F700 way before Samsung started making phones. How Apple had invented the Diamond Touch decades ago. Apple built Roger Fidler from the ground up in 1979.

Honestly, the barrage of bizarre crap that goes on these threads takes astroturfing to a new level.

Re:And watch the fanbois swoop... (3, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998399)

apple losing the trial would be worth it just to see what macdailynews.com would have to say about it

Re:And watch the fanbois swoop... (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998817)

It's all in the way you present it. For example:

Hillary, an amateur genealogical researcher, discovered that her great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription:

"Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."

In Hillary's Family History, she cropped Remus's picture, scanned it in as an enlarged image, and edited with image processing software so that all that's seen is a head shot. The accompanying biographical sketch is as follows:

"Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."

Re:And watch the fanbois swoop... (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998821)

A black band on the arm for sure...
Also, buy stock in pharma, for depression pill purchase will be on the rise.

Re:And watch the fanbois swoop... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998709)

Sadly, it'll probably be something as boring as "Well, yeah, but Apple's doing it now, so that makes it okay!". MOAR LAWSOOTS!!1!

Re:And watch the fanbois swoop... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998761)

You want a nice summary of everything that has, and will, happen in this trial?

"Company A said some stupid shit today, that angered fanboys of Company B. Meanwhile, defenders of Company A are quick to point out the seriousness of the stupid shit they allege Company B did."

I mean, wasn't all this fucking shit figured out in 1994 [wikipedia.org] ?

Not surprising (5, Funny)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998365)

Many professors draw white rectangles on their blackboards.

Re:Not surprising (4, Funny)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998577)

Ah, but are they _rounded_ white rectangles?

Re:Not surprising (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998615)

They are if the original design was done in MacPaint....

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998819)

And with the 24 other details the case is about?

Translation (5, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998381)

Apple stole these ideas long ago and claims everyone else is a thief!

Re:Translation (-1, Offtopic)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998389)

Oh yeah... First post!

Re:Translation (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998575)

Always makes me think of a part of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, where the Sirius Corporation steals an excerpt off a cereal box and uses it in the guide. In the future, they get a time machine, got back in time, give themselves the quote, then back in the future sue the cereal company out of existence.

That seems roughly like what Apple is doing here.

Re:Translation (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998683)

I didnt know that Disney was on trial here.

Re:Translation (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998845)

Or Stan Lee!

Re:Translation (3, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998717)

Time to sue YouTube for making them look like idiots.

Re:Translation (4, Interesting)

Mortaegus (1688452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998765)

I think the article misinterprets the situation. Samsung showing evidence like this could be taken that they are trying to say that they copied the ideas (perhaps even with permission) from the professor, and NOT from Apple. IANAL, but that would have a firmer legal position than challenging Apple's patent with prior art. If the court is willing to view the case in such terms they would, de facto, accept that Samsung's position (that they are not infringing) is valid.

Probably right (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998401)

Apple itself has a prior art problem. Look at the Apple Newton, designed in 1987, alongside an iPhone. [wikipedia.org] That was more than 20 years ago, so any patents have expired.

Re:Probably right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998557)

wait a minute

what year are we living right now???

Re:Probably right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998685)

2012, which is five years after 2007.

Re:Probably right (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998629)

The only similarity I see is that both devices have black faces with a screen in the middle.

I'm not defending Apple here, but there was no pinch-to-zoom on Newton - in fact it required a stylus. As far as design elements, the Newton splayed outward to sharp corners - pretty much the opposite of rounded corners.

patent office = fail (5, Insightful)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998423)

If Samsung can find all these examples of prior art, how is it that Apple was granted patents in the first place? These are hardly the only examples of Apple being given patents on things that were obviously done by others well before they "innovated" them.

Re:patent office = fail (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998515)

The patent office only checks for prior art in existing patents.

Re:patent office = fail (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998737)

The patent office only checks for prior art in existing patents.

As a patent examiner, I can tell you this is false. Prior art includes anything published by another within a year of the filing date of the application, as well as anything published by the patent applicant more than a year prior to the filing of the application. This includes articles on the web, prior patent publications, pamphlets, technical papers, and so on. There are exceptions, such as papers given in closed conferences and protected, internal documents. But "prior art" is much, much more than patent publications.

Re:patent office = fail (2, Informative)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998857)

Well in that case they you guys are not very good at your job then are you because simple web searches on dubious software patents invariable turn masses of prior art.

Re:patent office = fail (3, Informative)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998917)

I'd say it's more of a problem with the entire patent system and not the performance of the individuals.

Re:patent office = fail (0)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998533)

Because it is up to the applicant to submit prior art with their filing, not the patent office's job to hunt it down.

Re:patent office = fail (3, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998657)

That's not the case. In addition to the internal stuff the examiners do, the USPTO also has the peer to patent [peertopatent.org] project to crowdsource prior art on participating patents.

Re:patent office = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998691)

That's weird. So its: we'd like to apply for patent X, and here's some prior art which would invalidate our application for patent X.

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic.

Re:patent office = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998535)

Patents are tested when they're challenged, not when they're registered.

Re:patent office = fail (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998579)

That's not entirely true. The patent examiner is supposed to weed out patents that fail novelty or obviousness tests. Provisional applications are not examined, but real patents are.

Re:patent office = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998735)

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is.

Re:patent office = fail (1)

stevedog (1867864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998553)

The USPTO doesn't really try to determine whether or not your patent is actually valid before granting it. They just do a sanity check on it: is this idea theoretically, in a vacuum, patentable? They leave it up to the rest of the world to actually contest the patent, if for some reason (e.g., prior art, or "hey wait, I already have that patent!") the patent conflicts with something already in the real world.

In other words, if thinking is required, USPTO says "not our job."

Re:patent office = fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998849)

The USPTO doesn't really try to determine whether or not your patent is actually valid before granting it. They just do a sanity check on it: is this idea theoretically, in a vacuum, patentable? They leave it up to the rest of the world to actually contest the patent, if for some reason (e.g., prior art, or "hey wait, I already have that patent!") the patent conflicts with something already in the real world.

In other words, if thinking is required, USPTO says "not our job."

Incorrect. Patent Examiners determine patentability with regard to 35 USC sections 101, 112, 102, and 103, for the most part. 102 deals with novelty and 103 deals with obviousness. Once a patent is granted, it has a presumption of validity - because the USPTO has already examined the application and determined that it is patentable.

Re:patent office = fail (5, Interesting)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998571)

If Samsung can find all these examples of prior art, how is it that Apple was granted patents in the first place? These are hardly the only examples of Apple being given patents on things that were obviously done by others well before they "innovated" them.

As my father-in-law was a patent clerk he said they stopped checking into prior art when he left in the 90s and they seemed to rubber stamp multiple things. He tended to take pride in searching for prior art as he didn't want a company to get patents on existing things. This was lost as they brought in managers who went with quotas rather then actually vetting everything thoroughly.

Re:patent office = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998889)

I don't know in what country your father-in-law was a patent clerk. In the USA, patent examiners and the USPTO were infamous for a so-called "reject, reject, reject" mentality up until recently. All sorts of programs were put in place to prevent, rather than encourage, examiners from allowing cases. Most of what examiners in the US do is look for prior art. It is ludicrous to say that the PTO has "stopped checking into prior art."

Re:patent office = fail (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998585)

If Samsung can find all these examples of prior art, how is it that Apple was granted patents in the first place? These are hardly the only examples of Apple being given patents on things that were obviously done by others well before they "innovated" them.

"Prior art" is, by definition, anything that existed before someone applied for a patent. Prior art in itself doesn't invalidate anything, it has to be _published_ prior art. Something that was hidden away does _not_ invalidate a patent.

That out of the way, prior art must also make the patented invention obvious. That is not at all clear. Samsung can of course find prior art, but they have to prove that this prior art actually makes anything that followed later obvious. And the answer to that question is frankly not obvious.

Most patents include in the patent application a long list of prior art. The patent applicant includes this list to demonstrate that they looked for previous inventions, and that their own invention is in some way different and novel.

A minor part is that just because Samsung finds someone who _claims_ prior art, doesn't mean there _is_ prior art. For Fiedler, for example, I heard that he showed _something_ to Apple, but that what he claims to be prior art was not created, and not published, before Apple applied for its patents. Similar, just because a Samsung designer _claims_ that she never saw any of the iPhone icons, doesn't mean her signature isn't on a Samsung document describing the iPhone UI, including icons.

Re:patent office = fail (5, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998811)

"Prior art" is, by definition, anything that existed before someone applied for a patent. Prior art in itself doesn't invalidate anything, it has to be _published_ prior art. Something that was hidden away does _not_ invalidate a patent.

Incorrect. 35 U.S.C. 102(a): "(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent". The "known or used by others... before the invention" part does not require publication. It does have to be before the date of invention, though, which is not the same as the date that the patent application was filed.

You may be thinking of 35 U.S.C 102(b), which covers public knowledge more than one year before the date of application, regardless of the date of invention.

Re:patent office = fail (1, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998655)

Design patents are not utility patents.

Design patents can even cite prior art as part of the application itself - for example, Apple's design patent for the Macbook Air references earlier "ultrabook" designs by Sony.

Re:patent office = fail (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998695)

because the us patent office doesn't validate patents. they just take the money and issue numbers.

Define "Stole" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998471)

Show me a person with an original idea and I will show you a liar.

Shades of Bill vs Steve? (2)

crmanriq (63162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998483)

"No Steve Jobs Ghost - It's like be both snuck into Roger Fidler's place one night to steal his TV, and we both found Dave from 2001 A Space Odyssey had gotten there first."

Subway Commercial (4, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998489)

Every time I hear arguments like this, I can't help but think of adults whining in children's voices like those Subway commercials. "He copied my drawing!", "she keeps repeating everything I say and do!". Just shut the fuck up already. I hope one day we are able to look back on this and realized just how childish our species is acting. Nothing is created in a vacuum, so get the fuck over yourselves and get back to making products!

Re:Subway Commercial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998881)

They both took the idea from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now can we get back to competing based on the merits of the device, rather than trying to get a judge to block out competition?

Good for Samsung! (5, Insightful)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998491)

I'd like to see some sanity return to patents, since nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything new has been influenced in some way by past experiences and influences. From a rock rolling down a hill to rocks turned into wheels to wooden wheels to modern rubber tires, it has all been an improvement on the previous improvement. I hope Samsung prevails with this line of defense to the utter ruination of Apple's patent-ly bullshit attempt to stop their competition.

Frankly, the way things are moving, it might not be too long before software patents are gone and "look and feel" and other such patents actually have very limited lifespans or are disproven because the "look and feel" are based on a previous incarnation. I'd love to see THIS improvement made to patents and then improved upon again with copyrights included. You know, that whole "secure for a limited time" thing...

Re:Good for Samsung! (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998595)

"Look and feel" was a copyright concept that has been pretty much universally struck down in court. It had nothing to do with utility patents.

Re:Good for Samsung! (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998779)

God, I wish that was true. Got some citations to caselaw? I could use them.

Hear hear!!! (1)

sdoca (1225022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998787)

If I could, I'd mod parent up!

I thought it was Sony (-1, Troll)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998507)

First Sony and now this guy. The over all theme is still the same that Sumsung is copying the ipad but in their mind it's ok. I suggest they stick to trying to innovate rather than live off someone else's work.

Re:I thought it was Sony (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998567)

I'm not sure you're actually getting the point of the article.

Re:I thought it was Sony (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998593)

First Sony and now this guy. The over all theme is still the same that Samsung is copying the ipad but in their mind it's ok. I suggest they stick to trying to innovate rather than live off someone else's work.

First Sony and now this guy. The over all theme is still the same that Apple is copying everyone but in their mind it's ok as long as they sue everyone too. I suggest they stick to trying to innovate rather than live off someone else's work.

FTFY

Re:I thought it was Sony (1)

cynop (2023642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998833)

That's not the theme at all. The theme is "Apple's patents about the iphone's design are invalid, because others had created products based on the same principles and ideas in the past".Apple was just the first company to apply for a pattent for the ideas. As such, they have just as much right as Apple to use an green icon for our dialer application.

A good analogy is McDonalds suing Wendy's because they had patented the "burger" design". They were not the first ones to think about it, it's just that McDonalds was the first to pattend the idea.Lord Sandwitch's heir should sue both their asses

Asian R&D innovating again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998511)

Replicate And Duplicate! It's the Asian way ever since they copied the TV and they haven't stopped since!

Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (-1, Troll)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998531)

This is likely going to be so easy that I, a non-lawyer, could competently handle this part of the case for Apple.
1) Did you sue anyone in the past for "stealing" your tablet work? No? Thought not.
2) Do you know that other companies, including Microsoft, pushed tablet technology years before the iPad came out?
3) Since you have not in the past pursued claims against others for supposedly "stealing" your work, how can we take your charges seriously now? Again, keep in mind that other companies have produced tablets prior to Apple and you had no objections to that.
4) Are you being compensated for your appearance in court today? If so, how much are you getting and who is paying it?

The only thing Apple is "guilty" of is being the first company to make tablets that did not suck big green ones and that people actually wanted to buy and use. Nobody was able to make the technology popular before them.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (5, Informative)

Nushio (951488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998647)

Nice try, Apple fanboy, but the Prof isn't actually suing Apple (And others) for theft. He's merely there to state that prior art exists and Apple's Patents be declared invalid.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998651)

So, others are free to use your work? And by others, we mean Apple, but not Samsung.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998659)

and that somehow means that no one should be able to make tablets that people actually want after them?

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998667)

That doesn't matter. Making something popular doesn't make it yours. With current law, first to file wins, not first to ship or first to make it popular.

The problem with this article is that it's using logic to describe copyright law and patents. That is the first fail. This case is about what the court thinks regarding who invented the iPad and it's various patents, not reality.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (5, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998669)

The only thing Apple is "guilty" of is being the first company to make tablets that did not suck big green ones and that people actually wanted to buy and use. Nobody was able to make the technology popular before them.

Being the first one to do something well, doesn't mean you're the first one to have the idea, and it certainly doesn't give you iron clad rights to prevent anyone else from trying to make a better one.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (5, Insightful)

Andrio (2580551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998675)

No, Apple is guilty of using ridiculous litigation to prevent anyone else from making tablets that do not suck big green ones.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998687)

Umm... Fidler isn't suing anybody, he's just proving prior art that the idea and tablets existed prior to the iPad. Samsung is suing Apple for different patents.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (5, Informative)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998699)

That's not really the point. If Fidler made it first, and Apple copied him, and Fidler didn't care to do anything about it, then Apple is free to continue copying it. But so is everyone else. That includes, for example, oh, I don't know, how about Samsung?

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998703)

1. Apple is not being sued.
2. That would only serve to further weaken Apple's stance.
3. Again, Apple is not being sued.

How can Apple be guilty of anything? They are the plaintiff in this case. Again, APPLE IS NOT BEING SUED.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998873)

Isn't there a countersuit from Samsung?

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998707)

but this could show that apples patents are invalid, thus apples lawsuit against Samsung is invalid.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998715)

Makes sense that you aren't a lawyer, then. The point (apparently) isn't to turn things around and sue Apple for infringing on Fidler's designs, but rather to invalidate Apple's claims to the patent so they get off of Samsung's back.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998725)

This is likely going to be so easy that I, a non-lawyer, could competently handle this part of the case for Apple.

1) Did you sue anyone in the past for "stealing" your tablet work? No? Thought not.

2) Do you know that other companies, including Microsoft, pushed tablet technology years before the iPad came out?

3) Since you have not in the past pursued claims against others for supposedly "stealing" your work, how can we take your charges seriously now? Again, keep in mind that other companies have produced tablets prior to Apple and you had no objections to that.

4) Are you being compensated for your appearance in court today? If so, how much are you getting and who is paying it?

The only thing Apple is "guilty" of is being the first company to make tablets that did not suck big green ones and that people actually wanted to buy and use. Nobody was able to make the technology popular before them.

Wait... I'm sorry.... was this trial over the general idea of a tablet, or something more specific? Your monologue seems to play on the idea of just a tablet when iirc the trial is specific to the design of the tablets, and how Fidler designed something similar, a.k.a prior art.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998729)

1) Doesn't matter. All he's there for is to show prior art. The goal is not to punish Apple for theft, it is to show that their ideas are not original and thus their patents are invalid.
2) Thank you for reinforcing the invalidity of Apple's patents
3) Because people previously did not obtain patents for which his work was prior art and start suing other companies using them
4) Doesn't matter as long as prior art can be shown

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998733)

The fact that he did not sue prior to this is of absolutely no interest in this case. The only thing that matters is whether he can show: 1. a clear derivation from his designs and 2. that Apple had access to them. If he can show these, nothing else matters: Apple's pie is cooked.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (2, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998745)

Then everyone would look at you and wonder how you entirely missed the point that is being made. Samsung aren't trying to get Apple sued by this guy for copying him, they are using him to show that Apple shouldn't have the patents in the first place. Whether he has sued anyone or not in the past really doesn't tell us anything, he may not care about others using it but takes offence at people ripping him off and then suing others for doing the same thing.

They will obviously ask what he is being paid; that's basically SOP in these kinds of cases now.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (1, Redundant)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998771)

How does that handle this part of the case though? Samsung is arguing that Apple has no claim against them because Apple did not invent anything novel, and in fact they have a witness who discussed his similar design with Apple designers so long ago as to be out of patent by now if one had been applied for. This means that Apple can either claim that his information is too old, therefore invalidating their own patent, or that his design is different from the iPad, but the Samsung design isn't -- at which point they then get back to the real topic of this part of the case, that of arguing how the Samsung tablet is similar to Apple's in a way that is covered by patent and unique from all other tablets in the field. Questions about suing, other tablet designs, pursuing claims and compensation have little to do with the actual issues here (although I'm sure they'll be raised anyway, by whichever side thinks they have something to gain by doing so).

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (1, Redundant)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998797)

Samsung's point is not that Apple was stealing, but that Apple was suing others for "stealing", while "stealing" themselves. Both cases (Fidler. vs. Apple, Apple vs. Samsung) are pretty much nonsense, as anyone working in technology can see, no stealing actually happened at all, it was "stealing" as in broken law system.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998823)

Patents are not copyrights; there is no legal obligation to pursue all infringers to pursue any single infringer.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (3, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998831)

You, a non-lawyer, would get your ass handed to you by Samsung's counsel.

The Witness isn't claiming rights to a patent, he's giving testimony that the technology Apple is claiming a patent over was already out there and known to the public. Patent law isn't just about "I was the first one to claim the exclusive right to a technology" its about invention. If someone else can show that you didn't invent it, that there is "prior art" your patent can be extinguished.

Many of apple's patents are questionable, but this and slide-to-unlock are particularly ripe for invalidation.

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (3, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998885)

I, a non-lawyer, could competently handle this part of the case for Apple

It's a good job that you aren't, since your points are invalid:

1) Apple isn't suing for "stealing" - it is suing for "patent infringement". In contrast, Fidler is not claiming that Apple infringed his patents, he is merely pointing out that his tablet designs predate the iPad and yet contain the same "original patented" design features (flat touchscreen, rounded corners etc.)

2. Irrelevant, but yes, of course he does - however, Federer's designs date back 20 years (Microsoft's "Tablet PC" was 1999) - check out this video of Fidler's working tablet in 1994 - 2m45s in - that looks remarkably like an iPad. [youtube.com] Also see History of tablet computers [wikipedia.org]

3. Irrelevant since he isn't claiming patent infringement - he is claiming prior art.

4. Good question - generally experts are paid for their time in producing a report, not for testimony as such - but only a week ago Apple was caught paying $75,000 to a professional "expert witness" [techcrunch.com] (seriously, this is how this man describes his profession on his own web site).

Nobody was able to make the technology popular before them.

Capacitive touch screens large enough for a tablet and at a consumer-friendly price point did not exist before. Now, they do. Technological advances drive new products. Suppose a car manufacturer comes out with the first mass market popular electric car - does this mean that this car manufacturer should have a 20 year monopoly on electric cars, free market be damned?

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998903)

Prof. Filder ain't even mad though. Let me address your points:

1. Like I said he ain't mad, what does the lack of suing people have to do with apple being privy to his work?
2. Like I said he ain't mad, so other companies *copied* his work before the iPad came out. How does this invalidate his claim of prior art? If anything it gives more credence to it.
3. So you can't take his claims of prior art seriously because he didn't sue everybody?
4. What does that have to do with anything?

At least as far as I understand he's not trying to single out and sue apple he's just making a claim of prior art. Yes other people have copied his work too but why does that even matter? It seems to me he has no problem with his work being copied he's just saying apple did not come up with the idea. So your post really makes no sense, how it got modded up 3 I have no idea...

Re:Slam dunk for Apple against Prof. Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998923)

Those arguments are for "Trademarks" not Patents, If you don't fight for trademarks you lose them. It is perfectly legal to sit back and watch if someone steals a patent then wait until they make money to go after them.

Videotaped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998539)

Anybody else have an issue with the use of the archaic term?

Re:Videotaped? (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998843)

They had to use videotape. If they used more modern technology of any kind they might have stumbled over dozens of more patents in the process.

Re:Videotaped? (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998893)

It is the term of art for testimonial evidence played at a trial, regardless of the media.

Tom Hanks has joined the battle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998619)

He claims to have prototyped such a device in the 80s for a film called Big.

How to Win a Patent Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998663)

Both parties in these lawsuits enter the fray with piles of patents if they are companies of Apple and Samsung size. Many of the patents have never been challenged and are vulnerable. So a good strategy may be to attack all of the opponents patents with the aim of having them invalidated. If the carnage gets high enough and enough patents are invalidated sometimes the parties just settle to make it all go away.

I experienced this in a trail between Micron and Mostek semiconductor many years ago (early 80's). Mostek wanted to put startup Micron our of business. The small Micron founding staff came from Mostek. I was asked to use a University library to show that many of the Mostek patent claims were not original and the knowledge the founders had was common in the industry. Micron eventually prevailed in the suit against it's founders regarding use of privileged information acquired from their past association. I was later involved as a expert witness in a suit between National Semiconductor and another startup company. In that case the startup attacked the validity of National's patents on the basis of existing prior work at another semiconductor company (I had worked for that company). When the bleeding got high enough (patents being challenged and possibly invalidated), the suit was resolved quickly.

I think the Samsung strategy is a good one. However Apple might retaliate against Samsung's patent position. I bet a settlement will come out of this quickly if the two companies unchallenged patents start getting invalidated at a fast enough rate.

Apple ultimately stole the idea from God (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998679)

Moses did come down from the mountain caring some curiously rounded corner rectangular tablets after chatting with God. Moses was the first one to steal this idea.

Re:Apple ultimately stole the idea from God (-1, Flamebait)

GReaToaK_2000 (217386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998783)

Yeah, but Steve Jobs always thought he was God's gift to technology so that was never an issue. ;-)

I bet Steve had a pretty big shock when he passed.

Steve's Legacy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998681)

Steve Jobs was a fantastic marketing person and Apple's success was due in no small part to his marketing skills.

But in terms of technology and innovation, his standard mode of operation was to observe a piece of technology being developed someplace else and then figure out how to productize and market the technology. Personally, I am happy to see people starting to tear down these bogus Apple patents by pointing out where the technology actually came from. Hopefully the trend will spread to tear down so many of the bogus patents filed by other companies as well.

Paramount should sue Apple (4, Funny)

oh2 (520684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998713)

Just watch some Star Trek TNG episodes and see everyone use thin and flat touchscreen computing devices with rounded corners.

The Idea came about in 1968 (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998749)

From the movie 2001 a space odyssey, they showed a flat screen touch tablet very similar to an iPad. Apple has been known to steal ideas from others, example - the GUI from Xerox, and the Mouse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKt9ZyDmA44 [youtube.com] . Apple is not the first to come up with this idea!

If Apple loses because of Fidler (3, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998759)

U. of Missouri grads and employees can forget about getting job interviews at Apple, and Apple employees can forget about being allowed to collaborate with researchers at U. of Missouri.

Re:If Apple loses because of Fidler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998855)

U. of Missouri grads and employees can forget about getting job interviews at Apple, and Apple employees can forget about being allowed to collaborate with researchers at U. of Missouri.

Wait, are you saying that the Apple corporation is childishly spiteful?

Re:If Apple loses because of Fidler (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998907)

Apple is a big company.

Big company's attorneys tend to be risk-averse. After the company loses enough times in court, the executives start to listen to their attorneys.

If Apple loses because of Fidler, I expect the legal department will recommend making sure a similar situation doesn't happen again. Depending on how badly Apple is damaged because of the Fidler issue, Apple's executives might just listen to the attorneys, to the detriment of the company as a whole.

Re:If Apple loses because of Fidler (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40998891)

That's fine, because Apple doesn't do research. Unlike the other big tech companies (Google, Microsoft, Adobe... even Yahoo up until very recently), Apple just prefers to uh.. well, to steal their stuff from such places as the University of Missouri :)

Stop the madness! (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 2 years ago | (#40998835)

The only people prospering from all this are the lawyers and the journalists. STOP THE MADNESS!

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