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Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery dept.

Patents 544

hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running an article that's questioning the very premise of the Apple v Samsung case. From the article: 'It isn't the first time Apple has been involved in a high-stakes "copying" court case. If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.'"

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The Chinese... (5, Funny)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055367)

couldn't care less!

Re:The Chinese... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055391)

The Chinese don't give a shit about copying anything, as long as it makes a buck.

Just like the USA. Ask Charles Dickens. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41056005)

Or, rather, check up the history of the USA and copyright/patents and especially Hollywood.

Re:The Chinese... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055465)

And while Apple and other such companies waste time and resources in the courts, they can spend theirs on research and innovation.

Patents, Copyright, and Trademarks protection really should be narrowed.

It won't, but it should.

Re:The Chinese... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055543)

You kid, but this is actually important.

Supposedly we live in a "Global Economy" now.

China manufactures a lot of goods for the US. Now ask yourself, what does the US have to offer China, and the rest of our world? Intellectual Property, which is only reinforced by our nations laws? Our Lawyers, which mostly are specialized in US law? Our MBAs?

If we hardly manufacture anything now and IP is our primary "resource", and foreign countries do not need to respect our IP, then what exactly do we have to trade for? What do we offer the world?

Re:The Chinese... (1, Insightful)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055591)

We (The United States) offer them the ability to keep their land and people under peace and not the premise of war. We (The United States) have the military strength to undermine another sovereign state's ability to maintain control of factories and production of said goods. This is what we offer to them and will do so until we cannot do so.

Re:The Chinese... (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055769)

You're kidding right ? The war in Afghanistan has taken 11+ years, and costing trillions, and you're saying China should be Afraid ? HAHAHAHAHAH !

Re:The Chinese... (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055943)

No, he's not kidding and what2123 shouldn't be downmodded as a troll. Just because we aren't terribly successful at winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people doesn't mean we do not have a formidable military presence in the rest of the world.

The wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan were totally stupid and failed to meet the vast majority of political and military objectives that were publicly stated. They do manage to show the world that we will spend untold trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives (both ours and everyone elses) on fairly stupid, limited goals. China well knows that if it really tried to piss us off it could be turned into a vast repository of active nuclides so they won't.

It's going to be much like the "Cold War" which really was a warm warm using proxies (like Afghanistan). Look at China's attempts at getting at Africa's mineral resources. If they get terribly successful at it, plan on various guerrilla groups and proxy governments to join the fray.

I personally don't think this strategy is economically viable nor particularly sane, but then again, nobody votes for me....

Re:The Chinese... (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055853)

We (The United States) offer them the ability to keep their land and people under peace and not the premise of war. We (The United States) have the military strength to undermine another sovereign state's ability to maintain control of factories and production of said goods. This is what we offer to them and will do so until we cannot do so.

I wonder if that's true in modern times - if we declared war on China because we wanted control of their factories and suddenly lost access to Asian electronic component imports (even if other Asian countries remained friendly to the USA, China's military may prevent them from manufacturing or exporting any goods), would we be able to keep our war machine running? Do we have the capacity to make the semiconductors, resistors, capacitors, and build the circuit boards that we rely on for our "smart" military? Could that capacity be ramped up as quickly as we ramped up our industrial manufacturing capacity during WWII? A single chip fab can take billions of dollars and years to bring online - and probably relies on many foreign imports to make it run.

Re:The Chinese... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055977)

In any serious war, you'd be fighting with what you had. A WWII fighter could be built and flying in a few days (few weeks if you had to start from nothing and build engines, etc, from scratch), but replacing an F-22 would take months or longer, even if you had no supply problems... the war would be over before the first replacements reached the front lines.

Years ago I worked for a company whose chips were used to a small extent in military aircraft. If I remember correctly, we had to build those chips in America rather than Taiwan, but they were so obsolete by the time the hardware flew that we had to pay the fab to do a special production run for us every time they wanted some.

Re:The Chinese... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41056055)

I write this knowing full well that it will probably get modded down to -1 but this is exactly the sort of attitude that we (foreigners) see from US citizens which makes us look down on your country.
You (vocal, arrogant and naive representatives of the USA) post inflammatory things (like the above) acting like you are the worlds police (Team America... F*ck YEAH!) without even realising that Chinas intellectual property laws are quite different from the USA's and they are not beholden to your laws.
In reality it is only the AMERICAN company (in this case Samsung USA) who imports the product who is responsible for making sure the product complies with the local laws of the USA.

Regardless it would be quite interesting to see what happens if the USA ever did declare war on China... a little flash video from Albinoblacksheep springs to mind:- http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/end [albinoblacksheep.com]

Re:The Chinese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055597)

this is thoughtcrime.

actually you are right...and it is shocking.

we have been swindled big time. we should never have outsourced.
The digital-realm is a lie and it is destroying the material world.
overreacting? we shall see.
tv is destroyed. movies/music are stolen freely. newspapers are gone. software is pirated.
all the electronics are so cheap now. what happens when this continues.
everything is valueless.

Re:The Chinese... (5, Insightful)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055993)

It is totally naive to think that just because someone can look at your product, they can execute the production, distribution, and support for your product.

IP is not our primary resource. And if it is, we deserve to fail utterly.

Companies should be successful for building, selling, distributing, and supporting products. There isn't any reason to Tax the world for their willingness to compete just because we pass a law that says they have to.

Today there are nearly 200,000 patents on various aspects of smart phones. Maybe even more! If we gave every patent holder a penny, a cell phone would cost 2,000 dollars for IP alone.

Get over it. IP is important to some extent. But Apple's abuse of the system is unethical and shouldn't be tolerated.

Manufacturing strawman (5, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055997)

If we hardly manufacture anything now and IP is our primary "resource"...

Strawman argument. The US has a $3.7 TRILLION manufacturing sector and it is growing. Just in case that isn't clear, measured by value the US has manufactures more than any other country in the world by a wide margin. By itself the US manufacturing sector would be in top 5 economies in the world. The notion that "we don't manufacture anything anymore" is complete nonsense. The only change is that products with a high proportion of labor cost (labor intensive) are now manufactured where labor is cheaper. However a huge number of products have a low proportion of labor cost (capital intensive) and those are made here. We manufacture automobiles, airplanes, pharmaceuticals, agriculture products, chemicals, integrated circuits, and much much more. The death of US manufacturing has been greatly exaggerated.

The change in manufacturing in the US is that it is evolving somewhat like farming did 100 years ago - fewer workers as a percent of population but producing more. As a proportion of the population manufacturing jobs are going to continue to decrease for some time. That does not mean that the US will cease being a manufacturing powerhouse however.

What Innovfation? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055389)

Xerox created the interface which apple purchased in stock swap, it was not apple's original innovation.

Re:What Innovfation? (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055429)

The UI that Apple purchased was nowhere near a complete system. Apple added a lot of improvements of their own. Microsoft clearly copied from Apple, not Xerox.

Re:What Innovfation? (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055559)

Apple did a lot of work to make their UI as a GUI for consumer level users. Xerox interface was for a limited use. Trying to get it in a system that is under 5k.

For Example Supercomputers can perform Ray Tracing Animations in real time. For our normal PC we cannot (at least at the same quality). In order to attempt this we take a lot of the ideas and find what to reduce and shortcuts that have the smallest visual effects. So we took an idea and make a new product off of it... Innovation.

But this is a difference case of Samsung and Apple They are both on the same market, selling a product at around the same price with similar specs. So it more of a case of copying then innovating.

Re:What Innovfation? (1, Informative)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055987)

It's been quite a while since a 'normal' PC couldn't do realtime raytracing. Nobody does it because unless you're going for photorealism, rasterization gives you more bang for your buck.

Re:What Innovfation? (-1, Troll)

hillbluffer (1684134) | more than 2 years ago | (#41056011)

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! Thanks for playing, please try again. Apple is suing Samsung based on how their product _LOOKS_ a so-called "Trade Dress" patent. Regardless of how much work Apple, Inc had to do to "make it fit" in a cheaper machine, they never licensed the design of the GUI from Xerox PARC! http://goo.gl/u38CE [goo.gl] In Steve Jobs own words ON VIDEO: "Good artists copy, great artists steal" Interview with Steve Jobs (1994) about the creation of the Apple Macintosh. Did Steve Jobs steal from Xerox ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU [youtube.com]

Re:What Innovfation? (0, Troll)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055569)

Apple did considerable development beyond what they bought. And they didn't steal anything. Apple did offer to license the disputed technology to Samsung, and has always been willing to pay the basic industry standard rates for glue technology.

The anti-competitive behavior of Microsoft was very damaging to Netscape, Apple, and many others. It is fortunate that Apple recovered. Many others didn't.

This Harvard writer doesn't seem to be very insightful or even well informed. It also seems that many coming out of business school are severely lacking ethics.
One thing is for sure, it wasn't business school types that made Apple successful.
Is this another MS paid blogger? One was exposed posting pro MS revisionist history to the IEEE. It looks like we're being flooded with corporate "free speech".

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/17/microsoft_pay_zeldman/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:What Innovfation? (4, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055653)

If you want to get nit-picky about it, Microsoft stole nothing either despite things like the mouse cursor being pixel by pixel the same as Mac OS. Apple inadvertently licensed everything to Microsoft under the pretext of developer tools and office applications. I guess the point is, cant we just agree that they're all jerks?

Re:What Innovfation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055887)

Also: remember Visi On [wikipedia.org] .

Patent System Broken (4, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055401)

Obviously the patent squabbles in these cases are ridiculous - the only reason we have functioning high-tech industry in the US is that most companies are not like Apple, and do not use patents offernsively.

It's a good time to review the reasons why, for example, software patents do not work, and can never be made to work:

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Why_abolish_software_patents [swpat.org]

Re:Patent System Broken (5, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055479)

I think many companies have become like Apple. In my opinion the function of the high tech industry is attributable to the lack of ubiquitous software patent practices in the past. Now days, you have to watch out for patent landmines for even obvious features in a piece of software. I don't have any specific articles to link on the subject because I am lazy, but how can the patents serve to do anything but hinder progress? I just don't understand at all how companies could even try to argue the opposite.

Re:Patent System Broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055635)

It's a good time to review the reasons, for example, software patents do not work, and can never be made to work

Ah that better (takes grammar nazi hat off).

Re:Patent System Broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41056003)

"That's."

You're a miserable excuse for a grammar nazi!

It isn't very easy to tell an original from a copy (2)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055415)

It isn't very easy to tell an original from a copy, as this poor reporter found out (too late):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=789he-8T_-E [youtube.com]

The object in that video looks like it was copied from something with rounded corners. Could it be an Apple copy of something? Don't know. Still. As always. I prefer the original.

Re:It isn't very easy to tell an original from a c (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055551)

Not all copies are inferior. Japan got huge in the 80s/90s by "copying and improving". And they were not the first that did this; it's how UK lost out to mainland Europe in the later stages of the industrial revolution: they were the first to industrialise, but the continent copied there methods and products, and improved on them.

China is currently very much in the copy phase, sooner or later they will also start to innovate themselves (some Chinese companies already do that), followed by a time in which the establised companies will be out-innovated. It may take a while, the Chinese don't seem to be very fast in picking up the innovation part, but if the world's history is anything to go by, sooner or later they will.

Re:It isn't very easy to tell an original from a c (4, Interesting)

acroyear (5882) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055895)

The UK lost out because at a certain point, the innovations necessary to continue to progress required more and more specialized technical education. The British University system was simply not set up to handle that. It was designed to turn the sons of Lords into Lords, and the upper middle-class into educated Lordly-like young men, optimized for leading business, but NOT in leading technical innovation (or military strategy, for that matter). Such a hands-on education was beneath them.

In addition, they always felt they didn't need such innovation in re-inventing that which they already had because of their extensive colonial might. Why invent a blue dye and undercut the price tag you were already commanding by being able to bring in the dye from the east-asian source?

Germany, on the other hand, spent most of the last decades of the 19th century realizing that trade schools, which the British wouldn't invest in, were precisely the means by which Germany could catch up to the rest of the world. German innovation happened most in the field of chemistry, where they were more and more able to invent (from coal and coal tar) products that could make up for places they lacked both colonies or military power. The process for sodium-nitrates alone (originally to be a fertilizer) produced enough explosives to preserve the German army for years through WW1.

Apple Did stop Innovating. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055421)

This isn't true. Apple DID stop innovating. You missed the section of time where Apple was minutes from bankrupt before Jobs came back with a load of money.

Re:Apple Did stop Innovating. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055577)

You missed the section of time where Apple was minutes from bankrupt before Jobs came back with a load of money.

I certainly did. Care to cite some sources? I'll start you out with a direct link to Apple's quarterly filings [apple.com] , and you can start supporting your facts from there.

Re:Apple Did stop Innovating. (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055693)

They were in the same situation RIMM has now. Plenty of money in the bank, but an open question of whether it's worth it to keep trying, or better to break up the company and sell off the pieces.

Sure... Here you go. (4, Informative)

logicassasin (318009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055807)

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/08/dayintech_0806/ [wired.com]
http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-comeback-story-2010-10?op=1 [businessinsider.com]
http://macdailynews.com/2009/04/14/steve_jobs_engineered_apples_resurrection/ [macdailynews.com]
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-return-19972011-10062011.html [businessweek.com]
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-202143.html [cnet.com]

I could go on forever on this one. It's very well documented that in 1997 Apple was extremely close to bankruptcy (some speculate days away) when Steve Jobs, then brought back to Apple as an "interim CEO", negotiated with Bill Gates to have Microsoft invest in Apple to the tune of $150M.

Does Apple Truly Innovate? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055423)

Perhaps we should ask the experts at Xerox PARC.

Re:Does Apple Truly Innovate? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055585)

You mean the ones that Apple copied - after Jobs and Xerox negotiated a deal to allow Xerox to but 100,000 shares of pre-IPO Apple stock.

In other words, Apple was happy to give value for value received. Why is this story constantly repeated as an example of Apple being underhanded?

Re:Does Apple Truly Innovate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055699)

Yes, please do some research in to this issue because you obviously do not have a clear picture of what spare had and what apple produced.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055439)

iCare

This case is different! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055449)

Microsoft changed things... took the basic plan and rearranged it.

Samsung's copying is blatent counterfeiting.

Re:This case is different! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055523)

Someone mod this up! As much as I hate Apple I agree with this guy, at least Microsoft changed things Samsung is blatantly disregarding Apples patent rights. Apple has even presented documents that it has obtained that were used by Samsung comparing its Galaxy products to Apple's products, and indicating where the Galaxy products need to be more like Apple's. I am sorry to say but this is one case where Apple should win!

Re:This case is different! (4, Informative)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055617)

Samsung's copying is blatent counterfeiting.

how can it be counterfeiting? it has samsung written on the front and no apple logo's or other trademarks in sight.

Counterfeiting is about trying to pass 1 product off as another. They certainly look alike but without trying to pass it off as an apple product it can't be counterfeiting.

... and Apple copied on Xerox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055457)

... and Apple copied on Xerox

It's a blood feud (-1, Troll)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055461)

So, apple "steals" from open source for their opsys, and monetizes it, and now they are bent about android coming from open source and not charging for it. I get it. They *failed* to copy Apple's model (or Disney's). Apple is frightened that they won't have the insane margins, highest in the industry by far, unless they actually do innovate, and have lost their main man that had the actual visions and took them all the way from vision to reality.

Remember Steve saying he'd spend their last time to stop android? It's not about facts, its about emotion.

Re:It's a blood feud (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055507)

So, apple "steals" from open source...

How can you steal from open source? Especially when they give back an enormous amount of development to the open source movement (such as http://www.apple.com/opensource/ ).

But, hey, why let facts and logic get in the way of a good ol' Apple bashing, right?...

Re:It's a blood feud (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055647)

You quoted the quotes and still missed the point. Not saying it was or wasn't a great point or that I even agree with it but you definitely missed it.

Re:It's a blood feud (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055837)

Jobs was hell bent on stopping Android because he believed Google copied from them. At the time Schmidt sat on the board of Apple and was given advance early looks at the iPhone. As Android started to look more like iOS, Jobs was starting to believe that it wasn't a coincidence.

Yeah they did stop innovating (1, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055467)

After Apple lost the "Microsoft coppied our GUI" case, their desktop GUI remained unchanged for 10 years. System 7 through 9 were basically identical..... they couldn't even multitask properly (used cooperative multitasking which led to misbehaving programs refusing to give-up the CPU & freezing the system). Apple said they would stop innovating their GUI if competitors simply copied their ideas, and that's essentially what happened.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (5, Insightful)

PuckSR (1073464) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055561)

Yes, and other people stepped up to innovate. Apple doesn't have some magical innovation juice. They are just a company. If they want to get lazy, then talent will move elsewhere. You mentioned "multi-tasking", but that would have been something that required talented and competent engineers, not innovators. Innovation is something you come up with while half-drunk. Everyone understood how multi-tasking was supposed to work, it was just a matter of "making it work". Apple innovated in the same way that George Selden innovated(the patent holder to the automobile). He didn't exactly create the greatest car in the world, he just had the idea for a car. Henry Ford developed some of the greatest ideas in automotive history, but he did it all while violating Selden's patent.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (5, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055573)

After Apple lost the "Microsoft coppied our GUI" case, their desktop GUI remained unchanged for 10 years. System 7 through 9 were basically identical..... they couldn't even multitask properly (used cooperative multitasking which led to misbehaving programs refusing to give-up the CPU & freezing the system). Apple said they would stop innovating their GUI if competitors simply copied their ideas, and that's essentially what happened.

There are two premises in play here; one is that if Apple's IP is not protected that they would choose not to innovate (perhaps so that they can take their ball and go home) and the other is that if their IP is not protected that they are at a competitive financial disadvantage and can no longer innovate since there is no revenue coming in. In the past, it could be argued that Apple was indeed at disadvantage because they lost to Microsoft and therefore had poor sales revenue, and that is what stunted their innovation because they kept creating the same lousy desktop experience over and over. However at this point Apple has more than enough money to innovate to any degree imaginable, so any "missing innovation" would be due solely to their will to restrain themselves.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (2, Insightful)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055721)

After Apple lost the "Microsoft coppied our GUI" case, their desktop GUI remained unchanged for 10 years. System 7 through 9 were basically identical..... they couldn't even multitask properly (used cooperative multitasking which led to misbehaving programs refusing to give-up the CPU & freezing the system). Apple said they would stop innovating their GUI if competitors simply copied their ideas, and that's essentially what happened.

The GUI look-and-feel that has more-or-less been unchanged since MacOS System 1.0, even through OS X, is not a sign of lack-of-innovation. Rather it is part of the consistency that makes users happy.

The LAST thing users want is change in the look-and-feel of their computer's OS.

This is what Apple has always understood, and what Microsoft is about to (doubtfully) learn with Metro.

The instabilities of MacOS are greatly over reported. I have been using Macs since they were Lisas, and crashes of my Macs were always much less often than the Windows 3.1, 95 and 98 systems I administered and used as well.

And all the time you complain about "no innovation" as far as "stability" goes under MacOS (Classic), remember that a BSOD on a Windows system was every bit as catastrophic (entire system was taken down) as on Macs of the day, and it took MS until XP SP2 before they got their BSOD problem under control. By that time (what was that, like 2003 for XP SP2?), Apple was already shipping OS X 10.3 (Panther), which was 100% stable. In fact, I have used OS X since 10.0.0, and I have only had TWO Kernel Panics. One was in 2001, caused by a sketchy third-party scanner driver that was obviously playing around too deep in the Kernel; and the second was in 2005, when I purchased some incorrectly-spec'ed RAM.

I say it's pretty good when Kernel Panics are so infrequent that you can remember each of the system-wide OS failures in over a decade of use.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (5, Interesting)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055877)

How can something be 100% stable and have 2 kernel panics?

If you exclude "sketchy third-party" drivers, you could knock every BSOD that I've experienced with Windows off the table.

With Gnome taking a bit of a dive, Unity a bit on the rise, and Metro just starting out, these are certainly interesting times. Just grab some popcorn and see what happens.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055749)

Apple said they would stop innovating their GUI if competitors simply copied their ideas, and that's essentially what happened.

IIRC, that was the era of Sculley, Amelio and a few others not worthy of recollection. Just the sorts of people that would expect a higher ROI from their legal departments instead of R&D.

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055783)

That had a lot more to do with their innovator leaving than with Microsoft copying them. System 8 was also a renumbering of System 7 done by Jobs to cut out every clone manufacturer who only had licenses to sell System 7 systems.

1984 Macintosh is released
1985 Steve jobs leaves
1998 System 6
1991 System 7
1997 System 8, Steve Jobs returns
1998 iMac
1999 System 9
2001 OS X

Re:Yeah they did stop innovating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055939)

Wait. I didn't get the point. Apple intentionally stopped innovating because they lost the lawsuit? Or the losing the suit kept them from innovating? They were protesting for 10 years by not innovating their product so they can go bankrupt to show the government that they should have won the case? Is that what you were saying?

Apple (0, Troll)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055475)

does!

Re:On copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055689)

Tell that to my Professors back in the universities on who cares about copying!

Samsung Must Be Made an Example (3, Interesting)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055501)

Apple pretty much HAS to sue Samsung.

Even though in doing so, they actually may increase the sales of Samsung tablets. Some percentage of people who wouldn't have given a non-Apple-tablet a second glance may now decide "Hey, if Apple is 'worried' enough to sue over this, it must be pretty good."

However, Apple really has no choice. If they don't sue, then that would be the "green light" for the "Allwinners" of the world to come in and just crank out $40 blister-pack 'ePads', absolutely indistinguishable-from-iPad (until you actually tried to use them!) tablets.

Not only would that eat into Apple's sales/profits, but it would eventually (and wrongly) leak into the consumer mindset that ALL tablets are shit. And that could make the iPad market dry up as quickly as it was created.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (1, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055565)

It probably doesn't help Apple that comparing the Apple iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy or Google Galaxy Nexus (same phone, slightly different software) is like comparing a nerfed ("Balanced") Dungeons & Dragons wizard to a real fucking wizard.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (1)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055587)

Isn't this already the case - if I look on Amazon there are scores of cheap Android tablets.(no idea if they are any good to be honest - I've never used one)

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055687)

The cheap Chinese ones are practically iPads with worse hardware than my 10 year old Nokia. But to be fair, while there are hundresds of them, I haven't actually seen anyone using them.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055795)

The cheap Chinese ones don't have Google Play Store (nee "Android Market") on them because they don't meet Google's standards, so there's no point in buying them, and even the uneducated general public realizes that. It's the reasonably priced but still very capable ones like the Nexus 7 that have Apple shitting their pants.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (0)

noh8rz7 (2706405) | more than 2 years ago | (#41056049)

Bad news - iPad mini is announced in 3 weeks and will eat nex7's lunch. Motogoog is spooked.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (4, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055589)

Right, because Yugos eventually (and wrongly) leaked into the consumer mindset that ALL cars are shit.

Spare us the confused consumer nonsense Fanboi Wan.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (3, Interesting)

kenorland (2691677) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055677)

However, Apple really has no choice. If they don't sue, then that would be the "green light" for the "Allwinners" of the world to come in and just crank out $40 blister-pack 'ePads',

And the harm in that would be what?

absolutely indistinguishable-from-iPad (until you actually tried to use them!) tablets. Not only would that eat into Apple's sales/profits, but it would eventually (and wrongly) leak into the consumer mindset that ALL tablets are shit. And that could make the iPad market dry up as quickly as it was created.

The iPad is doing a good job at planting the idea in people's minds that tablets are overpriced toys for kids.

Wouldn't want that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055681)

However, Apple really has no choice. If they don't sue, then that would be the "green light" for the "Allwinners" of the world to come in and just crank out $40 blister-pack 'ePads', absolutely indistinguishable-from-iPad (until you actually tried to use them!) tablets.

I wouldn't want that!

I got my iPad because I wanted to look hip, important, and as one with money. To have those 'ePads' as you say, would cheapen the image - like those KIAs that look like Mercedes Benz. As it is with the financing, you now see all those wannabes on the road with Benzes and BMWs - German cars are becoming the brand for those who can get credit to buy or lease.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055685)

allwinners of the world are cranking out epads and apple is doing nothing to sue them for they have no money.

what's ridiculous is that it's only competition that forces companies to iterate new ideas into products instead of selling the same shit year after year. if apple could actually sue anyone making tablets successfully then they would stop buying inventions to integrate to their products.

Re:Samsung Must Be Made an Example (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055779)

Besides, if Apple didn't sue Samsung, then Samsung would sue Apple for the exact same thing. You score more points with offense than you do with defense.

Turn the argument around. (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055509)

Having other people copy your designs doesn't mean you can't innovate anymore. On the contrary: by innovating you will stay ahead of the pack.

Also, copies always mean the copier is playing catch-up. They always have to wait and see what you've done, before they can try to do the same. By innovating you will keep the advantage, having everybody copy your work just means you have to innovate even harder and faster. That's tough of course, much easier to stop the rest from picking up your innovative ideas.

Re:Turn the argument around. (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055823)

I do like the irony that you took the content of an article that says copying is good for innovation, and just copied it.

Fair point (3, Insightful)

JestersGrind (2549938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055537)

The article makes a fair point. If everyone is allowed to copy everyone else (and they already are anyway including Apple), the only way for a company to distinguish itself is to innovate faster than the competition can copy. This actually promotes innovation, not stifle it.

Re:Fair point (2)

SpeedBump0619 (324581) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055841)

In the business world innovation is only ever justified by some cost-benefit analysis. Yes, competition will drive new features, iff the return on those features is great enough. Patent and copyright laws are specifically intended to widen this profit making window with the intent of fostering innovation.

Decreasing the time you can monetize any new idea serves to decrease the monetary value of that innovation. Decreasing the value of innovations doesn't sound like a winning formula for fostering innovation.

Re:Fair point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055915)

Bingo. Notice there's not one thing that is innovative about the Tab. If Samsung had listened to
Google and taken a little time to figure out how to make it less iPad'y, then they would be taking time to try something else... with a fair chance of it being something pretty slick. Who wins? Samsung, their customers, and the entire Android community.

Samsung did not get dinged hard enough around here for the stunt they pulled. I guess when the words 'patent' and 'Apple' turned up the company grew a little halo over its head.

captcha: Shorted

Steve Jobs (RIP) was fond of this axiom (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055541)

"Good artists copy. Great artists steal. And at Apple, we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

[Source: Isaac's authorized biography]

Apparently he never liked it if someone else followed this axiom, though.

Re:Steve Jobs (RIP) was fond of this axiom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055929)

Well, he didn't say anything about great artists getting away with it.

Good artists copy, great artists steal, and Neal Caffrey steals and gets away with it. Except when he doesn't.

Apple and the GUI (3, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055575)

Well actually Apple never developed the GUI or User Interface. The "GUI" was actually developed decades before Apple even built a computer. I was trying to find the video from youtube but it might of got taken down. There was a video of a researcher in the 60's playing with a mouse and keyboard and moving a mouse pointer. Unless Steve Jobs was about 80 when he died then I fail to see how Apple invented the user interface.

However extracting this out, does apple really invent anything? Siri is just voice analysis which isn't new or clever or even that hard, as I did music genre detection for my final project in University, so I can tell you it's pretty simple. Apple didn't invent the smart phone, they didn't create the tablet, they didn't create Unix which is what OS X is based on and they didn't invent the intel CPU they run. So what does Apple invent? Having a little bit of software for messages or screen locking or even a GUI layout is hardly inventing anything, I consider more a look and feel which personally I don't think should be protected I mean anyone could do the same thing, you don't have to be a leader in the computer field.

So I rest with what does Apple invent? Seems to me they take and sue but thats about it.

Re:Apple and the GUI (4, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055593)

Mother of all demos [youtube.com] .

Re:Apple and the GUI (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055755)

YES!!! that is the video, proof Apple never invented the user interface

Re:Apple and the GUI (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055815)

"Invent" means a lot more than making a YouTube video. You need to bring a product to market at a reasonable cost. This is where Apple excels and Samsung excels in copying.

Re:Apple and the GUI (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#41056027)

You never need to bring a product to market. As long as you can demonstrate the idea works and has been accepted then it doesn't matter. I can't just go out, find a research project, copy it and sell it, that's not ethical, not moral and not legal.

Parallels (5, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055595)

The parallels of current Apple to early 90s Apple are numerous.

- They were first widely used in multitouch and gui
- Their OS is more user-friendly
- Development and modification of their OS is more tightly controlled
- Crucially, they don't license their OS
- Steve Jobs isn't there to save them with brand-new product lines

So now, they're stuck with a market-leading position that is being slowly eroded by the open ARM + Android platform (Armdroid as the new Wintel?), and are being forced to fight on several fronts at once: hardware design, OS design, and developer loyalty.

The litigation strategy is just one more parallel, and it seems destined to fail.

Apple isn't really innovating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055599)

They're just repackaging old ideas with better marketting.

And not giving up, which may be Apple, or just Jobs, when the Newton didn't work they came back, when NeXT failed, objective C stuck around

No actual humans do. (1)

RHoltslander (2132652) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055655)

Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple? I don't think anyone really cares about this except corporations and lawyers.

Apple infringed first (4, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055663)

Apple should start playing by they own rules.
If a company infringes someone elses patents then they should lose the right to defend their own.

Apple doesn't license other peoples patented technologies - they just infringe. Ask Nokia how they magically got around $650 million from Apple last year along with an ongoing royalty payment for every iPhone. Because Apple refused to license key Nokia technology and just blatently infringed when they refused the terms Nokia offered. They then went to the courts claiming that Nokia were unfair to them in the terms and so shouldn't be allowed to hold the patent.

And it wasn't a "key technology" like rounded corners - it was GSM to make it work like a phone!

This is the core patent issue imo. (2)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055669)

One should never be able to patent the what (eg. gui appearance/behavior), only the how (eg. specific implementation). Thus, it was right that Apple lost its MS suit, though they were the superior company (at that time).

Apple doesn't innovate..... (3, Informative)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055735)

they copy, refine and cultivate. Really, just think about it. Im pretty sure I just burnt some Karma, but worth it.

Seeing both sides (4, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055737)

Whilst I am hoping that Samsung largely wins its case, I can see that there should be limits to what can be copied and how much a rival product can simply imitate the originator. Apple should be able to protect the unique aspects of its design, and both Samsung and Apple should be able to patent technological innovation where it is appropriate to do so.

Having said that, I feel Apple is trying to grab too much in this case. It is obvious that Apple didn't come up with the general idea for the layout of a tablet, even if they were the first to market with a genuine product that consumers wanted. It is similarly obvious that everyone wanted to go to a touch screen phone layout at around the same time, and the ergonomics and layout for that are obvious.

Whilst the gap is narrowing, Apple should realise that they really make their money from producing a product that, whilst on the leading edge of techology, is a polished design where all the parts have been carefully put together. I have a Samsung phone at the moment, and whilst there are aspects of it that are probably better than an iPhone, the whole product lacks the design harmony of its rival. The UK judge who, in dismissing Apples case, said that the Samsung product was 'not as cool' probably expressed it best.

No one should! (1)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055739)

So how about companies whose expertise is not in coming up with novel ideas that don't work very well, but rather in design--taking concepts that are well known and finally making them actually work well? Clearly (considering how rarely it is done) that is often harder than coming up with the original germ of an idea. And it clearly is not risk free: there are many of examples of companies that introduced original designs, but failed because they could not compete with other companies who simply copied the designs of others.

CORPORATIONS should not have functional, limited or unlimited monopolies on DESIGN any more than you should have to pay a tax on buying a knife that cuts because it is sharp. We need to STOP this destructive meme that once you do something innovative (NOT inventive) you should be continually rewarded in the future for that!

In design, there are the good designers, and then there are the rock stars. Do you notice no one in fashion is bothering to patent the "look and feel" of this season's clothing lines, or suing the inevitable cheaper knockoffs? The rock stars, the industry leaders, are already moving on to the Next Big Thing. This is how design is supposed to work - innovate, be rewarded handsomely, and then move on to your next project! The designers of the iPhone or iPad are never going to hurt for work again - it doesn't matter how many knockoffs come later. The CORPORATION may go under if it sits on its laurels, but that is what is supposed to happen! If Apple is losing ground because their newer iPhones have less and less about them to justify their profit margins, then the answer is for them to innovate again, with something that consumers will find worth rewarding them for again, or die. Hint: adding 4G functionality to your next iPhone iteration probably doesn't qualify.

If the headline... (2)

closer2it (926190) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055751)

If the headline is a question, then the answer is no... oh... nevermind.

Poor understanding of IP categories (5, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055781)

If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case.

... I've used Apple as the example here because it's illustrative in showing how innovation hasn't been stifled over time even when the patent system hasn't ruled in their favor as a patent owner.

The Apple v. Microsoft case was on copyright, not patents. Specifically, the court ruled that:

Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]...

and look-and-feel simply isn't covered there.

With that distinction and proper categorization in mind, the article misses a crucial difference between the 1990s and today: Apple made a significant push to protecting its designs with patents. The lack of such protection almost killed Apple in the 1990s, and its with that protection now that Apple is well on its way to being the largest company ever.

Re:Poor understanding of IP categories (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055971)

The lack of such protection almost killed Apple in the 1990s

I disagree. I think an operating system that was cheaper, more open, and had a better variety of hardware killed them. People rememberd what it was like when IBM was in Apple's position and they didn't like it. Most people these days don't remember that, but I'm guessing some of them are finding out why it's a bad thing.

Well... (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055789)

It's arguable that Apple has ever innovated in the first place. Steve Jobs used to brag about how he was the best thief in the industry. And to his credit, he was. He even went so far as to fly the Jolly Rodger above Apple headquarters.

The great Steve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055793)

If he has eMail down there, prepare for a strongly worded one, samsung...

Welcome to the Pirate Party, James (5, Insightful)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055797)

The Pirate Party here in Sweden been arguing just these points for a long time now. Innovation is not happening in a vacuum. Great ideas inspire others to come up with even greater ideas. By sharing the information and sharing the data others can look at it and improve it and the speed of research will increase.

The patent system is not something that foster innovation. Its is something that hinder innovation. Remove it

Also the billions of money going to patents trolls and feeding lawyers to hand patents could be instead used to invest in research to further the science of mankind.

Two Words (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055855)

Intellectual Sharecropping

"If we cannot own people, we'll own their thoughts and charge them for the privilege of thinking."
"The chains of bondage can be forged from more then iron and steel."
"Imagination is a dangerous force that allows people to dream of a better world without us."
"The most important factor in tyranny is to ensure a high cost of challenging it."

Seriously? (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055903)

Whether you think these cases are a waste of time or not, "who cares" is an ill informed attitude. In fact, you're getting into intentional ignorance territory. "Who cares" isn't how the legal system works, or really, any system.

CopyCats (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055921)

There is no irony lost on the fact that Apple have chosen rare and select species of feline names (SnowLeopard, LION, MountainLION...) for product innovation. AAPL do not reproduce household variety cats...and that speaks to the heart of this case.

An inventor and ex-NeXT developer who has been inside the innovation washing machine, this media tasty trial is _the_ most important decision in post modern economics. Are all cats created equal as SAMSUNG would have you believe or are their rare and protected species that are endangered and lynchpins in the ecosystem of global commerce?

The lawsuits are much ado about nothing (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055937)

Apple, Samsung, et al all have huge legal departments. These legal departments have to do something to ensure that they get paid large sums of money.

What a better way than mutual patent infringement lawsuits that tie them up in court battles for years?

Job security, nothing more!

Execution, not innovation (5, Insightful)

Andrio (2580551) | more than 2 years ago | (#41055969)

"Innovation" is rarely little more than just a buzzword. The truth is that Apple rarely "innovates" (That's not an insult) At least not in the big picture. What Apple is good at is the *execution*.

Apple didn't invent the MP3 player, they just made it better than most others, and marketed the hell out of it.
Apple didn't invent high-end laptops, they just made them better than most others, and marketed the hell out of them.
Apple didn't invent the smartphone, they just made it better than most others, and marketed the hell out of it.
Apple didn't invent the tablet, they just made it better than the others, and marketed the hell out of it.

That's why they're so threatened by Samsung. Because Samsung is doing the same thing. Samsung didn't invent the "iPhone," they just made it better. Just like they didn't invent the "iPad," they just made it better too.

You can't steal from a thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41055999)

Apple used the phone icon as evidence that Samsung copied from them. The problem is they stole the design of that handset from Bell. For Apple to steal a design then try to sue someone else who also copied the design is mind boggling.

Competative markets: they're pretty neat. (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 2 years ago | (#41056025)

> Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.'"

Yeah, competition is a bitch. You have to keep working. Much nicer not to have any competition - no innovation required at all. Ask Comcast about that.

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