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Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the arms-length dept.

Google 404

Nerval's Lobster writes "On August 24, a California court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, hitting the latter with a $1.05 billion fine. Tech pundits spent the weekend chattering about the possible repercussions of the decision, which Samsung will surely appeal. One of the biggest issues under discussion: how Apple's victory will affect Google Android, the operating system that powers the majority of Samsung's mobile devices, and itself a player in the patent-infringement actions shaking the tech world. For its part, Google made every effort to create some distance between Android and the smoking ruins of Samsung's case. 'The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims' the company wrote in a widely circulated statement. 'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.' Google didn't end there. 'The mobile industry is moving fast and all players—including newcomers—are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,' the statement continued. 'We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."

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First Post (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41137307)

From a non-Apple rectangular computing device with rounded corners.

So, sue me.

Re:First Post (1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41137337)

check the patent office. samsung and everyone else have the same design patents on everything they sell. samsung has one on a refrigerator of all things. everyone has patented the rectangle and every other shape

Re:First Post (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137399)

Difference is that Samsung aren't suing Beko for making refrigerators, and your typical refrigerators are a lot closer in design than Apple seems to think is worth suing over.

Re:First Post (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137891)

Difference is that Samsung aren't suing Beko for making refrigerators, and your typical refrigerators are a lot closer in design than Apple seems to think is worth suing over.

Apple simply doesn't know how to compete. It couldn't compete over ebooks, it can't compete over features in its smartphones. They use the only weapons at their disposal, courts and price fixing. They fuck their customers and everybody else in the process. It wouldn't be so tragic that they fuck their own customers (and said customers love being fucked over by Apple) but they also fuck everybody else in the meantime.

Re:First Post (0)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41137933)

no samsung is involved in design patent lawsuits about christmas lights and other things. its just not hyped

Re:First Post (-1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41137485)

The patent on the refrigerator has long time been expired.

Re:First Post (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41137643)

The patent on the refrigerator has long time been expired.

This is a prime example why reading any discussion about patents on Slashdot is just a pointless task - the parent post proves most Slashdot commenters have no fucking clue about what they are discussing...

Re:First Post (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41137649)

nope, check the patent office. samsung and everyone else gets a design patent on everything they make. the number is prefixed with a D and its a special patent.

you send photos to the patent office and your design is protected. the shape of the handles, exact layout of the interior, etc. anything that makes your product stand out in the store

Re:First Post (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137693)

So has the patent on phones, cell phones, and PDAs.

But this is a new patent. It's on rectangular devices with rounded corners.

***

Hey the Patent on assholes has expired, but you know what....the patent on apple shaped assholes is totally new!!!

Re:First Post (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41137397)

I've never had a computing device that didn't have rounded corners. The only question is what the radius of curvature is.

Re:First Post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137673)

I'll go with a negative radius, myself, so that it winds up having very sharp points on the corners. Never you mind the fact that it would make it awfully convenient to throw at and lodge into the eye sockets of certain executives of a certain Cupertino-based marketing and design firm with delusions of being a technology company, I just think it'd be... neat to have one. Or a few.

Oh, and they'd be Android-powered.

Re:First Post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137859)

Sounds more like they'd be arm... err... ARM powered :-)

Re:First Post (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41137947)

Samsung, for several devices (the ones that did look a bit more iphone-ish like the Fascinate) had oddly curved corners, not a perfect radius from the union of the two sides. Strangely, the courts didnt find this distinction sufficient (even though an Apple product would NEVER have anything but perfectly radius-ed corners.)

Re:First Post (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41137811)

Square corners is nothing. That is a design patent, and it's easy to work around (by making a device that doesn't look too much like Apple's, Samsung did so themselves with the Infuse 4G. It's not hard to work around).

The huge problem here is the multi-touch patents Apple has. Consider that every modern smartphone uses multi-touch. Then consider the alternatives. You want to zoom in but can't use multi-touch, what are you going to do? Double-tap the screen? Nope, Apple has that patented too. (Here is one multi-touch patent, they have several) [google.com] . Mult-touch patents could seriously cause problems for the rest of the world. Apple might license them at $30-$50 per handset, if they license them at all.

Re:First Post (5, Insightful)

knarf (34928) | about 2 years ago | (#41138055)

The huge problem here is the multi-touch patents Apple has.

You forgot to add in the United States of America.

In other words, 5% of the world population will be limited to multi-touch devices from one manufacturer only. The other 95% will be free to choose between a multitude of vendors.

The land of the free... indeed.

Good... (-1, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41137345)

I was worried that my round phone running the only build of Android without pinch to zoom etc would be effected!

Google can distance themselves all they want, but if the verdict stands Apple will be targeting every Android phone on the market while singing the them song to The Highlander.

Re:Good... (2, Insightful)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#41137997)

I'm sorry, what part of the lawsuit was about Android? I must have missed that.

Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137349)

However you feel about Apple, iOS, Samsung, Google or whomever else, keep in mind how broken the technology patent system is. Most of us have known this for years and this trial only serves to highlight this point over and over again.

Don't hate the players, hate the game. Don't focus your hate on the companies involved. Focus on reforming the horribly broken patent system.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41137385)

No one made Apple sue over a rectangular shape. They choose to do it. So as much as I like their products, I can hate them as much as I want for trying to destroy the cell-phone market. Pity as well since they have great products that by and large the market has deemed the "best". They had no need to resorte to lawsuits rather then just compete.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137635)

No one made Apple sue over a rectangular shape. They choose to do it. So as much as I like their products, I can hate them as much as I want for trying to destroy the cell-phone market. Pity as well since they have great products that by and large the market has deemed the "best". They had no need to resorte to lawsuits rather then just compete.

I never thought Apple would be more successful than Microsoft ever was at EEE -- Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41137567)

In short, Apple is still bitter about Microsoft stealing their UI, back in the late 80's. Bla Bla Apple took it from Xerox... Apple felt like Windows took their thunder away. After that Apple has gotten much harder in protecting their UI.

The players will play the game by using all the rules to their benefit. Fix the game not the players.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (2, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41137639)

Difference is, Apple paid Xerox for the right to use it.

Has Samsung paid Apple for all the copying they did?

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137747)

Actually, I thought they hadn't. And were sued. And Xerox lost.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (5, Insightful)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41137845)

IIRC, Xerox lost it's suit for the same reason Apple lost to MS. They both had a poorly worded licensing deal that gave away more than they thought it did.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41137983)

They did (the payment was through pre-IPO stock) and also ended up with some Xerox employees afterwards too.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137829)

But did Samsung copy Apple?

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 2 years ago | (#41137909)

Difference is, Apple paid Xerox for the right to use it.

Has Samsung paid Apple for all the copying they did?

Errr.... no they didn't. They very blatantly stole it. I was programming Xerox kit in those days.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41137789)

In short, Apple is still bitter about Microsoft stealing their UI, back in the late 80's. Bla Bla Apple took it from Xerox... Apple felt like Windows took their thunder away. After that Apple has gotten much harder in protecting their UI.

To Microsoft's credit though, Bill Gates was an excellent businessperson (better than Jobs ever was). The only reason Microsoft "won" that case was that Jobs needed apps on the Mac, and ended up signing a contract crafted by Gates where Microsoft would write the apps, and inherit a license to the UI.

That was why Microsoft won - Apple licensed the UI stuff to Microsoft. All Microsoft did was point out the contract that said so, game over. Perfectly legal transaction.

Windows stealing the thunder? The joke that was Windows 1.0 would've dissuaded you on that (no overlapping windows, to begin with. It was actually closer to the Xerox model (also no overlapping windows) than Mac). Windows 2.0 wasn't much better. Windows 3 got somewhere, and Windows 95 and NT blew OS X out of the water (mock all you want, at least 95 had protected memory and preemptive multitasking, two things that MacOS lacked until OS X's release 6 years later. And the NT line...). All Apple had was a crusty OS, a dead-in-the-water rewrite (Copland) and really nowhere to go. They had to buy the next MacOS (from NeXT) to get this stuff (after attempts to buy BeOS failed when Be got a bit greedy).

Though, you can be sure Apple was not going to do THAT again. (And Apple didn't take it from Xerox - they licensed it for Apple stock).

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137821)

Make the players pay a price so that you can change the game. If you don't, they'll fight you every step of the way towards changing any games they are winning at. Besides, not doing so, is your acceptance that the game and the actions taken by players is legitimate.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (1, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#41137617)

You're saying it's unreasonable for me to demand ethical behavior from a company?

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137877)

That's like expecting ethical behavior from the government. Welcome to reality.

Re:Before the Apple/Android flamewar starts... (5, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41137959)

Don't hate the players, hate the game.

Why can't we hate both the players and the game? While the patent (and copyright) system is currently a mess, Apple chose to get all sue-happy.

Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41137359)

It was Samsung that chose to copy Apple designs. Most other Android handset makers did not so slavishly copy the design of the iPhone in regards to hardware and software, so they are far more immune to being sued.

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire, or Nokia over the Lumia. It is quite possible to make distinctive designs that do not mirror the iPhone, and in fact preferable for long term health. If your product just looks and acts like an iPhone, eventually people will just switch to the "real thing". Far better to make it distinctive in a way that people may grow to prefer so moving to an iPhone would feel wrong to the user because it was different.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1, Insightful)

theexaptation (1948750) | about 2 years ago | (#41137449)

They have BS patents on BS stuff and are using their market position and wealth to prevent the free flow of goods and consumer choice.
I happen to own a ton of Apple gear and really like their products but that is not the issue.
If it was a Microsoft product a consensus would be flipping their lids but somehow Apple gets a pass?
I guess their advertising really is that good.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (0)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41137657)

Or perhaps the rest of us sees how similar Samsung made their phones to the iPhone?

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41137753)

Which is why they are now going after devices that look nothing like an iPhone?

The Galaxy Nexus does not have evenly rounded corners, no metal rim, it has a curved display, it does not have glass on the back. Still Apple claims it copies the iPhone somehow.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (5, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | about 2 years ago | (#41137885)

No. Apple claims that the Galaxy Nexus violated the patent on Unified Search. They don't claim any design patent infringement by Samsung with the Gnex.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41138039)

A lot of the claims have nothing to do with the shape of the device but how the software operates and looks

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137879)

These patents are BS provided you (or enter favority third-party here) aren't the one holding them. If you had filed and received the patents, you would be defending them for all it's worth or risk losing the protections patenting provide (including the subsequent derived income).

Samsung will need to go back to the drawing board to create designs that don't mimic the iPhone as other manufactures have done. Android is not a target of this litigation.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41138113)

These patents are BS provided you (or enter favority third-party here) aren't the one holding them.

Who owns them does not change the fact that these patents are BS.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41138021)

You mean like Google's BS patent application for a notification system despite the fact it's a butt ton of prior art on the top three desktop operating systems?

They all patent bullshit because the system allows it. So you can't complain that one company is doing something they all do. The system needs fixing.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41137529)

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire

Yet. If this verdict stands I could easily see Apple attacking every Android-using company in the mobile space.

or Nokia over the Lumia.

Apple has already lost to Nokia.

Of far more concern are how blindly the utility patents were upheld. An animated spring simulation, that doesn't even include code, is not worth giving Apple 20 years of protection.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#41137581)

The lawsuit had nothing to do with Android. Your statement would make sense if you'd said "every smartphone manufacturer".

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137835)

The lawsuit had nothing to do with Android. Your statement would make sense if you'd said "every smartphone manufacturer".

Mmm hmm, say, random AC here with a question. Would you mind at all if I copied the URL of your post so I can feed it back to you once Apple DOES start explicitly suing every Android phone manufacturer on earth (which they indeed will, given their history of desperation as soon as the evil, evil specter of competition shows up and eats their lunch, breakfast, dinner, late-night snack, brunch, and (out their) girlfriends)? Don't worry, I'll be sure to put your username on it to give you proper credit.

Good, good, glad you don't mind. See you again in a month or so!

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41137849)

See the excerpts he is quoting and you will see his post makes a hell lot more sense than yours.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (0)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#41138017)

Nice, now what part of the lawsuit targeted Android again?

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41138067)

The lawsuit had nothing to do with Android. Your statement would make sense if you'd said "every smartphone manufacturer".

Let's see:

Apple could sue...:

Android OEMs: They're already doing it, and going after others will be easier after the first victory. They got big money, no whammies, and they won't stop.

Apple: Doubtful.

Google: Google doesn't make end products, they have OEMs do it, so they're insulated there. Apple could sue on all of the software stuff, but since Google isn't the one making the devices, and using Android is "free" for OEMs, they'd have a hard time getting large awards for damages. Apple's goal is to win cash and to maintain their dwindling market share. If Google lost a suit, damages would be low or non-existent, and stock Android would have some minor change that OEMs override. No big deal. Android is like a hydra at this point, with each OEM being a head.

Microsoft: Windows Phone phones are actually quite different in design and UI compared to the iPhone and Android phones, and MS has the resources (entire battalions of lawyers and its own patent portfolio) to defend itself properly. If Apple were to sue, MS would fire back, and it would be a tit-for-tat on technology (actual technology, not UI bullshit) patents each of them hold. There's no huge financial victory possible, and there's no smackdown to a major competitor.

That's everyone in the game today. Nokia is gone, Motorola Mobility is gone, and RIM is on their way to being bought out for their patents. Suing the biggest Android OEM is the best way to get a large cash award and disrupt a competitor's spot in the marketplace. If Samsung fails to score on the appeals, HTC will be next.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (5, Insightful)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 2 years ago | (#41137565)

Or, it could just be that Samsung is, by itself, outselling Apple in the phone market and is moving up fast the tablet market.

I think that if you saw any of the other vendors you mention start to seriously threaten Apple's market share you would start to see litigation.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (4, Interesting)

micheas (231635) | about 2 years ago | (#41137623)

You do see Motorola Mobility with a motion for an injunction against all ipads, iphones, and most apple laptops from being sold in the US for patent violation.

Apples iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPad 2 are already banned from sale in South Korea due to patent infringement, and Google (the owner of Motorola Mobility) has picked only patents that seem to at first glance fit the following criteria:

  • Not easily overturnable.
  • Not subject to FRAND licensing
  • Not licensed to apples suppliers

It will be interesting to watch that case, as the goal seems to be to cause maximum pain, as a loss by Apple in that case would probably force them to cross license all there patents to all android phones.

It will be interesting if the press reports it as Google v. Apple or Motorola v. Apple.

It will be ironic if the courts uphold the injunction against Samsung and cites that case in granting Motorola Mobilities injunction against Apple.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137787)

Mind you, Google only did this AFTER #crApple decided to use the nuclear option against Samsung.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#41137715)

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire, or Nokia over the Lumia.

Of course not, those would be harder to prove. This ruling sets precedent and, in addition to over a billion dollars, provides ammo for future action. If you think this is Apple's last suit, you're quite mistaken.

It makes sense that, if success tomorrow requires a win today, that you would start with the easiest to win and the proceed up the ladder.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 2 years ago | (#41137735)

I thought Samsung was a supplier to Apple. Is that why the hardware is so similar?

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137775)

Oh my, um gee....it's got a full screen. Rounded edges. And a few buttons.

Um that describes just about 70% of the smart phones out there. Ironically, if you remove the antenna nub from my old HTC 6700 it looks a lot like the iPhone. Sure the screen is smaller, but that's because it's older tech.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41137813)

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire, or Nokia over the Lumia.

Not *yet*. The worrisome possibility is that they decided to go against Samsung because they saw it as the case they could most easily make, then plan to use those precedents to attack all other Android devices. Steve Jobs is on record as saying that he wanted Android destroyed totally.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41137857)

It was Samsung that chose to copy Apple designs. Most other Android handset makers did not so slavishly copy the design of the iPhone in regards to hardware and software, so they are far more immune to being sued.

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire, or Nokia over the Lumia. It is quite possible to make distinctive designs that do not mirror the iPhone, and in fact preferable for long term health. If your product just looks and acts like an iPhone, eventually people will just switch to the "real thing". Far better to make it distinctive in a way that people may grow to prefer so moving to an iPhone would feel wrong to the user because it was different.

There are cross licensing agreements with most of the big names making tablets and cell phones, which is the reason you don't see those. Google "patent thicket" -- its the norm in industry, and has been for 200 yars.

You only see litigation like this show up when the two companies involved don't have equitable patent portfolios, and the one with the lesser portfolio does't want to pay for things. That's why you see various figures for how much every Android phone makes Microsoft in licensing -- the patent cross licensing agreements are imbalanced in a direction that favors Microsoft. In other cases, Microsoft may be paying something. It all works out in the end, when people "play by the rules".

IANAL, but my blink on Samsung/Apple is that they probably had fairly comparable patent portfolios, but the places where Apple was using Samsung IP was predominantly in cases where Apple was *buying* from Samsung, leaving Samsung at a disadvantage where a cross licensing deal was concerned -- to the point where they thought it was economicaly viable to fight or ignore the patents. And Apple is stuck in a "use it or lose it" situation with their design patents. Add to it the fact that Samsung is still the bigger cell phone manufacturer, and the ecosystem around the iPad and Tablet are the only reason Apple exists at this point, and Apple is in a fight for its life. Samsung can go on just fine without tablets and phones -- Apple can't go on without the iPad and iPhone. Too much of their earnings are coupled to it.

You can bet that Apple doesn't care one tiny bit about the money -- injunctions against sales are all Apple cares about. A percent drop in market share will shave far more than a billion from Apple's value. They need to keep their market share growing as long as possible, so they can justify their stock price. Its a ponzi scheme that will fail eventually -- like every other company that has grown to its size, but the powers that be just need to keep it going long enough to get out.

Re:Exactly right, specific to manufacturer (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#41138075)

You don't see Apple suing Amazon over the Kindle Fire, or Nokia over the Lumia.

Samsung is their biggest competitor on the mobile front and therefore the biggest threat. I will be pleasantly surprised if Apple doesn't start suing all the other Android manufactures and Google. Given their track record, I would say that it is a fair assumption that they will continue suing. On a side note, Kindle Fire's UI sucks if you plan to use it like a tablet and not a ereader.

AOSP vs Touchwiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137419)

Touchwiz looks like the main culprit of design copy. AOSP aka vanilla android looks and behaves very differently from iOS.

Re:AOSP vs Touchwiz (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137817)

Um, I'm not familiar with Touchwiz. But the iPhone has an extremely rudimentary interface. Grid of icons on a page. Multiple pages.

Well, that should be eliminated from argument by the simple fact that it was a GUI used by Palm nearly 20 years ago.

As for the stupid bounce affect, it's called "easing" and is taught to first year design students.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137427)

On August 24, a California court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, hitting the latter with a $1.05 billion fine [slashdot.org] .

Linked summary says: "The jury is in in the epic patent dispute between Apple and Samsung and Apple appears to be coming out on top."

How come we didn't get a story or at least an update that confirmed that Apple really did come out on top?

Which patents are under re-examination? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41137429)

'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.'

Question is, which patents are under re-examination? You never know...I could be of help.

Re:Which patents are under re-examination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137499)

Why could you be of help? (Other than usual Slashdotter helpfullness?) Do you have some qualification we don't know yet?

Re:Which patents are under re-examination? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41137683)

He can cheer from the sidelines telling them how he could help them. rah rah rah

This anti-innovation environment sucks!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137451)

This whole patent and innovation thing is a mess. As an engineer with a day job, I've created a few useful thing for myself on my own time that never leave the walls of my own home. I've never even considered turning them into products and selling them. Why? I have the skills and resources to design and build them, to patent them, to go through all the FCC stuff...everything. The only thing I don't have are the resources to defend my patents against an unknown team of lawyers so why should I even bother? I'm not saying that I know for sure the things I'm making are revolutionary and everyone would want one....but I'll never know because it's not worth it to me to find out.

Am I the only one in this boat?

Re:This anti-innovation environment sucks!!! (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41137641)

The patent system really needs more people to say this this patent is obvious.

Re:This anti-innovation environment sucks!!! (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137863)

Same here...or worse, I've had ideas that I know I'll never produce. But want to share with the world.

One simply Patent Office reform would fix 90% of the problems. "Free Patent Filing for Public Domain"

Essentially, if I am willing to give my idea to all of humanity, then I am allowed to file for free. It goes into a "prior art" database. And anyone can use the idea without threat of legal action. Would eliminate 90% of these patent trolling lawsuits.

Frustrating (5, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about 2 years ago | (#41137461)

So I've tried hard not to throw my hat in the ring on all this crap between Apple and Samsung. Basically what it comes down to is two things. Google has worked hard to move away fromt he iOS look and feel every since Froyo because they new it was a hotbed and because Steve Jobs was moderately correct in calling out the vendors in their attempts to make Android look like iOS.

The war between these two isn't about functionality it's about aesthetics. Samsung makes their UI very iOS'ish. I bought an Epic 4G from Sprint last year and even I noticed it. This was purely Samsung though, most other vendors veered away from this, especially Motorola who used Motoblur instead.

Apple is all about aesthetics. So when Samsung, who had prior knowledge of and access to Apples plans as one of their close suppliers, started "copying" the look and feel, naturally Apple got pissed off. I'm ok with Apple kicking them in the balls over that. I'd feel the same way knowing the history of Samsung and their complete lack of originality in the marketplace.

However, this has shown some serious problems with patents. It never should have gone this far. Maybe i'm wrong but I've never seen Ford sue Chevy over the size and shape of their trucks. They all have similar features because they are friggin obvious. Enough is enough with this crap. I've sworn both companies off and will never buy anything from either of them again. I'm going strictly Nexus (non-Samsung Nexus that is) with Android from now on. When my Macbook Air is EOL I'll be looking into other solutions.

I'm done supporting this. I thoroughly believe it's only gotten this far and become this bad because the media love a fight and because Samsung is incapable of making money based on their own products aesthetics. Samsung has Apple envy and Apple has an inferiority complex. Fuck'em both.

Re:Frustrating (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41137987)

Maybe i'm wrong but I've never seen Ford sue Chevy over the size and shape of their trucks. They all have similar features because they are friggin obvious.

That's because you're in tech. If you were in automotive engineering, you'd be laughing at the cute little patent scuffles the software space has gotten themselves into.

There are thousands, or tens of thousands, of patents covering every tiny little detail of a car you buy. Lawsuits have been the norm for a hundred years. You don't see it because there isn't a "slashcar.org" website, there are a lot fewer people in the middle of it, and most importantly there's a substantial patent thicket in the automotive industry. At this point each of the car companies has enough IP, their cross licensing agreements end up basically even and its all a wash. Innovation happens largely because it helps move that needle year-on-year. Ford and Toyota kept one-upping each other in the atkinson/electric hybrid space, and little bits of money flowed one way or the other over the years. Tesla now is making money from a bunch of companies because of their IP -- something that helps substantially when it comes to the IP they need to build their cars.

IMO, you see a lot of agression now in the consumer technology space because of Moore's law and the exponential growth going on -- you have a very narrow window to make a lot of money with something, and you need to use whatever tools you've got to justify the investment. Because of that, I expect it'll only get worse before things totally implode.

The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (3, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#41137469)

"The smoking ruins of Samsung's case"? Nope.

Samsung's case is not in ruins. There are so many errors that it is an appeal's dream.

To begin:

1. Prior art have been abundant, from Samsung and LG
2. The jury ignored the prior art as it was too tedious...
3. The jury tried to punish Samsung

etc.

No, there are no ruins here. Wait and see what happens in the appeal.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (4, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41137571)

Yep. You're ahead of me, with better formatting.

There were some really shady problems going on for a case of this level. (One Billion Dollars - Cue MiniMe!) So you'd think that some part of the procedures would have really tried to put Quality Control into the process. I think the Judge made a couple of mistakes, and the Jury made a couple of mistakes, I won't go quite as far as to say as it was a total sham.

But "Mistakes" are different between Small Claims Court and the Future of Mobile Computing. Sorry, but you just have to apply a little more policy than happened here. Industrial contracts for 100K get more review!

So Samsung has a few nice openings to weaken the damage. I think they'll lose and I think I see why, but maybe they can take it down from One Billion Dollars (with pinky) to something "boring" like 50 million.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (2, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 2 years ago | (#41137629)

Comments from a jury cannot be used as evidence in either the appeal or a later trial. The prior art has already been reviewed by a jury, which rejected them as invalidating. An appellate court cannot replace its own findings over that of the jury unless it is very clear that the jury is wrong.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137697)

Don't set up your law office yet.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41137935)

They can, have been and will be.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (2)

bob zee (701656) | about 2 years ago | (#41137815)

Very good points. I believe this is only the beginning of this war.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41138047)

The jury ignored the prior art as it was too tedious...

No they didn't. They moved on in the discussion because that subject bogged things down and they were making no progress. They returned and completed the discussion after resolving various other issues.

Feel free to spread your lies but intelligent people know the truth.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (1)

crmarvin42 (652893) | about 2 years ago | (#41138053)

1. Samsung presented a LOT of prior art and the Jury was not convinced that it was relevant.

2. They most definitely did NOT ignore the prior art. They skipped some of it and then came back to it later. The quote to which you are referring (and several sensationalist write ups based entire screeds on) was taken out of context. They were talking about the order in which the address the different points on the 30ish page form, not whether they simply decided to ignore evidence as has been claimed.

3. Yes, the jury did decide to punish Samsung, but only becuase they believed that Samsung wilfully violated Apples IP, but that was their job to decide. It is worth pointing out that they went with 1Billion instead of the 2+ billion that Apple was requesting, so they obviously put some thought of their own into the punishment. Keep in mind that Samsung cleared at least twice that in PROFIT last year alone, but the fine is supposed to cover several years of infringement. Therefore, if you annualze the fine over the total time of infringement covered by this case, it comes down to an even smaller proportion of their current profits. If Samsung is forced to pay it'll hurt, but they still will be the most (only?) profitable Android manufacturer as long as they can address the issues presented or secure some licensing moving forward.


I agree though, this case is far from over. Samsung will appeal and use the Korean case (both found to infringe, not just Samsung) to try and get this verdict changed, or the fines revised downward at least. I don't expect a final settlement anytime this year or possibly next.

Re:The smoking ruins of Samsung's case? Nope. (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#41138061)

How did they punish them by awarding Apple half of what they asked for and telling Apple they can't claim to own the shape of tablets?

To Be Fair (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137477)

While I don't think Google is squeaky-clean innocent in all of this, they did at least warn Samsung that they were too close to infringing on Apple's patents. They knew what was going to happen if Samsung didn't respect Apple's IP - Samsung just decided to ignore the warning...

As a related side note, as a consumer, I _WANT_ Samsung to be forced to design around Apple's patents (since I doubt they'll license them...). _THAT_ will lead to further innovation in the market and that is a good thing for me, as a consumer. Copying someone else doesn't provide innovation. Copying them without paying for the right to do so isn't innovative nor honourable. Anyhow, I look forward to the new innovations that Samsung (and probably others) are going to come up with in an effort to design around Apple's (and others') patents. That will lead to true consumer choice, product differentiation, and innovation.

Re:To Be Fair (0, Redundant)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 2 years ago | (#41137665)

Trying to "design around" rounded rectangles isn't a constraint anyone should be subjected to.

Re:To Be Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137825)

As a related side note, as a consumer, I _WANT_ Samsung to be forced to design around Apple's patents (since I doubt they'll license them...). _THAT_ will lead to further innovation in the market and that is a good thing for me, as a consumer.

Remember Battlestar Galactica? How all the papers had the corners lopped off just so it didn't look like any other TV show? Was that "innovative"? Sure, in a sense -- and there's nothing wrong with developing your own look.

But to suggest that production of lopped-corner paper would make the marketplace somehow better off, that the ability of both rectangular and lopped-corner is "a good thing for me, as a consumer"? I don't buy that. The whole point of design patents is that these are non-functional elements on an eminently functional device. I'd much rather they put their innovating energy into the functional aspects than squander it on styling.

Meanwhile in a garage (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137549)

Meanwhile in a garage, another inventor has decided it just ain't worth it. The opportunity to be crushed by corporate behemoths just isn't that exciting. How's that encouraging progress in science and the arts working out for ya?

Re:Meanwhile in a garage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137943)

Meanwhile in a garage, another inventor has decided it just ain't worth it.

You mean parent's basement. Garage is soooo 20th century.

Apple following Micro$ofts footsteps (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41137563)

Monopolize the market so everyone must buy an iPhone if they want any kind of functionality.

Re:Apple following Micro$ofts footsteps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41138025)

You really need to examine what this case was about. This isn't about functionality - it's about protecting a look and feel that makes Apple products unique. Android is not the target. Nor, are scores of other manufacturers who produced their own industrial designs that are not readily confused with Apple's. If they can do it, so can Samsung.

As for licensing, other manufacturers can avoid the litigation by working with companies with which Apple has agreesment with - like how Samsung has partnered with Apple and Apple has access to chips produced by Intel that contain Samsung technology.

Ultimately, a big winner here will be....Microsoft. How about dem Apples?

Copying is not innovative (2)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 2 years ago | (#41137613)

Copying a design isn't innovative except in the minds of those too dim-witted to come up with original designs. Actually enforcing the patents the tech companies have will force more innovation and better devices. Instead of complaining about how patent wars stifle innovation (they don't they only stifle copying) everyone who owns the current generation of devices should be complaining to the device manufacturers about the lack of truely innovative technologies and features in their devices.

Re:Copying is not innovative (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#41137913)

Patenting a square is not innovation.

Nor is suing another company for "easing effects", several decades old and taught to first year design students.

Frankly, the best thing that could happen to American innovation is a for a bum to build a fire next to the patent office this winter, and a tragic accident result in the entire office going up in smoke.

This would do far more for the American public and innovation than all the lawsuits combined.

Completely correct. (1, Informative)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 2 years ago | (#41137731)

At its core, Android and AOSP do not contain anything that infringes on Apple's IP. I think the stuff that it used to have that did (slide-to-unlock, for example) were removed.

However, it doesn't take anyone more than five minutes to notice that Samsung ripped off of Apple's stuff nearly-wholesale since their first Galaxy S device.

Re:Completely correct. (4, Informative)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41137797)

My Galaxy S1 phone looks and functions nothing like an iPhone. It's completely different size, shape, and operating system. I've tried comparing the two, and I can't see any obvious similarities.

Re:Completely correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137937)

If you're still running TouchWiz, look at the arrangement of the icons (and some of the icons themselves), the way the browser is designed and the charging screen when the phone is off. Functions like an Android device; heavily "inspired" by iOS.

Re:Completely correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137907)

I agree the Galaxy S got a bit too close to Apple's design, but "since" is pushing a bit.

The Galaxy S II and S III are light years ahead of Apple's products for example. Fundamentally, at this point, Samsung CAN'T rip off Apple, because they're ahead of them in the game, and Apple has instead been copying Google with things like the notification bar etc.

Samsung did seem to use the iPhone design to get their foot in the door with the Galaxy S, but since then they're the leaders, and Apple has been following.

Re:Completely correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137917)

However, it doesn't take anyone more than five minutes to notice that Samsung ripped off of Apple's stuff nearly-wholesale since their first Galaxy S device.

And Apple nearly-wholesale steals ideas from other people. Steve Jobs even admitted they did so unashamedly. Apple is a fucking hypocrite and since having lost the copyrighted "look-and-feel" case to MS they just bought a bunch of nonsense patents to use for the next time around.

Re:Completely correct. (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#41137971)

Only if you consider the square "Apple stuff", and there are a lot of dead Greek mathematicians that would disagree.

These patents are horse poop. (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#41137769)

Icons? Bounce-back scrolling? Rounded corners?

The Constitution makes this statement:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

How is any of this malarkey leading to the Progress of Science?

Re:These patents are horse poop. (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#41138107)

First, this is not a question of science but of useful arts. Second, I agree that design patents are a bad idea: the place for protecting design IP is, if anywhere, under trademark. Third, I am so tired of the "rounded corners" canard; it is corners rounded equally PLUS a whole bunch of other things (like a metallic rim and certain proportionalities) ALL TAKEN TOGETHER that are at issue. Fourth, icons are covered under point one, since this is a design issue. But fifth, bounce-back scrolling and inertial scrolling really were actually innovative and useful — so useful as to seem obvious in retrospect. (Just like the "pull down the list to refresh" patent that Twitter acquired along with Tweetie.) Even if one doesn't agree with software patents (and frankly, I have a hard time with them), one should at least be able to agree that IF software is to be patentable, then this is the kind of thing that should be patentable.

Google Distances itself from Apple-Samsung Verdict (1)

Evisscerator (1650377) | about 2 years ago | (#41137777)

Has anyone seriously taken the time to calculate the amount of money changing hands in these Technical Law Suits ? If they would simply STOP suing each other and start COLLABERATING they might find the world a better place to live. PATENTS need to be OUTLAWED ... I believe that time has come. Its time to stop thinking about SELF and OWNERSHIP and start WORKING FOR THE GOOD OF HUMANITY !

Re:Google Distances itself from Apple-Samsung Verd (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41137967)

"Has anyone seriously taken the time to calculate the amount of money changing hands in these Technical Law Suits ? If they would simply STOP suing each other and start COLLABERATING they might find the world a better place to live."

No, Apple's belief is that it can crush Samsung, Motorola etc. in the courts and remove them from the equation altogether so that they can have the entire smartphone market to themselves. From their point of view, they believe they can win, and that if they win the world will be a better place for them. You may be right that if they were to collaborate then the world would be better for everyone else, but the problem is they don't give a shit about everyone else and simply want to build an even bigger money pile than the one they have now.

Jumping the gun (1)

nilbog (732352) | about 2 years ago | (#41137853)

Everyone keeps reporting that the court has reached a ruling. This is not the case. The jury has reached a verdict, but the final judgement has not yet happened.

Google should worry, but not about rectangles... (1)

Above (100351) | about 2 years ago | (#41137869)

The Apple v Samsung case had two facets to it. The first was Apple alleging infringement of it's "trade dress". This is a claim that Samsung made their products look like Apple products in the general sense, or "rounded rectangles" as everyone likes to call it. For these issues the physical form of the hardware is as important, if not more important than the software elements. The look of the product was decided almost entirely by Samsung, and thus Google and Android are probably largely unaffected by this part of the case.

The second part of the case was patent infringement. Things like the "bounce back" effect when scrolling, or pinch to zoom. These are pure software patents, and as far as I can tell in the core of Android as shipped by Google. Until the patents are invalidated it appears they would apply to any Android phone (at least, where the manufacturer didn't disable those features). Google should be very worried about this aspect of the case, with Apple now having a positive ruling (if only temporary on appeal) they can probably supply some significant pressure to other manufacturers who don't have a spare billion like Samsung and don't want to take the risk.

Note that Google, via Motorola Mobility has sued Apple as well. I suspect what we're going to see over there is either thermonuclear war with both of them attempting to destroy the other, or a new attempt at a settlement and cross licensing. I suspect Apple would cross license a pile of weaker patents (think pinch to zoom) for licenses to a bunch of Motorola stuff if they can hammer out a reasonable DMZ between "Apple Trade Dress" and "Google Trade Dress".

This is round one of what will be a 10 round fight.

Maybe time for webOS come back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41137969)

If the Android OS promotes the UI to be "Apple" like, maybe its time for webOS to come back. There UI was different. I believe its now FOSS.
Who knows, being different may be a competitive edge.

Google is sure a great partner, eh? (1, Insightful)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#41138093)

First they buy out a competitor (Motorola Mobility). Next they stand silently by while Apple and co. open up a barrage of litigation against everyone using GOOGLE's software. And now they simply rub salt in the wounds, with press releases like this. No wonder Nokia went with Microsoft.
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