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Apple Sues Samsung Over Galaxy Phones and Tablets 465

Posted by Soulskill
from the pursuing-patents-on-geometric-shapes dept.
mystikkman writes "In the latest patent suit to hit the smartphone industry, Apple is suing Samsung, alleging the Galaxy line of phones and tablets infringe on a number of Apple's patents. 'Samsung's Galaxy Tab computer tablet also slavishly copies a combination of several elements of the Apple Product Configuration Trade Dress,' Apple says in its suit, noting that Samsung's tablet, like Apple's, uses a similar rectangular design with rounded corners, similar black border and array of icons. Apple previously sued HTC over Android. If Samsung is found to be infringing on the software, all the Android OEMs could be vulnerable."
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Apple Sues Samsung Over Galaxy Phones and Tablets

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  • Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wsxyz (543068) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:20PM (#35860516)
    Didn't Windows copy the Lisa & Mac "trade dress"? How did that turn out Apple?
  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:21PM (#35860524)

    "uses a similar rectangular design with rounded corners, similar black border"

    What is wrong with these people?

  • Inexcusable! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renaissance 2K (773059) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:21PM (#35860532)
    An iPad is the only device on the planet allowed to have a rectangular shape and rounded corners!
  • Re:Again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpryGuy (206254) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:23PM (#35860544)

    Apple claimed they did, but I never thought so. There are significant differences in the UIs, and always have been. And the concept of 'over-lapping windows' is so generic it really can't be claimed as a patent, imho.

    To claim that a tablet can't be rectangular with rounded corners and a border? Dear lord, that's just ridiculous.

  • Fuck apple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:24PM (#35860556) Homepage Journal
    Yeah. fuck them. its as elaborately as can be put. "Hey, you cannot use our moving-your-hand-to-right-to-move-a-page-right" 'innovation'. because, well, millions of fanbois have pumped up our control freakness by obliging with everything we did to them, and we think everyone will do the same.
  • by neosar82 (792049) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:28PM (#35860610)
    When my boss bought a galaxy tab I was curious to check it out. I spent about 5 minutes playing with it, handed it back to him, and said, "They're gonna wind up in court over this thing". I'm indifferent when it comes to android vs. ios. I have both a Droid X and an iPhone 4, and I use both every day. I find things about both platforms that are unique and that I prefer to the other. However, when you look at what Samsung did with their UI... It's pretty pathetic to be honest. They literally copied entire app UIs wholesale (even icons). There is no question that you can argue that all mail apps look similar, but this was almost pixel for pixel. They went so far as to make their own UI widgets (instead of the stock android ones) that looked JUST like the Apple ones. I'm not a huge fan of software patents, but there's a difference between similarities in programs that do the same function and literally just ripping off EXACTLY what another company does.
  • by darien.train (1752510) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:31PM (#35860658) Journal
    I just can't put my finger on it. http://fortclatsopbookstore.com/shop/images/143_1.jpg [fortclatsopbookstore.com]
  • by The13thSin (1092867) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:36PM (#35860736)

    Yeah, 'cos a grid of app icons was Apple's innovation... Just like a rounded rectangular shaped phone...

    Besides, you can't patent or copyright an idea, just your implementation. Apple is just as guilty (if not more so) of copying other people's ideas as any one else.

  • by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:48PM (#35860894)
    Who says they won't?
  • by sribe (304414) on Monday April 18, 2011 @04:49PM (#35860902)

    Samsung's Galaxy Tab computer tablet also slavishly copies a combination of several elements of the Apple Product Configuration Trade Dress

    So I've been seeing this all over the web today, and this is the first article I've seen that lets us know that it's trade dress or a "design patent" that is (allegedly) being infringed, rather than a software patent.

    If Samsung is found to be infringing on the software, all the Android OEMs could be vulnerable.

    Oh well, it's /. so the exaggeration at the end is to be expected. But no, if Apple is found to be infringing, the only other Android OEMs to be threatened would be the ones who tried to copy the iPhone's look as closely as possible, in other words, none as far as I know.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 18, 2011 @05:25PM (#35861330) Homepage Journal
    Really - you know, the scourge of 'closing in the customers, locking them, controlling them, deciding what they can do' ? its Apple's doing.

    10 years ago it wasnt like that. Openness was the order of the day. proliferation of ibm pc had had created an environment that had the theme 'you can do whatever you want with your device'. this also prevailed in software. despite there was so much need for standardization and access controls for pc based software, all software was made thinking that people would do anything they want with it.

    but then came apple's success with all those fanbois. and all the buzz talk, hype-tech talk that went on in the media. their fanaticism, waiting a week in lines, their dedication to buy things by paying heaps more, and apple profiting on and on and on, made good news. despite google was shattering a lot of barriers for example, more talk was done on apple, its hype, success etc.

    what do you expect other companies would to then ? they saw apple, their good profit margins, their control over their customer base, they saw they not only got away with locking their customers in and milking them, but they made profit, and noone sued or prosecuted apple for that, including government. on and on.

    You let this thing happen for half a decade, and it was inevitable all would jump in. and voila. everyone is now trying to lock in their customers. everyone became control freaks.

    Now it is at the point of claiming ownership of very basic things, like word apple, (the lawsuit in australia), the word 'app' (despite it has been used before that), and now simple moves and motions.

    you reap what you saw. its as simple as that. we have apple fanbois' unconsciousness to thank this era of closed-in computing for. well done. now all our devices' cases will be shiny and cool, but they wont open. (remember apple services' screwdriver bastardry)
  • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Monday April 18, 2011 @06:17PM (#35861882)

    I mean. most of them are rectangular boxes with 2 or 3 drivers. Heck, with the grille on, they all look the same.

    This is completely ridiculous....

    How the heck do they expect Samsung to build a tablet? round and angled at 90 degrees at the middle?

  • trollish but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kangsterizer (1698322) on Monday April 18, 2011 @06:34PM (#35861984)

    ... that's why I don't buy Apple. Vote with your wallet they say. So yeah, there.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Monday April 18, 2011 @07:08PM (#35862288)

    Still though, you can't help but feel a twinge when you see where phones were in 2006 and 2007, see where they are now, see when the change happened and what form it took, and know that the group responsible for the change is supposed to take it well or else get lambasted by people the world over as bullying.

    And yet when the iPhone was announced, there were rumours abound that LG would sue Apple due to the similarities of the iPhone with the LG Prada [wikipedia.org]. (Ooh, look! Rectangular with rounded corners!)

    I don't think that Apple did steal LG's design, it is just that both the products were natural evolutions of the technology of the time. The iPhone was not the completely radical, unprecendented game-changer that a lot of people like to suggest.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday April 18, 2011 @08:25PM (#35863126)

    I think Apple is getting worried. Their massive rise to success has been as a consumer electronics company. While they were doing fine as a computer company after the iMac and so on, they were still a small fry. MS could have bought them no problem with plenty of cash to spare. Their massive rise has all been on their consumer electronics line.

    I mean look at the iPod. It wasn't the first MP3 player, not by a long shot. What it was is the first MP3 player that made MP3 players a fashion accessory. You had to have one to be cool, right down to the white earbuds that proclaimed your ownership (high end headphone companies started making white earbuds after that, had never been a demand for them before).

    Well while that market certainly hasn't gone away, it has leveled off a whole lot. The new growth has been iOS. Smartphones and tablets, "computer like" toys if you like. Again, not the first smartphone, just one that really struck a chord with consumers. Blackberry was (and is) very enterprise focused and does very well there, but the iPhone was a toy that consumers wanted.

    However newer Android phones are becoming a big threat. They are high power, have all the latest gadgets, and they are getting slick. HTC's Sense UI is a real nice one, and Apple sued them last year over it. Not to say default Android is bad, but it polishes things, makes them very pretty and friendly.

    I think Apple is getting worried. While nobody has been very successful in competing with the iPod, Android seems to be making a real run on the iPhone, and now with tablets maybe on the iPad. It's growth has been astounding.

    So I think Apple is trying to stomp on the more successful companies, the ones who are trying to make it real user friendly. My experience is with Sense since I got a Thunderbolt from work not long ago and I'm impressed. Compared to the Android phones I saw just a couple of years ago it is slick, pretty, and easy to use. You could give it to a non-technical user and I doubt they'd have any trouble.

    I don't think this is a "We want a patent," thing, I think it is a "Shit these guys are going to screw over our new market, we have to try and stop it!" thing.

  • Re:Again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Capsaicin (412918) * on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @02:36AM (#35865276)

    As for the icons, if, as Apple claims, it is an intuitive interface then it is not patentable since intuitive means perceived independently of reasoning which makes it obvious or trivial.

    The interface, it is claimed, is intuitive to use. Designing (or inventing) an "intuitive interface," on the other hand, is anything but trivial.

    And I might add, you have a bit of case law to read the help you get up to speed with what a court would consider to be "obvious" for the purposes of patent law. In any case, with this kind of suit, winning or losing isn't everything ...

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