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Patents Cellphones Handhelds The Courts Apple

How To Avoid Infringing On Apple's Patents 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the easy-as-pie dept.
bdking writes "In a public legal brief (PDF), Apple offers numerous design alternatives that Samsung could have used for its smartphones and tablets to avoid infringing on Apple's patents. Basically, as long as competitors' smartphones and tablets bear no resemblance to smartphones and tablets, everything's cool."
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How To Avoid Infringing On Apple's Patents

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  • by bonch (38532) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:41PM (#38273116)

    Just see my sig for proof.

  • Apple sucks (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gottspeed (2060872) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:42PM (#38273146)
    LOL. I don't get why people in the tech community still like apple.
  • Does this help? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chaboud (231590) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:43PM (#38273156) Homepage Journal

    I have to wonder if this does more harm than good for Apple's case. It points out the absolute absurdity of how far they are reaching. Not have a flat front? Not be rectangular? Not use black?

    I know that any of these would have significantly distinguished these products from Apple''s, but so too does the "Samsung" emblazoned on the device. Looking at the front with the screen off, sure, my iPod touch might look a bit like a Samsung device. From 10 feet, it also looks like my wallet. This isn't quite as forehead slapping as Samsung's crack legal team not being able to tell the difference between a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and an iPad, but it's pretty close.

    That, or these attorneys have an amazing sense of humor.

  • One simple question: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:31PM (#38273874) Journal
    If there was no iPad, if there was no iPhone, would the Samsung's tablets and phones still look the same?
  • Re:obvious choices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:46PM (#38274058) Journal

    Actually, the "rectangular" one caught my eye.

    So, the other day, I'm watching a football game when this ad comes up. Oddly enough, a quick Google didn't find it. But it's for NFL Network. Essentially, we see this person go through his week keeping up with the latest doings in the NFL on various devices (PCs, Television, Laptop, Phone, and Tablet). The tablet looked like an iPad--except that it was longer (the iPad is more square than this was.)

    So I immediately said, "Hm. Must be a Samsung tablet."

    It was pretty easy for me to spot that this wasn't an iPad because the shape was different than the iPad.

  • Re:ok so... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:52PM (#38274110)

    If you're referring to the IBM PC, Apple was there first.

    So just because you are the first in a field, you agree that no-one else can make anything in that field?

    Just to /. this up a bit, how come there are so many brands of cars out there? Would you support Ford if they took anyone making a "engine powered vehicle, with room for two or more persons moving under it's own volition and comprising of four or more wheels, a steering device, optional room for belongings (referred to henceforth as a boot or trunk) and with interior seats for the persons travelling" to court claiming that they had patents for it?

    Patents are supposed to be there to protect the inventor of a new idea, to allow them to market and make money off their new invention. Making an existing idea/product neater, giving it a pleasing case/housing and rounded corners should not be a patentable market distinction.

    I am not totally blaming Apple for this however (though I do think this whole saga just reeks of nerd rage with a dash of angry Cartman tantrum voice thrown in). Apple seems to be playing inside the sandpit that the patent system has created - though it certainly appears that it is trying to push the limits of the sandpit as far as it can get away with. It isn't playing nice, but it (depending on the outcome of this case) may be playing within the rules of the game.

    At the end of the day, big business is big business - it is there to make money, not friends. However, when I see companies behaving as poorly as this, I do tend to find it repugnant. I was an early adopter of the iPhone, now I am happily talking on my Samsung Galaxy S II.

  • Re:ok so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday December 05, 2011 @08:15PM (#38274950)

    What kind of idiotic mods modded this post up to +4? This is the kind of person who would probably claim that the F700 [gsmarena.com] was a clone of the iPhone since it's a black monolith with a single button. Never mind that it was released before the iPhone and that most of the samsung phones look much more like the F700 than the iPhone.

    There have been many claims on the web that the F700 was released before the iPhone. However, these claims were based on some heavily photoshopped evidence which changed the number "2007" to "2006" in a few images.

  • Re:ok so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:02PM (#38275364)

    You mean if the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 had something like a different aspect ratio? say a widescreen format perhaps, then it wouldn't be infringing?

  • Re:ok so... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by siddesu (698447) on Monday December 05, 2011 @10:33PM (#38275984)

    The purpose is to stop customer confusion and "knock off" products.

    This is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as "stifling competition to the detriment of the consumer". It is very hard for me to see the benefits for the consumer from stopping "knock off" products.

    I've lived in Asia for many years - knock offs are sold openly in many countries, yet I know very few consumers who would not be able to tell the difference between a real leather Louis Vuitton bag and a cheap PU leather knock off. When a consumer actually chooses a knock-off, it is always a rational decision by them, which benefits them at least in their own eyes. The phrase "customer confusion" is only a cover word for anti-competitive practices by the companies who can afford to lobby for brand protection. In real life, consumers are very rarely confused. The rare cases where customer confusion may ensue or be detrimental are usually covered by PL and safety laws better anyway.

    Also, anti-competitive legislation isn't even really necessary for a company that innovates to make good profits. Apple demonstrated this very well in the past decade. When they were innovative with the ipods, the music store, the first-gen iphones, even if it was mostly a case of "innovation" of looks and S&M techniques (as in sales and marketing), they were the unquestioned leader even without legal support, and commanded the highest margins in the industry.

    Now that they have lost steam (as Ford model T has demonstrated, you can't really lead forever with one product) and are falling back to the trap of limiting consumer choice instead of innovating, they'll see more problems and less consumer goodwill.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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