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U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab 498

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-pad-roddenberry-never-patented-the-padd dept.
Bill Dimm writes "Apple scores a win against Samsung over a design patent. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a ruling granting Apple's request for a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. She wrote, 'Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. ... While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."
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U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab

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  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:45AM (#40463417)

    Not a patent case?

    On December 2, 2011, this Court issued an order denying Apple’s motion for a preliminaryinjunction. Apple sought an injunction based on Samsung’s alleged infringement of Apple’sDesign Patent Nos. D618,677 (“the D’677 Patent”), D593,087 (“the D’087 Patent”), D504,889(“the D’889 Patent”), and based on Samsung’s alleged infringement of Apple’s U.S. Patent No.7,469,381 (“the ’381 Patent”).

    Certainly sounds like a patent case to me.

    This is just more evidence of how the system is broken. I can see the difference between an iPad and Tab. It's fucking ridiculous to own "rounded edges" and bullshit like that.

    It's so completely obvious that you would want a tablet shaped like that, and to be thin.

    You asked for an example of where a company was not "lazily" duplicating designs. Well, I would argue that is not duplicating something tremendously fucking obvious.

    That's like somebody being able to say with a straight face that is non obvious to make paper, that you want to write, on, "like all flat and shit".

    Yes, your honor. We feel we should be protected and be the only ones to have flat paper. Thank you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:55AM (#40463483)

    You keep insinuating that people replying to your posts don't know how to read. I would postulate that you don't know how to think.

    They're both called patents, and they're both based upon intellectual property.

  • by devleopard (317515) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:59AM (#40463515) Homepage

    You're absolutely right. Since the lawsuit was filed in April 2011, Apple has come up with absolutely nothing innovative.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:01AM (#40463527)

    Certainly sounds like a patent case to me.

    Then you don't know what you are talking about. Design Patents have almost nothing to do with regular patents. They are much more along the lines of Trademarks. They are very, very, very specific and almost impossible to enforce.

    The reason you don't know anything about Design Patents? They almost never make it anywhere near a court, let alone a news story. It's almost impossible to violate them on purpose, let alone by accident. That rounded corners thing? That's not an 'OR' operator, it's an 'AND' operator. For a design patent to get to court it has to violate damn near every one of dozens of specific claims, and missing any one can invalidate the entire thing.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:05AM (#40463551)

    It's not really a patent. Much closer to a trademark. Design patents are what stops all the other drink companies from selling cola in those distinctive Coke bottles. Doesn't mean that Coke has a patent on glass bottles, or on bottles with rounded bits, although I'm sure variations of both those are part of the design patent. They have a specific design that is protected.

    Apple does not have a patent (or even claim to have a patent) on rounded corners. They have a design patent on a specific design that happens to include rounded corners.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

    by flatulus (260854) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:06AM (#40463561)

    R'd the F.A. I don't see anywhere it says that a design patent is not a patent.

    OTOH, there is USPTO which disagrees with you when they say:

    "A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

    There are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. ... Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."

    Note the three types: design, utility, and plant. Design is most assuredly a type of patent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:15AM (#40463629)

    Apple already spent 10 years suing Microsoft over "look-and-feel". Now they're IP butt-buddies and share patents and other bodily fluids.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:38AM (#40464735) Journal
    It may still count as an Apple innovation. I believe the first time data detectors (i.e. things that recognise telephone numbers and so on from text and display contextual actions) appeared was the Newton. That said, the Newton was released 19 years ago, so the patents should be expiring round about now...
  • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:52AM (#40464793)

    It matters because future Samsung products will be designed to not look so identical to an iPad that their own lawyers can't even tell them apart (in court they couldn't tell the difference between their own products and an iPad).

    Seems the Apple reality distortion field didn't die with Jobs. What really happened is that the lawyers the judge was questioning said he couldn't tell them apart, but when the judge asked if the others could, another quickly supplied the correct answer [reuters.com]. In other words, they could tell the difference.

    Koh frequently remarked on the similarity between each company's tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.

    "Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

    "Can any of Samsung's lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

    But of course what really happened is rather inconvenient for Apple fans' theory that the Galaxy Tab's design must be a ripoff of the iPad, instead of taking its design cues from another Samsung product [engadget.com]. So that last sentence gets cut out from their retelling of the story, thus creating an alternate reality which better fits their predetermined view.

    As for the lawyer who couldn't tell them apart, she's in her mid 50s [wikipedia.org], so probably doesn't have the best eyesight.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @05:01AM (#40464845) Homepage

    Ask your self this: Why did Apple's lawyers have to photoshop the picture of the Samsung tablet so they could hold it up in court as 'evidence' of infringement.

    Also, if you see the registered design it's about as vague as you can get. Nowhere does it specify the roundness of the corners, the bezel, the aspect ratio, etc. It's just a very rough pencil sketch.

    Here ya go: http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001 [scribd.com]

    Look at that then look at a picture of an iPad. Check the bezels, etc., they're not even the same as the original 'design'. The actual iPad is probably as far from that sketch as the Samsung is.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @05:54AM (#40465075)

    The thing is, there's obvious differences there that there aren't between Apple's and Samsung's design.
    1) Both Apple's and Samsung's designs are about the same size –this is larger
    2) Both Apple's and Samsung's designs use rounded corners –this doesn't
    3) Both Apple's and Samsung's designs use a bezel about 3/4 of an inch wide – this doesn't.
    4) Both Apple's and Samsung's design use a aluminium backing of which a tiny bit is visible around the edge of the flat glass panel – this doesn't.
    5) Neither Apple's nor Samsung's designs use a row of buttons across the bottom – this does.
    6) Both Apple's and Samsung's designs use a grid of icons across the display to select a function –this doesn't.
    Taking a quick look at this [bbcimg.co.uk] makes me realise just how insanely similar they are, and just how much apple has a point.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:14AM (#40465171) Homepage

    Worse, the iPad isn't even the same as the original registered design.

    Here's the design: http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001 [scribd.com]

    Here's an iPad: http://www.tablettweet.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/dimensions_20100127.jpg [tablettweet.com]

    The roundness of the corners, the width of the bezels, the thickness of the pad...all completely different.

    Apple is arguing over exactly this sort of detail but they don't even follow it themselves. The Samsung is at least as different from the registered design as the iPad is.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:01AM (#40465375) Homepage

    Taking a quick look at this [bbcimg.co.uk] makes me realise just how insanely similar they are, and just how much apple has a point.

    ...apart from the way they're being carefully held so they look like they're the same size and aspect ratio and the Samsung logo appears to have been photoshopped out and the border seems to have changed color from black to silver, then, yes, they're quite similar.

    A more accurate photo might show them like this [topnews.in]

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:47AM (#40465987) Homepage

    That's not a galaxy tab 10.1, it's the smaller cousin... Which is why it looks less similar.

    Ok, here's the Galaxy 10.1 shown with Samsung logo and true aspect ratio: http://www.techdigest.tv/2011/08/did_apple_fake.html [techdigest.tv]

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:43AM (#40466593)

    Well, there is Windows Phone 7 and the Nokia Lumia. And while I don't personally care for either, their approach is fairly fresh and distinctive and, unlike the galaxy, does not slavishly imitate the iPhone.

    Oh wait. Apple's not suing Microsoft and Nokia over WP7 and the Lumia, are they?

    Apple's patents on the look and overall design of their iPad are basically null and void. There's prior art galore and they're just imitating what scifi tv and movies have been using for decades before the first idea about an iPad lit up the empty space between the ears of the Apple designer that 'invented' it.

    I'm not sure you know what design patents are. Never mind, eh?

    They're not the same as a patent on a widget that has never been seen before, such as the patents that go into the 3G standard, or the patent on the original triple expansion engine. Design patents have a more general focus and are not necessarily invalidated by previous designs - in actual fact, they exist among other design patents that are very similar.

    Consider Chevrolet's Corvette. They have a design patent on the design of the car. If you made a visual copy of the Corvette without their permission they could sue you. Nothing about the Corvette is "innovative" or invalidated by prior art - the car is a mature and well understood product with thousands of variations, but even so, the law protects Chevy if you try to sell a knock-off Corvette.

    Apple's design patents on the iPad are not invalidated by the prior existence of tablets, and there are many, many other tablets before and since that are not the subject of lawsuits. What you can't do is make a copy of the iPad (within certain limits - that's what the lawsuit is for) without being sued. This goes right through the product line, from the way it looks to the way it is packaged (the "trade dress", which Samsung also copied uncannily). It is not just about having rounded corners, or the fact that Patrick Stewart used a prop version of a tablet on the TNG set in 1995 means no one can file design patents.

    The Corvette is still covered by design patents even though there's plenty of prior art to "invalidate" the "non-innovation" that went into making what is a very common product - a sports car.

    Now, if there's a unique innovation on that car (and I picked a bad example - I think the Vette still has a live axle, so even the Amish consider it obsolete technology), but let's say they innovate a new form of suspension. They *can* patent that if no one has done it before, beyond a simple design patent, and sue people who use that patented technology in another car, even if it looks nothing like the Corvette.

    TL:DR; there's a difference between a design patent and a method/hardware patent.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:00AM (#40466773)

    But looking at their history its obvious that if it wasn't for Apple, they likely wouldn't have changed the designs of their tablets which, prior to the iPad 2010 release, were completely different:

    Blah blah blah blah. You're completely avoiding the point. Just because Samsung changed their designed (I don't know if that's true, since I didn't bother to read the non-sequiteur links you posted) doesn't make the iPad an innovative shape.

    Go read the iPad patent.

    They even cite the TC1100 as prior art. How on earth can the iPad be patentable with the TC1100 having existed.

    It is a rectangular slab with rounded corners. It has 3 buttons on the front instead of 1 and was the thinnest and had the smallest bezel that was actually practical to make when it came out. Oh and it's grey.

    So, the iPad is thinner (due to a bunch of innovations I would note that people other than Apple have petented to do with TFT, backlight battery and fabrication design), a differrent colour and slightly more featureless.

    So, where's the innovation?

    You don't understand what a design patent is, do you?

    We'll wait while you go and find out, and why previous patents can be cited in the new filing. You might then understand why the iPad is patentable, in the same way that a Ford Mustang is patentable, even though it was not the first car.

  • Re:Rounded Corners (Score:4, Informative)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <[atd7] [at] [cornell.edu]> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:04AM (#40466843) Homepage

    Let's not forget the fact that the only pictures where the items DO look the same were doctored by Apple. (The comparison photos were not to scale, which hides the fact that the aspect ratios and dimensions of the two devices are completely different, and also I think Apple may even have done some stretching to make the aspect ratios look the same!)

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:05AM (#40466847)

    ust like the woman who burned herself on McD's super hot coffee through her own clumsiness and ill-advised driving with it between her legs didn't sue McD because they "sold coffee".

    People like to trot out that case all the time as an example of a frivolous lawsuit, but having actually read the facts of the case, I'm not so quick to dismiss it.

    From Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

    On February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a 49-cent cup of coffee from the drive-through window of a local McDonald's restaurant located at 5001 Gibson Boulevard S.E. Liebeck was in the passenger's seat of her grandson's Ford Probe, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. Liebeck placed the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the far side of the lid toward her to remove it. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap. Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin. Liebeck was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent. She remained in the hospital for eight days while she underwent skin grafting. During this period, Liebeck lost 20 pounds (9 kg, nearly 20% of her body weight), reducing her down to 83 pounds (38 kg). Two years of medical treatment followed.

    Additionally, she only sued for $20,000 initially; $10,500 to cover current her medical expenses, anticipated medical expenses to the tune of $2,500, and an additional $5,000 for loss of income due to the amount of time she was out of work (she had third degree burns to her crotch, after all, how productive would any of us be with 3rd degree burns to our crotch?). It was only when McDonald's offered $800 and refused to budge an inch that she hired an attorney and he filed suit against them for gross negligence related to the temperature the coffee was being served at.

    During the case, Liebeck's attorneys discovered that McDonald's required franchisees to serve coffee at 180–190 F (82–88 C). At that temperature, the coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds. Stella Liebeck's attorney argued that coffee should never be served hotter than 140 F (60 C), and that a number of other establishments served coffee at a substantially lower temperature than McDonald's. Liebeck's lawyers presented the jury with evidence that 180 F (82 C) coffee like that McDonald’s served may produce third-degree burns (where skin grafting is necessary) in about 12 to 15 seconds. Lowering the temperature to 160 F (71 C) would increase the time for the coffee to produce such a burn to 20 seconds. (A British court later rejected this argument as scientifically false, finding that 149 F (65 C) liquid could cause deep tissue damage in only two seconds.) Liebeck's attorneys argued that these extra seconds could provide adequate time to remove the coffee from exposed skin, thereby preventing many burns. McDonald's claimed that the reason for serving such hot coffee in its drive-through windows was that those who purchased the coffee typically were commuters who wanted to drive a distance with the coffee; the high initial temperature would keep the coffee hot during the trip. However, the company's own research showed that some customers intend to consume the coffee immediately while driving.

    I don't know about you guys, but I've ordered coffee at McDonald's and gotten scalded on both my mouth and hands several times, it is served ridiculously hot, much hotter than coffee I have gotten pretty much anywhere else, certainly much hotter than the coffee that comes out of my own coffeepot here at home. Did it really need to be served at such a high temperature? Probably not, becaus

  • by bornagainpenguin (1209106) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @10:22AM (#40467045)

    I almost feel obliged to buy a Galaxy. Out of sheer spite.

    I do too, but not out of spite, but because of the compelling endorsement seen here.

    What could be a better endorsement for an Android tablet than the current market leader crying in court that this device is so much better than theirs they have to litigate rather than attempt to fight it on the merits?

    Buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab--because Apple thinks it's better than the iPad. Hell of an endorsement, yeah?

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