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Patents The Courts United States Apple

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 intellitech (1912116) * on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:13PM (#40463145)

    People must be blind if they can't see how much current intellectual property regulations are stifling innovation.

  • by NoGenius (976447) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:19PM (#40463183)
    Internal Memo

    Attn: Staff

    When the pipeline of innovation dries up, call in lawyers.

    Steve Balmer, CEO, Apple, Inc.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:20PM (#40463195)
    Well, does somebody keep the scores? How many points so far for both sides?

    I.e. who's wining? Because customers are surely on the losing side.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:23PM (#40463235)

    People must be blind if they can't see how much current intellectual property regulations are stifling innovation.

    If you're going to make a statement about how IP regs are stifling innovation you should come up with an example that doesn't involve a company lazily duplicating 25 details of a competitor's design.

  • by pete6677 (681676) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:27PM (#40463257)

    This is why IP related injunctions are such bullshit in the modern economy. Patents long ago stopped protecting the small inventor and are now just used to enforce a new version of the medieval guild system. It is not possible to invent any worthwhile product or service anymore without stepping on multiple patents, many of which are legally dubious.

  • Galaxy Tab 10.1N (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanEHdian (1098955) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:31PM (#40463293)
    Perhaps Samsung should sell the German version, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N [arstechnica.com] which passed the 'think different' test in German courts.
  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:35PM (#40463337)

    > you should come up with an example that doesn't
    > involve a company lazily duplicating 25 details of a
    > competitor's design.

    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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:44PM (#40463413)
    I'm a democrat but I'm starting to look forward to Romney.
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:07AM (#40463577)

    It stifles innovation because it makes it difficult for companies to release a product due to silly, stupid, and meaningless design restrictions that are so fucking obvious it's painful.

    Remember, the whole point of patent law in the first place is not to provide ownership of an idea, but to provide a constant stream of valuable knowledge and ideas into the Public Domain.

    Most of Apple's design patents that relate to the aesthetics of a device are just stupid. Anybody could have thought of it, it is incredibly obvious, and would you really want to do it differently?

    Rounded edges. Stupid. Duh. Yes, of course we would want rounded edges.

    Thin. Well yeah....

    Screen being edge to edge. What? No way. I want a huge fucking border around mine.

    In 500 years are people really going to be celebrating Apple for some of this shit as if it was really contributing to our wealth of knowledge?

    "Ahhh... yes children. Gather around. Do you know why were on this colony now, hundreds of light years away from the home planet? It was because a company called Apple made rounded edges."

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:14AM (#40463625)

    What would be funny is "Samsung stops selling Apple parts, every single Apple product now discontinued."

    And Samsung shareholders will go ballistic, literally that they're turning down sales from their #1 customer (Apple beat Sony in parts purchased from Samsung).

    The other effect is a greatly distorted market - with the exception of the A4/A5 processor (though TSMC or Intel is supposed to help out), everything else is multiply-sourced. The NAND flash and RAM, especially. All that would happen is that Toshiba and the like suddenly get the orders and make money while Samsung is stuck with excess stock they have to clearance out. In fact, you'll see arbitrage happening - Toshiba etc. will see that simply relabel Samsung parts and cash in on the difference.

    Also, all those multibillion dollar fabs like the one in Austin Tx that Samsung opened? Idled. And when a fab is idled, it's losing tons of money because the equipment is depreciating fast and will turn into a multibillion dollar sinkhole. Running fabs is horribly expensive and if it's not running at basically 100%, it's losing money. If nothing else, few companies can afford a fab - Apple might just pick one up on the cheap because of it.

    It's a love-hate relationship that's probably giving Samsung more angst than anything because they're pitting two divisions of Samsung against each other - the semiconductor division which makes tons of money making parts for Apple versus the mobile division, which makes money (but likely less since it's spread out over more phones).

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:20AM (#40463677)

    It doesn't matter. I understand the difference, and what you are saying, but nonetheless, it does not matter.

    It is still a patent, and covered under patent law. Making the specific distinction that it is a design patent is not actually pertinent to the conversation at hand.

    That poster that was trying to invalidate an argument simply because it did not make that fine distinction that you hold to be so important.

    This is why IP related injunctions are such bullshit in the modern economy. Patents long ago stopped protecting the small inventor and are now just used to enforce a new version of the medieval guild system. It is not possible to invent any worthwhile product or service anymore without stepping on multiple patents, many of which are legally dubious.

    What part of that does not cover both "regular" patents and design patents? That observation equally applies to both.

    I disagree with providing legal protections for most elements of design patents because in this case I see quite a number of them to be functional and not purely ornamental.

    Even more amazing, with your observation about the or/and operator, is that it could really infringe on all the claims at the same time. I've seen an iPad and a Tab close up at the same time. There is no way to get them confused.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:27AM (#40463717)

    Yes, I am. If Samsung's tablet was green, this case wouldn't be happening.

    Then why is it happening even though the size and aspect ratio is different? And the existence of button and branding on the front? If you're going to assert that a change like color is what the whole case hangs upon then surely you can quantify the weight of that one element to the case with regard to the others. For example what about if they changed the corner radius? And how much would they have to change it for that element of the design patent to not be considered infringing, and at that point would the lack of consideration of that part of the design patent invalidate the case as you suggest would happen with the color of the device?

  • Re:* WHOOSH * (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:29AM (#40463729)

    Is that really the argument you want to make? Is this the rally call that'll get all the IP haters out there lighting torches and sharpening their pitchforks?

    Fuck Yes.

    There is not anything about rounded edges, thin tablets, flat displays, edge to edge display screens, etc. that are purely ornamental and deserving of protection under IP law. It's incredibly obvious, functional, and fundamental to the very idea of a tablet.

    If Apple wants legal protection, they can innovate inside the fucking casing. Better battery life, sharper and higher PPI screens, better touchscreen, faster processors, etc.

    Or as part of the casing with stronger glass, lighter materials, etc.

    Fuck. With your support of their bullshit the next thing we will know is that Apples owns the color white.

  • Big surprise! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gumbercules!! (1158841) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:32AM (#40463737)
    Wow, big surprise!

    American judge awards American company an injunction against an overseas competitor. Again. We (the rest of the world) never saw that coming...

    And yes, I know to Americans this comment is going to seem trolly but I am willing to risk karma over it because this is precisely how these cases are viewed, outside your borders. For right or wrong, we see it that the US controlled ITC and US court system are used to prop up US companies against competition.
  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:32AM (#40463745)

    Well, does somebody keep the scores? How many points so far for both sides?
    I.e. who's wining?

    Lawyers: 9310293 -- Humans: 0

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:53AM (#40463873) Homepage Journal

    "Apple's not suing Microsoft"

    'Duh, you have any idea the patent portfolio they share?' so asketh the shareholder.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:55AM (#40463885) Homepage Journal

    "If you're going to make a statement about how IP regs are stifling innovation you should come up with an example that doesn't involve a company lazily duplicating 25 details of a competitor's design."

    You're confused because those same 'design ticks' are not unique in any fucking way and are a natural expectation in most things. Would you want an iPhone with corners that stabbed you? No? That's pretty fucking obvious. Certain OS design parts might be infringing, but the PHYSICAL part is total bullshit and you fucking know it, you apologist.

  • by zaphod777 (1755922) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:01AM (#40463907)
    That's because no one wants to buy them.
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:31AM (#40464061)

    If anybody could have thought of it why didn't they?

    They did. My dining room table has rounded edge. So did my old TV. So does my keyboard. They all predated the iPad. Apple patented "round corners on a table form factor". They weren't the first ones to think of it, just the first ones to patent it.

    The fact Apple's products consistently have some of the best designs

    That's not a fact, that's an opinion. Facts need to objective, that is subjective.

    suggests that they are doing something innovative, non-obvious

    No, no it doesn't. It could also mean they are doing progressive, iterative improvements, that may be better than the competition, but only because they have taken the next logical step in product development. Every time someone brings out a product that is a little faster, smaller, cheaper or shinier doesn't necessarily mean they've suddenly come up with an innovative new concept.

    putting in some real work

    Wonderful. So's the guy who collects my garbage. He doesn't get a patent on that either, even if he does it really well.

  • by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:55AM (#40464179)

    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.

  • by X.25 (255792) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:57AM (#40464199)

    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.

    Well, Apple could have invented a design of their own, instead of copying designs from competitors and movies.

    Go figure.

  • by azalin (67640) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:31AM (#40464349)
    I think we are talking about the second. You know the one who told record label they would never get into the music business and it would be no problem if they shared a name.
  • Re:Consider this. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:36AM (#40464389) Homepage Journal

    They created a device that looks ridiculously like an iPad, because they know people love iPads.

    No, they created a device that looks like an iPad because anything that does the same job will look pretty much they same. Hammers, for example, tend to have a heavy end that hits and a handle end that you hold.

    The things Apple are crying about are practical and part of its functionality. Design patents cover the decorative aspects. Should everyone else have to build heptagonal tablets with bayonets sticking out of the corners?

  • by zaphod777 (1755922) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:42AM (#40464423)
    While companies need to enforce their patents to protect their IP Apple and Microsoft use them to bully others because they can't compete on their products own merits. Software patents need a much shorter expiration date. I would say a patent is invalid after 4 years (even that is too long).
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:43AM (#40464429)

    Why would the existence of a British company, founded in 1968, have any bearing on what an American company should be called in 1978? There is no requirement for your trading name to be globally unique when you pick it. I'm sure Jobs and Woz trawled the names of other companies in order to find one that suited them...

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:45AM (#40464769) Homepage

    What was so "innovative" about the shape of the corners on the iPad that it needs this much legal protection?

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:56AM (#40464825) Journal

    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?

  • by GordonBX (1059078) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:13AM (#40464895)

    Apple's patents on the look and overall design of their iPad are basically null and void.

    Says you.

    That's what lawsuits are for - if they are really null and void then the lawsuit will sort that out. If the lawsuit comes out in favour of Apple though, then you'll be wrong and you'll need to petition to get the law changed. It's all pretty simple stuff. No need to bash Apple - they are just doing what any sensible company would do if they had the chance.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @05:59AM (#40465369) Journal

    What was so "innovative" about the shape of the corners on the iPad that it needs this much legal protection?

    Nothing, but patent trolling is one of the fastest growth industries in the US. In addition, it prevents newer, more agile companies disrupting established revenue streams with novel products. It's no surprise companies like Apple are joining in.

    Patent trolls curb innovation and cost the U.S. $29B in 2011

    A new study shows that patent lawsuits are not only costing the country billions of dollars but are also placing the burden on small and medium-size companies, which slows invention.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57461110-93/patent-trolls-curb-innovation-and-cost-the-u.s-$29b-in-2011/ [cnet.com]

  • by oztiks (921504) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:34AM (#40465515)

    No, this is a really bad way to setup your ideals as we need less of this attitude in the world.

    Many unfair lawsuits are won, many innocent people in jail. To put it blatantly the ONLY winners in the legal system are the lawyers.

    I think the real argument is the patent though.

    a) if the patent was approved then why?
    b) won't samsung feel like idiots for not slicing/adding a few mm here or there to make their product differ a bit more
    c) does its shape really pose as a risk to Apple's market?

    Meanwhile, Apple bashing cause I love bashing Apple. R&D figures for Apple last yr was 2bn. Microsofts was 8bn. When are Apple fanboys going to learn. Apple doesn't invent, they integrate.

    If Apple's end product is unique then so be it but get this innovation crap out of your heads, they sit on the shoulders of other, greater, companies/minds to get where they are, such a motorola, samsung, intel, which build the actual guts of their products.

    All this lawsuit is proves is that there is no substance to Apple because the best they can come up with to cripple their competition is the a patent on the shape, I dont see any patent infringements made like gee i don't know chipset design - which is actually the way patient law should freakin work.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:39AM (#40465547)

    Lucy H. Koh is an Obama appointee

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_H._Koh [wikipedia.org]

    She became a US District Judge after been recommended by Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

    So fucking what? Why are you politicizing this?

  • Re:Big surprise! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:01AM (#40465677)

    I kind of expected the opposite since this American judge is of Korean descent. As long as we're drawing baseless conclusions of bias.

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