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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 intellitech (1912116) * on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:13AM (#40463145)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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 SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:35AM (#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 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 Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:53AM (#40463873) Homepage Journal

          "Apple's not suing Microsoft"

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

        • by zaphod777 (1755922) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:01AM (#40463907)
          That's because no one wants to buy them.
        • by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:55AM (#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 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 jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> 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 X.25 (255792) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:57AM (#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.

        • This Apple you speak of really hates copying. But I'm confused - is it the Beatles record label from the 60's, or the one which came later and innovated their name?

      • by exomondo (1725132) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:18AM (#40463653)
        What's particularly innovative about the ipad design? Like what's so innovative that it deserves a patent? (i personally believe the ipad to be an innovative device, i just don't see what's so special about its design)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by catmistake (814204)

          What's particularly innovative about the ipad design? Like what's so innovative that it deserves a patent? (i personally believe the ipad to be an innovative device, i just don't see what's so special about its design)

          Samsung's innovation is substantial... they used to actually have innovation. 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:

          Here is Samsung's early tablet, the 1992 Pen Master [computinghistory.org.uk]
          Not too bad for 1992!

          Fast forward to 2006... we have the Samsung Q1 [cnet.com]
          Also, not a bad offering at the time... but, again, completely different than iPad, in 14 years Samsung's basic

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            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

            • Blah blah blah blah

              Your attempt to use the powerful rhetoric of your people to persuade me or others will not help you.

              I don't know if that's true, since I didn't bother to read

              Obviously, you must be very well informed. Why did you even bother posting a response? You should try to avoid these kinds of compulsions.

              Go read the iPad patent.

              Go read the ruling, [scribd.com] ... if you are able. It's unfortunate that you lack any awareness by not reading anything, but maybe if you apply yourself you'll be able to gleem some understanding of how the world actually works.

            • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> 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.

          • by chrb (1083577) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:32AM (#40465509)

            1993 Apple early tablet [thocp.net]

            2006 Samsung digital photo frame [androidauthority.com]

            2010 Apple iPad [domitronic.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        Well Apple copied black bezel and rounded corners on a tablet computing device from here [techcrunch.com] so that knocks a couple of your precious Apple's 'innovations' off the list.

      • by scsirob (246572) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:32AM (#40464365)

        Apple: "Look! I made a rectangle with rounded corners!"
        Samsung: "So did I. And millions before you..."
        Apple: "But... But... That is MY rectangle!! We spent YEARS coming up with that idea!"

        Innovation my rect.....

    • by pete6677 (681676) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:27AM (#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.

    • IANAL, however I believe the significance of this is that it sets a dangerous precedent.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

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

      Most people are sheep. They only see what they can buy, not what that seller has prevented them from buying.

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

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

      I'm missing the innovation? They rushed out an iPad clone. They made it close enough that the average person would be fooled into believing it's essentially the same thing. If it was innovative then there wouldn't be an issue. Even the OS looks like the iOS at first glance. I'm all for competition but they are trying to piggyback on Apple's success. It can be harmful to consumers since some are thick enough that they'll buy one then get home and find out they don't connect to iTunes and intergrate with thei

  • Internal Memo

    Attn: Staff

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

    Steve Balmer, CEO, Apple, Inc.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by devleopard (317515)

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

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:20AM (#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.

    • What would be funny is "Samsung stops selling Apple parts, every single Apple product now discontinued."
      • by gmhowell (26755)

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

        Followed shortly thereafter by "Samsung goes out of business due to massive overcapacity." Followed closely by "Sharp stock up over 100% due to new contracts with Apple [macrumors.com]."

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:14AM (#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).

      • When it was rumored that Samsung had lost the Apple contract (note, this was last month, over a year after this lawsuit was filed):

        It is claimed that Samsung lost $10 billion of its market value following news that Apple switched suppliers. Wednesday’s decline was the biggest daily fall in nearly four years for Samsung.

        http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipad-iphone/news/?newsid=3358556 [macworld.co.uk]

        This injunction is only a bargaining chip that will be used in the settlement conference [macworld.co.uk] that Samsung and Apple have agreed to. If Samsung thought they were going to lose Apple's business over this lawsuit, the Galaxy Tab would become the next TouchPad.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:39AM (#40463371)

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

      No they aren't. Customers benefit from an endless system of appeals, cumbersome and byzantine laws regarding patents, trademarks and copyrights -- it saves them from having to buy a competitor's product, the poor bastards. The free market is dangerous and must be heavily regulated... unless it's labor, in which case we need as little regulation as possible because we have to remain competitive with third world sweat shops.

      Everything you buy here is cheaper everywhere else, and it's because you're not working hard enough for your crumbs, Citizen.

    • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:32AM (#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 Anonymous Coward

    If you cannot compete, you litigate.

    "Boohoo, someone else is making money..."

    Apple is no longer interesting. The only thing interesting about Apple is the fact that OS X has the *nix goodness under the hood.

    The last thing that interested me was BeOS. Ahead of its time and DOA.

    I remember having a Be box (commodity hardware with BeOS installed) at work in 2000. It rocked. I hope Haiku becomes a success, but it seems that if things are not mainstream, they die on the vine no matter how good they are.

    • For every 1000 iPads I see in the wild, I see maybe 2 or 3 Galaxy Tabs. (Phones are of course an entirely different story.)

      So while I agree with

      If you cannot compete, you litigate.

      "Boohoo, someone else is making money..."

      as being bad, that "someone" isn't Samsung, and Apple isn't a company that isn't competing. Hell, the only reason why there is a Galaxy Tab exists is due to the iPad's success.

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:23AM (#40463229)
    Does it really matter at this point?

    The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is over a year old at this point and probably not selling in large volume any longer. Other competing Android tablets have already supplanted it in nearly every area and it will probably be replaced by Samsung's next offering in the near future. Unless this ruling also makes it a lot easier for Apple to get an injunction against any of Samsung's future tablet products, I can't see this making a difference at all.

    I haven't read the ruling yet, but in several past cases, usually the injunction prevents Samsung from importing additional product. That would mean that inventory already in the US and in the hands of retailers could continue to be sold so long as Apple doesn't pursue legal action against retails, which they won't as many of those retailers also likely sell Apple's products. Given that Samsung will probably have a new tablet out soon, I can't see them even caring if they can't restock supplies of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

    I'd be interested in hearing the full implications from this ruling from someone more versed in the relevant laws. Is this victory as hollow as I think it is, or is there actually some value in this for Apple?
    • IANAL, however I believe the significance of this is that it sets a new, dangerous precedent.
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1N (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanEHdian (1098955) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:31AM (#40463293)
    Perhaps Samsung should sell the German version, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N [arstechnica.com] which passed the 'think different' test in German courts.
  • Big surprise! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gumbercules!! (1158841) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:32AM (#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 SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:41AM (#40463803)
    I don't need a tablet ... But I almost feel obliged to buy a Galaxy. Out of sheer spite.
    • by cheesybagel (670288) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:49AM (#40464153)
      I already did that. Well it was both spite and wanting an Android device to do development on. I don't do development for walled gardens like iOS.
    • The way I see it is that Apple must have serious concerns about the efficacy of Samsung's product to so aggressively stall any attempt for them to enter their market. Samsung really MUST be doing something right, perhaps Apple fear that the Nexus tablet is a better device?

      This behavior by Apple is only reinforcing me to want to at least consider alternative products when buying a tablet.

      A form of Streisand Effect I guess.

    • 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?

  • Looking at some (not all) of these claims, I guess I just have to say "ahem, cough, PALM, cough, cough, cough, PALM, ahem".

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:57AM (#40464505) Homepage Journal

    Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products.

    The question of whether they are infringing is as yet undecided.

    So let Samsung continue to sell their tablets, and if the case eventually goes Apple's way[1] then increase the damages proportionally to reflect the extra "stolen" sales. I know this is a civil rather than criminal issue but it looks like punishment first, verdict second. If it goes against Apple are they going to compensate Samsung?

    [1] I don't think it should, but that's another issue.

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