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Patents The Courts Apple

Apple Must Publicly Post That Samsung Did Not Copy iPad 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the wearing-a-sign-in-public dept.
microcars writes "A judge in the U.K. has ordered Apple to post a notice on its website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didn't copy designs for the iPad. This is the same Judge who ruled earlier that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was not as cool as Apple's iPad."
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Apple Must Publicly Post That Samsung Did Not Copy iPad

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:36PM (#40689449)

    I wouldn't mind seeing this happen to a few more patent trolls. Not only should the U.S. adopt a European style "loser pays" system for cases like this, but a "loser has to publicly admit he's an ass" policy wouldn't hurt either.

  • YES! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:38PM (#40689455) Homepage Journal

    One of my biggest issues with corporate culture is the ending to so many disputes where the misbehaving corporation "admits no fault" for the situation.

    They should always have to post a "we did wrong" letter after they get shown the door.

  • Re:YES! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <(mariet) (at) (got.net)> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:50PM (#40689597) Journal

    I find it particularly egregious when a corporation has committed a truly heinous act, like dumping toxic waste resulting in some number of deaths and injuries, and to keep face, they agree to settle out quickly (so the remaining survivors can get expensive medical care) on the agreement that they "Admit to no wrong doing", and nobody can talk about the atrocity they committed.

    Perhaps there will be a time when people place the value of human dignity above the value of personal wealth. Sadly, I'm not holding my breath.

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:56PM (#40689679)

    I think the media coverage alone of this story will do all the work
    Apple cannot control that
    I think what Apple actually does to comply with this will be largely irrelevant when it's being talked about on the news.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @02:59PM (#40689697)

    hey protect their own innovations to an extent they deem reasonable

    I'm pretty sure they didn't "innovate" a rectangle with rounded corners.

  • by ewanm89 (1052822) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:01PM (#40689719) Homepage
    So which lawsuit did Google initiate? Plenty where suits have been bought against Google. I don't know of any where Google was the initiator.
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:05PM (#40689773)

    They protect their own innovations to an extent they deem reasonable.

    What innovations? Apple is an imitator, marketer, and polisher of other people's products. Did they invent the cellphone? Did they invent tablets? Did they invent mp3 players, touch screens, gridded icons, rounded corners or anything else of substance? Have they ever actually created a new product category? The best people can say is that Samsung imitated an imitator. At best.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:11PM (#40689841) Homepage

    It isn't just some newspaper ads:

    Now, Birss says Apple must post a notice to its UK website that outlines the July 9 decision, and the notice must remain on the site for six months. ... Unsurprisingly, Apple's lawyer in the case, Richard Hacon, pushed back on the order by arguing that Apple would essentially be forced to advertise for Samsung. "No company likes to refer to a rival on its website," ...

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/judge-to-apple-tell-uk-consumers-samsung-didnt-infringe-on-ipad-design/ [arstechnica.com]

    The Streisand effect was designed in California too, correct?

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:23PM (#40689987) Homepage

    The reason Apple have to do this is because they tried to trash Samsung's name publicly. Apple is not being punished here, merely made to undo the wrong that they did.

    We have restorative justice, meaning the goal is always to put things back the way they were before the matter under consideration happened. Monetary damages are awarded based on lost income, and in cases like this where one party has damaged the other's reputation steps must be taken to restore it.

  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:39PM (#40690155) Homepage Journal

    How does "loser pays" work when a little guy goes after a big company like Apple, Google, or Microsoft with a legitimate complaint but gets defeated because the big company was able to spend 100,000x more on their lawyers?

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:42PM (#40690201) Homepage

    But like the climategate thing, people aren't interested in hearing that the accusers were wrong in the end. The damage is done. This judge is probably attempting to undo the damage by forcing the damagers to make the statement. It is not enough that a judge makes the statement. It has to come from Apple -- the accuser, the damager. Even so, people won't be inclined to believe as that requires people to change their beliefs and there is a very long and significant list of things that people will change before they change their beliefs.

  • by OWJones (11633) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @03:48PM (#40690279)
    By "in the middle of" you mean "not yet in control of and had no power over," right?
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @04:29PM (#40690803)

    Have you even looked at the patent in question? Here it is [google.com] in all its rounded corner glory. They patented rounded freaking corners. If you want to get specific, 4 rounded corners on a rectangle. Like the world has never seen that before.

    Yes, that's the point of a design patent. It doesn't have to be something new, just a design specific to your product - the iPhone happens to be a rounded rectangle with a dock connector on one edge. That's what's laid out in the design patent.

    It's not a method patent, as you seem to be wailing and gnashing about. Of course "the world has seen that before" - the purpose of a design patent is not to mark out totally new, never seen before things; that's what method patents are for.

    Apple didn't "patent rounded freaking corners", they submitted a design patent for their product in much the same way that thousands and thousands of other design patents are submitted, like that of the Ford Mustang. Zomg! Ford patented a transportation device with four wheels and an engine! Like the world has never seen that before!

  • Re:YES! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @04:31PM (#40690843)

    This is incorrect. A person in a group behaves fundamentally differently than individually.

    A good example is when you're walking on the street and meet a bunch of streetkids. There is a bigger chance they will harass you as a group, then if you met them individually. Why? Because in the latter case, they can't hide behind the group.

    Same with corporations. People can have personal benefit for doing something "bad", and cleanse their souls by assuming somebody else (or the whole company) will be held responsible.

    Hence it is stupid to identify or even compare corporations with individuals.

  • by DCstewieG (824956) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @04:42PM (#40690959)

    I may come off as an Apple apologist here but they aren't a patent troll. They have products that implement the patents in question as opposed to true trolls who produce nothing but lawsuits. At worst you could call them patent abusers, at best they're just playing the game.

    Wikipedia:

    Patent troll is a term used for a person or company who enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered aggressive or opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.

  • That was a very lengthy way to type "I'm incapible of performing research on products before buying them."

    Did you also buy a coupe expecting to be able to fit your kids in the backseat?

    "Well... I mean... it's a car! It SHOULD have a backseat, right? Someone should do something to protect me from this! DERP!"
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @06:00PM (#40691839)

    Your analogy, typical of most car analogies, is slightly flawed.

    The modifier took a Cougar and altered it. Apple's iPad is not simply a modified prior tablet.

    A closer analogy would be a car with no syncho on the transmission, and then Apple coming along with a car that had syncho making it much more pleasant to use. However, the concepts of a manual transmission and synchronising input and output shafts are not new. Combining them to refine a product was at the time, however.

    The iPad wasn't Apple's "invention", nor did they claim to have invented tablets. They did innovate in that area though, creating a tablet (not a new concept) that was easy and pleasant to use, especially in the way it dealt with I/O. Previously tablets had all been compromised because the UI was shoehorned in and you had to mimic a keyboard and mouse. Now, a touch-sensitive input system designed for the human hand is not new - again, Apple did not invent this - but they did marry it with a tablet device and create a product that worked.

    That is textbook innovation, especially when they're being panned for it in the run up to product release (very famous public criticism of both the iPhone and the iPad as "guaranteed flops" before their release).

    Let me be totally clear here - Apple rarely invents anything itself. It doesn't work that way. What it does do, and does almost better than anyone else, is identify concepts and technologies that work well and combine them into products that people love to use. Sure they don't hash out 3G radio protocols, or even work on the glass that goes into the iPhone - they simply licence what they need or buy the company. This doesn't mean they don't innovate though.

    It also doesn't mean that everything they do is the right way to go - their track record with input devices is pretty spotty, for example. The hockey puck mouse, the Mighty Mouse and the Magic Mouse are all pretty woeful in my opinion (although some people love the Magic Mouse), but the Magic Trackpad is one of the very best things I have ever used. In no sense did Apple invent or create the concept of a trackpad, or even the mouse (most famously).

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @06:03PM (#40691859)

    The point is not whether or not Apple was legally right in doing this. The point is they were assholes for doing so. And I don't like doing business with corporations that are not nice.

    No, the point (as put forth by the OP) was that Apple patented rounded corners, and meant "method patent", which is not what Apple did.

    The point wasn't anywhere near whether Apple was being an asshole about it - yes, they were - the whole lawsuit has got way out of hand, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't correct false statements.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @06:23PM (#40692019)

    Have you even looked at the patent in question? Here it is [google.com] in all its rounded corner glory. They patented rounded freaking corners. If you want to get specific, 4 rounded corners on a rectangle. Like the world has never seen that before.

    Yes, that's the point of a design patent. It doesn't have to be something new, just a design specific to your product - the iPhone happens to be a rounded rectangle with a dock connector on one edge. That's what's laid out in the design patent.

    It's not a method patent, as you seem to be wailing and gnashing about. Of course "the world has seen that before" - the purpose of a design patent is not to mark out totally new, never seen before things; that's what method patents are for.

    Apple didn't "patent rounded freaking corners", they submitted a design patent for their product in much the same way that thousands and thousands of other design patents are submitted, like that of the Ford Mustang. Zomg! Ford patented a transportation device with four wheels and an engine! Like the world has never seen that before!

    OK. But then they took their design patent and tried to claim that anyone else who use a rectangle with rounded corners violated their patent. So, it is like if Ford had a design patent on their model of car and then tried to sue people for shamelessly copying their innovative 4-wheel design.

    No, they didn't. They sued Samsung for that, not "anyone else who used a rectangle with rounded corners".

    Whether they were right to do that or not, there are plenty of other rounded rectangle tablets and phones that are not the subject of design patent lawsuits.

  • by reversible physicist (799350) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @07:04PM (#40692389)

    A patent troll is a non-practicing entity. I understand that you feel patents are a bad idea. I do too. But that doesn't make Apple a troll. Many other derogatory terms are available!

    Objectively, it seems that Samsung has followed the very successful business strategy of making phones (and less successfully tablets) that look a lot like market leading Apple products. Apple has tried to use the patent system to prevent this, and this has been, I think, a PR disaster (and not very effective). Since this is exactly what all the billions spent on patents is supposed to enable, maybe big tech corporations will get sick of patents and patent wars and get the whole system abolished. One can hope!

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