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The Courts GUI Iphone Apple Hardware

Samsung's Comparison of Galaxy S To iPhone 383

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bring-back-keyboards dept.
david.emery writes "In a document from the ongoing Samsung/Apple trial, provided in both English translation and Korean original, Samsung engineers provided a detailed comparison of user interface features in their phone against the iPhone. In almost all cases, the recommendation was to adopt the iPhone's approach. Among other observations, this shows how much work goes into defining the Apple iPhone user experience." Ars has an article on the evidence offered by Apple so far.
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Samsung's Comparison of Galaxy S To iPhone

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  • by garcia (6573) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:31AM (#40918553) Homepage

    The comparison of phones/tablets available prior to the iPhone/iPad and those that came out after both were unveiled show that Samsung is definitely in the wrong as far as design styles go.

    Whether this should be something someone can patent is another argument that I'm not going to get into here.

  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:33AM (#40918595) Journal
    There are few if any issues w/Apple having monopoly in phones.

    The issue comes up when Apple (or any other Microsoft) uses their monopoly in one area to leverage their position in another (think "shutting off the air supply to Netscape").

  • by Dupple (1016592) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:33AM (#40918597)

    I don't think that will happen. There are plenty of implementations that apple doesn't think infringe. The phone market isn't like the PC market was at all. The numbers are open to interpretation, but apple isn't the number one phone manufacturer and the don't have number one market share. A monopoly isn't a hazard for apple

  • Chevy & Ford (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:39AM (#40918665)

    Ford suing Chevrolet on copying it's design for an automobile, submitting emails/notes from Chevrolet engineers who are analyzing/comparing their new car with Ford's:

    1. It has four wheels w/ rubber tires.
    2. There is a driver's station with locking mechanism, steering wheel, gear shift, brake pedal, and accelerator.
    3. There are seats for the driver and passengers.
    4. There are 2 to 4 doors for driver and passenger entrance/egress.
    5. There is some bulk storage area (trunk, etc).
    6. There are at least 2 headlights, tail lights, and turn indicators.
    .
    .
    .
    So, obviously, Chevy "stole" Ford's design!

  • by logicassasin (318009) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:58AM (#40918899)

    I know it may be taboo to throw a competitor's device into the fray (and possibly opening up yourself to litigation from them), but seeing as how the LG Prada (LG KE850) had already won a design award months before the extremely similar looking iPhone had even been announced I would imagine that Samsung would jump at the opportunity to show prior art for some of Apple's "design patents" just to get them eliminated.

  • by kidgenius (704962) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:04PM (#40918961)
    Not necessarily. It entirely depends on what parts samsung was supplying. If it's memory chips and flash, they would have no idea that a large touchscreen would be in use. It's quite likely that the stuff samsung supplied were COTS components and Apple signed a contract for X thousand pieces at a cost of Y.
  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:09PM (#40919031) Homepage Journal

    It's only normal to look at someone else's product and say "hey, that's a good idea, let's implement that too!".

    I was leaning toward Apple being a bit too overzealous on their claims until I read the Ars article. It's difficult to ignore the abrupt physical design changes that came after the iPhone release. And the similarity of the interface. The interface was so similar there was an internal suggestion at Samsung to make the icons more different because they themselves thought it looked like a ripoff. That's pretty damning just by itself. Even if they didn't set out to infringe, they've clearly recognized they did end up with a confusingly similar design. In this game, intent isn't the only thing that will get you in trouble. There's no leeway for "honest mistakes" in patent violation, especially when you realize your mistake and continue to do it anyway.

    I also had to think about the "obvious" / "optimal design" problem. There's just so many ways to efficiently design a toaster. Slot for bread, lever to pull down, dial to adjust time. If someone has a patent that covers those basics, you'd have a really hard time designing a competing product that didn't infringe. I get that. But samsung has been in the business for years before Apple, they've had plenty of time to bring various designs to market. Then Apple comes along with what we'll presume is a truckload of market research and engineering resources, and right-off-the-blocks has a design that's very different than 95% of the existing products available in the market. If at that point a competitor suddenly changes their designs on a direct collision course with yours, it's very hard to swallow that your new design wasn't at least a major influence on your recent design changes.

    And if you pull designs out of your drafting cabinet that you've been working on for years that look like the new release, but you had never patented them or brought them to market.... you snooze you lose. The point here is improving the products available in the market, and it will not reward you for sitting on good designs. Get it to market or go home.

    I think if a new player enters the market with a revolutionary design, you're not entitled to copy it just because it's turning out to be a much more optimal design. If it was "obvious" then you should have done it already. If you didn't, either you're slow, stupid, or it wasn't really that obvious then, even if now in retrospect it looks very obvious. In any event, you shouldn't be entitled to copy it just for the "optimal/obvious" reason. The one that was quick, clever and bold enough to bring the "optimal" design to market before you ought to get a reward for their effort, innovation, and providing the market with a superior product.

    Some of what Apple is arguing is iffy, and a few things are downright silly. But now that they're in court they're going to play all their cards, whether they be strong or weak. May as well. Let the court uphold the strong ones, strike down the weak ones, and hash out who gets what out of the middleground. This is pretty standard practice in any big case like this. Bring all your cards to the table and turn over as many as you can mange to. So even though some of these things seem silly, I can see why they're doing it. You'll get better odds on review of your iffy things if they've already struck down some of the silly things and gotten the cutoff for "silly" more clearly defined. So it's necessary.

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:12PM (#40919063)

    If 30% for "hosting, distribution and all finances" is such a great deal, surely they would have nothing to fear by allowing competing services to perform these difficult and expensive tasks. I mean, very few companies on the planet have yet mastered the intricate technological challenges of inexpensively hosting downloads.

    30% (plus $100/yr, don't forget) is an insane amount for the minuscule amount of "service" Apple provides.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:19PM (#40919155)

    It really is an absolute steal at 30%, given that the bulk of the software pricing on the app store and on the iTunes music and movie stores are low value amounts.

    30% cut to handle payment services for your customers, including card processing and verification, refunds, fees to banks and credit card companies, gift cards, customer service, helpdesk etc? Yes please.

    That alone is worth the 30% cut; the hosting and distribution is just a free bonus.

    I assume that the 30% that Google charges on their store is also "insane"? Or is that perfectly fine because it's not Apple?

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:20PM (#40919179) Homepage Journal

    I disagree. What you're not seeing is the complete list of devices that Samsung released before and after the announcement of the iPhone. There were devices before the iPhone that looked iPhone-ish, but Apple isn't going to show you those. And there have been a lot of devices after the iPhone that don't look anything like an iPhone, but Apple isn't going to show you those either. The only thing that is certain is that Samsung has released a lot of different devices over the years, and some of them have looked iPhone-ish. Because Apple makes only one style of device, they naturally assume that Samsung must have ripped them off when, in fact, it's just not true.

    Or put another way, imagine if I started a car company and decided that I wanted all of my cars to look exactly like a 2005 Nissan Altima because I'd decided that was the height of style and function. Then later, I sued Nissan for ripping off my design. In court, I put forth "evidence", slides showing various models of Nissans--the Sentra, the 200SX, maybe even some old Altimas that used a different design, then slides showing the 2006 Nissan Altima, 2007 Nissan Altima, 2008 Nissan Altima, etc. To a layperson, it would look very much like Nissan ripped off my design, when in fact at best, we came up with the designs independently (and at worst, Nissan could compellingly argue that I ripped off their design).

    Unfortunately, Samsung won't be able to show the jury some of the evidence of this happening, as a result of Judge Koh's ruling earlier. I still hope they are able to win this case, because otherwise, whether you like or hate Apple, you can bet that there are going to be a lot more cases coming forward dealing with design patents. Every company out there is going to see "rip-offs" of their products and sue, no matter how incidental it is to the actual workings of the product.

    It's also unfortunate, because if Apple wins, it's going to also severely limit companies' ability to innovate in the future. Until very, very recently, it wasn't unusual for companies to regularly take the best ideas from other companies and people, mix them up in new ways, improve on features that were weak, and release new products to advance the industry. Apple has benefited from this themselves: they didn't invent the GUI; they got the idea from another company, improved it, and drove GUI operating system technology forward while also making it popular. They didn't invent MP3 players; they took the best of what was out there, splashed their own design and software ideas on it, and completely revived their company.

    But now, god forbid someone else uses some of their ideas--ideas that they got from other places--to try to push the technology forward even further. And if I were an Apple fan, that level of protectionism would greatly concern me. To me, it says clearly that Apple is afraid that Samsung can (and quite possibly is) out-Appling Apple when it comes to design and functionality.

    I mean, let's be brutally honest. How many people are going to go in a store wanting an iPhone, get confused, and come out with a Galaxy instead? Nobody. I can almost guarantee you that no one has ever gotten home and thought, "Hey waaaait a minute... This isn't an iPhone!" I will admit that there are some slick features that the iPhone and Galaxy phones share that I really like, but when I got my Galaxy Nexus, it wasn't because it was an iPhone rip-off. If I wanted an iPhone, I would have bought an iPhone, I had one prior to the Galaxy Nexus. I deliberately bought an Android phone because of features such as widgets on my phone's home screens, the ability to use third-party software that isn't in the Google Play store, the bigger screen and an aspect ratio that I like better, etc.

    Of course, there are rumors now [arstechnica.com] that the next generation of iPhone will have a taller screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Does Apple cons

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:35PM (#40919369)
    Oh, but you are not forced to sell exclusively though Google play.
  • Unknown sources (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:36PM (#40919385) Homepage Journal

    It is exactly the same amount as Google charges for apps in the Play store.

    Unlike iOS devices, Android devices have alternatives to the Play Store. Google charges 0% for applications distributed through "unknown sources" such as Amazon Appstore, SlideME, Soc.io, or the developer's own web site. The key difference is that the user doesn't need to exploit a security vulnerability in the operating system to install third-party app stores on Android devices.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:37PM (#40919389)

    30% cut to handle payment services for your customers, including card processing and verification, refunds, fees to banks and credit card companies, gift cards, customer service, helpdesk etc? Yes please. That alone is worth the 30% cut

    On the contrary, 30% for payment processing is a huge markup - contrast with PayPal's Merchant Fees. [paypal.com] As a developer, which would you rather pay?

  • by teg (97890) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:42PM (#40919465) Homepage

    What if the iPhone really is that innovative in the smartphone arena that only Apple can provide smartphones? Then they have a monopoly, and the DoJ tends to get upset with monopolies that appear to be unreasonably restraining consumer choice raising prices, or both.

    Just ask Microsoft. They, arguably, have never recovered from the antitrust suit. Does Apple want to go down that path?

    Apple didn't invent the smartphone, and I doubt they claim to. There were plenty of smartphones before the iphone - Nokia had e.g. N95 [wikipedia.org] (and other N-series) and their Communicator [wikipedia.org], Blackberry had many [wikipedia.org] phones, Sony Ericsson had their P900 series [wikipedia.org], HTC had Windows mobile phones [gsmarena.com]. They behaved in different ways, and had many interesting styles. So obviously, there are many other ways than iPhone and iPhone OS to look and behave.

    Samsung just put an awful lot of work into looking and behaving the same. Where the legal limit for copying goes I don't know, but Samsung wasn't exactly trying a brand new design they had been working on and polishing for the last five years... it seems as if they even copied marketing materials [appleinsider.com]. And even today, there are many different ways. E.g. the Nokia Lumia 900 [techradar.com] - it is a full screen touch mobile, but has its own design and user interface. I certainly wouldn't buy one - Microsoft has already said that they are obsolete [arstechnica.com] - but they have put (different) thoughts into design and behaviour.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:44PM (#40919511) Journal
    For a $0.99 game or app, Apple's 30% is cheaper than PayPal's 2.9% + 30, and also covers hosting and distribution and a little bit of advertising. For a $10 app, Apple's deal starts to look a lot less attractive...
  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:50PM (#40919593) Homepage

    As I understand it, the fact that Samsung is denied the right to present the evidence is because their legal team was so dumb fuck stupid not to present the evidence in the legal phase where evidence is supposed to be presented. Call it a technicality if you must. Nevertheless, the judge is 100% right to suppress said evidence on the grounds it wasn't presented on time.

    Legal proceedings are very precise. Samsung lawyers seems to be very stupid on that one.

    There will be an appeal anyways, so who cares?

  • by Americano (920576) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:27PM (#40920053)

    Yes, Google has explicitly opened themselves up to competitive pressures by allowing externally sourced purchases & downloads. And they STILL charge 30%.

    Amazon, too.

    That means they either need to charge that just to break even or make a reasonable profit (and this is Amazon, Apple, and Google we're talking about - I think they probably have some pretty good tools for managing server farms), or they're confident nobody else is going to be able to do it significantly cheaper.

    My money's on the second one - hosting a data center, providing good uptime, fast payment processing & downloads, worldwide distribution, and a storefront... that all gets expensive. They probably COULD do it a bit cheaper, but why lower your revenues when there's no competitive pressure to do so?

  • Except that is exactly what their design patent is asserting is their 'invention'.

    Claims We claim the ornamental design for an electronic device, substantially as shown and described.

    And their drawings are just scribblings of a rectangular form factor with rounded corners and a bezel.

    Not "just". Design patents are actually very narrow: the design claimed is not just "rounded corners" or just "a bezel" or just "a rectangular form factor", but all of those things, in combination... and even in more depth. Every aspect of the design shown is part of the patent claim, including the specific curvature of the corners, the size of the bezel, the symmetrical placement of the screen within the border, the edge curvature, etc. Change any single one of those, and you don't infringe, by definition.

    They're not "scribblings" - you could actually take a ruler and protractor to them if necessary.

  • by Americano (920576) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:43PM (#40920213)

    You see all those squiggly black lines AROUND the drawings?

    Yeah, those are called "words."

    Those "words" do something we call "describing".

    So perhaps you can explain why you're only looking at the pretty pictures, when the claim you JUST cited specifically says "substantially as shown and described "?

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:57PM (#40920399) Homepage Journal

    When people say "look at all phones post-iPhone to see that they all copied Apple" they're generally referring to a large rectangle with round corners, and a large touch screen. Certainly some had slide-out keyboards and others didn't.

    The Prada won a design award because of the large touchscreen and soft-buttons replacing traditional physical buttons.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @05:19PM (#40922985)
    Just because it's not a direct moneymaker doesn't mean it's not an indirect moneymaker. People use iPhones because of the variety of apps and perception of higher quality. If you take away one of these, Android will surge past them.

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