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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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  • Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:32AM (#40918579)

    It's only normal to look at someone else's product and say "hey, that's a good idea, let's implement that too!". Question is, were there PATENTS that covered this and that and was there a patent infringement in such cases? Moving a "Loading..." text from top right to middle of the screen doesn't, for example, look like "patent infringement", and if it IS a patent covering that, well then my personal opinion is that patents have really gone too far.

  • Re:Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 68kmac (471061) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:41AM (#40918689) Homepage

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

    Agreed. But the other question in this case is: Where do you draw the line? If you copy 100 details from your competitor, you are effectively plagiarizing their product.

  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:42AM (#40918705) Homepage

    Remember, this is a design patent case.

    It's not just rounded rectangles and a black bezel. It's rounded rectangles, a black bezel, this AND that AND other things.

    Note the the "AND" - it all has to add up to be significantly infringing. It doesn't have the same requirements as a utility [about.com] patent. Moving an icon would not likely be unique enough to get you a utility patent, but it could well be PART of a design patent.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:00PM (#40918921)

    I wouldn't say so. Samsung presented evidence of phones that were in development before the iphone was announced that looked very similar to the iphone.

    I'm sure Apple had the iphone under development before it was announced. Samsung being a supplier for the iPhone would have access to these designs during the development stage.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:02PM (#40918937)

    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.

  • Patents are mis-used (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:04PM (#40918967) Journal

    The internal combustion engine is a perfect example. The internal combustion engine COULD NOT have been patented. The diesel engine was. One particular way of making an internal combustion engine. But with the patent for a diesel engine, a skilled craftsman had all he needed to make a fully functional diesel engine.

    The reason there are so many different types of engine is that they were designed to avoid having to license a patent. This worked very well. It created innovation AND if you wanted to produce an existing engine in your own factory you just paid a relatively low fee.

    But Apple wants to patent ideas. No a blue print but a concept. Not even the concept of an internal combustion engine but the concept of an engine. And the patents they submit provide nothing that a skilled craftsman can use to build a device. At most, they can give an engineer an problem to solve where the problem is "how do I actually build the product the patent theorizes".

    That is not how patents are supposed to work. The idea for an engine is after all far older then actual engines but all the engineers who made engines would have to pay for the license to use the idea of some long dead guy if Apple had its way.

    Go look through Apples patents, every single one of them. I bet less then a single percent contains the plans with which a skilled craftsman in the field can build a working product without having to design something himself.

    Imagine if Apple was in medicine, they would patent a cure for cancer. The patent has nothing in it but "It would make us a lot of money if we could cure cancer, now someone else actually invent it and pay us".

    Not how it is supposed to go. If you really did discover a cure for cancer, you deserve a patent and people would happily pay you for it. But NOT just for the idea that curing cancer would be nice.

    Sadly the amoral Americans have decided the patent office needs to turn a profit and you don't turn a profit by turning customers away. So the patent office and grants every payment and the taxpayers pay for courtsystem to try to sort it all out.

    Conclusion: Americans are a problem.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:10PM (#40919049) Homepage

    I read through it. There are some "let's copy the iPhone" things, but so much of it clearly shows that Samsung just didn't care about the software. Decisions that, even in a vacuum, make no sense. Here are some that I can remember:

    • Icons (such as notes) don't look like the application that gets launched.
    • Requiring you to use multiple applications to sync your data with the computer (one for calendar, one for contacts, one for music, one for...)
    • Multiple places where the keyboard covers up part of the dialog box the user is supposed to be using.
    • Requiring multiple steps to return to your call in progress.
    • Opening email doesn't check for email. You have to open a menu and hit the sync button.
    • You're allowed to put multiple copies of a program on the same launcher screen.

    There are quite a few places in the document that boil down to "The iPhone does this neat little visual trick, we need a neat little visual trick". There are a couple of places (I can't remember them off the top of my head) where it looks like they actually removed something useful to be more iPhone like. Without some of the slides, it would have read like a "what the hell were you thinking" memo.

    It's going to be a tough thing for Samsung to argue against.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:28PM (#40919279)

    Slight problem: the Prada was referenced in the '677 patent [uspto.gov]. I.e. The patent was awarded with full awareness of the LG Prada phone, meaning that the LG phone must have been different enough so as not to invalidate the claims of Apple's design patent.

  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Speare (84249) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:28PM (#40919281) Homepage Journal

    The way to crush a design patent is to show that there is a functional reason you chose that design.

    "We moved the message from the top to the bottom so that it would be closer to where the user's finger would be hovering after the previous interaction. Here is expert testimony that says such alignment is more effective." BAM It's not just cosmetic.

    "We chose rounded corners with a flush bezel instead of the earlier chunky corners because they will catch less when they are being removed from satchels, purses, and backpack pockets. Here are focus group comments related to that decision." BAM It's not just cosmetic.

    A design patent is solely for non-functional design choices. Number of petals on a flower. Color coordination. And so on.

  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768NO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:30PM (#40919307) Journal
    But if you actually knew anything about the case, you would know that they in fact provided the screen. So it was well known internally it was a touchscreen phone. Likewise the phones in development "before" thing is a myth created by Samsung to hid the real meat of the issue, those phones that were developed "before" the iPhone were designed DIFFERENTLY until the iPhone. Basically they all had entirely different designs that changed once the iPhone was previewed.
  • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @12:38PM (#40919421) Journal
    Exactly. I have nearly every model of phone come across my desk, and the Galaxy S is the only one I've ever picked up thinking it was an iPhone. In general, I don't mind design patents as much as software patents, because design patents are easy to work around. Software patents keep me from doing things I want.

    For the end-user, this lawsuit means nothing. Samsung has already learned their lesson, and the Galaxy Nexus looks different than an iPhone. Samsung has some nice phones. Ultimately one of these two parties will pay the other one a lot of money, and the rest of the world will keep spinning as if nothing had happened.
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @02:05PM (#40920515) Homepage Journal

    And yet in Germany they did testify they believed they alone owned the right to design round rectangles.

    You'll also note that the F700 had black and white icons because they didn't want to price it the $600 iPhone level. Apple is claiming that moving from black and white to color when technology allowed (at an affordable price) should belong solely to Apple as well? They're making a fucking IP claim for using color.

    They're also claiming that Samung copied them by adding more icons when they increased the resolution of the screen, again this is a natural evolution of better technology.

    And the difference between the points on that checklist for tablets pre and post-Pad is literally rounded corners. So yes, when it comes to tablets, Apple is centering their claim on sole ownership of round rectangles.

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