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Handhelds Patents The Courts Apple

Apple Loses Bid To Exclude Evidence In Samsung Patent Trial 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-cloud-this-issue-with-facts dept.
New submitter Shavano writes with news that Apple's attempt to block Samsung from introducing evidence of a tablet prototype developed in 1994 has been denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. Part of the reason Apple got a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this year was that an Appeals Court said Apple's tablet design was significantly different from earlier designs. Now, Judge Koh has decided that the issue needs to be decided by a jury. "Samsung has argued the design was an obvious variation of tablets existing as early as 1994, including one made by Hewlett-Packard Co. The Korean company supported that argument at the trial with videotaped testimony by Roger Fidler, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. Fidler said he started working on a tablet design in 1981. Apple sought to exclude the testimony based on the appeals court ruling. In a written declaration, Fidler said 'Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes' in the mid- 1990s when the company collaborated with Knight-Ridder Inc.’s information design laboratory in Colorado."
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Apple Loses Bid To Exclude Evidence In Samsung Patent Trial

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  • Re:We are blessed (Score:5, Informative)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:11AM (#41042697)

    >>>If the inventors of yesteryears were as greedy as Apple -

    Ahahahahahahahaaaha. Let's see. Bill Gates complained in a newsletter circa 1980 about people copying software and ideas without permission. Apple sued Microsoft in the mid-80s for making an OS too similar to their own (which led MS plus other makers like Atari and Commodore to deliberately change their OSes appearance). Activision was sued by Atari in 1980 for making cartridges without permission. Nintendo was sued in the late 80s for not sharing their cartridge patents with Atari & other 3rd-party vendors. NCSA Mosaic sued Netscape for copying their browser concepts in the early 90s.

    Yeah. Sure. "Open and willing to share". Not.

  • Re:We are blessed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:15AM (#41043013) Homepage

    Ahahahahahahahaaaha. Let's see. Bill Gates complained in a newsletter circa 1980 about people copying software and ideas without permission.

    I have no recollection of the "ideas" part of your statement. Care to cite your references?

    Apple sued Microsoft in the mid-80s for making an OS too similar to their own (which led MS plus other makers like Atari and Commodore to deliberately change their OSes appearance).

    No. Apple sued Microsoft for developing an operating system based on information they received under NDA. Microsoft did, in fact, stab Apple in the back on that occasion. The only reason Apple lost is because the key innovation wasn't theirs to begin with (i.e. - taken from Xerox).

    Yeah. Sure. "Open and willing to share". Not.

    Okay, I'll grant you this. GP's statement was going too far. Still, things that back then were considered fair game are today causes for multi-billion dollars suites. IBM did not sue Compaq when they created a clean room re-implementation of their BIOS, despite the huge economical impact it had on IBM's market. Amiga, and later Commodor, never had to ask anyone for permission before creating an OS with windows, icons and menus, and suffered no consequences for it.

    Heck, the Amiga even had an "emulator" for the Mac. It would do some Amigaish tricks with the hardware to cause it to be a Mac, and then had a special hardware [wikipedia.org] solely so there'd be a place to put your (presumably legally obtained) Mac BIOS ROMs. In fact, the hacked version did not require that hardware at all, as people who don't care about A-Max's copyrights don't care about Apple's either. The result was a 7.2Mhz Amiga emulating an 8Mhz Mac at 120% speed. Nobody sued anyone, as far as I know.

    Contrast the story above with Apple's treatment of Pystar and see whether things have changed or not.

    Shachar

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:36AM (#41043113)

    It's impossible to "Vaguely Imitate" a center mounted screen, or a screen made of glass (which is shiny, and transmits light from one side to the other). It is impossible to imitate the color black. It impossible to imitate a rectangle (it simply is or is not a rectangle). It is impossible to imitate quite a few things Apple has design patented, and many of them are obvious. Design patents are an abomination to human culture, and are the lowest form of filth. How is one to make a functioning smartphone or tablet without a screen that transmits light? Glass is so utterly generic, It simply doesn't matter whether it's gorilla glass or not. Using strong glass is not patentable anymore than I could patent using a hardwood floor in my house. Or wood in my baseball bat.

  • Re:We are blessed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:17AM (#41043289)

    Citation: Patent 4,873,662, Informaton for display at a terminal apparatus of a computer is stored in blocks the first part of which contains the information which is actually displayed at the terminal and the second part of which contains information relating to the display and which may be used to influence the display at the time or in response to a keyboard entry signal. For example, the second part of the block could include information for providing the complete address of an another block which would be selected by the operation of a selected key of the keyboard. The second part of the block could alternatively influence the format and/or color of the display at the terminal. When a block is read from the store of the computer the second part is retained in another store which may be located in the terminal or in the computer itself or perhaps both. The invention is particularly useful in reducing the complexity of the operating protocol of the computer.

    This was the basis for their 2000 claim on the patent (filed 1976, granted at the USPTO 1989) which they subsequently lost. IBM and Lockheed-Martin also tried to lay claim on hyperlinks, which they both also lost.

  • STNG (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:36AM (#41043355)

    Star Trek Next Generation always had tablets. To say Apple came up with the idea is ludicrous. I was happy when Ipad type devices started coming out, because everything that gets us closer to Star Trek is a good thing in my book.

  • by makomk (752139) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:13AM (#41043909) Journal

    For the one that came after (and actually works), I see no reason why they shouldn't be rewarded for the effort on the parts that actually made it work. Patents on novel engineering regarding the guts of the device that made it a functioning tablet? No problem.

    Of course, Apple didn't actually do most of the novel hardware engineering that made the iPad possible as a functioning tablet - in that regard Samsung actually did more to make the iPad possible than Apple did. The touchscreen display and CPU chip in the iPad are both engineered and built by Samsung.

  • by Vapula (14703) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:18AM (#41045835)

    The A4 (like some samsung's processors) is comprised mostly of "IP-Cores" from various companies.

    IP Cores are electronic designs sold like the ARM processor (which is present in all the iPhone/iPad/... processors), the grephic accelerator (PowerVR, nVidia,...), the RAM block, the FLASH rom, the USB interface, the wifi system (Broadcom and other), ...

    So, no, Apple did not design the A4... they designed a VERY SMALL part of it. Some people did "decap" (cur the plastic box around the processor) both an A4 and a Samsung processor and, using microscopes, were able to identify these common parts which covered more than 90% of the chip (well, Samsung chip had some extra IPcores which were useless for a phone and are not present in the A4)

    When Apple boast about their "brand new magic A(n+1) processor", it makes me laugh... because there is nothing magic, nothing new... they just updated the CPU cores to a newer version from Acorn (which designs ARM) and the graphic cores... Some glue electronics to bind all these parts and it's done...

    And ARM cores were used in later Palm devices (first were using a 68000 variant), on iPaq (from CompaQ) and other windows mobiles PDA as well as in Embedded systems.

  • by sgtrock (191182) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:50AM (#41046087)

    Ahahahahahahahaaaha. Let's see. Bill Gates complained in a newsletter circa 1980 about people copying software and ideas without permission.

    I have no recollection of the "ideas" part of your statement. Care to cite your references?

    You're kidding, right? I thought this was one of the most famous statements ever made by Gates. However, it was 1976 (close enough to 1980, I suppose) and it wasn't a newsletter, it was an actual letter to the Homebrew Computer Club [digibarn.com].

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