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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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  • by MacDork (560499) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @11:26PM (#41042443) Journal
    Fidler holding both tablets. [dailytech.com] Yeah, Apple's is totally original... :-|
  • Re:Can we just agree (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday August 18, 2012 @11:57PM (#41042641)

    >>>Or are we going to start calling in the Science fiction writers next?

    We could just show a still image from TNG with Wesley holding his school PAD. Not only does it have a similar anme to iPad, but it's also rectangle with rounded corners : http://www.newfangled.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/2/516f36353ced7a44696bdaaffbc0f7f0/misc/star_trek_padd_3.jpg [newfangled.com]

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:23AM (#41042759)

    >>>Put them in front of a 1984 Macintosh, and almost everything works like we have now.

    Except it doesn't have subfolders like we have now.
    Or the ability to multitask more than 1 program.
    And no right button menus (like Commodore Amiga and Atari ST).
    Users would be frustrated.

    BTW it's not the first time a patent was invalidated in court by showing the existence of prior work. In 2007 Novell and Red Hat Linux jointly fended off a patent infringement suit for virtual desktops - and several people helped in finding cases of prior art. The most interesting one of all? A carefully restored and working 1985 Commodore Amiga demonstrated to the judge and jury..... Basically they demonstrated how the Amiga could have multiple desktops and screens.

    POINT: A patent is invalidated when a piece of working hardware predates the issuance date. Apple can not claim a patent on the rounded-corners of the iPad if a piece of hardware already existed with that concept.

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

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:29AM (#41042791)

    I used touchscreens in both decades, and they were held back because they sucked. You had to press hard to get your input to register. (Also people weren't sure what input would be best... touchscreen, mouse, touchpad, or lightpen.) Just as none of the home computers of the day could play DVD-quality video prior to 1995, neither could they do multitouch. The technology simply wasn't there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:30AM (#41042793)

    OK I'm going to ramble a bit here, but you got me thinking... I'm an anonymous coward anyway so what do you care?
    ( the irony of your CPU name and your harsh view of Jobs was also not lost on me )

    I am intrigued that you see all this so strongly in Samsung's favor. I guess must realize my own bias from this... I see almost everything in this trial has gone in Apple's favor, and Samsung's lawyers couldn't possibly have done worse on the courtroom.
    And yet you think that Samsung is clearly winning.
    Very interesting to me.

    Yet, I can't get past this prior art thing... I know it's not an objective question, but...
    Apple could win this on one question to the jury: Had you ever seen anything like the iPhone when it came out?
    If any of them, and any of you slashdotters say "yes" you are lying.

    For a biased, but beautiful example, go back and watch the original Apple keynote from 2007 where the iPhone debuted. Fastforward to the live demo jobs does.
    People are audibly gasping. This is Apple fanboys, of course. Fanboys will hoot and holler, clap and yell, but even Apple fanboys won't gasp at something... unless they're amazed at what they see.

    Did that happen in 1994 when Fidler's demo was shown to people? Of course not. It wasn't a real product. It was stardust and dreams.

    Samsung may well win... we'll have to just see.

  • by Eyeball97 (816684) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:39AM (#41042847)

    Are you perhaps referring to the Apple PDA (August '93) that they shamelessly copied from the Casio/Tandy Zoomer (June '92)

  • by Cochonou (576531) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:25AM (#41043533) Homepage
    Can we stop already with these Apple/Samsung trial stories ?

    It's not that I'm not interested in the subject: I believe its outcome will have profound implications on the smartphone/tablet landscape (hopefully for the best).
    However, I am totally uninterested in every trivial aspect and "twist" of the trial, especially when I'm sure that slashdot editors/firehose cherry pick these stories, and fail to give us the greater picture of the process. Can't we just wait for the court ruling, and have a GOOD summary of it, for once ?
  • Re:We are blessed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:59AM (#41043653)

    The big difference is that those patents where not granted then, but would be just rubber stamped today.

    Today you can patent even the most trivial software "invention", and use it as a weapon to destroy any form of progress unless you are payed ridiculous amounts of money. I effect you take progress as hostage and demand ransom money.

    The big difference is a few years ago it was about inventions and development (in short - competition on quality), but today the only thing that counts is greed and lawsuits...

  • Re:We are blessed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:20AM (#41043939)

    Touchscreens still suck. There is no tactile feedback, and my fingers are too big for the virtual keyboards on smartphones.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @06:37AM (#41044249)

    I notice one of them actually works, the other is a piece of plastic with a print of a newspaper stuck to it.

    Tablet Newspaper (1994) [youtube.com]. Note that the depicted design includes tablet with full-color reactive touchscreen (CRT, not LCD), it is not just "a piece of plastic with a print of a newspaper stuck to it". Also note that this case is about design patents, [wikipedia.org] not functionality, and therefore the fact that Fidler didn't have a fully functional iPad in 1994 is irrelevant.

  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @08:27AM (#41044707) Journal

    Samsung's Lawyers are not playing to the judge but to the Jury. That is their audiecne and if they can convince them that Apple's Design Patents shouldn't have been issued to begin with, they solve the problem not only for themselves but for every other company that Apple has sued using those design patents. Simply put, Samsung's lawyers aim to kill Apple's entire legal strategy in all of the U.S. Courts being pursued by Apple.

    By invalidating these patents entirely, they kill Apple's biggest legal threat against Samsung with the added benefit of doing the same for most of the other defendents in the States. Hell it may even benefit them in Germany, France other EU countries and such if the patents are invalidated in the States. Thus those lawyers will have definately earned their money for the case.

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