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Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the arms-length dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "On August 24, a California court ruled in favor of Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, hitting the latter with a $1.05 billion fine. Tech pundits spent the weekend chattering about the possible repercussions of the decision, which Samsung will surely appeal. One of the biggest issues under discussion: how Apple's victory will affect Google Android, the operating system that powers the majority of Samsung's mobile devices, and itself a player in the patent-infringement actions shaking the tech world. For its part, Google made every effort to create some distance between Android and the smoking ruins of Samsung's case. 'The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims' the company wrote in a widely circulated statement. 'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.' Google didn't end there. 'The mobile industry is moving fast and all players—including newcomers—are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,' the statement continued. 'We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."
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Google Distances Android From Samsung Patent Verdict

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  • First Post (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday August 27, 2012 @11:50AM (#41137307)

    From a non-Apple rectangular computing device with rounded corners.

    So, sue me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by alen (225700)

      check the patent office. samsung and everyone else have the same design patents on everything they sell. samsung has one on a refrigerator of all things. everyone has patented the rectangle and every other shape

      • Re:First Post (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @11:56AM (#41137399)

        Difference is that Samsung aren't suing Beko for making refrigerators, and your typical refrigerators are a lot closer in design than Apple seems to think is worth suing over.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday August 27, 2012 @11:56AM (#41137397) Journal

      I've never had a computing device that didn't have rounded corners. The only question is what the radius of curvature is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'll go with a negative radius, myself, so that it winds up having very sharp points on the corners. Never you mind the fact that it would make it awfully convenient to throw at and lodge into the eye sockets of certain executives of a certain Cupertino-based marketing and design firm with delusions of being a technology company, I just think it'd be... neat to have one. Or a few.

        Oh, and they'd be Android-powered.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        Samsung, for several devices (the ones that did look a bit more iphone-ish like the Fascinate) had oddly curved corners, not a perfect radius from the union of the two sides. Strangely, the courts didnt find this distinction sufficient (even though an Apple product would NEVER have anything but perfectly radius-ed corners.)

    • Re:First Post (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:25PM (#41137811) Journal
      Square corners is nothing. That is a design patent, and it's easy to work around (by making a device that doesn't look too much like Apple's, Samsung did so themselves with the Infuse 4G. It's not hard to work around).

      The huge problem here is the multi-touch patents Apple has. Consider that every modern smartphone uses multi-touch. Then consider the alternatives. You want to zoom in but can't use multi-touch, what are you going to do? Double-tap the screen? Nope, Apple has that patented too. (Here is one multi-touch patent, they have several) [google.com]. Mult-touch patents could seriously cause problems for the rest of the world. Apple might license them at $30-$50 per handset, if they license them at all.
      • Re:First Post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by knarf (34928) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:40PM (#41138055) Homepage

        The huge problem here is the multi-touch patents Apple has.

        You forgot to add in the United States of America.

        In other words, 5% of the world population will be limited to multi-touch devices from one manufacturer only. The other 95% will be free to choose between a multitude of vendors.

        The land of the free... indeed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    However you feel about Apple, iOS, Samsung, Google or whomever else, keep in mind how broken the technology patent system is. Most of us have known this for years and this trial only serves to highlight this point over and over again.

    Don't hate the players, hate the game. Don't focus your hate on the companies involved. Focus on reforming the horribly broken patent system.

    • by Kenja (541830) on Monday August 27, 2012 @11:55AM (#41137385)
      No one made Apple sue over a rectangular shape. They choose to do it. So as much as I like their products, I can hate them as much as I want for trying to destroy the cell-phone market. Pity as well since they have great products that by and large the market has deemed the "best". They had no need to resorte to lawsuits rather then just compete.
    • In short, Apple is still bitter about Microsoft stealing their UI, back in the late 80's. Bla Bla Apple took it from Xerox... Apple felt like Windows took their thunder away. After that Apple has gotten much harder in protecting their UI.

      The players will play the game by using all the rules to their benefit. Fix the game not the players.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by the_B0fh (208483)

        Difference is, Apple paid Xerox for the right to use it.

        Has Samsung paid Apple for all the copying they did?

        • by PortHaven (242123)

          Actually, I thought they hadn't. And were sued. And Xerox lost.

          • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:27PM (#41137845)
            IIRC, Xerox lost it's suit for the same reason Apple lost to MS. They both had a poorly worded licensing deal that gave away more than they thought it did.
          • They did (the payment was through pre-IPO stock) and also ended up with some Xerox employees afterwards too.
          • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 27, 2012 @01:06PM (#41138461)

            Xerox were paid with Apple stock, which they unwisely sold off. They later tried to sue after they realised that not only did they let the UI cat out of the bag without making as much as they should have, they also sold off their Apple stock that became much more valuable after they sold it off cheaply.

            Apple didn't do anything against Xerox, unless you consider bringing two of the things Xerox developed to market in a wildly successful manner - the GUI and the mouse.

            Steve Jobs even told them outright that they were "sitting on a goldmine" and was amazed that they had no plans to bring the mouse to market, and said "do you mind if we do instead?"

            It's hardly Apple's fault they were the ones to see the value in what Xerox had and were able to exploit it - they gave Xerox enough chances and did licence the GUI from them. It was only after all that messy "taking a risk in the market" stuff was all done with and the results turned out to be popular and profitable that Xerox suddenly said "hey wait a minute!".

            It's one of the biggest cases of "we told you so" in history. Jobs was practically goading them into releasing the mouse he was so taken with how it was going to revolutionise interaction with computers.

            Xerox lost their lawsuit because the law takes a dim view of seller's remorse and isn't in the business of protecting a company from its own mistakes and questionable business decisions.

        • Difference is, Apple paid Xerox for the right to use it.

          Has Samsung paid Apple for all the copying they did?

          Errr.... no they didn't. They very blatantly stole it. I was programming Xerox kit in those days.

        • Nokia (Score:5, Interesting)

          by goombah99 (560566) on Monday August 27, 2012 @02:29PM (#41139497)

          Difference is, Apple paid Xerox for the right to use it.

          Has Samsung paid Apple for all the copying they did?

          To further make the point
          1) Nokia chose to lic apple patents and to obtain others via use of MS windows (which also lic apple patents). This was a slower approach than the android approach and they lost market share to samsung which played fast and loose. Nokia was punished worse than apple for being IP sensitive.

          2) Samsungs internal documents compared their in house design to the Apple one and recommended chucking many design elements in favor of copying apple. Thus evidently some (not all) of the apple design exceeded what Samsung could do. it was not obvious evidently. So please stop saying this is all about rounded corners or that someone somewhere implemented pinch zooming on a 40" surface monitor. Getting all these things to work as a whole on a small pocket size device is a matter of careful selection of feature integration and attention to details. Samsung failed on their own to hit the sweet spot and said so in their own documents.

          3) The pre-2010 samsung phones and tablets look like crap.

          • by Kartu (1490911)

            1) Nokia chose to lic apple patents and to obtain others via use of MS windows (which also lic apple patents). This was a slower approach than the android approach and they lost market share to samsung which played fast and loose. Nokia was punished worse than apple for being IP sensitive.

            Apple tried to take on Nokia and lost. It ended with them paying Nokia.
            http://247wallst.com/2012/08/27/nokia-rises-in-wake-of-apple-patent-win/ [247wallst.com]

            2) Samsungs internal documents compared their in house design to the Apple one and recommended chucking many design elements in favor of copying apple. Thus evidently some (not all) of the apple design exceeded what Samsung could do. it was not obvious evidently.

            Bullshit. COMPARING your product to MAJOR competitor's products is what nearly ALL sane companies do in nearly ALL industries.

            • When you "slavishly copy" something, you don't need to compare what's better.
            • Home screen on Samsung phones does NOT look iphone's grid of icons (which looks like ancient PDA) it supports widgets and default UI uses them extensively.
            • "Devic
      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:24PM (#41137789)

        In short, Apple is still bitter about Microsoft stealing their UI, back in the late 80's. Bla Bla Apple took it from Xerox... Apple felt like Windows took their thunder away. After that Apple has gotten much harder in protecting their UI.

        To Microsoft's credit though, Bill Gates was an excellent businessperson (better than Jobs ever was). The only reason Microsoft "won" that case was that Jobs needed apps on the Mac, and ended up signing a contract crafted by Gates where Microsoft would write the apps, and inherit a license to the UI.

        That was why Microsoft won - Apple licensed the UI stuff to Microsoft. All Microsoft did was point out the contract that said so, game over. Perfectly legal transaction.

        Windows stealing the thunder? The joke that was Windows 1.0 would've dissuaded you on that (no overlapping windows, to begin with. It was actually closer to the Xerox model (also no overlapping windows) than Mac). Windows 2.0 wasn't much better. Windows 3 got somewhere, and Windows 95 and NT blew OS X out of the water (mock all you want, at least 95 had protected memory and preemptive multitasking, two things that MacOS lacked until OS X's release 6 years later. And the NT line...). All Apple had was a crusty OS, a dead-in-the-water rewrite (Copland) and really nowhere to go. They had to buy the next MacOS (from NeXT) to get this stuff (after attempts to buy BeOS failed when Be got a bit greedy).

        Though, you can be sure Apple was not going to do THAT again. (And Apple didn't take it from Xerox - they licensed it for Apple stock).

        • by bsane (148894) on Monday August 27, 2012 @01:34PM (#41138847)

          Windows 95 and NT blew OS X out of the water

          Just to be clear (and given the rest of the post, I'm sure you already know), it wasn't OSX, it was 'Classic MacOS' for lack of a better term. The original MacOS that was probably still stuck on version 7 at that point. As you pointed out OSX was the re-purposed OS from NeXT and only had a resemblance to classic macos after much work to the Finder, and shoehorning old APIs into it.

          I'll just throw in there- people forget how important Gil Amelio was to Apple. He recognized that classic macos was a dead end product, and that the rewrite was a disaster. His response was the best thing that ever happened to apple: He bought NeXT, and got Steve Jobs (who took over and fired Gil shortly after), and what became OSX. If Gil hadn't given up on classic macos, Apple wouldn't be here today.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bhagwad (1426855)
      You're saying it's unreasonable for me to demand ethical behavior from a company?
    • by Githaron (2462596) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:33PM (#41137959)

      Don't hate the players, hate the game.

      Why can't we hate both the players and the game? While the patent (and copyright) system is currently a mess, Apple chose to get all sue-happy.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday August 27, 2012 @11:59AM (#41137429)

    'Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.'

    Question is, which patents are under re-examination? You never know...I could be of help.

  • Frustrating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:00PM (#41137461) Homepage

    So I've tried hard not to throw my hat in the ring on all this crap between Apple and Samsung. Basically what it comes down to is two things. Google has worked hard to move away fromt he iOS look and feel every since Froyo because they new it was a hotbed and because Steve Jobs was moderately correct in calling out the vendors in their attempts to make Android look like iOS.

    The war between these two isn't about functionality it's about aesthetics. Samsung makes their UI very iOS'ish. I bought an Epic 4G from Sprint last year and even I noticed it. This was purely Samsung though, most other vendors veered away from this, especially Motorola who used Motoblur instead.

    Apple is all about aesthetics. So when Samsung, who had prior knowledge of and access to Apples plans as one of their close suppliers, started "copying" the look and feel, naturally Apple got pissed off. I'm ok with Apple kicking them in the balls over that. I'd feel the same way knowing the history of Samsung and their complete lack of originality in the marketplace.

    However, this has shown some serious problems with patents. It never should have gone this far. Maybe i'm wrong but I've never seen Ford sue Chevy over the size and shape of their trucks. They all have similar features because they are friggin obvious. Enough is enough with this crap. I've sworn both companies off and will never buy anything from either of them again. I'm going strictly Nexus (non-Samsung Nexus that is) with Android from now on. When my Macbook Air is EOL I'll be looking into other solutions.

    I'm done supporting this. I thoroughly believe it's only gotten this far and become this bad because the media love a fight and because Samsung is incapable of making money based on their own products aesthetics. Samsung has Apple envy and Apple has an inferiority complex. Fuck'em both.

    • Re:Frustrating (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tgd (2822) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:35PM (#41137987)

      Maybe i'm wrong but I've never seen Ford sue Chevy over the size and shape of their trucks. They all have similar features because they are friggin obvious.

      That's because you're in tech. If you were in automotive engineering, you'd be laughing at the cute little patent scuffles the software space has gotten themselves into.

      There are thousands, or tens of thousands, of patents covering every tiny little detail of a car you buy. Lawsuits have been the norm for a hundred years. You don't see it because there isn't a "slashcar.org" website, there are a lot fewer people in the middle of it, and most importantly there's a substantial patent thicket in the automotive industry. At this point each of the car companies has enough IP, their cross licensing agreements end up basically even and its all a wash. Innovation happens largely because it helps move that needle year-on-year. Ford and Toyota kept one-upping each other in the atkinson/electric hybrid space, and little bits of money flowed one way or the other over the years. Tesla now is making money from a bunch of companies because of their IP -- something that helps substantially when it comes to the IP they need to build their cars.

      IMO, you see a lot of agression now in the consumer technology space because of Moore's law and the exponential growth going on -- you have a very narrow window to make a lot of money with something, and you need to use whatever tools you've got to justify the investment. Because of that, I expect it'll only get worse before things totally implode.

      • by Above (100351)

        There was a fun set of lawsuits a few years back over the lights with the turn signals in them. A supplier developed the tech to put the turn signal behind the mirror and then teamed up with someone (Ford maybe?), others copied, and they sued. Then folks patented the signal on the end of the mirror, then the bottom of the mirror, then IIRC the original partner got in a dispute with the supplier. Huge mess. But if you look at truck mirrors today you'll notice no two do the turn signal in the mirror the s

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Spectre (1685)

          There was a fun set of lawsuits a few years back over the lights with the turn signals in them. A supplier developed the tech to put the turn signal behind the mirror and then teamed up with someone (Ford maybe?), others copied, and they sued. Then folks patented the signal on the end of the mirror, then the bottom of the mirror, then IIRC the original partner got in a dispute with the supplier. Huge mess. But if you look at truck mirrors today you'll notice no two do the turn signal in the mirror the same way.

          On a related note, design patents remind me of visual trademarks ...

          Jeep has a trademark on a "seven vertical slot grill" ... they feel this appearance (provided this is being displayed in a sans serif font):
          OlllllllO
          is enough to identify a vehicle as a Jeep in the eyes of the marketplace.
          Glancing at that, Jeep might be right ...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by afgam28 (48611)

        I work in automotive engineering, and while Ford may not be suing Chevy, they have successfully sought injunctions on JAC [autoguide.com] (a car maker from China). This isn't just something that is specific to the tech industry; it's happening in automotive as well.

        Looks are a big part of what sells a car, and for those who don't know, there are many Chinese car makers who are blatantly ripping off designs from established car companies. There are rip offs of BMWs, Toyotas, Fords and Rolls Royces (and many others). It's no

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:01PM (#41137469)

    "The smoking ruins of Samsung's case"? Nope.

    Samsung's case is not in ruins. There are so many errors that it is an appeal's dream.

    To begin:

    1. Prior art have been abundant, from Samsung and LG
    2. The jury ignored the prior art as it was too tedious...
    3. The jury tried to punish Samsung

    etc.

    No, there are no ruins here. Wait and see what happens in the appeal.

    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:11PM (#41137571) Journal

      Yep. You're ahead of me, with better formatting.

      There were some really shady problems going on for a case of this level. (One Billion Dollars - Cue MiniMe!) So you'd think that some part of the procedures would have really tried to put Quality Control into the process. I think the Judge made a couple of mistakes, and the Jury made a couple of mistakes, I won't go quite as far as to say as it was a total sham.

      But "Mistakes" are different between Small Claims Court and the Future of Mobile Computing. Sorry, but you just have to apply a little more policy than happened here. Industrial contracts for 100K get more review!

      So Samsung has a few nice openings to weaken the damage. I think they'll lose and I think I see why, but maybe they can take it down from One Billion Dollars (with pinky) to something "boring" like 50 million.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by darkmeridian (119044)

      Comments from a jury cannot be used as evidence in either the appeal or a later trial. The prior art has already been reviewed by a jury, which rejected them as invalidating. An appellate court cannot replace its own findings over that of the jury unless it is very clear that the jury is wrong.

    • 1. Samsung presented a LOT of prior art and the Jury was not convinced that it was relevant.

      2. They most definitely did NOT ignore the prior art. They skipped some of it and then came back to it later. The quote to which you are referring (and several sensationalist write ups based entire screeds on) was taken out of context. They were talking about the order in which the address the different points on the 30ish page form, not whether they simply decided to ignore evidence as has been claimed.

      3.
    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:53PM (#41138279)

      Regarding #1, the LG Prada phone was properly disclosed as prior art in the relevant patent awarded to Apple, so since the patent examiner knew about it then, agreed that it did not invalidate the claims of the patent, and the situation hasn't changed in the last several years, there's no reason to believe their patent would suddenly be invalidated on that basis.

      As for Samsung's prior art, it faces a number of issues:
      1) Much of it post-dates Apple's patents on the subject, rendering it useless for prior art.
      2) Much of it only existed in secret, meaning that they do not have a basis for claiming prior art (though they may be able to claim prior user rights).
      3) Of those items that were publicly revealed, almost none exhibit sufficient characteristics to invalidate Apple's design patents.

      Design patents are evaluated holistically, not in part, so demonstrating that previous Samsung phones had some elements claimed in the design patent would be insufficient to demonstrate prior art. You need to find a phone that demonstrates most or all of the claims in the design patent in order for it to be relevant. People pointing out that rounded corners and the like existed before the iPhone are merely demonstrating an ignorance of how the system works, since rounded corners by themselves are not sufficient for a claim of infringement. In fact, Apple cited the F700 (which has rounded corners) as a Samsung device that does not infringe, despite exhibiting several of the claimed characteristics made in the design patents.

      Regarding your #2, you really need to read the quote you're referring to within context, rather than accepting it blindly. What they actually said was that they skipped the question of prior art on one particular point since they were getting bogged down and wanted to figure out whether the question of prior art mattered at all. In the end, they decided that the prior art didn't matter on that point since infringement didn't occur. Ironically, that particular part of the ruling was in Samsung's favor, yet it's being cited as evidence of an injustice against Samsung by people who can't be bothered to read it in context.

      Finally, for #3, you're correct. That said, it's my understanding (IANAL) that quotes made by the jury are inadmissible for purposes of appeals, so while they have admitted to doing so, Samsung will be unable to use those quotes as grounds for an appeal. The fact that they can't be used pisses me off. I'm hoping the judge's ruling, which is still on the way, will address that issue, as well as some of the other various inconsistencies and problems in the jury's ruling. If anything, however, I would say that those inconsistencies could be used as a grounds for appeal, rather than any of the items you cited.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Regarding #1, the LG Prada phone was properly disclosed as prior art in the relevant patent awarded to Apple, so since the patent examiner knew about it then, agreed that it did not invalidate the claims of the patent, and the situation hasn't changed in the last several years, there's no reason to believe their patent would suddenly be invalidated on that basis.

        Right, the patent office never makes mistakes.

        Design patents are evaluated holistically, not in part, so demonstrating that previous Samsung phones had some elements claimed in the design patent would be insufficient to demonstrate prior art. You need to find a phone that demonstrates most or all of the claims in the design patent in order for it to be relevant. People pointing out that rounded corners and the like existed before the iPhone are merely demonstrating an ignorance of how the system works, since rounded corners by themselves are not sufficient for a claim of infringement. In fact, Apple cited the F700 (which has rounded corners) as a Samsung device that does not infringe, despite exhibiting several of the claimed characteristics made in the design patents.

        Well, that's just, like, Apple's opinion, man.

        Besides which such patents can be invalidated on a number of grounds, for example by having utility. Many of the elements Apple are claiming are covered by utility, and even if they are part of a whole that doesn't excuse them from this requirement.

        Plus, the US law on design patents it stupid. Unfortunately that doesn't help Samsung legally.

    • by celle (906675) on Monday August 27, 2012 @01:25PM (#41138725)

      "Samsung's case is not in ruins. There are so many errors that it is an appeal's dream.

      To begin:

      1. Prior art have been abundant, from Samsung and LG
      2. The jury ignored the prior art as it was too tedious...
      3. The jury tried to punish Samsung"

      4. The case was held in Apples backyard, in an area funded by apple taxes, where apple is a major employer, in apple-fanboy central, in an area plastered with apple marketing for three decades, and in a state on the rocks dependent on apple's continued popularity.

          With that much conflict of interest how could you expect the verdict to be anything else? Fact is the case should have been tried in the central or eastern US and if either one tries to build a data center/whatever within 500 miles they loose the case with a 50 billion dollar fine plus court costs. All it proved was a local popularity contest, congrats the home team beat the foreigners this round.

      In all the /. posts I've seen over the last year very little has been said about this little tid-bit.

      PS. Here's a question, if a jury is supposed to be filled peers of the accused, why aren't juries in corporate only cases filled with other corporations, that way they could lynch each other. Oh, and oversight that has terminal results(loss of charter, breakup, death of executives involved) for the participants for any malfeasance by the jury or either side run by an independent group custom setup on every trial.

  • To Be Fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:02PM (#41137477)

    While I don't think Google is squeaky-clean innocent in all of this, they did at least warn Samsung that they were too close to infringing on Apple's patents. They knew what was going to happen if Samsung didn't respect Apple's IP - Samsung just decided to ignore the warning...

    As a related side note, as a consumer, I _WANT_ Samsung to be forced to design around Apple's patents (since I doubt they'll license them...). _THAT_ will lead to further innovation in the market and that is a good thing for me, as a consumer. Copying someone else doesn't provide innovation. Copying them without paying for the right to do so isn't innovative nor honourable. Anyhow, I look forward to the new innovations that Samsung (and probably others) are going to come up with in an effort to design around Apple's (and others') patents. That will lead to true consumer choice, product differentiation, and innovation.

    • Re:To Be Fair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kartu (1490911) on Monday August 27, 2012 @05:43PM (#41142379)
      Let me imagine:
      Lick to unlock
      Smash to zoom
      Squeeze to scroll
      Mm...

      Are your "innovation" desires limited to phones only? Wouldn't you want a single company have exclusive rights on 4 wheel cars? TV remote? Imagine how innovative would innovation be, once we give exclusive rights on something stupid and then try to "innovate" around those exclusive "innovations".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:08PM (#41137549)

    Meanwhile in a garage, another inventor has decided it just ain't worth it. The opportunity to be crushed by corporate behemoths just isn't that exciting. How's that encouraging progress in science and the arts working out for ya?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      If you're a garage inventor and you give up because you're afraid of being crushed by corporate behemoths, you weren't going to succeed anyway.

  • Monopolize the market so everyone must buy an iPhone if they want any kind of functionality.
  • Completely correct. (Score:2, Informative)

    by MrCrassic (994046)
    At its core, Android and AOSP do not contain anything that infringes on Apple's IP. I think the stuff that it used to have that did (slide-to-unlock, for example) were removed.

    However, it doesn't take anyone more than five minutes to notice that Samsung ripped off of Apple's stuff nearly-wholesale since their first Galaxy S device.
    • by na1led (1030470) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:25PM (#41137797)
      My Galaxy S1 phone looks and functions nothing like an iPhone. It's completely different size, shape, and operating system. I've tried comparing the two, and I can't see any obvious similarities.
      • by Solandri (704621)
        That was my experience too. I had a Galaxy S1 phone, but had never looked closely at an iPhone. When the flap over Samsung copying the iPhone started, I looked at low-res versions (so I couldn't read the text) of the iPhone icons for the first time. The only three I correctly guessed were:

        - clock (standard universal icon)
        - phone (standard universal icon)
        - calendar (the icon actually were totally different from my phone's, but was similar to earlier Samsung publicity photos)

        None of the other icons
    • Only if you consider the square "Apple stuff", and there are a lot of dead Greek mathematicians that would disagree.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:23PM (#41137769)

    Icons? Bounce-back scrolling? Rounded corners?

    The Constitution makes this statement:

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    How is any of this malarkey leading to the Progress of Science?

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Design patents have nothing to do with progress of science or useful arts. They are not the same as patents on inventions.

  • Everyone keeps reporting that the court has reached a ruling. This is not the case. The jury has reached a verdict, but the final judgement has not yet happened.

  • The Apple v Samsung case had two facets to it. The first was Apple alleging infringement of it's "trade dress". This is a claim that Samsung made their products look like Apple products in the general sense, or "rounded rectangles" as everyone likes to call it. For these issues the physical form of the hardware is as important, if not more important than the software elements. The look of the product was decided almost entirely by Samsung, and thus Google and Android are probably largely unaffected by t

    • There's more than one way to implement pinch-to-zoom:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waSXkJBKT1s [youtube.com]

      Fast forward to 2:22: Pinch to zoom as demonstrated by Sony back in 2001; six years before Apple applied for the 7864163 [google.com] patent.

      As this apparently doesn't qualify as prior art; Apple can't claim infringement either.

      So specific implementation details must matter. The general idea cannot be what Apple claims ownership of. The idea has been around for a long long time (Minority Report from back in 2002 bein

  • by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Monday August 27, 2012 @01:09PM (#41138495)
    Can you imagine the state of automobile development if these lawyers, judges, and juries had been around to rule that the first one out the door with a four-wheeled design incorporating an engine and a forward-facing screen owned the automotive universe? Even Henry Ford would have been "too late" to market. And the same thing for aircraft...the Wright flyer would have ruled, inefficiently.

    On the other hand, war would have remained much more...personal...perhaps making it more difficult to invoke.
    • by Animats (122034) on Monday August 27, 2012 @01:33PM (#41138823) Homepage

      Can you imagine the state of automobile development if these lawyers, judges, and juries had been around to rule that the first one out the door with a four-wheeled design incorporating an engine and a forward-facing screen owned the automotive universe?

      That happened. See Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers [wikipedia.org]. And it happened with the telephone (Bell won big), radio (Marconi had a monopoly in the early days), copiers (Xerox), and ink-jet printers (HP).

      Apple's claims are much weaker; there were phones with screens long before the iPhone, and a whole history of PDA devices.

      It's silly that Android phones have to mimic the iPhone so closely. Why not cover the entire face of the phone with screen, get rid of the pushbutton, and move the speaker to the edge of the bezel? (Nikon makes cameras with screens out to the edge, and ASUS builds a phone like that.) And why not do something other than that stupid grid of square icons? (What is this mania for a grid of square icons as the UI for everything?) Or make a round phone, like a pocket watch? Not seeing much innovation here.

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