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Patents The Courts Apple

Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion 1184

pdabbadabba writes "The jury is in in the epic patent dispute between Apple and Samsung and Apple appears to be coming out on top. The court is still going through the 700+ items on the verdict form, but things seem to be going Apple's way so far. In the case of Apple's various UI patents, the jury is consistently ruling that Samsung not only violated Apple's patent, but did so willfully." Reader bob zee also points to the AP's story, as carried by Breitbart.com, and Charliemopps adds Reuters' take. Reader Samalie contributes a link to a live blog of the (at this writing) ongoing recitation of the verdict. Whether you like it or not, even this verdict won't be the last word.
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Victory For Apple In "Patent Trial of the Century," To the Tune of $1 Billion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:22PM (#41116863)

    I call bullshit, that jury was stacked. You can't sift through such a complex case in 22 hours and come to an informed decision.

  • by darue ( 2699381 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:22PM (#41116865)
    sorry, but I think this is wild bullshit
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:23PM (#41116879)

    "UI patents", more like patents on basic shapes and positioning.
    Apple should be burned for even being granted such a retarded thing, even if it is the patent systems fault.

    What the hell do you expect Samsumg to do? Make a damn oval phone? A TRIANGLE?
    Fuck Apple and every single person that defends them. Pure scum, both Apple and them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:23PM (#41116885)

    Ya know, as much as I get patent infringement as a patent holder, alot of this is really really trivial. The iPhone isn't really so much different than the Treo I used years before there was an iPhone. Most of this is obvious (in patent terms) and iterative but the bottomline is that I'm not buying another iPhone. Apple owns a large portion of marketshare, it's stock is sky-high and I'm going to vote the dollars of me personally to other vendors. Enough is enough.

    Tim Cook, Shame on you....

  • Appeal in progress (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:24PM (#41116901)
    We all know this won't be over for a long time to come, appeal after appeal after appeal.
  • Breitbart (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:25PM (#41116923)

    Why'd you have to link to the AP article via that (dead) troll Breitbart?

    Here are some other sources, thanks Google:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19377261 [bbc.com]
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577609810658082898.html [wsj.com]

    I'm sure the AP article can be found via a more... reputable site.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to don a biohazard suit and hide from all the Apple fanboys masturbating wildly to the news.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:26PM (#41116945)

    The fact is that Apple is not suing quite a few Android vendors based on design patents - only Samsung, with blatant copies of products.

    They are not suing Amazon for the fire, or Google for the Nexus line....

    So I don't think Apple in this case is stifling real innovation, they are just trying to punish companies that are obviously copying.

  • R.I.P. Innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by craznar ( 710808 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:27PM (#41116953) Homepage

    When it costs a small developer millions of dollars to patent search and licence obvious designs, we have killed innovation.

  • by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:27PM (#41116957)

    22 hours of deliberations, in a courthouse 5 miles from apple HQ, in the heart of silicon valley.

    yeah, I wanna see how this stands up to appeal.

  • by Golgafrinchan ( 777313 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:28PM (#41116973)
    Based on how the trial went I'm sure Samsung's already preparing an appeal.

    The only thing that was resolved today was which company gets to appeal the decision. And I suspect Samsung has a lot of grounds on which to appeal.

  • by PCK ( 4192 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:28PM (#41116987) Homepage

    until all the facts are in, but I'm guessing that the $1bn number is the least of Samsungs and other smartphone manufacturers problems. Apple will now go after everyone else and I'm sure they wont be licensing anything to their competitors. Of course however an appeal is 100% guarenteed.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:30PM (#41117005) Homepage Journal

    lol Scamscum, seriously? That's even worse than Crapple!

    At least Crapple is easy to pronounce...

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:30PM (#41117023) Homepage Journal

    That's like saying that a law against walking on cracks in the footpath is clearly retarded, but you did it and so the death penalty is perfectly justified.

  • by redaction101 ( 1309783 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:31PM (#41117027)
    Which is a significant problem with having juries in thorny, complex civil trials. Emotion, procedural rules and the voire dire triumph over expertise and reason. It can work in your favour or against you, but it is impossible to verify that the thinking processes of the jury are rigorous. At least judges sitting on their own have to explain the process by which they reached their decisions. Here the reasoning process appears to be a badly filled in sudoku...
  • by PCK ( 4192 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:32PM (#41117043) Homepage

    Samsung is their biggest threat and that is why they have gone after them first, should it verdict be held up after appeal I have no doubt they will go after the rest.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:33PM (#41117073)

    In the end the only true winners, are the lawyers.

    Except in a case like this, aren't most of the lawyers already on one or the other company's payroll? If so, they're not getting a cut of the award.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:35PM (#41117099)

    We could all win if this forces Apple's competitors to stop riding on Apple's coattails and get out there and take changes on doing new and exciting things. Or it could have a chilling effect on the market. Check back in 10 years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:37PM (#41117131)

    Unfortunatley, this was always going to happen, and in this particular trial, the Judge has handed both sides plenty of ammunition to file an appeal. The damaging thing is not the final judgement, but the injunctions and leverage that this is going to give to Apple against other manufacturers, even if it is ultimately decided upon appeal that Apple's patents are invalid or weren't infringed upon. After seeing the case unfold, I can't help but seeing a bias towards Apple from the outset, although very late in the proces the Judge was clearly showing thet they were pusing her too far, she gave them a number of advantages early on.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:38PM (#41117141)

    Read about the verdict, not all phones were found to be infringing. You bought the BS about this being about Apple patenting a rectangle, it's not about that but about overt rip off jobs.

  • by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:38PM (#41117143) Homepage

    Not if, in the end, I can't use pinch-and-zoom on my phone anymore and all future models have to look and work like crap so Apple won't sue.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:40PM (#41117175)

    Without going and looking stuff up, can you, personally, name one innovation Samsung has brought to the table in the phone industry in the last 5 years? I'm not just talking minor megapixel or processor upgrades, but something game changing. I'm sure they've done something, but I certainly can't think of anything other than a few gimmicky ideas that didn't stick and never went anywhere, so I'm curious what innovation it is that you think Apple is stifling in this case (quick note: I won't deny that they are doing so in cases against other companies, since they are, but I don't see that holding true with Samsung, which is about as shady a company as they can come (see censorship of journalists that they've engaged in, that their CEO was convicted and thrown in jail for maintaining a multi-million dollar slush fund but was let out less than a third of the way through his sentence so he could assist with South Korea's Olympic bid and resume his role as CEO, and the rampant nepotism taking place)).

    And this is hardly the first time Samsung has been caught copying. Before they were copying Apple, they were copying Blackberry, Motorola, and others. For instance, go take a look at the Samsung Jack. It was formerly called the Blackjack and looked like one of the premier Blackberries of the day. RIM successfully sued Samsung and managed to force them to change the name of it. Prior to that, they had a phone that looked just like the Motorola RAZR after the RAZR proved to be popular.

    Samsung has been the "me too" of the market for the better part of a decade or more. The only thing that's changed anytime recently is that the target of their copying is a more profitable source of ideas for them this time around.

  • by kye4u ( 2686257 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:42PM (#41117211)
    The patent system is broken. The real question is should the patents that Apple claims Samsung infringed upon been granted. Imagine if this happened in the car industry. Only the first car company to put anti-lock brakes on their cars would ever be allowed to use the technology. Good ideas get copied. That is what is called progress. Only the specific implementation of that idea should be patented.
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:43PM (#41117227)

    The only good thing that has come of this is the media attention for how Apple is behaving. I was reading the comments on a 'normal' news website about another Apple patent related matter, and the dislike for them was very prevalent. Anti-Apple sentiments seemed to be about 90% of the comments. You can't be that much of a dick for that long without losing business. Look at Sony. Apple will always have the blind followers who have been using them for years, but most i think they'll lose in the end.

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:43PM (#41117235)

    The good thing is that Apple learned how to protect its look and feel from the Microsoft case. Trade dress, how about that.

    Triple damages due to willful infringement. Ouch.

    But that's only going to be a quarter of profit for Samsung. More important is the loss of face that Samsung just incurred.

    From now on, all of Samsung's products will be as confusing as the galaxy note 10. They won't have Apple's UX to fall back on anymore.

  • by craznar ( 710808 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:44PM (#41117251) Homepage

    A small developer doesn't have the money for the trial by combat system in the US.

    It would change nothing.

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:45PM (#41117269)

    I'm pretty sure Apple has their lawyers on salary.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:46PM (#41117287)

    Plenty of phones with rounded corners were found to not be infringing. Can the talking points.

  • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:46PM (#41117291)

    Alexander Graham Bell called, he wants Apple to quit using his idea.

  • by Scowler ( 667000 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:51PM (#41117353)
    "Stacked" is a dangerous word, implying Apple illegally influenced the jury before they made that verdict. Unless you have evidence of this, don't throw around a word like that lightly. If you merely think that Apple is simply lucky with the jury panel they got in this case, then just say so.
  • by Second_Derivative ( 257815 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:52PM (#41117371)

    Game changers earn a short-term first-mover advantage, and given the revenues generated from Apple's iPhone division I don't think they've had any shortage of THAT. Longer term, people will copy innovators and incrementally improve on their new technology, and everybody benefits as a result, in the form of accelerated innovation and lower prices. As the law stands right now, competition is severely hindered in order to extract even more exorbitant revenue than what the Free Market(R) naturally has to offer. You can't have a competitive marketplace when you have to ask the incumbent's permission to compete with them.

    Anyway, fuck Apple and fuck the iPhone. Dictatorial control wrapped up in a shiny package, and the masses love it. It is the antithesis of the equalising power of technology that made the field so attractive to me in the first place.

  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:52PM (#41117379)

    Big win for Apple and a legal lesson to the folks who claimed this case was about "a rectangle with rounded corners."

    But 'a rectangle with rounded corners' IS what... this was about.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Jury+Finds+Samsung+Guilty+of+Vast+Willful+Infringement+of+Apples+Smartphones/article25515c.htm [dailytech.com]

    More surprisingly the jury found Samsung guilty of infringing Apple's U.S. Design Patent No. D618,677 and D593,087, which Apple's attorney's argued in testimony give it exclusive rights to produce rectangular smartphones with rounded edges.

    You're right in that it's not the only thing it was about. It was also about...

    the '301 ("bounce patent"; all devices), U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915 ("pinch to zoom"; almost all devices), U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 (all devices), and '163 ("double tap to zoom"; some devices, but not others)

    I don't know what lesson you suggest we should have learned, but I'm pretty sure the one people are going to be learning in the months to come is that your patent system is fubar.

  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:55PM (#41117399) Journal

    If you truly innovate, it's worth spending that amount of money to protect your design.

    Translation: If you don't have that amount of money before you even get started, don't bother. "Innovation" is for the big boys.

    Congratulations. You just proved GPs point.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:59PM (#41117475)

    I call bullshit, that jury was stacked. You can't sift through such a complex case in 22 hours and come to an informed decision.

    The fact that there was a court case preceding the deliberations during which the jurors could form an opinion may have had something to do with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:01PM (#41117493)

    It doesn't imply illegality. It just implies that the jury was already predisposed to favor Apple. And that seems to be the case.

    According to the jury, Apple did not infringe Samsung's patents. But this doesn't stand to reason. Even Apple says they infringed Samsung's patents. Their argument was that they should be licensed in FRAND terms. It also makes no sense that the jury rejected prior art for the pinch and zoom.

    The only way these things could have happened is if the jury was playing favorites.

  • by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:03PM (#41117523)

    If you really believe that Apple has discovered the One True Way for smartphones to work. On the other hand, the decision increases the incentives in favor of companies with the creativity to develop approaches that differ from Apple's, and will likely increase the diversity of designs available to consumers.

  • by pdabbadabba ( 720526 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:10PM (#41117613) Homepage

    Yeah, but the plaintiffs lawyers are very often paid on a contingent fee basis, even if it is a large firm that normally bills by the hour. But, then again, for a case like this Apple and their law firm are sure to have pre-negotiated a custom billing package, and who knows what that is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:11PM (#41117623)

    Your logic is pretty absurd. If I had patents for using mouse and keyboard combination for desktop computers and then sued the hell out of everyone who dared using it, would you also just shrug and tell them to be innovative? If Microsoft sued everyone for using right-click context menus and double-click, would you agree with them and again propose linux, Apple etc to be innovative and come up with something else?

    Some ideas cannot be easily circumvented because their alternatives are just too impractical. (Like typing a word document without a keyboard.)

  • by etresoft ( 698962 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:12PM (#41117637)

    When it costs a small developer millions of dollars to patent search and licence obvious designs, we have killed innovation.

    What we need is a company that stands up for small developers. Someone that frees them from credit card merchant companies. Someone that will go to court and defend small developers against patent trolls!

    Oh wait. That's Apple.

    Never mind.

  • "Samsung is Copying!" -- This, from a life form made of trillions of copies of a single cell, which was itself a derivative work: Combined partial copies of two other life forms. Using language, an idea copied between minds for millions of years, over a network protocol who's creator explicitly did not assert artificial patent restrictions over.

    Life's very battle cry is: "Copy the best bits as much as possible!" ... and Owning ideas is some how acceptable to you? Get a grip -- maybe on a steering wheel? Then imagine every vehicle having a different set of controls.

    I don't see how you humans stand to share resources with such wastes of flesh.
    It's no wonder no one will trust you with a warp drive.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:27PM (#41117815)

    OLED is one of the few things anyone's mentioned in response that sounds like a good counterpoint to what I said. Even so, it does come with tradeoffs, namely poorer readability outdoors, potentially significantly higher power consumption when displaying bright images (e.g. most games, many websites, etc., which also explains why most UIs on these devices are based around dark colors, where it's more power efficient than typical LCDs), and some major issues with color balance. While I think it has the potential to eventually be game changing, it hasn't been yet, but it definitely is one area where Samsung is innovating. That, I will certainly grant.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:34PM (#41117897) Homepage

    Where I work, there is a growing number of prior-Apple users. Recently, an update rendered his (and thousands of others) WiFi useless. The Apple geniuses tell him it's a hardware problem and can't replace his phone because they are out of that model. (With so many suffering this condition, it's no wonder.) No more Apple stuff for this guy. He is completely convinced they are idiots. Others have other stories to tell, but it all comes down to disappointment and their wanting to do things which they cannot do because Apple is in their way.

    I can't imagine my office is some sort of anomaly. There's like 300 people and of them, perhaps about 40-50 remaining Apple users which is a sharp change from a seemingly 50% about 2 years ago. And yes, they went to Android devices... some Motorola, some Samsung, some HTC...

    Apple is doing just fine at screwing its own image lately... or, in truth, you might say Android is screwing Apple's image up since it is showing people what they can't do with iPhone which is, for the most part, the biggest reason Apple users are growing dissatisfied.

    The press surrounding this law suit? Well, it will convince the fans that they joined the winning team and will hold their iPhones tighter. That's fine. It won't kill Android... Android will outlast Apple's iPhone... Android will probably outlast Apple as a company. They don't have the iconic demi-god in charge any longer and no one knows how to think different any more. Business is always risk averse and Jobs was always just the opposite... unafraid to go out there with something and sell it as something awesome. Meanwhihle, the rest of Apple thinks something actually has to be awesome before they can sell it.

    Welcome back to the dying Apple. Law suits will be their only source of income soon.

  • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:34PM (#41117905)

    Yeah. And the funny thing is, back when they were ripping off RIM instead of Apple they actually had the chutzpah to call their Blackberry knock-off a "Blackjack". This whole affair is pretty much SOP for Samsung.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:44PM (#41118011)

    The displays are designed and built by Samsung. Apple has nothing to do with them other than locking up supply chains with their enormous purchasing power.

    The multitouch interface was purchased from another company that already brought it to market (in the 90s).

    Debian apt repositories is your "app ecosystem with a market" Invented 20 years before Apple "invented it".

    The only Apple designed hardware component of the iphone is the fucking case.

    Reality distortion field, and crazy rabbid fanbois are Apple's _only_ innovation.

    Sorry, but I am fucking sick of all the Apple and M$ fanboi and shill articles and comments that seem to be all /. does lately.

    Apple has built some decent hardware, and some total lemons. They always had higher margins than commodity PC makers. Moving to openstep (OSX) was a good move for them. Nothing that should make someone "loyal to Apple", nor anything that should make someone anti-Apple. They were just another fucking company like Dell, HP, IBM, Oracle, etc. They made shit and sold it.

    Recently, though they have turned into a patent troll. Even if you like their products, you should realize that patenting a rectangle shape for a phone case and suing everyone in sight is fucking stupid. It is this behavior that has created Apple haters. I think justifiably. Apple is the new SCO. Hopefully they change, but if not, I hope it ends the same for them as SCO.

  • by twbecker ( 315312 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:46PM (#41118031)

    And Samsung's success has come largely from ripping Apple off. I don't like what this case says about our patent system, but when you look at what Samsung has done, it's hard to argue the jury got it wrong.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:23PM (#41118409)

    You're conflating invention with innovation, and you also missed that the question was specifically about the phone industry. Retina displays did not exist in phones before the iPhone 4. Multitouch displays did not exists in phones before the original iPhone. And their app ecosystem changed the way every smartphone since has worked, even though RIM and others had apps prior to that. Those are all innovations, even if they are not inventions.

    Regarding most of the rest of what you said, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with much or any of it at all.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:23PM (#41118413)

    I can't imagine my office is some sort of anomaly.

    There's no need to use your imagination to extrapolate from the guy in your office. iPhone sales are a matter of record, and they continue to grow and grow. "Dying Apple" is is your wet dream, it's far from reality. Indeed Apple just became the most valuable company in the world, ever.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:28PM (#41118447)

    Not really, both companies will spend the next number of years appealing these cases in all jurisdictions.

    Maybe. But meanwhile, Samsung has already been reacting to the legal heat and is making devices that are less copycat of Apple devices now.. Which is after all Apple's objective.

  • Re:Lazy Crap. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:49PM (#41118615)

    I'd argue they only look similiar because this form makes sense

    It doesn't matter what you'd argue. You're wrong, as the court has concluded. You only have to look at Windows phone to see that copies of the iPhone are not inevitable "because the form makes sense".

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @09:55PM (#41118657) Journal

    Maybe. But meanwhile, Samsung has already been reacting to the legal heat and is making devices that are less copycat of Apple devices now.. Which is after all Apple's objective.

    No, Apple's "objective" is to sue every other smart phone maker out of business so they can be the only player left in the market. Once Samsung is out of the way, they'll move on to HTC or some other Android based phone manufacturer.

  • by LordVader717 ( 888547 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:05PM (#41118759)

    The car industry cross-licenses their inventions. That's how the phone industry really works too, at least until Apple came along and started saying that their frivolous UI patents were a hundred times more valuable than everything else.

  • Re:Lazy Crap. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:07PM (#41118775) Journal

    Nice theory, you are gonna do this....how exactly? In my state we had a DINO for over a decade and when the DINO got so damned arrogant they didn't even bother to pretend anymore we replaced them with...the RINO that had been running for the past decade that is just as big a corporate shill.

    The thing you seem to forget is by the time they even make it to state rep they've been whoring so damned long for cash they might as well have permanent kneepads grafted. The only way you could possibly change it is to gut and rebuild the entire election process, and considering we are talking about a multi-billion dollar business, one of the big winners of which is the MSM who will happily crucify anybody who attempts to cut off their money train? yeah...good luck with that.

  • Re:Lazy Crap. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:08PM (#41118787) Journal

    So, you think Apple should have had sole ownership of GUIs and smartphones? Windows and Android should just go away? Now that is facile.

    Actually, that is EXACTLY what Apple and its fanbois want. Now, I understand why Apple wants to eliminate the competition, but I've never been able to figure out why Apple's fanbois want to see all other smartphones to go away. Again, it would be good for Apple, but the fanbois would actually be hurt if they are locked into purchasing from an Apple monopoly. It's as if they get mad or feel threatened when someone other than Apple gets something they used to have exclusively or never had at all. For example, when Instagram was released for Android, Apple fans got mad [cnn.com]. Why? Why would they care if Android users got Instagram?

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:33PM (#41118989) Homepage

    I think that's a good example. I don't think swipe to unlock is obvious.

    1) No one else used swipe to unlock prior to Apple. Generally they used hitting some sort of button to unlock.
    2) There are other methods to unlock on a touch screen. For example MeeGo's double press to unlock.

    Yes in retrospect it is obvious. But... there is pretty clear evidence in 2005, 2006 it wasn't obvious based on the fact that other people weren't thinking of it. If Samsung could prove everyone thought of it, they could have invalidated the patent.


    Now in terms of a theoretical world where those sorts of patents existed 20-30 years ago. We likely would have seen several GUIs that were radically different from each other. For example if the Apple Macintosh used a mouse, Windows might have had to use a trackball or a trackpad or a stylus type device. We would have a greater degree of GUI diversity very much like you have with Linux. Where on one end you have minimalist GUIs like Gnome, on another system feature rich configurable GUIs like KDE on another system different paradigms like tiling and keyboard controls like XMonad, on another systems swipe like MeeGo.

    So what exactly is so bad about that world?

  • by voiceofworldcontrol ( 1805010 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:12PM (#41119295)

    Actually the only real loss for Apple was the most talked about design patent. The D'889 iPad Design patent infringement alleged against Samsung's tablets was rejected by the Jury. This was the rectangle with rounded corners patent. So this is the one bright spot in this travesty.

    The other design patents D'087 affected just a few phones, and D''677 effect most of the phones. But since they didn't effect all of the devices these patents probably won't have much of a long term impact (other than costing Samsung a lot).

    The D'305 patents is a user interface patent on a grid of rounded square icons on a black background (can you believe they actually got a patent on that - sounds like most GUI interfaces the last 20 years). This impacted most of the phones but not all again so it shows this will probably not have a long term impact beyond the jury verdict itself.

    The killer is the '381 "rubber band" patent and the '915 multi-touch/pinch-to-zoom patent. These are just patents on basic ideas. These are ideas, not inventions. All that is required to implement them is just the idea. A programmer could go and implement these features never having seen them before. These basic ideas are pretty much going to follow from using your fingers as the user interface so removing these features will make a pretty crappy user experience.

    But the experts the idiotic news organizations interview say this big Apple win will lead to a lot of new innovation because competitors will have to jump through hoops to get around these patents. I know, we'll have a tongue interface. Double lick to zoom anyone!!

  • Re:Lazy Crap. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:19PM (#41119359) Homepage Journal

    If standardizing user interfaces is illegal, isn't that the same as making the company with the most popular interface a monopoly? I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't that Apple also demands that right to determine what content and software you can put on your device. And they want a cut of every sale of software or content.

    This is reminiscent of George Selden [wikipedia.org] and his patent on the automobile. If he'd been allowed to enforce his patents against Henry Ford, there'd be no cheap cars that ordinary people could afford. But that would have been OK, Ford was just a "copyist" right?

  • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:19PM (#41119361)

    Pinch to zoom is used in far more things than a browser.

  • by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Friday August 24, 2012 @11:44PM (#41119511)

    Your logic is pretty absurd. If I had patents for using mouse and keyboard combination for desktop computers and then sued the hell out of everyone who dared using it, would you also just shrug and tell them to be innovative?

    Certainly. I have no doubt that Apple would be innovative enough to think of other approaches. There are lots of other possibilities: mini-joysticks, trackballs, trackpads.

    If Microsoft sued everyone for using right-click context menus and double-click, would you agree with them and again propose linux, Apple etc to be innovative and come up with something else?

    Uh, duh. Apple did come up with something else. Apple used a single button mouse for years, and in any case, such a patent would have expired by now (the life of a patent is not really all that long in the scheme of things). In fact, even to this day, Mac software is designed so that right-click is not essential, but only a convenience. And Apple's current mouse has no buttons at all; the entire top of the mouse is touch sensitive, so that if it were necessary, any kind of gesture could be substituted for right click.

    It is in the nature of great design that a successful approach can start to seem (to the uncreative, at least) like the only possible way of doing things, but there are always alternatives that are nearly as good, or sometimes better. Has Apple really hit upon the One True Way of creating a smartphone? Perhaps. Certainly if everybody continues to slavishly follow Apple's lead, we'll never know.

    Certainly there are alternatives. Palm's WebOS phones looked promising, but Palm was driven out of business by competition from cheap iClones, produced by companies like Samsung that could undersell creative companies like Palm, because unlike Palm, they did not have to invest in developing their own designs, or take the risk of introducing something new into the market. Blackberry is another alternative, but they are barely surviving due to competition from the horde of iClones. And Microsoft was able to come up with a design different enough from Apple's that Apple was willing to license them the few things they had in common.

  • After (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @12:38AM (#41119847)

    Afterwards the jury members pulled out their iPhones and texted their family members.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @12:39AM (#41119853) Journal

    No matter how you slice it, the 1 Billion Dollar Reward has much to do with how judge Lucy Koh conducted the trial

    It was a kangaroo court, to put it mildly

    I won't be surprised if inside the 1 Billion Dollar Reward there's a cut somewhere reserved for the good judge

  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @12:51AM (#41119911) Homepage

    This happened with Microsoft, too - about a decade ago. (The fact that I can remember it well, as if it were yesterday, probably means I'm not young anymore.)

    Then they started their long spiral decline. They took a shot in the arm up with W7 and 2k8, and Office365 has been a big success, but for the most part their asses have floated on the Xbox360 and residual corporate sales/licensing for some time.

    Apple does not have such a luxury. Phones have a much shorter 'shelf life' than a game system, and drastically lower loyalty (largely due to the demographic, I'd imagine). They don't have a corporate hegemony, as the vast majority of their sales are consumers. They don't have reoccurring annual licensing at all, for that matter, and their further releases/updates are highly dependent on people buying new Apple hardware.

    We are approaching 'smart phone saturation' at this point. Everyone who wants an Android or Apple cell phone has one, because they're simply that common.

    And we are seeing a bit of bedlam amongst Apple users. We sysadmins are all seeing and knowing, after all. :) I have seen a number of power users (can we still use that term, or does that just make me old?) replace their aging Macs with new HPs, Lenovos, etc. due to the constant hardware and software issues they were experiencing (on 10.4 and 10.5 systems, no less). I have seen quite a few people jump from iPhones to even the first generation Verizon Android devices due to problems with their iPhones - and like it. Hell, even the iPhone users I know still apologize for things like their poor cellular signal, and those I do know are increasingly in a shrinking minority, sticking with what they know; most are academics who use Macs out of habit or the UNIX heritage, or simply because they're being pretentious twats and want to look better than everyone else.

  • by darkat ( 697582 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @02:23AM (#41120299)
    I suppose that when people will go to the mall and see then Samsung's shelves empty (as happened to me when the Galaxy 10.1 was banned in Europe for a while) and is forced to buy Apple crap or desist, will get the perception of what Apple actually is and will realize that this company is evil. I recommend anyone I know against buying Apple products because Apple is bad for the consumers and for the innovation.
  • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:27AM (#41120559) Homepage

    Nokia should be suing google.

    Nokia got killed because they didn't give consumers what consumers wanted, that was entirely Nokia's decision and Google didn't play any part in it.

    The reason the damages were so high is because the jury did't just decide that the two devices looked a bit alike but rather that the similarity was willful.

    Look, regarding Apple "innavation", most of the "look and feel" and even the features were copied from StarTrek by Apple.

    The PADD devices seen on The Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager all did things that are major selling points for the iPad and iPhones.

    * Touchscreen device
    * Played video and sound
    * dynamic user interface could be customized to serve the application
    * Video conferencing
    * Loaded and saved information to the remote storage (In this case the a ship or Starfleet computers would be "the cloud")
    * Data could be synced between devices
    * Device could be re-configured to remotely control a workstation (remote desktop)
    * They even have rounded corners
    * Devices could be encrypted

    All of those functions are demonstrated or spoken of in episodes or described in Mike Okuda's ST:TNG Technical Manual
    (Okuda was the lead designer on most of the newer television Star Treks)

    All of this predated any patent filings by Apple.

  • by oobayly ( 1056050 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:37AM (#41120599)

    The analogy I use is this - imagine Frank Whittle patenting the turbojet - "A method for generating thrust from a tube(1). Air is taken in at the front(2), fuel is injected in the middle(3), and high speed hot air is ejected out the back(4)". That's all folks, not other details, just the inputs and outputs, and voila, a software patent is born.

    Funnily enough, the only arguments that people have is whether you get the name wrong, not whether the concept is ridiculous.

    There are 313 million people in the USA, and whilst they probably have one of the highest percentage of people with a good disposable income compared to the rest of the world, at some stage the rest of the world is going to say "it's not worth dealing with you guys". It's sad really, because you guys came up with some fucking incredible stuff in the past.

  • by the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @03:44AM (#41120643) Homepage

    Uh, Apple spent 5 years to come up with the iPhone. Samsung took 3 months to copy it and you feel that this is a good thing?


  • by kenorland ( 2691677 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @06:25AM (#41121163)

    People did "new and exciting things" with wirless standard, where people innovated and differentiated. The result? We have four major carriers that lock you in for years, charge excessive prices, don't bother innovating, and make you buy all your phones and tablets again when you switch.

    Forcing people to create phones with different form factors and user interfaces that are inconsistent between vendors will have the same effect.

  • by knarf ( 34928 ) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:21AM (#41122469) Homepage

    From the '677 (miserable excuse for a) patent description (emphasis mine):

    "...The electronic device is not limited to the scale shown herein.
    As indicated in the title, the article of manufacture to which
    the ornamental design has been applied is an electronic
    device, media player (e.g., music, video and/or game player),
    media storage device, a personal digital assistant, a commu-
    nication device (e.g., cellular phone), a novelty item or toy..."

    So Apple did actually patent a rectangular, screen-dominated form factor for just about anything electronic. Read the patent - there is not that much to read. Look at the pictures. Look at what they show. Compare these to the devices which have been found 'infringing'. Look at what the 'experts' say on this subject - often they claim you have to see design patents as 'a whole', not just pick out the parts. Now tell me how a series of devices which, as a whole, look nothing like the (vague) drawings in the design patent other than being rounded cornered, rectangular, screen dominated fronted slabs just like those vague drawings can be found infringing.

    This is not justice. This is a farcical charade. This is not what the founding fathers - whom Americans like to pull in to so many debates - wanted their country to turn into.

    To all Apple users I say: dump your iTools into the harbour, it is time for another tea party.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn