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I think this topic is interesting enough to warrant a thread. How do you feel about apple's demands? Did samsung steal? Is it a bad thing if they did? Should apple have won?
At least IMO the whole thing is very awkward. In many cases it seems like apple didn't just patent their designs but rather simplicity. Ultimately there are indeed limitations of just what size things can have and if you intent on keeping them as clean as possible then there wouldn't be much variation with design as they would actually be avoiding anything that makes it look not sleek or smooth. For me it was also weird that they could patent the way apps appear on the screen. Or that they could patent using your fingers to zoom in or out. Does that make sense at all? Ordinarily you could patent a process however I don't think samsung actually copied code or hardware here. Maybe I am missing a few of the technical details of all of this and it makes more sense one you take a look at that.
Samsung devices use Android operating system whereas Apple uses iOS operating system in their products, copying Apple's code would be more of a burden than a solution, it seems Apple is accusing Samsung of copying iPhone and iPad's user interface and design. One of the patents which causes the main dispute is Design Patent 504,889, apparently Apple patented a rectangular cuboid with rounded corners and is demanding compensation because they're the first party that took advantage of the flaws in patent law and managed to patent a simple geometric figure. Even though Samsung's designs resemble Apple's, there's not much choice when it comes to cell phones, look at them, they all resemble each other. Samsung is Apple's main competitor now and Apple is playing dirty to protect and increase their market share and continue to sell their IMHO overpriced products without any competition. As Google put it, Apple is trying to destroy the market of Android devices, I think most of their demands are unreasonable and nothing but underhanded tactics.
Well, I know the OS are different lol. I am ultimately unfamiliar with what the laws and principles regarding copying code are so I thought they could have made bullshit argument like "hey, they just took a look at our code and adapted it so that it would work elsewhere" or something. Even if different OSs are obviously going to use different codes at large programing across different languages is actually pretty similar (unless I missed something regarding how you program apps and stuff of IOS).
At least with that little patent they could actually go much farther than just android devices. I mean, just how many things have a rectangular cuboid shape with rounded edges? I would think that samsung would be but the first here. Who would be next?
It's possible to reverse-engineer Apple's code but I think it's simply easier to write it from scratch. OS code constitutes a major part of the codebase running on a smartphone and Android OS is open source, in that sense copying Apple's code would not be a wise idea. Android has 59% share in global smartphone market and 45% of all Android devices have been manufactured by Samsung (source), naturally Apple perceives Android and Samsung as a major threat and uses whatever means they have to fight their competitors. Samsung Galaxy S i9000 smartphone was first released on June 4, 2010 but Apple sued Samsung on April 15, 2011, 10 months later, because Samsung had relatively low market share at the time (source). A Japanese court has backed Samsung against Apple today and the case in a US court hasn't been resolved yet, it seems the battle between those two technology giants will go on quite some time.
Certainly the US case is far from over. Even taking those links into consideration samsung was already going to appeal the ruling. What approach is samsung taking in all of this though? Part of the issue here is that apple does have those patents. Wouldn't the more logical approach be to prove apple patented normal geometric shapes and concepts which makes no sense? The jury was not out to decide whether the patents were valid but rather whether samsung infringed them right?
Based on the court documents, Samsung argues that "the design features that Apple claims as proprietary are in fact the natural progression of technology and design in the industry." US patent law says that a patent may be obtained for the ornamental design of an article of manufacture and the patent is considered to be infringed when a company produces another article which resembles that article to such an extent that it can deceive a consumer into purchasing the latter, supposing it to be the other. Well, I would definitely not mistake that phone for that phone. Samsung's argument that "the core of Apple's patents is minimalistic and ornamentation is stripped down to pure functionality" seems more logical to me but of course making the correct decision requires a more elaborate process.
I still get the impression that the whole trial was actually biased against samsung though. A big issue here is whether apple should have had those patents to begin with. Yet the trial did not particularly discuss that, they discussed whether samsung infringed the patents or not. In very broad terms samsung did infringe the patents however the issue is that apple should not be able to patent geometric shapes or "simplicity" so to speak. If the patents were rendered void then the whole thing would have been avoided from the start. Or did they actually try something like this and I missed it? Then again, unless samsung was poorly advised on the matter I have my doubts that they would not go for this.
Samsung indeed argues that the design patents are invalid because they are entirely functional but to the best of my understanding, the jury based their decision on whether the patents were infringed or not, which lowers Samsung's chances in court. I do agree that these patents shouldn't have been granted and they're, as Samsung put it, too minimalistic to be considered valid patents but it seems Samsung didn't have much success on that front. I wonder if Apple and Samsung switched places with each other, would the same court punish the American company as easily?
I would think that is very hard to tell. On one hand apple is an US company however my impression is that US is to a great degree rather protective of the market. Even microsoft has paid year after year of fines for monopolies (although it did stop them). Ultimately it would be impossible to prove anything unless one of the juries slips out some detail regarding foul play. I don't think they are getting any dumber than when they said they wanted to make an example out of samsung.
But that takes us back to whether the jury could actually do anything regarding invalidating the patents. I mean, could they actually decide the patents were invalid? Or where they simply going for whether they were infringed or not? That does make a huge difference on what samsung could actually accomplish at the trial.
According to the reports, the jury could indeed decide whether the patents were invalid or not:
It seems this was the critical decision because once this decision was made, Samsung didn't have much to argue because the devices inevitably resemble each other. I can't say the resemblance is so apparent that the devices are almost identical but even before the trial began, the judge noted that the devices were virtually indistinguishable which most likely affected jury's decision. (For a comparison see Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Apple iPad)Quote:
Apple won the battle but lost the war.
Last edited by Ryr; September 02, 2012 at 04:07 AM.
---------- Post added September 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM ---------- Previous post was September 02, 2012 at 05:46 PM ----------
On an interesting twist it seems samsung will sue apple for copyright infringement on their LTE technology. It is an interesting twist and if won they would completely destroy the newly released iphone 5. I liked the iphone 5 and the fact that it will cost 399 or less (at least according to what I read). Finally apple is going to stop grossly overcharging to some reasonable degree. I wonder if samsung does have a claim here. Of course, if apple patented the rectangle then samsung can have a claim on anything they want....
It seems this is Samsung's way of getting back at Apple. I don't know whether they have valid grounds to sue Apple or not but I know that they want to make Apple suffer. All these patent wars cost both parties lots of money in the long run, I hope companies will become more reasonable in the future and focus on what they actually do best. It's good to know iPhone 5 will be priced at $399, Apple has very good products but their high prices deter people from buying them.
Yeah... at least the issue I had with apple about it being grossly overpriced is gone to a reasonable degree. I am still adamant against the idea of buying their stuff as it is at large a commitment more long term than marriage (and once you buy a single apple product you have to buy everything else apples makes). Gotta hate them for the new plugs though.
Well, I would think samsung at least thinks they have a reasonable claim. Overall "making them suffer" is a terrible business model(still better than umbrella's "make them into zombies" business model). At least this patents seems to be about actual technology and not geometrical shapes and abstract concepts. What I am mostly curious about is how not suing everyone else would work in the trial though. We have samsung obviously retaliating against apple and not suing other people who use LTE technology. Would that have an effect on the trial?
In Apple's case, it didn't have any effect, they could sue other competitors too but they opted to sue their biggest rival. It seems Apple has other products that incorporate LTE (aka 4G) technology but Samsung waits for iPhone 5's release to deal a major blow to Apple's marketing campaign. Samsung's similar request regarding 3G technology had been denied by Dutch courts because "3G was an industry standard and Samsung's licensing offer had to meet FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) terms." I think we have a similar situation here and the court may obligate both parties to talk and try to reach an agreement.