Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:29 UTC
Legal Well. Raise your hands if you didn't see this one coming. Nobody is safe from Apple's and Microsoft's legal crusade against Android, not even Samsung, which supplies a lot of chips to Apple. Apple has sued Samsung for copying Cupertino's look and feel in various Samsung devices. This is about as surprising as the tides rolling in. Update: And Samsung's going to strike back. Hit 'm hard, Samsung. I don't like you anymore than any of these other patent trolls, but maybe we'll finally see it all crash and burn.
Order by: Score:
Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:55 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Just because I couldn't post it in the article itself, here's my response on FaceBook - which more accurately reflects my opinion than what's in this article due to me not being allowed to curse in articles and shit.

I hope the entire mobile industry collapses. I've had with those fcuking litigious, power-hungry, anti-consumer companies. Let 'm all die and rot in hell for all I care. Fcuk iOS, fcuk Android, fcuk webOS, fcuk WP7. YOU'RE ALL COPYING PALMOS ANYWAY, BITCHES.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by umccullough on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Hey!, you can join me in my boycott of cell phones (and tablets) altogether ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by bryanv on Wed 20th Apr 2011 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Dude, I'm in!

Ok, I'll keep the phone, but it'll be a 'dumb' phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Beta on Mon 18th Apr 2011 23:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope the entire mobile industry collapses. I've had with those fcuking litigious, power-hungry, anti-consumer companies. Let 'm all die and rot in hell for all I care. Fcuk iOS, fcuk Android, fcuk webOS, fcuk WP7. YOU'RE ALL COPYING PALMOS ANYWAY, BITCHES.


:( But Android and WebOS haven't been litigious at all, they're just doing their thing and hoping people adopt them.

Reply Score: 9

v RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by jackeebleu on Tue 19th Apr 2011 00:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 19th Apr 2011 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No, I won't. Good luck!

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by umccullough on Tue 19th Apr 2011 00:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Thom, can I start a website that named OSnews.net


If I do that, you wont accuse me of copying will you?


I'm guessing they'll nail you for trademark infringement... which is quite different than patent infringement.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by looncraz on Tue 19th Apr 2011 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Samsung has been using those cables longer than Apple's been 'cool.'

I know, I have a large number of those darned things laying around ( though each and every model has its own new shape and is incompatible with the rest... :-( ).

Do us a favor, YOU find a way to build a phone which is basically nothing more than a touch-screen while no looking like EVERY OTHER such device on the market.

Just try it!!

Can't do it, eh?

Sure is hard when the primary design element is a large darn screen, eh?

--The loon

P.S. The iPad is a blatant copy of Be's BeIA Webpad. I know, I used to own one. Except it was actually more capable.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Priest on Wed 20th Apr 2011 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

To be fair, how different does one black touch screen phone look from the next?

The speaker has to fit between the top of the screen and the edge of the frame so it needs to be a small rectangle.

Apple is squared and the Samsung has rounded corners.

Just because Apple was one of the first to start using touch screen phones does not mean they invented the idea.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by allanregistos on Tue 19th Apr 2011 01:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Just because I couldn't post it in the article itself, here's my response on FaceBook - which more accurately reflects my opinion than what's in this article due to me not being allowed to curse in articles and shit.

"I hope the entire mobile industry collapses. I've had with those fcuking litigious, power-hungry, anti-consumer companies. Let 'm all die and rot in hell for all I care. Fcuk iOS, fcuk Android, fcuk webOS, fcuk WP7. YOU'RE ALL COPYING PALMOS ANYWAY, BITCHES.
"
Hey thom, your curses, won't solve the U.S. patent problems we have. Calm down. Accept that as long as we live there are people who create problems and people who try to solve those created problems. There are those who try and use evil to solve problems, and don't be like them, cursing companies won't do you any good publicly or privately. Just an advice from a friendly stranger.

Reply Score: 1

Playing the ugly game...
by Torbjorn Vik Lunde on Tue 19th Apr 2011 14:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Torbjorn Vik Lunde Member since:
2009-09-04

I agree that the practices of these phone companies is rather ugly, but how are they different from other large corporations. I find that big bussines is ugly, period.

I think the legal and economic system is to blame. Apple, Samsung, Nokia all the others... they are just playing the game. It's and ugly game, but they have to play it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Tue 19th Apr 2011 23:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Hear hear! I'd love to see a new PalmOS (not WebOS, actual Garnet or post-Garnet) phone, backwards compatible with classic Palm apps as well as modern apps.

Unfortunately that ship sailed years ago, but it's nice to dream...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Apr 2011 21:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just because I couldn't post it in the article itself, here's my response on FaceBook - which more accurately reflects my opinion than what's in this article due to me not being allowed to curse in articles and shit.

I hope the entire mobile industry collapses. I've had with those fcuking litigious, power-hungry, anti-consumer companies. Let 'm all die and rot in hell for all I care. Fcuk iOS, fcuk Android, fcuk webOS, fcuk WP7. YOU'RE ALL COPYING PALMOS ANYWAY, BITCHES.


I second that sentiment. What confuses me is how broad the patent is to the point that it could pretty much lock out anyone from the touch based mobile phone market by virtue of something looking 'very similar' to what Apple offers. When one looks at the layout etc. of Apple's iOS, it hardly seems 'innovative' given that it seems the most obvious way of going about doing something because at the end of the day there are a limited number of ways you can do something with a screen that small.

Imagine if the first GUI was patented - if you made any use of 'icons' you had to pay a royalty for the use of a patented technology where said technology was defined as 'a picture, text or a combination of both representing a document, application or some other entity an end user wishes to access'.

PS. I'm a happy Windows Phone 7 user who has an iMac and MacBook Pro so it has nothing to do with 'player hating' and everything to do with pointing out the stupidity of the patent system to begin with.

Edited 2011-04-20 21:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by elsewhere on Thu 21st Apr 2011 04:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

YOU'RE ALL COPYING PALMOS ANYWAY, BITCHES.


Well, one could argue that PalmOS was copying the Newton. Fortunately for Palm/HP, the Newton was Scully's baby, which means that it officially never existed as far as Jobs is concerned.

EDIT: Bah, should have read the rest of the comments before replying. This is redundant, nothing to see here...

Edited 2011-04-21 04:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Wow ...
by WorknMan on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:13 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't know what I can say that I haven't already said when covering these countless lawsuits. I just don't care anymore. Screw the patent system. It's broken, and it will remain broken as long as companies have more clout with lawmakers than the people do.


So, have you finally come 'round to my way of thinking about this?

http://www.osnews.com/thread?467210

Greedy companies are suing other greedy companies, so what else is new? Enough with the f**king patent lawsuit articles already. As I said before, these kinds of articles are designed to do nothing but turn technical sites into political soapboxes.

Edited 2011-04-18 22:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow ...
by umccullough on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:17 UTC in reply to "Wow ..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

As I said before, these kinds of articles are designed to do nothing but turn technical sites into political soapboxes.


Oh no, we can't have that now! Technology and politics can never collide.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow ...
by WorknMan on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Oh no, we can't have that now! Technology and politics can never collide.


Of course, technology and politics can (and often do) collide, but the only purpose that these kinds of articles serve on technical sites like this is to shove the 'software patents are broken' mantra down people's throats. Even if you believe this is true (and probably most of us do), I think there are already numerous examples of lawsuits already to illustrate the point, without having to report on a new one every other day. It just gets old.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow ...
by umccullough on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow ..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I think there are already numerous examples of lawsuits already to illustrate the point, without having to report on a new one every other day. It just gets old.


<shrug> - Maybe some people tire of it, but I certainly don't.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wow ...
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Apr 2011 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

As I said before, these kinds of articles are designed to do nothing but turn technical sites into political soapboxes.

Oh no, we can't have that now! Technology and politics can never collide.


I think the point 'WorknMan' was trying to get at was the endless circle jerks that come out of every article of said nature which lead no where - it's a parlour game equal to that of, "if I won the lotto what would I do with the winnings". After 2 hours of said fanciful discussion many dreams are expressed but you come down to earth realising you're stuck in a dead end middle income job with a car that over heats during summer and has difficulty starting in the winter.

I'm all for discussions about patents but I do think that it is flogging a dead horse which IMHO Thom should create a 'discussion area' where people can rant about that particular topic on said location and the topic, if it must be bought up on Page 1 or Page 2 is done so in passing. Call the area 'the patent tab' where all patent related rants are located.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:16 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

A direct attack on "stock" Android. Apple want to keep this market fragmented so that no one player shines brighter than they. That is the only way to remain afloat when there is a million tablets on sale.

Reply Score: 4

Get your facts right will you...
by mrhasbean on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:17 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

How about you get your fcuk'n facts right for a change Thom...

Newton OS 1987...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_(platform):

Development of the Newton platform started in 1987


Screen shots: http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=os&id=n100&c=apple_newton_os

AtEase (Mac) circa 1990...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_Ease:
At Ease was an alternative to the Macintosh desktop developed by Apple Computer in the early 1990s.


Screen shots: http://toastytech.com/guis/atease.html

Palm OS 1996...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_OS:
Palm OS (also known as Garnet OS) is a mobile operating system initially developed by Palm, Inc., for personal digital assistants (PDAs) in 1996.


Who took cues from whom?

Edited 2011-04-18 22:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Who took cues from whom?


I think you just proved the point, however...

You can't compare two modern-day devices side by side and claim one of them stole ideas from the other when there's an entire history of concepts and ideas that have built up to the current state of computing.

Thom used one example to make that point, and you used several more.

Reply Score: 7

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenPoint_OS

We can do this all day, you do realise that, right?

Or the GriDPAD, the IBM Simon, or even conceptually, the Dynabook, and... And...

Reply Score: 5

Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

Thing is, it wasn't Palm that started this going, Apple was doing it many years before. Palm took their idea from Apple, and did a much better job of it too.

PenPoint was earlier (at least to manufacturing), so maybe you should have just mentioned them, not Palm.

As for should Apple sue?
I think if someone is ripping off the look & feel, then yes, they have every right to protect that. If they are just copying functionality, then that is another question all together. I think for the sake of everyone, we should never be allowed to sue for that.

If I create a new car, Mercedes shouldn't be able to sue me, but if I create a new car that looks like their SLK, then I think they do have the right to protect that (even if it doesn't drive like one).

(sorry for yet another car analogy - LOL)

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

If I create a new car, Mercedes shouldn't be able to sue me, but if I create a new car that looks like their SLK, then I think they do have the right to protect that (even if it doesn't drive like one).


Are you sure it's actually illegal? Is this covered by design patent law?

I seem to recall there are commercial kits out there to re-create fancy cars (like a Ferrari on a Fiero chassis for example) - and somehow I doubt they're getting permission from the original car manufacturer to create these kits.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not only that, have you ever looked at any cars made by Hyundai? They tend to "borrow" design cues from their biggest competitors to the point that on some recent models, you have to squint to make sure it's a lazy "H" symbol as opposed to Honda's vertical "H". Swap the insignias and you'd be hard pressed to tell the two cars apart on first inspection. In the past it was Toyota-inspired styles, and Nissan before that.

As far as I know they haven't been sued for that (yet).

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

If I create a new car, Mercedes shouldn't be able to sue me, but if I create a new car that looks like their SLK, then I think they do have the right to protect that (even if it doesn't drive like one).


I don't know if it is illegal or not here, but I do certainly think it shouldn't be: as long as you don't actually try to sell it as a Mercedes SLK or use their logos you should be allowed to make it downright 100% identical excluding the logos and any possible extra branding.

After all, there are only so many ways of making something and if we allow companies to sue people for creating something even remotely similar we'll sooner or later be in a situation where even creating a simple box is illegal. Besides I just do not support the idea of limiting what one can create as long as they don't try to pose it off as someone else's work.

Reply Score: 5

dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

Not really:

1) The design is influence by technical decisions, some of them possibly covered by patents. I'm talking about stuff that influence air flow, cooling... If there was a research, it can be transformed into a patent.

For example if they used the touch wheel from a classic iPod there would be (rightly) a patent infringement.

2) This is intellectual property after all (kind of) and is protected by copyright (just like software or photographs). So you are not allowed to copy it, but you can use it as an inspiration. If the differences are below a certain percent is considered intellectual property theft.

3) Some design elements can be registered as trade mark (for example the front grid from a BMW can be registered like that).

But both touch wiz and Galaxy S case design differ more than the minimum required from apple products.
The influence is clear, but there is no copy and I don't think branding materials wore used.

Sure both iPhone 3G and Galaxy S have round edges and silver frame, big touchscreen and a button in the middle. But all modern TV-s have a glossy black frame and LCD screen. And I don't want to get into mouse, video cameras...

The apps on both phones have icons on a grid, on multiple screens. But the grid is arranged just like palm and symbian and nokia S40 and... and old Ericsson phones with monochrome display. But Xerox original GUI had icons, so xerox original design was copied by all modern devices from computers to TV interfaces.

Reply Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Everty company should try to make products that stand out in its own right. Regardless, if Samsung Galaxy differs enough from iPhone for Apple to have a case, I would it is a bad idea to be to close to sombody elses design. Even though the differences actually are quite big at a closer look, I still think of an iPhone when I see the Galaxy.

If I was head of Samsung I would like the consumers to buy Galaxy because it is a Samsung and a good phone not because they have mistaken it for a product of one of my competitors.

Reply Score: 2

kittynipples Member since:
2006-08-02

Well we should all be able to concede that until the iPhone, Android was just going to be an unoriginal Blackberry OS knockoff.

Reply Score: 1

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Fucking Star Trek had touch enabled tablet-like devices in TNG, before Newton. We are talking about IDEAS, and trivial ones at that... APPLE and all those litigous bastards are subverting the whole idea of the patent system, which was to protect original ideas and their implementations. Having a screen with items you can touch is part of the natural evolution of technology. We saw those devices in Star Trek, probably in countless other movies before TNG as well...

Reply Score: 8

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

There's a long history of Star Trek inspiring modern tech, and rarely is any credit given by the companies so inspired. Motorola was one of the few; they gave credit with the StarTAC cellphone so many years ago (reminiscent of the flip-open communicators from TOS). And Bluetooth headsets are TNG-era chest communicators worn in the ear. I'm still waiting for the affordable, wearable cellphone, i.e. the entire phone inside the earpiece. SAR fears be damned!

You mentioned the PADD devices, and it was just a few years after TNG first aired that the Fujitsu Stylistic series of tablet PCs emerged. I owned one; quite an advanced device for its time! Granted, it wasn't until the iPhone and iPad that you could see a lot of resemblance to the fictional devices, but the general idea was in use long before iDevices (including the first iDevice, the Newton).

As for the phaser, well there is already an electromechanical equivalent in use in a few police forces: Wireless stun guns. Instead of wired leads, the payload is wireless and launches as any other projectile. Of course the tech itself is completely different but the end result is the same: A stunned target from a distance with no wires to get tangled up in.

A handheld universal translator, as shown in the Star Trek films? Any Android phone with the Google Translate app.

I have a feeling that, apart from warp drive and instant terraforming, we will achieve all of the fictional tech from Star Trek within the next hundred years or so.

Reply Score: 3

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I have a feeling that, apart from warp drive and instant terraforming, we will achieve all of the fictional tech from Star Trek within the next hundred years or so.


I hope that most of the good stuff happens before holodecks come around, because let's face it, once the holodecks are available, nobody's going to be working on anything. Ever again.

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Good point! Star Trek was all about unrealistically upstanding and moral characters, but let's face it: We would all be far worse than Reginald Barclay given a Holodeck. I'm thinking more like Caprica; no consequences for our actions in the virtual world so most everyone would live out their darkest fantasies.

Reply Score: 3

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

How about you get your fcuk'n facts right for a change Thom...

Newton OS 1987...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_(platform):
"Development of the Newton platform started in 1987


Screen shots: http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=os&id=n100&c=apple_newton_os

Palm OS 1996...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_OS:
Palm OS (also known as Garnet OS) is a mobile operating system initially developed by Palm, Inc., for personal digital assistants (PDAs) in 1996.


Who took cues from whom?
"

Hmmm, let's see... the first PalmOS devices were hugely successful and spawned over a decade's worth of successors, compatible 3rd-party devices, etc. And on the other hand, the Newton line was a total failure from start to finish & it's only really remembered for its laughably-bad handwriting recognition.

So, sorry, but it looks like NewtonOS was irrelevant - at least by the standards you and the other Apple fanboys use to dismiss the numerous smartphones that came before the iPhone.

(Fun fact: despite all of the gloating from iFanboys, even Symbian and old school Windows Mobile were unqualified successes compared to the pathetic flop that was the Newton)



...uh, and? That could be a screenshot of OS 7, even has the idiotic global menu bar (I'm sure that would have been REALLY useful on mobile devices). Let me guess, are you one of those newly-minted Mac fanboys who pretends to be an old-timer, despite only have been on the bandwagon since 2006?

Reply Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The point I think Thom was making is not who was first, the point is it simply shouldn't f*cking matter...

Look and feel patents are absolutely stupid and shouldn't exist. Actually, software patents in general are stupid and shouldn't exist - but look and feel patents FOR software is like stupid-squared...

Unless [favorite upstart company] is violating the trademarks of [favorite entrenched behemoth] it simply should matter legally speaking.

ps. Additionally, you should not be able to trademark generic images/icons and whatnot like most big software companies do. If it isn't directly related to company or product branding it should be off limits imo.

If you wholesale rip off a UI of a competitor and don't do anything to improve it - simply rip it off; well it's not like you can do it secretly or something. EVERYONE KNOWS. You either do it better, you do it significantly cheaper, or you fail.

Copy-catting the look and feel of something and competing only on price is in my opinion a perfectly acceptable business practice if you can make it work. It's not like it is an automatic recipe for success - you have to at least have a competitive product. If you can manage it I say good for you. I don't necessarily like the practice and it would certainly not be something I would look favorably on as a customer, but at the same time I don't think a UI paradigm is something you should be able to get a government approved monopoly over either.

Edited 2011-04-19 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Look and feel patents are absolutely stupid and shouldn't exist. Actually, software patents in general are stupid and shouldn't exist - but look and feel patents FOR software is like stupid-squared...

Unless [favorite upstart company] is violating the trademarks of [favorite entrenched behemoth] it simply should matter legally speaking.
[/i]


I'm no fan of software patents, but design patents have their place. Protecting the physical and visual design of products is simply an extension of trademarking. It protects the company brand. There's nothing wrong with that, and design patents can't be abused in a similar vein to ambiguous software patents for blocking competition. They're very specific.

I'm growing very tired of Apple's shenanigans, but in their defense, I'm going to buck the trend and assert that Samsung has in fact intentionally copied the iPhone look and feel. I mean, seriously. They've tried to clone it in what seems like a shameless attempt to deceive a naive customer into thinking it is the same thing.

Google themselves have a design patent on the design of their search site. You can bet that they would exercise it if another search site adopted Google's visual style in a way that could mislead users into thinking they were viewing Google.

This particular issue is a bit of a distraction from the real clusterf*ck that is the software/process patent warfare going on right now.

Reply Score: 2

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I'm no fan of software patents, but design patents have their place. Protecting the physical and visual design of products is simply an extension of trademarking.


I have to say I do not agree with that at all. I have all the same issues with them as with any other patent when applied to software. Design patents for physical/ tangible objects make some sense, but not for software.

I'm growing very tired of Apple's shenanigans, but in their defense, I'm going to buck the trend and assert that Samsung has in fact intentionally copied the iPhone look and feel. I mean, seriously. They've tried to clone it in what seems like a shameless attempt to deceive a naive customer into thinking it is the same thing.


The problem with that is I don't believe any person with that level of naivety exists. Even if they did, any one can easily point out their error by flipping over the device and pointing at the Samsung logo... Sure, the GUI for the software "looks" very similar to iOS in many respects, but is that because they are trying to make it look the same to confuse users?

Maybe what they are trying to do is leverage the fact that many users will already be familiar with the interface paradigms that iOS uses, and feel that making their interface look and act nearly the same is a benefit because it make the device instantly familiar to their users who came from iOS. Everyone does with with UIs, even Microsoft and Apple themselves - it is a process of refinement and it should not be allowed to be co-opted by a single company. Virtually every desktop GUI in existence is still based on the very same interface paradigms that Xerox Star used over 30 years ago, even iOS in some respects.

Regardless, icon spacing and placement and whatnot should not be considered "branding". Trademark law covers branding (covers it too broadly in fact) - you don't need design patents to protect branding. And if it isn't branding you are protecting then what is the point?

Google themselves have a design patent on the design of their search site. You can bet that they would exercise it if another search site adopted Google's visual style in a way that could mislead users into thinking they were viewing Google.


And I would be just as pissed about it if they did. In fact more so, because frankly there is literally nothing about Google's search layout that is even remotely connected to branding outside of their logo. Really, I do not see how anyone could reasonably see a legal problem with making a site that looks exactly the same as Google's, as long as the logo is not used. The entire notion is stupid on its face. Its a search box and a list of results! Really, back before 1996 (pre-Google), you had Alta Vista, Infoseek, Yahoo, WebCrawler, etc. Virtually all of them presented result pages 15+ years ago that looked nearly identical to what Google uses today, minus the logos...

This particular issue is a bit of a distraction from the real clusterf*ck that is the software/process patent warfare going on right now.


Same exact problem if you ask me, but to each there own...

Edited 2011-04-21 17:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v OSNews is becoming tiresome...
by tomcat on Mon 18th Apr 2011 23:25 UTC
RE: OSNews is becoming tiresome...
by Alfman on Tue 19th Apr 2011 02:46 UTC in reply to "OSNews is becoming tiresome..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tomcat,

"But, at the end of the day, the courts are going to have to decide this one, or it's going to be settled out of court. Can we please stop beating the 'patents are teh 3v1L' drum? It's really getting boring."

That doesn't mean people should not debate it. Unfortunately, if we ignore the problem it enables even more abuse. Every year in europe corps are heavyly lobbying for pro-software patent reform. Too many people with an attitude like you and software patents will become law in europe just like in the US.

Reply Score: 4

v ...
by Hiev on Tue 19th Apr 2011 00:04 UTC
Does apple need cheaper flash module ?
by dvhh on Tue 19th Apr 2011 04:55 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

I always heard that apple got their flash module from samsung ?
Either Apple switched to another supplier or trying to leverage the price by exchanging licence.

Mind you I heard that most people were dissatisfied with the touchwiz interface, so samsung should just drop it, apologize to everyone and go on.
Appart from that the form factor is pretty standard so no complains about that.

Reply Score: 2

clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

Samsung is a really big company with lots of divisions. Apple can sue their phone division and keep on perfectly good terms with the chip division. It's all just business.

Reply Score: 2

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

for your consideration
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/04/apple-shipping-newer-fast...

samsung just sold new ssd for macbook air ??

Reply Score: 2

Look 'n' Feel is a copyright issue
by chekr on Tue 19th Apr 2011 05:21 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

Just a heads up that look and feel falls under the purview of copyright law, not patent law.

Deciding as to whether Samsung copied Apple or whether this is just a logical way in which one would design such an interface from a clean sheet is the crux of this case...

Reply Score: 2

organgtool Member since:
2010-02-25

Just a heads up that look and feel falls under the purview of copyright law, not patent law.

Actually, look and feel doesn't fall under the purview of any intellectual property laws. Apple already tried this 17 years ago against Microsoft. According to Wikipedia, the court ruled that "Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]...".

Apple knows it doesn't have a case. They're just trying to give Samsung a hard time and potentially get better deals on their hardware supplies.

Reply Score: 2

siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

Do they really think if even you can understand this than Samsung and their lawyers wont?

Reply Score: 3

organgtool Member since:
2010-02-25

I'm sure Samsung's lawyers are aware of this, but it doesn't matter. The U.S. legal system allows for nearly endless appeals. Corporations like Apple take advantage of this by threatening other corporations with endless litigation until they give in to their demands.

Samsung supplies many parts for Apple laptops, tablets, and phones. Meanwhile, Samsung has seen much success selling their own laptops, tablets, and phones. Apple is in direct competition with one of its largest suppliers and is probably using this lawsuit to leverage better prices for their supplies or an agreement that would reduce the competition between the two companies.

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sure Samsung's lawyers are aware of this, but it doesn't matter. The U.S. legal system allows for nearly endless appeals. Corporations like Apple take advantage of this by threatening other corporations with endless litigation until they give in to their demands.

Samsung supplies many parts for Apple laptops, tablets, and phones. Meanwhile, Samsung has seen much success selling their own laptops, tablets, and phones. Apple is in direct competition with one of its largest suppliers and is probably using this lawsuit to leverage better prices for their supplies or an agreement that would reduce the competition between the two companies.


And Samsung are a picture of integrity? come on, this is the same company who told one of the largest carriers in the US that they would hold back on software upgrades as to spur on sales of their new refreshed mobile line up.

To cheerlead on behalf of any company in the belief that 'the enemy of my enemy is a friend of mine' is just faulty logic right from the outset.

Reply Score: 2

.
by d.marcu on Tue 19th Apr 2011 08:30 UTC
d.marcu
Member since:
2009-12-27

If Apple manufactured cars then the entire industry would have been in danger of getting sued for copying the driving wheel, car windows etc.

Reply Score: 8

RE: .
by WereCatf on Tue 19th Apr 2011 08:32 UTC in reply to "."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

If Apple manufactured cars then the entire industry would have been in danger of getting sued for copying the driving wheel, car windows etc.


..and for a specific shade of white.

Reply Score: 8

Arawn
Member since:
2005-07-13

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_f480-2268.php

After seeing this phone, seems to me that Apple might have copied the design for the iPhone 4 from Samsung... ;)

This lawsuits are absolute bullshit, and everyone here knows it.

Reply Score: 1

Piot Member since:
2009-09-17

If you are desperately seeking 'prior art' why on earth would you link to a phone announced a year AFTER iPhone?

Reply Score: 1

Arawn Member since:
2005-07-13

Hmmm, lets see:

http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone_4-3275.php

Released 2010, June

As far as I can count, the Samsung F480 was released 2 years before iPhone 4...

Edit:

And I was being kind of sarcastic in my initial post... ;)

Edited 2011-04-19 15:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Apple terrified of Android.
by unclefester on Tue 19th Apr 2011 09:55 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Apple is terrified of Android.

In Australia the Samsung Galaxy Tab can be purchased unlocked from Telstra for AUD299 online. The iPad 2 with 3g costs AUD729 (with a 2-3 week wait).

Cheap 10" Android tablets such as the Zenithink ZT-180 cost less than AUD200 (and dropping rapidly). They will probably be a little over AUD100 by Xmas. I bought one secondhand on Ebay for AUD86 two days ago.

Android phones are now available for as little as AUD99 eg the Telstra Smart-Touch.
.

Reply Score: 11

Outcome
by Matzon on Tue 19th Apr 2011 12:46 UTC
Matzon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Resolved behind closed doors:
Apple: reduced price for chipsets and devices
Samsung: slap on the hand, changes UI
World+Dog: continues along

Edited 2011-04-19 12:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Torbjorn Vik Lunde
Member since:
2009-09-04

1. Good ideas propogating should be considerd a good thing. Seriously.

2. No doubt that Samsung copied Apple. (Just like Apple have copied others)

3. This is just another in a long string of events that confirm to me not only the stupidity of patents, but the stupidity of intellectual property.

4. Since I do not choose the devices I use based on politics, but on what I like, I'm going to chug happily along with my iPhone. (If you are going to make ethical considerations when choosing smart phones... there are few practical choices.)

Reply Score: 2

Maybe i went backwards.
by judgen on Tue 19th Apr 2011 14:20 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I sold my mobile phone a long while back and now i do not even miss it or any of the functions that i claimed that i needed found in cellphones. The phone-over-ip solution i have at home is sufficient for my calling needs. And it is actually uplifting not to be "reachable" all the time.
I did however have to get myself a watch, as i used to use the phone for that purpose before.
But hey, a nice watch with an awesome wristband is a beautiful accessory and fashion statement that is on the rise now, so it is all good.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe i went backwards.
by umccullough on Tue 19th Apr 2011 20:23 UTC in reply to "Maybe i went backwards."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

And it is actually uplifting not to be "reachable" all the time.


Indeed - it's that aspect that prevents me from getting a cell phone again. Well, that, and the ridiculous waste of money every month to be "available".

I did however have to get myself a watch, as i used to use the phone for that purpose before.


I got over that too... whenever the time matters to me, I'm either in the car, at home, or at my desk - all of which have a clock. If I'm wandering around in public, I can always ask someone for the time (which usually induces them to pull out their cell phone and check it).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe i went backwards.
by phoenix on Wed 20th Apr 2011 15:25 UTC in reply to "Maybe i went backwards."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

And it is actually uplifting not to be "reachable" all the time.


You know, just because the cell phone rings ... doesn't mean you have to answer it. ;) Same for text messages. ;)

I've had a cell phone for 10 years now, and it is very much a tool for *my* communications needs (as in outgoing), and not a tool for others to constantly nag me (incoming). ;)

It's all about perspective, and not letting our tools enslave us.

And for that reason (having connectivity and power for *my* uses) I can't wait for a good hardware-keyboard Android phone to come to Canada.

Reply Score: 3

Kondor337
Member since:
2006-09-16

While it's true that the current patent system is completely broken and is often abused, and the same is true for copyright, this doesn't mean that all patents and every copyright are useless or even harmful.

We should not throw the baby out with the bath water.

When a pharmaceutical company has invested millions of dollars in testing many different combinations of agents, and finally they find a combination that can cure some illness, we cannot immediately allow everyone to just analyze their product and sell a copy. That wouldn't be fair at all and would mean that in the future, only foundations and maybe universities could create new drugs.

So there's clearly a need for *some* kind of patent system, even if it should be very different from the one we have now.

Reply Score: 1

adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?

"Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
- CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955)

Reply Score: 8

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?


Would mod you up if I could: this one I agree with 100%.

Reply Score: 2

fran Member since:
2010-08-06

he is just stating an inconvenient truth
there is something very very wrong with the world.
we all seem to blame the players when we should change the game.

We cant transcend this.

Reply Score: 3

Kondor337 Member since:
2006-09-16

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?

"Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
- CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955)


(The sun is a really, really bad example, because noone invested a lot of money to develop it.)

Please do not confuse "universally accessible to everyone" with "no compensation for the company that developed it". Of course everyone who needs it should be able to get the medicine. Of course it's a horrible thing if patents are used to prevent poor people from being able to buy the drugs.

That doesn't mean AT ALL that even rich people in rich countries should not pay for the development of the drugs, because 1.) it would not be fair, and 2.) we wouldn't have nearly as much private research, which would NOT be a good thing for either rich or poor people.

Maybe we can find a replacement for patents where the company that created something and paid for the development is reimbursed in another way (tax money?). But we cannot simply abolish patents without any kind of replacement.

Reply Score: 1

adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

I think you are oversimplifying what Dr.Salk meant. All the medicine in the world is synthesized from nature or from compounds that exists in our planet. They were never magically created out of nothing. Dr.Salk understood this concept. Sunlight has many benefits for all living things. But no one in their right mind would think we could have exclusive ownership of its properties through a patent because we discovered a use for them. Why should medicine be different? I agree that drug research requires funds but there must be alternative instruments in place to prioritize for the common good of society. Patents prioritize the profit motive which could lead to greed.

Salk and his associates earned a decent living and were not driven by greed. Their unselfish contributions saved millions of lives not only in developed nations but also those in poor nations. Illnesses do not differentiate between the poor and the rich. However, the cure is better accessible by the rich. We need to change the game to make it accessible to all regardless of their financial or social status. This can't be achieved by profit driven instruments such as patents.

Patents in medical research have done a lot of harm than good. Besides being used as profit instruments, it has also been used to stifle new discoveries and research:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has granted thousands of patents on human genes – in fact, about 20 percent of our genes are patented. A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene. As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents.


Source: http://www.aclu.org/free-speech-womens-rights/aclu-challenges-paten...

Edited 2011-04-20 18:09 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

There was never any real need for patent or copyright systems. They were invented after the fact, purely for protecting the interest of large manufacturers or publishers at the time.

Patents or copyright do only one thing - they suppress the competition. And lack of competition is never good for consumers, period. Saying that companies wouldn't have incentives for innovation? They had better innovate like crazy unless they wanted to go bust.

The point is, the world without patents or copyright would develop just fine, probably better than now. Just look at the fashion industry, where there is still very little regulation (although French and Italians are trying to change it) - you can't say it suffers from the lack of innovation or that it is not profitable, can you?

Reply Score: 2

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

And about hardware/software patent thing.

In my opinion all patents are bad. Just some are worse than others.

Hardware patents don't suck as much as software ones, because:

a) Many of them already expired (in public domain), and the development rate is slower (it's a real world dealing with real stuff, not just information). This is just a matter of the scale of the problem.

b) You're not at the risk unless you produce hardware in volume, which excludes hobbyists and small companies. Contrast that with software, which can be written by anyone and distributed in any numbers.

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

While it's true that the current patent system is completely broken and is often abused, and the same is true for copyright, this doesn't mean that all patents and every copyright are useless or even harmful.

We should not throw the baby out with the bath water.

When a pharmaceutical company has invested millions of dollars in testing many different combinations of agents, and finally they find a combination that can cure some illness, we cannot immediately allow everyone to just analyze their product and sell a copy. That wouldn't be fair at all and would mean that in the future, only foundations and maybe universities could create new drugs.

So there's clearly a need for *some* kind of patent system, even if it should be very different from the one we have now.


Look up 'patent evergreening':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreening

Pharmaceutical are not only protected as to make a profit but they too are abusing the system as well. Lets remember that the majority of the heavy lifting isn't done by pharmaceutical companies but by university and crown research entities funded by tax payers money. These entities do all the background work that pharmaceutical companies need to then understand how their chemicals react with each other and the body. Then there is the education of said employees where 75% of the cost is once again covered by the tax payer - without said subsidised education there would be fewer people being able to go to university and obtain a degree in the relevant particular areas.

Edited 2011-04-20 22:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Question
by Shkaba on Tue 19th Apr 2011 20:48 UTC
Shkaba
Member since:
2006-06-22

Do you, people, think I should cut the apple tree in my backyard? After all, I don't want to infinge on some patents, copyrights and/or trademarks by eating apples for which I have not paid any licence!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Question
by Neolander on Wed 20th Apr 2011 06:21 UTC in reply to "Question"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Do you, people, think I should cut the apple tree in my backyard? After all, I don't want to infinge on some patents, copyrights and/or trademarks by eating apples for which I have not paid any licence!

Well, that's a very interesting legal questions. The answer is simple : if the apples have a disgusting taste and a horrible texture, you should probably cut the tree indeed. However, if the apples are quite yummy, then you should definitely do some library search in order to find a proof that there exists an apple variety which has been created
-> Recently enough so that the copyright has not expired yet
-> But a sufficiently long time ago so that it predates Apple's logo.

Then you know the next step : sue Apple to hell for copyright infringement ;)

That's how the patent and copyright system works nowadays...

Edited 2011-04-20 06:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by fran
by fran on Tue 19th Apr 2011 21:22 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

then if people would only buy their products along certain principles

Reply Score: 2

Details of lawsuit
by umccullough on Tue 19th Apr 2011 22:49 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

looks like fosspatents has a list of the patents, trademarks, and "trade dress" that Apple is suing Samsung with.

Interesting to note that Apple has trademarked several basic icons in iOS - guess that means nobody can use similar-looking icons for fear of trademark infringement ;)

Link found on Techdirt:

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/04/apple-sues-samsung-over-and...

Reply Score: 3

The worst...
by Neolander on Wed 20th Apr 2011 07:43 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

The worst with this "never copy my product" attitude, in my opinion, is that it forces people to reinvent the square wheel more than they'd spontaneously do, which is bad news.

Anyone who ever had to use two Latin keyboard layouts in an alternate fashion will know why. Having dozens of slightly differing implementations of the same functionality is bad news for usability. Not to mention how faster progress could be n a more cooperative model (less bugs, more available working time otherwise spent in effort duplication).

Effort duplication is sometimes justified, but it should be justified by objective technical concerns, not by a legal mess.

Reply Score: 4

Samsung copied Apple?
by John Blink on Thu 21st Apr 2011 00:19 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

Yeah right! I felt like I was in a foreign land, when trying to configure a friends Galaxy.

The phones have so many differences. But in the end they have a phone app, email app, web browser app, and an app store.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 21st Apr 2011 03:00 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Apple are patent freaks.

Reply Score: 1

Where's google?
by twitterfire on Thu 21st Apr 2011 13:49 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I hope that google puts their weight behind Samsung, support Samsung and counter sues Apple.

Reply Score: 2

twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Windows and linux have a Graphical User Interface and Apple has that, too.

Windows and linux open windows after clicking buttons and Apple has those, too.

And I can find another 1000 reasons why Apple can sue pretty much everybody.

Reply Score: 2

BTW, Thom
by twitterfire on Thu 21st Apr 2011 14:13 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Orange is the best color in the world. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Thu 21st Apr 2011 20:23 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

Apple's problems could generally be far worse. Competing with Android would seem preferable to having to compete in a market monopolized by Microsoft with Windows Phone.

Reply Score: 1