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.
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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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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.
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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 Parent Score: 2