Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Aug 2012 23:54 UTC
Legal And just like that, within a matter of days, the jury has reached a verdict in Apple vs. Samsung. The basic gist is simple: Apple's software patents are valid, and many Samsung devices infringe upon them. Apple's iPhone 3G trade dress is valid, and Samsung's Galaxy S line infringes, but other devices did not. Samsung did not infringe Apple's iPad design patent. Apple did not infringe any of Samsung's patents. Apple is awarded a little over $1 billion in damages. Competition lost today, and developers in the United States should really start to get worried - software patents got validated big time today.
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Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 25th Aug 2012 00:21 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Maybe someone here can answer this for me.

People like John Gruber - rooting for Apple here, obviously - support App.net. However, App.net is a 1:1 Twitter clone. Zero changes. It's literally a 1:1 copy.

Why is App.net okay, but Samsung's clearly different devices are not? This has been bugging me for weeks.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by rikkirakk on Sat 25th Aug 2012 00:39 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
rikkirakk Member since:
2012-07-30

What patents is App.net violating?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by JAlexoid on Sat 25th Aug 2012 02:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Unregistered trade dress.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Torbjorn Vik Lunde Member since:
2009-09-04

I think a lot of people are very uneasy about the similarity of App.net (including the devs themselves). They are even using Bootstrap (open source, created by Twitter) to make this thing.

One reason many would give is that Twitter is changing from Twitter used to be to something else. App.net is then more of a clone of what Twitter-used to be, not what it is. (Weak argument, I know.)

The most important point however is that app.net is intentionally a "dumb pipe". That is, the most important function is to hold data, and app.net is completely ok with you not using their website. Normally it’s horribly economically to be a dumb pipe, but since people pay for app.net it actually works out.

I also think you can look at app.net more as this data-pipe, and that the Twitter-like thing they are building now just happens to be an example that runs on it. The dream of the devs is to create this plattform people can build apps that use it for plumbing (sort of like Heroku, but on a much higher level). Being a plumb this way is very much opposite of what Twitter is today.

Reply Parent Score: 1

modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

the UI? sure... the back end? absolutely not. It is a system that allows developers to build systems on the internet and their private networks that use an API for messaging....like Twitter used to do.

Listen to the App.net interview they had on TWIG a few weeks ago to understand what is going on with it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by darcysmith on Sat 25th Aug 2012 01:22 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
darcysmith Member since:
2006-04-12

Maybe someone here can answer this for me.

People like John Gruber - rooting for Apple here, obviously - support App.net. However, App.net is a 1:1 Twitter clone. Zero changes. It's literally a 1:1 copy.

Why is App.net okay, but Samsung's clearly different devices are not? This has been bugging me for weeks.


The App.net API is different than the Twitter API, so no copying there.

The goal of App.net is pretty much the same, which I guess is what you are calling a copy. However Apple isn't saying nobody else can make a phone, they just have to make it look different (the Trade Dress stuff). The software patents, I hate the idea of them, I hope that they go away, but sadly they have them and they were violated.

Pinch to zoom, for example, though, can you honestly not think of some other way for that to work? It is 100% impossible to do it any other way?

From that point of view Apple/Samsung is not the same as Twitter/App.net. App.net set out to provide the same sort of service as Twitter but do it in a different way. Samsung set out to provide a product that mimicked that of Apples. That is the difference.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by tupp on Sat 25th Aug 2012 05:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Pinch to zoom, for example, though, can you honestly not think of some other way for that to work? It is 100% impossible to do it any other way?

Of course, there are other ways to do it, and it is being done in other ways very successfully.

However, that is not the point -- the point is that Apple did not invent/originate that multi-touch gesture (nor any other gestures), so Apple has no valid claim to the feature. It does not matter whether or not Samsung tried to copy Apple -- Apple did not originate the technology.

The non-Apple prior art is staggering in this instance (as it is in most Apple instances). I won't bother to link the decades-earlier multi-touch items. Suffice it to say, pinching to scale items came about around 1983. For a more recent citing, in July of 2004, Nintendo applied for a patent for multi-touch on handheld devieces: http://www.joystiq.com/2006/02/26/patent-application-reveals-ninten...

Note that Nintendo was granted the patent in February 2006, over a year before the Iphone was released. "Multi-touch" certainly included pinch-to-zoom in 2004-2006, so, in keeping with Apple's methods, Nintendo should sue Apple sh*tless for stealing "their" handheld technology.

Apple doesn't validly own the rights to 99.95% of their technology (nor designs), so they cannot rightfully claim that someone is stealing "their" IP by "copying."


From that point of view Apple/Samsung is not the same as Twitter/App.net. App.net set out to provide the same sort of service as Twitter but do it in a different way. Samsung set out to provide a product that mimicked that of Apples. That is the difference.

No. The difference is that in the Twitter/App.net instance, Twitter might have originated protected features that Apple is using without rightfully compensating Twitter, but in the other instance, Samsung is using obvious and/or long established technology/art that Apple also uses -- Apple did not originate any of the technology/designs.

Edited 2012-08-25 05:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by some1 on Sat 25th Aug 2012 18:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Android APIs are very different from iOS. The case was about look and feel of the UI.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Lorin on Sat 25th Aug 2012 02:44 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

That is an interesting question, unless the jury was blind there is no possibility of mistaking an S class device with an iPhone.

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That is an interesting question, unless the jury was blind there is no possibility of mistaking an S class device with an iPhone.

Funny thing is, they could even if they were blind. Simple check, does it have a wide Apple docking port? If yes, it's an iPhone. If it's a MicroUSB, it's a samsung. Not too difficult, and there are other tests too. Is the back made entirely of glass? Is there a battery compartment? You get the idea. Even a blind person wouldn't mix these up, speaking from experience. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by brichpmr on Sat 25th Aug 2012 16:07 in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

That is an interesting question, unless the jury was blind there is no possibility of mistaking an S class device with an iPhone.


Yep. I picked up an S3 after placing my iPhone 4s in my pocket. First impression was that the S3 was, relatively speaking, a large thin turd by comparison....imho of course.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by henderson101 on Sat 25th Aug 2012 09:52 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Didn't jaiku happen at the same time? Unless Twitter patented micro blogging, its doubtful they have any come back. Also, you need to differentiate between form and function. An Android phone can present a similar interface to an iOS device. That's not the crux of the case. What the case proved is that Samsung went beyond that, into the realms of wilfully copying a specific design. If you need that explained, it's obvious why you had such a biased outlook on this case. I've stood in a phone store and compared Samsung and Apple phones side by side. It didn't take much effort to see how much influence Apple had had on SOME Samsung phones. I'd never claim all, but some were stupidly similar.

I say this typing on a Nexus 7. I'm no zealot. I use both iOS *AND* Android.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Tony Swash on Sat 25th Aug 2012 10:48 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Maybe someone here can answer this for me.

People like John Gruber - rooting for Apple here, obviously - support App.net. However, App.net is a 1:1 Twitter clone. Zero changes. It's literally a 1:1 copy.

Why is App.net okay, but Samsung's clearly different devices are not? This has been bugging me for weeks.


I don't use either Twitter or App.net so I have no idea what the answer to your question is. I suggest that if Twitter thinks App.net infringed they should take legal action, it's the best way to decide these matters. The last thing anybody should do is ask people like us.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by brichpmr on Sat 25th Aug 2012 14:24 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

Maybe someone here can answer this for me.

People like John Gruber - rooting for Apple here, obviously - support App.net. However, App.net is a 1:1 Twitter clone. Zero changes. It's literally a 1:1 copy.

Why is App.net okay, but Samsung's clearly different devices are not? This has been bugging me for weeks.


If something that trivial has been bugging you for weeks, you definitely have a problem. Dude, it just doesn't matter.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by atsureki on Sat 25th Aug 2012 22:23 in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Maybe someone here can answer this for me.

People like John Gruber - rooting for Apple here, obviously


Not exactly.
http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/08/22/drance-apple-samsung
He thinks Apple is right, but he doesn't like the idea of patents being validated in such a big way.

- support App.net.


Not really.
http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/08/22/tent
He's more apprehensive and questioning, though since every other post out of him is complaining about what Twitter's turning into, I can see why he'd be hopeful about a replacement.

However, App.net is a 1:1 Twitter clone. Zero changes. It's literally a 1:1 copy.

Why is App.net okay, but Samsung's clearly different devices are not? This has been bugging me for weeks.


I don't personally know anything about App.net, but if Twitter has any applicable patents, I affirm their right to sue. And if they do sue, I expect Gruber will take a side based on facts and reason, rather than shouting about idealism or engaging in the blind loyalty so many like to accuse him of.

As for Apple and Samsung, their devices are only "clearly different" if you're already well versed with the particulars. There are people who can tell the year and model of a car from hearing the ignition across a parking lot, and there are people who would be at a loss to tell a Mazda from a Bentley when they're looking right at the back where the badges are. If you know for sure at ten paces whether you see an iPhone 3GS or a Samsung Galaxy n, then you're much closer to the former category.

The Apple-Samsung jury was made up of people specifically unlike you and me, because knowledgeable people have already made up their mind.* That's why experts speak as witnesses rather than sitting on the jury. The jury was shown iPhones, Galaxies, Lumias, and HTCs, and, like any reasonable person without prejudice, they concluded two of the things were too much like each other, with a very long list of specific charges to affirm or reject.

There are (or were) smartphones out there that are (were) *really* different from the iPhone. Lumia is one. Any Android with a keyboard is plenty distinctive. The Pre was incredibly original and had so much potential, until Motorola and Verizon tag-teamed it and Apotheker put a bullet in it. Even HTCs, Motorolas, and LGs all have distinctive and varied bezel styles. Compared to any of these, Samsung's stuff is a very close, meticulous copy. Combined with the fact that Apple managed to dredge up a document showing that Samsung's engineering goals were based specifically on iPhone functionality, the conclusion was inevitable. Samsung's stuff is not "clearly different" unless your clarity has had some very specific training.

* "The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him." Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Is Within You

Reply Parent Score: 2