Details Of Apple's Lawsuit Against Samsung Revealed; And It's Even More Ridiculous

from the steve-jobs-would-sue-his-sister dept

When we wrote about Apple’s new lawsuit against Samsung over its new phones and tablets looking too much like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the full legal complaint from Apple wasn’t yet public. However, it’s now coming out, and the detailed list of patents and trademarks at issue make this seem ridiculous. While the initial report we saw yesterday showed only design patents, the lawsuit actually covers utility patents, design patents, trademarks and trade dress claims. Here they are in all their glory, as compiled and described by Florian Mueller:

As the article suggests, Steve Jobs would sue his own family if they made a reasonable Android device. This is a kitchen sink lawsuit, where Apple is throwing everything at Samsung, and once again, the sheer pettiness of the whole thing after looking over the really quite minor patents and trademarks being asserted here seems to scream only one thing: Samsung has apparently designed an awesome phone and tablet device that has Steve Jobs scared of competition.

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Companies: apple, samsung

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Comments on “Details Of Apple's Lawsuit Against Samsung Revealed; And It's Even More Ridiculous”

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DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Trademarks on individual icons?

Two issues for icons: Trade Mark and Copyright.
(Let’s not get into whether icons should be patentable.)

For trade mark, being unique and distinctive makes a mark more protectable.

For copyright, there must be some minimum amount of creativity in order to be protected.

If an icon is of a third party design, say Amazon or NetFlix, then Apple may not have any Trade Mark or Copyright rights in it. Especially if Apple didn’t create the app that presents the icon.

Even if Apple created the app for a third party, say Amazon or Netflix, and another party creates similar apps for Android apps for Amazon or Netflix, then Apple wouldn’t ahve trademark rights in the trademarks of the respective companies’, but Apple might have copyright rights in the “creativity” expressed in the icon designs. I suspect very little creativity is expressed, such as background color the icon is displayed against. Even that may not be protectable under copyright or trademark.

If a third party designs (work for hire) Android apps for example for Amazon and Netflix, and even if they use the identical icon used on the iPhone, the entire icon may be the property of Amazon / Netflix (example) and Apple may have no rights in the icon design whatsoever.

IANAL and this is not legal advice.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

U.S. Patent No. 7,762,818 on “girls in various states of undress shouting “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

U.S. Patent No. 7,644,114 on a “method and apparatus for displaying said girls in various states of undress shouting “WOOOOOOOOOO!”

U.S. Patent No. 6,803,072 on “girls in various states of undress raising alcoholic beverages and shouting “WOOOOOOO!”

U.S. Patent No. 8,969,311 on “guys in various states of Abercrombie & Fitch raising alcoholic beverages and shouting “WOOOOOOOOOO!” at said girls in various states of undress shouting “WOOOOOOOO!”

U.S. Patent No. 6,174,915 on “exposed female breasts”

U.S. Patent No. 6,174,916 on a “method and apparatus utilizing a separate girl in a varied state of undress to expose breasts of another girl in a varied state of undress via a lifting apparatus [hands/arms]”

U.S. Patent No. 5,003,123 on a “bulletproof release/resignation of publicity rights form”

U.S. Patent No. 5,603,4543 on a “Rohypnol”

Andrew (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ooh! I saw one of those a little while ago.

U.S. Patent No. 6,803,072 on “girls in various states of undress raising alcoholic beverages and shouting “WOOOOOOO!”


Apparatus and methods are disclosed for the disrobing and subsequent public display and video recording of inebriated girls. Significant quantities of cocktails, vodka or other alcoholic beverages are provided to ensure effective intoxication of party participants. An atmosphere conducive disrobing is provided through party participants shouting, ?WOOOOOOOOO!? (U.S. Patent No. 7,762,818), a self-perpetuating state also believed to be a novel form of perpetual motion (U.S. Pat. Pend.). Girls remove some or all of their clothing, exposing areas of their bodies including (but not limited to) breasts, back, some or all of the buttocks, breasts, thighs. And breasts. Still images and moving video footage of participants is recorded and subsequently widely distributed for profit.

Anyone have the full patent?

On a more serious note, here’s another writeup of this patent dispute, with pretty pictures and everything.

Steve says:

Re: Re:

It that “developed” part that’s really at issue. And it really isn’t Apple we’re all frustrated with, it’s the state of IP law in this country. We take it out on Apple because they love to abuse it.

Do you really think Apple “developed” anything when they decided to use a picture of a phone’s handset to represent a phone? Do you think that anybody picking up a Samsung phone from the Android section of Best Buy will see that icon and think to themselves, “Well this phone says Samsung and it’s not by the iPhones on that pedestal over there, but the phone icon looks similar so it must be an iPhone.”

Trademarks were originally designed to protect consumers, not to prevent competition.

Prashanth (profile) says:

I will say that Samsung could possibly have designed different-looking icons to avoid the trademark lawsuits, though I’m not sure how broadly the trademarks cover the icons (whether it covers the particular icon designs or just having icons representing these functions, period). Also, it isn’t clear exactly how broad/specific the patents are on “electronic device”. Otherwise, wow. Just, wow.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The elements of icon designs may not even be too generic to protect.

You should definitely draw your own original artwork and create your own from scratch icon files. But the idea of using an old fashioned telephone handset from the 20th century as an icon to place a call should not be protectable. It is functional. It’s also arguably not even original or novel (eg, lacks creativity for copyright, is not distinct enough for trademark).

Jim (profile) says:

A good write up.

I know, I know. Everyone loves to beat on Apple but this is a good write up. Although we all might agree things in the patent/design area need to be fixed you can’t hate a company for doing what the system has basically forced them to do. They are a company not a person for farks sake already. It is really getting tiresome to see everyone cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Now to the link.

Frost (profile) says:

Good thing we're rich

Good thing mankind is incredibly efficient and rich in reality today, otherwise shenanigans like these (extrapolated out across all of society… this is not exactly the only resource wastage insanity going on) would have more than merely 1 billion of us starving and kids would be dying needlessly even quicker than merely one every five seconds. Aren’t we lucky?

John Doe says:

Apple is done innovating and has begun litigating...

I have a friend who drank the Apple juice and has all things Apple. He says that Apple’s days of innovation are over and they aren’t really doing anything new now. Google is the innovator now and Apple realizes that they are going to have to relax their vice like grip on the iPhone & iPad to compete. And we all know that Apple is not going to give up control without a fight.

Anonymous Coward says:

This has somewhat of a ring to it as was the case when Apple took on Microsoft after its introduction of Win95, but with numerous (and substantial) differences. Then hardware was not an issue, nor were industrial designs, nor were trademarks.

The Apple v. Microsoft case had as its gravamen claimed similarities between the Apple OS GUI and the Win95 GUI, and that the similarities were such that Apple proceeded on the basis of copyright infringement.

In contrast, here we seem to be talking about hardware manufacturers, and not a harware manufacturer versus a software vendor. In other words, this case revolves around direct competitiors involved in the production and vending of hardware. In my view this is an important distinction.

Love them or hate them, Apple is clearly an innovator in the field of industrial design. It does not seem at all unreasonable for Apple to seek leveling the playing field by having others acquire their own design expertise, and then present products to consumers that distinguish themselves over those of Apple.

As for the comment suggesting that Apple is asserting a host of relatively minor rights, I can only wonder on what basis this assertion is made (besides, of course, “IP is silly” generalizations).

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Who copied whom?

Here is an important followup link:

Two important points here:

1. Samsung’s phone came out just after the iPhone.
2. It was LG who should complain about having a phone that the iPhone copied.

Or in the alternative…

It is Apple who should complain that LG copied the iPhone and then to make matters worse copied it before the iPhone was released. Apple’s lawyers should be pounding on the table! Design innovations must be protected! Etc., etc.

Tom says:

The HTC Wallaby aka XDA was released in 2002 the iPhone come out in 2007. This is the first sign Apple is now past peak, they are litigating vs. innovating. Look at the SCO v. Linux lawsuit to get an idea of how this waste of time and money will work out. I was leaning towards Apple more over the past year, but I am now afraid to put my eggs in one (closed eco system) basket that fears competition.Nail your competition with a killer product not lawsuits.

shivaji says:

mentally disturbe about samsung core mobile

This is Shivaji Lohar, I have bought new mobile phone (Mobile model – Galaxy Samsung Core, bill number: (UAP):2045526 TIN/CST no:-28026280297 IMEI Number: 359710050247197) Hyderabad(Gachibowli) showroom ( 2nd Avenue ) on 12/JAN/2014 around 1 PM.
The very next day from the date of purchase I noticed that there is a NETWORK ISSUE with mobile. I tried using different SIM cards, but every time I was disappointed as none of the SIM was working in the Phone. The same SIM is working properly in other Cell Phones.
The Error message is like:- ?MOBILE NETWORK NOT REGISTERED?. Due to which I cannot use any of the SIM services provided such as Making & Receiving Calls, SMS Facilities etc.
If this is the case then what is the Purpose of Purchasing the New Phone?? By spending amount Rs 13350/- if the Phone is not serving the purpose for what it is meant for, then for what purpose it should serve??
Contact number–9581775514 8125660054

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