In Round Two, Apple Succeeds In Getting Samsung Tablet Banned In The US

from the who-wants-one-now dept

Apple has continued its legal effort to make it clear to the world that the best tablet you can buy… is a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Honestly, I’m still at a loss to understand Apple’s strategy in suing Samsung because its Galaxy Tab looks too much like Apple’s iPad, and (Apple claims) infringes on its design patent. Apple had succeeded in getting sales of the device blocked in Europe and Australia, but had a bit more trouble in the US. The district court had rejected the injunction saying that letting sales continue wouldn’t be harmful to Apple. However, CAFC, the appeals court that loves patents and never sees anything wrong with them, sent it back telling the district court to try again — so this time around an injunction has been issued.

As I’ve said before, all this is really doing is signalling, repeatedly, to the market which tablet Apple thinks is the closest in terms of a competitor to the iPad. The whole thing is really silly of course. Apple could (and should) focus on just competing with the Galaxy Tab in the market. Make a better product and sell it. Forcing a competitor out of the market because it looks similar really highlights how insecure Apple is concerning its own products, and how easy it thinks others can compete with it.

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Companies: apple, samsung

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Comments on “In Round Two, Apple Succeeds In Getting Samsung Tablet Banned In The US”

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Mesonoxian Eve (profile) says:

The Ohio Art Company, makers of Etch-A-Sketch, should sue Apple for patent design infringement. This rectangular toy featuring a screen was around long before Wozniak found a garage.

Such idiocy.

In a side-note: Venture Beat’s running an article how this decade will produce the best innovators.

Maybe, but it’s too bad the next decade will have all those innovations mired in legal idiocy.

AJBarnes says:

Re: Re:

Too many frickin’ lawyers sniffing around like hungry dogs for a morsel, if you ask me. We are no longer a country that innovates. Unions have helped send our manufacturing overseas. So, our unemployed either go to law school to get rich quick, or sit on the couch watching Jerry with their hands out. Go figure.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Unions have helped send our manufacturing overseas.

Nah – I think it is capitalists who have lost their sense of social responsibility that have done that.

In the 19th century successful businessmen learnt that wealth bought of the backs of the poor didn’t help them in the long run. Their 20th/21st century successors have forgotten that lesson and have gone in search of a new set of poor people to exploit.

Given the level of living costs in western countries it is impossible for wages to fall to a level that would allow manufacturing in the US or Europe to compete with 3rd world wages. Those high living costs are the result of the rich people who live in the west. Blaming the Unions just betrays a politcal bias and a lack of thought.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not to mention the generous tax credits enjoyed by manufacturers for sending jobs abroad. And then again there’s also the allure of no safety standards, no overtime, no health insurance, no paid vacations, no paid holidays, etc.

Are there any consumer electronic devices made in the US?

Jeremy says:

How can any sane person believe that the worldwide economy is not being held back (at least in part) by the patent system? If there’s a failure in capitalism to provide jobs at this point, it likely has little to do with the banks and everything to do with the fact that ideas are being killed at their roots by over-capitalized companies hell-bent on domination.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Maybe it is a failure of both capitalism and government.

Failure of government that it is corrupt and can be bought by lobbyists.

Failure of capitalism that if you can’t compete in the market, you corrupt the government to hinder your competitors in the market.

Gee, wait a second . . . we’re talking about patents right? For a second there it sounded like we were talking about the RIAA and iTunes / Amazon / etc services, or the MPAA and Netflix / Hulu+ / Amazon Prime, etc services.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In the past, ?non-practicing entities? (NPEs), popularly known as ?patent trolls,? have helped small inventors profit from their inventions. Is this true today or, given the unprecedented levels of NPE litigation, do NPEs reduce innovation incentives? Using a survey of defendants and a database of litigation, this paper estimates the direct costs to defendants arising from NPE patent assertions. We estimate that firms accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011. Moreover, although large firms accrued over half of direct costs, most of the defendants were small or medium-sized firms, indicating that NPEs are not just a problem for large firms.”

It appears that some sane people have actually come up with some numbers showing how much the economy is being held back.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The worlds economy most definately isn’t being held back by paten systems, only the American economy and maybe some parts of Europe. The rest of the world which understands how stupid certain patents are and also makes some moot by allowing things like generic medicine etc is going quite fine thank you very much.

On that note If anyone in the USA would like a Samsung tablet I am more than willing to purchase one on your behalf and ship it too you at cost (that cost does include the exchange rate + delivery)

Apple might of gotten a ban on the Samsung tablet in Australia, though I say gotten as in past tense, since that ban is no longer an issue. Though Apple it seems have been on the receiving end of lots of government fines $2.5mill or so) due to breaching consumer laws in last few months. Bad Apple!

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Thank Goodness!

I will never buy or support any of Apple’s Products.Way to go Apple as you are acting like that big schoolroom bully who used to pick on you back in Junior High !

Furthermore the Patent System is broken and so obviously so……….It is destroying USA Innovation & it is affecting Employment in the USA as well.

Apple has become Big Brother !!!

MrWilson says:

“Oh noes! They stole our round corners! But they took millions in research to design!”

Not that this really matters since existing stock of the device can still sell and it’s the older model anyway. They did Samsung a favor by getting customers to buy the newer Samsung Tab instead.

It’s not like a customer is going to suddenly buy an iPad just because the Tab they were looking at went away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Apple products are well recognized for their industrial designs. This does not mean that their products are superior, but only that such designs serve as a product discriminator from others in the tablet market, much like what is done via trademarks. To suggest that Apple is stifling innovation is simply untrue.

Jeremy says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Right, so when television companies first came out, I’m sure RCA sued everyone because their cathode ray tube was of a trademarked shape. Because it was iconic to their business it was therefore legally actionable. Moreover, their lawsuits probably increased competition and innovation in televisions, right?

You’re posting nonsense.

Optimist says:

One day, a footnote in Planet Ridiculous Major's Ancient History Texts will read:

“Earth’s technological age started to fade rapidly the day they invented patent law. That’s why the planet is now completely devoid of life.

On the up side, Apple was granted a patent on planets completely devoid of life. Thanks to that, nowadays all the dead Apple stockgolders are stinking rich dead people.”

Anonymous Coward says:

‘Apple could (and should) focus on just competing with the Galaxy Tab in the market.’ they wont do that because it may mean doing some extra work to remain competitive, give more value for money and keep customers coming back for the latest thing. much easier to block any sort of competition. didn’t like it when their product was blocked in china, though, did they? usual double standards from Apple.
also, they have taken a leaf out of the entertainment industries handbook. they dont compete with file sharing. instead of doing so or maybe even partnering sites, they prefer to block content and shut sites. either way, they dont have to do anything to improve their product or service. the courts and the governments do that bit. only ones that suffer and lose out are the very ones that should be encouraged to contribute via payment. instead, they are encouraged to buy nothing for fear of infringement accusations, fines and jail! good business model!!!

Ninja (profile) says:

I sincerely fail to see how a rectangular shaped screen with round corners can be patented at all. They should sue Asus too, their Transformer tablet is just like Galaxy Tab at first glance. And the Toshiba tablet. And the HP tablet. And the iPad. So they should sue every1.

In fact, they should sue monitor makers such as LG, Sony. Because monitors look like and iPad. Tablet PCs… erm ok.

This gives us a clear view of how bad was the loss of Steve Jobs to the brand. I don’t expect Apple to fade but they will lose their ‘vanguard’ position.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes he was an arsehole. Brilliant no doubt. But I didn’t like him anyways. Litigating is counterproductive. As I pointed after they successfully litigate Samsung out of existence (yea, right…) they’ll have to deal with HTC, Asus, LG, Motorola……….

But my point actually was that they should be focusing on innovation. Their next iThing will be the same as the last, just with better hardware. Same their competitors are doing and at that they’ll eventually outsmart Apple as the droid gadgets get more user friendly and powerful and they ‘copy’ the good parts of the iThings. Truth to be said, Apple does it right even in the packages that contain the iThings, they are gorgeous. I had a LG Arena and it was packed nicely too. Seems to be vanity only but these small details contribute to the brand. I wonder when Apple will become just another manufacturer. Or has it happened already?

383bigblock (profile) says:

One bad Apple spoils the whole bunch

Wow….The only reason I have an iPad is because it was a gift. Now I need to quickly get it on ebay and sell it before Apple successfully gets the “first sale” doctrine changed as well forcing everyone to eat their proverbial “Apple” products. It’s obvious Samsung got it right……and Apple knows it. At some point they need to learn how to make a better product and add more value than just changing the color of the case.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t think this suit is about Apple acknowledging that the Tab is a close competitor or being afraid to compete. Like all patent lawsuits, it’s purely about exploiting the system.
Apple filed its design patents like a good little company ought to. Now that there’s another tablet that resembles theirs closely enough, all they have to do is cry foul and have the offender removed. And they would have done it to anyone, not just Samsung; they’re removing similar-enough products because they can, not because they feel threatened.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Those who live in glass houses . . .

I can see it happening very soon actually. Samsung can at any time say..

“hmmmm Apple aren’t selling that many ipads or iphones any more (since Samsung and HTC have the worlds market now…other than North America) so why are we letting our Electronic division help our Competitor.. Oh stuff it lets NOT sell them the screens anymore they don’t pay enough for them anyway and we need more for all the products we ARE selling”

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Every time I see Apple doing this, I want to buy a Galaxy Tab. Not because I need or want a tablet; not because I know anything about it; not because I even know if it’s worth the money. Or worth ANY money. Just to send Apple a message to F**K THE H*LL OFF.

Actually, I think my daughter would like one. And my wife. Well, heck, maybe my other daughter too.

*sigh* Unfortunately it won’t fit my budget.


Anonymous Coward says:

This actually makes me laugh a bit reading all the comments in these threads. Every single company does this. They take advantage of a broken system. The hypocrisy comes with how blatant everyone is about it. “I will not buy another apple product because of this”. down right laughable. You guys talk about apple fanboys, I would look in a mirror. If the roles were reversed, the conversation would go. “This is why i’ll never buy an Apple Product, They copy all of android designs!” lmao.

Its time you all removed your personal vendetta from the facts, stood back and took a look at the bigger picture. There are large negatives, and positives from each platform. Just because you have an opinion on a device doesn’t make it a fact. On top of that devices change over time. I had someone the other day telling me how shitty my iPad was because it doesn’t run Flash, when if you stood back took a big picture, you’d realize that flash doesn’t mean shit any more. Hell when I built my Windows 7 PC, I forgot to install flash and didn’t even notice for about three weeks. When you step back and become platform neutral, the shit that some of you write is quite comical.

On the topic at hand. Its the system that needs fixing, so that NO company can stifle competition. Competition is good for the consumer, and when a system of the government gets in the way of that competition its bad for everyone. But i’m not going to be a flat out idiot and think that no other company does this.

Oh and on a side note – this is from someone who uses Windows 7, Mac OSX10.7, an IPad, an iPhone, and an HTC Evo on a daily basis. They all have their benefits, and their downsides, step back from the issue and think about your response before you come off sounding like an idiot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

My problem with Apple isnt their sue-happy lawyers, or their fear of competing by creating superior tech, my problem with Apple is they are a walled garden that is very consumer unfriendly, imo.

Thats why I prefer Android, thats why I prefer PC gaming to console gaming, and thats why I prefered windows to OSX, but now that MS is chasing after Apple and putting up their own walls around windows, its why I now prefer Linux.

I have no desire to be wilting flower in Apples or Microsofts garden.

kenichi tanaka says:

Apple didn’t get the Samsung Galaxy Tablet banned, only in halting U.S. sales. Not only that, but the Techdirt write-up fails to mention that Apple also had to post a $2.6 million dollar bond in case they lose.

This is just another example of the copyright and trademark industry using their patents, copyrights and trademarks to stifle innovation, competition and business.

When there are competing products on the market, everyone wins. Apple is just abusing their patents to halt Samsung sales because they don’t want competition for their own products.

patent litigation (user link) says:

clear case

No matter what one’s opinion of market competition and/or patent enforcement, there is one rather telling fact in this case: reportedly, it came out in court that not even Samsung’s own legal counsel could tell the difference, visually, between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab. This seems to me to present a pretty clear case for patent litigation.

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