Apple's Argument: Samsung Could Have Made Its Phone Large, Thick, Bumpy, Sharp-Edged & Hexagonal

from the sounds-great dept

A few months ago, we noted that Samsung’s new phones had rather odd designs… and the theory making the rounds was that, considering the ongoing worldwide fight it was in with Apple, it was trying to go out of its way to make the phones as un-Apple-like as possible. Of course, that resulted in ugly, weirdly shaped phones.

As you may (hopefully?) know, some of the patents in the fight are “design patents” rather than utility patents. When people talk about patents, they usually are referring to utility patents. Design patents are, in many ways, more similar to trademarks than to utility patents. But it creates odd situations where Apple gets to claim “ownership” of the concept of a rectangular device with rounded corners. It’s also important to remember that design patents can’t be for functional features, but only for design/appearance. That means that Apple has to insist that the basic design of the iPhone and iPad aren’t functional at all.

As Matt Schruers highlights, that means that Apple is left in the awkward position of insisting that these basic concepts that are sort of obvious design choices to make such devices functional both aren’t functional at all and that there are perfectly reasonable alternatives. For example, Apple’s lawyers have suggested some “alternatives” in how Samsung could have designed its devices:

“front surfaces that are not rectangular, not flat, and without rounded corners; display screens that are more square than rectangular or not rectangular at all, display screens that are not centered on the front surface of the phone…”

and

“overall shapes that are not rectangular with four flat sides or that do not have four rounded corners; front surfaces that are not completely flat or clear… and profiles that are not thin”.

So what would that mean? Schruers explains:

Of course. Surely consumers would happily hold a large, thick, bumpy, sharp-edged hexagonal thing up to their head. They’ll no doubt appreciate the different “ornamental” approach while reading through their opaque screen. No functional drawbacks there.

Does that even sound like an object you would willingly put in your pants? Having a device that is not an unwieldy weapon-like object is a functional feature, not an ornamental design choice. One is not going out on a limb in concluding that if the object design increases your likelihood of getting strip-searched at the airport, those are functional drawbacks, and foreclosing functional features is not the purpose of design protection.

Oh yeah, Schruers also includes this bit of prior art to emphasize his point:

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Companies: apple, samsung

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Comments on “Apple's Argument: Samsung Could Have Made Its Phone Large, Thick, Bumpy, Sharp-Edged & Hexagonal”

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105 Comments
Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Obviously...

Not too mention the millions they owe to the estate of Stanley Kubrick. Lest we forget the “tablet” like device shown in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And as I’ve pointed out before, the iPad was not even the first tablet (bearing the now “traditional” tablet design) the year it came out. If memory serves me correctly, there were at least 2 others available on the market before the iPad was released.

?front surfaces that are not rectangular, not flat, and without rounded corners; display screens that are more square than rectangular or not rectangular at all, display screens that are not centered on the front surface of the phone…?

This basically describes every phone currently on the market. So what Apple wants is for everyone to develop an insanely odd and unwieldy phone. “How dare your screen be centered on the front surface of the phone!” Wtf. Seriously. And the sad part is there are people saying Apple is well within their rights to litigate such ridiculousness. Well, legally, they might be. But logically, such stupidity should be laughed out of court and someone should shoot the person at the patent office who gave Apple the patent on the “rectangular shape”.with the

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Obviously...

How about this as evidence of prior art? Front surfaces flat with rounded corners? Check. Rectangular display screen centered on the front flat surface? Double check. Overall shape rectangular with four flat sides and four rounded corners? Quadruple check. and lets see…the front surface is flat and the profile is thin. Not much left to that patent except the clear front surface. but I really don’t think you can patent the physical properties of glass.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Obviously...

Actually, Wally, that is not at all what is required for Prior Art to work. AT ALL.

A quick Google search for “prior art” WILL NOT yield anything saying “it has to look EXACTLY the same and function EXACTLY the same way”. In fact, most of the links I’ve read from said search say that it merely be something that is relatively similar. So the whole 2001 tablet would in point of fact be considered prior art in regards to the iPad. The fact that it has 8 buttons is irrelevant.

What is interesting is how you’ll go out of your way to point out such a difference (the number of buttons) but not go out of your way to find out what does or does not constitute prior art.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Obviously...

Smasung is still wrong with their Prior Art argument because it has to do with design concepts leaked to the public. Not only has Apple shown their prior art, Sansung hasn’t been able to properly show the evolution of development for their current products dating back to 2001 as Apple had.

“Prior art (also known as state of the art, which also has other meanings, or background art[1]), in most systems of patent law,[2] constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent’s claims of originality. If an invention has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.”

As for the trade secret clause in where Apple kept it secret:

“Information kept secret, for instance, as a trade secret, is not usually prior art, provided that employees and others with access to the information are under a non-disclosure obligation. With such an obligation, the information is typically not be regarded as prior art. Therefore, a patent may be granted on an invention, although someone else already knew of the invention. A person who used an invention in secret may in some jurisdictions be able to claim “prior user rights” and thereby gain the right to continue using the invention. As a special exception, earlier-filed and unpublished patent applications do qualify as prior art as of their filing date in certain circumstances.”

Now given that Apple assigned Samsun to MANUFACTURE THE PROTOTYPE iPhone, it would be reasonable to say that Samsung is subject to the trade secret clause. Samsung violated trade secret, and due to their demands of evidence from Apple, they’ve set themselves up for prior art violations as well.

Needless to say, the fact that Apple has shown trade secret datimg back to 2001 on the iPad and iPhone shows trade secret. Samsung’s stupid lawyers decided to demand that Apple show it’s concept designs as proof. The fact that the designs in question date back to 2001, and Samsung’s demands of seeing Apple’s trade secrets, Samsung has inadvertently turned Apple’s devices into prior art patents.

I’m merely pointing out that Samsung has completely shot themselves in the foot because of it.

Maybe we should all read up on Prior Art in the patent system ^_^ here’s a link ^_^

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art#_

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Obviously...

“How about this as evidence of prior art?”

Because those tablets therein were special effects. They were 16mm rear projections on beveled edges on the table and existed in several forms of animation special effects. They were not designed as a product of any kind for the public, just a glimpse into a futurist’s vision of space travel.

Prior art pertains to further development of a device. Kind of like a concept car.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re: Obviously...

I wonder if this will lead to future prospective jurors being asked if they are fans of science fiction, just movie watchers in general, or perhaps just Amish that have been hiding under a rock all their lives.

The last time I watched 2001 I had a good chuckle at the tablet they had on the Discovery.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Obviously...

Unfortunately that can’t happen. It was a strict rule in all the contracts Gene Roddenberry signed, that he didn’t want his inspirational view of the future to prevent that future from actually occurring.

So quite a bit of the techno-babble and the names of equipment (tricorder, hypospray, etc), as well as the likenesses thereof are public domain, and always have been.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Obviously...

That is good because the Tricorder is about to become reality.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/453951341/sensordrone-the-6th-sense-of-your-smartphoneand-be

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/108684420/node-a-modular-handheld-powerhouse-of-sensors

Did people know they can attach IR sensors in a smartphone and use it as a control remote?

Just download the control-remote-codes and send it with the IR or send it to an IR equipment that is wireless.

http://gigaom.com/mobile/android-universal-remote-griffin-beacon-dijit/

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Obviously...

“Did people know they can attach IR sensors in a smartphone and use it as a control remote?”

Oh this brings me back ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a Palm Tungsten e series that had an infrared sensor on it. There was a program that would read the signal coming from the remote control and you had to program the buttons a certain way, but it worked.

John Doe says:

Apple is so funny it is pathetic

It is amazing the lengths Apple, or any company in their position, will go to in order to fight competition. They were once the market leader but now have run out of ideas and innovation. Their attempts to stop everyone else why they try to come up with the next big thing is just sad.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Apple is so funny it is pathetic

Flip phones were designed around the Star Trek TOS, I guess Motorola stole the design and idea from Gene Rodenberry. Now look carefully at the tablet Steve Jobs is holding and then over at the picture of Captain Picard. See anything?

Also, regarding the picture to Bill Gates holding the TABLET PC, that’s a PC. Most PC’s don’t run on the ARM architecture that the modern TABLET uses. If it isn’t PowerPC or any variant of x86….it’s not a tablet.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

“If it isn’t PowerPC or any variant of x86….it’s not a tablet.”

If you look carefully at that TABLET Bill Gate is holding (let’s not get into semantics, the average person would call it a tablet, not tablet pc) you’ll notice it is running Windows XP. Now, for those who may be unaware, Windows runs on two architectures. x86 or x64. However, at the time of that photo, there was only one version that had a massive user base, and thus makes it rather obvious which architecture it was running, and that was x86.

Thus, by your own quote above, in that Bill Gates pictures that very much IS a tablet.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

I should add, what you probably meant to say Wally is that if it runs on x86 architecture then that makes it a tablet pc.

However, most tablets now have gone with ARM architecture in order to have longer battery life and have gone with mobile operating systems (like iOS, Android, etc). And that includes the new one soon to be released by Microsoft, which WILL run Windows 8 (which no longer has an x86 architecture requirement), and which will feature full desktop/laptop software (as well as the rather obvious desktop/laptop operating system). So to some, the Microsoft Surface will be a tablet pc and to others (as well as Microsoft) it will be a tablet.

As I said though, let’s not go into semantics. To the average person, a tablet is any slate like device. Period. A tablet pc would be considered to be something that is a laptop but has the ability for it’s screen to swivel around and thus make itself into the more common slate like/tablet form. Something along the lines of HP’s TouchSmart series.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

Windows 8 for ARM is completely incompatible with Windows x86/86-64. If it is a touchable swiveled screen attached to a normal laptop architecture and form factor, it is a TABLET PC. True tablets lack an attached keyboard using handwriting or touch screens to work.

That isn’t a symantec of society, it’s according to compliances of ISO Standards.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

Windows 8 for ARM is completely incompatible with Windows x86/86-64. If it is a touchable swiveled screen attached to a normal laptop architecture and form factor, it is a TABLET PC. True tablets lack an attached keyboard using handwriting or touch screens to work.

Good to know my ASUS Transformer is a tablet pc then, as it has an attached keyboard (which can easily be detached,) even though it runs on the ARM processor (TEGRON 2.)

It will be more helpful at explaining the differences between tablet pc and a tablet at parties. Of course, all of my tech minded friends will laugh at me, but I can tell them the knowledgeable Wally from the internet said it was so so it must be true.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

I have no idea why you bothered to post any of that, because that seems to be a repeat of what I said.

The semantic part, which you seemed to miss, was that tablets are slate like devices to the average consumer. By which I mean, iPad = tablet, Microsoft Surface = tablet, Galaxy Tab = tablet. All in the mind of the consumer.

Laptop with a screen that can turn and lie over the keyboard part = tablet pc

Unless you were confused and misunderstood my bit about the Microsoft Surface and the fact that it will run Windows 8. What you may have missed is that I said it’s a tablet, but some people will consider it a tablet pc. Why? Because it’s running what for the most part to the average consumer is a desktop OS. And as such, it will be able to use (tweaked) versions of desktop programs, notably Microsoft Office. Thus, it won’t be JUST a tablet. It’ll be a tablet pc in the mind of some because of what it has the potential to do.

The semantics bit was slate like device = tablet. Honestly, I can’t be any clearer in my explanations.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

“I have no idea why you bothered to post any of that, because that seems to be a repeat of what I said.

The semantic part, which you seemed to miss, was that tablets are slate like devices to the average consumer. By which I mean, iPad = tablet, Microsoft Surface = tablet, Galaxy Tab = tablet. All in the mind of the consumer.”

You mean, but you didn’t state clearly.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

The issue is that people may end up having to buy two of the same App to get any work done on their tablets running Windows 8 ARM. I need to point out that the average consumer is alreading seeing how bad a train wreck that Windows 8 really is. For me, it’s almost reminiscent of Microsoft Bob. They tried doing that again on an icon base like iOS or OSX. In fact, Windows 8 is reported to be more closed to developers than OSX.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Apple is so funny it is pathetic

“The semantic part, which you seemed to miss, was that tablets are slate like devices to the average consumer. By which I mean, iPad = tablet, Microsoft Surface = tablet, Galaxy Tab = tablet. All in the mind of the consumer.”

That’s not semantics. That’s standards.

I noticed you write very long, illegible statements when you’re mad or trying to trap someone in their own argument. Just remember the KISS principle when you write please.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Silly fanboy nonsense.

The microprocessor makes ZERO difference here. The only reason it is somewhat relevant in Microsoft’s example is that they are historically VERY BAD at supporting anything but the x86. That doesn’t mean that an x86 tablet isn’t a drop in replacement for an ARM tablet.

Your average end user would neither notice nor care.

It’s your proverbial “mahogany mouse trap” situation.

I’m the last guy to say anything nice about Microsoft but they clearly beat Apple to the punch here. They were just completely unable to capitalize on it. They are perhaps the PARC of tablets.

If I were running a different desktop OS, the processor would be of little concern.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Silly fanboy nonsense.

I fail to see how knowing the difference between ARM and x86 devices is being a fanboy. You’re right, the processor of a desktop is of little concern. The thing is, each architectural family of processors are instructed to handle data differently. Therefore you have to program software to utilize the carious platforms you intend to utilize. Yould have to write separate software for MS Office on PowerPC, ARM, and x86 because each of those architectures/platforms handle data in different ways.

Simon says:

Why Apple have gone all-in on the legal options

Business Insider published an interesting take on where Apple’s profits come from, and report nearly two thirds are down to the iPhone. http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-profit-2012-8

It’s a tough act to follow, and for Apple, nothing short of stunning sales for a new product line would be considered a failure.

As smartphones reach commodity status it’s increasingly hard to deliver new features that push new models to existing owners. This is exacerbated by the carriers trying to lengthen the upgrade cycle.

Like so many large and successful companies before them, we now see Apple taking any measure they can to protect their cash cow, rather than innovating on to the next thing.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Tons of prior art

http://www.dailytech.com/Judge+Blasts+Samsung+for+Leaking+Inadmissible+Evidence+to+Media/article25301.htm

Samsung have pretty compelling evidence all of their own in the form of design documents that they had an Iphone looking designs before the Iphone… It was just submitted too late in the discovery process and the Judge won’t let them use it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Apple are the biggest bunch of hypocrites going! they have and always will ‘steal’ from others designs, using their financial clout to win against an inferior sized company. when it goes the other way though, they are after companies like flies after shit to protect what they think is theirs. why not just shut the fuck up and let the consumer decide what they want to buy?

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Even Samsung admits it

Actually, Samsung admits nothing. That is merely a picture and not actual proof or admission that they imitated something. I can present something saying that Apple copied/imitated someone else, doesn’t make it so.

I believe recently that Samsung has said if they copied anyone it was Sony, as they based their phone offerings on a Walkman design of one sort or another. (Internet is going a bit slow at the moment, so I can’t even search to find the link without having to wait forever. I’ll post a few later if someone doesn’t do so before then.)

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Even Samsung admits it

Look at the Sony Walkman MP3 player….now look at the original iPod. Not arguing just agreeing. There are huge and obvious design differences between the two in the tactile and interface sense not one that’s readily visible.

Now I’m not here to defend either company. Samsung’s lawyers suck. Apple is just sitting there shaking their heads in amazement. Almost every claim Samsung has made has been a defensive misdirection. They pointing out a “they stole Sony’s mp3 player design” says a lot about how Samsung is trying to direct attention to themselves.

So far, Apple has followed it’s court orders. Apple showed their development process and revealed their “marketing strategy” which consists of press conferences, and has complied with court orders.

Samsung begged Judge Koh over and over again on the “Steve Jobs Thermonuclear war against Android bit” to have it admissible.

Anyone who has had someone in their lives with Pancreatic cancer would know how cranky and out of themselves the patient gets.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:

Re: Re: Re: Even Samsung admits it

Actually, Apple hasn’t complied with court orders. There was an article on quite a few sites about Apple sending out cease and desist letters to various big name retailers (like Best Buy, among others) telling them to stop selling Samsung Android products because they were blah blah blah. And this was during the whole Samsung Galaxy Nexus thing, were the ban was placed and then lifted. So they sent it after the ban was lifted. Doesn’t seem to be in compliance to me. Although I’m not a lawyer, but doing so after a ban has been removed seems like a tsk tsk type move.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Even Samsung admits it

Youre just butt-hurt because Apple is getting its way in the court. You’re arguements barely hold water and you try to take credit for things I’ve said. You hate Apple and Microsoft so much that you know hardly anything about them except for the evil’s they have commited. You make your arguments are baseless and statements are so drawn out on purpose to make you actually think it hides your stupidity and how uninformed you are

Come back to me when you have your head out of the sand and above your ass..

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Re: Even Samsung admits it

Maybe you should help Apple out with being easily confused. They submitted a slide with an 2006 Samsung design on it as proof of how Samsung started to copy the Iphone after it came up in 2007.

Samsung have been blocked form submitting evidence that shows they had these Iphone looking desigins before the Iphone because the Judge felt they submitted it to late in discovery.

What’s absurd about this is that if Samsung lose they are going to appeal with this evidence and will be able to make a hugely compelling case. Effectively making this trail a waste of time.

This is why they leaked the stuff to the media, to make the Judge look silly. Which is likely more why she slammed them for it than them actually doing anything wrong (which they didn’t) but leaking it.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Even Samsung admits it

It’a no wonder Samsung is doing terribly in this case. They get an order for Apple to show its design conceptsdating back to 2001 for the development of the iPhone and iPad showing prior art in Apple’s favor. They repeatedly beg to have “evidence” showing that Apple stole design concepts from various popular Sci-fi movies. They insult the judge and then turn around expecting her to take their baseless evidence of which ALL judges must review the evidence before it is submitted as such. Yeah, Samsung is shooting themselves in the foot each time they talk. I’m wondering how any of Samsung’s legal team ever passed the bar exam.

Wally says:

Re: Re: Even Samsung admits it

Hey, that’s an awesomely accurate chart….no joke, no trolling by me, I’m very sincere. The iPhone began development in 2005. Given the fact that Samsung manufactured the first iPhone. It is likely that Samsung was put to the task of making the prototype iPhone in 2006. Apple did what it had always done and make the prototypes within the year until the final design was unveiled in 2007. Samsung meanwhile did an Atari NES cart move (look up the Tengen Rabbit Chip) and reverse engineered it which by all means is copying a design.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Form always has a function even if it’s only in the abstract of what the form is or isn’t. In this case I can only hope Samsung turns around and says “how can we efficiently show widescreen content on anything other than a rectangle?”.

What really bugs me about all this is I thought pattens existed to protect work that was not just obvious next step that many people where arriving at around the same time. A special leap in what is actually more the cause of a technological evolution than anything else. As the environment made high quality wide screen content (games or film or otherwise) something that you could run and store or stream to a small wireless device then it’s obvious that the best design for that device is a large touch screen with minimal other form factor.

You want the biggest screen space for the smallest form because it needs to fit in peoples pocket. Given that it is intended to go in peoples pockets you don’t want sharp edges or forms that don’t sit flush in the pocket. Wallets are relatively flat with out pointed corners made out of soft material for a reason.

That is not a genius next step that needs protection it’s the obvious result of producing phones best suited for the environment they are used in and the environment they are used for.

It reminds me of the story of “who designed the cowboy hat”. The hat developed out of the mass of random hats that people took to the gold rush. Out of all the hats some are better suited t the environment than others and become more prevalent and then over time a number of different people made changes to that design to produce the hat as we understand it.

That cowboy hat or a hat very much like it would have appeared at that time for use by those people regardless of the individual hat makers. There was no massive leap that needed to be made from the hats of the time to a the kind of hat required, no massive change in hatmaking technology. It was simply “cowboy hat” time in a “cowboy hat” environment.

As much as it may hurt people egos most scientific and as such technological development is inevitable and happens in a predefined patten. Given what we know, we have a given level of technology that makes sense to be produced from that understanding and that technology and understanding will prime an obvious next step in development.

There is room for individual brilliance and leaps in understanding or technology may come early but they will come. Rewarding with pattens ideas and technology that are a leap rather than a step is an understandable way to try and promote faster technological advance as this is of benefit to a state in any number of ways. Yet if we allow people to tie up every little step we risk stalling everything and allowing states not hindered by a regard for these laws to get ahead.

My point I guess is that there was no brilliant leap in the form of the iphone. It’s arguably (I guess) one of the best implementations of a this set of design ideas and was very much the most popular one. It was the first phone to really open up this step, it was the right phone in the right place at the right time, but it wouldn’t have taken that step if the market was not ready for it and it’s clear from phone designs at the time that we were converging on this design anyway.

Widescreen content was a thing before the Iphone. Technology that made it possible and piratical to store and use high quality wide screen content on small device existed before the Iphone. Portable media players were a thing before the Iphone. Convergent devices were a thing before the iphone. Touchscreen on phones was a thing before the iphone.

In that environment what are the obvious outcomes of future phone design? Firstly high quality media would require a big screen. Given the costs and the fact it had to fit in a persons pocket you are pretty limited on the best size and shape for a screen IE about the size of the iphones screen (the S3, which I use, is pushing it for the use size of a phone screen). Now given that you don’t want to make the phone any bigger or any wider than you have to given people have to carry it around and hold it to their ear then reducing the space that isn’t taken up by screen is a obvious must. The best way around this is touch screen interface which is much more efficient in it’s use of space. Now for the shape again you are trying to limit the form as much as you can, so you make it the shape of your screen and you round of the edges because THAT’S WHAT YOU DO WITH PHONES AND HAVE ALWAYS DONE WITH PHONES BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO POKE PEOPLE IN THE GOD DAMN LEG! (even a phone with the name “razor” was rounded!)

So in a world where high quality media can be used on a small device, in which widescreen is a thing and phones are designed to be as small and slim as they can be (with rounded none poke based edges) and in which portal media players have a history… a phone that looks like the iphone is not only inevitable it’s the only logical next step. Apple simply made that step better than the competitors at the game and their reward for that was getting to be the break out product for the next generation of phones… it should not bet getting to own the simple and obvious next step in phone design.

llortamai says:

I don't see the problem with Apple's arguments

Using non-Euclidean geometry, one could create a hyperbolic shape with rounded corners that would fit nicely in the hand. If Samsung wanted to use a rectangle, maybe they should have invented it. There are an infinite number of shapes in this universe. Why does Samsung have to copy the one that Apple came up with?

Ed C. says:

Re: I don't see the problem with Apple's arguments

Because of the first principle of engineering: KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! The simplest and by far the most obvious form for a rectangular screen would be a rectangle. The rounded corners and other design elements are largely the most obvious too, as they have been used before. I think design patents are BS, cheap dodge around the lack of copyright for functional designs, but patents are required to be NON-OBVIOUS. If Apple had gone with a design with more style, something less obvious, then they would have an argument if someone had used a similar design. But no, Apple had deliberately eschewed uniqueness for pure simplicity by merely following the most obvious design choices, and in doing so, should forgo any protections on the design. That was Apple’s decision, they have to live with the consequences.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: I see your Picard and raise you a Janice Rand

I’ll see your Janice Rand, and call with Samsung’s Prior Art argument with Stanley Kubericek’s “2001: A Space Odessey”.

http://www.examiner.com/article/defense-for-galaxy-tab-being-so-similar-to-apple-s-ipad-design-science-fiction

This points out Samsung is using Strawman arguments to defend itself. It isn’t the article I point to but the picture. Some of the pictures reveal that even those designs had at least 8 buttons.

anon says:

Shapes

So apple invented the rectangle , what about the shape of a loaf of bread or an a4 page or a photo or a fridge and a cooker and a… fleck , most products have at least one side with a rectangle and for Apple to say it is a patentable shape is just crazy.As with most manufacturers they all realized that a rectangular shape with rounded corners is the most aesthetic shape and are continuing to use that shape from all phones that have been developed ever. The screen fits into that shape and as screens need to be a rectangle to for widescreen format movies it is an obvious step. I do admit that a single button on the front is a little too far for Samsung to go, but then Apple has taken a lot of what was previously designed into phones and used it so i don’t think Samsung should suffer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Samsung's Design Change

They altered their design in response to cheap touch screen technologies, not due to any design from Apple. A shift in the cost and acceptance of the technology forced an evolution to a new interfaces. That made the switch required to compete as a product. The fact that Apple popularized it doesn’t alter the fact that they didn’t *invent* it.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Samsung's Design Change

This nicely mirrors the availability of larger hard drives and MPEG2 acceleration chips in the late 90s that allowed devices like the Tivo to be viable as consumer products.

As soon as MPEG2 acceleration became a consumer product, all manner of of PC software began to take advantage of it.

Microsoft Surface is the perfect example of technology being available and visible but not quite ready for the consumer. It was expensive because cheap tech wasn’t quite there yet.

Lauriel (profile) says:

New Samsung Range of Phones

Introducing the new, exciting range of Samsung phones: The Orange Series!!

The Egg:

This ergonomic, stylish phone is ovoid shaped, moulded to fit perfectly in the palm of you hand. Don’t have egg on your face – have it in your hand!

The Ninja:

This stylish phone focuses on function and usability for the socially inclined ninja of today. Shaped like a ninja throwing star, you can now call your enemy to distract them, hit them between the eyes with the razor sharp edges, and then use your phone camera to take a photo for your scrapbook.

The Penta:

This classy phone is designed to mimic the most prestigious and commanding geometrical shape out there: The Pentagon. Think outside the square – buy a Pentagon.

All models in the Orange Series are available in 4 trendy colours – orange, silver, pearl, and bla… err… obsidian.

Why buy an Apple when you could have an Orange?

hegemon13 says:

Re: Warning....Troll bait ahead

Last I checked, Google wasn’t trying to sue every other search engine out of existence.

Apple does innovate, when you look at the previous TechDirt articles about innovation vs. invention. However, they then seem to think that they own every variation of every tiny part of every innovation that they based on others’ inventions. That’s the problem.

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