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Samsung's Galaxy S on the left, Apple's iPhone 3GS on the right
Apple means business with its new lawsuit against Samsung

There's no question that Apple turned the smartphone market upside down when it introduced the original iPhone way back in during the summer of 2007. After its release, numerous competitors kicked into overdrive to come up with smartphones built around a touch interface. 

Apple again caught the industry with its pants down when it launched the iPad in 2010. Once again, competitors were caught off guard and rushed to get their own products onto the market.

In a new lawsuit filed this week, Apple is alleging that at least one of its competitors -- Samsung -- took a few shortcuts in getting its smartphones and tablets to market. Those shortcuts, Apple alleges, are that Samsung copied the exterior design and interface elements of its iOS-based devices.

Apple names the Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, and Nexus smartphones along with the Galaxy Tab tablet in the lawsuit according to the Wall Street Journal

Apple claims: 

Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products. 

Ina Fried of Mobilized received stronger language from an Apple spokesperson; "It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Apple may have a point when it comes to the Galaxy S smartphones, as the design and interface do look more than a bit like the iPhone 3GS. It remains to be seen whether the courts will agree with Apple, however.



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RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By adiposity on 4/18/2011 5:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless the Samsung device comes preinstalled with all those icons, this simply looks like someone went to a great deal of trouble trying to MAKE the Android device LOOK like the iPhone.


One look at the icons and you can see the icons are not even the same. They are talking about the rounded corners, bevels, ear piece hole, etc...in short the hardware design.

Granted, this is stupid and they should lose. You should not be able to stop someone from making their hardware look like yours. Most hardware in the same category bears resemblances and the iPhone was not 100% unique when it was released.


RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By wielander on 4/18/2011 10:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't really matter what should or shouldn't be the case; if Apple was granted an design patent for the ornamental design of the iPhone and its packaging (very likely), then it is illegal for anyone else to sell hardware that substantially resembles theirs.

I don't think anyone doubts that Samsung tried to make their phones look like Apple's. If Apple has a design patent, the burden will be on Samsung to prove instead that the patent should be invalid because Apple's designs weren't substantially unique from the beginning.

In the end my guess is that Samsung will end up paying Apple an undisclosed amount of money to end the matter (that's all they really want). Even without taking this lawsuit into account Samsung should be further differentiating its devices. Pretty much everyone hates Touchwiz, and there's nothing incredible about Samsungs designs. Making your premier devices look like knock-offs is not a good strategy.


By omnicronx on 4/19/2011 1:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It doesn't really matter what should or shouldn't be the case; if Apple was granted an design patent for the ornamental design of the iPhone and its packaging (very likely), then it is illegal for anyone else to sell hardware that substantially resembles theirs.
Upon last check the courts decide whether or not a patent is valid, not the patent office granting the patents. So it surely DOES matter what 'should or shouldn't be the case'..

Either way, its irrelevant until we know what the actual dispute is about. As of right now this is nothing but speculation.

You don't sue the manufacturer of your SOC's without a darn good reason, so it seems to me we just don't know what is going on here yet.


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