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Apple claims that Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets (right) violate its patented design and technology found in its iPad (iPad 2, shown right).  (Source: Daily Mobile)

Apple also accuses Samsung's Galaxy S smart phone of ripping off its iPhone.  (Source: Sizzle Core)
Company says Samsung worked "slavishly" to duplicate its designs and infringe upon its IP

Details have been released about a suit Apple, Inc. (AAPL) filed against fellow gadget maker Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEO:005930) in South Korea's Seoul Central District Court.  The suit was filed on Wednesday, June 22 and claims that the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S copies the design of the iPhone 3G.

The lawsuit comes after comments by company officials who accused the gadget maker of "slavishly" imitating the iPhone.

Samsung will definitely have the home court advantage in the case.  It is one of South Korea's largest conglomerates, accounting for about a fifth of the nation's exports.  Samsung Electronics, one of the Group's many subsidiaries, is the world's largest electronics company by sales.  It's expected to soon pass Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) to become the world's largest phonemaker.

The suit follows an April 15 complaint filed in U.S. federal court against Samsung.  The complaint alleges that the Galaxy family of devices that include the Galaxy S smartphone models and Galaxy Tab tablet models violate a number of Apple patents.  

Among them, Apple says the devices infringe on its touch screen user gestures patents, including selecting, scrolling, pinching and zooming. It also claims to have invented a "flat black face", which is among the three design patents Samsung is accused of violating.

Samsung had petitioned the court to force Apple to turn over prototypes of its future iPads and iPhones to show differences or similarities between the two companies designs.  Samsung lost that motion on June 22 (Wednesday).

Samsung has filed four counter-suits against Apple in Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Japan, Mannheim, Germany and the U.S., claiming Apple violate ten of its patents.  

Ironically the pair were formerly quite close.  In fact Samsung Electronics has designed Apple's last several iPhone/iPad processors, with the help of contractors like Intrinsity.  Samsung was also among the companies that was rumored to be a possible partner for Apple's potential upcoming LCD television display launch.  Apple also uses Samsung memory chips in several of its devices.

The pairs' relationship, much like that of Apple and Google Inc. (GOOG), deteriorated as both companies accelerated their smartphone and tablet plans.  Currently Samsung is beating Apple in phone sales, though some of its phones are traditional handsets.  Overall Google's Android OS hardware partners -- like Samsung -- are outselling the iPhone over two-to-one, according to recent studies.

As it can't outsell Android, Apple appears resigned to try to out-sue the rival.  The company's efforts were dealt a setback when a judge in another case -- a suit against Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) over its "Appstore for Android" -- said that she was preparing to dismiss a major motion in that case.


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>.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:28:55 AM , Rating: 4
It's a phone and/or tablet. The design is set by the intended use of the device.

STFU and GTFO.

...because, you know, the iPad doesn't share *any* design characteristics with the tablets that came before. Nope. Totally different. LALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU!




RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 6/24/2011 11:34:23 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
It also claims to have invented a "flat black face", which is among the three design patents Samsung is accused of violating.


This is the most absurd thing I have ever read. Invented a flat black face?? They cannot be serious!

How did our patent system allow such absurdity that someone can patent a shape and color on a device!?


RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:41:07 AM , Rating: 5
Because our patent system is retarded. But you knew that already.


RE: >.<
By Flunk on 6/24/2011 11:55:18 AM , Rating: 3
Ah, but you see. They are suing in Korea, where they don't have a snowball's chance in hell.


RE: >.<
By MrTeal on 6/24/2011 11:41:16 AM , Rating: 5
Really. I think Gutenberg probably has a flat black leather-bound bible that would disagree with this "patent".


RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 11:47:04 AM , Rating: 4
Not a proper comparison, obviously. Gutenberg probably figured out how to render Flash...


RE: >.<
By MozeeToby on 6/24/2011 12:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
You see, Apple's patent says "on a computer". Totally different.


RE: >.<
RE: >.<
By MrTeal on 6/24/2011 11:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's complete unrelated, it has nothing to do with Apple's patent.

It's not black.


RE: >.<
By GulWestfale on 6/24/2011 12:09:11 PM , Rating: 4
true, and it also has more features. its the distinct lack thereof that apple is trying to patent... that gives me an idea, i should patent a rectangular piece of cardboard. paint it white, call it the iboard, and sell it to appletards for $399, or $499 with 3G. you won't be able to use it as a computer, and you sure as hell can't make phonecalls with it (despite the 3G!), but appletards will defend it from the ridicule of rational people to their last breaths!


RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/24/2011 1:24:55 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Invented a flat black face?? They cannot be serious!
I seem to recall the LG Prada having a flat black face, and that was released about a year before the iPhone.

Companies like Apple should just fuck off.


RE: >.<
By cjohnson2136 on 6/24/2011 1:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's even on their wiki page that LG thinks Apple copied

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Prada_(KE850)#iPho...


RE: >.<
By cjohnson2136 on 6/24/2011 1:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
As I did more searching through that apparently Apple fans were saying it wasn't a big deal because there would always be black touchscreens phones. It seems like someone did the exact same thing as Apple and now Apple is calling a foul.


RE: >.<
By Solandri on 6/24/2011 1:55:26 PM , Rating: 4
By definition any screen has to a flat black face. When a screen displays white or colors, it lets through white or colored light. When it displays black, it shuts off that light, meaning you see just the screen. Hence the face of the screen has to be black.

This is why you have to watch movies in theaters in the dark. The screens have to be white to significantly reflect the projected light. But that makes for awful blacks. So you turn off the lights to lower the black level.

If the patent truly is for a flat black face, it has to rank as one of the stupidest patents ever awarded. It'd be like patenting a flat surface for walking on.


RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
What would IBM have to say about that and their Thinkpad line? Everything about that laptop is flat black and would like to smash it into the face of any Apple Fanboy that says otherwise... and the Thinkpad would come out unscathed.


RE: >.<
By jamesjwb on 6/25/2011 10:12:09 AM , Rating: 5
Can we all group together, each put £1 in a Paypal account so that I can fund the purchase of a whole fish, a flight to the USA and a cab to Steve Jobs house, then repeatedly slap him in the face with said fish while shouting "am i holding this fish wrong?", all the while recording it on a Galaxy S, then put it on itunes and sell it for 99p?

Pretty sure I could give you all a 1000% ROI...


RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/27/2011 11:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
Companies like Apple: Monster Cable and Bose.

All 3 are predatory in that they prey on the gullible and un/misinformed, spreading their own propaganda that their wildly overpriced products are magically better than all the others.

Apple/Monster Cable/Bose - The Unholy Trinity.


RE: >.<
By Pirks on 6/27/11, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 4:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
*looks at IBM Thinkpad T60, Droid 1, HTC Thunderbolt, Blackberry Storm, Palm TX, Cowon D2*

What do they mean by flat black face? It sounds incredibly vague.


RE: >.<
By VahnTitrio on 6/24/2011 11:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Patent lawsuits are getting ridiculous. The only time a shape should be patentable is if it is a unique ergonomic design. Color should never be patentable.


RE: >.<
By Gondor on 6/24/2011 12:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
I hope this ends up the way Nokia case did, with fruity company getting slapped and forced to pay a handsome sum once again. They can afford it too with all those profits pouring in from clueless let's-hop-on-the-current-fad-bandwagon customers.


RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Motoman on 6/24/2011 3:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...so Nokia could go after Android handset makers with the same patents where cash reserves are seriously lacking.


Right, because, you know, iPhone is totally blowing the doors off of Android, which isn't selling *at all*.

Oh wait...


RE: >.<
By Omega215D on 6/24/2011 5:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
Nokia had to sue Apple to get Apple to play ball in the first place. Everyone just paid the license from what I've read/ heard.


RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/25/2011 3:52:39 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I don't hold shares in any tech company, but if I were an Apple shareholder, I would probably view this outcome favorably. Nokia emerges victorious, but this is a sweet defeat for Apple because its competitors -- especially those building Android-based devices -- will also have to pay Nokia, and most if not all of them will likely have to pay more on a per-unit basis because they don't bring as much intellectual property to the table as Apple definitely did. So from a competitive point of view, I don't think Apple loses much.


From the excellent FOSS Patents blog. Worth a read like all his articles.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/06/apple-and-...


RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/26/2011 4:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
That article doesn't take into consideration that many of those manufacturers may already licensees of Nokia's patents (after all, many of them have been in the game for almost as long as Nokia), and have been paying their way long before Apple stomped in and thought they didn't have to.

What you need to remember is companies like Nokia have been in the mobile phone business for over 20 years, and in that time, have invested over $160bn in R&D, and have accustomed a wealth of IP. Companies like Apple think they can enter such a mature market and have their own way, with no consideration for the hard work of others.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's more of this to come.


RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By themaster08 on 6/26/2011 6:59:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And why not? Business is not charity. Previous hard work counts for nothing if you drop the ball.
It does when it's licensed and Apple completely disregard it. Why shouldn't Nokia protect what they spent their hard work, time and money developing, for companies like Apple to waltz in and use technologies that are not theirs, and not have a care in the world? Whether Nokia have dropped the ball or not, they are still a company. The technology is still theirs. So because they are not as successful as Apple, their patents are of less importance? What an elitist attitude to have, Tony. Well, I suppose I'm not really surprised. Elitism comes with the culture of being an Apple fanatic.

Business might not be charity, but it has rules and regulations it must abide by.

But when it's Apple on the receiving end, there's lawsuits up the ass. Even for something as frivilous as a flat black surface. Now why shouldn't Nokia protect the technology they worked hard, and spent ludicrous amounts of money to develop, but Apple be allowed to patent something that bears no R&D, hard work, originality, and has masses of prior art?


RE: >.<
By Tony Swash on 6/26/11, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Pirks on 6/26/2011 11:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
stranger things have happened
Yeah, like this one for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS7Pp9UPoZI - oops, Tony's famous "RIM coffin" looks more and more stupid every day, muahahaha


RE: >.<
By Belard on 6/24/2011 4:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this is so stupid.

The form-factor is designed by its intended use. How come the hub-cap / MAG companies aren't suing each other because they all have round wheels?

How about the Can of Peas from DeMonte has the same shape and size as a can of peas from Green Giant?!

Black flat face? Like what phones have had long before the iPhone?

How else would someone make a tablet?


RE: >.<
By redbone75 on 6/25/2011 8:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
I love how Apple is trying to sue HTC when HTC's designs, as far back as the 8125 (including the 8525 and 8925) have trended to larger screens with minimal buttons at the bottom. Nothing "revolutionary" about the iphone's design, more an evolution of design trend. Apple did, however, turn the industry on its ear with the way they implemented touch controls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Wizard

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=954


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