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Thou shalt not clone, says the legalese

It's common knowledge that when Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) briefly stepped in to save the train wreck that was Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in the mid-nineties, the pair cemented their bond with a deep cross-licensing pact which has been responsible for the relative peace between the pair in these hyper-litigious times.  During the copyright infringement trial being held at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California between Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and Apple, that licensing relationship was the topic of some questions, questions that raised interesting details.

Apple patent licensing/strategy director Boris Teksler is quoted by The Verge as testifying, "The Apple and Microsoft cross-license does cover the design patents. However, we took special prohibitions from both parties so there is what I term an 'anti-cloning' provision... so we couldn't copy each other's products. There's a clear acknowledgement that there's no copying."

The cross-licensing agreement covered both design (aesthetics) and utility (technology) patents worldwide.

As The Verge has a copy [PDF] of that 1997 arrangement it then highlighted the passage that Mr. Teksler was talking about:

clone product

In other words, Apple and Microsoft won't sue each other for individual features (e.g. swipe to unlockdisappearing scrollers, or bounce animations) or minor design details (e.g. a rectangular smartphone), but if either company feels the other is "slavishly copying" the entire comprehensive product, they could -- in theory, at least -- sue the other.

Is this interesting?  Certainly.

How does it affect the Samsung v. Apple case?  That is unclear.  Apple clearly claims that Samsung "cloned" its products.  
 
Apple iPhone
Apple claims Samsung "slavishly copied" its products. [Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images]
 
But ultimately this testimony could be used against Apple if Samsung can establish that its smartphones/tablets are as different from the iPhone/iPad in design and user interface as Windows Phone 7 handsets and Windows tablets are from the iPhone/iPad.  Because if the level of differences is similar, and it was enough to constitute "slavishly copying"/cloning, the question would be why Apple isn't suing Microsoft as well.

Source: The Verge



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cut from the same cloth
By Nortel on 8/14/2012 1:52:09 PM , Rating: -1
http://cdn.macgasm.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/...

http://nexus404.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads2/2011/...

Even the packaging is almost identical... Microsoft's phones look nothing like this, why would Apple sue MS?




RE: cut from the same cloth
By amanojaku on 8/14/2012 2:34:11 PM , Rating: 5
The HTC Titan, Samsung Focus and ZTE Tania look like iPhones. Actually, they look more like Samsung Galaxies, but Samsung isn't suing the other two.

As to the OS, you just can't get any more basic than an icon display. If Samsung should be sued, it's for being lazy (sarcasm). And there are clear differences in the icons:

App Store
iPhone - a stylized "A"
Galaxy - a briefcase with a robot

Calculator
iPhone - a closeup of buttons
Galaxy - a whole calculator

Calendar
iPhone - a closeup of the numeric day
Galaxy - a whole calendar showing the numeric day

Camera
iPhone - a closeup of the lens
Galaxy - a whole camera

Clock
iPhone - a whole analogue clock with 12 hours
Galaxy - a whole analogue clock with 4 hours (NESW)

Email
iPhone - an envelope
Galaxy - an envelope covered by a giant "@" symbol

Internet
iPhone - Safari's compass logo
Galaxy - a globe or something

Music
iPhone - the iTunes logo
Galaxy - a CD with a musical note ("stolen" from Windows!)

Notes
iPhone - a closeup of a sheet of paper or ledger
Galaxy - a whole memo pad, with a curled page

Phone
iPhone - a big, green button with a white phone logo
Galaxy - a big, green button with a white phone logo

Text
iPhone - a big, green button with "SMS" in a talk balloon
Galaxy - an open envelope with a paper message half-way out

So, Samsung "stole" the standard clock and phone icons. The rest are clearly different, and rendered differently. The iOS buttons look like 2D images painted onto a flat surface. The Samsung buttons look more 3-dimensional.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/science-and-technolog...


RE: cut from the same cloth
By macdevdude on 8/14/12, Rating: -1
RE: cut from the same cloth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 4:45:58 PM , Rating: 4
LMAO Apple didn't "develop" ANY technology for the iPhone. And coding iOS sure as shit didn't cost "billions".

It's Samsung's technology that represents billions in R&D, without which the iPhone could not exist.

quote:
C'mon Droidtards, tell me this pictures don't look alike:


Sure they look alike, because it's Photoshopped you idiot!


RE: cut from the same cloth
By macdevdude on 8/14/12, Rating: -1
RE: cut from the same cloth
By Pirks on 8/14/2012 6:14:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, my Galaxy Note is way more expensive than a lot of your cheapo iJunk you worship, Apple zealot :P


RE: cut from the same cloth
By momorere on 8/14/2012 6:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Tony, Tony, Tony. Just when I thought you had forgotten your login credentials for MacDevDude, you surprise me and login as this personae after so many failed posts. It's just more -1s that you are bound to receive but I'm sure you are totally aware of that.

Just incase you missed the link that someone posted on another thread, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFeC25BM9E0.
Perhaps you should take a quick look and try and learn a little something along the way.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By elleehswon on 8/14/2012 7:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
billions on ios development, but, apparently no development to mac os, apple tvm icloud, or any other technology.. nope, it's all iphone. lololol. keep eating paint chips, kid. Grownups' a talkin`.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By sigmatau on 8/14/2012 7:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wait... what? Did you really just post that link? With the article that is titled "Microsoft, Intel, Google outspend Apple on R&D" and with this in it:

"Apple is 18th on the list, spending $2.6 billion, behind other technology giants such as Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon.com. Apple's R&D spending as a percentage of its revenue of $127.8 billion was 2%."

Why do you make it so easy to be a fool?


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/14/2012 7:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iPhone innovated, Google and Samsung just copied, with their half-@ssed crapdroids that are always crashing and dying and can't go four hours practically without running out of battery.
Yep, that's my my S3 never crashes, and battery lasts all day. LOLOLOLOL


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/14/2012 7:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
why*


RE: cut from the same cloth
By ihateu3 on 8/15/2012 9:47:41 AM , Rating: 1
Apple was a Chinese knock off of PC's forever!!! If you want to talk shapes, lets talk the "PC" tower!

Going on your philosophy, this seems fitting...

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc242/ihateu197...


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: cut from the same cloth
By amanojaku on 8/14/2012 5:54:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yea for being lazy and ripping off the iPhone and its technology that took billions to develop.
Billions? More like kajillions! I can make up facts, too.
quote:
C'mon Droidtards, tell me this pictures don't look alike:
They do. Most phones have a keypad that's three buttons wide, and four tall, in the following order: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, *,0,#. For smartphones it's a rectangular screen (4:3 or 16:9) with an icon display. It's called basic functionality.
quote:
I haven't seen an Android that wasn't a wannabe iPhone. Google and co. wouldn't no innovation if it smacked them in the faces.
The iPhone's most distinguishing feature is its touchscreen display. Any smartphone without one is DOA, so, yeah, all smartphones will share this feature. However, many Android phones sport unique, if subjective, designs. Look at the Droid Razr, most of Acer's line, Sony's Experia, or Samsung's Intercept.

FYI, it's "know", not "no", you you GNU that, didn't yew?
quote:
I don't get it. if you all want an iPhone so badly, why don't you just buy one?

Hopefully all the crapdroids get sued off the market and that solves that problem for you. Then you can finally get that iPhone you've been secretly wanting all along.
I have a Motorola Razr. The V3 flip feature phone, not a smartphone. Data plans can kiss my battery cover. I'm an impartial commentator when it comes to smartphones, since I don't want any.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Scootie on 8/15/2012 3:07:59 AM , Rating: 2
Why is every sheep fan forgeting that LG Prada was the real first smartphone with a full touchscreen?


RE: cut from the same cloth
By ihateu3 on 8/16/2012 12:47:47 AM , Rating: 2
And after that was also the HTC Touch still beating the iPhone to the market.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Fritzr on 8/14/2012 7:26:30 PM , Rating: 3
Actually Apple & Galaxy "stole" the phone icon from the International Standard Signage set where it has been placed in the Public Domain.

If anyone other than the developers of these international standards is claiming that a Bell style telephone handset with or without a background, is their original, exclusive design then they are lying.

The authentic International Standard icons are available free for use by all icon designers. Expect some overlap when use is made of these designs or slight variations of the standard.
http://www.aiga.org/symbol-signs/
There is a .zip download of additional symbols

The Noun Project has an additional set of free-to-use icons including the postal envelope. Though if you want to avoid being sued by Apple you might use the Rural Mail Box icon to represent mail instead.
http://thenounproject.com/3/

It is amazing how many of these "unique and original" icons are actually available in (some very old) public collections.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Varun on 8/14/2012 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
I love how the Photoshoped pic of the Samsung is always paraded around. I am pretty sure those are not the same size...

Other than that, I guess they look the same if you consider two black phones to be the same.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Nortel on 8/14/12, Rating: -1
RE: cut from the same cloth
By CZroe on 8/14/2012 5:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
If it didn't make a difference, why did they photoshop it and modify the size? The problem is in the misrepresentation and not in the patentability of a certain size.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 5:36:05 PM , Rating: 3
Do you know how shallow and vapid you sound? White ear buds, really?

Please do me a favor and list all the shapes and colors that exclusively belong to Apple. I have to see this.

And those icons? Wtf! We've all seen those icons as being common place since the World Wide Web came out. Hello? This would be like Sizzlers suing Golden Corral because the "guys" and "girls" bathroom icons look too much like the ones they use. How ridiculous can you get?


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: cut from the same cloth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 8:15:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Its a shame that less "vapid" companies like HTC are suffering by doing their own designs.


Oh is that right? Apple seems to have a different opinion...

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/apple-sues-htc-...

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&sou...


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: cut from the same cloth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 8:42:55 PM , Rating: 1
lol you guys are funny as shit. Nice contradicting yourself and straw man.

Samsung isn't "copying" Apple. The argument is dead and over with. Leave the dead horse where it lies and get a life.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/2012 8:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Trade dress is the issue.

If Samsung was using stock Android they probably wouldn't have been sued by Apple, at least not as successfully as they are right now. Apple also likely wouldn't win in a lawsuit only about Samsung's Galaxy S copying the iPhone. Apple is suing and succeeding against Samsung in court specifically because of the combination of Samsung's smartphones/tablets combined with Samsung's TouchWiz UI infringing on the patents and trademarks of the iPhone/iPad and iOS.

Stock Android doesn't look like iOS. Neither do the UIs from other manufacturers. Samsung appears to have copied the iPhone from the chassis and UI right down to the packaging and accessories. This is why Apple appears to have a case against them.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 8:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Trade dress is the issue.


Uh huh. And what will the issue be next week? Hows that "thermonuclear war" working out for you anyway?

Takin I get that you own Apple stock and feel compelled to make these arguments, but frankly you're wasting your time.

quote:
Samsung appears to have copied the iPhone from the chassis and UI right down to the packaging and accessories. This is why Apple appears to have a case against them.


Hmm it's still 2009 apparently!!! LOL you're ridiculous. That ship has sailed.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/15/2012 1:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, Samsung hadn't gotten around to copying the iPhone until 2010, that ship hadn't even been built yet.

As for owning stock, what does that have to do with anything? I stock in other companies too, and what I say about AAPL has no effect on the stock when I post on stupid little message boards. Like, zero effect.

I see an eastern company obviously ripping off an American one and I have to point it out, that's all.

Why do you hate America?


RE: cut from the same cloth
By theapparition on 8/14/2012 3:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
As I said below, go to phone-size.com.

It's awesome to compare real life pictures of phones. Very telling on how bad the linked picture misrepresents the facts.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By B3an on 8/14/2012 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's a highly photoshopped image posted by an iSheep. Just ignore.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By theapparition on 8/14/2012 3:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
You're reasonably intelligent, so let me do you a favor by telling you you're a complete idiot. What you think you know, you don't.

Now, stay with me. I'm not trying to bring you down, just sometimes people need reality checks. They are so blinded by religion that they start to see things that aren't there, like a blurry picture of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich.

The first picture you linked to is horribly photo-shopped. I suggest you go to an unbiased site like phone-size.com and really see the two phones side-by-side.

Let me tell you the differences:
Not the same physical size. One is taller by .5". Cut from the same cloth? Hardly.
Note the lack of visibility of the two soft buttons flanking the rectangular button.
Different locations of hardbuttons
Prominance of Samsung logo on front (not trying to disguise its origin)
Center mounted camera vs one tucked in the corner
Lack of apple logo on back of Samsung. Yes, this seems ridiculously obvious, but is extremely important for the trade dress argument.

Remember, Apple's argument is that Samsung is infringing because they look to similar and one could be mistaken for the other.

Anyone with an unbiased opinion can look at the two and tell them apart, that is if they are given photo-shopped pictures that intentionally try to mislead. I suspect you're smarter than that to intentionally deceive.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By sigmatau on 8/14/2012 7:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
My Galaxy S (work phone) looks nothing like a iphone 3GS that I owned 2 years ago.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By BifurcatedBoat on 8/14/2012 3:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung had phones that existed before the iPhone that are also almost identical in shape and look.

I'm not saying the iPhone is in fact was a copy of the earlier Samsung phones, but rather that the design is so obvious that it's like patenting the shape of a screwdriver.

Imagine if, at the beginning of the LCD monitor era, somebody acquired a design patent on the idea of a flat rectangular monitor screen with a thin rectangular bezel around it.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/2012 7:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Its funny how much Samsungs started to look like iPhones in 2010, which is right around when their sales started to skyrocket. A 2009 Samsung Android smartphone looked nothing like an iPhone, and anything before then definitely didn't look like an iPhone. Nope, 2006 was when RIM took them to court for ripping off the Blackberry.

How little things change. Apparently a photocopier is the most important tool in the Samsung consumer R&D labs.

Perhaps HTC (who Apple singled out as NOT copying the iPhone) and Motorola would be in better shape if they resorted to copying Apple instead of doing their own unique designs.


RE: cut from the same cloth
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/14/2012 7:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny how most of their phones looked similar before the iphone....DERP...


RE: cut from the same cloth
By TakinYourPoints on 8/14/2012 7:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, look at this: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/6/3224602/apple-sam...

Note the Blackjack the RIM sued them over, not just a similar design but also a similar name.

And the Galaxy Ace, really?
http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/6/3224602/apple-sam...

And people say that China is the land of knockoff design, amazing!


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














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