Print 53 comment(s) - last by darkhawk1980.. on Aug 16 at 7:39 AM

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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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
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.

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?

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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