Throughout this whole thing I've been left wondering why Apple is going after Samsung only, and not Motorola, HTC, LG, Blackberry, and all the other smartphone manufacturers. EVERY tablet out there looks just like an iPad. Every smartphone and tablet out there has icons and a touchscreen. So why did they single out Samsung, especially considering that Apple depends on Samsung for several key components of their devices? That seems odd to me.
You need to pay a lot more attention. Apple is currently suing Samsung, and HTC, and is counter suing Motorola. Blackberry doesn't currently mimic the functionality or look of the iphone over the number of patents that Apple would currently worry about. Microsoft and its partners have licensed the technical patents from Apple (they are barred from trade dress, but most phones don't look like iphones).
Each case is limited on claims (this original claim started with something like 30 different patents, the courts will not allow you to sue for that many in one case.
In fact this case wasn't the first Apple suit brought to bear in the US, just the first to get to trail. In fact Motorola brought Apple to trial long after Apple started legal action versus Samsung and HTC, and that case got to trial first.
And just so you know Apple isn't suing because a company is using a flat screen, apple has never claimed ownership of flat screens, nor are the suing because a company is using icons, as they didn't first create icons.
Seriously how some people still use that as an argument baffles me with the huge amount of very specific data out there over this case, and the 40 plus around the world.
Icons can be all over the place, with each having unique designs to them. In this case Samsung was sued because some icons matched the icons used by apple. By Color, be design, by image angle. Same size, same number of rows, some number of icons in rows, and same placement on those said rows.
They could have had 4 rows with four icons each, and if the icons were designed significantly different there would be no case. Most phones they have enough unique factors where they wouldn't fall for Trade Dress, and of course some are truly different like Windows Phones, which look dramatically different from apple or android, or Blackberry.
No other major phone company matches the look of the iphone as close as early Samsung products did. Thats what got Samsung in the biggest trouble. Trade Dress.
I mean Google themselves warned Samsung to change their designs as they were to close to Apple's.
And on the issue of technical patents Samsung could have done the same thing they did with Microsoft and thats to license the technical patents apple has. That company choose not to.