Apple vs. Samsung Trial

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Tribble puncher, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I'll ask my friend who knows a lot more about patent law to give his thoughts. The rectangular design with round corners thing wasn't the issue here, that's just Samsung being sarcastic. These things are odd to take to jury because of how technical they are, but it's a quirk of the system. The damages will get reduced on appeal either way. Some have said that they can use this verdict against others. They can't legally use it, although they may scare others. It's entirely possible that another jury could have decided this differently.

    Anyway, I don't know enough about patent law or the differences between their designs to accurately give an opinion. At least the jury here got instructed on the law. I'm curious how this will affect the future for smart phones.
     
  2. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why on earth would Apple sue Microsoft. Microsoft licenses Apple's technical patents. That's something Samsung refused to do with Apple (HTC, and Motorola also refused offers to license).

    Samsung is in deep problem with this case, the issue isn't the money. Its the verdict. Sure the verdict can go up (they still have to wait for the judge to rule on tripling of damages, which is done when a company knowingly copies another's work). And it can get reduced on appeal. But its rare that a full jury verdict gets reversed.

    And the money isn't the biggest issue, the verdict is. With the Verdict Appel should be easily able to in force bans on all products that were ruled. They can expand the case to any other product that uses those utility patents. THey also have one other case against Samsung about to start in the US over different utility patents. Due to this ruling, they can use the finding that Samsung knowingly copied another company's product. It makes it easier to find guilt in civil cases.

    The also will be able to start going after the SIII.

    As for Samsung of course they will appeal, but that wont stop a ban of their products. It wont stop the verdict being known in the other case. And it will put the company into a position where it might finally decide maybe we should start to license Apple's technical patents.

    This is want happened with Microsoft, Microsoft took a couple companies to trial, and started winning, that then pushed most of the players in the smart phone business to pay a license to Microsoft to license their technical smart phone patents like Apple has done from the get go of their iphone.

    And as it stands now Microsoft make more of those licenses then they do selling Smart Phones.

    The problem with Android as opposed to any other phone operating system and why companies have been very reluctant to buy license agreements is that those agreements seriously cut into their profit making ability. They all fight one another to undercut the other, making it a race to the bottom (which also has happened for decades with Windows computers).
     
  3. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Seriously are people really that stupid to actually believe Apple has the right to any rectangle. Seriously are they that stupid?
     
  4. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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    I'm going to use the "rubber banding" that apple threw a fit over here: Are you telling me that if my "rubber banding" effect in a different OS looks like Apples "rubber banding" effect, even if I didn't use the same code to achieve it is enough to get me a guilty verdict in court? This is okay? Really? I could understand if samsung bought an iphone, extracted the os from the Iphone, modified it and slapped their logos all over it, and then installed it into their own devices. THAT would be stealing. I think the Google Giant needs to awaken and Sue Apple for Intimidating companies that use it's products.
     
  5. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    People don't understand design or parallel evolution. How many combinations can you make when trying to design a small device that fits in your pocket that has a capacitative screen, a lithium battery, a cell transmitter/receiver and the guts of a small computer. I guess Samsung could have made their device look like glass coasters or women's compacts but come on. Maybe Daimler-Benz can sue Ford and Toyota for making carriages with 4 wheels and a motor.
     
  6. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It depends, there are two aspect of patent law. One being if you do with different code something that duplicates the exact process of what someone else has a patent on then yes you are infringing.

    There is also a part of patent law (thats harder to prove, and used far less often) that basically means even if your way of doing something doesn't mirror what I have patent, but still appears to do the same thing, also would be an infringement.

    The 2nd one is far, far more unlikely to held viable in a court situation (but over the last hundred plus years has been successful a few times).

    For example, Apple was found to violate a patent from either Motorola or Samsung for automatic notifications. Apple did it slightly differently but close enough for that country's laws. So they had to drop that feature on its phones and instead have witched to a notifications that isn't immediately pushed to the phone, but is done like every minute or so.

    Its way companies go to great lengths to find usable and viable means to invalidate a patent, and no the device in 2001 isn't going to hold water in the court system (hasn't in any country its been tried, 4 that I know of).

    To the best of my knowledge no portable (which does include laptops) has been shown to have that rubber band effect that Apple introduced (and trust me companies have looked).

    People bitch about Apple, yet I have yet to hear the alarm about over Microsoft suing to get license agreements (of which Apple was first to sign up with, both sign cross license agreements long ago over mobile tech), and most of the major players eventually after a few lost court cases signed up with 5 - 15 dollars a phone for android going to Microsoft.

    Nor has anyone really brought up Samsung terrible counter suit. Suing Apple over patents that cannot be charged twice.

    Intel covered the license of the chips, and Apple then purchased those chips from Samsung. They can't Double dip its in their very contract (nor or they supposed to charge one customer more then another). Apple just had to present receipts and it killed their entire counter suit, that they were asking for nearly half a billion for. Things that Intel paid a tiny fraction of that (literally less then a penny on the dollar).

    Also people forget that Apple has been developing portables since the 1990's. And while the Newton died, their work never stopped (the trial went into this, and even some of the patents go back to the Newton itself). A lot of people have said well my phone did this function or that function in 2005 for example and not realizing that the issue in question (especially some coming up in the 2nd trial in California) are from patents back in the 90's due to the Newton. Just that very few consumers are aware of much about the Newton, and Apple's development tech for that. Patents in this case of 17 / 20 year life spans.
     
  7. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks I like the Beats and the Shouting Premium Member

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    In 2003 Jeep sued Hummer over the design of their Grille.
    http://www.mrtraffic.com/hummer.htm
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    mswood, I don't think you can blame someone for a countersuit or defensive pleading. It's only brought up because you are the defendant in the first place.

    Anyway, that sounds like an accurate description of Patent Law. I think an argument can be made that they are enforced too broadly (there was a big case recently about whether it's possible to get a patent for a discovery of natural law. The case more or less ducked the issue because they didn't want to categorically say no, but could you imagine if Newton patented "gravity"?).
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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  10. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Those "facts" are not correct.

    Here is a nice graphic showing just what patents Samsung was found to have infringed, and on which phone models.

    I will comment patent by patent:

    163 - Enlarging documents by tapping the screen strikes me as pretty obvious, or at least not interesting enough to deserve a patent, but yes, Samsung infringed it.
    381 - The rubber-banding effect is not something I'm aware of UIs doing prior to Apple's usage. That one seems fair.
    915 - Multi-touch didn't even exist in this type of device, as far as I know, before Apple introduced it. While it is an obvious thing to have if you have the technology, this particular application of it doesn't strike me as obvious.
    087 - Making a phone white is novel? Really?
    305 - Rounded square icons on interfaces were around before Apple used them, however using them as the basis for the entire design aesthetic seems to be an Apple "innovation." Sounds like they got that one fair and... square.
    677 - Making phones black is novel, too, apparently.
    889 - Don't know enough about this one to say either way.

    The Samsung patents all sound absurd.

    If nothing else, this case has helped further convince me that patents on simple software features are complete bullshit and shouldn't even be permitted.
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    381 and 915 are only fair if you don't consider the fact that they shouldn't have been patentable in the first place. Both are patently absurd.

    381 – it should be given credit for that only patent listed that makes me go, “hm, you might have something in there... ”. However, that quickly disappears once you consider why the feature is there and what are the alternatives.

    If you're writing a small touch-screen UI, you want to have a perceivable distinction between end of the page and a hanged application. There is a limited number of ways to do this – visible scroll bar, whole page animation, vibration/sound, visual indication around the finger and visual indication (e.g. monochrome or blur effect) for hung apps. Only the first two strike me as intuitive. If you let someone patent one of them, you're essentially taking out the best option for any UI designer, whether they've come up with it themselves or seen it elsewhere. And it sure looks more like a natural choice than a big ingenuity.

    I've tried to write some applications for a touch-screen back in the day with hacked-in scrolling, and the need for some indication is as obvious as it can get, because they are painful to test. As for the choice of UI metaphor:
    1. This one is directly lifted from real life.
    2. It's so obvious that in certain implementations of finger scrolling it can happen by accident. I swear the first time I saw it in an app, I thought it was a bug.
    3. It's the same thing that happens when you're alt-dragging an overly tall window in X11 and have the right kind of snapping enabled. What's the difference between dragging a tall object and scrolling?
    4. I have some memory of seeing it elsewhere before the iPhone, and I'm positive it was in a video game, but don't quote me on this. If it wasn't for scrolling, it was for pushing or dragging something.
    5. The only sane alternative that doesn't pollute screen space is sticky elastic effect that expands the top of the page. Oh, my my, I'm a genius, I should patent this!

    Back in the day, when I didn't have all these kids running on my lawn, for trivial UI cosmetic details like this, we had a choice between a few dozen, and we picked one. And none of them were an “invention”. Has Apple patented lack of choices already?

    915 - now, that's just silly. Multi-touch gestures are about putting two existing things together in an obvious way without the tiniest bit of ingenuity. You've had gestures with one finger, and now you added a second finger. They're literally asking Samsung to give them the middle finger back. Wow.

    Having a particular gesture is also something you shouldn't get exclusive rights on – the choice of gesture is dictated not by being ingenious, quite the opposite, you want to have a gesture that the user is familiar with. You know, just like real life gestures. You want to have the same gestures on every phone.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If one can patent that... I mean it's just an effect. Can game developers patent features in their game play? Is the crosshair in First Person Shooters patented, for example?

    This is ugly. Apple is abusing the legal system to get competition out of the way.
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    You guys don't have to convince me that patenting stuff like this is stupid. I agree that it is.

    But it's legal, and the jury was apparently loathe to invalidate any of the patents. So Samsung infringed them, stupid patents or not.
     
  15. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    If Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patents had been filed by Apple, they would include the idea of a round knob on the crank handle, using cherry wood for the enclosure, a black cord to the earpiece, and mounting screws that allow the user to hang the phone at user-selected locations.
     
  16. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  17. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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  18. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    It seems they have a new spokesperson for the next version of Android as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Methos

    Methos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The way Apple is rolling now, they'll patent the term Jobs soon, and start suing governments for creating more jobs without paying Apple for using the term...

    M
     
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well there is still the appeals to hear. Possible other cases around the world which might not go apples way. And so

    It'll be many years before it's over.

    In the meantime the loser is not Smasung nor Apple but the end consumer.