Cheers for the Apple vs. Samsung Verdict

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View

In the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, Apple won. Big time. Humongous. It was awarded over a billion dollars and almost all of its claims of patent infringement were supported. To which I say: “Fantastic.” I say this not just because I make a living writing about Apple (although I’m sure this makes me biased) — but because it was truly the “right thing.”

Apple and Samsung on scales

What happened

Samsung deserved everything it got last week. If anything, it was not hit hard enough. The company has spent the past few years shamelessly and deliberately copying Apple’s patented designs and technology. You only needed to walk into your local Staples or Best Buy over these past years and see how every Samsung smartphone and tablet looked like it was designed in Cupertino — perhaps by some Bizarro Apple not capable of doing as good a job as Apple itself, but still close enough to be confusing.

At the same time, let’s be clear: Samsung is hardly in any dire jeopardy over this ruling. The company won’t have to pay a cent until after exhausting an inevitable series of appeals. The billion dollar fine, even if the judge decides to triple it, will hardly put Samsung in risk of bankruptcy. As pointed out by Macworld, only two of the products affected by the ruling are still on store shelves (although this list may be in flux). And Samsung’s overall mobile line-up still outsells every competitor, including Apple. So I’m not shedding any tears for Samsung.

So again, I say: “Fantastic.” Last week’s ruling is a welcome victory, not only for Apple, but for anyone that doesn’t want to see Apple’s work and innovation punished by what are essentially cheap knock-offs.

But, you may ask, what about the argument that says patented aspects of Apple’s iPhone and iPad designs are so obvious and compelling they shouldn’t be restricted to one company? According to this view, doing so is like allowing only one car company to use a “circular steering wheel.”

To this I say…what nonsense!

First, if there’s a problem at all, it is with what the government permits to be patented. Personally, I’m disgusted with the entire “patent troll” industry and, more generally, the amount of money companies spend on purchasing patents and suing each other. I wish there were a better way. Maybe someday there will be, although I’m not holding my breath.

Regardless, as long as the laws are the way they are, Apple is well within its rights to take advantage of them. It would be foolish not to do so. Other companies certainly give it their best shot to sue Apple on an almost daily basis. Why shouldn’t Apple fight back?

Besides, there is no patent on the shape of a steering wheel — or the fact that all cars have a gas and brake pedal. Car manufacturers are free to create cars that are similar to their competitors in many fundamental ways. And so they do. And they continue to imitate each other, in areas that are not patented, as the designs of cars evolve. That’s why, unless you see the manufacturer’s logo, it can be difficult to tell one brand of car from another by their exterior look.

Even ignoring patent limitations, the iPhone is different. Apple’s iPhone design is nothing close to a circular steering wheel. There were smartphones well before the iPhone came along. Those older smartphones neither looked like nor acted anything like the iPhone. What Apple did with the iPhone was distinctly new and different. No one had ever seen anything quite like it before. This is obvious in retrospect. That’s why the iPhone became such a huge success. That’s why everyone is now trying to copy it.

To turn this around and argue that, because Apple’s design is successful, it is also so “generic” as to require that others be allowed to copy it—that’s an argument that should never get off the ground.

What may happen next

Despite what I’ve said here, I do have one concern about the impact the verdict may have on future innovation. I’m not worried about Samsung. Or companies like them. To hell with them. Let them come up with their own original ideas or die.

I am worried about what this might mean for a honest company, big or (especially) small, that comes up with an innovative idea. What if Apple claims (perhaps without justification) that the competitor’s idea infringes on Apple’s patents? Will that company be willing (or even able) to fight Apple? Can it afford to risk losing big, as Samsung did? Or will it immediately back down instead? Might the company not even introduce its innovation—out of fear that doing so might trigger a combative response from Apple? Will the innovation ultimately be lost (or perhaps scooped up by Apple)?

It would be wonderful to imagine Apple as a benevolent dictator, one that would never take unfair advantage of its power. It would also be wonderful to believe in Santa Claus. I do worry about whether Apple might wind up with too much power and control over the market.

But that’s a worry for another day…and for possible government action down the road. For now, I remain confident that truly innovative ideas can still emerge and thrive. And I’d be willing to bet that most of them will continue to come from Apple.

If you own Apple stock, last week’s ruling was a big win for you. On Monday, AAPL closed up over 12 points — as a direct result of the verdict. This follows a month of gains that have seen the stock rise over 100 points. Sure, there will be dips in the future (especially if Apple’s fall announcements and quarterly financial statements don’t live up to analysts’ expectations). But my educated guess (bearing in mind that I am not a financial analyst) is that Apple will show year-over-year market gains for at least the next two years.

Why? Because I believe Apple has a string of eye-popping new products in its pipeline. Further, a near-certain fallout of the Samsung-Apple ruling is that companies will have a harder time competing with Apple.

First, they can no longer simply copy Apple’s efforts. This, in turn, will precipitate delays in competitors bringing new products to market. Together, this should allow Apple to expand its market share over the coming months. In fact, I expect to see a continuing shake-out where several smaller smartphone and tablet companies disappear altogether.

One last thing: The Apple-Samsung trial did not directly address similarities between iOS and Google’s Android software. I’m still waiting for that shoe to drop. We live in interesting times.

Comments

Ted Landau

Of note, I read two articles in today’s San Francisco Chronicle about Apple-Samsung verdict. The first expressed fears that the Apple-Samsung verdict would “hurt consumers.” The second worried that it would “chill competition.” These are not the only columns I’ve read that make such arguments. They’re just the latest. Clearly, I disagree ? at least with their emphasis on these concerns. To me, these articles offer slippery slope arguments about a slope that has very little slip.

Lee Dronick

All cars have a gas and brake pedal?

The Model T had the gear shift via a pedal and the throttle was on the steering column. My point is that arrangements of how we use things can be improved, Samsung could do it for the smart phone.

Ted Landau

The Model T had the gear shift via a pedal

You’re really stretching things to break my analogy. smile But I don’t dispute your conclusion.

Holden Mygroin

Loved your article, thought it was spot on. Sadly Samsung and Samsung owners won’t see it that way. I think Samsung photocopiers have two buttons. Button 1, press Copy, and button 2, Copy Apple. I hope Apple start their own phone network, and build their own factories, like they did in the old days. I used to like Samsung, (got their fridge), but now this has exposed them as bad copycats, like Microsoft used to be. Even they have a totally different OS for their phones. A lot of Samsung owners think its OK to steal and copy Apple’s patents. But it’s not OK for Apple to do the same to Samsung. Hypocrites or what?????

vpndev

It is interesting to see that Apple’s multi-touch gestures have become a part of the mainstream.

I have seen them used in TV ads, with spread-to-zoom-in as just one example. Apple certainly has mindshare.

Aftermac

With cars, there are also government regulations that require their configuration and operation to be similar, such as the order of the gears for your automatic transmission (PRNDL). There are also regulations on the shape of steering wheels. You may recall the “gull wing” steering wheel from the TV show Knight Rider. Something like that is not legal for street use.

Geoffrey Kim

Look out world, or USA to be precise, because now McDonald’s can file a lawsuit against all of those hamburger chains because they all have hamburgers with the look and the feel of McDonald’s hamburger. Design patents. Boeing can sue McDonnell Douglas and the rest of thousands of aircraft makers because they all have a look and feel of their aircraft. Nike can sue all the rest of sports equipment makers, on and on and on…... And we have Apple and our wonderful system of intellectual right protection patenting system to thank for all that. Only in USA.

Marc

Yes, how silly of Samsung to forget that one of the iPhone’s 80,000 patents was for the Apple creation known as “the iRectangle”.  Sure, it was close to an existing geometric shape called “the rectangle” but Apple’s had rounded corners.  Samsung could have raised the argument that “the iRectangle” infringed on an existing patent issued to “the Television” but unfortunately, that wasn’t previously patented, because back then the patent office wasn’t iCrazy!

barryotoole

@Ted: That Apple will become quite powerful, and control the market is a legitimate concern, especially for small innovators. But, c’est la vie!

However, there’s a saying that if you don’t police yourself, someone else will, and in this case it could be the government. Like what happened to MS.

Apple’s charm is that it brings the future to the present, with well designed and manufactured products that are disruptive to industries that have become too powerful, bloated and incompetent. Once it mimics those, it will soon become irrelevant, like MS is now. Perhaps there’s a Steve Jobs somewhere attending grade school.

Crafty Spiker

This is a victory for Apple shareholders (and the lawyers).  Everyone else loses.  Our patent system has been distorted beyond it’s original intent and is no longer providing the benefit intended. Stop the foolishness and get back to innovating - that means better function for LESS money.

Oh, yeah - Apple - try manufacturing in the US - your customer base will gladly pay the premium. Try being less greedy and become a better corporate citizen.

Apple Cider

I must disagree to “cheers” for the verdict.
I feel that the verdict was one-sided and narrowly focused.
The designs Apple claimed that Samsung used were actually initiated even before the apple times and it just makes me laugh how Apple argued they adopted the design first.
But what do I know, I don’t even own a single apple stock.
Corporate world as America it is, the battle once again cheered for the entrepreneurs and corporations and big time stock-marker shareholders.
Lots of regular customers, over billions I assume, all around the world now have to suffer the consequence of the corporate greed. But, hey, as long as it makes the big guys happy, right?

mogthemoogle

I guess the “rounded rectangle tool” in all of the Adobe software will have to be renamed to the “iPhone tool?” wink

Also:
“It would be wonderful to imagine Apple as a benevolent dictator”

The mindset of every iPhan in the world. >_>

This makes me right about America being stupid

Who in there right mind let Apple win a case were they say someone coped them.. Apple has made a business on stealing other people ideas and making them white and lame.. God I hate this country and everyone in it!!!

Zep

This is all i have to say about apple’s innovation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq-e0getf4M

DrGQ

Let’s get real here. Apple patents artwork and process, not technology. Other companies patent technology that Apple buys and packages into pretty products. Period. The true innovations are not done by Apple though they like to talk as though they do. This lawsuit is a prime example of all this. Samsung was sued because their product looked and acted like Apple products. Apparently, not only did Apple invent the rectangle, but the icon, and a screen called “Home” for the icon to be displayed. Really? As for touch/multi-touch, Microsoft has been messing with touch screen technology for years before the iPhone. It was not an Apple “innovation”.

Sure Samsung was stupid to be so overt in their rush to compete with Apple, but to sue them because the artwork and function was similar? That’s fricken infantile. Personally, I think Apple will lose a lot of cred as a result of this lawsuit. Of course the fanboyz will love it but Apple lost a lot of potential new customers from what I hear on the streets. Good job Apple. Reload and shoot the other foot.

Voice

I’m horrified by all of these comments.
Please, take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture. Such strict patent laws only serve to stifle creativity. I know for a fact Samsung’s line of galaxy phones operate completely differently than an Iphone, because I have had both. I’m an android programmer, I see inside the OS’s guts. There is nothing similar in form/function aside from the fact that it’s a sleek, rounded edge phone. Should every cell phone manufacturer pay apple royalties for round edges? Will I be arrested for drawing a circle and not paying apple? How do you patent roundness?

Apple just got upset @ Samsung for releasing a competing product. It hurts the ego to not be the best, to have a competitor threaten to produce products better than yours. They retaliated with the way they know best - fleets of lawyers.

If this is how you want common sense handled, Shame on you.
I’m sorry, but I’m failing to see your logic. What a biased article..

Bryan Chaffin

Crafty Spiker, I take issue with everything you’re saying:

1.) The patent system is no long providing the benefit intended: That may or may not be the case, but this case provided precisely the benefit intended. The innovator, Apple, was protected and the copycat was punished.  The company that did all the work and took all the risk is being protected, and that is precisely the intent of the patent system.

2.) Innovation = better function for less money: Says who? Better functionality is often more expensive, not less. Generally speaking, ever cheaper leads to less functionality, not more.

3.) Apple not manufacturing in the U.S. is a sign of greed and an indication that Apple is not a good corporate citizen: For one thing, this has nothing to do with patents. For another, are you posting such comments on articles about every other electronics company on the planet? I can think of no rational way to single Apple out on this issue.

Paul W

Amazing how the iSheep eat this crap up. Apple is just jealous that Samsung made their phone in the shape of a rectangle and used Android instead of that CRAP ios software. Everything Apple makes has been/always will be a rip off to consumers. Overpriced, underwhelming, and uncustomizable. Of couse the iSheep like this because they’re too stupid to learn how to use a real computer/product that isn’t molded for them.

Big Hat

As I understand it, Apple owns the patent on rectangles with rounded edges and screens that respond to finger motion.  Does that mean refregerators and other kitchen appliances are infringements?  How about the new soft drink dispensers that offer thousands of syrup combinations?  Aside from being incredibly annoying, are they also an infringement?  Remember the Betamax?  Keep in mind that the ruling applies only in the USA and courts in Europe have reveled in the lunacy of Apple’s arguments.  Corporate America has become a bloated idiocracy.

NovaScotian

I think this could have precisely the opposite effect to that intended. Clearly, the ruling says that Samsung’s phone is like an iPhone in many ways. Of course, the Samsung phone is less expensive. Ergo, why should I pay all that money for an iPhone when I can get virtually the same thing for less?

"AJ

Let me explain why the author is an idiot who did not even follow any of the proceedings in this trial.
It was demonstrated (I mean physically demonstrated) in court that Mitsubishi Electric’s diamond touch interface had the pinch to zoom capbilities and the bounce back capabilities. well before the iphone was launched.  The designers also testified that they had demonstrated those features to Apple engineers in 2005.  I will excuse apple for stealing those ideas because they were not patented by Mitsubishi electric.  But getting a patent over prior art and cleverly not referring to prior art in the application was a crime in its own respect.  I own a Macbook. Love it. but this is unethical by all standards.  The Jury only said they found that Samsung infringed the patents.  They also said tht they skipped the task of anlyzing prior are because it was “bogging them down”.  That was completely against the instructions on the verdict form.  If they had followed instructions, half the patents would have been thrown out the door.

Ravi

Check your facts first..!

DID YOU KNOW THAT, the remarkable design that you think Apple has come up with for the iPhone, was actually ‘inspired’ completely by an LG phone that first introduced a FULL screen phone with just one button?!
Go look for pictures… you will be amazed at who copied what from where.

And this entire article is totally ridiculous. You miss the whole point about Samsung`s argument - a company CANNOT just be awarded a patent on a Rectangular design with rounded corners.. And when you defend Apple on this one, I start treating you like a layman, not an expert..!

Bryan Chaffin

Voice, I believe it takes a supreme effort in denying reality to assert that Samsung’s infringing devices don’t look like Apple devices.

Clearly, clearly, clearly Apple doesn’t have a patent on rounded corners. There are many ways of making devices with rounded corners that don’t look like Apple’s devices. When and if Apple goes after a competing device that doesn’t look like an Apple device, then your view will have merit.

On top of that, the evidence showed that Samsung made a concerted effort to copy Apple.

Look at all the other devices out there that don’t like the iPhone and then look at Samsung’s infringing devices. If you’re OK with what you see and think Samsung did nothing wrong, then we simply have different definitions of right and wrong.

As for the guts comment: Apple spent years developing the overscroll bounceback and it took Samsung three months to copy it. This is not OK in my book. If it’s cool with you, then we again have different definitions of right and wrong.

That’s not about the guts, that’s about one company figuring out how to make a touch-only display work right for the first time ever and another company copying all the work without taking any of the risks.

J. Rife

Apple fanboys constantly fail to recognize that even Steve Job’s philosphy was to “steal” (his word, not mine) from other innovators.

Ted Landau

I appreciate all the comments, even the one that calls me an “idiot.” It’s worthwhile to hear contrary points of view that offer actual arguments. If nothing else, it forces me to rethink and refine my own arguments.

My only general response for now regards comments that imply that the entire trial somehow boils down to a debate over a rounded-rectangle shape. That’s not how I read the verdict. I believe there are valid criticisms to be made (many of which are made in the comments above). But this is not one of them.

MacCurry

Apple has already been stealing smaller companies and keep them from innovating.

See: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-04/apple-wins-reversal-of-mirror-worlds-patent-verdict.html

Marc

My only general response for now regards comments that imply that the entire trial somehow boils down to a debate over a rounded-rectangle shape. That?s not how I read the verdict.

I don’t think anyone has asserted that this was the only basis of Apple’s case, but rather the pinnacle of ridiculousness surrounding the case.  Educated consumers will pay the price for this…Apple fans have been overpaying for sub-par performance for years, now other devices will be priced comparable to Apple products to pay for corporate legal fees.

Think Different, Post-Apple

I’ve worked in a patent and trademark repository and there is nothing new here.  Intellectual property laws have been more detrimental than this (know that patents for effective medical ideas, once expired (i.e. public domain), are often intentionally replaced with inferior ideas that can be sold exclusively.  Heirloom seed elimination is perhaps even a greater threat to humanity.  That said, while this is obviously a site for those who really love the Apple experience and I’m not here to burst your bubble, please wander beyond the echo chamber now and then.  Apple has been rightfully awarded certain patents for good work.  They have also fairly licensed the good work of others.  And, at times, they have been caught with their hand intentionally in the cookie jar.  I like to see competition and alternative models, so I hope Apple and others are successful until better models come along.  But it will certainly take “a string of eye-popping new products in [Apple’s] pipeline” to keep Apple in the game.  Many already see the iSeries as rather stale and underpowered.  If Apple doesn’t have the next big thing, someone else will.  And it seems that it was Apple’s push content oriented business model (i.e. iTunes) that launched their current success rather than technology design (which has always trended closer to design patents rather than utility patents, including the patents contested in this case).  So I hope your ecosystem flourishes for the sake of diversity.  But I’d invite you to step outside of it now and then so you can be part of maintaining your system rather than merely consumers.

Marc

Many already see the iSeries as rather stale and underpowered.

AMEN!!!

Ravi

Bryan,
About “overscroll bounceback”... thats how technology evolves..!
Let us set Apple vs Samsung aside for just a minute…

What about general Laptops? Do you recall any company suing another company of using a “Folding Book” style layout for 100% of laptops we use these days?? WHY THE HELL NOT..??
Same with cars..? Why does a company that first experimented with 4 wheels and a cabin not sue 1000s of other companies using the same concept..?!

The answer is evolution.. its HUMAN to learn from someone else`s mannerisms.. so, is NATURAL for a company to grasp ideas from another..!
Samsung has done it… yes. BUT, Apple does it too..!!

To you point about right and wrong in the case of overscroll bounceback now, IF Samsung was found to have COPIED the same code that was used in iOS, the whole Android community would demolish Samsung.

And talking about copying ideas.. do you vaguely recall when Android first used a “scroll from top to see a Notification Center”? And when did iOS implement it..? Is THIS not copying..? WHY?

Lee Dronick

Marc, a lot of comments I have seen here and on other news sites implied that the lawsuit was about the shape of the devices.

As to the cost of the lawsuit hurting Samsung, well it is a small drop in a big bucket. Of course it will be passed on to consumers, but they won’t even notice the slight increase. Samsung may have to increase R&D funding to innovate differently, that too will be passed on to consumers. Anyway, the appeals process hasn’t even started, it all could change in a different court.

Ben

Cheers for the verdict?  Apple’s “innovations” are often a direct result of the first-mover DISadvantage.  They sit back and wait for others to do something, then figure out how to make the same thing with a simpler interface.  Granted, there is a slick, modern look and feel to Apple’s products.  But I’m tired of them being held up as a pillar of innovation and an example of a wonderful technology company.  Please!  Their monopolistic policies are atrocious.  And yes, I’m glad the author agrees that the patent system is broken—it seems the jury couldn’t do what was right, but had to bend to a patent system that allows too many and too vague patents.  How about the verdict in South Korea that wasn’t so good for Apple? Any comments on that?

Yes, Apple’s stock will probably increase in upcoming months.  But they are headed for interesting times as their security and monopolistic behavior will come under scrutiny as they gain market share. 

After all, creativity is just well concealed theft.

Sincerely,
A first and definitely LAST time reader.

Kanha

The entire Apple vs Samsung drama was more of American vs Non-American. Jingoism at its best. I don’t belong to either the Apple nation or the Samsung nation. My IP would tell you that. Samsung is much bigger company than Apple by any means and it doesn’t survive selling only smart phones. Apple has been known to kill competition and I read one quote by Steve Jobs where he clearly admitted that he wasn’t ashamed of ‘copying’ the best and adapting it. If Samsung was shameless in copying Apple, Apple didn’t do any better by “patenting” a rectangle with round corners. It reminds you of how Britishers and other Europeans claimed the land called America they “discovered”, and even fought among themselves for it! Apple is a land-grabber of modern times. Microsoft paid for it in Europe, Apple will “rise to the occasion” too someday.

Voice

@Bryan Chaffin

Every cell phone looks like the others - it’s ubiquity in form. One might have a slight curvature across the back, or a matte finish, or a brushed aluminum housing for the battery or whatever, but on the whole, when you see a cell phone and someone talking in to it, you KNOW WHAT IT IS. Ever notice that most cars, electric shavers, printers, routers, cans of cola, look similar? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Plenty of technology people claim to have come from Apple, really has only come from litigation because Apple is the big fish in the tech industry and swallows up everyone else’s ideas. They work with patent companies to buy ‘intellectual property’ JUST so that they can have leverage against competitors, and can sue them if they arrive at an end-product that so much as resembles their product.

I guess if you don’t understand how the tech industry works fundamentally, then you can’t make an accurate assessment of it.

There are millions of devices that are similar to each other, but different. That’s a HEALTHY market. It’s capitalism, economics 101. Stay in school kids, and don’t use your college funds to purchase a new Ithingy every 6-12 months (whatever the rotation is nowadays for those).

OldMorris

Wa wa wa wa, Samsung is crying at being so foolish and arrogant to think they could copy so blatantly and ignore even googles advice not to COPY apple so closely. Now they look stupid because they misjudged.

Copy copy copy

Even good copiers are still just copying the master.

skipaq

Great article Ted. You got it spot on. But what do I know? I’m an iSheep who brainlessly pays extortion prices for iDevices when there are better devices for less. Yes! And these other companies have innovated circles around Apple; while Apple has just been busy copying round rectangles to submit to the Patent Office.

I am so brainless that I took the entire IRA funds from mutual funds in my wife’s and my account and bought Apple stock at $15.80 before there ever was an iDevice. Such stupidity disqualifies me from having anything worth saying on this topic. Should have bought Motorola Mobility instead. What a blockhead.

Keep up the good articles. It is great having all these intelligent comments to read so that I can learn how to make better buys.

For now I will just have to suffer with my iDevices and the loser stock portfolio. wink

ibuck

This comment section is quite an example of people clinging to their perceptions, values, ideas and feelings (i.e. worldview) despite clear evidence that directly refutes their worldview, or part of it.  Being able to adapt to changing conditions (i.e. objective reality) has been crucial to survival of all species for millenia. Can you adapt?

People who like different companies’ products do so due to their own perceptions, values, feelings and abilities.

Posting snarky (or worse) comments here to try to convince people of your worldview, particularly if you resist some facts and mischaracterize others, is largely ineffective. Even if it provides you some emotional relief.

If someone implies that you are stupid, ignorant or a fanboy in a snarky manner, how open will you be to their reasoning? Probably, you will be dismissive of their comments. Care to try a new approach?

Rocko

This old geezer remembers when Microsoft got a peek at Apples new OS, copied it, took over the market and got away with it. Apple almost perished. (And please no bone head remarks that Apple “stole” , they paid for it, legally. If they had stole they would have been sued).

30 years later, back from the earlier mistake, Apple makes another. They let Eric Schmidt/Google have a peek at a new phone. I applaud Apple fighting as hard as they can this time.

For anyone to defend Samsung’s blatant copying, document shredding, etc, I hope that one day your lucky enough to work for years, build a new widget, bring it to market, receive heaps of scorn for that new product (remember all that?), then have it become a rage.
I hope your then lucky enough to have someone copy it down to every detail and take all your profits.

I’m sure you’ll be the first one to give it all up.

I suggest that anyone who trashes the basic “goodness” of the patent system read up on the fellow who invented the intermittent wind shield wiper.

DrGQ

Interesting that Apple sued over cosmetics and not technology. The patent system was intended for technological innovation not pretty and cute. This is really the essence of what Apple sued over; Samsung copied Apple’s pretty and cute presentation. A total misuse of the patent system. There was no technology copied, only form and color. Give Apple a cookie and send them home to mommy.

Kanha

To those who felt hurt with my views, I apologize.

Lee Dronick

Interesting that Apple sued over cosmetics and not technology. The patent system was intended for technological innovation not pretty and cute. This is really the essence of what Apple sued over; Samsung copied Apple?s pretty and cute presentation. A total misuse of the patent system. There was no technology copied, only form and color

There is more to the lawsuit than just how it looked, there was also technology involved.

Anyway let us look at from a different angle. Someone writes a book, a competitor copies it almost verbatim and publishes it with a different title. Would that be okay?

mhikl

Ted, you continue to be one of the best tech writers around and it is good to have you on the side of integrity.

As for the Apple Envy boys, I blame the education system, parents, grandmothers, government, religious institutions, and unlicensed dogs.

Regardless, Apple Won, Apple Won, Apple Won! Tears of joy for some; tears of envy & resentment for the others.

And I mean this in the kindest way.

DrGQ

Lee said: “Anyway let us look at from a different angle. Someone writes a book, a competitor copies it almost verbatim and publishes it with a different title. Would that be okay?”

No. That’s called a Copyright infringement. Perhaps Apple should copyright their form and cutesy icons rather than patent them.

Apple is an innovative packager of technology. They make pretty products (albeit the UI usually sucks). Samsung committed for all intents and purposes, a copyright violation.

mrmwebmax

+

I am so brainless that I took the entire IRA funds from mutual funds in my wife?s and my account and bought Apple stock at $15.80 before there ever was an iDevice. Such stupidity disqualifies me from having anything worth saying on this topic. Should have bought Motorola Mobility instead. What a blockhead.

You really should have bought Microsoft. Look how their stock has soared during the last ten years or so!

Lee Dronick

I am considering buying some MSFT. With new management they could rebound, look what happened when Steve Jobs returned to Apple.

mrmwebmax

+

Ted,

Great article, especially for this:

Samsung deserved everything it got last week. If anything, it was not hit hard enough. The company has spent the past few years shamelessly and deliberately copying Apple?s patented designs and technology. You only needed to walk into your local Staples or Best Buy over these past years and see how every Samsung smartphone and tablet looked like it was designed in Cupertino ? perhaps by some Bizarro Apple not capable of doing as good a job as Apple itself, but still close enough to be confusing.

As for the negative unregistered comments here (did some sort of secret alarm go off in the Android community with links to this article? Wow….):

As presented in the court, Samsung purposely and willfully copied Apple’s patented designs. Even Google warned them about this. Whatever the unregistered Fandroids here may think about patents and the patent system, these are the laws. You don’t like the laws? Write to your Congressional representatives, whatever.

Samsung stole. Period. And here’s what I don’t get from all of you frothing-at-the-mouth Apple haters: If iOS is so crappy, then why did Samsung put so much effort into blatantly stealing patented aspects of it?

For all of you who claim iOS devices are underpowered…umnn, care to back that up with any evidence? Underpowered compared to what?

For all of you trotting out the old, stale, tired, and completely disproven myth that Apple’s products are overpriced, compared to what? How about 10” tablets? How does Apple’s pricing fare there? I believe they have the lowest-priced 10” tablets, unless you count HP fire sales and the like.

In the end, in terms of price, you get what you pay for, and I’ve already shown in a previous thread that iPhones retain far more resale value than any other smartphones. That’s quality. That’s value:

is-your-smartphone-a-good-investment-if-its-an-iphone-yes

I know, I know: The only reason iPhones have such great resale value is because all of us iSheep are waiting in line to purchase them, even though we’re also waiting in line to purchase the next new model that comes out. Hell, we purchase iPhones just to make Apple look good, right???

mrmwebmax

+

Of couse the iSheep like this because they?re too stupid to learn how to use a real computer/product that isn?t molded for them.

The Apple Macintosh is a UNIX system with a front-end GUI. If that’s not a real computer, please enlighten me and tell me what is.

RonMacGuy

It is so good to see the fearless troll fighters - Bryan, Lee, mrmwebmax, even mhikl?!?!?  Where the heck has that guy been?!?!?  grin  How you been, mhikl?

But, you wage war on a massive wave of brainless zombie trolls here.  Hardly a fair fight, is it?  4 against dozens!!  But you are winning, so carry on!!  “FREEDOM!!”

grin

You know, that would make a great band name - ‘The Fearless Troll Fighters!!’  I play a little trumpet - too bad I live in the midwest.  But maybe we can all use garage band remotely to record our first troll song!!

Lee Dronick

Well Ron as General Puller said at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked by enemy that outnumbers us. They can’t get away from us now!”

MacFrogger

mrmwebmax said:

As for the negative unregistered comments here (did some sort of secret alarm go off in the Android community with links to this article? Wow?.):

Yeah, I suspect so.  Most of these commenters are like a pack of rabid dogs, but you guys are like iTasers!  wink

mhiki said:

As for the Apple Envy boys, I blame the education system, parents, grandmothers, government, religious institutions, and unlicensed dogs.

Amen!  Or did you mean rabid dogs??

mrmwebmax

+

But, you wage war on a massive wave of brainless zombie trolls here.? Hardly a fair fight, is it?? 4 against dozens!!

Dozens, indeed! This has to be a record. Almost fifty comments on an article that appeared less than eight hours ago??? I honestly can’t recall seeing so many comments this soon on an article this young at TMO.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I can’t wait to hear Ted explain how Apple didn’t copy Google’s patent pending Android notification system with iOS 5’s Notification Center. Google applied in January, 2009, and has a long list of claims. It just seems to me that Apple should invent its own technology rather than slavishly copying others.

It is nice to see others who like their Macs but can still think independently about Apple issues. It is nice to know we’re a real constituency that craves independent analysis about Apple.

MacFrogger

Brad,

If Google gets a patent approved for its notification system and if Apple is subsequently found in violation of that patent (or others), then Google has the right to sue over infringement.  I do not think any of the regulars here would disagree with that premise.

But c’mon - no sane person can seriously dispute that Sammy REALLY DID SLAVISHLY copy the look, the feel, etc of the iPhone.  And I know you are sane, despite what others may think.  wink

Ted Landau

I can?t wait to hear Ted explain how Apple didn?t copy Google?s patent pending Android notification system with iOS 5?s Notification Center.

OK, Brad. Let me explain about Apple’s Notification Center ? this thing that you, and others, hold up as if it were some ultimate destroyer of all pro-Apple arguments.

Let me start by conceding your point, at least hypothetically. If Google can successfully sue Apple on this point, and get a jury to go along with their claims, and award them a judgement, then I say “go for it.” Why not? (I just now see that I am echoing the previous commenter here.)

However, I would add that this Notifications feature is trivial, on a percentage basis, compared to all the copying that went on in the opposite direction ??possibly by a factor of 100. So while we’re at it, let’s give Apple an award that is 100X greater than whatever Google gets. I remain OK here.

But all of this is still beside the point, in my view. The key question for me is about damages. That is, how many people decided to buy an iPhone instead of an Android phone primarily because Notifications Center was on the iPhone? My guess would be zero. But I’m willing to concede 10, if you insist.

Now turn it around: How many people bought an Android phone instead of an iPhone (as well as whatever other phones were available) because Android was so much of an iOS-imitation? I would guess just about everyone that bought an Android. If Android had tried to emulate the Blackberry instead of the iPhone, it would be dead today. That’s why Apple is getting damaged by its imitators and why the reverse is not the case.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@MacFrogger: SLAVISHLY copying is neither a crime nor a tort. You will note that this jury was not handed a single question among the 700 plus questions was about whether Samsung “copied” (slavishly or unslavishly). The infringements in question were patent infringements, specifically claims in patents that Apple was awarded. The case narrative was about “slavishly copying”, which seems to have struck a nerve with the jury and appealed to their sense of justice.

The reason this is an important distinction is that every creative person, whether or not they admit it, does a tremendous amount of SLAVISH copying of popular designs and approaches. The innovation may come in how they remix or incremental improvements or random quirks and errors that seep in. For software and technology, it’s unavoidable. Patent infringement is unavoidable. What you basically do as a software developer for any company from a dude in his mom’s basement to the larget firms is develop what you need to develop with blinders on, hope nobody notices or cares about the inevitable infringements, and have good lawyers ready to drag things out as long as you can if there’s any money in what you’re doing. Apple is no different, and if you paid attention to the executive email kerfuffle in this case, you’d see that their email policy is designed to keep sensitive email out of the hands of litigants and provide enough plausible deniability to avoid sanction—or at least balance out what other litigants do.

For the record, I’d like to see software patents vanish. And I agree with the LA Times that these design patents are a friggin abomination. But with the notification thing, I’m not talking about law so much as justice. Many of you feel that this verdict provides justice to Apple because Samsung “SLAVISHLY copied”, which I point out is neither a crime nor a tort in and of itself. I would prefer that Google and all software developers not be granted patents on software and business processes. But if Google were granted this patent, and it then took the SLAVISHLY copying narrative right back at Apple, I could appreciate the justice in that.

MacFrogger

I think that about sums it up Ted - well-stated!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

How does Android emulate the iPhone, Ted? I can’t take iOS binaries and run them on Android. Of course if I tried, I wouldn’t need approval from the Draconian Android reviewers first grin.

If you want to call Android a rip-off of iOS, I think you need to account for it actually being better for lots of folks at lots of points in time. My point in time was April, 2010, when I tried it out of spite and tossed the iPhone in a drawer a couple days later. For many, it was because Apple wasn’t on their carrier, or the screens were too small, or the devices too fragile. It’s called competition, Ted.

We’re approaching the 3 year anniversary of the original Droid commercial during the World Series. I think it highlights a bunch of things Android as a whole specifically did not copy, because those things sucked. At the time, Apple fans weren’t hurt. They thought the direction Android was going was stupid. Funny how that all turned out.

MacFrogger

Brad,

Would you prefer SLAVISHLY INFRINGING?  Because that’s what Sammy did, and it didn’t take very long for a jury to unanimously agree!

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Here’s what I’d prefer. I’d prefer that Apple competed in the marketplace rather than the courtroom. People are not buying Samsung phones because they were duped into buying a knock-off. They are buying Samsung phones (and HTC and LG and Moto Android phones) because they are the best phone for them. I’d prefer that Apple had learned the historical lesson about platform licensing, and the bounds of a platform developer. I’d have preferred that Steve Jobs didn’t start a bunch of wars in the industry in the last two years of his life. I’d prefer that all my old Mac friends were still my old Mac friends and didn’t take this crap so seriously or have so much invested in Apple ruling everything.

I’d prefer that things start to diffuse after Apple realizes this is almost a Pyrrhic victory, or at least mostly empty. Yes, they get to use the playground “copier” taunt for awhile if that floats their boat, but they don’t get to ban any products until at least December 20, and are probably on the hook much sooner for lost sales of the Galaxy Tab 10, for which they won no infringement judgements at all. I’d prefer that Apple copy a lot of Android things, from widgets to open development to NFC payments. The latter would be very welcome in iPhone 5 because otherwise it will be a whole year of iPhone friends expecting me to pay for bagels and coffee with my superior phone that’s been doing this for about 6 months already.

Bryan Chaffin

Every cell phone looks like the others - it?s ubiquity in form.

This is demonstrably and absurdly untrue.

Bryan Chaffin

Let?s get real here. Apple patents artwork and process, not technology. Other companies patent technology that Apple buys and packages into pretty products. Period. The true innovations are not done by Apple though they like to talk as though they do.

Doc, this is a bizarre statement to me. Apple writes its own software, designs its own hardware, designs its own chips, and even invents some of the manufacturing process with some of its supply chain.

And yet Apple doesn’t innovate?

Apple is the only company with a whole widget business model where it has to invent almost everything on its own. Of all computer and consumer electronics companies, Apple is the only one actually responsible for everything.

This is precisely and entirely the opposite of your take on the situation. I can not state that emphatically enough, and I can not twist my head enough to find a way to see any merit in your comment.

Your comments about rectangles?almost every comment here concerning rectangles and rounded corners?betrays a complete ignorance of trade dress and design patents.

Bryan Chaffin

As I understand it, Apple owns the patent on rectangles with rounded edges and screens that respond to finger motion.? Does that mean refregerators and other kitchen appliances are infringements?? How about the new soft drink dispensers that offer thousands of syrup combinations?? Aside from being incredibly annoying, are they also an infringement?

The answer to all of your questions is, “No.”

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, if Apple infringed on any patents regarding Notifications, Google should take it to court. I suspect, however, that Apple isn’t infringing on any utility or design patents with it.

Added evidence of this is that notifications in Android are still superior to iOS’s. Jelly Bean’s notifications are badass.

You know what I’d love to see come out of this trial? I’d love for Google, Samsung, or some other player to take Apple to school, to use this as the impetus to leapfrog Apple and re-disrupt the whole smartphone market that Apple set into overdrive in the first place.

Google could do it, too. Samsung could, too, but I think Google has more ability on this front. To wit: Bada.

Apple haters talk about Apple needing to compete through innovation instead of in the courtroom, but the reality is that Apple is the company that is out-innovating everyone else. Until now, Apple’s competition has felt free to take what it wanted from Apple’s innovations without the learning curve, without the effort, and without the risk.

It’s Apple’s competitors that need to compete by innovating. Google needs to do something original with Android and really leapfrog Apple.

Actually, let me take the opportunity to go back to what I just said. It’s Apple competitors that need to compete by innovating so that Apple doesn’t have to take them to court.

Saying that Apple needs to compete by innovating takes a supreme effort at denying the reality that Apple is innovating and that its competitors have gone to great lengths to copy those innovations.

In any event, I really would like to see Google or Samsung leapfrog Apple. I would love to see Apple pushed that way.

Aftermac

Voice said:

Every cell phone looks like the others - it?s ubiquity in form.

This is demonstrably and absurdly untrue.

I must have glossed over that… absolutely laughable! Every cell phone I’ve had has been dramatically different from the one before… and I have never owned a non-smart phone!

Before the iPad and iPhone, I don’t remember tablets and cell phones looking and functioning like the iPad and iPhone… now dozens upon dozens of them do.

Sure you can easily dismiss Apple’s hardware and UI designs as obvious and evolutionary, but if that’s the case why hadn’t someone thought of them before? It’s only “obvious” to the competition after Apple releases a successful product.

If companies don’t legally defend themselves then you wind up with consumers calling Puffs facial tissue, Kleenex.

Paul Goodwin

IPhone released Jan 2007. Go Google Best Smartphones of 2006 and take a look. There’s virtually no resemblance to the iPhone in the way they operated or looked. Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry. They designed it, paid for it, promoted it and sold so many that companies like Samsung new they could make a huge profit even after paying the infringement fines. Five years later all those features that changed the phone world seem so logical. It always does with hindsight. Samsung got caught ripping off a design. They didn’t want to pay to develop something new. They deserve a much bigger penalty than what they got. They were ruthless business people that deliberately broke the law. The business world is full of those types. They will rip off anything good or successful if they think the other guys pockets aren’t deep enough to take him to court, or they will do it if the profits will outweigh the penalties. As convoluted and strange as patent law may seem, what other protections are there against stealing a design and profiting from someone else’s effort and investment? You want innovation. Well without patents, nobody would put big engineering investment dollars into products; they would save it and copy someone else’s and just get very fast at copying.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Aftermac, you purposely mix up trademarks and patents with the Kleenex line.

Bryan, I posted a link to the Google notification pending patent. The claims are exhausting to read through. It covers a lot of ground. The sum total though is that if event driven data (notifications) appear in a gutter area of the screen, and you can then pull it down to expand them, it’s covered by the pending patent. When the patent is approved, Apple will simply be an easily demonstrable slavish copier, whether Google sues them or not, guilty of the same thing they sued HTC, Samsung, and Motorola over. That’s the can of worms that gets opened up when the arguments get personal and over-the-top. Patent wars used to be nice, without one party going off about slavish copying and morality and the Constitution and all those other marketing things that juries aren’t asked to decide. It was business, even if it was war. Now, it’s ridiculous.

Correction to a previous statement I made. The hearing to ban infringing Samsung devices is December 6. The judgement could really be cost of doing business for Samsung, and a lesson in being more careful with email rather than any deterrent to future, inevitable patent infringement. Due to the difference in pace between judge time and market time, you may be celebrating the legal equivalent of a Labor Day Tent Event.

Bryan Chaffin

Brad, I’m equal opportunity protector of innovation. Remember how I ranted when Apple added Watson functionality to Sherlock without so much as a thank you to Karelia?

If Apple is infringing on Google’s notification patent, I’m confident the legal system will offer proper recourse for Google.

But, and this is a big but, one wrong doesn’t cancel out a host of others.

Aftermac

Brad, my point with that statement is that Apple needs to defend itself to avoid the genericization of it’s brands. It is slightly off topic, but closely related and a very real possibility.

This has already happened with the iPod (Apple still owns the trademark, but the term is now widely used by the general public to describe portable music players) and is in danger of happening with the iPad and possibly the iPhone as well.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Well sure Bryan. But the Watson thing wasn’t about SLAVISH (geez, my spell checker is going to start recognizing that) copying, patents, or IP. It was about how Apple should treat developers. Because that mattered when the operative adjective was “beleaguered”.

I’ll go back and review my ongoing studies of informal IP arrangements, but I remember there being many market examples where companies could “own” things without the need for a state-granted monopoly and enforcement via the courts. Goodwill and reputation are obvious high-level examples. An obvious specific one. Apple Store v. Microsoft Store. Microsoft was clearly inspired by the concept and many of the implementation details, yet doesn’t see the traffic or sales. Does it do us any good if Apple were to litigate over that?

Aftermac

Stores are not a consumer product.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Since you missed the point, Aftermac, fashion products are consumer products, and in that realm, there are no patents. There is rampant SLAVISH copying the moment a new dress hits the runway. And yet, there is continual innovation, refinement, trends, and even wild profits! See my college buddy Ted Balaker interview the most prominent chronicler of this issue.

That’s basically been the operational narrative of the computing industry, as reinforced by Apple v. Microsoft and SCO v. Novell, and even recently, Oracle v. Google. Sure there were tons of software patents. But they were in bunkers and mostly not being shot off despite rampant (unavoidable) infringement. The intersection of computing with consumer electronics hasn’t been so good for keeping the peace, unfortunately.

DrGQ

Doc, this is a bizarre statement to me. Apple writes its own software, designs its own hardware, designs its own chips, and even invents some of the manufacturing process with some of its supply chain.

And yet Apple doesn?t innovate?

Understood. However because Apple isn’t filing suit with anyone for those things it comes across like that. They are suing for cosmetic similarities. As was pointed out earlier, ios software and android software are totally different and yet the end function is the same. Apple sees this and does not sue over the functionality, only the pretty and the cute that is the iPhone.

If Apple copyrighted the iPhone icons, form factor, and overall presentation, I would have been 100% on Apple’s side in the matter. But to file a patent for that stuff, that’s just silly.

I just think the whole premise of the lawsuit is nuts. If someone mistakes a Samsung Android phone for an Apple iPhone, they have no need for a smartphone to begin with.

skipaq

Way to go, Ted. You filled up my inbox this morning. At least the discussion has been elevated to an adult status.

Apple doesn’t compete by innovating. Have to just laugh that one off. Apple doesn’t compete in the marketplace. Makes one wonder were they are selling all these iDevices. Apple will get their due when someone sues them and they have to pay. Let me see. Yup, that has already happened. Apple is a bully picking on the little guys. Somehow that just doesn’t fit the image of either Samsung or Google (whom they haven’t sued).

justice |?j?stis|
noun
1 just behavior or treatment: a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people.

Yes. This was all about justice (sort of why it went to court) and not about money. It was about stealing IP property and the place to get justice is in court. Google was warned. Samsung was warned by both Apple and Google. Samsung decided to do it anyway and lost. Lost money and more importantly they lost some credibility in the matter of being just.

There has been a spike in consumers selling their Samsung smartphones. This has caused the aftermarket value of these to drop. Other companies are taking note of this judgement. There will be decisions made that reflect the results of this case. That is not only just; it is good for everyone.

Aftermac

Brad, what about Apple vs. Digital or Apple vs. eMachines?

Dave

Patents expire, the reason there is no 4 wheels garbage suits from the car guys is that the industry is well over 100 years old and those types of patents have expired. Likewise the folding laptop, first shipped by Grid Systems in 1982 with their Compass laptop then licensed to anyone who would pay them (I think Toshiba was one of the first licensees). The Samsung suit involved utility patents, design patents and trade dress.. patents are not simply ideas, they have to show how this doesn’t seem to keep people from trying to patent time machines or perpetual motion engines, explaining the how is where they all fall down.

Try putting 3 stripes on a shoe and selling it, Adidas will rip you a new one in no time but I guess some people think there’s no harm in doing that type of copying…

The mass failure of electrolytic capacitors (1999-2003) aka the capacitor plague is an example of IP theft. A recipe for electrolytic fluid was stolen/copied… literally millions of capacitors that were made using this stolen formula failed, the not so good at copying thieves simply closed down shop leaving the cleanup to all the various purchasers…

Samsung started copying Sony back in the ‘80s, they got caught playing too close to boundary line…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The paragraph I wrote above was about software patents, Aftermac, not trade dress (eMachines) and not copyright (DEC). In the case of DEC, Apple’s “progress” on look and feel protection through copyright turned into Napoleon and Waterloo against Microsoft a decade later.

Aftermac

The paragraph I wrote above was about software patents, Aftermac, not trade dress (eMachines) and not copyright (DEC). In the case of DEC, Apple?s ?progress? on look and feel protection through copyright turned into Napoleon and Waterloo against Microsoft a decade later.

Yes, but in that same post you were also referencing “fashion” products.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Right. Because in fashion, there are no patents on design. There are on materials, but that falls mostly outside of fashion. Ralph Lauren isn’t going to invent the next GoreTex or get a unique look by using it. There is copyright that would apply to a specific printed pattern on materials. There is trademark for logos. No “look and feel” garbage though. Under the IP regime of fashion, eMachines would have been completely legit, and probably would have shipped the day after the Bondi Mac did. I see that as a very good thing for consumers and everyone up and down the production food chain, including the “innovators”. I don’t see the IP regime that is emerging in software, computing, and mobile a positive thing.

wab95

Ted:

I don?t suppose you need me to tell you that your article is not universally loved, but that makes it no less valid in its point.

It is intriguing to see how how quickly Apple opponents have coalesced around the ?rectangle with rounded corners? meme, despite the fact that the six patents on which Samsung was found to infringe, had nothing to do with rounded rectangles. That there is the level of international response to your article (much of it Asian) taking issue with everything from ?Apple theft? and ?Apple copy? to ?corporate America? being a ?bloated idiocracy?, only underscores how big of a deal this US case was internationally. No doubt, these comments are expressions of visceral unhappiness with the outcome, and that, despite proclamations to the contrary, Samsung has taken a very public black eye on this one.

In fairness, some of the discussion reflects genuine differences in corporate culture between the USA (and to a lesser degree, the West) and that in many Asian countries. It is commonplace in South Asia, for example, to see a manufacturer finding a breakthrough in the market, and competitors quickly moving to that model. It is also the case that, in countries where this is done (China, India, SE Asia more broadly - places I frequent) there is not a long history of IP or copyright protection. This reflects not simply differences in corporate culture, but corporations operating in different IP milieus.

This is not the first time that Samsung have been accused by another company of non-originality. There was the Blackjack, in which Samsung settled with RIM Then Samsung came back at RIM with what CNET dubbed a ?lame Blackberry look alike rip-off?. These did not stir the level of ire or interest (almost no one noticed this last look alike) that the Samsung v Apple case in the USA did. Why not? Because of the other piece of this discussion.

Before discussing that other piece, it is important to note that the six patents are about older devices in the US market, not the new smartphones, which are selling well and were not the subject of this case. The direct effects on Samsung?s sales and profits in the USA should therefore be modest to minimal, and are virtually non-existent in non-US markets. Money is not the real issue.

That other piece is about Apple and how the Samsung brand stacks up next to it. Apple is the largest, and arguably, most successful tech company in history (claims by commenters here to the contrary). It is respected as not simply an innovator, but a cross-sectoral leader, and very importantly, has an international mindshare unrivalled by its competitors. Samsung, through the aid of these infringing devices, made real inroads into both US and international markets in the smartphone space successfully competing with Apple, a feat where many have failed. This raised Samsung?s profile in a way that copying or even out and out competing with RIM never did or even could. This court ruling adversely affected that profile, no less than if a lesser-known sports figure had defeated a sports legend, gained prominence, but was found guilty of doping. Therein lies the rub: Samsung has been found guilty of cheating. On the world stage. At least that is the perception; the publicity of which is made more apparent because against whom Samsung were found to be cheating. For Samsung, it?s the Asian mortal wound - loss of face. Forget the money, this is visceral; the money only adds injury to insult.

Earlier I suggested that Samsung, in preparing for the worse (I think this outcome qualifies), should engage in a charm offensive in the USA to protect its brand in the US market. Apple, in my view, would do well to avoid anything approaching triumphalism, which will play poorly internationally, particularly in Asia. It will, as some of these comments suggest, be conflated with issues that go beyond Apple, the company, or its devices, but could nonetheless have a deleterious effect on its image abroad.

I suggest that for both companies, the trial?s outcome provides complementary challenges. Whether Samsung can find it within itself to focus on protecting its brand and moving on in this market, or risk making matters worse by tying its brand to this outcome, will be up to Samsung. Whether Apple (their supporters are free to say whatever they wish) will wax triumphant and risk alienating potential new clients, or demonstrate grace under victory - both could have lasting effects on either brand. For both companies, Samsung and Apple, the broader picture of public perception remains a precarious one that requires a delicate touch.

MacFrogger

wab95:

Spot on, esp in regards to what Sammy and Apple need to think about moving forward.  So far at least, I have not seen Apple (the company) gloating but it would appear Sammy is tying its brand to a final outcome.

Bryan Chaffin

If Apple copyrighted the iPhone icons, form factor, and overall presentation, I would have been 100% on Apple?s side in the matter. But to file a patent for that stuff, that?s just silly.

Thanks for the clarification, Doc. I don’t agree, but now I understand your point much better.

The thing about copyright is that Apple lost its copyrighted look and feel battle with Microsoft. Apple lost that fight not because of the copyright itself, but rather because Microsoft was better at writing contracts than Apple, but the end result was that Steve Jobs bought into the idea that this time around patents would be a better way for Apple to protect its inventions.

I offer that not as an argument, but rather as context for how the situation came about.

Paul Goodwin

Samsung copies so many companies’ products. Google Samsung Watches. They have copied every major watch companies’ designs.

Apple will have their hands full with the Chinese companies copying their stuff. Google DIYTRADE/China and search on iPhone replica.

Paul Goodwin

Anyone who buys Samsung products is supporting the worst kind of piracy. They and you are building your chain, link by link.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Anyone who buys Samsung products is supporting the worst kind of piracy. They and you are building your chain, link by link.

Someone above mentioned how respectful the tone of this discussion was. There goes the neighborhood.

Paul Goodwin

Where’s the disrespect in that? All I said was to not support the pirates. Which Samsung is. And not just in phones and tablets.

Log-in to comment