A Dutch court has warmed the hearts of Apple's patent Nazis, issuing a preliminary injunction against the sale of three Samsung Android phones: the Galaxy S, the Galaxy S II, and the Ace. As noticed by the ubiquitous Florian Mueller, the injunction is due to take affect in the middle of October, but it only applies to certain EU …
Well, I answered Andrews comment before this one showed up, but the bottom line is that Apple has lost in reality, Samsung won't even notice the blip, but we now have a pure software patent running wild in Europe - sad times.
"but we now have a pure software patent running wild in Europe - sad times."
Hmm, you got a good point there. Then how come the patent was'nt invalidated?
That got to be joke, just the possibility of getting sued, if, and only if, someone visits a site with a touch thingy (unless that person uses a BT-mouse).
From what I understand the patent in question - EP 2059868 - is a device patent and not a software patent. details here: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/description?CC=EP&NR=2059868A2&KC=A2&FT=D&date=20090520&DB=&locale=en_EP
Ultimately you are correct IMO 'we now have a [pure] software patent running wild in Europe - sad times', but my question is, why was a patent that is essentially a software patent granted as a device patent in the first place?
I fully understand the need for a patent system, but really, software and gesture patents? Absurd.
I've not gone into the details of this ..
.. but I'd *guess* the patent is for the control of an application by gesture on a touchscreen NOT for the software to implement that. After all it could be by an ASIC or some other means.
Still thin-end of the wedge-ish
WOW!!! crApple are really running scared of the Samsung Galaxy, it must be really good.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’d say that, having had a quick look at the patent, that crApple have tried to patent both the software for recognising movment of a finger on a touch screen and the actual gestures.
"5 programs. The one or more program are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors. The one or more programs include: instructions for displaying an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images; instructions for detecting a scrolling gesture comprising a substantially vertical movement of user contact with the touch screen display; and instructions for responding to the scrolling"
Thankfully crAppple haven't taken out a patent for a scrolling gesture comprising substantially vertical movement of the hand with the middle finger extended which is about the only gesture I’ll ever make to an iFad or ANY of their products.
Apple's legal fervency is the stuff of a sc1ent0logist's wet dreams.
Hopefully this frenzied over-broad patent nonsense is not a trend that will catch on over here.
Hang the judge.
Apple won nothing and lost more
Apple lost here not Samsung! 2 of the patents were thrown out, basically stating that Apple does not have these patents because of prior devices already doing it. They also lost the "you made it look like ours" claim for the same reasons. Samsung was already planning on changing the app in question and will have it done before the injunction is in force in October. The judge actually said that because of the ipad design it "makes it self less viable for design protect". Apple lost big time here with its claims of uniqueness and innovation with its patents.
This was just a preliminary injunction hearing. Apple lost the 'bang to rights' round on the other patents, but they haven't been thrown out.
The next round may well see injunctions granted against the eerily similar Samsung devices.
Check out this 2001: Space Oddissey suggestion by Samsung
that Apple borrowed heavily from the movie in making its iPad...
(apologies if it is already in this or the similar threads...)
I wnoder if this will have retroactive implications with Motorola's 1999-ish Star Tac and Star Trek's communicator, that then fast forward past 2005's devices....
the bashing can commence....
...3, 2, 1... and the bashing can commence, whether it is rational or not and whether the law is in their side or not.
I'm sure it'll be jolly amusing to scan through comments from apple haters who seem to love reading about apple.
Corrected for accuracy
I'm sure it'll be interesting to scan through comments from Software Patent haters who seem to love reading about Software Patents.
So. These phones can't be sold in a number of countries, including the UK because of a software patent?
We don't have software patents in the UK. Has the patent office been playing silly buggers again?
F*** off Apple
If Apple are so great and innovative, they wouldn't be worried about things like this... the fact that they are suggests that they have absolutely nothing new and exciting to look forward to in the future.
If they won cases like this, it would just mean they can screw Apple fan boys even more than they do now!
Unnecessary waste of time and energy - could be invested in something worthwhile.
Previously open minded to Apple - but not now...
I disagree, but only slightly
If Apple were innovative, they would worry about things like this because patents exist to allow people who innovate to realise the benefit of their new methods, ideas or products.
The issues here are more whether the type of ideas in this particular case should be ownable and, if so, whether Apple owns them.
I end up being a moderate. The iPad's look shouldn't be a protectable form factor. Similarly, rounded icons are not some attempt at passing off. But some of the concepts that FingerWorks spent real money and time developing should be protectable (by Apple now by way of purchase) in a suitably constrained short term that I accept may already have passed.
Quickest way to spot a troll: look for anyone asserting simultaneously that Apple shouldn't have the patents because they've "stolen" all their ideas and Samsung should be in the clear because they haven't "stolen" anything.
Apple doesn't care about winning in the longer term.
You have to understand that the patents, even dubious patents serve a purpose. It slows down the competition by raising the barrier to entry.
If you were Apple, millions/billions on the line, what would you do?
(Its a rhetorical question)
Don't blame Apple, blame the patent process.
Let's look at what Google has done.
They have millions/billions on the line, and were competing against the best selling phone of all time. They didn't hoard patents, they made an excellent OS and many devices began using it. Even now that they are the best selling mobile operating system, they have not initiated any lawsuits with other companies over their phones. Even when iOS started directly copying things from the Android OS (notifications, iCloud, etc.), they did not litigate. They take it as a compliment and continue to improve.
So no, nobody is forcing Apple to sue everybody.
Other industries manage
I can think of 2 example off the top of my head where companies go head to head competing on merit without resorting to the courts.
The BMW X5 and the Kia X5 - Both vehicles, both 4x4 and even have the same name. NO court action, BMW are confident enough in their product and their brand.
The Nikon Coolpix S2500 and the Fujifilm Finepix S2500 - both cameras, same model number, different markets. Fujifilm are confident enough that people can tell the difference between the Nikon Everyday compact camera and their more professional one. Again, NO court action
I am sure there are other examples out there. Any more excuses apologists?
they made an excellent OS
If only Google had managed to make this excellent OS 'before' Apple came up with iOS. You say "Even when iOS started directly copying things from the Android OS". Can you say that hasn't happened the other way around as well ? I don't think even the most rabid Apple hater could argue Andriod wouldn't look the way it is now without "borrowing" from Apple's ideas.
@AC: not quite that simple
It's pretty much a matter of record that Android's general format was heavily inspired by iOS, comparing the handsets demoed and photographed before the iPhone was announced and those afterwards.
That said, Google's position has almost always one contrary to restrictions on intellectual property so the fact that you can draw a line from the iPhone to Android for some features isn't an issue. There's no "well what about Google?" line to be taken here. I think the poster's point is that it is hypocritical for Apple simultaneously to borrow ideas from the competition and to try legally to block the competition from borrowing anything in return. Conversely it is not hypocritical for Google to borrow ideas from the competition and then not to kick up a fuss if ideas are borrowed back.
According to Wikipedia
Android was in development for years before iOS was released. Just that the initial Android release was after the Jesus Christ phone.
Yea, and if only Apple had made their excellent GUI 'before' they saw it at Xerox in Palo Alto, they could actually rightfully claim to have invented it.
Do you think iOS emerged fully formed the day before they released it? Consider perhaps that iOS was in development for years also.
iOS vs Android
Android and iOS may have been in development at the same time, but that just makes it a case of parallel evolution - separate developers coming to the same, obvious solution. Apple would have to prove espionage on Samsung's part to win this case.
Meanwhile, back in the courtroom: why are Apple not suing everyone else using this variant of Android? I can tell you: as I said in the iPad vs Galaxy Tab thread, it's because Apple don't care about competitors who are regarded as inferior. However, when someone releases a product of equal or greater quality at equal or lesser cost, Apple immediately reach for the legal team because they do not innovate and hence cannot keep up. Their ongoing legal battle with Samsung is nothing more or less than an attempt to eliminate from the market any product that is considered better than their own - namely, the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy S2.
yes lets look at what Google has done...
They have ignored patent altogether and have pretty much stolen ideas rather than innovate.
Sorry but as a software professional, I believe that Oracle's lawsuit has merit against Google. Will Oracle win? I don't know and I'm not in the fortune telling business. The point I'm raising is that on a first blush review of Oracle's complaint, if taken as true, they have raised enough arguments for their case to proceed to trial.
Google has also refused to indemnify those that built phones on Android as well as not treated vendors equally when releasing android. Google also has shown a total disregard for the law in other instances.
The point is that Google has shown a behavioral pattern of disregard for the law.
But this is outside of the scope.
The point I was trying to make was that companies are filing patents on things that shouldn't get patent approval on the off chance that they get a patent. The whole issue of the patent 'war chest' is that you now create artificial barriers to entry such that you have a competitive advantage in being first to market. Its not about protecting the innovator and allowing them to recoup their investment, but slowing down the rate competitors can compete.
Even if ultimately Apple loses the lawsuits and Samsung can sell their tablets, the damage is already done.
You're right, no one is forcing Apple to sue, but Apple is choosing to sue because they'll end up making more money by 'protecting' their rights.
How about looking at what Samsung and Apple have done?
> I believe that Oracle's lawsuit has merit against Google.
Errr - you do know that this is an article about Apple and Samsung, right? Oracle vs. Google doesn't come into it...
> on a first blush review of Oracle's complaint, if taken as true, they have raised
> enough arguments for their case to proceed to trial.
That's true of every accusation ever made against anyone anywhere.
The point is - and this is a subtle one, I'll grant you - not every allegation is true. Sometimes, defendants are innocent. That's sorta the point about having a justice system; allegations get tried, rather than the defendants just getting punished because someone made an allegation.
Now if we look at the last few days' activity in Oracle vs. Google, we see that two more of Oracle's patents (the '447 and '205 ones) bit the dust in their entirety. Every single claim of those patents wiped out. So what we can see straight away is that at least some of Oracle's complaint is not true.
The score so far is that 39% of Oracle's independent claims have been rejected, compared to just 3.6% confirmed. Of the dependent claims, 79% have been rejected, compared to just 14.3% confirmed. And of that tiny amount that has withstood re-examination, Oracle still has to prove a case of infringement; these rejections are about the patents being invalid, not about infringement or otherwise.
So whilst we've all gotten used to your love of bashing Google, you really might like to keep your attacks pertinent to the articles where you're commenting, and - if it's not too much to ask - how about backing up your assertions of certain doom for Google with a little bit of data?
The comment was in response to an earlier post raising Google vs Apple.
To your point... I said the case has merit, meaning that its not frivolous. You really don't know much about US law.
Also to your point, it only takes one count of guilty and if you can raise 50-100 counts that past the first blush test... you will win.
But getting back to my original point that started this thread.
Even if Apple loses their suit against Samsung, they still win. For Apple, it doesn't matter how real or valid the patent is. It allows them to control for the short term, the market and raises the barrier to entry. I'm going to assume that if you sat down, had your cup of tea and thought about the economics involved, Apple could fund the lawsuit from the *profits* of just keeping competitors out of the market.
But its not just Apple. Look at any other company that has a patent war chest and wants to keep competitors out of their markets. IBM (Mainframe) , Microsoft just to name two others.
There's more to this, but it would go over your head...
Hate to burst a bubble, but Apple had Xerox PARC engineers help them create their GUI because Xerox invested in Apple as a start-up venture capital thing.
For better or worse, Xerox decided that they didn't want to be in the computer arena at that time so they put their money and expertise in a number of start-ups, Apple being just one of them.
Not that it has any bearing on this case anyway.
"Instructions for performing photo management may be included in a computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors."
Groundbreaking stuff. Will these processors execute binary instructions, too?
The only area the judge found legal issue with was the gallery - the rest was thrown out. All Samsung have to do is alter the gallery application, and the issue goes away, and they're legally free to continue selling.
That can easily be done before the injunction comes into play, so this won't even factor on their radar.
sideloading to the rescue
...all Samsung have to do is remove the photo app. Users can easily sideload it back onto their devices.
Or do what many users already do and load a gallery app worth using instead of the stock version!
They weren't thrown out
This is an interim judgment; the full case still has to be decided on the merits, so all of Apple's original claims are still part of the suit and will still be argued in front of the court.
To put it another way: the court hasn't told Apple that they're wrong, just that they're not sufficiently obviously right and that they'll return to the topic in the future.
Wronger than a wrong 'un - you're thinking of the case concerning the Galaxy Tab - that is a preliminary injunction, with a full case to be decided in the next month or two. That said, I have the 25th August in my head for some reason - ie. today.
Oh well, you're still very wrong, and I may just be a bit wrong, so I win.
But, but, but, "the ubiquitous Florian Mueller", said it's a major victory for Apple! Surely half the Reg staff would not quote him if he was wrong!
@AC: check the article
"A Dutch court has warmed the hearts of Apple's patent Nazis, issuing a preliminary injunction against the sale of three Samsung Android phones"
This is a preliminary decision, just like that in the Galaxy Tab case. So the decisions made here are preliminary, exactly as in the Galaxy Tab case.
Preliminary? Partial? Interrim
This costly court debacle will be fun and en(d)ga(u)ging or end-gouging for some..
Either way, for some, it's gonna be an end-junction... if a few on-staff attorneys gets sacked for tactical or strategic failures... leading to a point being up-ended... and not appended...
Now, side-loading (I don't know the analogous German word for (phonetically) frutily-flower) to the rest-cue.... when one gets torn ass-under
So, when the dust settles, and (most likely) Samsung wins, then, looking back, if Sam sang, what song had Sam Sung?
(I hope I got the splits/conjugations bits right/correct...)
"To put it another way: the court hasn't told Apple that they're wrong, just that they're not sufficiently obviously right and that they'll return to the topic in the future."
Not quite true. When the courts grant a TRO, they do so for a couple of reasons. With respect to this case, it means that the judge feels that based on the evidence of the case as presented to the courts that Apple would most likely win in court. Therefore they are granted a TRO in an effort to stop further damages from happening.
This isn't to say that Apple is going to win, but that Samsung wasn't able to refute Apple's claims at the time of the TRO request.
You are correct in that the judge based its TRO on the other counts than what people see as being dismissed.
The law isn't always a simple thing to follow....
specific patents are often stupid
Specific patents may look stupid, but they are the only weapon when a competitor copies your product. Apple just wants other manufacturers to make their own, recognisably different designs, not simply make Apple device clones.
When Android wasn't popular enough, Google copied iPhone designs into Android. And when Samsung's Android phones weren't selling well enough, Samsung deliberately copied iPhone so as to benefit from punter's recognition of iPhone. Then they copied iPad, and when iPad 2 came out, they copied again.
I have a little bit of sympathy for HTC, but for Samsung, none at all. They deserve the injunctions.
"Specific patents may look stupid, but they are the only weapon when a competitor copies your product."
That's funny - historically, pointing and laughing worked quite well.
The world would probably be a better place if people generally approached things with the attitude 'if everyone else is copying what I did yesterday, all I have to do to stay ahead is keep doing awesome stuff today'.
It's only when you decide to get lazy, quit coming up with new stuff, and live on your laurels for eternity that you start worrying about 'protecting' the incredible ideas you came up with ten years ago.
Apple would probably benefit far more from a PR campaign which essentially said 'look, everyone else is doing what we did yesterday, while we work on the cool new stuff of tomorrow. Which company would you rather be with?'
It wouldn't be at all true, of course, but since when has that been a major issue for a PR campaign?
Get a clue
Patents offer absolutely no protection for look-a-likes. That is the realm of trademarks. As for innovation - who makes the fucking processors and memory chips in the Iphones? That would be Samsung then. Oh, and Samsung *owns* AMOLED screens. Yes, "retina" is catchy but I'll take real blacks every time.
As for the injunction - October? i.e. giving Samsung enough time to shift inventory and stock up on modified product.
Billboards in Germany are currently pimping the Samsung Galaxy S II as the thinnest, bad-assest mobile around. It's dual-core, not that really matters except that the Iphone isn't. While the ads are different in style to last year's Applegasm ones, the one they do have in common is that they are run simultaneously by different networks. Yes, Apple has a better brand than any of the networks but they, too, do have value. Are the injunctions related to getting the much trailed Iphone 5 as much limelight as possible?
I specifically bought the s1 and the s2 becuase they did all the things an iPhone cannot or will not.
Faster, smoother, unrestricted and way way better than the Apple product.
The problem here is progress, if this was motor cars then Ford would be wanting us all in Model T's
Apple is seriously worried that the hardware they sell is now way behind the other suppliers and with an OS that evolves as rapidly as Android ones do with so many different branches to choose from its little wonder they are scared.
Look at the WebOS experiment, a £100 tablet flew off the shelves and that has shown that people want tablets but dont want to pay Apple prices, lets see Samsung do similar with the new Galaxy Tab and then both sides can burn money in the retail wars instead (to the benefit of the consumer)
ARM designs the chips, and TSMC "makes" or produces them to silicon, samsung, texas instruments, Nvidia, Apple et cetra may have a say, but are just are middlemen.
Nvidia Tegra 2 = ARM cortex A9
Apple A4 A5 = ARM cortex A8 & A9
Qualcom Snapdragon = ARM A8 & A9
TI OMAP = ARM
Chances are your "cable box" has an ARM unit in it also.
close but no cigar
if that were the case, arm would directly interact with TSMC and the phone manufacturer. there's a lot of other stuff that goes into the chips, the cpu being just one albeit a significant one of the IP's.
This was a preliminary hearing, and they got a partial injunction. This is the precursor to the actual hearing.
What this _preliminary_ hearing upheld was the obvious infringements, eg the sliding of the photographs. However, just because it ruled against the other areas, does not mean they are invalidated. Far from it, those other areas will be investigated in more detail at the full hearing.
Who the he'll are the idiots downvoting the above post? Just because you don't like it, doesn't stop it being true.
sliding a photograph is an "obvious infringement"?
Of what, physics or geometry?
And just because you like it doesn't make it true... Stop confusing the German and the Dutch rulings, will you?
Geotrics and physometry?
F*** off Samsung
Innovate don't copy.