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back to article Minnow Android slab maker BEATS Apple in court

Spanish computer maker NT-K had its Android tablets impounded, at Apple's request, but has been vindicated by a local court and is seeking damages from Cupertino for lost earnings and reputation. Apprecasts the A91 tablet, made by Nuevas Tecnologías y Energías Catalá - you must have heard of them - is a rip-off of the iPad …

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Coat

Now We're Stealing It Back..

NTK - So that's where they went.

Mines is the one with the tatty Elite teeshirt in the pocket.

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WTF?

This looks like an iPad?

Were Apple's lawyers on drugs when they looked at it and thought "hey, that's a dead ringer for our shiny toy".

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Go

Better Than

This NTK tablet has a "Bateria Recambiable" - a replaceable battery. That is a wonderful thing. Do you think it is hot-replaceable?

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WTF?

This looks like competition^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Han iPad?

No! Apple's lawyers are high on their own importance when they looked at it and thought "hey, that's competition for our shiny toy".

INLA but isn’t there something in the EU Lisbon treaty about judgements in a court case in one jurisdiction applying in other jurisdiction? Hey Bill Ray, I presume you’re a journalist, how about a bit of research on that?

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Anonymous Coward

Blinded by something

Most likely greed, ironic really as the little Spanish tab maker will now be taking the shirts off their back.

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WTF?

WTF?

There's an old saying..."the sprinter who watches the chasers has already lost".

Apple, get back to innovating and stop worrying about your competitors; if you were truly confident in your products, you wouldn't have to try to protect your market share by legal means.

Caveat: Lots of apple kit in my house. But increasingly less likely to be more in the future.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree with you, but in the world of law things are very different.

If you don't actively protect your products/IP/etc, then you tend to lose it, while cheapskates copy all your hard work.

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@ AC

You're right of course - and in principle I agree with the theory of patents and intellectual property (but not the way it's been implemented and abused in some countries).

This case crosses them line from mere protection of intellectual property (and this one is as vague and dubious as it comes) and into the realm of market suppression through the use of vague and dubious patents and cunningly-timed legal enforcement.

Perhaps for balance in the article, we might want to hear how Apple gave them ample warning and opportunity to licence said patent, or to even to engage in simple dialog about it before resorting to lawyers.

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Alert

A. Nony Mous!! HISTORY 101

I NEED you to tell XEROX that.... WHAT? .. YOU actually thought APPLE came UP with this GUI idea... You actually did NOT SEE the XEROX PARC products being shown off. AND sold to the public. OR APPLE's immoral RIP OFF LISA? and her "Twiggy" disks..... LATER. APPLE's GUI IS XEROX PARC LIFE BLOOD. APPLE's OS IS BSD. PERIOD. APPLE's iPhone IS an early LG PRADA in GUISE. But the BIGGEST SIN as it were is Apple's WHOLESALE THEFT OF XEROX IP. LOCK. STOCK. ( literally ) and BARREL!!!

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WTF?

@ Rogerjr

<-- see icon.

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Anonymous Coward

So bad?

Apple pushed too much there is not a lot of resemblance, but I think it's normal to make mistakes when defending your products. Having a premium product honestly I don't want joe unemployed to sport a clone of my iPad so can't see this as bad pr yet. You lose some you win some it's always like that. iPad was the first tablet that nailed it so it is the original making the others clones. How would it have been if IBM had patented properly their IBM pc's? They lost a lot of business to the clones in the end selling their pc business so exiting the market.

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FAIL

JOE UNEMPLOYED??

>> I don't want joe unemployed to sport a clone of my iPad so can't see this as bad pr yet

Have you not been to a British council estate recently? Swathes of unemployed oiks wearing tracksuits playing angry birds on their **Apple iPhones**. Yes, theft, long term contracts, or generally spending every penny you "earn" (selling drugs) on a gadget is seen as more important to these people than putting 50p coins into the electric meter or changing baby's nappy immediately after a bowel movement. I actually *know* people who are Council Housed And Violent (C.H.A.V .for short) who insist on the latest apple gadgets. Apple as an "unobtainable premium product" finished years ago - now it's a toy for the masses, like Nokia was in the 90s and I presume microwave ovens were the decade before.

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If the product's high quality is why you bought it, why do you care if someone else (whether "joe unemployed" or not) gets a similar product for less than you paid? Especially when the OS is being pushed as a substantial part of that experience and Android =/= iOS?

Or are you trying to hint that being willing & able to spend money on Apple gear is your way of trying to tell other people you're better than them?

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astonishing

The depth of your ignorance on this subject is only surpassed by the breadth of your ignorance.

It's hard to know where to start, so i shan't. suffice to say your comments have revealed you to be a bumbling sheeple of the first water.

staggering oaf!

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Facepalm

Major Fail here buddy

IBM did patent their PC's

IBM acted illegally to maintain a monopoly and was forced to loose and license the majority of their PC technology.... and yet they probably still make millions on some of those inventions even now.

I'm also so tired of Apple being the "first tablet" Palm had pocket sized tablets for over a decade before Apple even considered entering this market, Compaq and HP had pocket PC devices as well that were VERY similar to the design and idea behind the IPAD.

There is one simple reason the IPAD came along when it did, and why so many others came out in tablet size (both before and after Appull): TouchScreen sizes increased and got cheaper.... real simple folks. No revelation to Jobs from God, no Genius moment in the appull factory... just simple math... touchscreens the size of a laptop were around in the 90's and the made said tablets cost upwards of $2000. The size of cheap screens that were tablet sized finally became a marketing reality.. and now scuzzy Appull is trying to steal the market with crooked tactics and BS. Don't believe this stupid hype. And as far as invention goes, there are CRAP LOADS of sci-fi movies and TV shows that had a plethora of different tablet sized devices for controlling ships, games and computers going back for decades... we are all aware of them, we all have been waiting for them to just be cheap enough to be a reality... no big invention here folks, tons of prior art. Hell the etch-a-sketch predates the Ipud by many decades, and I for one find it a more functional device and a better bargain too!

You comment shows that you are a typical Appull fan-boi.... to paraphrase what you said "I don't want poor people to be able to pretend their device is like my premium one, or that they are as important or cool....wahaa wahaa"

go cry to your mommy that you aren't special anymore and let the real people make their products and sell them as they see fit. Maybe you can pay Joe unemployed to carry you around town in your own private throne... then you can look down at the unwashed masses and pretend that you are the important twit you think you are.

Cockolorum - it describes you perfectly (look it up, you should be able to find it even if I spelled it wrong)

This wasn't a mistake, it was a shady action by a shady company and it surely was vetted by their legal department, they just bet wrong that they could win, and were double wrong that it wouldn't come back to hurt them.

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Facepalm

Yepp I do. Though I am not trying to tell people i'm better, just that I'm special. I believe in meritocracy on every level. A product is considerably cheaper if you shortcircuit the testing, the conception. If a clone looks too much like the original, the original will lose value because it loses exclusivity.Come to think of it I personally pity the programmers who had to take apple as an example to copy. Yes, I am willing to spend money to be more individual of course - who doesn't, otherwise everybody would wear h&m or c&a. Part of the price of premium brand is paying for exclusivity.

everyone taking sides on an emotional basis *like most of the people "discussing" ios and droid has an inherent need to feel special. this translates most of the time in people's unconscious believing to be better in some way than the others (I see what they don't, I'm technically superior, I can *hack*, oh how stupid it is to pay for premium things, when i can have an almost perfect thing paying less than half or nothing, i can extend the storage - droidtards or it just works, i love it, has more apps, feels like heaven, it's the original - fanbois).

i have tested the droid, used the wp7 and the iphone. It's obvious that i've been converted, even though i always disliked apple for one thing or the other. Droid hardware felt flimsy and the software unstable, battery life was atrocious, wp7 great os, pity about the few apps and the hardware not living up to the high quality os it is, iphone has too small a screen and no pictures button. What makes me feel good about myself and annoying to the droids :) in this matter is that in the end i took the informed decision and i am totally at peace with that. Being inside the walled garden is nice, because when there is a storm outside, the garden is still a peaceful place.

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Anonymous Coward

i was not aware of that. do you have any numbers to support your theory? would be interesting to evaluate from a psychological point of view.

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Headmaster

Chav != Council Housed and Violent

Travellers call their children chavvys, and did so long before 'chav' became an insult. I think you'll find that's where the word originated.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Major Fail buddy.

Yes you are right with your major Fail.

Apple was making Newton tablets 9 years before Palm

According to a program I've just been watching on the box, Bob Cringely talked of Steve jobs describing the iPad concept to him some 30 years ago but the technology was not available to create it.

Oh yes, I do like your deliberate misspellings. If it wasn't for them I would have taken you seriously.

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Unhappy

@Ioan

I'm not going to have a go at you unlike others here.

However I'd like you to take a trip on a train, walk down a city street, sit in a bar and drink a beer, laze in a coffee shop and surf the free wi-fi and whilst doing all those things see how many people are using their iPhones, iPads and Macs.

And then reflect on your statement "Yes, I am willing to spend money to be more individual of course "

The sad thing for you is that you are spending more to be just like everybody else. :(

One of the reasons I'm glad I prefer the non-Apple varieties of my chosen tech is that I don't want to be a sheep.

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Megaphone

"iPad was the first tablet that nailed it"? Um.

"iPad was the first tablet that nailed it"?

All they did was take their simple iphone, remove the phone part, and make the screen bigger, and people with more money than they need bought it because it was shiny and had a big fruit on the back.

Some people like the ipad, I'm not one of them. I know what I want in a "tablet", namely;

1st: An SD slot or at least a normal (host) USB port.

2nd: Multitasking.

3rd: Either it has a real keyboard (sliding) or it might fit into a big pocket, either or (or both in a perfect world).

4th: I want to run whatever apps I want on it.

5th: I want to use what ever program I want to transfer data to-and-from it.

6th: Price, for close to $700 dollars, it should have most, if not all, of the above things.

So seeing as the ipad met none of those requirements, I would not say that it "nailed it" for me.

Allowing them to sue and push out any competitor that makes a shiny square is not getting me any closer to get getting my "nailed it" tablet. That's why I want them to stop suing everybody, so I have a chance that someone will make a product I would want to buy. The Samsung PC7 (previously TX100) is about the closest I found, but because Apple is sue happy, it has not/will not be released. The ipad is what I expect from a company that refused to make a mouse with two buttons on it.

The problem with the patent office is that there is no provisions for punishing this type of action, so why not file a patent for everything they can, the worst that will happen is that they are out some money (which they have plenty of), the best is that one gets through and they can sue and possibly eliminate a competitor. There needs to be a penalty for trying to patent obvious or next-step ideas (or in the case of Apple, clearly prior art), like the invalidation of your last two approved patents, or a ban from filing new ones for a year, something, anything, or patents are just going to be a way for companies with a lot of money to stifle real innovation and push out the little guy.

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@Alex Rose

I gave you a thumbs up, I had the same thoughts as I was writing my first post. Of course you're right and it's always hard to be as individual as you'd like to since you basically have to still stay in the frame of the accepted society. In my work environment / private life there aren't a lot of iPads, that may be so in bigger cities but not here - so it's quite special having an ipad and using it productively.

Side note: What makes one special in relation to an ipad, in the event of a showdown between ipad owners, is the apps they have installed, that's the next level of individuality :).

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FAIL

"Apple was making Newton tablets 9 years before Palm

"According to a program I've just been watching on the box, Bob Cringely talked of Steve jobs describing the iPad concept to him some 30 years ago but the technology was not available to create it.

Well, if we're playing that game...

Alan Kay. Dynabook. 1972.

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WTF?

You **what**!!

"Having a premium product honestly I don't want joe unemployed to sport a clone of my iPad"

FTFAGOS!! It's a tool, not a feckin' fashion statement! Oh, wait....

Colour me naive, but I'd have thought that the more people have internet connectivity and access to information (didn't the motto of the Whole Earth catalog used to be "Access to Tools!"?), the better....

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Unhappy

@loan

Humans have lots of inherent needs, but also the ability to be aware of how they behave and, where possible, alter that behaviour.

If you're happy with your purchase because you made an informed decision when buying, great :) More people should be doing this when buying electronics. But I question the suggestion that "It makes me better than you because not everyone can/will afford it" is something that benefits anyone in the consumer electronics market.

As for the notion of paying to be an individual, you, er, appear to have failed to understand how individuality works. I could go off on a spiel explaining that individuality expressed through mass-produced products is inherently a contradiction in terms, but instead I shall merely point you at this page by Bill Watterson who explained it far more concisely:

http://thisisnthappiness.com/post/5549211636/calvin-and-hobbes

You may also want to refer to the PE section of this comic from TheOatmeal.com:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/senior_year

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Trollface

@ AC 01:38

"Bob Cringely talked of Steve jobs describing the iPad concept to him some 30 years ago but the technology was not available to create it."

Presumably just after Steve had watched 2001:A Space Odyssey then, a film from over 43 years ago...

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@loan

well it's not exactly load of bollocks, you made maybe one good point (that Android and Windows were not so mature as iOS - it is arguable whether they still are). You also made more than few bad points, let me comment on just this one:

"Yes, I am willing to spend money to be more individual of course"

well of course you want to be more individual, meaning you buy same thing 75% of others do. Or did you forget that Apple has 75% of table market?

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Silver badge

Individuality

As soon as you can put a name on something it isn't individual. Punks, goths and numerous others all wanted to be different by being the same and like Apple fanbois vehemently defended their view while not being able to see the contradiction in it.

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I could not..

have said better.

You nailed it.

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"Droid hardware felt flimsy"

That's the manufacturer's fault... not the OS.

Did you try another manufacturer? Somehow I doubt it.

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Anonymous Coward

Lol

See the comment from the obvious Apple fanboy? They truly are blind these people!

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Lol

Which comment? They all seem to be anti-Apple...

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Happy

Fanbois alert == AC @ 01:38 GMT

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Silver badge
FAIL

As soon as you say "Mueller"

As soon as we see that we know you just pasted his email from your inbox to the article submission form. Please stop.

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Happy

Yes

Samsung's lawyers are incompetent ...

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Anonymous Coward

@Wang

>Samsung's lawyers are incompetent

No, this is a Catalan judge finding in favour of a Catalan company, things work differently over there. Hell, they can't even speak proper Spanish.

As for NT-K, they make ideal christmas gifts for children as the packaging will probably outlast whatever device is inside and provide hours more fun. Restitution shoudl be in the order of 10s of Euros.

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WTF?

Evidence please!

Do you have a link showing that the judge which reversed the ban was Catalan?

Do you have a link showing that the judge which imposed the ban was NOT Catalan?

Evidence that it is not like the ipad:

http://www.nt-k.com/productos/tableta

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Anonymous Coward

Re: vidence please

From the article

>Spanish computer maker NT-K had its Android tablets impounded, at Apple's request, but has now been vindicated by a local court

I take local court to mean a Catalan court. All public servants in Catlunya have to be able to speak Catalan. The only people who give a toss about speaking Catalan are the locals hence I deduce the judge was Catalan.

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Anonymous Coward

Catalan company, Catalan judge...

... except that the company is from Valencia (which is not in Catalunya) and the judgement was made in... Valencia.

If you're going to make such statements at least take the time to follow the links and CHECK THAT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING HAS ANY BASIS IN FACT. Idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Catalan company, Catalan judge...

So technically speaking my geography is off however the requirement for public servants to speak Catalan is still aplicable in Valencia and even as far down as Alicante(*) so the Catalan mentality is still evident. Does an Irishman in Northern Ireland feel any less Irish because of an arbitrary dividing line? When the people of the East Riding were told they were now geographically located in a place called Humberside did they feel any less Yorkshire?

(*)I can only give as evidence what I've heard from my sister-in-law and her husband who are both civil servants in Alicante.

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FAIL

Catalan etc.

> Does an Irishman in Northern Ireland feel any less Irish because of an arbitrary dividing line?

If I were you, I'd stop digging now. That hole is way deep enough...

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Anonymous Coward

@Phil O'Sophical

OK, but only because you made me laugh, loudly.

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Silver badge

AND STILL THE IDIOTS.......

try to justify Apples actions.

Sycophantic cretins.

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Anonymous Coward

And still the flamebait trolls

Who have nothing better to do with their time

Go get laid or something.. Oh sorry didn't mean to offend, didn't know you're a lonely miserable bastard.

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Bronze badge

Oh dear AC ....

..... a quick poll around the office, Droid users get laid on a regular basis (even the fugly ones), our one WP7 guy gets laid on a regular basis. The one iPhone user doesn't, and we suspect he never has (bags of sand kinda guy)

Another source of evidence is the first day of sale queues for apple products, it would be fair to say most would panic and pass out at the sight of the opposite sex's naked body.

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Why did they bother?

It's running gingerbread for god sakes! Surely Apple aren't that desperate for the 4 sales they would have lost.

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Silver badge

Nice!

Now I'd like to see them slammed by a Samsung countersuit as well. That should send a clear message: if your idea of "competition" is patent trolling your competition out of the market, you WILL be punished.

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Anonymous Coward

This isn't NT-K's pad, this is generic tablet made in large quantities at some factory in China.

As it would pretty much be impossible for Apple to stop that product in China, they have no alternative but to chase all the "dealers" around the world, which includes little players like NT-K and little courts like the one where this decision was made.

I would really like to see the tablet that was banned - which is not the one they currently sell. What a shame there aren't any photos, makes me wonder why...

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WTF?

<quote>This isn't NT-K's pad, this is generic tablet made in large quantities at some factory in China. As it would pretty much be impossible for Apple to stop that product in China, they have no alternative but to chase all the "dealers" around the world</quote>

Yes, because NOBODY is allowed to make / sell tablets except Apple - they fucking OWN the tablet computing concept. And rectangles with rounded corners.

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