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back to article US judge gives RIM its $147m back in patent spat

Beleaguered Canadian mobile firm Research in Motion has managed to get a patent verdict against it overturned, saving the BlackBerry maker $147.2m. A US court overturned the ruling that RIM had infringed on a patent of Mformation Technologies and said the firm no longer needed to hand over the jury award of $147.2m. Mformation …

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Apple Samsung

Can we have the same logic applied to these two insane behemoths ?

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Re: Apple Samsung

Or just replace that idiot Koh with this guy instead. Whichever way he'd decide he'd at least sound like he made sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Samsung

It's pretty obvious Samsung copied Apple, Samsung even showed evidence that they had thoughtfully gone to great lengths to try to make their icons and phone unique enough to not be seen as a copy.

There's a huge difference between copying visual styles and design and two people coming up with a similar idea.

Look at fashion, if someone copies a big brands design for jeans and make it close in appearance then that's obviously not right. If two companies just happen to design a pair of trousers then that's just a coincidence.

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Re: Apple Samsung

1)Patents are not about visual styles.

2)No-one patents designs of jeans. They are unpatentable because regardless how innovative your jeans are they are still just jeans.

You're confusing patents with trademarks, passing off and so on. Apple's talents lie in other areas than inventing new hardware or creating original operating systems.

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Re: Patents are not about visual styles.

That OUGHT to be the case, but sadly here in the US it isn't. In fact a former employer had a device for which the patent was denied and they found a way to use the style of a connector to protect the device. I don't recall the details anymore, but it was truly ridiculous. Former employer went bankrupt about a year after I left their employ.

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Better yet...

Better yet, have the case and countersuits dispmissed and both companies ordered to innovate and compete via products, not overpriced suits/lawyers.

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Re: Better yet...

"Better yet, have the case and countersuits dispmissed and both companies ordered to innovate and compete via products, not overpriced suits/lawyers."

Well that's Samsung buggered then.

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Re: Better yet...

I still don't understand how anyone can claim they have these two devices confused with each other. My wife, who sometimes isn't even able to tell the differences between Windows XP and Windows Vista or Windows 7 can't understand it either. The screen size alone should be a dead giveaway shouldn't it? I can't think of any samsung device that is considered a smartphone that has a screen anywhere near as tiny as an iDevice. And that's just inscreen size! So if this whole patent is about rectangular devices with rounded corners, and if Apple is REALLY concerned about protecting that "design" then why hasn't Gene Roddenberry's family piped up and said "Excuse me Apple.....we invite you to watch most episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation and look at the devices found on there" Why hasn't apple dragged other companies in front of the courts for the same "infringement". Yes, I do have an Android device. My wife has an iPod Touch. We like both devices. So this comment isn't made because I'm a Phandroid or anything like that. It really is an honest question.

Why doesn't Apple bring EVERYONE before the courts for making a smartphone that is rectangular with rounded corners on it? Is it really about protecting their intellectual property and all that jazz? Or is it about picking the one competitor that really seems to be giving their iDevice a run ofr its money and selectively applying the patent to that manufacturer?

Can ANY Apple oriented person out there answer that question without bringing emotion or fandom into it and use hard facts to back up their response?

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WTF?

Re: Better yet...

This is not just about rectangles with round corners, although it's this facet of the case that is always quoted on here, and indeed on other forums because it gets the most amount of people frothing at the mouth.

My understanding is:

1 Samsung had a touchscreen phone

2 It was rectangular with rounded corners

3 It had square icons that may be described as 'dull'

4 Apple release iPhone

5 Samsung release new phone that is rectangular with rounded corners

6 Samsung change its square icons to colourful (less dull?) rounded square cornered ones like the iPhone

7 Changes certain icon designs to look similar to iPhone ones.

8 Samsung packages this phone in a similar way to Apple (phone is presented at top of box rather than buried in the box)

9 Samsung packaging changed to look similar to Apple.

Like I said, this is MY understanding of why Apple and Samsung are in court. I'm sure this is a simplistic account and others will correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: Better yet...

Even as a Samgung phone owner, I do have to agree that they did copy Apple's packing to a huge degree. At one point when I was working at Staples before the iPad was allowed to be sold at the store I was in, we received the Galaxy Tabs in and we were excited. We all commented on how different they looked from the others of the time. (Iconia A500, Xoom, Asus TF101 etc) and how thing is was....like an iPad! Even the black edges with the white backing...we thought...kinda like an iPad! So I will admit that is a thought that has some merit. The packaging....once we got the iPads in and looked closely at both....we thought...hmmm....some similarities there.

But then here comes my next question.....why has this same kind of lawsuit not happened in say....the car industry? Someone comes out with an SUB....then others do it too. Someone comes out with a certain design....and then there are others following suit on similar designs. So much so that from a distance, I'm looking at them and thinking they are one kind of car but not another.

In a case like that...does maker of Car A have the right to go to maker of Car B and say, "Hey! That's my design!!! I made it first! Cease and desist or I will see you in court!"? Or....do car makers not patent their designs to the same degree that smartphone and software makers are doing it? Or, for that matter to the same degree that Apple patents certain things?

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Re: Better yet...

I think in the car industry they call it competition. Only in the US tech world does such craziness seem to hold sway. I think the US patent office is confused by modern technology - cars they understand.

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Re: Better yet...

Perhaps this is how the US economy can start to come back? Sue the crap out of other countries' companies and then a US business has the money?

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Re: Better yet...

"I still don't understand how anyone can claim they have these two devices confused with each other. "

Perhaps if I paid you two years' salary to testify in court you could find some way to become confused about it.

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Re: Better yet...

"why has this same kind of lawsuit not happened in say....the car industry?"

In all seriousness, perhaps what happens is that car manufacturer B says "That's a neat type of car that A has made and is selling lots of - we'll design the same TYPE of car but with our own styling and ethos".

Just like saying "Wow - people want a phone with a better touchscreen, no stylus and good web browser etc - we'll go make one too".

Which is fine, until you start to really copy company A's design rather than just the idea. I'm pretty sure people at Mercedes were annoyed with Lexus ' not only did Lexus make a big, luxury saloon make they made it look like a Merc too (not enough that you could mistake one for t'other, but definite design similarities).

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Re: Better yet...

You said "We all commented on how different they looked from the others of the time. (Iconia A500, Xoom, Asus TF101 etc) and how thing is was....like an iPad! Even the black edges with the white backing...we thought...kinda like an iPad!"

It's amazing - I was buying a pair of own-brand jeans from Tesco (UK retail store) and I was gob smacked how similar they were to Levi's Jeans :-

2 Legs

pockets front and back

zipper down the front at the middle

key/coin mini pocket just inside the RHS pocket

Honestly it's as if they'd copied the Levi's jeans...

This is why what apple are claiming should be thrown out of court with immediate effect - rounded corners FFS

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Re: Samsung packaging changed to look similar to Apple.

I guess you've never bought OTC meds at the supermarket then. I've seen all kinds of generic in packages that are nearly indistiguishable from their brand name counter parts except for the words printed on the package, an I mean down to the exact color and line scheme for the competing products, right next to each other in aisle.

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Re: Better yet...

Perhaps if I paid you two years' salary to testify in court you could find some way to become confused about it.

I've testified in court, and two years' salary isn't enough. Witnesses should get medals for the stupidity of the questions asked during cross alone.

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wow pot meet

"The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals," Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer, said in a canned statement.

This from a company El Reg called Lawsuits in Motion for the longest time?

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Re: wow pot meet

""The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals," Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s chief legal officer, said in a canned statement."

Isn't this the standard quote for anyone on the losing end of a patent dispute?

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Excellent

Good for RIM, that's a bigger profit this quarter and probably another few % on the share price. They were due some good news when you factor in Murphy's Law.

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Pity they can't get their $650 million back from the case where the patent they were found to "infringe" was later found to be invalid. Unfortunately, the US court system doesn't back-date invalid patents. Bloody thieves.

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Anonymous Coward

A good idea... often jeopardized by incompetent judges

We often see that the patent process is just fine but that technically incompetent judges don't understand the technical issues and make improper decisions. We need to fix ALL of the broken aspects of the patent and judicial systems.

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The other side

The Samsung side of the suits is that Apple owe them for using THEIR patents, as in real expensive research derived hardware telephone patents, none of this "you copied our round corners" crap. It appears that Apple are going to lose unless Samsung is prevented from presenting any of their own supporting evidence. The fact that Apple is trying to ignore their Samsung bill is getting lost in all the weeping about rectangles and corners. Get real, Apple innovating? you joke. If this is the best they have, then I can beat them, and I am useless.

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