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back to article Samsung must cough up Android prototypes to Apple

A US federal judge has handed Apple a procedural victory in its legal spat with Samsung by ordering the Korean giant to provide Cupertino's legal team with product samples and packaging for two of its tablets and three of its phones. The order grows out of Apple's lawsuit against Samsung for "slavishly" copying its iPhone and …

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Flame

I like

The way that Samsung in total have gone after Apple in this.

Apple obviously thought they sue a single Samsung division and the parent company wouldn't react. How wrong.

I didn't know a 'design patent' even existed before this case. Slightly disturbing.

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Jobs Horns

Product Samples

Reading the article, it sounds like Apple want the latest and greatest Samsung product, not necessarily the prototypes...

Can't they just buy them? Can't imagine that would break the Bank of Apple...

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Jobs Horns

No, they want the prototypes

How will Apple be able to sue Samsung because their next-gen phones copy the look and feel of the iPhone 5, if they don't know what Samsung's copies look like before they design it?

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Coat

Prototypes

Well, that was my confusion.

It was the ... "latest iterations" ... bit that got me wondering, since these are products that are either shipping or about to ship (ie, they're finished).

This really does sound like they want the current product, rather than prototypes.

So, yeah... doesn't quite follow the headline? Might just be a phrasing thing.

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Terminator

Cybernews 2020: Apple too big

Courts have today ordered the megacorp to split into two subsidiaries, dividing it's core businesses: Computing and Patent Trolling.

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Anonymous Coward

What is Apple on about?

When my customers copy my designs It's a form of flattery and I give them my house keys and let them sleep with my wife, not throw them this legal nonsense!

In another note I like ElReg a lot so am currently copying the layout for my own site BickeringWiz 3.0, after all what anything else would feel alien to most people here. It's only copying the location of everything, the colours, fonts and maybe some of the stories.

Should make you all feel at home.

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Silver badge

Why don't

Apple just patent the five senses, with a provisional patent on the sixth sense should it ever be empirically confirmed.

It would seem that the US patent office would just grant a patent on receipt of submission and fee.

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Anonymous Coward

Love how Apple stories bring out the best comments

Anyone actually read the actual story a not the Register's typical inflammatory summary? There is a lot more copying than rounded corners here.

But well why understand the story when you can just click the downvote button and go on with your day feeling smug.

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Headmaster

Begging the question

"There is a lot more copying than rounded corners here."

Like what?

I mean, if you cover up the logos, they still looks pretty damn different.

Galaxy S has three rectangular buttons, iPhone has one and it's circular. Also, the front of the Samsung is mostly dedicated to the screen, whereas about a third of the iPhone is that black bulkhead stuff; the proportions are unmistakably different. As for 4x4 icons, that's the Android standard and is rather mutable given that anyone can install a custom launcher. The phones look NOTHING alike from the back.

Only an idiot would confuse the two.

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Thumb Down

Completely nuts?

Lets see.

One could copy the look of a Lacoste t-shirt with any problems. The logo on the other hand, surely not.

Apple is different how?

Or have they just lost faith in their logo?

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Inovation is not smooting off a corner...

Surely there isn't a lot you can do to differentiate a touch screen phone? They have to a large screen so the basic shape is governed by that, they have to have edges otherwise the bits would fall out, and rounded edges are more practical than sharp ones for a device you are going to hold. As for thinness that's a function of the technology, they are only going to get thinner.

If Apple had developed a new technology that allowed for thinner screens, smaller batteries, or smaller antenna etc. that would be a valid patent. However Apple don't develop new technology they integrate and adapt existing technology.

Nothing in any iPhone or iPad is new, touch screen phones existed back in the 90's (Alcatel did one), glossy front and back with rounded metallic edge (Nokia). Video phones were out there before iPhone did 3G, even iOS is basically a shiny front end on good old Unix.

All great integration and nicely polished to be sure, but not new, not innovative.

Nothing in any iPhone or iPad is new, touch screen phones existed back in the 90's (Alcatel did one), glossy front and back with rounded metalic edge (Nokia). Video phones were out there befere iPhone did 3G, even iOS is basically a shiny front end on good old Unix.

All great integration and nicely polished to be sure but not new, not inovative.

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Anonymous Coward

Repeating

You think repeating it twice makes it true?

Let's try that:

You think repeating it twice makes it true?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Repeating

The answers are no and yes respectively.

However, the commenter has a point, not really recognised by all the foot-stamping downvoters squealing "But it's not *fair*! Apple are best!" presumably before trying to "swipe" a real-world object unsuccessfully for the nth time today.

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FAIL

re: Let's try that:

You only repeated it once.

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Paris Hilton

I got the new Galaxy S2 yesterday

And its nothing like an iPhone.

Its also the cats nuts

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Jobs Halo

Oooh, look

Apple fanbois downvoting posts.

Now there's a novelty.

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Joke

There'll be lawsuits

The Fandroids are doing it too, but they have the better legal claim to the process.

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Galaxy S2 is already a has been

When I took a look at it, I thought, copy of iphone 4, boring, nothing new here, typical pound shop "Transroboformation" copy of the branded stuff.

Real shame they don't want to push themselves into doing something new that means they look distinctive.

Ahh well.

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FAIL

"Copy of the iPhone 4"

Or as non-fanbois like to describe it: a different phone with bigger screen, more memory, faster processor, and greater room for customisation.

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MrT
Bronze badge

*It*

^^^ There you go, Apple - that thing you've officially lost...

Now if you could also provide Nokia etc with all the technical prototypes, test data and performance modelling from your own product development (past and future), to prove that you haven't even thought about nicking other more important features of mobile telephony, that'd be nice.

Not going to happen, is it?

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Grenade

Nokia?!?

Yeah cause Nokia was really making phones like the iPhone before that came out... oh wait they weren't, they were too busy rolling over for the network operators.

Get out of your silly little dream.

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MrT
Bronze badge

Go Google...

..."nokia sues apple for patent infringement" for a laugh before having a cow, man. It's so common that typing the first two words brings that phrase up on the suggestions. Easy, eh?

It's not the first time teh two companies have had a tit-for-tat in the courts, as anyone who follows this tech will know, but in at least one lawsuit Nokia claims the infringements involve technology used to enhance speech and data transmission, and antenna innovations for compact devices.

Nothing to do with style, looks or anything superficial, but all to do with the way the basics function. No dreaming involved, silly or otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Superficial?

Just the whole way the actual user - you know the one that actually needs and bought the device - uses the system.

Your way of thinking is why Nokia lost the boat and now is fodder for Microsoft.

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MrT
Bronze badge

Yeah, except...

... Apple are talking about Samsung copying a design idea ("round corners", etc). Samsung is counter-suing on technical (functional, non-UI) grounds.

The examples from Nokia are talking about the way the phone functions and connects to the operator network for voice and data. According to the lawsuits, Nokia claims its work is fundamental to the way mobile phones operate - even the iPhone; without it, you can have all the UI you want, but it wouldn't connect to the network. So yes, the UI is superficial to the underlying ability of the phone to deal with cellular networks, accept/make calls, handle data etc. Every mobile phone on the planet has to do that basic stuff.

Apple didn't invent the mobile phone, just as they didn't invent the MP3 player. Many years before the iPhone, people bought Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Ericsson/Sony-Ericsson. Even then, style was used to flog stuff - RAZR, for example.

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Go

Maybe...

Maybe Apple should take some of it's cash mountain and build it's own flash fabrication plants and two fingers up to Samsung.

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Stop

The Grate Wall...

Maybe Apple could use some of its cash pile to build a big wall around the US, and they can stay one side of it and do what they like, whilst the rest of the world gets on with innovation.

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FAIL

no way you say

An Asian company apeing a market leader. Are you sure? That doesn't sound like usual form.

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Jobs Horns

Is "look and feel" even actionable?

Even if it weren't the case that Apple ironically "stole" from Samsung first, not the other way round, how in God's name did we get to the point that people can be sued for having products that "look similar"?

My arse looks similar to Roy "Chubby" Browns. Should he sue me?

(Shakes head in disbelief)

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FAIL

How about you try to consider COPYRIGHT

"Be forewarned, tablet designers. Apple apparently want to claims ownership not only of rounded corners and rectangular shapes, but also of thinness. ®"

Apple is not suing samsung for rounded corners or regtangular shape....

Apple is suing Samsung cause Samsung used THE EXACT SAME rounded corners and regtangular shape that Apple used in the iPad and iPhone and that violates copyright law.

Furthermore "prior art" only have any meaning in PATENT cases NOT COPYRIGHT cases so how about that thread of comments try and learn somthing about the difference between the two...

Additionally no that suckey image of the old samsung phone does not prove anything except that the imbicile that made it dont understand copyright... (and its been debunked many times as the samsung thingie did not appear before the iPhone, it was anounced but with out image or demonstration of actual product.. (sorry copyright law dont cover things you say you will do only at some point in the future only what you do/publish/create).

And even IF that samsung thingie was released earlier than the iPhone it is so different in the actual design features that the copyright that Samsung have for that phone does not cover the iPhone.

And yes patent trolls are a scurge on the planet but as Apple actually MAKES stuff it is by definition not a patent troll.

most obliged

J

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Anonymous Coward

Re: COPYRIGHT (it's in caps, so it must be important!)

This isn't a copyright case. It's about "trademarks, trade dress, and utility and design patents" (from the case file).

Secondly, a patent is only valid when it is non-obvious and has no prior art. Rounded corners on something pocket-based/hand-held are both obvious and possessing prior art. An array of icons, again obvious and prior. Rounded corners on icons? RSS had that years ago. The overall combination of those given elements is both obvious and necessary.

I doubt Apple will win this one - will be fun to watch though, especially if the iPhone 5 has a bump on the back so you can hear a rear-mounted sounder when it's on a table...

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Jobs Halo

Apple, wasn't that the Beatles Company?

And Apple never copied anything? Their logo looks incredibly 70s Beatles Apple Corps ish! Same name too. And didn't the Beatles (THE ORIGINAL APPLE) have a long running ban on doing business with Apple. Pot. Kettle. Black!

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Meh

Apple seem on shakey ground

Just wanted to see what all the fuss was about so took a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HODhXCfcf4c , seems to me that the two phones arn't exact copies, I would say the case design is not at all similar (baring in mind theres only so many ways one could design a touch screen smart phone). The interface look is somewhat similar though (interesting to compar to F700 earlier model see: http://phandroid.com/2011/04/20/did-apple-really-steal-their-iphone-design-from-samsung-pot-meet-kettle/ ). I personally have an iphone, although it's only the 3g It was a massive step forward at the time from what I previously had and although Apple werent the first to come up with most of the technology (see LG Prada) they did integrate it together well I thought. Still, I think this litigation thing is getting out of hand, Apple have been rewarded for there innovation through massive sales of the iphone and although I dont know the legal case for some of the design features Samsung claimed to have copied, I personally beleive that when designing certain products, some design choices are obvious e.g. round corners. By setting out that you have 'invented' round corners or certain design features, when they would have inneviatbly been used anyway is just try to monopolise ideas which I feel Apple are getting a reputation for doing. In my view IP Laws should be there to encourage innovation not a vehicle for companies to try and ring fence obvious ideas in aid to useing them as a cash cow. In conclusion Apple = a number of good innovations that has changed the smartphone market, pointless litigation by Apple = bad!

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Megaphone

a non-ridiculous post ;-)

This is directed at Samsung:

Look, Samsung, I'm buying other products because I don't like Apple's phones, and I don't like Apple.

When I decided to buy your Samsung Galaxy S2, I bought it for superior specs and the S-Amoled screen.

One drawback was that the front looks too much like an iPhone. Design wise, I would have preferred HTC's type of case design, or something using carbon or magnesium alloy for a case.

But because your phone spec is the best available at the moment, I decided to put up with your plastik case and Apple'ish front.

Its really not hard to improve on that: less blank space, more screen would be one thing. And this thinness competition is also annoying. I'd prefer a phone thats a little thicker, but the surface mostly ends at the edge of the screen, as much as technically feasable.

Another thing: The Armani version of the Galaxy S1 was a really nice design. Wouldn't it be cheaper to get Armani to design the S2 than fighting Apple and probably loosing business in the process, by copying Apple's look?

Of course, Apple is only using Bauhaus design school elements, copied from some old, famous designer who used to design products for Braun, sometime in the last century, now lost to memory.

Apple is doing the equivalent of playing music they adapted from a old composer like Beethoven, that's in the public domain, and then they go suing people for their own "Intellectual Plagiarism" or what, re-imagining?

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