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back to article Apple sticks finger in dyke, cuts off Dutch flood of Galaxy S, SII, Ace

Samsung Galaxy products which run Android 2.2.1 to 2.3.7 - the Galaxy S, SII and Ace - have been banned in the Netherlands after a Dutch court ruled that the devices infringe an Apple scrolling patent that relates to how a user swipes through photo galleries. The court said that Samsung's pre-Android 3.0 gear is using the …

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Windows

Re: Wholesale?

That's Apple's entire design pallette.

Have you seen St. Job's stupid lookink boat?

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Re: Folks can I suggest we just chill, hmm?

Apple do appear to have run out of ideas and their back-end services don't appear to rival google's.

Wireless charging is an obvious upgrade, or if you don't like that, large contacts so you can charge/connect on a cradle without a wiggly plug.

Apple don't appear to have learnt from what happened with the original Mackintosh - and things move much faster these days.

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Re: Wholesale?

So the boat looks like a Braun product?

I think El Presidente's gold status has addles his brain.

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Boffin

True Facts...

Fact: The iPhone is just a PDA with phone functionality and a photo gallery that lets you see a bit of the next image.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: True Facts...

Yes yes so anyone could have done it. Next - the iPad is just a thinner tablet - no innovation there. The iPod is just a type of music player - going to give them credit for anything? Fact is they innovate / improve and others copy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: True Facts...

Innovate??? no they produce well made products based on others work, no innovations rather good engineering...

when they TRY to innovate, I.E. making their own map app, they fail...

Even

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Re: True Facts...

The iPad isn't a thinner tablet. It's an oversized PDA that can't fit in your pocket. ; )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: True Facts...

I though Apple partnered with Europes largest GIS provider for their maps, rather than start from scratch? Maybe all Europeans are lost? All Americans are certain that MacDonalds owns the Torre dell'Orolgio because Googl Maps says so

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Re: True Facts...

The ipad was a _larger_ tablet, rather - handheld touchscreen devices existed for years (we called them other names, like PDAs, smartphones, media players). The thing that Apple did first was make one that was 10".

(If you're comparing to the older tablet PCs, that's an entirely kettle of fish - those were full blown PCs, not oversized phones. It's only now in 2012 that we finally see full PCs with the portability of a tablet, e.g. from the likes of Samsung, and even then, IIRC they're still understandably slightly heavier due to the extra functionality and power.)

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Happy

Invention

If Apple invented this feature, created it in code, produced a working device showing that invention, and they patented it, then they are allowed to sue others who take that patented invention, implement it in code, and produce a working device showing that invention.

Samsung didn't invent that idea, they stole it. They should have attempted to patent it. A quick patent search might have shown it was already patented.

This doesn't apply only to Apple against Samsung; it applies to Samsung against Apple, too. If you invent it and patent it, you have the rights to it.

Those of you saying Apple are in the wrong for suing others who have taken their ideas, what do you think when the multi-millionaire investors on Dragons' Den ask whether the invention they're presented with has been patented? I guess you're okay with that. I think you're probably okay if this were Samsung suing Apple for the same reason?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention

It is not an invention it is a gui element. As such it should not be patentable. The code used to create the effect could be copyrighted but that is a totally different matter.

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Re: Invention

actually it's also a behaviour, a form of feedback (an interactive element) and an appealing form for a human (like fashion is). I fail to see your logic in "not an invention ... gui element ... should not be patentable" - why? do explain. You mean that this GUI element created itself? If it's a part of the OS it hasn't been invented by somebody - a person like you or me. Also the Ribbon UI for Office is patented and more.

Some of you people don't realise that all these patent laws exist to protect IP and ultimately the work of a passionated guy. If it weren't for these laws, we'd be invaded by cheap clones or products based on those ideas produced in a cheap work location, and you'd probably have to go to the East to get a job as a product designer. Why would you bother to invent something if it would be copied the next day, and due to cheaper labour and higher agility (because of less stringent work laws in that location) would appear on the European market before your product?

In this case apple is right, because it's these precious details that turn a person from a competitor's product to apple's.

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Re: Invention

It's not really an "Invention". That's like calling sanded edges on a chair's armrests an invention. They might be marginally more comfortable that way, but it's a feature that's pretty obvious when crafting a chair, or in this case, creating a touchscreen photo gallery.

And the suggestion that Apple's business is being negatively effected to any significant degree by another's use of this tiny feature is absurd. They're just using software patents (which big companies can get for just about anything these days) to hurt the business of their smaller competitors. And just how does Apple need "protection" from this? They're currently listed as the highest valued corporation in the world, so they certainly don't appear to have been hurting much as a result of it.

Those who really lose out with software patents are the developers themselves, who end up with no idea what features they are and are not allowed to incorporate into a program. When designing an interface for a program, how is one supposed to keep track of what kinds of interface elements have already been reserved by some mega-corporation? The software developers themselves can't afford to patent interface elements they create, nor would any real developers want to, since its absurd, and does nothing but make programming unnecessarily difficult for everyone, and ultimately stifles innovation.

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Re: Invention

" Some of you people don't realise that all these patent laws exist to protect IP and ultimately the work of a passionated guy."

Patent laws exist so large companies can keep others from competing with them. They didn't spend a billion dollars in R&D coming up with showing the next image for a second, some designer spent 5 minutes twiddling his thumbs and thought "hey this would be cool". Parents are supposed to be novel and non obvious:

"Only research beyond that done as part of normal product design and development should be rewarded with a patent. Routine redesign should not be enough, for there is no need for monopolies as an incentive for such research."

But they throw alot of money at getting parents on bullshit so they can use the violence of the state against their competition, or to protect themselves from being sued over bullshit by being able to countersue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention

No.. patent laws do not exist to protect IP - patents exist so that the inventor can be compensated for their work for a limited time. Apple refuse to licence their patents and therefore they use patents to restrict progress.

If you have no itention of allowing people to licence your patents then in my view you should be denied the patent .

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Re: Invention

"Parents are supposed to be novel and non obvious:"

"But they throw alot of money at getting parents on bullshit"

How's that auto correction working out for you? I'm guessing it's a Samsung device you're using since it doesn't understand the word PATENT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention

i don't think it's a pretty obvious invention at a time where touch was in its embrio phase, be honest would you have thought about it? why wasn't it invented for the windows mobile os already?

so many assumptions you make. no justification for them - and some are plain wrong.

I guess logic and reasoning is not taught in schools as it was 20 years ago.

anyway, we're all equal in front of the law and a big fat company is entitled to protection of its ip assets as much as anybody (a company is still people d'oh!). apple is all about details in details, of course it's affected by it (not effected). Tell me why it's absurd? Apple made touch appealing to the world & dog and they deserve many of their patents - just as the other phone makers deserve their technical patents. Also, some software patents are defining for an OS or a product and may not be licensed. And, having a big pot of money doesn't mean you don't need protection, kid.

you're not bringing any arguments on how the devs lose out. real smart developers do patent the cool things they do. but of course they have to have "inventions" for that. Being a developer, i don't think any developer who creates really cool stuff wouldn't want to patent original interface elements they create. it's not as expensive as you make it appear, any developer making some money can afford it. it looks you're just naively repeating somebody else's (perhaps misunderstood) opinion. Developers should not copy something they see used in another software product (especially when it has a stroke of genius) unless it's part of the OS they develop for or of the development environment. We're moving towards a society built on software - inventing will happen more and more in this area and will have to be protected.

Invention:

U.S. Patent Law. a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.

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Thumb Down

Re: Invention

is it so hard to research a bit before nixing yourself?

Patents exist ..."To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the <<exclusive>> right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

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Re: Invention

Possibly quoting the US Constitution is just the wrong side of absolutely completely bloody ridiculously irrelevant when discussing the protection of a European patent in The Netherlands?

Is it so hard to do a bit of thinking before asking if it is so hard to research a bit before nixing yourself?

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Re: Invention

Samsung suing apple seems to be retaliatory.

Apple aren't playing nice and the other kids are shunning them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention

Can you spell Ch_ia?

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Re: Invention

@Loan - The reason it's absurd is because these interfaces, along with many programming algorithms in general, are built almost entirely upon the work of others. What if drag and drop, copy and paste, and clicking icons had been patented, and those owning the rights (rarely the actual developer) only allowed their use in their own company's software? Would the digital world be better off?

By the way, if you're going to take the time to point out my one typo, at least make some attempt at using proper capitalization and sentence structure in your own post. I'm seeing at least seventeen words that should have been capitalized, but weren't. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though, and assume English isn't your native language, and that you're stuck typing on an iPhone in some Dutch courtroom.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention @Malcolm Weir

While you do make a valid point, that quote is to express what in Europe is not so eloquently expressed.

Here for your satisfaction ( i managed to find an faq instead of the text of law):

Patents protect technical inventions in all fields of technology. They are valid in individual countries, for a specified period. Patents give holders the right to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting their invention. In return, applicants must fully disclose their invention. Patent applications and granted patents are published, which makes them a prime source of technical information.

http://www.epo.org/service-support/faq/basics.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention @Cryo

hmmm. maybe not better off, but we'd certainly have more variety in how the software works. the interface we're talking about here is new in design - why do you think is built on the work of others (again not providing proof here)? of course patents must be carefully awarded, i'm not denying that. but the patent system works - and please think further than software.

it's a personal choice (we already have the punctuation so why capitals for forums - we're informal here). an iphone would capitalise the first word in a sentence, right? maybe other phones don't but even my windows phone 7.0 did that.

since that other guy grilled me for not pasting the european text for purpose of patent, i just found something you might like:

Under the European Patent Convention (EPC), patents are granted only for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable. An invention meets these requirements if it:

was not known to the public in any form,

is not obvious to a person skilled in the art, and

can be manufactured or used industrially.

Discoveries, mathematical methods, computer programs and business methods as such are not regarded as inventions. Surgical and therapeutic procedures, diagnostic methods and new plant or animal varieties are completely excluded from patentability.

The EPC does not recognise inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to 'ordre public' or ethical principles. These include, for example, means of cloning human life or the use of human embryos for commercial or industrial purposes.

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Re: Invention

"i don't think it's a pretty obvious invention at a time where touch was in its embrio phase, be honest would you have thought about it? why wasn't it invented for the windows mobile os already?"

It's more that it's not a particularly useful feature - personally I hate "bounce back". So that's why not everyone would have done it already, but it still doesn't follow that just because someone was first, they should have a monopoly on it. I mean, a grid of coloured icons was done by Amiga in 1985 (and possibly before), does that mean no one else should have that? And it was done on phones before, too (my 2005 feature phone had it, at least).

And even if you argued that if it's not really useful, it's okay for others not to have it, the problem is that that's not what happens. What happens is products getting banned, and Samsung having to give money to Apple. That's less money for our favourite Android devices, more money for future court cases.

(Also note that the other issues discussed in other cases are reasonably viewed as trivial imho.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Invention

i understand you Mark.

The State has to be fair and protect people who invent stuff. you cannot undo the fact that so many infringing devices have been sold and have been used with the bounce back feature (which I love, it gives a feeling of real to the fake world in a portable device). I guess there shouldn't be a lot of money paid to Apple or banning of devices, if Samsung could pull back the feature from the devices. but that is not easy in the loose ecosystem of Android. I also think Samsung doesn't want to invest a lot of money to withdraw the feature (which involves programming, testing, distribution) - so if they settle they'll probably settle below the cost what the roll-out of the feature withdrawal would be. it's all business at this level money / money.

I sympathise with the Android cause, many people feel it's the rebel's choice and I also feel a bit like that, even though I don't use an Android (i still have a faint memory-dislike for apple things - even though I'm exclusively using that at the moment). but it all boils down to the fact the many many features were copied from the iOS when Android was built. in 5 years all these kinks will be ironed and i don't think we'll have so much drama anymore.

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Vic
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Re: Invention

> i don't think it's a pretty obvious invention

Moving objects having momentum?

I'd say it's obvious. And it's hardly novel...

Vic.

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The real problem otoh

...is IMO the way the European patent system appears to be sliding down towards the "retarded" level at which the American patent system is currently sitting.

Ok, in this case I think its borderline for me. I can somewhat, with some difficulty, imagine how anyone would consider the next photo to pop in & pop out to be a specific feature. But patent worthy ?

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Joke

They've already put the ruling up on their web site

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Vic
Silver badge
Joke

> They've already put the ruling up on their web site

Shouldn't think so. It takes them 14 days to change the site...

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dysfunctional out of control patent system

they still do compete on product quality. as a small company you can't go to trial with any company that has a claim on a patent related to what you did - it's cheaper to just pay the patent and hope that at some point a bigger company will invalidate it through a trial. You won't be snuffed this way as a small company and you may be able to grow to the point where you can fight back.

there are good things and bad things about this. i find though Europe much better with regards to patents than US, much harder to patent software stuff here (I tried).

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FAIL

English, eh?

The definition of "dike" is:

dike 1 |dīk | noun

1 a long wall or embankment built to prevent flooding from the sea.

2 a ditch or watercourse.

verb (often as adj. diked)

provide (land) with a wall or embankment to prevent flooding.

---

"Dyke" is:

dyke 1 |dīk| noun

a lesbian.

---

Felled by homo(nym)s, are ye?

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Bronze badge

Re: English, eh?

dyke1, dike [daɪk]

n

1. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) an embankment constructed to prevent flooding, keep out the sea, etc.

2. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) a ditch or watercourse

3. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) a bank made of earth excavated for and placed alongside a ditch

4. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) Scot a wall, esp a dry-stone wall

5. a barrier or obstruction

6. (Earth Sciences / Geological Science) a vertical or near-vertical wall-like body of igneous rock intruded into cracks in older rock

7. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Furniture) Austral and NZ informal

a. a lavatory

b. (as modifier) a dyke roll

vb

1. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) Civil engineering an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course

2. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) (tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke

[modification of Old English dic ditch; compare Old Norse dīki ditch]

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Anonymous Coward

Two things I can't stand.

Companies that are intolerant of other companies patents... and the Dutch

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Let's Hope Samsung has used Apple's tax advisers in order to declare no taxable income in Holland..

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Anonymous Coward

Other manufacturer market research = reading Apple press released and www.apple.com

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Bronze badge

I read that Samsung have been given 8 weeks to fix the offending devices which include devices running ICS and Jellybean. After the limit - Samsung will be fined the equivalent of $129k (£80k) for every day that they continue to infringe.... The interesting part of course being that the "rubber band" patent may not even be a valid patent - this is the one that was "tentatively" invalidated by the USPTO last month.....

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Anonymous Coward

Ummm......

... I think that "dike" might have been the word you meant to use in that headline ...

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Re: Ummm......

I suspect you don't keep a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary on your desk.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/dyke--2

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Stop

not quite true

The court has given Samsung 8 weeks to implement the changes before they impose the fine. Damages are still to be decided depending on the profits Samsung made on the affected devices since 2011 Android Authority have a more accurate coverage of the case http://www.androidauthority.com/apple-beats-samsung-dutch-courts-awarded-129000-day-under-certain-conditions-135036/

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Wish I could go back in time

Usually with inventions, people say "If only I could go back in time with that idea". Here, it's not the idea - rather, I wish I could go back in time, with only the knowledge that trivial UI behaviour could be patented.

Then without even knowing what these particular ideas are, I could simply patent every trivial UI thing I could think of (or rather, more responsibly, simply document it as prior art).

It's certainly one to add to the UI programming workflow from now on:

1. Add GUI element.

2. Write functionality.

3. Link GUI to to functionality by pre-existing standard mechanism (e.g., drag, double-click).

4. Go to the patent office.

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FAIL

Focusing on lawsuits instead on quality...

Basically the judge meant that Apple products are just very overpriced POS, if they stopped Samsung only for a Gallery swiping patent.

But the larger problem is that Apple's management thinks it's more important to focus on this problem instead of on their own products or their own production problems. Maps is a nightmare, iphone5 is still hard to find. In the meantime, everyone else buy other brands instead of waiting for an Apple.

In the end, it all seems a Pyrrhic victory.

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Flame

Apple Opperessive

If there was ever any prospect of allowing an Apple product in my house, it has now gone forever.

Most folk are aware that there is precious little to update an Apple product and so the fall off of folk

making another purchase of their goods will be a diminishing one.

Goodbye for ever Apple !

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