back to article Galaxy Tab remains illegal in Germany

Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 remain illegal in Germany, a Dusseldorf court decided this morning. Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann believes that Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad. The court said that Apple's design isn't the only way to …

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  1. Paul M 1

    This title deliberately left optional

    I can only assume Apple are hoping to hold off a significant release of Samsung tablets until after Christmas to make one last land grab.

    Interestingly the HMV in Canary Wharf has now got a couple of long tables for selling tablets with 2 spaces reserved for the Samsung ones when they finally make it out (Coming Soon apparently).

    Mind you - I only counted 3 racks in the whole shop selling CDs but I guess that's progress!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF

    Jesus h. christ Samsung, what are your lawyers being paid for ? I've seen umpteen examples of prior art on various websites, and just how hard can it be to demonstrate to a judge that rounded corners on rectangles and the like are fcuking utterly ridiculous claims.

    1. JoeSmooth
      Mushroom

      Popped into Currys Digital on Oxford Street (Tottenham Crt. Rd end). looks like they already have them (16 GB Wifi/3G) in stock as there was one on the shop floor to play with and I must admit it knocks the spots of the other Android tabs before it.

      In all honesty I think Apple's tactics are disgusting and hope Samsung will keep on fighting because this hurts consumer choice.

      I hope are all the bureaucrats in Brussels are watching closely. Considering the bitch slap the EU dished out to Microsoft and Intel over the years Apple needs to learn that it doesn't own and control everything.

      1. Paul M 1

        I should have mentioned that one of the gaps is waiting for the 8.9 inch model which I've not yet seen in Currys née Dixons.

    2. JeepBoy

      Prior Art?

      Star Trek being one of those prior art examples of course. :)

      I recall many episodes with the crew using their "smooth and simple" tablets to display info, and communicate. I watched an episode only the other week... it looks like an iPad to me! :)

      Is prior art restricted to the "real world", or can fictional precursors be cited as prior art sufficient to cause a patent app to fail? Lawyers... feel free to comment, I don't know the answer.

      Expect Apple to be sued by Paramount Studios imminently! :)

  3. Mark Rendle
    Flame

    Down With This Sort Of Thing

    Surely there's something equally idiotic that Samsung could file suit against Apple over? Just find something that Apple started making after Samsung, like TFT screens or whatever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      careful now!

    2. Paul_Murphy
      Devil

      Ooh look - I don't have to put a title!

      Well - what about denying a company a legal income?

      Should do for starters - then they could work out their lost sales and charge that amount to Apple.

      Silly Apple - no sale for you!

      ttfn

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Ooh look - I don't have to put a title!

        1. Samsung can and should charge this to apple and the current law allows them. When someone interferes with your legitimate business you can and should sue them for damages.

        2. Samsung should file a case with the EU comission. Apple possesses enough of the mobile market to be classed as a "company with significant market power" under EU laws which means that it becomes a subject to the competition comission. All it takes is to either show that tablets are a market of their own or to add tablets to mobile phones market (something apple has been doing itself). From there on, EU is in need for some money to bail out failing fraudulent governments and getting it of someone with a bigger cash pile than the US government sounds like a jolly good idea.

  4. Paul E

    So

    Sanyone producing anything with 'smooth, simple surfaces' is now at risk of being sued by Apple?

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      I forget who said it, but it is true

      "If judges and professors were really that wise, they would need no gowns to prove it"

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Oh come on.

        The gowns are just there because they are shy about the fact that in addition to being wise, they also have ENORMOUS SEXUAL ORGANS.

      2. Richard 81

        ...and how many professors actually wear their gowns to anything other than No.1 dress occasions?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh no! My Polished Turd business is in big trouble. Not only my Turds don't have features iToys don't have but they also have apparently patentable 'smooth, simple surfaces' iToys have.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Screw Apple

    That is all.

  7. NoneSuch
    Flame

    "Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann believes that Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad."

    Coming soon... Apple sues BWM for their windscreens, LG for their flat panel TV's and Canadian Ice Hockey arena's for their "Smooth, simple surfaces".

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More information

    The way I see it, this is a case of trying to kill teh competition and leave Apple as the only player left standing.

    I mean, the difference in functionality of the two devices is so strong; screw looks; they are different beasts and all Apple is doing is trying to restrict my choice (not that I'm actually IN the market for a fondle slab anyway, and even if I was, I wouldn't buy Apple out of principle) and all that this is doing, is reinforcing my opinion that I'll never buy Apple ... unless I can jailbreak it to heck and back.

    Of course, if you beleive that everything is going in to the cloud, then yes it might be argued that everything comes down to looks, because all a slab will be, is a browser and wireless hardware. But then... they aren't.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Meh

    Gordon Bennett

    There aren't half some numpties in the legal systems. If they apply this rule to 'phones, then most smartphone designs will be blocked in Germany.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More information

      "unless I can jailbreak it to heck and back."

      that means that you are still willing to buy their product. Just because the device is jailbroken doesn't change the fact that you paid full price for it and Apple have counted you as a customer!

    2. OrsonX
      Thumb Down

      Title Viol...., what Optional?

      MUST contain letters & or Numbers*

      *apparently not

      I'll just down vote myself in advance.

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    Can I patent the fact that you require eyes to view these devices?

  13. EyeCU
    Facepalm

    Way to go Germany

    Your Judiciary is now a laughing stock worldwide. You have allowed a company to claim they own the rectangle.

    1. Thomas 4
      IT Angle

      I'm sorry sir

      But we must now gouge out your eyes as Apple have now patented the iBall as a viewing device.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. This is akin to one car manufacturer suing another due to their car looks similar to ours (it has wheels, steering wheel, engine and everything!!).

      1. lee7
        FAIL

        Somebody voted this down - why?

        Re: @Thomas4:

        It was funny, firstly, and secondly attacked Apple for their outrageous behaviour. I wonder if the person who down-voted would care to explain why.

        I wonder if their email address contains "apple.com"

        1. Handle This

          @ lee7

          I am now compelled to downvote you for the sake of symmetry in this thread. You brought it on yourself.

    3. Curtis

      And you guys say that AMERICAN judges are fooked in the head. Well, they are, just not as badly as this German judge.

  14. thesykes
    Thumb Down

    The SII?

    Have Apple seen the SII? From the comparisons I've seen of it next to an iPhone 4, there's no way anyone could say it's a copy.

    Is the problem that the yet-to-be-announced-but-in-production iPhone 5 doesn't stack up favourably against it and they need to get it banned? Maybe not, but, makes you wonder why they'd go after a product that clearly isn't a copy of the iPhone.

  15. nichomach
    Trollface

    Seriously? Smooth simple surfaces are banned unless you buy them with a fruit logo on? I look forward to mullioned windscreens and frosted cockpit canopies, as well as phones faced with glass splinters....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe you shoulda been looking at an iPad instead of the iPhone... :p

      1. thesykes

        Why?

        The SII is a phone, not a tablet, are you saying the SII is a rip-off of the iPad?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I mistakenly thought the article was about the Galaxy Tab.

          1. thesykes

            last paragraph re the Japanese court case...

    2. MacGyver
      Devil

      You would think Samsung tried to sell it as the "iPadd, complete with Appp store" from all the bitching going on. Hell it's not the same size, isn't the same color, doesn't run IOS, doesn't have that stupid button at the bottom, and doesn't use their stupid Apple port on the bottom.

      It really is because it is a smooth rounded rectangle.

      I'll bet Samsung originally designed it with sharp corners and spikes all over the surface, but found that it didn't function well after being covered in blood, so they decided they were going to have to figure out why Apple's iPad users didn't complain about the blood, and discovered that smooth, non-sharp surfaces were the key. Then they ripped off that design. (the same design as every dinner tray ever made)

      Samsung, forget the Galaxy Tab, release that damn TX100 already. Do you not want my money? Added bonus, the TX100 looks nothing like a iDouch.

  16. Quijibo
    Facepalm

    I'm so sick of this rubbish.

    "I'm sorry you look like Danny Devito, I'm going to sue you and therefore you cannot walk the streets of America."

    This stinks of Apple running scared because of another company. All the fan boys that support this product are so brain washed they think this OK. Fast forward 10 years when people have had enough of Apples rubbish and another company will be doing the same, they will be crying a different tune.

    No wonder this civilization hasn't progressed, we've clearly found a utopian existence and shun those who dare to make even the slightest improvement (even if it resembles the original). Henry Ford would be worth a mint now, all those 4 wheeled contraptions with a 5th wheel for steering driving around.

    "They resemble what I created, they're only faster, more sutied to the current change in technology and cheaper. This can't be right"

  17. Colin Mackay 1
    Facepalm

    The more...

    The more I read about the Samsung Galaxy Tab being banned from sale, the more I want one. I suspect I'm not the only one.

    1. vhmoura
      Pint

      that is why i got a galaxy s II and will purchase a galaxy tab too!!! :)

      1. nsld
        Facepalm

        Me to

        Got the S2 when it came out as her indoors has the S1 and I prefered that to the Jobsian offering.

        Same goes with the Samsung tab, its clearly better than the Apple product for them to be putting so much energy into litigation so will be getting one of those as well.

        Probably not the result Apple wanted

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          I'm not sure I have a use for a tablet ...

          ... but there is a strong urge in me to buy one just to spite Apple.

          Is it wrong to hate a company so much?

    2. King Jack
      Trollface

      I mostly agree...but

      Not Henry Ford. Mr Benz would have sued him, as it was he who invented the motor car.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        King Jack

        Still kinda wrong though ain't yah! Benz designed a vehicle most recognised as the start of the modern motor car..... plenty of other 4 wheeled (and 3 wheeled) contraptions on the roads before the first benz hit the road.

        1. King Jack

          You might be right. But we all know the little man has no power to sue the big boys, so my comment stands.

          1. DF118
            Thumb Up

            Ok so Ford didn't invent the car...

            But neither did Apple invent the tablet.

            Seems like OP made a fairly accurate comparison to me.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Richard Trevithick

              Ok, so it was steam powered, and some people think it was a train, but before there was lots of tracks to run it on it was a car, four wheels some way of steering it, lots of CO2 out the exhaust. The revenue from that copyright case should fund Cornish independence nicely...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Evolution not revolution

        That makes Ford a better example. Touchscreen tablets have been around for a long time. Apple merely offered a slightly better one when technology and society made it both possible and acceptable.

      3. John Bailey
        Pirate

        Ahh... But..

        Richard Trevithick would have got them both from his grave. His was steam powered, but he was first to make a road going motorised vehicle.

    3. ChrisB 2

      I'm a big Apple user, I like its products and they work for me.

      But this is crazy. Apple should (and will) protect it's IP but protecting the looks of something just because there's similar (not identical/fake) out there. Nuts. Besides anything else simple ergonomics would tend to move tablet design down the iPad-a-like route.

      Wonder if Bang & Olufsen might consider suing Apple for use of snazzy glass and aluminium designs?

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces""

    can somebody please translate the above into plain English.

    The way I read it, the judge is banning the Galaxy Tab because the front of the tablet is made off a single piece of glass and s/he somehow believes that Apple came up with this idea and no one else should use it! am I understanding this correctly? Or is there something more to it?

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  21. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  22. Aberdeen Angus

    Vorsprung Durch Rechtsstreitigkeiten

    Could be a catchy slogan.

  23. vhmoura
    FAIL

    well...

    during the riots in London, there were more police protecting Apple store at Regent Street than protecting the small business in Clapham Junction... That tells you where the focus are!

    the funny thing is... grab an iCrap and a Galaxy tab.. where the hell you see anything similar?

    Germans, wake up!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I genuinely loved your post, for the most part, but I still look unkindly on Apple as a result of these lawsuits.

      I'm just one person who is yet to buy any SmartPhone or Tablet but close to buying one or both: I can afford the Apple offerings I just find myself increasingly thinking "I'd rather not feed them if they behave like this".

      In short: they are making themselves look bad, but I guess they've accounted for that too...

      1. guybles
        WTF?

        I assume you mean the "Never a lawyer around when you need one" comment? No idea why it went.

        Anyway, although I'm an Apple fan, I'm pretty baffled by the lawsuits, based on pure gut instinct - it's no way to conduct business. However, I don't really know enough about the technicalities of the cases or underlying law to condemn the results of all of these. So, best to maintain the ol' El Reg tradition of mocking everyone else.

  24. IE User
    Unhappy

    What you leave behind matters

    I don't understand Jobs. Arguably and sadly, he's on the way out.

    Does he need money? No.

    Is his goal to die richest man ever? I doubt it.

    But he's on his way to be remembered as an a**hole and not as a visionary.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A message to Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann

    WOW pet, talk about showing yourself up!

    Oi, German legal system! Check yourself!

  26. RichyS
    Thumb Down

    Blind Droidtards

    But there's no getting away from the fact that the Galaxy Tab looks almost exactly the same as an iPad. That's all the judge is saying.

    There are plenty of other ways of styling a tablet -- HTC, Asus and Acer seem to have managed it (Lenovo and a few others less so), why can't Samsung?

    If you Droidtards can't see the uncanny resemblance, then you're the idiotic ones, not the judge.

    1. thesykes
      Thumb Down

      errr

      it's black, rectangular and has rounded corners. it's also a different aspect ratio, designed to be held in a different orientation and does not have a big button on the front of it.

      of course that same description can be equally applied to tablets from asus, htc, acer, hp, blackberry.....which I think covers Android, Web OS, Blackberry and Windows.

      Which could explain why Apple "accidentally" distorted the Galaxy images to make it appear the same size, showed it in portrait and not it's native landscape view and with the app drawer open and not with it's desktop showing.

    2. Fuzz

      that's not the point

      The point is not that the Samsung tab looks like an ipad, yes it does, quite a lot. The point is that the design is obvious and Apple shouldn't have the right to stop other companies making similar designs.

      If I was going to design a tablet I'd come up with something very similar. If I'd designed it 7 or 8 years ago it probably would have looked the same but with a brushed chrome finish rather than the shiny black because that would have looked modern. The design of the device is obvious, it's a screen with a bezel.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @RichyS

      Perhaps I should not feed the trolls..... however......

      I don't really care too much for Samsung.... I detest Apple.

      None of that matters, apple are being blatantly anti-competitive and flexing their legal dept to maximise sales of their kit. Wait till another contender comes along, it will be the same story..... Some BS case to stop sales on some crap charges of copying or patents.

      I do not buy apple out of principle and am happy with that decision.

      Perhaps what apple is failing to realise is that these sorts of cases harm a companies image and tarnish the brand, ultimately leading to turned off consumers and less sales.

      If I was Samsung I would have a major marketing campaign throughout Europe - highlighting the more ridiculous aspects of this case, embarrassing apple and again doing a lot of damage to the apple brand.

      Apple altering the images of the tab to look as if it is the same physical size as the ipad set the tone of this whole case - comical and unjust.

      I may end up buying Samsung kit (of all descriptions) to satisfy my 'Fuck You Apple" cravings that Apple themselves have made all the stronger in me.

      1. JoeSmooth
        Facepalm

        I couldn't have said it better (Anonymous Coward), consumers love the freedom of choice and Apple should let their products do the walking and let consumers speak with their hard earned cash.

        Just a thought, when the iPad was launched it had a 2-3 year lead ahead of its nearest competition and to stay ahead the iPad has to be improved. Considering the rate at which Apple evolves its products and the rapid rise of Android that lead is now more like 3-6 months (over an 18 month time frame).

        ...Could 2012 be the year of the Android tablet?

    4. Roland6 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      I like the subtext of Apple's legal challenge

      To take on such a legal challenge, Apple are obviously very worried that their fans will mistakenly buy the Galaxy Tab instead of an iPad.

      There seems to be only two sensible conclusions:

      1. Apple considers its customers to be so stupid that they are unable to distinguish between a black device with Samsung written on it and a genuine white Apple device carrying the Apple logo.

      2. Apple are planning to drop the Apple logo and produce black devices.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sony

      I realise all the Apple Haters also hate Sony, but I suggest you look at the latest Sony designs. There is absolutely no way you could mistake them for an iPad. Sony have done some innovative and interesting design work.

      A tablet does not have to look like an iPad.

      Copying an iPad, or any innovative product out to be (and is apparently) unlawful.

      Screw Samsung, they are better, they just dropped the ball in their haste to be in the market.

      Dweeb

      1. John Bailey

        But..

        Do you realise that your sixth word make the rest of your post redundant?

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Gimp

        Optional!

        "Copying an iPad, or any innovative product out to be (and is apparently) unlawful."

        Guess that should be "ought".

        But anyway: Wrong.

        It cannot be unlawful and should not be unlawful.

        It's immoral and mercantilistic - no state-enforced entrenched monopolies and rent-seeking please. No beggar thy neighbor games in the marketplace.

        It's subjective - because what may be "innovative" in the eyes of the starry-eyed fanboi might well be "obviously obvious" in the eyes of anything else.

        It's a lie - no "innovation" comes out of the brain of a super-genius fully formed and ready to take over the market. It's always based on existing stuff. If you absolutely want your protection, you should be forced to build your product ex nihilo. Ten years on an isolated island with no access to modern telecom devices should be sufficient, no?

    6. Mage Silver badge
      Flame

      Blind Droidtards?

      Of course it looks the same. What other way is there?

      The Pen & Pad I designed in 1988 looked the same too.

      The issue inst the similarity, the issue is does Apply have exclusivity to a simple rectangular shape with a rectangular screen.

      Yes it could look like a Cardassian terminal. But that would be as stupid as cars with Octagonal wheels.

  27. Tomn8tr

    Duh

    So, Apple patented the look and feel of round buttons, and now they own the rights to the world's nipples?

  28. TonyHoyle

    Why do apple have such a low opinion of their product?

    There are two ways they could go.

    1. Create a better product and sell it

    2. Use to courts to kill the competition

    They have chosen option 2. That means they think the ipad can't compete in a fair marketplace.. rather odd opinion for a company to have about one of its flagship products.

    I wonder if their lack of confidence is part of the reason steve jobs bailed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whoops

      According to the market (ie. products actually sold) Apple have a better product! It's certainly the product everyone is willing to and wants to buy.

      I have no issue with Apple defending their design and other rights. Samasung copied Apple's product, blatantly. They deserve their fate.

      I rather like the new wedgy Sony slab, nothing like an iPad at all and technically quite top drawer.

      I may get one, coz it's cool

      Dweeb

      1. Svantevid
        FAIL

        "Samasung copied Apple's product, blatantly. "

        ---

        O rly? I can mention a ton of digital picture frames that looked exactly like iPad. With the only problem that they came out years before iPad. So if you want to talk about people stealing design...

        .

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Arguably

      Why settle for one when you can do both?

  29. Lamont Cranston
    Thumb Down

    All the TVs in the John Lewis, next door,

    are black rectangles, with smooth, simple surfaces. All the netbooks and laptops are clamshells, with smooth, simple surfaces on one face and QWERTY keyboards on the other.

    Germany, save us from this madness!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Well, better a Blind Droidtard than a Dumb F*cktard...

    So, Apple are worried about prospective iPad owners purchasing a Galaxy Tab *by mistake*, 'cos it "looks almost exactly the same"? I think that says a lot about the intelligence level of Apple's customers.

  31. Robert E A Harvey
    Happy

    Schiphol

    As I came through Amsterdam Airport on Tuesday the KLM lounges had displays of tehtered samsung tabs and phones, and jolly nice they looked too.

    I bought a camera instead.

  32. Jim Carter

    I bought one before this all kicked off.

    I'm of the opinion that Frau Brueckner-Hoffmann might well be in the pockets of Apple. Please bear in mind this is mere opinion, not fact.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...so Apple invented the smooth, rectangle now

    For all those defending Apple in this rediculous case stating that Samsung simply copied their design, perhaps you should do a picture search for Samsung picture frames.

    One in particular may interest you, http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/09/samsung-digital-picture-frame-stores-pics-movies-music/

    This came out in 2006, i.e. pre-ipad. Perhaps you want to re-think your support for your Apple design gods...

  34. dark1here

    Samsung Galaxy I pad lookalike??

    My father used to collect old cigarette cases. Many were smooth metal. Many were from Germany between WW1 and WW2. Should I sue Apple because their smooth looking case looks like my old Mans prewar German cigarette case?

    1. mhenriday
      Boffin

      On the contrary, darkthere -

      in the event your father is, as we piously hope, alive and well and enjoying his collection or if, in the natural course of time and human mortality, it is now in your ownership, the owner of the collection might do well to consult a lawyer with regard to protection from a possible suit from Apple's legal eagles, given that their «Community Design Registration» seems now to be interpreted as giving that company a legal monopoly on rectangular objects with «smooth, simple surfaces» (I'd like to see that in German). Prior art - e g everything occuring between Euklides' attempt to systematise geometry some 2300 years ago and the date of Apple's registration of the design in the EU - would seem, according to Ms Brueckner-Hoffman's ruling, to have become completely irrelevant. Just so do judges render themselves - and the legal systems they represent - laughingstocks. One can only hope that this affair is published so widely that Apple suffers in the only court about which they really care - sales....

      Henri

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Darryl

      Optional

      I agree... I fact I thought submitting doctored evidence to a court was grounds for contempt or at least summary dismissal of the case.

      Not so in Germany?

  36. Bugs R Us

    All of the Android device makers should gang up on Apple; as well as anyone else that wants to develop mobile computers. As much money, correction as big a market cap as Apple has, it can't afford to fight legal battles with every device maker. If Microsoft, Google, Amazon, RIM, Samsung and Sony led the pack, Apple would think twice. At some point Apple has to stop and think about where it spends its money, on R&D or on lawyers.

    In the end though, a better approach would be for all non iOS device makers to get together nd develops quality services that only support non iOS platforms, thus pushing iOS further into the minority. Consumers buy devices because of the content and services. Sony owns a lot of content, Sony could lock Apple out of it's music nd movie library and give license only to Android platforms. And then there is Amazon with it's new Android powered Kindle. Amazon also has a lot of content and services; optimize Amazon for Android platforms and gradually lock iOS out.

    There is no law that says any content or service provider has to support a particular platform.

  37. Chris Miller
    Facepalm

    Willkommen in Nordrhein-Westfalen

    the EU's answer to East Texas.

  38. scarshapedstar
    WTF?

    Oh yeah?

    Well, it's awfully derivative of the iPad to have a flat glass screen. They could have made it bumpy, even jagged. Why don't they innovate more?

  39. veletron

    Childish Apple

    This childish behaviour from Apple has ensured that I will never again buy one of their products. Apple is behaving like an irritable child throwing its toys out of the pram.

    Grow Up, Apple!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Grow Up, Apple?

      But then it would be a Tree.

  40. chipxtreme
    WTF?

    Did the judge actually see them both in court?

    The design maybe "similar" in that there's only so many ways you can portray a touch screen device. But did he actually have both units in court and looked at both the design of the tablets and use both the UI's on them?

    Because if he did then I can certainly say....."He should of gone to Specsavers"

    1. cloudgazer

      There was nothing stopping Samsung supplying the court with examples for this appeal, so presumably he did. As for the 'only so many ways' argument, sorry but the genuinely different looking devices from Sony kinda disprove that.

    2. mhenriday
      Headmaster

      «But did he actually have both units in court ...»

      Given that the judge presiding over this case seems to be named «Johanna Brueckner [Brückner ?]-Hoffman», I believe the correct personal pronoun here would be «she»....

      Jess sayin....

      Henri

      1. Equitas
        Paris Hilton

        Are you sure .......

        that "she" is necessarily totally appropriate. I've seen quite a few middle-aged women from that part of the world who seem to go around wearing moustaches which would equal those of their male counterparts.

        Paris, because she doesn't appear in public with a moustache.

  41. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann - another fool?

    ""smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad. The court said that Apple's design isn't the only way to make a tablet computer, and that other designs could have been used by Samsung."

    Seriously?

    Just how the hell these kind of idiots get to decide about things they have obviously no effin' clue about? With every new lunatic decisions like this we get a little bit closer and closer to a complete judiciary meltdown - and then all these crazy ladies like this one will be booted off the bench or at least put back to deliver decisions about handbags stolen from old ladies, employee contract breaches etc.

    Very few judges today have enough understanding to even preside over a discussion about UI design or technology, forget making a call at the end.

    Such an idiotic, utterly clueless decision like this (only worse is the reasoning that follows it!) only shows one thing; these judges are woefully ill-equipped to handle a case like this so now wonder they end up being fools when they deliver downright stupid, ignorant verdicts like this woman did.

  42. Badwolf

    Optional

    Very cunning Samsung

    They can't sell the things on the basis of price / spec etc - they go for the sympathy vote

    Ha Ha Ha

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Down

      RE "They can't sell the things on the basis of price / spec etc"

      How would you know? Several of the devices that Apple are firing their lawyers at have only just been released/announced. Apple's strategy is clearly to prevent Samsung, in advance, from marketing *anything* within tablets or smartphones if they in any way can. Thus enabling you to continue to rejoice in your own ignorance.

    2. StooMonster
      Trollface

      Or use it to explain poor sales

      From these comments one can only conclude that the Samsung Galaxy is a far superior tablet to Apple's iPad, but riddle me this...

      Wasn't it this week that we were reading that Samsung had pushed 1,000,000 Galaxy tabs in channel, however only 20,000 have sold at retail.

      If El Reg commentators love these tablets so much, perhaps they should buy them? Or are they waiting for an HP like fire sale and hoping to pick one up for $100?

      1. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        @StooMonster "Or use it to explain poor sales"

        Now I do not pretend to have the inside track on Samsung's sales figures but I would simply point out that that *allegation* regarding the sales of the Galaxy Tab came from the CEO (Lenovo I think?) of a major Chinese rival of South Korea's leading tech company. I would hesitate before I quoted such a source in this context.

  43. etabeta
    FAIL

    ..And I BAN all Apple hardware

    At least in my family and my home. This bullying against Samsung, directly attacking my freedom of choice is going to get repaid in a way that would really hurt if everybody else would do the same: a total boycott of any product with the Apple brand.

  44. VeryUnlikely
    Mushroom

    Are people really that blind?

    Everyone seems to be hung-up on the fact that there is only so much you can do with the design/shape/size/form of a tablet before they all start to look the same, and I'm not going to argue with that. But that's just a small part of Apple's "copy cat" dispute with Samsung. Take a look at this to get a better (although probably still incomplete) picture of what has got Apple riled.

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2011/09/09/galaxy_tab_remains_illegal_in_germany/

    When you take all this into consideration, the icons, the layout of the icons, the colours used, the packaging (and yes, the shape), can you really, truly, honestly, say that Samsung are not guilty of copying Apple, that Samsung haven't taken more than a few liberties?

    The items described in the link above are what make an iPhone and iPhone, what make an iPad an iPad. That's what's pisssed Apple off, and it's no wonder the judge has ruled in favour of Apple so far.

    1. dogged
      Stop

      "When you take all this into consideration, the icons, the layout of the icons, the colours used, the packaging (and yes, the shape), can you really, truly, honestly, say that Samsung are not guilty of copying Apple, that Samsung haven't taken more than a few liberties?"

      If it looked like that on bootup as an iPad does, yes. However, it does not. Apps are generally launched from homescreens (a selection thereof). What Apple have shown the Judge is the App Drawer, something you almost never look at once you've put what you want where you want it.

      TouchWiz - the actual "main interface" - looks NOTHING like iOS. It's nowhere near cluttered and ugly enough for that.

      Stop drinking Apple's Kool-Aid for five minutes, go to the shops, take a look a Galaxy Tab that's running and then tell bear it bears any relationship to the iPad at all beyond "rectangle".

      I'll wait.

      1. VeryUnlikely
        Stop

        "What Apple have shown the Judge is the App Drawer, something you almost never look at once you've put what you want where you want it."

        The problem with this is that you have to buy the thing first before you can "put what you want where you want". People buying them in a store are more likely to see what is presented in the photos, ie App Drawer, than TouchWiz. Why even the need for App Drawer other than to make people think they're getting something they're not?

      2. VeryUnlikely

        And why does the packaging for Samsung's Tab show the App Drawer, why not show TouchWiz?

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Trollface

          Don't feed the Trolls

          please note; VeryUnlikely, as of 11 September 22:20, 4 posts, all in "Galaxy Tab remains illegal in Germany", joined Friday 9th September 2011 22:52 GMT

          Hmmmm, wonder how many other fanboi posters joined that day??????

          1. VeryUnlikely

            Fanboi? Hardly. I don't own a tablet of any description and don't have a need to get one any time soon, but then doesn't that make me better qualified, ie less biased, to comment on whether item B looks like item A as I have no loyalty to either?

            The only reason I joined and commented was because I'm fed up of people trying to justify Samsung's "rip-off" by saying "there's only so much you can do with tablet design" as if that was all there was to Apple's claims of copying. I agree wholeheartedly that the shape is generic and is likely to be the norm for all tablets going forward (aspect-ratio aside), and I doubt any of this would've come about if:

            1. Samsung had not copied the layout, icons and the colours of the icons that appear on App Drawer.

            2. They'd come up with their own packaging design.

            But as can be seen by everyone except the most ardent Apple-haters, that's not what Samsung have done. Personally, I'd have liked to see Samsung show a bit more originality.

    2. EyeCU
      FAIL

      Wrong way round

      Despite an overwhelming majority of people saying that neither the device or the UI look anything like an iPad you seem to see otherwise. Ever consider that it is you who are blind or at least have severe sensory input problems.

  45. JohnG Silver badge

    This competitor's product is much better than ours so we'll get it banned. Once people hear all the bad publicity, they won't want to buy one - because that's what happens when you tell people that something is banned and they can't have it. Oh wait....

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    look and feel

    In Apple v. Microsoft (1988-94), the U.S. courts were unwilling to consider overall 'look and feel' infringement, insisting instead to examine individual GUI elements. Because of a Windows 1.0 era license agreement with Apple covering many of those elements, the court(s) denied Apple's case.

    Right or wrong, it sounds like Apple is finally winning 'look and feel' arguments. Had Apple won that argument back in '88, Microsoft might not have survived (billg's words). Imagine.

  47. json

    Judge: "The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible,".. shame on you Samsung for lacking in imagination they have not even considered the following non rectangular shapes like a round tablet or a triangular one?

  48. amanfromearth

    Killer Illustration

    Simply put, this demonstrates what Samsung have done.

    http://photos.appleinsider.com/samsungvsapple.081911.jpg

    If you still don't think that's copy after seeing it, then there's no hope for you.

  49. wsm
    Facepalm

    Optional--as in shirt and shoes?

    Finally, a patent on smooth surfaces on anything rectangular without sharp corners. We can't let just anybody produce these things! That could lead to $99 thingies with touchpads!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Stop

      Woah there!

      Simply put, this demonstrates what Apple have done.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Rank_Xerox_8010%2B40_brochure_front.jpg

      If you still don't think that's copy after seeing it, then there's no hope for you.

      In other words: DEAL WITH IT, FANBUOY!

    2. Levente Szileszky
      FAIL

      RE: Killer Illustration...

      ...it is not - it's a rather lame and laughable propaganda junk from a site that's even named after its main idol.

      There were plenty of modern phones before iPhone and you might want to learn about the fact that, as always, Steve "Freedom from Porn" Jobs was using a ~40 years old Xerox tablet design: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/alan-kay-steve-jobs-ipad-iphone,10209.html

      To paraphrase your cheesy style: if you still don't think that's a childish Apple marketing of junk after readin this story then there's no hope for you, you're just another clueless Mactard.

      1. amanfromearth

        foolish

        You can be as anti as you want, but making bogus claims does not help your case.

        From your article:-

        "There is a clear difference between the Dynabook concept and what the iPad is today. If you look at the iPad and the Dynabook, the usage models could not be any different."

        The Dynabook is more like a laptop than anything else.

  50. VeryUnlikely
    Facepalm

    Re: Are people really that blind?

    Wrong url in my earlier post...

    http://peanutbuttereggdirt.com/e/custom/Apple-vs-Samsung-1-Hardware-Design.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Visual accuity

      Yes, that most famous of observational, blind pundits "Blind Freddie" speaks.

      'tis da same guv'ner!

    2. Philip Lewis
      FAIL

      Copy

      Samsung blatantly copied, and sailed as close to the wind as they dared. Sadly, the good ship Samsung may end up capsizing (continued metaphor) on this one, because it is difficult for the dispassionate observer (or a judge) to escape the conclusion that Samsung copied Apple's designs, packaging, trade dress and whatever. Two excellent links in the posts here btw!

      Those who cannot see that Samsung did indeed copy Apple, are blinded by their own bigotry and, dare I say, envy. Judges regularly pass verdict on cases far more complex than this. Further, one does not need to be a geek to recognise what Samsung has done (in fact the weight of the case rests on the very fact that non-geek consumers will equate the products), and I predict Apple wll win most of this type of case.

      Apple are successful in selling products to consumers, not technogeeks. Like my refrigerator, I just plug it in and it works, Apple's products are designed for the masses who could not care less what is under the plastc/metal/glass skin. They care whether it works and how easy it is to operate. By any measure, Apple seems to have been so wildly successful at meeting this need, Samsung decided that copying was the way to go for mobile devices. I expect them to lose in most jurisdictions.

      I rather liked the pic linked in a post here which showed the pre and post iPhone Samsung products. One really has to be retarded to continue to make the claims repeated ad infinitum in this forum. Example: The "all tablets look like an iPad because form follows function". This is provably untrue, and demonstrably so by looking at Samsungs own previous tablet products or indeed Sony's brand-spankin-new products. Ditto for the host of other repeated falsehoods.

      The growing volume of vitriol in the Register against Apple (and Sony and Oracle and ...) has become repetitive and mind numbing. These companies are successful for good reasons, and a few disaffected geeks with personality disorders and faulty reasoning frothing in internet fora are unlikely to have even the slightest effect on that success.

      Really people, most of you need to get lives. And, if you dislike a product so much, then buy something else.

      There was a time that the Register comments contained well reasoned analysis, pithy commentary and dare I say some rather good reading. These days, it seems this is less so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        prior art

        And here is the Samsung digital photo frame from 2006, a whole year before the iPad was even announced. Who copied who?

        http://www.engadget.com/2006/01/04/samsungs-digital-photo-frame/

        and the HP tablet TC1100, also 2006

        http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tr/gallery/hptr1105/Image00021_small.jpg

        As for 'if you dislike a product so much, then buy something else.' I did. I was looking at the HTC sensation as a new phone but as a direct result of Apples tactics have bought the Galaxy s2 instead. When I am in the market for a tablet it will be the Galaxy tab. Why? Because Apple don't want me to have it.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rotten to the core!

    This is just another example of why all "Intellectual Property" law is completely pointless nads. As pointed out by Mises.org: it just protects lazy, greedy and arrogant corporations, like Apple, who don't like complete Capitalist competition!

    This pointless BS just enriches lawyers, wastes product development time, raises the cost of products and causes waste due to incompatibility of parts.

  52. John727
    Boffin

    Titties too

    My arse has "smooth, simple surfaces". Should I lawyer-up?

  53. ph0b0s

    To the Apple Fanbois who think they have won...

    ..... I have news for you, you lost.

    Apple won here, but you as a consumers have lost. With the lack of competition caused by this case there is no pressure for Apple to reduce their product costs. And the other positives that competition causes.

    So Apple have won but we consumers have lost. But I suppose from the comments here Apple users are happy if they suffer as long as Jobs is happy....

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last straw

    Y'know, I always liked Apple stuff... something that is simple, focused and that just works. Never bought any, but I respected the philosophy and admired the company for sticking with it. But such petty crap as this could well erase 3 decades of goodwill... I think it has obliterated mine.

  55. The Brave Sir Robin
    Facepalm

    Nice to see...

    ...that the Germans can produce the same calibre of fuckwitt Judge that the rest of the world can.

    1. amanfromearth
      Facepalm

      Nope

      All wrong. The iPad is the lowest cost of these products already.

      When the lame competition gets their finger out and starts innovating, driving the technology forward at a lower price, then we will see the benefits of competition.

      Until then all we can expect are poorly executed copies. It's pathetic.

      1. ph0b0s

        Err?

        Don't understand your comment. Do you mean the IPAD 1 or the IPAD 2 is the lowest cost?

        If you meant the IPAD 1, please explain why other tablets would try to compete with an old model?

        If you meant the IPAD 2, your statement is false as all the Tab models are exactly the same launch price as their IPAD 2 counterparts. I.e the same price for the same memory and connectivity options. At least in the UK.

        And who said competition can only happen by having a lower price point. Having an advantage over the competition at the same price has the same effect. The Tab qualifies for this by being lighter and thinner than the IPAD 2 at the same price. Even if you don't rate those attributes others will.

        "Until then all we can expect are poorly executed copies."

        Well that's your opinion, but may not be the verdict of other consumers about the Tab. I am non partisan in this as I don't know whether the Tab or the IPAD 2 is better. But Apple seems to be trying to stop consumers from giving a verdict on this. Which as I said originally only benefits Apple and no-one else.

        1. amanfromearth

          "Apple seems to be trying to stop consumers from giving a verdict on this"

          Not so. They are merely trying to protect their design work from being copied.

  56. Watashi

    Hidden agenda

    The question we're missing here is not "how could this decision be made?", but "why was this decision made?" Lets not forget that the US has a strong political influence in Germany stretching back to the end of WW2. There's currently 50,000 US troops stationed in Germany (bet you didn't know that!) and the US has a net trading deficit with Germany worth $30bn to the German economy each year.

    Then there's the bigger picture. Trade between Europe and the US is worth hundreds of billions of dollars to EU economies, and over two trillion Euros of mutual stock investments exist between the US and the EU. Trade between the EU and China are also very important, and who is one of China's biggest rivals? South Korea, home of Samsung.

    In other words, it serves the German people to ban Samsung devices in Germany because it improves relations with the US and with China. Apple may have instigated the lawsuit, but German politicians will be quite happy to see the ban upheld. If Germany had turned round to Apple and told them to sling their hook, Germany would have lost out.

    That is the clever part of what Apple did. The EU courts are much more pro free-market trade than the individual EU nations. If the European Courts had been asked to make a judgement they would have told Apple to bugger off. By attacking an individual EU member Apple took advantage of self-serving nationalism (of which Germany has plenty) and bypassed the higher ideals of the EU.

    So, where is the EU? It really is time the EU government stepped in and gave Apple a firm rap on the knuckles for their anti-competitive activities.

    1. amanfromearth
      FAIL

      So it's banned in Germany because the USA wishes it? And of course the USA have banned it as well. That would make sense.

      Except it's not banned in the US...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fifty thousand? meh

      In the 1960s during the Cold War, the British Army of the Rhine was about that size and it was a modest part of the forces opposing the Warsaw pact

      The US has 50,000 troops in Europe to prove it's still the biggest player in NATO and as a reminder to Russian oligarchs not to stop the good burghers of Mittel Europe buying shiny electronic goods. Its also a well-established rear base for activities in the Middle East.

      Samsung is Korean, there are nearly 30,000 US military personnel in South Korea - by your reckoning the US ought to allow Samsung to sell 3 tablets to everry 5 of Apples

  57. roy lovelock

    silver lining???

    This may work in samsungs favour. Ipad, or wannabe ipad owners will see all this case over the internet and news and think, "hmmm samsung is a copy of the ipad but cheaper".

    im hoping that current apple owners will see what apple are doing to effectly create a monopoly will leave a sour taste in thier mouths and leave when thier next upgrade is due.

    I just hope that samsung take this into account when apple want newer and more powerful componets from them

  58. Morrie Wyatt

    Simple solution

    Samsung should plead to the court that Apple are merely using the judicial system as an anticompetitive tool to block sales of any competitive product. The relief they should seek is for the Apple iPad to be barred from sale as well until the court can resolve the entire matter on way or the other. That would ensure (a) prevent Apple from taking unfair advantage of the blocked sales of competitive products, and (b) ensure that both sides have a good incentive to sort out the whole mess.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the most wanted Tablet is ....

    «drums please»

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its about time

    Apple waited too much to win a case of look and feel since Microsoft. If tomorrow Apple disappears, I wonder what these copycat companies will be developing... I know... boring and unsaleable stuff. Congratulations, and thanks Apple to make this a better world.

  61. x4zYYvb3
    Thumb Down

    Michael Ventura once said....

    "Be careful how you choose your enemy, for you will come to resemble him. The moment you adapt your enemy's methods, your enemy has won. . "

    Apple's big enemy used to be Microsoft. Now Apple are bigger than Microsoft, Apple are doing exactly the same as Microsoft used to do. If you can't beat the opposition in a straight fight and you can't buy them, then sue your competitors into the ground.

    1. amanfromearth

      Don't encumber yourself with facts

      .. especially that one where Apple sued MS for look and feel in the 80's

  62. someone up north
    Happy

    GERMAN HUMOU SENSE = NOT COMON SENSE

    SO THE GERMAN DO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR !

  63. paulc
    WTF?

    Biased Judge?

    Does she own an iPad or iPhone then? Anyone going to try and dig up the dirt to see if she should have recused herself?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn right I'm posting anonymously!

    Well, this is what happens when you let a girl be a judge. And if we'd never given them the vote in the first place, we've have been spared horrors like Thatcher, Wacki-Jaqui, hit-and-run Harmon, mad Mays, etc.

  65. Tringle
    FAIL

    Or I could even remember to put the link in to my last thread .

    http://mashable.com/2011/09/08/star-trek-gadgets/

  66. Tringle

    Prior Art

    Oooh, what's the second item on this list?

    It's a PAAD - Apple even copied the name. I thought the film studios were paranoid about their copyright; how come they haven't sued Apple yet?

    BTW Anonymous coward 'it's about time'. Apple have created a load of basically useless fashion accessories. The world might just be a better place if people didn't waste their time rubbing their greasy fingers over bits of overpriced glass and did something useful instead.

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