back to article Apple wins US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1

A US judge has granted Apple's request to ban Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10.1 in the US over a single patent. Judge Lucy Koh had previously denied the request for a preliminary injunction on the fondleslabs while the two tech giants duke it out in the patent arena, but an appeals court instructed her to think about it again. Her …

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  1. FartingHippo
    Alert

    Ouch!

    That's gonna hurt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ouch!

      Not much as Samsung is already selling the Tab 2 10.1 which isn't covered by this injunction.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Ouch!

        Plus if the main thrust of Apple's argument ("OMG - it's a rectangle with rounded corners", or whatever the "design patent" states) fails, then Samsung get the $2.6M bond as damages. Don't know if that would be the limit of those damages, though. Note that the original ruling stated that "Cupertino has yet to demonstrate those patents are valid" (from the old Reg coverage).

        1. John 104

          Re: Ouch!

          Actually, that was 2.6 BILLION, not million.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Ouch!

        sssshhh, don't spoil the Apple fanboy baiting party game....

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Re: Ouch!

      I don't think it will hurt Samsung but Apple may feel some pain from the bullet in the foot. Banning anything is usually a good way to get people interested - especially teenagers.

      "Look kids! The Tab 10.1 was so good, Apple had it banned - but we do have another one that's almost identical: the Tab 2 10.1. Get it before they ban it!"

    3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Pffft...

      Can I just take this chance to say I really, really, really, really despise Apple and can't wait until karma hits them hard. Complete assholes!!

      1. henrydddd
        Linux

        Re: Pffft...

        I am sitting in a room with 10 pc's. Some are Gateways, some Dells, and one Sony. They all look about the same (rectangle shape) and do essentially the same function. Perhaps if I patent a box shaped device that functions like a computer, I could shut down every computer maker in the world. I wonder how many of Apple's millions(billions) went into the pockets of corrupt US politicians.

        Personally, because of this, I will never allow an Apple product into my house!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pffft...

          Like you would have before? lol

          "Because of this" what tosh...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A favour to the consumer

      Finally a judge who has done the consumer a favour by banning such an inferior product and saving many many people from iPad envy and disappointment.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Make the most of the tablet experience

      20 years from now they will be an extinct concept, we will instead have embedded chips in out brains that will automatically switch your eyes from sight to Internet by pressing a button on the back of you head and turning your ear to move the pointer.

      Embedded thought mouse will be banned because of serious concerns that men think about sex every 17.5 seconds and all we would watch would be porn films while working at our desks.

      I have no idea who will hold the patent for this but I believe that Apple will have the best designed back of head buttons and ear-mice whereas Samsung will make huge jug ears, Apples will be proportionate and pretty, the others will be open to ridicule in the street suffering cat calls such as,'we won the cup'.

      1. tezzer74
        Happy

        Re: Make the most of the tablet experience

        Quick Patent That Idea! You dont have to actually make it to patent it!

    6. Droid on Droid
      Trollface

      Re: Ouch!

      Probably not, given how few people are buying Samsung tablets they would make more money by making less.

  2. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Enough.

    They should both be sent to bed without any supper if they are going to be that childish.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Enough.

      I wonder how childish you'd be if there were billions of dollars on the line.

  3. Shonko Kid
    Gimp

    $2.6m

    Rather a cheap way for them to buy what is an effective monopoly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $2.6m

      Not a monopoly by any stretch of the imagination. Samsung already sells an fully equivalent alternative with a slightly different design, the Tab 2.

      1. amanfromearth

        Re: Tab2

        But.. the Tab2 doesn't sell as well as the Tab 1.

        Could it just possibly be that its because it doesn't look like an iPad, so the buyers aren't misled?

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Tab2

          Are you seriously trying to imply that people buy this thing without knowing what it is?

          Even if that is the case, they can still RETURN IT.

          What everyone is really saying here is that Apple doesn't have any thing that distinguishes itself. The best it can do is compete on looks. There are no real substantive differences. There's no real reason for someone to buy an Apple product.

          Otherwise, the fact that the Samsung device is a copy cat is meaningless.

          Either the Apple product is good enough to compete on it's own merits or not. If it's good enough, the legal dirty tricks are simply unnecessary. Although they quite nicely demonstrate just what kind of scum Apple is. Just in case anyone had been duped into believing otherwise.

          1. toadwarrior

            Re: Tab2

            The look of something clearly isn't obvious otherwise pc manufacuters wouldn't have been make butt ugly systems until they decided to copy apple.

            And looks do matter or are you telling you'd happily drive a car that looks like a big hot pink dildo or wear clothes that look like stole them from a tramp.

            1. Graham Dawson

              Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

              Looking arond, say, Dell's website or maybe Alienware I see... nothing that looks like Apple. My little Zbox looks nothing like apple. The various cases I can buy for my home-assembled boxes look nothing like apple.

              Are you trying to claim that apple invented industrial design? That's probably the statement of greatest hubris I've heard all year.

              Speaking of cars, most do look very similar. The 2012 Ford Focus looks a lot like the Audi A8, which looks like the BMW 5 series, which looks more than a little bit like the Rover 75. They're all 4 door saloons, similar profiles, similar sizes, similar design features, but do you see BMW suing Ford or Audi over that? No? No. Because that would be STUPID.

              Apple's entire complaint is that the Samsung Tab looks a bit like an ipad, as long as you ignore the different dimensions, the different shape and the different design features. By that merit every car manufacturer in the world should be suing every other. They don't because the functional requirements of a car force it to be within a certain range of shapes that look very similar. In the same way, a tablet has to be a certain shape to be viable. That would be a rectangle with round corners, a few buttons, a screen and a case. Apple's argument is that the samsung tab is a rectangle with round corners, a few buttons, a screen and a case.

              Do you see the problem?

              Possibly not, considering your entire argument seems to be that nothing good came before Apple, and everything bad is someone else's fault. That's possibly the most insane and ridiculous argument anyone can make. It's the literal definition of cultic behaviour.

              If you actually place the tablets side by side (without photoshopping them) the differences are immediately obvious, not least the shape of several main features, the difference in size and the fact that it says SAMSUNG on it in bloody great letters. Only an idiot could mistake one for the other.

              1. toadwarrior

                Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                Looks a bit like an ipad? They're practically separated at birth.

                https://www.focus.de/fotos/apple-ipad-links-und-samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1-im-vergleich_mid_932032.html

                You can search google for something generic like android tablet. Every single one will be black, rectangular and most will have rounded corners yet none of them would be mistaken for an ipad. Samsung on the other hand wants their to look like an ipad.

                1. Graham Dawson

                  Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                  Compare like with like. Opening the app drawer and comparing that with the iOS home screen is a huge con.

                  Also the dimensions are different, like I said, and then there's the camera, and the buttons on the side, and the status bar across the bottom, the lack of a "home" button...

                  The fact that it's designed to sit horizontally.

                  Face it, your entire premise is bunk.

                2. scarshapedstar
                  FAIL

                  Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                  Wow, what a fraud. Why did they pull up the app tray on the Galaxy Tab? It is kinda fitting, since iOS is nothing more than a glorified app tray, but it's hardly fair or honest.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                    "Wow, what a fraud. Why did they pull up the app tray on the Galaxy Tab? It is kinda fitting, since iOS is nothing more than a glorified app tray, but it's hardly fair or honest."

                    It looks nothing like an iPad! The dimensions are *slightly* different! It has round corners that's all - like my table - LOL

                    *Here is a picture of it side by side looking like an iPad*

                    Wah! But ... but... you cheated! wah! normal people wouldn't run that app! wah!

              2. Droid on Droid
                FAIL

                Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                Samsungs lawyers when asked by the judge, could not tell the difference between the Galaxy Tab and a iPad. That's why Samsung lost the court case and why Apple got a ban. What you didn't mention is that Apple didn't sue HP over the TouchPad, RIMM over the Playbook, Asus over the Transformer or Amazon over the Kindle Fire but of course those tablets aren't blatant rip-offs.

                Do you see the problem?

                Possibly not, considering your entire argument seems to be that nothing good came from Apple. That's possibly the most insane and ridiculous argument anyone can make. It's the literal definition of cultic behaviour.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                People shouldn't be drinking in their 4-door cars.

                1. Graham Dawson

                  Re: Tab2 @droid on droid

                  Amusing. Silly, but amusing.

                  I own, or used to own I should say, an iPod touch. I had one of the old iPod minis. They were very good devices (the touch in particular got me through many a slow day at work when wifi was available). Apple are good at design, however they are not above using conniving tricks and gotchas as part of a concerted effort to use the force of the state to crush their competition. They are using the courts to prevent a fair market. That is not justifiable in any way and I don't understand why people are continuing to claim otherwise.

                2. fung0

                  Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                  Even IF we presume the devices look identical, is that really a patent infringement?? I thought patents were there to protect genuinely clever technological innovations, not inconsequential details like the width of the black border around the glassy rectangle...

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

                The difference was that from where the judge was sitting even the Samsucopy lawyers could not tell which was 'theirs' - now that IS a shot in their own foot.

            2. TJ 2
              FAIL

              Re: Tab2 @toadwarrior

              Sorry you are totally clueless. Maybe in your very limited world, all PCs are butt ugly, I build PC systems (gaming rigs to servers) and I can tell you this, if you look at custom cases for system builders there are some beautiful cases available. As already pointed out, "crApple" are NOT copied by many of the vendors who produce "what I deem to be nice looking systems" either.

              Just because "to you" crApple products look "good?" (to me they are all the same boring light grey things with a bit of 'ooooohh-shiiiiiny' added in the mix, hardly inspiring), that doesn't mean the ROTW agrees with you, given you don't actually have any idea what alternatives are available.

              I site Zalman as an example. Some of their PC cases are marvellous, not just for looks but for practical reasons.

            3. Bob. Hitchen
              WTF?

              Re: Tab2

              I'd draw the lie at pink a dildo is certainly a statement - hot rod springs to mind.

          2. John 104

            Re: Tab2

            What everyone is really saying here is that Apple doesn't have any thing that distinguishes itself. The best it can do is compete on looks. There are no real substantive differences. There's no real reason for someone to buy an Apple product.

            You aren't really just figuring this out, are you?

    2. sisk Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: $2.6m

      It's not hardly a monopoly. There are tons of 10in tablets in the market, and the Tab itself is already obsolete. My guess is that the market at large won't even notice.

  4. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Couldn't they just compete on being good at what they do and not in the "who's got the best lawyers or chooses the most friendly court" department.

    1. Andy Fletcher

      That's just crazy talk.

    2. Observer1959

      If you apply that to Samsung then that would be, copying, because that is what they do best. That company is much hated within its industry for this very reason

  5. ratfox Silver badge
    Facepalm

    A ban based on a design patent??

    There are no words…

    1. ZweiBlumen
      Facepalm

      Re: A ban based on a design patent??

      Double D'oh.

      My thoughts exactly. How on earth did Apple ever get a design patent on such a generic non-distinctive design. It's not like there is no prior art of tablet like gadgets that are rectangular with rounded corners.

      Patents are supposed to require a creative non-obvious step. How is the iPad shape anything other than ordinary?

      If I were Samsung I would start shipping my thrid quality processors to Apple. That'll shut them up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A ban based on a design patent??

        I suppose it's a case 'if it's that simple, why weren't people making tablets prior to 2010?'

        If you get there first, I think it's fair you should have some sort of protection.

        Who's to say Apple's interpretation of a tablet is the best? Is Samsung's similar because they can't think of anything better, or because it is an intentional copy to satisfy the consumer's idea of what a tablet should look like?

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: A ban based on a design patent??

          There was a similar tablet in 1994.

          The design also showed up in a movie in 1969.

          1. toadwarrior

            Re: A ban based on a design patent??

            Neither of which look exactly like an ipad. If you can't tell the designs apart then you probably shouldn't be commenting on them.

            1. Droid on Droid

              @toadwarrior

              Samsungs lawyers when arguing that the Galaxy Tab wasn't a copy of the iPad were asked in court by the judge if they could tell which was the Tab and which was the iPad. They admitted they couldn't. If you can't stick to the facts then you probably shouldn't be commenting on them.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: A ban based on a design patent??

          >If you get there first, I think it's fair you should have some sort of protection.

          Only if you have done something unique and non-obvious. IMHO making an existing device design larger so you can see more on the screen is relatively obvious, given that desktop screens have been getting larger for precisely the same reasons for many years.

      2. toadwarrior

        Re: A ban based on a design patent??

        It has nothing to do with just being rectangular or having rounded corners. Virtually evey tablet has those basic design principles. It's the exact look of the ipad that patented and yes the tab 10.1 looks damn near identical to the ipad which is why it was singled out.

        Just like apple macbook air design patent doesn't stop a pc from having a wedge shape. It stops it from looking exactly like the macbook air. If this stuff is so generic and obvious why can't anyone come up with it before apple?

        1. John 104

          Re: A ban based on a design patent??

          http://www.courierpress.com/news/2012/jun/19/microsofts-long-and-tortured-history-tablets/

          nuff said. Go back to your hole.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A ban based on a design patent??

            Welcome to 2003:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDRbnNIbFaY

        2. jarjarbinks

          Re: A ban based on a design patent??

          @ToadWarrior,

          Explain to me then why Apple tried to get the Samsung Galaxy S3 banned with this same suit and when it got tossed out, filed it again in a separate suit? What exactly is the Samsung Galaxy S3 infringing upon of Apple's that they filed a suit to get it banned? I do agree that the Tablet 10.1 and ONLY the table 10.1 looks very close to an ipad. But I am baffled as to all the other lawsuits apple keeps filing. They recently got shut down against Motorola in Chicago trying to ban them from the US too, and their tablet doesn't look nearly as close. Why? It's ridiculous, period. There is protecting a specific innovation, then there is simply trying to stop all competition to hoard as much of the market as you possibly can before they won't be able to get a lawsuit seen.. they are purely trying to gain as much market share as they can because Android crushed htem in the phone arena, and has already gone from 2% to 27% of the tablet market in one year and despite all the fanbois saying android tablets won't come close to catching up to ipad, it's going to happen next year when they overtake the market with about 52% or so of the tablet market. With the new google 7" tablet for $200, Kindle Fire, and others coming out at < 1/2 the cheapest ipad price with more capabilities, Apple doesn't stand a chance in slowing down the momentum. So rather than continuing the ridiculous lawsuits that are pissing more people off and helping them lose business, they should maybe do like google, microsoft, etc..and use all that money for better purposes, like donating some to good causes, venturing into new areas (apple tv for example) and keep on doing what they were (and to lesser degree still are) good at.. innovating! I don't want apple to go away..they come out with some really good tech and the world swarms it.. for example, I am hoping that Thunderbolt (which is really an Intel tech, but Apple is the first pushing it hard) takes off. It's 2x faster than USB3.

      3. bekaye
        Facepalm

        Re: A ban based on a design patent??

        BREAKING NEWS- Cupertino, CA (MCN) - Apple, Inc., the company widely known for its products in the computer field, has just announced it has completed its purchase of the Ford Motor Company. A company spokesman said, "Apple is excited with this opportunity to build "customer friendly cars" that cost twice as much as the base price of any other manufacturer's vehicles." More to follow...

        BREAKING NEWS - Cupertino, CA (MCN) - Apple, Inc., having pored over the patents it acquired in its purchase of the Ford Motor Company, has just filed a design patent for "a Ubiquitous Self Powered Machine for Transportation of Well Heeled Persons". More to follow...

        BREAKING NEWS - Cupertino, CA (MCN) - Apple, Inc., has announced that the "look and feel lawyers" division of Apple has filed a sweeping lawsuit against General Motors, Chrysler Corporation, Goodyear and Bridgestone for their manufacture and use of rubber tires, that they say is a clear violation of Apple's intellectual properties. More to follow...

      4. Observer1959

        Re: A ban based on a design patent??

        Apple is moving towards dumping Samsung because they can't be trusted. As far as design goes how come all the tablets prior to Apple's iPad don't look like the iPad? Do all current tablets look like the iPad. No, but the Tab 10 looks like a twin which is why they lost.

        This win is actually great for innovation and the consumer because it will force everyone to make distinguishing products.

        1. Martin Owens

          Re: A ban based on a design patent??

          I wish they'd do that with apples and fried rice.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: A ban based on a design patent??

      Actually, there are. None of them for use in polite company, however.

  6. Thomas 18
    Unhappy

    In the 80s

    We thought that hyper-corps would have private armies and fight wars with shadowy operatives stealing secrets and bumping off top executives.

    Turns out they just hire armies of lawyers and throw hissy fits and PR stunts in brightly light court rooms instead.

    How embarrassing this is going to look to archaeologists thousands of years from now.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: In the 80s

      Indeed I cant see EA's forthcoming "Syndicate Wars : Patent Attorney" selling that well.

      Although Apples use of a persuadertron on the USTPO and the Judiciary would explain a lot of things....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "I cant see EA's forthcoming "Syndicate Wars : Patent Attorney" selling that well."

        I dunno. I'd definitely buy any game that allowed me to virtually machine gun hordes of lawyers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "I cant see EA's forthcoming "Syndicate Wars : Patent Attorney" selling that well."

          Virtually? Aw.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: "I cant see EA's forthcoming "Syndicate Wars : Patent Attorney" selling that well."

            I'm at a tos to decide what would be the more effective weapon against lawyers: the venerable Автомат Калашникова 47, or the Point-of-View gun, either wielded by Marvin or by me.

    2. nichomach
      Unhappy

      Re: In the 80s

      Well, MY copy of Friday Night Firefight just got binned...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "to the user interface and even the packaging."

    The user interface? You ARE joking, right?

    Do Apple have widgets on the home screen? And where did Apple "blatantly copy" the drop-down notification bar from?

    I wouldn't be bothered and I'd normally call it progress, but Apple are a bloody litigous company and deserve to be called over each and every single instance of copying someone else's stuff.

    1. Zodd

      Re: "to the user interface and even the packaging."

      They even said samsung have copied the shape of apple ipads hardware, pretty remarkable considering samsung makes 20% of the components and apple makes none.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "to the user interface and even the packaging."

        "They even said samsung have copied the shape of apple ipads hardware, pretty remarkable considering samsung makes 20% of the components and apple makes none."

        Exactly, but come on. It's a Californian judge. You can't expect common sense!

        Only bias and prejudice. Thats been clearly demonstrated here.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "to the user interface and even the packaging."

          California judge of Korean descent.. But nice try at ad hominem.

      2. Steve Todd
        Stop

        @Zodd

        and it is of course completely impossible to put Samsung components in any other shaped box. That and any GUI written to run on ARM chips will automatically look like iOS and use similar icons.

        /sarcasm

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: @Zodd

          The PhoneOS GUI is basically the Windows 3.1 GUI.

          A grid of icons. Some menus. How "innovative".

          1. Steve Todd
            FAIL

            @JEDIDIAH - oh come on

            That claim is even more feeble than Zodd's contention that the iPad had to look the way it did because it contained some Samsung manufactured parts.

            Have you ever USED windows 3.1? About the only thing it had in common was that it used icons. The desktop wasn't laid out in a grid, you didn't even launch apps from there. You had to open Program Manager, which contained folders, which in turn contained apps that could be launched.

            It's well known that Samsung went out of their way to make their TouchWiz skin look as close as possible to ios, right down to the icons. Stock Android 3 and 4 is nowhere near as similar.

        2. hazydave

          Re: @Zodd

          Both iOS and Android borrow heavily from the "rows of icons" interface created by Palm all those years ago. So of course there is some similarity in that part of the UI. But very different artwork on those icons, and throughout the OS. Apple is moving increasingly to this spooky skeuomorphic world of theirs, while the latest Android continues Google's magazine-like UI, first introduced in their online apps. Thus makes complete sense, too... iOS is completely bitmap based, Andoid is largely vector based.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought patents were meant to protect innovations, wtf is a design patent?

    Rounded corners? Really? Because I've never seen that on a laptop / phone before, he says as he pulls out his old nokia brick from the desk draw, opens up the toshiba laptop running windows 95 and slams his face into the keyboard to prevent the headache all these stupid patent cases are causing

    I actually hope apple pay the bond, and samsung get it proven that the patent isn't enforcable within a record timeframe, just so it hurts apple more than it does samsung.

    Seriously though, I'm all for patents on things which make sense, a new CPU layout, a new way to fabricate smaller transistors. But to patent a design is just stupid. Patents are meant to help protect innovative ideas nobody thought of. Rounded corners are not innovative ideas nobody would normally have thought of.

    Gah,

    A design patent is equivolant of patenting artistic expression. So what if its on a functional item rather than a nonfunctional item. Its the same thing in a different neighbourhood.

    *smashes face into desk repeatedly*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're taking things a bit too personal if you're injuring yourself over it.

      That's a very engineering-centric view of patents. Clearly you come from an engineering background.

      However good industrial design takes as much time as engineering does, so why shouldn't it be possible to protect it with patents it too?

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: industrial design

        - because most "industrial design" of this ilk falls into the "blindingly obvious" category that shouldn't get a patent. For example, rounded corners are good because they don't catch on things - which is why almost nothing has pointy corners any more. Take a look around your desk/living room/basement at the various IT objects you have. How many rounded corners are there?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: industrial design

          Rounded corners - that's a design element of the Art Deco period into the 1930s, isn't it?

        2. Kevin Johnston

          Re: industrial design

          When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were residing at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, Prince Albert took an interest in the Home farm (or whatever is should be called) and stipulated the use of rounded edges to bricks which formed the doorways or building corners.....

          Is that sufficiently prior art?

        3. toadwarrior

          Re: industrial design

          Because it's not just about rounded corners and those who think it is are just showing they don't understand.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        FAIL

        Lawyer types and the Intellectual Property Moaning Brigade fugg things up

        Stop defending to right to state-granted monopoly of the downtrodden creative classes!

        In an imaginary, rosy-colored past, the rationale of a patent was that you share your idea about a physical machine in a nice, public document, but get a time-limited and restricted monopoly on the application of said idea, to be defended by the badges and guns of the local mafia.

        This immediately entropized into "I will obfuscate the sharing thing and pretend I own everything everywhere even if only tangentially related to what I wrote down" full-out faggotry. It also had the effect of enciting entrepreneurs to pull in money via legal threats instead of actually developing their idea and bringing it to market.

        To understand how the original "patent" concept can be transferred to "design" demands an affliction by a brain tumor of tremendous size.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just imagine this was the car market, not the mobile market for a moment.

        Only Fords might have a wheel at each corner, and would sue everyone else. Only Mercedes might have a petrol engine. Only GM might be able to have the pedals in A-B-C order and a steering wheel: Everyone else would have to have an unfamiliar and different 'user interface'.

        That's aside the design aspects, of course... only Aston Martin might be allowed to have rounded corners, and Jaguar two seats in the front, two in the back.

        It's an insane situation at the moment, and it ultimately hurts us, not them.

        Look... another example. How do you turn off your electronic gadgets: With the clearly marked 'I in an O' off button, which everyone knows and is familiar with. How much of a ball-ache would it be if every manufacturer had to have a separate icon for off, fast forward, rewind, volume, et cetera?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          This has nothing to do with engines or wheels.

          The question should be: do all cars look like Aston Martins? And the answer is no because Aston's designs are protected.

          Yes, many of us would like a Skoda/Ford/Vauxhaul that looks like an Aston Martin, but I can understand how that wouldn't be very good for Aston, their ability to stay competitive and continue making more designs.

          1. vgrig_us

            "The question should be: do all cars look like Aston Martins?"

            Well, yes - a person who never seen a car would never been able to tell a difference between them.

            Some are even more similar looking - a lot of Lexus and Hyundai models look like Mercs, Chrysler 300 looks a lot like Bentley, etc., etc.

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Fanboy silliness.

            An Aston Martin design "protected"?

            You really don't know squat about cars.

            The only part on an Aston Martin that is protected are the trademarks. That's how it should be.

            I saw a Bentley this morning that had a very forgettable design.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: Fanboy silliness.

              Oh JEDIDIAH .... Bahahaha....

              I don't know about cars? Aston Martin's designs aren't protected by design patents?

              So what do you call this then? http://esearch.oami.europa.eu/copla/design/data/001650052-0001

              GTFO. You've just made yourself look stupid.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Fanboy silliness.

                So why aren't Aston suing everyone, then? Or more to the point: Bentley suing Chrysler?

                Oh yeah... because it would be frivolousness, a waste of everyone's time, and manufacturer's of cars seem to have a fair bit of faith that the quality of the 'real' thing is enough to outshine the competition, even at a higher price.

                Argue semantics as much as you like, but the auto industry doesn't patent troll in the same way as the mobile industry.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "This has nothing to do with engines or wheels"

            The engineering was a separate point to the design, but it's pretty clear that historically vehicle manufacturers were never as ruthless with patents in the founding days of the industry as they are in the current mobile device industry.

            As to protected design, there are an awful lot of cars that look an awful lot like other cars. Branded design elements are unique (badges), but even almost trademark design elements (BMW kidney grills for example) are utilised by other manufacturers. Just look at the Chrysler 300 and tell me it's not remarkably similar to a Bentley. If Bentley were Apple, they'd be sending the lawyers in, without question.

            Heck... have you heard of kit car replicas, too?

            The fact remains that if cars were phones, the manufacturers would be suing each other senseless.

            1. Fr. Ted Crilly

              er yes they were actually AC

              Try this early industrial patent trolling chappie

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_B._Selden

              Hats of to 'enry for standing up and being counted.

      4. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Real work versus nonsense.

        Well, actual engineering requires that you can build something that actually works. You have to deal with the laws of physics, and the constraint of costs, and of current technology while also dealing with what clueless people will have to use it. You have to consider things like it might fall apart or catch fire.

        Doodling something on a napkin is beyond trivial in comparison.

        "Design" does not take as much effort.

        1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: Real work versus nonsense.

          Really...?

          Pick any device that you own.

          Now design a new model that satisfies all of the mechanical and use requirements for that device, looks different from any already-existing version of that type of device, and is attractive enough that people will want to give you money for it.

          Doodling may be easy -- actually creating a usable, unique*, and desirable device is certainly not.

          Do you write code...?

          ANYONE can learn to write code... It's trivial.

          Writing GOOD code -- code that doesn't waste cycles, hog resources, or leave exploitable holes and has a full-featured yet clear and intuitive UI is *NOT* trivial. It actually requires thought and knowledge of how both COMPUTERS work and how PEOPLE work.

          Good industrial design -- despite what you seem to think -- requires the same skills that you describe for mechanical design; "...deal with the laws of physics, and the constraint of costs, and of current technology while also dealing with what clueless people will have to use it," AND do all of those things while meeting the "usable, unique, and desirable" criteria that I noted above.

          If you think that industrial design is just "doodling on a napkin", I might suggest that you look up "Dunning-Kruger Effect" and consider how it might apply to your position.

          * -- Before anyone starts the "rounded rectangles aren't unique" blather again note the "already-existing version of >>that type of device<<" requirement -- if no previous *tablet* looks sufficiently like an iPad that they could be mistaken one for the other, then the iPad meets that requirement for "uniqueness" and any tablet that follows it does not. Round-cornered tables and bricks are, ultimately, irrelevant to the issue.

        2. toadwarrior
          FAIL

          Re: Real work versus nonsense.

          Then do it for us now. Why not go out there and get a job design tablets. You can get a KBE like Jonathan Ive and if you can work his magic for the likes of Dell or Lenovo you'll be up to your tits in money.

          So why go ahead and start. You're wasting your time by not doing it.

      5. Some Beggar
        Facepalm

        That's a very engineering-centric view of patents.

        Yes. That's what patents are.

        If you want to blur the extremely useful distinction between patents and copyright then you're an idiot.

    2. JohnG Silver badge

      Rounded corners - prior art

      Somewhere in my attic, I have a Siemens SIMpad that came to market in about 2001 - it has a touch sensitive screen and a black case with rounded corners.

      1. Vic

        Re: Rounded corners - prior art

        > Somewhere in my attic, I have a Siemens SIMpad that came to market in about 2001

        In my front room, I have a table that dates from the 1930s. It is predominantly rectangular, with rounded corners.

        I think it predates Apple's patent somewhat.

        Vic.

    3. toadwarrior

      Developers are usually the first people to moan about design taking no skill or how obvious it is yet the vast majority can't do it and not only can they not do it, they absolutely suck at it.

      I suspect the reason they get so upset over design patents is because they're more reliant on "borrowing" other people's design ideas.

      I at least acknowledge my design skills are absolute rubbish compared to my code and realise their work deserves as much protection as mine so either neither are protected or both are.

    4. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      "wtf is a design patent?"

      It may sound trivial but many if not most ornamental designs aren't able to be covered by copyright or trademark. Some design patents cover things that are actually useful including ship hulls, toys, patterns that may appear on wall paper or cloth and let's not forget clothes, yup probably even that "aloha" print on that shirt you have in the closet. Granted the clothes industry is likely more interested in fake labels and trademark theft than dresses that look similar.

      Since design patents tend to be pretty rigidly interpreted in court and fairly easy to work around and so likely slide through the patent office pretty easily with less consideration than a utility patent, if that's even possible today. Unfortunately it looks like someone didn't realize Apple were intending to patent right rounded parallelograms.

  9. ukgnome Silver badge
    Trollface

    Blah Blah Blah

    Samsung should retaliate by brining out an apple shaped pad - claiming that a product copied from a naturally occurring product cannot be copyrighted. And then if challenged claim the design brief was to create a product that reminded people of a peach. As their technology is peachy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blah Blah Blah

      That's a good idea, though I wonder if it would sell since it's not a clone of an Apple design.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably good for everyone in the end

    More choice is a good thing. A choice between an iPad or an iPad clone isn't really choice, and this one was a bit similar. Lets have something fresh from samsung :)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Probably good for everyone in the end

      Okay, so you don't want a 10" screen in a minimal case (there are only so many ways of achieving that)... Perhaps you want:

      - Sony Vaio clamshell tablet, with that split screen

      - 7" Samsung Tab

      - Asus Transformer - tablet with keyboard.

      - My idea- a 10" tablet with a couple of analogue joysticks.

      Can you give us a clue to what sort of differences you would like to see? No cheating and specifying roll-up flexible OLED screens or pixie dust, now!

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Probably good for everyone in the end

        I want one with two screens, side-by-side. I want to be able to write notes on one side whilst reading the other. I want a good keyboard too (okay, I know the design is getting clunky now!) based on the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads (dedicated buttons for page back/forward are brilliant!). I want full-sized USB commectivity, with at least one port giving a full 5V output.

        Ah, apart from the two screens, my Thinkpad is exactly what I want.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Probably good for everyone in the end

          There was/is such a device available except the US company went bust and sold the IP to a Russian company that is now running a trial of said device in Russian schools.

          The problem with the company was their marketing, or lack thereof.

          It has an e-ink screen that you can also take handwritten notes on and a resistive LCD screen. The larger 10" unit ( there is also a 7" unit) has two standard USB ports which take things like a USB keyboard, it also has a built in trackball.

          Some are still available on ebay - look for Entourage Edge.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Probably good for everyone in the end

        What's screen size got to do with it? A choice of screen sizes is definitely good (and clamshell *might* work, one day, so might roll-up). Joysticks are also good for people who mostly play games. Just give us some innovation, something fresh (and preferably something that works well!)

        Remember what the tablets used to be like, when they ran windows? And how apple brought some freshness and now we have lots of cool tablets? I'd like to see other companies do that, bring something sufficiently new that it turns the market on its head.

        One thing I'd really like to see: a 5-7" tablet with a very high res screen, powerful CPU + GPU (a bigger battery and thicker case to deal with it is fine), and a high quality camera sensor with an interchangeable lens socket. I say this after trying photography with an ipad3. It's *amazing* to use such a big + clear screen with a wealth of great apps, but obviously it's a bit TOO big, and the camera is pretty limited. A smaller tablet with lenses would kick a DSLR's ass :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Probably good for everyone in the end

          A tablet with lenses would still suck compared to a DSLR. A tablet is still going to have a small sensor and small lenses so it would be in the same quality ballpark as point and shoot cameras. The interchangeable lenses will help a bit but they need to be kept small otherwise using such a frankencamera would be an ergonomic pain.

          When it matters than much I just have a tablet connected to my SLR mounted on the tripod so I can get a decent preview of photos.

  11. Homer 1 Silver badge
    Alien

    "Stealing Ideas"?

    First, Apple really believes it "invented" the rounded rectangle? Even more incredible, some dilbert actually approved the patent?

    Second, Apple has the audacity to accuse others of "stealing ideas", when that is in fact the entire foundation of Apple's business?

    http://www.skuggen.com/2010/03/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-we-steal-great-ideas-shamelessly

    Is there a way back to my reality from this dystopian timeline, 'cos this one's broken?

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Coat

      steve-jobs-we-steal-great-ideas-shamelessly

      including Amazon's daft ideas on patenting things you click on screens, obviously!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

      Stealing ideas was in the Picasso sense, whom Jobs was quoting in that interview, it doesn't mean copying products until you can hardly tell tyem apart without prior knowledge of what to look for, like the two tablets here.

      The rounded rectangle speech is just fandroid nonsense. Samsung's Tab was copying the design in all aspects except display ratio.

      It's a clear rip-off. Everyone knows this including Samsung who redesigned it shortly after.

      No other manufacturer copied so much, take Asus for example who have their own design and thus have had no legal problems.

      1. Philip Lewis
        Holmes

        Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

        ... and Sony, who have that rather cute "wedgy" thing. Actually, if that Sony wedge ran iOS and it was a bit more solidly constructed, I would prefer it over an iPad. For me, Android is the FAIL on that device, not the hardware.

        1. Stewart McKenna
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

          Yes, I liked the Sony Slate. I advised it for my wife.

          Haven't seen it or played with it. my son got hold of it.

          didn't know there were 'robustness' issues. he's hard on thing.

          It's probably in pieces.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Metavisor

        So that home button that keeps failing on iDevices but is non-existant on the Samsung tablet...?

        Not to mention the size, aspect ratio, the branding, the capabilities of the software out of the box (widgets, file manager, video formats, etc.)

      3. hokum
        FAIL

        Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

        Not sure if you're being deliberately misleading or you just don't know anything about Android. Perhaps a bit of both.

        The Tab in that picture is displaying the Android app menu, which being a menu for apps is naturally a screen full of icons. Press the home button and it'll go back to the default Android desktop which looks nothing like iOS.

        It's the same thing Apple's lawyers tried to pull. Every time they show the devices side by side they have iOS on its normal (dull) home screen full of icons, but bring up the app draw on the Samsung hardware as otherwise the UIs look nothing alike. They also resize pictures to make them look more like the i-gadgets.

      4. BDC
        WTF?

        Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

        Nice of you to pick a fair comparison image...

        Now how about you try again and go look at one where they are both on their default homescreens, both being displayed in their default orientations and the samsung hasn't had its logo photoshopped out?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Samsung logo

          That's a genuine news media photo. Samsung's logo hasn't photoshopped out. They simply don't put their logo in all territories where they sell the tab.

          Ask Samsung why... Probably do it in those countries where they think they could get away with it.

        2. toadwarrior

          Re: "Stealing Ideas"?

          It's just being shown the way samsung nearly always shows it. What's the problem with that?

  12. Geoff Campbell
    Boffin

    Form follows function

    I'm assuming here that the patent in question is the infamous "Rectangle with rounded corners" one.

    In which case this is just bloody silly, and needs sorting forthwith. Imagine the situation had Philips or someone gained a similar patent on TVs being a square-ish box with a screen on the front back in the '50s? Or a flat-screen TV being a rectangle with supporting feet in the '90s? That would have been stupid, and this is equally stupid.

    Tablet computing devices pretty much have to be rectangles a bit larger than the screen they contain, and the only sensible way to build them is with rounded corners.

    GJC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      TVs being a square-ish box with a screen on the front

      That was close. My design has the screen on the back.

    2. Philip Lewis
      Boffin

      Re: Form follows function

      "Tablet computing devices pretty much have to be rectangles a bit larger than the screen they contain, and the only sensible way to build them is with rounded corners."

      No they don't, and no it isn't, actually.

      Did anyone measure the radius of the curve of the corners on iPad v. Galaxy Tab?

      Given that there are an infinite number of choices, I am wondering how close Samsung's choice was to Apple's?

      1. zingbot22

        Re: Form follows function

        lemme guess. You have some apple products and love apple. So apparent by your weak response. That was really bad, lol. No one cares about the roundness of corners, or size of them any more than the fact that apple uses touch screen just like the others. If what we are worrying about is mundane features as this, it's a sad day. Instead, it's a thing called competition. Apple knows that in in a rough market place where it has NOT been keeping up, the only way to play, is to play rough and sue people over idiotic things like this. You apple fans need to get a grip on reality. If corner size, and screen layout are considered "INNOVATION" , let me off at the next stop...

      2. Philip Lewis
        FAIL

        Re: Form follows function

        At last, the other other operation!

        I have hit upon a new technique for generating down votes I never before realised.

        0: State the blindingly and provably obvious (contradict the that tablets MUST look like an iPad - aka. demonstrate contradiction using proof by existence)

        1: Say rather nice things about a great Sony product (the cute little wedgy tablet thingy)

        2: Express a preference for an Apple iOS over Android.

        These 3 in combination will attract the insane fandroids and Apple haters with an attraction similar to that exerted by shit on flies.

        p

    3. Philip Lewis
      FAIL

      Re: Form follows function

      a) Number of curves available from which to choose = infinite

      b) 1 curve chosen by Apple

      c) Curve chosen by Samsung = curve chosen by Apple

      I would posit that the chance of (c) occurring is vanishingly close to zero. It can only occur by by inspection and copying.

  13. cs94njw

    FFS. Walk into Currys and tell me all the black LCD TVs don't look the same (yeah yeah apart from size, etc). What's important is what's inside.

    What's going to happen next? Amazon claiming a patent on cardboard boxes which happen to have addresses on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sure they do.

        Apple does, and they have in the past. They just don't get caught as much because people are too busy noticing them suing others while they are the hypocrites.

  14. Karirunc

    US Consumer to lose, due to resulting lack of competition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No lack of competition since Samsung already has an alternative on the market.

      The only outcome of this is more designs and less cloning.

  15. Zodd

    Fail

    "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging"

    Shape of the hardware? No wonder companies keep winning ridiculous patent claims when the people ruling are technological illiterate.

    I'm just glad this patent madness wasn't around a 100 years ago or someone would have patentet cars with 4 wheels, or a rectangular shape.

    1. Homer 1 Silver badge

      Re: Fail

      But that seems to be the entire basis for the patent system. Company "A" builds a bike shed, then a patent troll company "B" paints it green, thereby "inventing" the Green Bike Shed®.

      Much litigation ensues, accompanied by disingenuous screams of "Hard Work®" and "stealing".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fail

        That's rubbish, colour isn't relevant in design patents.

        1. Homer 1 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Fail

          "That's rubbish, colour isn't relevant in design patents."

          It was just an analogy, but colour might just as well be relevant, given the utter triviality of the other considerations.

          How can anyone seriously be granted a patent on something as trivial, obvious and blatantly pre-existant as a basic geometric shape?

          AFAIAC that's fraud, pure and simple, but sadly it's a type of fraud that's not only tolerated by the law, but actually promoted and defended by it.

          1. Steve Todd
            Stop

            Re: Fail

            You seem to have failed to grasp the difference between a design patent and a regular patent. It seems to be a common problem among the fandroids.

            A DESIGN patent is about the ornamental design of a thing, what makes its shape distinctive. The classic example is the coke bottle shape. People have been making bottles for centuries, you say, how dair Coke patent the shape of a bottle. What Coke had was a long list of shapes and curves which went to make up the completed shape of their bottle. Providing their competitors changed enough of those parameters they were free to make bottles of their own, they just couldn't make them look like Coke's design.

            Just like this Apple have a long list of elements that in combination make their design unique. Samsung skated too close for Apples comfort in the number of elements that they copied and found themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Later Samsung designs reduced their similarity and aren't at issue here. The Galaxy SIII for example appears to have been designed by their legal department to look as little as possible like an IPhone. Prior to the iPad no tablet PC looked like the iPad (pointing at digital photo frames that looked a bit like the iPad from one side isn't relevant), and neither do many tablet designs today so the "form follows function" argument is bogus also.

            1. Homer 1 Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Fail

              Oh I understand exactly what a design patent is, and this particular design is literally just a wholly unoriginal rounded rectangle, a simple and common geometric shape, which should in no way have ever qualified for a design patent.

              Giving someone a monopoly on such a thing is simply outrageous.

              1. Steve Todd
                Stop

                Re: Fail

                Apparently you haven't read the patent description at all. The design patent covers far more elements in combination than you claim (all or a large proportion needing to be copied in order to infringe), and it's perfectly possible for other manufacturers to design tablets that won't fall foul of it (indeed many have).

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Homer 1 Silver badge
                  Paris Hilton

                  "read the patent"?

                  Read? What exactly is there to read? It's literally just a drawing of a rectangle.

                  iCultists are funny.

            2. zingbot22
              Facepalm

              Re: Fail

              An apple fan should NEVER, EVER accuse anyone else of being "fan" ANYTHING, when they are the biggest group of fan-tastic suckers on earth.

              "What Coke had was a long list of shapes and curves which went to make up the completed shape of their bottle. "

              And what Apple has is an overly simplistic and obvious screen design along with dozens of other frivolous points of attack. If Apple believes that the shape of the screen vs bezel is worth patenting, it should be an obvious RED flag that, AGAIN, they have nothing THAT amazing for sale for 2012. There is a reason for this. That reason is Apple has pretty much NOTHING innovative for 2012 and that is what Apple is uncomfortable about.

              1. Steve Todd
                FAIL

                Oh god, another fandriod idiot

                Apple's DESIGN patent says that their device is a thin, rectangular shape, with corners of a defined radius, a glass screen covering the whole front surface, having a thick black bezel of certain proportions. The rear surface is plain with the edges curving at a certain radius to form the sides. The UI isnt even mentioned in the design patent, and it's the design patent that got the ban.

                That's just a cut down description BTW, there are MANY ways in which an Android tablet may be a flat rectangular shape with rounded corners and still not infringe on Apple's design.

                Samsung went out of their way to make the Galaxy Tab look like the iPad, even down to hurredly redesigning it when Apple showed off the iPad 2. If they could have avoided the blatant copying they wouldn't have reached this point.

                As for the UI, once again it's Samsung's TouchWiz skin that goes out of its way to look like iOS. Stock Android builds and other skins are much more dissimilar.

  16. Arctic fox
    Headmaster

    Most peculiar. I may have misunderstood of course but when a judge granting a.......

    .....preliminary injunction (granted usually where the judge feels that there may be a case that the defendant (in this case Sammy) has to answer) uses words like............

    ""Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," she said."

    ....................she is giving the rather unfortunate impression that she has already made her mind up about the final merits of the case before the full trial. Or have I misunderstood what is going on here? Any suggestions?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Most peculiar. I may have misunderstood of course but when a judge granting a.......

      >she is giving the rather unfortunate impression that she has already made her mind up about the final merits of the case before the full trial.

      How so? By kicking the case out, only to having dumped back on her by an appeals court?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most peculiar. I may have misunderstood of course but when a judge granting a.......

      You did.

      Paris: She is comprehensible

  17. Joey

    Rounded corners are not the issue...

    ...it's the entirety, right down to the surface decoration of the packaging. That is like being sold a fake Rolox or Gidson guitar. It is setting out to be something that it is not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rounded corners are not the issue...

      Samsapple? Appsung? The names aren't even close to each other. The packaging makes sense for small, complicated electronics like tablets. My Asus TF101 was packaged rather similarly, has what looks like a 30-pin plug, but because it's fuck-ugly Apple decided not to sue because they put form over function? Samsung was selling itself to be a sleek tablet that could do what an iPad still can't, and succeeded and Apple don't like that. It's pathetic.

  18. Jonjonz
    Linux

    Hypocritical Fruit Company

    For a company founded on stealing/copying the work of others, Crapple is totally the hypocrite for turning around and whining about some one else doing the same.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fandroids at it again....

    .... 'Obvious design'? So obvious that nobody else thought to make a capactive touchscreen operated tablet with a beizel just large enough that fingers didnt inadvertantly activate the screen, with minimal cluter on said beizel, with a single sheet of glass covering the entire facia, before?

    Look at the evolution of tablet computers - 99% of them featured a pen as the primary input device, had buttons all over the show, and rarely run anything other than Windows.

    Apple comes along throws out the rulebook in Tablet design and wins over millions of new customers who would never otherwise have bought a tablet, let alone an Apple product.

    Cue the inevitable bandwagon .

    If you look at the Android tablet marketplace, it's obvious that there are plenty of alternative designs for a tablet. An Archos tablet looks nothing like a Sony, a Nook looks nothing like a Asus Transformer.

    Even the MS Surface looks nothing like an iPad.

    So how is it that was only Samsung came up with exactly the same design as Apple? Twice?

    Yeah, that bleedin obvious.

    1. P Zero
      Pirate

      Re: Fandroids at it again....

      Never mind the chinese knock offs which actually harm Apple's name...

    2. John Stirling
      WTF?

      Re: Fandroids at it again....

      Hmm, if only 99% were different, then presumably Apple copied the other 1%, and are therefore guilty of trying to protect prior art?

      Design patents are crap - Copyright is there to protect how things look - Patents are there to protect how things work.

      To be honest, Samsung's tab does look like Apple's - there are significant differences in functionality, but the form is similar - whether that was deliberate or not is both currently uncertain (I mean in fact rather than histrionic opinion), and irrelevant - a judge should decide whether the appearance is derivative (fine), or copyright infringement (bad), and that should be that. Design patents are a bad thing and restrict consumer choice.

      Regardless of how and whether patents actually work, they are not a law of nature, and their purpose is to promote innovation not stifle it, and design patents can only stifle innovation, not promote it, and should be banned.

      Apple is entirely within their rights to use a design patent to protect their turf, that is the law after all, but no one should be confused about the morally shitty territory they are inhabiting to do so. If you're an 'end justifies the means' sort of chap, and like Apple you'll be cool with it, if you have absolute moral rules beyond which you think it is not cool to travel, then you should be critical of Apple's actions, regardless of whether you also disapprove of Samsung probably being blatantly guilty of deriving their design from the ipad, and possibly making infringing copies of Apple's quite frankly beautiful AND derivative design.

    3. ZweiBlumen
      Thumb Down

      Re: Fandroids at it again....

      You're confusing design with function. Apple may have 1001 functional patents which were truly innovative stuffed into their iPad. But how on earth they got a design patent on their iPad is beyond. Me it is simply not distinctive AT ALL. You put a Coca Cola coke bottle next to a Tesco coke bottle and they are quite different. But what Apple have come up with just rather non-distinctive.

      The Truth is the USPO patents everything and asks questions later. It's good business for them!

    4. Vic

      Re: Fandroids at it again....

      > So obvious that nobody else thought to make a capactive touchscreen operated tablet

      Everyone else thought of doing that. But the costs have historically been such that the product was not viable.

      What Apple did best - and for which they deserve huge plaudits - was getting the component prices reduced such that it became cheap enough to make these things. And I cannot overstate just how much that effort has helped the entire market.

      But Apple didn't design the tablet from scratch; it's been hanging around in Sci-Fi for a very long time. Apple turned it into Sci-Fact, and that was a great thing to do - but it doesn't give them ownership of the concept.

      Vic.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprised!

    That Apple haven't tried extraditing the whole board of Samsung!

    Seems the fashion in the US these days!

  22. Neil Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Got to love the legal system's lack of accountability!

    "Apple needs to hand over $2.6m for a bond to cover a potential damages payment to Samsung if the court eventually finds that the ban was wrongly granted."

    ...so if the Court gets it wrong, it's not the Court that gets to humbly apologise and pay damages. Oh no. Judges can never, ever be seen to make a mistake, can they.

    Has anyone, anywhere ever been able to sue a judge or a court to hold them responsible for making a blatantly stupid decision which caused serious harm?

    Thought not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Got to love the legal system's lack of accountability!

      It wasn't the judge that brought the case to court was it you pillock!

      Apple and Samsung agreed to disagree and they need someone to make a decision in one or the others favour. No skin of the judge or lawyer's noses who wins, the parties that need the decision ( Apple and Samsung ) need to cough up the insurance money to prove they're serious about getting a decision made.

  23. Lallabalalla
    Stop

    So are we suggesting that Apple pwns the judge in this case?

    Or that the judge was too thick to see the "blindingly obvious"?

    Or did the judge reach a judgement on the available eveidence and make up his own mind on the merits of the arguments, having been given the best that their lawyers could give?

    I suspect that, not having been in the room, we don't know the half of it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tab 10.1 and Apple's iPad were "virtually indistinguishable"

    to a blind man... with no hands... or any sense of touch.....

    im amazed judges really cant see the differences here. I mean, people have made calculators, toasters, tellies for years without these problems, they all looked the same, yet we didnt sue each other out of the market.

    Apple: you made a good product, well done. Samsung made a better, different one in a form factor THAT IS different to yours. Pull your pants up and go back to school!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Tab 10.1 and Apple's iPad were "virtually indistinguishable"

      "to a blind man... with no hands... or any sense of touch...."

      Or to a Samsung lawyer like in this case.

  25. Callam McMillan
    FAIL

    Ridiculous to the point of Insanity

    Where to start with this one...

    Appearance

    The Apple iPad has a black bezel around a 10 inch screen and a physical button. It has an Apple logo on the back.

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab has a black bezel around a 10 inch screen, no physical buttons, oh and it says SAMSUNG on it.

    I'm fortunate enough not to be dyslexic, but I'm fairly certain you're not going to get the two names confused.

    Packaging

    Having seen pictures of the packaging, I can see the similarity, you open a box, and there's a tablet, underneath that there are the accessories. But, one box says SAMSUNG, the other says APPLE and both of them should be looking at Dell, because the laptop I bought 10 years ago came in a box, which had a laptop on top and all the accessories below.

    Software

    Ok, I'm bored of this now, both have icons on a screen, you can click on them and they do stuff, just like you can in Windows, Linux, OSX and just about every other graphical operating system from the last 20 years.

    A solution?

    Aside from machine gunning the hoardes of zombie patent lawyers that seem to roam the various courts of the world I would like to put forth a solution.

    Copying is wrong, that's why I agree with design patents and patents to protect innovation. I don't agree with software patents though since algorithms shouldn't be patentable and the implementation of an algorithm should come under copyright.

    I would therefore like to propose a functional requirement which has to be exceeded in a novel way before a patent will be granted. For a tablet computer this will consist of:

    1. The device will be based around a screen consisting of 2 pairs of paralell edges with corner angles of 90 degress.

    2. The screen will be enclosed by a bezel of an undefined width

    3. The bezel may contain a camera and/or major user controls such as buttons (Either touch or capactive)

    4. The screen is covered by a glass or plastic surface with touch sensitivity.

    5. The rear of the screen is protected by an enclosure to be made of plastic or metal. The edges of the enclosure are to consist of two paralell edges with corner angles of 90 degrees.

    6. Edges of the enclosure may be rounded.

    7. Secondary controls and ports may be mounted on the enclosure.

    That should pretty much describe every tablet on the market today, and as such nobody should be able to sue over appearances. If however somebody comes up a clever new glass covering or a shape which isn't described above then they can still patent the design.

    Job done!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ridiculous to the point of Insanity

      Samsung deliberately omits their name logo in many countries. The US for example.

      See here for example: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-10-1-Inch-16GB-Wi-Fi/dp/B00519RW1U

      1. Callam McMillan

        Re: Ridiculous to the point of Insanity

        Ok. That's a little cheekier, but it's still not enough to say their identical to the point of warranting an injunction. Also I can't fathom the harm Apple believe they'll suffer. I mean I would happily buy a Galaxy Tab, but will never buy an apple product (If someone gave me one, i'd be trading it in for a Tab). There are many people for whom Android holds no appeal whatsoever. But nobody apart from the bloody lawyers would try arguing they're identical.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ridiculous to the point of Insanity

          But that's you and people who know about iOS and Android.

          For the average punter who - for example and quite rightfully - knows more about brands of beer than operating systems, seeing two tablets looking very similar will cause some confusion.

          My guess is he/she would just pick whatever was on sale.

          Techies often make the mistake of thinking the rest of the world thinks like them. They don't. Most people don't give a flying toss about operating systems. They see ads on TV showing what tablets can DO and want to buy one based on that.

          1. fung0
            Alert

            Re: Ridiculous to the point of Insanity

            If Samsung were misrepresenting their tablet as an Apple tablet, that would be serious. But the test wouldn't be asking lawyers to tell the two products apart under contrived circumstances. Nor even asking whether some fool MIGHT conceivably confuse the two. The test would be whether an average consumer, under representative real-world conditions, would be LIKELY to buy the Samsung, thinking that it actually was an Apple. I don't think anyone has even remotely alleged that, let alone attempted to demonstrate it.

  26. FuzzyTheBear
    Pint

    How they got the patent

    is totally beyond me .. their design is copied directly from 2001 a Space Odyssey scene.

    How can you patent something you didnt design but stole from a sci-fi movie ?

    Time for a heck of a lot of pints.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How they got the patent

      They look completely different. Where's the metal trim around the border?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    This is a big win

    Samsung, the only other successful company in the market, officially declared to have copied Apple's design.

    By a Korean American judge no less!

  28. amanfromearth
    Thumb Up

    Can I be the first one to thank the reg hackette

    For an apple piece without "foxconn rebrander" in it.

  29. heyrick Silver badge

    Note to self...

    ...if I should ever invent something techie, just don't bother with the US market. At all.

  30. Petrea Mitchell
    Devil

    Street cred time!

    Anyone in the US who's already gotten a Galaxy Tab 10.1 can now proudly strut around showing off their highly exclusive product that cannot be legally obtained by any of their nearby friends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Street cred time!

      Samsung should have to recall the lot, pay damaged to their customers (buy them an iPad perhaps) and to Apple.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Street cred time!

      As if they would want it - it's a bit like having a fake Rolex that all your mates now know is a fake - so NO CRED.

  31. toadwarrior
    Trollface

    Poor fandroids

    If this keeps up they're going to be stuck with their shit ugly designs given that you can't pay for good design on budget prices.

    Or should I say, obvious shit ugly designs.

  32. pullenuk

    My xoom looks similer, everyone keeps saying is that an ipad. So why isn't that banned? Or is it because Motorola holds the right kind of patents to kill apple?

    1. toadwarrior

      Perhaps because it's clearly labelled as a motorola product on the front, doesn't try to pass itself off as an ipad by using nearly identical package, cables, etc.

      Of course then there are more subtle things like it's got more of a lip around the edge.

      Unlike Microsoft who just wants to milk Android makers for cash Apple is concerned about blocking people from passing off their devices as ipads. If they wanted to just go after tablets that were rectangular with round corners that would be all of them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They are not going after ALL tablets - they are going after blatant RIP OFFS. Buying a Samsung is like buying a fake designer bag / clothes as it's basically a copy - at least stuff like the Xoom tries to look a bit different.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Apple and Samsung "virtually indistinguishable"

    I bet Apple hated hearing a judge say that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple and Samsung "virtually indistinguishable"

      Why - you mean because it PROVES their point for them. I'm sure they LOVED hearing it - if the judge had thought there was no merit they would have thrown the case out - instead they blocked the imports at the start which is 'unusual' and a huge boost for Apple.

  34. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Holmes

    A non-US company

    Once again, a US court exercises economic imperialism by finding for a US company against a foreign one.

    Was my comment a couple of days ago when the reg reported Apple-vs-Motorola prescient, or what?

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/06/24/posner_skewers_apple_and_motorola/#c_1452561

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A non-US company

      Unfortunately based on Apple's history no more prescient that saying "it is dark tonight... I invoke the sacred powers of Ba-Li-La and see into the future... tomorrow the sky will lighten again!". Stupid patent cases will continue while we as a society allow it (and while we churn out thousands of Intellectual "Property" lawyers every year).

  35. Cyfaill
    Linux

    Teach Apple a lesson

    If the tactics Apple wishes to use is blocking of competing products.

    Especially a more advanced version of Android being available in the Samsung.

    Kick Apple in the balls by buying the new Samsung. I will consider it.

    Maybe they will listen to the sounds of someone's cash register in the competing camp. Patent wars backfire and are a piss-ant waste instead of investing in good products. Steve Jobs wanted Apple to waste its last dollar fighting...um "destroying' Android. Fine, You know the old saying sow the wind. Reap the whirlwind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Teach Apple a lesson

      "Kick Apple in the balls by buying the new Samsung. I will consider it."

      Bet you don't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Teach Apple a lesson

      If Apple did not have a case it would get thrown out - so clearly the judges believe they do.

      All these Apple-haters are not looking at this clearly - if you spent a lot of time and money and designed / invented / innovated something which was making you good money - if someone just came along and ripped off the whole design how happy would you be.

      People understand this if someone were to exactly copy a B&D Workmate or a Ford Focus but seem to think it's 'ok' just to copy 'so completely' (that even Samsungs lawyers could not tell them apart) Apple's work. About the only think missing was the Apple logo...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Again Apple THE PATENT HOG promoting the delusion that they innovate every common technology and everyone is simply copying Apple, LOL. And following in Steve Job's footsteps of PRETENDING to invent things and by patenting hideously obvious things such as the invention of "the wheel", Apple once again bullies another company. They should have also patented the touch screen. But oh wait, Garmin and Microsoft was there first. If Garmin were Apple they would have argued that the Garmin GPS interface was indistinguishable from the iphone4's GPS and sued apple, but they aren't as desperate to knock out simple competition. If Apple were truly so amazing, they'd have something that was untouchable. But the truth is they are an ordinary electronics company like the rest of them.

    This is the same stunt they pulled years back when they said windows was the same as osx, which it wasn't. And all the naive i-dunces fell for that. Good thing they lost. Seriously, any time you see a battle in the news, it's almost always Apple trying to bully some other company. Just wait 3 months and there will be a new story of Apple yet again attacking something or someone. MARK MY WORDS. And yet some of their dumbest followers truly believe that apple invents and creates everything. I mean, duh! Getting real there is nothing "magic" about the GUI here. Touchscreen is OLD now, and so are touching and sliding icons. It's like getting mad because all cars turn signals tend to be mounting on the left of the steering wheel on a lever. I hate to break it, but Apple isn't exactly all that innovative here. Please.. I can think of at least four or five products that apple's looks have copied from Apple did not create the first cell phones either, and yet their phone is much like others before it. Judge is obviously a little apple fart.

    What's next? Let's see maybe they could patent sound files so that any device attempting to transmit music through bluetooth, or over the internet etc would be also sued by Apple because the process would be "indistinguishable". Just tell the judge it's digital data over air. And BTW kids, Apple did NOT invent music, music files or sound by the way. Not to mention "Apple" TM wasn't really a creative title owned by Apple, but that trademark came from The Beatles and applecorp. They just kept fighting for over for 17 years until applecorp backed down and they finally they owned it, and then licensed "Apple" TM back to applecorps for use with all things Beatles. In short, Apple are selfish control freak, pigs who have a bunch of young twit followers feeling all BooHoo, sorry for them. I apologize to the smarter youth, but most are too kiddie like to understand real history or even get it. And for this year of 2012, Apple's "new" display of "technology" has been dismal at best. They have NOTHING that stands out as excelling in the market place. Nothing. Their new iphone isn't really any better. The siri BS isn't really their idea. Turn by Turn was in 2006, shirt pocket Garmins. Voice activated commands were found in Nokia phones 8 years back.

    At this rate, Apple is deemed to fall behind all other electronics venders. And their only response is suing people. Sad company really..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You got it the wrong way around - Apple are the ones innovating (who came out with the iPad first - Apple = yes - Samsung = copied it) - the others are copying and trying to keep up. Apple are litigating to protect their IP - if you were Apple YOU would do the same.

  37. sleepy

    Apple needs product differentiation

    Apple's business model is based on innovation and differentiation. Business is war, and Apple is going to use every legal means to keep its products differentiated. It has nothing to do with petulant narcissism. It is puerile to anthropomorphize Apple. It's a multinational corporation; it doesn't have emotions. Everything Apple and Samsung do is of necessity cynical, because otherwise someone somewhere would rip them off. But cynicism with integrity is possible.

    The Apple II started the mainstream adoption of personal computers. Cloners cloned, and IBM copied the Apple II in the IBM PC*. Apple II became irrelevant. The IBM PC was in turn cloned by Compaq and others, and IBM lost control of their own product.

    The Macintosh revolutionised personal computers, and made them accessible to everyone, from toddlers up. Despite the fact that it took Microsoft twelve years to make the first convincing copy of MacOS (Windows 95), the PC virtually put Apple out of business. Apple tried to increase market share by licensing Mac clones, but the cloners simply made cheap copies of Apple models, taking sales from Apple instead of growing market share. To conceal their monopoly, Microsoft did what was needed to keep Mac alive (mainly maintaining a compatible version of MS Office on the Mac).

    Android was unsuccessful as implemented for Google in 2007, so Google copied iPhone's OS. Samsung was unsuccessful with their own copies of the iPhone and iPad hardware, so they copied iPhone and iPad slavishly and have been phenomenally successful. Android phones now outnumber iPhones.

    Copying can put Apple out of a market and out of business far more quickly than in the first PC OS wars, leaving a wasteland of zero margins and zero innovation. It's an issue Apple has faced for decades. In the courts, the individual battle always ends up being apparently trivial. But what's at stake is much larger.

    *The IBM PC was a direct response to the Apple II. It used a different CPU (8088 vs 6502), and a separate standard IBM keyboard. But otherwise it was uncannily Apple II ish, with slots, TV interface, game paddles, cassette interface.

  38. Yamal Dodgy Data
    Megaphone

    Acorn NewsPad (circa 1995)

    meh .. wasn't that rectangular with roundish corners.

    Surely there's a government QC somewhere in that's been reading up on US patent law ?

    ****

    Apple Inc: company valuation approx $200+ billion

    UK current account deficit: approx $200 billion

  39. This post has been deleted by its author

  40. MrZoolook
    Paris Hilton

    What does the injunction actually mean?

    Does it mean that the tab can't be sold in US, or used in the US? Does it mean that it can't be used by Americans, or people living in America. If an American on holiday in Spain buys one there, will it be confiscated on return to the US? If a US citizen tries to buy one online from a UK ebay seller, will ebay just refuse his bid?

    Paris, because she is frequently impounded...

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