back to article Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

It looks as though scheduled talks between Apple and Samsung CEOs to discuss damages for patent infringement were doomed to failure from the start, as court filings show Apple is demanding $2.525bn in costs and penalties for the use of its fondleslab and smartphone designs. Apple claims that Samsung has knowingly infringed on …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bloody ridiculous...

    If this goes through, and Apple gets $22 per tablet, at what point does it stop? 10", 7", 5"?? At what point does a device stop being a phone and become a tablet? Will all rectangular devices suddenly become a target for this bunch of tossers?

    Maybe someone needs to remind Apple and the American legal and patent systems that a tablet is so-called, not because someone thought it was a great name, but, because the design was a natural evolution of the tablet shape that has been used by numerous civilisations throughout history.

    Apple did not invent the rectangle. They did not invent the tablet computer. They did not invent round corners.

    They did not invent.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: bloody ridiculous...

      Worst its over $30 possible, $24 for the design and more for UI bits.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one thing can stop Apple

        If you think it's not worth much why are they copying it then.

        These are not standard patents, manufacturers can use different things like the 10.1N changed design that the courts agreed with, they don't need to imitate iOS's browser scroll (pure Android doesn't) and surely there's other ways of unlocking the phone other than slide to unlock.

        Don't do the same things and the problem is over. Simples.

        1. kissingthecarpet
          Devil

          Downvoted for S*****s

          The use of bleedin' "S*****s" was enough for an automatic downvote.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Downvoted for S*****s

            Downvoted for the automatic downvote.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Only one thing can stop Apple

          My old p4 desktop computer is rectangular in shape. Is Apple going to start going after desktop computer (and televisions that are rectangular in shape) manufactures for making their computers rectangular in shape?

          All hail to monopolies, patents and the upper 1 percent

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Prior Art

          Slide to unlock was around LONG before Apple stole the idea.

          http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/10/26/slide-to-unlock-patented-by-apple-despite-prior-art/

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Only one thing can stop Apple

        Or, you know, stick a keyboard on'em and go back to calling'em netbooks.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bloody ridiculous...

      You could say that of anything - Dyson did not invent vacuum cleaners but should they not be able to protect their intellectual property and this prior art / sci-fi crap - so if someone invented a 'transporter' they should not be allowed to patent it because they had them in Star Trek?

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        "so if someone invented a 'transporter' they should not be allowed to patent it because they had them in Star Trek?"

        There is a difference between a patent and a DESIGN patent. If someone does invent a transporter, they could patent it, but not the design of it if it's the same as that of Star Trek. Or at least, that's how it should work, because you didn't invent the design. It's hardly rocket science.

        1. Euchrid

          Re: bloody ridiculous...

          "If someone does invent a transporter, they could patent it, but not the design of it if it's the same as that of Star Trek. Or at least, that's how it should work, because you didn't invent the design. It's hardly rocket science."

          Slight tangent, but a few years ago, a couple of guys did try to patent a warp drive, which IIRC was briefly granted. I seem to remember that there were claims that the appllication was rather influenced by a Star Trek book.

      2. ToddRundgren
        WTF?

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        There must be an inventive step. e.g. a car driven through the front wheels, like the mini, or a tablet computer that has finger scrolling software, but not a "RECTANGLE WITH ROUNDED EDGES". This is simple american protectionism!

      3. Eponymous Cowherd
        Thumb Down

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        "Dyson did not invent vacuum cleaners but should they not be able to protect their intellectual property"

        Yes they should, and they did. Dyson patented the "cyclone" technology and, because of that had exclusive rights to manufacture devices using that tech until the patent expired (which it has).

        The difference between Dyson and Apple are Dyson's inventions are just that. Inventions. Real, technological and scientific inventions that took time, effort and real research to develop, and deserving of the protection a Patent affords.

      4. Mark .

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        The Star Trek transporters weren't actually real, you know. On the other hand, the design of rectangles and rounded corners *was* real - whether it's in a film, or not. That's the difference. A working transporter would be an actual new invention - rectangles and rounded corners aren't.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They did not invent."

      Yet there was really nothing like it around.

      Explain.

      1. Bill Neal
        FAIL

        Re: "They did not invent."

        HP TC1100, 7 years older & had better specs

        A quick google image search shows it many places.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "They did not invent."

          Oh the HP TC1100. That sir is really like an iPad and worked oh so well without the keyboard and just your fingers. Nice hard drive too - always a good idea on a tablet - and such a pleasure to use weighting in at "just" 4 lb.

          For fuck sakes the examples some people come up just shows how hard they try not to get it.

          1. ToddRundgren

            Re: "They did not invent."

            There is unfortunately a precedent for patenting a form factor!

            Rodime pateneted the 3.5" disc format factor and still get royalties from: Seagate, WDC, et al to this day.

            The "patent" world has gone mad, though by allowing a rectangle to be patentable.

            1. Chris007

              Re: "They did not invent." @ToddRundgren

              "Rodime pateneted the 3.5" disc format factor and still get royalties from: Seagate, WDC, et al to this day."

              I was under the impression that patents lasted 20 years??? I remember using 3.5" discs way back in the 80's so would have expected this patent to have expired?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "They did not invent." @ToddRundgren

                25. And your point is?

                the OP was pointing out that there is precedence for patenting a form factor. The duration of a patent would seem completely irrelevant.

                Fail.

                1. Chris007
                  FAIL

                  Re: "They did not invent." @AC 2/7 12:44 GMT

                  1st - My point was that the OP stated that the inventor of the 3.5" format was still earning money "to this day" and if patents last 20yrs this wouldn't be true.

                  2nd - I was [sort of] right and therefore a Fail on you sir - http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/patents.jsp shows 20 years. Further basic checks showed that the length of patent protection in force in 1987 was actually 17 years.

                  An apology is not necessary but I sentence you to 100 hours of listening to Justin Beiber :)

          2. John Stirling
            FAIL

            Re: "They did not invent."

            Hmm, methinks you don't understand the difference between 'design' and 'function'. I will grant you that the function is different, but the opprobrium being heaped upon Apple isn't about function it is about design - specifically rectangular with rounded corners.

            The thing could be used to make toast for all it matters in terms of function, it is a rectangular tablet with rounded corners, that is the intellectual 'property' Apple sought to protect, and that is the IP that they clearly did NOT invent.

            whether they are due the pennies for the function around fumble fingers, I don't know, maybe, but they can sod off for the design.

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: "They did not invent."

          It is not black, does not have a button on the front, has buttons left right and center, has an ugly keyboard and is waaaay toooo thick ... oh, you are moaning because of rounded corners? I think Apple a moaning because somebody copied their whole design which took years to mature.

          Seriously, you @pple h8ers, who can tell the difference between an iphone 3 and any of the Samsungs lying on the table (blackenning out the Samsung logo on some models)? I cuold not - buff said.

          1. John Stirling

            Re: "They did not invent."

            and yet it is the rounded corners which are worth $22 dollars per machine.

            Since we agree that the rounded corners are not special we must therefore agree that the litigation is largely (in financial terms) baseless, and that the company pursuing baseless litigation is therefore being 'bad', and is nothing special.

            Then we can subsequently agree that they should get out of the courtroom, and get back to marketing products peerlessly.

            Glad we're all in agreement

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "They did not invent."

          HP TC1100 appears to bean no resemblance to an iPad.

          Explain?

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: "They did not invent."

        Others have said that there is prior art. I expect there is but my comment on the matter is that it is more than a design issue actually. If you have something that just stands on your desk like a monitor for example, then rounded edges make no difference other than as a design aesthetic. But if it's a device you are to hold comfortably in your hand, lounge around with, turn about at different angles, then sharp corners are no longer just a design aesthetic but a practical matter. Rounded corners on a tablet are pretty much obvious for anyone who's ever held one in their hand.

        There's a reason you don't often see square steering wheels in cars and it's not just because of tradition.

        1. Slef

          Re: "They did not invent."

          "There's a reason you don't often see square steering wheels in cars and it's not just because of tradition."

          And there was me thinking no more square wheels after the Austin Allegro!!

          1. Chika
            Coat

            Re: "They did not invent."

            How long has it been since anyone last built an All-aggro? Could the current design owners sue for prior art?

        2. ToddRundgren
          Thumb Down

          Re: "They did not invent."

          You do in racing cars.

          Your argument sounds like you have a few Apple products.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: "They did not invent."

            "You do in racing cars."

            Really? Actually square, not just rounded but slightly squarified? I can see the latter being useful for knowing exactly where you are with it or the ability to quickly exert more force without having to maintain as hard a grip, but actually square sounds both uncomfortable and more dangerous if you slammed into it. Do you have a photo of a racing car steering wheel?

            "Your argument sounds like you have a few Apple products."

            I have no idea where you got that from. I don't have any! I prefer Windows (both on computers and phones). I'm very confused how you took my post as having a pro-Apple bias. I was essentially saying that rounded corners are an obvious thing for practical reasons that anyone would almost certainly arrive at. The implication being that it's not the sort of thing that should therefore be patentable.

      3. Homer 1
        Headmaster

        Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."

        Apple fanboy bullshit.

        In fact this design has been "around" for decades:

        "A tablet computer that looks remarkably like an iPad seems to spring up on a weekly basis. But this device, also hailed as the future of home computing, was made 17 years ago. Called The Tablet, it provided a glimpse into tomorrow's world that was incredibly accurate."

        Why do Apple cultists insist on revising history? Next they'll claim that Apple "invented" the computer mouse, the GUI, the home computer, the smartphone, and the portable digital music player.

        Apple "invented" precisely nothing - zip, squat, nada, zero. Ever. Period.

        The fact that Apple claims so many (disputed) "patents" is one of the biggest jokes in the industry, and a decidedly unfunny joke at that, considering their "claims" include simple geometric shapes that they could not possibly have "invented". Apple's one and only "accomplishment" was to "shamelessly steal" everybody else's ideas and resell them, rubber stamped with a fruity name and logo, and even that was shamelessly stolen from the Beatles.

        Apple should be "applauded" for making so much money off stolen ideas and litigation ... in the same way that Al Capone should have been "applauded" for racketeering and murder.

        The sooner those gangsters go bankrupt the better.

        1. Euchrid

          Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."

          Why do Apple cultists insist on revising history? Next they'll claim that Apple "invented" the computer mouse, the GUI, the home computer, the smartphone, and the portable digital music player.

          Sadly, they’re hardy the ones. How many times do people say that Apple stole, rather than licensed, research from Xerox PARC? Or for that matter, claim that the PARC invented the GUI? People get some het up about certain companies that they’ll simply choose to not bother access easily obtainable information.

          “Apple should be "applauded" for making so much money off stolen ideas and litigation ... in the same way that Al Capone should have been "applauded" for racketeering and murder.”

          In the case of Capone, he – like many others - took advantage of a situation, namely the Prohibition Laws. That legal situation created an environment for racketeers to prosper and to fund expansion – just as it allowed Joseph Kennedy to fund/buy a presidential election. That doesn’t excuse what Capone did, just that he (and others) were an inevitable product of a flawed system – which I would say is exactly what’s happening with patents in technology.

          A company like Apple ain’t going to go broke soon and we can’t rely on insolvency to sort out the problem of patent litigation – and in fact, the judge at a recent case that Apple lost seems to be indicating that something needs to change (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-judge-posner-us-patent-system-out-of-sync-20120705,0,4814825.story).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."

          Had Knight-Ridder codified and applied for design patents, they could have protected their product.

          Did they?

          "The sooner those gangsters go bankrupt the better." - Don't hold your breath.

        3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."

          @Homer 1

          Thank you for such a succinct post, I've bookmarked it.

        4. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."

          Wait, it doesn't look like an iphone/ipad. We are talking about something like this. All new tablets look exactly like that, almost to the drop of paint.

          I agree on some of the patents - yet these phones and tablets look exactly like iphones/ipads - people confuse them with iphone/ipads !!!! they do not even want to change the color, because the copiers are banking on punters buying their products thinking they bought an iphone.

          I side on Apple for this one.

      4. Nya

        Re: "They did not invent."

        HP TC1100...10.4", rectangular, rounded corners...called a tablet. Released in 2003 or something. Apple has never invented anything. Copy, patent, and then advertise they invented it as the patent says so yes. Invent? no!

      5. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: "They did not invent."

        "Yet there was really nothing like it around." ...from Apple.

        I have two Siemens SIMpads gathering dust in my attic. These were sold in 2001, have 8.4 inch touch sensitive colour screens and black cases with rounded corners. Running WindowsCE, they had a web browser, email client, media player and could also be used to read documents, spreadsheets, etc.

        Then there were the various UMPC devices from an assortment of manufacturers..... All of these preceded Apple's ipad by some years and none of the manufacturers involved considered their tablets to be novel enough to warrant design patents.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "They did not invent."

          More's the fool them :)

      6. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Flame

        Re: "They did not invent."

        @AC 24th July 2012 19:38

        Yet there was really nothing like it around.

        Explain

        OK, the original design concept for "slide to unlock"

        http://pics.kuvaton.com/kuvei/apple_slide_to_unlock.jpg

        Does that explain it for you?

    5. Medium Dave
      Devil

      I am reminded of Austin Powers...

      Dr Evil: "My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark..."

      Sigh.

      I remember when Apple used to make really good computers for a living, but that seems like a lifetime ago.

      1. Neil Greatorex

        Re: I am reminded of Austin Powers...

        "I remember when Apple used to make really good computers for a living, but that seems like a lifetime ago."

        Unfortunately I've been around since long before 'Personal Computers' & for the life of me I can't remember when Apple ever made "good computers", perhaps you can enlighten me?

        Or, to use the blight that's affected any remotely rational discussion lately: "Citation needed".

        1. Medium Dave

          Re: I am reminded of Austin Powers...

          You need to think back to the original Mac and Mac II. Y'know, before they invented the letter "i".

          IIRC, was about '87 or '88 when they discovered the joy of trolling the courtrooms claiming somebody had stolen their mojo, and it's been downhill ever since.

          But, if you thought Windows V 1 was the dog's whatsits, I'm not going to argue.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I am reminded of Austin Powers...

        I thought it was Jonatton Yeah?

        1. LinkOfHyrule
          Joke

          Well Rounded

          I just used MS Paint to draw a rounded rectangle and then suddenly, iTunes popped up a dialogue box titled cease and desist telling me to erase the rounded rectangle immediately or they would, to use their exact words "sue my fucking Windows using scum, ass off!"

          I am of course joking, I don't really have iTunes installed *shudders*

    6. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: bloody ridiculous...

      Apple did not invent the rectangle. They did not invent the tablet computer. They did not invent round corners.

      Apple invented a slick device which was the thinnest smartphone device when it came out. The big novelty was that it hardly had any buttons and that the few there were were hidden. The front was all black, had rounded corners, the keyboard was the touch screen, the screen was exceptionally big for a phone ... no other phone on the market at the time had all these features. For years, competitors tried to create the "iphone" killer and failed .... until they copied its design 1:1 (Made in China-style) and started selling the copies way under Apple's prices - they had no R&D costs for the device, so it was easy ... TBH, I cannot tell the difference between phones when I see the Galaxys, iPhones etc - I could tell the difference between Nokias, Blackberry's, Samsungs, Motos etc before. On some models, Samsung has even dared to put its brand name ... imagine a copy of a Ferrari-red (Yes, 'Ferrari red' is a patented colour) Ferrari F458-lookalike by Chevrolet with Chevrolet written all over it.

      This is not the case of rounded corners, this is a case of carbon-copy.

      Apple started selling tablets, which had been on the market for a decade. At that time, it just took its design for the iphone and increased the size. No tablet before looked anything like the ipad. Again, competitors launched tablet lookalikes.

      Example Fujitsu "tablet" (I have one in my closet - it was given to me):

      http://www.retrevo.com/s/Fujitsu-ST5020-Laptops-review-manual/id/3090ci968/t/1-2/

      I think you guyz are "bloody ridiculous" and no, I do not consider myself an "Apple fanboy" - I am probably gonna get a Galaxy SIII - because it is just like the iphone without walled garden.

      1. Ian Yates
        Stop

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        "Apple invented a slick device which was the thinnest smartphone device when it came out. The big novelty was that it hardly had any buttons and that the few there were were hidden."

        Granted it has three buttons on the front instead of one and is 0.6mm thicker (but 50g lighter), but the LG Prada was announced and released before the original iPhone. So who copied whom?

        Every time I read these patent throwing stories, I'm amazed that this stuff can even be patented. Who would ever produce a handheld device with non-rounded corners? Even the original Gameboy had them.

        Calling any of the devices "carbon-copy" is disingenuous: Apple have the iconic single button with square symbol; how could anyone not recognise an Apple product by that alone? I've never seen that copied.

        They should all grow up and stop!

      2. nsld
        Facepalm

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        Hans

        This is what you wrote:

        "No tablet before looked anything like the ipad"

        Did you not notice the picture in the article from the Kubrick movie?

        In terms of prior art your staring straight at it.

        And if you cannot tell the difference between an iPhone and the Galaxy or any of the others I suggest you get a new guide dog!

      3. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        "Apple invented a slick device which was the thinnest smartphone device when it came out. The big novelty was that it hardly had any buttons and that the few there were were hidden. The front was all black, had rounded corners, the keyboard was the touch screen, the screen was exceptionally big for a phone ... no other phone on the market at the time had all these features"

        But all of these features existed in different devices pre-dating the iphone. HTC grew from first producing large screen smartphones for HP and subsequently, in their own right. They and other manufacturers also offered large screen phones without buttons on the front. Apple's skill (as always) was in combining many existing ideas in well-marketed package - but it is a disgrace that they now claim to have invented all these things.

      4. John Stirling

        Re: bloody ridiculous...

        Apple did well with the iphone for two reasons, 1) it was an Apple product, and they have seriously loyal (to the point of irrational) customers - how lucky are they?, and 2) the technology had reached the point where it worked. There were many smart phones previously, I owned some of them, reasonably large screens (but not as big, or hi res, as they weren't practical), reasonably functional (but not as functional), and a bit heavier.

        The iphone was a fairly obvious improvement in terms of hardware and design tailored to a tightly designed, and highly quality assured user interface - which now looks rather dated, but at the time was revolutionary - but let us remember, it was the software that made it an iphone not the hardware.

        1. Euchrid

          Re: bloody ridiculous...

          "Apple did well with the iphone for two reasons, 1) it was an Apple product, and they have seriously loyal (to the point of irrational) customers - how lucky are they?"

          In the UK, I don't believe that was the case - I had and still have friends working/managing phone shops and at the time, a good proportion of early adaptors weren’t traditional Apple customers (in the sense that they used Macs). Anecdotally, my experience tallied with that – out of several people I knew who had the first iPhone, only one used Macs. That’s not to say that a lot of Mac users didn’t get the iPhone when it came out, but I think the product’s success isn’t easily explained by the usual ‘Apple’s customers will buy anything by the company’ – like the iPod, there’s a bit more to it.

          1. Mark .

            Re: bloody ridiculous...

            How many were Ipod users? The thing is, by 2007, Apple had already built up a niche of Apple fanatics, even if they weren't using Macs.

            Also note that it's not just about sales. The advantage that the original Iphone had was not the sales (the platform sold poorly back then, other companies sold and popularised smartphones way more than Apple), but the wall-to-wall endless hype in the media, even before it was released. Presumably due to Apple obsessed journalists.

            1. Euchrid

              @ Mark .

              “How many were Ipod users? The thing is, by 2007, Apple had already built up a niche of Apple fanatics, even if they weren't using Macs.”

              Apple *already* had a core base of users/cultists/fanatics before the iPod launched – and in fact, many thought Apple was wasting its time bringing out a music player and what it needed to do was to bring out a mid-range tower. If you go to any Mac-centric forum, posters who are self-proclaimed Apple fans, but not happy with everything the company does, are ten-a-penny and it's been like that for years. For example, the iOS-fication of OS X, the lack of Mac Pro are directions of travel that many aren’t comfortable with currently.

              Although many early adopters no doubt had an iPod player, just because someone has an iPod doesn’t make them a fanatic. The vast majority of people I know, for instance, who have had one at some point don’t have a Mac, or ever have – more than a fair few use an Android phone as their main music player (presumably, they've been deprogrammed). If my mates had thought the early adopters were largely ‘fanatics’, I would have mentioned it. There are many factors for the growth of Apple’s sales – and you’ve mentioned the hype and publicity (hacks knows that Apple stories generate Web activity – why do you think El Reg has so many) – but largely ascribing this to foaming at the mouth fanboy/gals is overly simplistic and false. When the last iPad was launched, the Telegraph surveyed the people queuing up, most were PC users and for many it was going to be their first Apple product... but let's just call them the Mac faithful.

  2. Nanners
    Alert

    Apple better watch it

    I could easily see them going the way of net Flix, Starbucks, or any other yahoo that thought they were invinsable and over extended themselves. They have those kinds of people doing the decision making now, and the stock holders egging them on.

  3. Big_Ted
    Thumb Down

    And some people are claiming that Motorola are asking stupid amounts for real patents on real technology.

    Ok its possible that Motorola are asking a stupid amount but that's yet to be decided by a court, but $30 for this ?

    It makes even the $15 or whatever makers are paying MS seem fair.

    What should happen is that we in the non US part of the world should stick 2 fingers up to Apple and refuse to allow it to be charged, its a tax on customers for what is lets be honest not something that should be allowed a patent, a copyright on the design yes but no way should it get a patent.

    Maybe we will get lucky and people who can do something about this mess in the US government will see just how stupid it is and sort it out at last, I wouldn't count on it though unless Apple get all its kit banned due to Motorola patents or those from Kodak etc.

  4. Steve Todd

    Hey, this is progress

    Previoisly Apple refused to licence their patents at all. Now they have an opening negotiating position to do just that. All Samsung et al have to to is negotiate it down to a price that they are prepared to pay.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey, this is progress

      $30 is not a bad price to pay - it's probably similar to what you might pay to license the OS on a PC etc.

      Plus they have a simple option - innovate yourself and you probably don't have to pay - but copying is cheap.

      1. probedb

        Re: Hey, this is progress

        Sorry, Apple innovated what exactly? The tablet design....erm, pretty sure that's common sense it definitely isn't innovative and was around before Apple released the iPad......slide to unlock? Pretty sure that was just thrown out in a UK court?

        Why do Apple sorts seem completely oblivious to Apple's complete lack of innovation these days? What next, they invented the phone....and electricity.

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: Hey, this is progress

          If Apple's patents/designs aren't worth anything then why are Samsung copying them?

          Don't forget that Samsung are asking $15 for patents that have been committed as FRAND.

          1. Craigness

            Re: Hey, this is progress

            They're not copying them.

            It's completely justified for a FRAND patent to cost $15, especially when you consider that Apple uses FRAND tech to add $100 to the price of its ipads. I'm working on the periphery of something which will eventually be akin to a FRAND patent. It takes years not just of R&D but also steering committees, white papers etc. It didn't take any effort for people at Fujitsu, HP, Fusion Garage and eventually at Apple and Samsung to decide that their tablets should be rectangular. If it was so innovative then why did they all do the same thing?

            1. Steve Todd
              FAIL

              Re: Hey, this is progress

              And yet the courts say that they are, and are handing out preliminary injunctions to that effect.

              FRAND patents completely justified to cost $15? When everyone else gets them included in the cost of a baseband chip that costs $5-10? Are you on some kind of drugs?

              1. Craigness

                Re: Hey, this is progress

                "Don't forget that Samsung are asking $15 for patents that have been committed as FRAND."

                Why would FRAND mean they couldn't ask $15? None of the letters in that acronym means Cheap. $15 is justified under FRAND.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hey, this is progress

              "If it was so innovative then why did they all do the same thing?"

              Copying is cheaper than thinking creatively. Neither the Xoom or the Sony "wedge" copied the iPad. QED.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hey, this is progress

            "If Apple's patents/designs aren't worth anything then why are Samsung copying them?"

            Copying what exactly? A tablet is a portable computer with inbuilt screen and these days a touch based interface.

            Display screens have been rectangular since, well, their invention pretty much. Tablets are designed to be thin and portable. When you shrink all of the electronics to achieve this thin portability the one component left that will still dictate the shape of the device is the screen. Therefore tablets being rectangular is obvious and Apple's design patent should be invalid.

            Rounded corners have been a staple of industrial design for decades. They make things safer and improve the ergonomics of a device if it is to be held. Rounded corners are obvious and Apple's design patent should be invalid.

            I shouldn't even need to go into the touch interface aspect. Apple did not invent touch screens.

            1. Chika
              Coat

              Re: Hey, this is progress

              "Display screens have been rectangular since, well, their invention pretty much."

              I'd beg to differ. The first CRTs were actually round. Mind you, I don't recall any similar patent rows about round screens...

      2. Mark .

        Re: Hey, this is progress

        So we have "Paying to use someone's software that cost millions to develop" versus "Paying to be allowed to make a device that's rectangular with rounded corners". Sorry, not seeing the equivalence.

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          Re: Hey, this is progress

          Enough with the stupid "Apple patented a rectangle with rounded corners" stuff. The courts certainly don't think that. The Xoom, not covered by the patent. The GTab 10.1 covered. The GTab 10.1N not covered. All three are rectangles with rounded corners, and only 1 was found to infringe. Small changes fixed that.

          The point about FRAND is that something like 3G is made up of hundreds if not thousands of patents from many sources. If each were to ask for a percentage of RRP like Samsung are demanding then you'd pretty quickly end up with a demand for more than the retail cost of the device. The ND part of FRAND means that you must charge anyone who wants to use the patent the same amount. If EVERYONE has to pay Samsung $15 to use their patents (which would add about $45 to the RRP BTW) then fine, but given that other users get the patents included in the cost of their baseband chips that's unlikely.

          1. Craigness
            Facepalm

            Re: Hey, this is progress

            Steve, are you choosing the icons to represent your own posts? I thought it was meant to be a commentary on other people's.

            1. Steve Todd
              Stop

              Re: Hey, this is progress

              OK smartarse, explain what was wrong with my comment. Provide evidence.

  5. bdam
    Facepalm

    These UK "Apple did not copy Samsung" ads

    What the fuck? That's some mighty powerful reality distortion field at work here. If Apple are correct with this, they are being forced by the British courts to lie in public in the British press. Steve "great artists steal" Jobs would be proud indeed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These UK "Apple did not copy Samsung" ads @bdam

      "If Apple are correct with this,.."

      But that's the point. English courts are world renowned as being (in relative terms) unbiased, apolitical, and unbribeable. Apple are proven (in a court that doesn't give a toss about who is who) to have no valid claim. Of course in the courts of the US, Apple will get a different hearing, but look at the garbage the USPO is granting - "rectangles with rounded corners" my arse! No recognition of common sense or prior art.

      But then again, it the Yanks want rich lawyers to get fat at the ultimate expense of Joe Sixpack, why not?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: These UK "Apple did not copy Samsung" ads @bdam

        Judges are still human and with Samsung being a major sponsor of the London Olympics maybe he saw a few too many ads?

        It is almost impossible not to see a Samsung ad in London these days.

        1. Neil Greatorex

          Re: These UK "Apple did not copy Samsung" ads @bdam

          Great investigative & deductive skills there AC, what do you do for a living?

          Model tutus?

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: These UK "Apple did not copy Samsung" ads @bdam

          Maybe, like many of us in the UK, the judge in question is sick of the bloody olympics already, and has no favour at all towards any of the corporate sponsors feeding from that particular trough?

  6. Paul E

    I wonder if anyone has the original prop pad from the 2001 film? Plonk that in front of the judge and ask them what they think it looks like.

    1. John D. Blair

      The original prop "pad" from 2001 was a CRT monitor mounted flush inside the surface of the set so it looked like a flat tablet computer.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        @John D. Blair

        So your point is that the "pad" was such an obvious design for personal computing to evolve towards that even a film director had the idea before it was even possible to build a mock up?

        Hmm, I can just feeeel the innovation washing over me.

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          Re: @John D. Blair

          Except if you apply the same rules that the courts do when comparing against a design patent then the 2001 tablets, had they come out after Apple's patent, wouldn't have infringed the design.

          Samsung and their lawyers have already dug up as much prior art as they could, and so far the judge isn't buying it. Your blustering has about the same effect.

  7. Jeebus

    Pretty much the Apple way, attack through the courts with nothing on their side then demand ridiculous settlements even though Samsung are found innocent everywhere except where Apple pay off judges in Texas and other US kangaroo courts.

  8. EWI

    "Innocent" Samsung

    Oh, give it a rest. Samsung are the world's most barefaced pass-off merchants. They copied the iPad right down to the very distinctive charger. They've done the same in the past to other companies, too.

    I for one would welcome their getting both barrels on this, might teach them not to be so lazy and actually do some original design work of their own.

    1. David 45

      Re: "Innocent" Samsung

      I repeat what has been said elsewhere, Televisions all look very much the same. Cars all look very much the same. I could go on and on. Bottles, kettles and fridges ALL look very similar. Such is the nature of manufacturing an item to do the same job. If Apple can't compete and has to resort to bully-boy tactics, then they should not be in the industry, full stop. They seem to think that their product is the be-all and end-all for that particular device. Ain't so. There's a little thing called competition and they obviously can't hack it. Rounded corners are exclusive to them? Just who are they kidding?

      The hype and cattle excrement created when a new Apple product is released is unbelievable and calculated to put the fanbois into a frenzy - "I want one!" is the cry, when, in reality, the product is grossly over-priced and something cheaper would probably do the job just as well. I have no time at all for all this back-biting. Just get on and produce a better product than the opposition. Quite simple.

      1. Neil Greatorex

        Re: "Innocent" Samsung

        "cattle excrement" ??

        Fornicating fatherless female genitalia...

        You won't offend anyone here by saying what you really want to say. Let it out mush.

      2. EWI

        Re: "Innocent" Samsung

        "There's a little thing called competition and they obviously can't hack it."

        This isn't competition, it's plagiarism. This is like Ford coming out with a VW Beetle clone.

        "The hype and cattle excrement created when a new Apple product is released is unbelievable and calculated to put the fanbois into a frenzy - "I want one!" is the cry, when, in reality, the product is grossly over-priced and something cheaper would probably do the job just as well."

        Except in the real world no-one has done so, have they? Why is that, do you wonder?

    2. DryBones
      Facepalm

      Re: "Innocent" Samsung

      Not allowed to claim ownership of a previously established form factor, thickness, or geometric shape.

      You may have a point, but what Apple is using for arguments is marketing. If the US applied the "reasonably educated" test like the UK did, Apple would have been dismissed with prejudice.

      1. Pete B

        Re: "Innocent" Samsung @ DryBones

        That made me laugh - the idea that you could apply the words "reasonably educated" to the US population at large.

    3. g e
      FAIL

      So explain to us once more`

      How many different sensible enclosures that Samsung/Sharp manufactured rectangular touchscreen might be enclosed in.

      Triangular, perhaps, with nice sharp corners? Or maybe hexagonal with big levers sticking out to operate it?

      The most sensible enclosure design is utterly obvious, therefore not innovative. Unless you're in America.

      1. EWI

        Re: So explain to us once more`

        "How many different sensible enclosures that Samsung/Sharp manufactured rectangular touchscreen might be enclosed in."

        FFS. Not that I think it'll penetrate, but let's go on the merry-go-round for the umpteenth time:

        http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/18/tablet-design-before-after-the-ipad/

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "Innocent" Samsung

      Anyone here remember Samsung ten years ago? They were around, but not making much of an impact. In fairness to them, they adopted (not 'invented') the glossy black 'piano' finish (looks like black plastic with a shellac varnish) around 2003, before it was it was so widely used by everyone else, including Apple in their iPhone and later Macbook bezels. Consistent Samsung haven't been, with some fugly and some good looking products along the way.

      I'm not saying that Samsung did or didn't copy Apple in this particular case, just that Samsung have been using some industrial design elements for years, some of which have been adopted by Apple and many others- so share and share alike. IIRC it was around 2002 that they were placing advertisements for Seoul-based design jobs in the British design press (Design Week, Creative Review).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think about this - you invent something - some blatantly rips it off in both form and function - what would you say "oh that's ok - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - here's my new product design so you can get a head start on the next one".

    People seem to think this is fine for other products - after all if someone just ripped off a Dyson vacuum (so closely that even the defence lawyers could not tell the difference) who would complain if Dyson sued - you would expect them to. But Samsung rip off Apple and it's fair game...?

    1. Snowy
      Mushroom

      Lets look at the form http://www.bible-history.com/past/babylonian_creation_myth_clay_tablet.html. I believe that covers rectangular front screen with rounded corners. The rest may be valid but the form factor sure is not.

    2. DryBones
      Pint

      Hmm

      http://www.sylvane.com/images/prodphoto/eu2503/eureka-airspeed-as1001a-vacuum-side-lg.gif

      No, no resemblance at all...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple invent??

      What have Apple invented here?

      This is the real issue people have, is that Apple haven't invented anything. They just improved on other offerings which others have since done as well.

      Don't believe me then look at these both a year before the iPhone and some more before the iPad. these aren't even the best examples just a couple of quick searches.

      Winhecbox.jpg

      lg-prada.jpg

      It's called technical evolution - it's how Apple made the iPod without inventing MP3 players, and the iPhone without inventing smartphones and the iPad from their own iPhone and numerous PC tablets before it, etc etc.

      If Apple invent a new memory technology that is super fast, requires minimal power using a brand new method of doping silicon, layered pathways and a zero power memory state then they deserve respect and a patent. If they decide to enter a marketplace that already exists and do things a little better then they don't and they don't deserve to also stop others coming along and doing things better than them, either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple invent??

        Don't you get it? Not everything in the world is about technology for technology's sake.

        You could have a "new memory technology that is super fast, requires minimal power using a brand new method of doping silicon, layered pathways and a zero power memory state" but that would be completely useless without software and a platform around it.

        That's exactly what Apple did with the iPhone and why it was radically different from the LG Prada example you gave. They took a very fast (for the time) graphics chip, a large display, full time Internet and gave it a very well tuned software (that only now Google is matching with their "butter") stack that no one else in the industry had.

        Why should some random memory technology be patentable, but not innovations in platforms and user experience?

        1. g e

          Re: Apple invent??

          Yeah but they always compare them switched off, side by side so software isn't the issue.

          Apple don't invent. At best they mashup and make pretty casings.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re Dyson

            James Dyson didn't invent the cyclone vacuum, and never claimed to- it already existed in industrial extraction systems. What he did do was to spend a good deal of time adapting it work for a domestic vacuum cleaner. I guess this could be considered non-obvious by default, since nobody else had done it. He then spent many more years playing David against US Goliaths who figured he would run out of money before successfully defending his patents in court. That is why a version of his machine was sold for stupid money in Japan years before anywhere else- it was to fund his patent battles in other territories.

            Making his vacuum cleaner look new and different whilst accentuating its unique selling point was fairly smart.

            Whether or not the things are any good at picking up dust off the floor is a different question- personally, I get on better with Henrys, but YMMV.

            I read Dyson's autobiography once; a bit of a slog, but then the subject matter was fairly tedious.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Re Dyson

              Does the obvious in hindsight. When you think about it, "Why did no one do it before?"

              Intertial air filters are quite old in idea - but he put them into a vacuum cleaner first.

              Oh can they sort out spares for the CR01/CR02 models?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't you get it?

          So they took the 3" screen of the LG Prada and put a 3.5" screen on instead. The Prada has a capacitive touchscreen (you know to allow for multi-touch and smooth scrolling), The Prada had an SD slot, it had MMS,

          As for putting a faster chip in it, and that they had "full time internet" - they didn't even have 3G!

          So by Samsung putting a 4.3" screen and Dual Core processors etc with an OS that can have widgets, desktop effects, notifications etc then Samsung are also making another leap ahead.

          That is the point - each device comes along take cues from what has gone previously and leaps ahead with new ideas.

          TVs look similar, cars look similar and have similar features, photocopiers look similar it's the same in all industries. It's not copying (apart from the photocopier, hopefully), it's evolving.

          Would you want Apple to not be able to play video or music on the iPhone because someone else had done it first (innovation in platform and user experience) or allow them to send SMS, or MMS? Or do you think Apple shouldn't have been allowed to have apps, or icons, or e-mail or internet access on its device? Do you think that Apple should have been forbidden for having a slate type phone, with black border, a built in loudspeaker, a camera on the phone? Should Apple have been told that the can't have music playing in the Background tasks, that the phones shouldn't connect to WiFi?

          No.. they shouldn't but by their (and your) reckoning. Someone has innovated and been the first to have those items in their devices before Apple and so they should be stopped.

          All the industry benefits that Apple have received in software, design and facilities are/were welcome to them. Why can't they show the same courtesy to others? Because, for one simple reason - there is a war of attrition, an arms race of patents and money pots. Wear down the opposition by using the legal system and the pots of money.

          It's wrong - no one wins. Nobody, not Apple, not the customer, not the legal system, No-one!

          ...Oh, apart from the lawyers.

    4. bdam
      Holmes

      I'd like to see you stick to that argument after watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo

    5. kissingthecarpet
      FAIL

      Re:@AC

      Yes - if someone ripped off Dyson's patents then Dydon will probably sue. I suspect Dyson's patents are for the cyclone tech & the ball etc, tech patents, not "OMG, look at that bitch, she's got the same hairstyle as me" patents.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: AC

        "I suspect Dyson's patents are for the cyclone tech & the ball etc, tech patents, not "OMG, look at that bitch, she's got the same hairstyle as me" patents."

        Actually, Dyson has 157 registered community designs (the correct term for the EU implementation of 'design patents'). See http://esearch.oami.europa.eu/copla/applicant/data/1/11/111897, close the 'trade marks' drop-down, open the 'Designs' one. Try selling a vacuum cleaner that looks exactly like a Dyson and I suspect you'd get a lawsuit dropped on you from a great height.

        But to be fair, the Dyson designs appear to be fairly detailed drawings of their precise on-the-market parts. They don't seem to have tried to patent The Cylinder or anything as absurd as the more ambitious claims Apple has made wrt its community designs (one interesting bit of trivia is that one of the main design patents they've asserted against Samsung did not in fact relate to the iPad at all, but to an unrelated tablet prototype they built in 2004).

    6. ToddRundgren
      Facepalm

      Dyson, invented a more efficient way of sucking up dirt, without using a bag, that was new, and so innovative. He also spotted that using a ball was better than a wheel for steering said vaccum cleaner. Again an innovation as no one had thought of it before. They didn't patent a plastic canister with stretchy hose and brush attachment, cos is was alreday out there!

      Apple "did" in my opinion develop the scrolling sw, and they should get royalties for this and other novel features, but a rectangle with rounded edges, just smacks of americam pritectonism, as always! Cro Magnon man may have realised that smooth and round was better than pointy and sharp, to live with that is, rather than for sticking in a wild animal

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Boffin

        >He also spotted that using a ball was better than a wheel for steering said vaccum cleaner.

        He figured that out back in 1974, albeit for a wheelbarrow instead.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballbarrow

    7. Mark .

      You're right - so I hope you believe that Apple should be paying customers like Archos, who were first to "invent" tablets with rectangular screens.

      And if the rumours about the mythical Ipad Mini are true, I hope Apple are ready to pay whichever company was first to make a tablet of that size (and size is important - if not, then an Ipad was no different to the tablets more commonly known as smartphones, "invented" years before Apple by companies like Nokia and Samsung).

      And if the mythical Iphone 5 ever finally arrives, and goes for a 4" screen, then again it looks like they'll have to be paying money to someone like Samsung, because it wasn't Apple who first "invented" a 4" phone.

  10. jowlymonster

    Lost profits?

    For their "lost profits" argument to hold true, they'd have to prove everyone who bought a Samsung device would have gone out and bought the Apple equivalent instead (had the Samsung device not existed).

    Proof? I've only just stepped into the fondleslab market with a Nexus 7, had that not appeared I would go without; I wouldn't have bought a sodding iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost profits?

      Obviously they would not have to prove that EVERYONE did so, only enough people.

      If you think about it $2.5 billion is about 5 million devices at $499. Samsung sold a heck lot more than 5 million devices. The last report was 2 million tablets alone back in January 2011.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost profits?

      You might have done if the Nexus 7 was not for sale.

      You could argue that of counterfeit jeans - ok these [insert expensive brand] jeans are knock-offs but it's 'ok' as I would not had bought the full price ones anyway - or it's ok to copy music as I would not have bought the CD - or it's ok to steal that [item] from a shop as I would not have bought it full price.

      Where does it end?

      1. probedb

        Re: Lost profits?

        You're not getting the point of this are you? How are Samsung a knock of of Apple?

        Explain please.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        You might have done if the Nexus 7 was not for sale.

        No I wouldn't.

        It's up to version 3, sorry "the new ipad" now and I didn't buy one yet. I had no plans to buy one.

        I find the iPad to be over priced, too big, too locked down with too much control freakery on the apps. Apple can stuff it. I do have an ipod 2g and I expect it will be the last ithing I buy. Even jailbroken it's still a pain getting stuff on or off the ipod.

        Nexus 7 is not perfect but it's good enough, received mine last Friday.

        1. bdam
          FAIL

          Re: You might have done if the Nexus 7 was not for sale.

          Exactly. My first tablet is a Nexus 7 - I'd not be seen dead with anything Apple make - they're just a bunch of Android wannabes now. Try using an Nexus 7 then an iPad - you'd immediately want the 7 back.

          Here's Saint Steve ranting about how Apple will never make a 7 inch tablet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxoAF0Jvhqc since you need to "fie your fingers down" whatever the fuck that meant. Course, they're about to copy (oops, that's "innovate") Google yet again with exactly that when the iPad mini launches.

        2. EWI

          Re: You might have done if the Nexus 7 was not for sale.

          "Even jailbroken it's still a pain getting stuff on or off the iPod."

          There's the Android business model right there then, isn't it? Catering to cheap bastards who want to get their pirated content onto their knock-off iPhone/iPad clones.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Catering to cheap bastards who

            No, people who think iTunes is a bloated pile of crap.

            I can download a free ebook from Baen directly to my tablet, then later copy it to any computer without the need to install any special software (for XP WMP11 needs to be installed to get the right drivers, but you don't need to use it to access the tablet, just explorer is all you need).

    3. Mark .

      Re: Lost profits?

      "they'd have to prove everyone who bought a Samsung device would have gone out and bought the Apple equivalent instead (had the Samsung device not existed)."

      Indeed, though it's even more than that - the claim isn't that Samsung devices aren't allowed to exist, but that they aren't allowed to have rectangular screens and rounded corners(!) So they have to prove that if Samsung had made it look different (e.g., non-rounded corners), that all those buyers would have gone and bought Apple devices. Essentially the claim is that all Samsung buyers were actually wanting to buy Ipads and Iphones, but were "confused" and accidently bought a Samsung device - yes, this claim is nuts.

      Not that my Galaxy Nexus looks anything like a tiny Iphone. Aside from the obvious size issue, it doesn't have the tacky big logo on the back.

    4. EWI

      Re: Lost profits?

      Go into your local CrapWorld and hover around the tablets section, waiting for an average punter to come in looking for an 'iPad' that their child/sibling had shown working like magic to them and they want one too.

      One of the little bastards working on commissions in these places will try to pawn whatever CrapDroid is currently being promoted off on them, with vague promises about how it's "an iPad, only much cheaper". The gamble pays off if the effort barrier to returning this steaming turd is too high - as it usually is for a technophobic public. This is the Android model, just an evolution of the old crap PC clone one (Packard-Bell etc.).

  11. John A Blackley

    And the winners are.........

    The lawyers.

    As usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the winners are.........

      Especially Samsung's lawyers who make almost $300 extra per hour (median of $861) compared to Apple's.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You always become the thing you hate the most.

    Oh well, like all empires this one is doomed to decline into obscurity after it's meteroic rise.

    That these lawsuits are increasing in frequency only demonstrates tacit admission on the part of Apple.

    As it was in the time of IBM, Microsoft, Sony et al, they've carved out their niche and are now fully intending to ride their product line all the way to the bank. I seriously doubt Apple have anything "revolutionary" left up their sleeves. It's a shame because they started off well with the iPod - a beautiful example of hardware engineering and software working in harmony, but they've been slacking off ever since.

    iPhone - iPod touch that can make calls

    iPad - big iPod touch

    Wake me up when they have something worth patenting, like contact lenses that show HD films to you, a real "retina" display.

    Mines the one with the third generation iPod in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You completely don't get the iPad or tablets in general if you still call them a big iPod touch.

      1. Zbig
        FAIL

        I have a "tablet in general" which I like very much and use it daily but it's pretty much a "big smartphone" without the phone part. And you problem is? What exactly don't I get?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're absolutely right - I don't get them. Pray tell, apart from the hardware spec what are the major differences? Can you qualify your answer?

        I am however, very happy with my macbook air. I appreciate that this is sacrilege in certain circles but I'm dual booting between Windows and Ubuntu, OS X as a lap/desktop operating system is as much a fail as Win8 will be. I say this not to ruffle anyone's feathers, I tie my allegiance to no particular flag. I am only looking to encourage healthy debate & I really do want to know what others think. Maybe I'll get myself down to the Apple store this weekend and find out. Doubt I'll be giving up my keyboard anytime soon though.

      3. Mark .

        How is the Ipod Touch not a tablet?

        Tablets have been around, and mainstream, for years - we just gave them other names, like media players or smartphones. I remember looking at mp3 players in 2009, and noting that at the low end were simple small mp3 players, and at the high end you had devices that also played videos, on large screens, with Internet and apps. Tablets. Some ran Android, some ran other OSs. The only game changer recently has been Android, meaning that a decent OS is available for any hardware manufacturer to use to make tablets, rather than every manufacturer (Apple included) having to maintain their own proprietary OS.

        I find it interesting that Apple fans don't call the Ipod Touch a tablet, surely that would make Apple look better, having released a mainstream tablet years ago? But no, the reason is that they'd then have to admit that tablets, Ipad included, are nothing new.

    2. andreas koch
      WTF?

      @AC 1933h

      >

      I seriously doubt Apple have anything "revolutionary" left up their sleeves.

      <

      This is were you are mistaken: Apple has an endless supply of revolutionary ideas! Have you heard of the flexible cord charger? Will be the innovation of the next season, and one more glorious addition to Apples wonderful patent portfolio. Automatic floor stop? Hm? Another revolutionary, patentable invention. The TATNSTF* -System? Will be the super news of the year 2013, and only from Apple!

      The followers of the Jobsian Cult will believe what the High Priests tell them, even if it's ordinary as muck.

      But I have to admit that Apple somehow does own the tablet, and here's the reasoning:

      The first tablet-like organiser thingy was the Apple Newton MessagePad, which precedes Microsoft's effort by a good 10 years or so. There was prior art, though: Alan Kay's concept of the Dynabook. Now that nails it down, because although Alan Kay didn't invent the concept during his time at Apple R&D or later at Disney Imaging (Jobs was there, too, I believe...), he invented it at Xerox PARC. And Mr Jobs had somehow 'carte blanche' to call whatever he saw there his own invention.

      There. No wonder Samsung (and everyone else) is now patenting the most ridiculous things, because if you're not in first, then Apple will do it!

      *Turn Around To Not See The Front

      1. Neil Greatorex

        @ andreas koch

        One word:

        Psion

        1. andreas koch

          @ Neil Greatorex - Re: @ andreas koch

          ...and Sharp's Zaurus. Yeah.

          Never mind, all after the dynabook.

          1. Neil Greatorex

            Re: @ Neil Greatorex - @ andreas koch

            I still use my 5mx daily^H^H^H^H^H hourly^H^H^H^H^H^H minutely.. You buy a multi pack of Ikea batteries & there's a couple of years use. Fantastic keyboard.

            1. andreas koch
              Coat

              Re: @ Neil Greatorex - @ andreas koch

              OKOKOK, Calm down. Forgot to take your dried frog pills?

              Just because I drive a Renault 4 doesn't make it a good car.

              1. Silverburn
                Happy

                Re: @ Neil Greatorex - @ andreas koch

                Renault 4's were - and are - bloody great. At least pre-1974. Drive (a concours) one today, and you will be invited to parties. You will become much more interesting, especially compared to Mr Porsche. And they'll get you fit too...how many other cars come with ergonomically designed pulling handles on the front as standard for when (not if) you break down?

                And a concours version will cost real ££££ and holding their value.

                See also: Original Fiat 500's, 2CV's, Alpha spiders, MG's,

            2. Philip Lewis
              Paris Hilton

              Re: @ Neil Greatorex - @ andreas koch

              So did I until the screen finally faded into obscurity. RIP

    3. g e
      Facepalm

      Best review ever

      Apple want to sue XXX for making YYY

      Really? Shit, another great product worth checking out then! *Googles....*

      Streisand has nothing on the shrill squeakings of Apple spitting out another dummy

  13. Paul Shirley

    "In Britain, it seems that common sense does prevail"

    ...and I expect it to break out in the jury room when the lawyers are done posturing. The jury can gut Apples case in many ways and have much less reason to prop up an obviously broken system than a legal system earning money from every dispute. The jury will decide the damages and decide if infringement happened.

    I expect Apple dreams of a $30/tab 'tax' to be crushed by the jury even if they win on infringement. I can hope (but don't expect) they'll realise Apple are taking the piss, that Samsung's naughtiness is far outweighed by Apples.

    Either way I believe this is where Steve's crusade hits the buffers, with the patents devalued enough to not be a credible threat.

    1. Darryl
      Gimp

      Re: "In Britain, it seems that common sense does prevail"

      IF there's a jury... If it's just Judge Lucy Koh, she'll just rubber-stamp Apple's claims as usual.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can the patent office grant patents for "overscroll bounce" and "tap to zoom and navigate"? These are trivial ideas. It's like being able to patent specific chords in a song.

    I am utterly disgusted with the patent office, and with Apple for having the gaul to scam them. I will NEVER buy Apple for trying this on.

    1. Neil Greatorex

      @ AC 20:11 FTFY

      "How can the patent office grant patents for "

      How can the US patent office grant patents for

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: How can the patent office

      Because that's the law in the US. If the form is filled in correctly, it is not the job of the patent office to assess merit. Worse still, as long as people continue to blame the PO rather than Congress, the problem will go unfixed.

      As much as I think Apple ought to lose this case (now that it has got to court) I have to concede that (in the US at least) they are only playing by the rules dictated by others. Apple didn't make these rules, but if they take the moral high-ground and refuse to assert silly patents against others, they will eventually be bled dry by others who are willing to assert silly patents against them (and who will win occasionally, just because courts occasionally toss out daft rulings).

  15. dz-015

    "As a result, anyone who tries to build hardware using the same shapes and functions as an iPad or iPhone will have to pay what is effectively a tablet tax"

    Oh don't be silly. All they need to do is exercise a bit of original thinking to work out ways of doing things which don't impinge on the patents in question. But I guess originality is not Samsung's strong point really, is it?

    And ultimately, if we don't want companies to take legal action for this sort of patent infringement, then we need to come up with a different system. You can't blame companies for trying to make money and protect their assets - that's what they exist to do.

    1. Azzras
      WTF?

      So square with rounded edges is innovative and you think Apple has the right to patent this?

      You do know that the tablet in question is larger than the iPad, yes?

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge
        Trollface

        So square with rounded edges is innovative

        Apple was the first to copy all the old tablet shaped things, so now no one else is allowed to.

  16. Toothpick
    Mushroom

    $2.525 Billion !

    That's just taking the piss.

    This is Apple's opener . They know full well they won't get this, but are pitching ridiculously high so when they do compromise they will be seen as reasonable.

    I wouldn't be surprised if this claim never makes it to court.

  17. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    "Apple seeks whopping cough $2.525bn payout"

    But when all is said and done...

    "Apple gets flaccid $2.5 Samsung patent payout"

    "Lawyers gets $25.25mio handout"

    Meanwhile in the real world, Apple will again be un-hipsteriffic and shit-tier while the product cycle will be firmly driven by far east manufacturers.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Batshit Crazy....

    Glad I've not contributed a single bit of revenue to this company, their money pile has sent them stupid.

    Those numbers over a patent with more prior art than a graff wall of fame... seriously?

    See title.

  19. Jonathon Desmond

    Any Trekkies here?

    Surely this place abounds with them. Well.... look at any Star Trek episode (especially NextGen or DS9) for examples of rounded corner, rectangular, portable data pads. There are even examples of some in (approximately) a 10" form factor that, from a distance, are tough to distinguish from an iPad or Galaxy 10.1

    So does this mean that the prop designers of Star Trek were there first? Surely it doesn't matter if the devices were real or props, as we are talking about design elements here.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Any Trekkies here?

      You're absolutely right, I think. Apple seems to think it deserves legal dominance because it was the first really to succeed with that category of device; unfortunately the point that it's both an obvious form factor and one that has been demonstrated many times before, at least in fiction, seems to be lost on them.

      Meanwhile the wrangling just promotes Samsung's competition to the front page of a whole bunch of outlets that quite possibly would never otherwise have mentioned it, and allows Samsung to run adverts along the lines of their Australian 'the tablet Apple tried to stop' efforts. So it's not just bad use of the law, it's bad business.

    2. P Zero
      Boffin

      Re: Any Trekkies here?

      For reference

      http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:PADD.jpg

  20. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Automatic downvote for quoting someone who knows nothing about Patents

    Article gets an automatic 'absolutely terrible' for quoting a corporate shill who has been on the wrong side of every patent dispute in the last decade.

  21. cyberdemon
    Linux

    25 Years

    Personally, I think the main thing wrong with the patent system is the length of the award.

    25 years might have been appropriate in the age of the phonograph, as the time it takes after thinking of a novel idea, to implementing it, manufacturing it, marketing it, profiting from it and then moving on to the next iteration.

    But these days, if someone thinks of a novel idea, they can get it to market and start working on the next product within a year. The speed of research and development has come on leaps and bounds.

    I think software patents, design patents, and all the rest of the dubious, troll-y patents out there would be quite acceptable if they only lasted 2.5 years instead of 25.

    Apple perhaps deserve some sort of a headstart over the competition for being first with innovative UI features and certain snazzy design concepts, but once they have had time to capitalise on them, others should be free to improve on the concepts while they think of something new (and patent that if they so wish)

    Overly long patents stifle innovation. Spurious ones I think do to a lesser extent.

  22. Rabbit80

    I propose the 5 second test...

    If the "average user" can't tell which device they are using within 5 seconds then the devices are too similar.

    By "average user", give 1000 members of the public (chosen at random, say in a shopping mall) 5 seconds to determine which device is which by letting them use the devices. If more than say 25% are wrong then the design patent stands.

    1. MonkeyBot

      Re: I propose the 5 second test...

      Terrible idea.

      It took me a year to get my mum to stop calling every phone with a touch screen an iPhone.

    2. Medium Dave
      Paris Hilton

      Apple's logic seems to be...

      ...that their customers are complete morons who have no idea what they're doing. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty good point.

    3. stanimir

      Re: I propose the 5 second test...

      a lot of science bound into this. make sure you you convict murders/rapist/whatever by making polls - (s)he did it/(s)he didn't - also add a like button!

  23. heyrick Silver badge
    Coat

    "and the Koreans have used purloined technology to overtake Cupertino in the global smartphone market.

    So essentially they've just admitted they are no longer #1. All those poor fanbois using second-rate runner-up rubbish...oh the humanity! <stir><stir>

  24. Long Fei
    Facepalm

    7 inch

    Well the answer for Ss here is easy, assuming Apple brings out a smaller pad. Just say that Apple was copying Samsungs *size* and sue back for more.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why should I support Apple users any more?

    Over the years I have helped a lot of Apple users struggle with Quicktime and other apple 'inventions'

    Time to cut off support, I think. "You choose Apple, you are on your own" is the correct response from now on.

    The fanboi trolls on this thread have made me even more convinced this is the only way. Reason just doesn't work any more...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why should I support Apple users any more?

      You spelled 'Microsoft' or possibly 'Linux' wrong.

      Honestly - you are claiming that Windows is easier to use than OSX..?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 11:44 Re: Why should I support Apple users any more?

        It's certainly not user firendly, especially for multitasking. I can't tell you how many times the top menu has been showing the menu for the wrong application when switching tasks, or for some reason the OS decides not to close something but litters the bottom bar with junk so it takes more than a second to find what you were after. And that bottom task bar, what a waste of space altogether.

        And I tell you, Quicktime is ass for installing codecs, I never did get that to work.

    2. Philip Lewis
      FAIL

      Re: Why should I support Apple users any more?

      YES! Like all of my family now - they are on their own - with their Apple computers.

      Number of support call since then? Zero.

      Just saying ...

  26. Karirunc

    OK, fanbois, enlighten me. Where does this valuation put Nokia patents at? Say for starters touch screen perse, wi-fi?

    As a technologist I am sickened, and my next phone is Samsung for this reason (I have iPhone now). At least in Australia courts did not bendover to all this silliness.... Feel sorry for consumers in us.

  27. Alex.Red
    Paris Hilton

    I wonder if author read the article referred as "similar injunction"?

    I read the article and the only thing I saw was: " A German court sided with Apple today and agreed that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes iPad design patents, granting Cupertino permission to push for a European Union-wide ban."

    It is true, English is not my native language but where is injunction above? Does "permission to push..." is now synonymous to "injuction"? Is it a new smalltak or what?

  28. Wile E. Veteran
    Devil

    I am holding in my hand...

    ... an original Palm Pilot from the 1990's. It's rectangular. The corners aren't quite as round as on a fruity tablet but they;re not sharp, either. In woodworking it's called "breaking the arrises." This device has a touch-sensitive screen and uses taps and gestures to enter data and navigate through the system. It can have additional "apps" loaded onto it to perform various functions in addition to the ones provided by the factory. Using two AAA-size disposible batteries it can run for several weeks in normal daily use. It has a backlit screen, too.

    A fruity tablet is just an evolution of this device. What has been invented and deemed patent-worthy, exactly? I must have missed it.

    "The best government money can buy."

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Serious question

    Can anyone show me where exactly it says in the Reuters article or is claimed anywhere else that Apple have a patent on 'rounded corners'? Because I can't find anything.

  30. toadwarrior

    The usual gang of butt hurt android losers are out commenting again.

    No wondere they have to buy cheap busted budget hardware. Clearly they don't do enough work to warrant much above minimum wage.

    1. Silverburn
      Thumb Down

      As trolls go this one is pretty poor. "Must do better".

      For one, they're called "Fandroids" or "Haters", IIRC. And like the "Fanbois", they are in the minority.

      Most techs here are pretty agnostic, but won't tolerate Corporate Crap like this, regardless who instigates it (see also: MS, Oracle, Sage, most of the UK ISP's etc etc).

    2. Jeebus

      Whereas Apple owners are climbing the corporate ladder, they can go from cleaning tables and serving coffee to erm... cleaning tables and serving coffee and organising the Starbucks rota for the week.

  31. spegru
    Mushroom

    The new Evil

    It beggars my belief, but it actually appears that Apple has managed to beat Microsoft in it the corporate arrogance stakes.

    Knocks bundling of IE with Windows into a cocked hat.

  32. rav

    Tablets were "invented" on Star Trek

    The producers of Star Trek should sue Apple for infringing upon their tablet design. In fact they even called it a tablet. Or perhaps the estate of Gene Roddenberry should sue.

  33. dannymot

    I'm sure a portable media device which is a rounded corner flat box shape became popular with the Sony Walkman. Screen technology advanced. Stick it on. Atari Lynx and Sega Gamegear. Screen technology advances again. Stick it on like the first colour mobile phones. Screen Technology advances again. Stick it on for touch screen phones and tablets.

    There has been no innovation in that design.

  34. David 138
    Pirate

    Apple are scum, they make Microsoft even at their worst seem like a pleasant company, If only the British still ruled America we would have a nice free world of innovation :P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With our Sinclair or Acorn made phones, no doubt to be undercut by Amstrad, who would peddle some cheap piece of crap to the masses.

      *shivers*

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Joke

        Oh dude, I would so totally love to own an Amspad!

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Oi! You! Noooo!

        What's wrong with Acorn? Their OS was offering features found today twenty years ago. Sure, it isn't perfect, but nothing is. That it offers what it offers with microscopic resources (in comparison to mainstream OSs) is nothing short of astonishing.

        And, besides, that's where the ARM came from. Remove that from history and we could be looking at mobile phones using jacked-up Z80s, x86s, ST20s...

        *shivers violently*

    2. Euchrid

      "Apple are scum, they make Microsoft even at their worst seem like a pleasant company..."

      Sure because one company who wants our money is worst than another company who wants our money.

  35. ejmfoley

    Really?

    Who has the patent on using multiple fingers on a fork? Ridiculous!

  36. Schultz
    Go

    The purpose of a patent...

    is to allow the inventor to recover his development cost. I'd say the judge should use an honest number for the development cost of the rounded rectangle (e.g., 1.25 US$) and set the license fees correspondingly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The purpose of a patent...

      Is this patent actually one of the ones Apple are accusing Samsung of infringing, or are you just assuming this?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The purpose of a patent...

      No it's not. That makes your point based on ignorance and therefor logically invalid, no matter what it might be

  37. Big_Boomer
    Pirate

    Prior Art

    So should HP be suing Apple for breach of Copyright/Patent?

    The HP/Compaq TC1000 and later spin-offs look identical to todays iOS/Android devices to me.

    Rectangle, check.

    Rounded corners, check.

    Touchscreen, check.

    Also, has anyone noticed that the only places where Apple wins these stupid patent/copyright spats are in Germany and the USA?

    Apple/Samsung/HTC/Google/et-al need to fire most of their lawyers and spend the money on developing SOMETHING NEW instead.

  38. Neill Mitchell

    Don't you fanbois get it?

    If Apple get away with this US design patent nonsense, then every other corporate will start trying it on.

    End result is everything you buy starts getting more expensive because of license fees on the bleeding obvious.

    So whilst, dear fanboi, you might be happy/stupid enough to pay Apple a 42% mark up for you religious icons, I sure as hell don't want to pay any more for my next phone, car, TV, toaster etc etc

    1. stanimir

      Re: Don't you fanbois get it?

      "get it"? The stupidity is not curable, nor treatable, so no way.

      Software and especially design patents should have never been allowed.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TVs and Monitors

    Does that mean that all widescreen TVs and monitors come under Apple's design patent?

    They are rectangles with rounded corners.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TVs and Monitors

      Please post the details of the 'rounded corners' patent.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    "Stanley Kubrik infringes on Apple's inventions"

    HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fast forward 2 months

    I've got a bolt on my front door.

    However I can't afford to pay Apple to use my fingers on the slide to unlock function.

    I haven't left my house since the litigation began, please help...

  42. Simon B
    Flame

    Its patented ideas, such as producing a tablet with a rectangular front screen with rounded corners.

    So it's patented a rectangle front screen, because all others are fucking round aren't they.

    ... with rounded corners. Because everything these days has sharp right angles.

    I wish apple would FOAD. Please someone patent the alphabet or plastic and then sue apple.

  43. BlackBolt
    WTF?

    Its all damaging to the customer

    I hate this sort of thing. What it amounts to to is that WE will end out paying more for our devices and device research and development will be reduced. If a company is spending a load of money and time on suing another company then they aren't thinking about my next experience on their next device.

    In this case I think Apple and Samsung are equally to blame. They both seem very eager to jump to legal proceedings rather than letting consumers decide for themselves. There seems little point in trying to historically decide who sued whom first.

    Morally its quite annoying as well. I am not an Apple fan, so I disagree with any statement about them being cutting edge in terms of new product design. I think what they have done very well is take existing elements from other devices and incorporate them into their own. Then market the hell out of them to make them consumer products, not IT products (for me thats the genius part).

    Also as an example of Apple's history of 'we invented it' here is a good example of how they tried the same thing against Creative Labs years ago. (better products, less marketing). They claimed they owned the 'wheel' device for navigation, which they didn't.

    http://anythingbutipod.com/2005/08/apple-copied-creative-who-cares/

  44. Philip Lewis
    Pint

    Serious Question Mk II

    Why do so many people apparently think Star Trek (movies in general or science fiction comics etc. etc.) have any relevance in a design patent case?

    This is a serious question.

    IANAL, but I would expect that trade marks, patents, design patents etc. are litigated based on the application date of the item under litigation, rather than when some set designer or writer dreamed up some idea.

    I may be wrong.

    1. P Zero
      Alert

      Re: Serious Question Mk II

      It's prior art for this so called "design patent" that Apple have been throwing around. It doesn't matter that it's a mock up or stage prop, just that it shows that Apple weren't first over the line with it.

      1. Philip Lewis
        FAIL

        Re: Serious Question Mk II

        And that i relevant in law? Exactly how do you conclude that?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow

    A lot of jealous invective is being released from moms' basements all over the place today.

  46. Pahhh
    WTF?

    As a major Apple device Fanboi

    As a major Apple device Fanboi, owning iPad and iPhone, I absolutely love the devices but hate the company.

    Apple have over the years innovated almost nothing. Ok, maybe the pinch to zoon and some other the other gestures is new and different. There are problably a few others but by and large everything Apple has ever done has been a natural evolution of you can expect from new materials, more compact electronics, better battery technology, faster processing.

    Steve Job (bless his cotton polo necks) was the biggest IP thief of them all. He raided Rank Xerox to produce a computer with Windows, mouse, ethernet, postscript, laser printer, etc.

    Sony has an MP3 player before the iPod. The iPad is a tablet. The iPhone is a touch screen phone. It wasnt the first all in one-in-one phone either.

    Apple just made them and marketing them better than anyone else. They invented precious little.

    I do love the devices, but real innovation is completely different to Apples ability to make things shinny......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As a major Apple device Fanboi

      Careful... You could be excommunicated from the Church of Jobs for making heretic statements like that.

    2. Badvok

      Re: As a major Apple device Fanboi

      Weren't pinch-zoom and a lot of other gestures ripped off from 'Minority Report' or have I got my timelines/movies mixed up?

  47. Jimboom
    Joke

    But your honour

    We are not infringing on their "use your fingers to slide and unlock" patent because we intended people to use their tongues to slide and unlock!

  48. Mr. Great Sage

    What did I take away from this?

    I'm going to go patent designs of every possible shape that I can fit a screen on. I'll be a billionaire.

    "Oh, sorry, I've got a the design patent on everything from a circle to a googolgon... both rounded and cornered edges"

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