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Apple sues Samsung for copying iPhone and iPad

Apple sues Samsung for copying iPhone and iPad

Apple believes that Samsung knowingly copied the look and design of its iPhone.

Apple has once again returned to the courts in a bid to protect its IP, and this time it's accusing Samsung of ‘slavishly’ ripping off its phone and tablet designs.

The litigation-happy tech firm claims the design of the Samsung Galaxy S phone and Galaxy Tab tablet infringe upon ten of Apple’s patents, which relate to the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad products.

The federal case, which Apple filed late last week in San Jose district court, states that ‘Instead of pursuing independent product development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design.'

Apple Insider has published a snapshot (below) from the filing, which shows Apple's beef with Samsung in more detail. The page includes a number of comparative shots of the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S, presumably to demonstrate that the products are so similar that consumers could struggle to tell them apart - a key requirement of a design dispute.

The suit is the latest in a long string of patent disputes that Apple has brought to court with Amazon, Motorola and HTC all feeling the brunt of its legal team. It’s interesting that Apple has chosen to target Samsung, though, as the two companies share a close relationship. According to Engadget, Apple spent nearly $5.7 billion on Samsung parts in 2010. Whether or not this lawsuit is likely to affect that relationship remains to be seen.

Are we heading for patent meltdown, or is Apple perfectly within its rights to protect its IP at all costs? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Apple sues Samsung for copying iPhone and iPad Apple sues Samsung for copying the design of it's iPhone and iPad

Image source Apple Insider

63 Comments

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SMIFFYDUDE 19th April 2011, 13:37 Quote
How many other ways can you design a phone nowadays?
Bungletron 19th April 2011, 13:39 Quote
I think Apple will be sueing the producers of actual apples next.
coolius 19th April 2011, 13:40 Quote
iOS was just a rip-off of PalmOS in the first place :P
V3ctor 19th April 2011, 13:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
How many other ways can you design a phone nowadays?

Agree... I don't think that Apple has any reason whatsoever... :/
mi1ez 19th April 2011, 13:41 Quote
Exactly. Apple should just concentrate on doing some work! Get rid of what must be a massive team employed solely to sue others and decrease prices accordingly.
GoodBytes 19th April 2011, 13:47 Quote
Funny, and Samsung used to make parts for Apple products, and wasn't a problem before.
Submerged_2010 19th April 2011, 13:48 Quote
Doesn't Samsung provide some electronics stuff that is inside the iPad and iPhone? If so, its not rocket science to understand that they would be generally similar in look and electronics itself.
Fizzban 19th April 2011, 13:48 Quote
Really? Like come on..Apple are suing someone again? Every touch phone looks the same pretty much. Why don't they sue all mp3-player manufacturers too while they are at it. Many of those look just like some of their range. Pathetic.
NuTech 19th April 2011, 13:49 Quote
Just for some context, here is a (slightly outdated) diagram detailing who is suing whom in the mobile telecom space.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=606&pictureid=18309

Put simply, this is Apple's legal team just doing their job. In fact, more often than not, the reason these lawsuits are filed isn't to 'win' in court (as that can easily take years, long after product in question ceases production) but to reach a settlement that usually involves a mutual licensing exchange.

Google recently posted a blog mentioning the ubiquity of such practises, stating that they're actively buying up patients in order to build up their own portfolio so that they're in a better position to 'deal' when lawsuits like this come around.

tl;dr - the world is in dire need of proper patent reform.
Mankz 19th April 2011, 13:56 Quote
Oh just **** off already Apple.
Cei 19th April 2011, 14:10 Quote
Apple are doing nothing that LG, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, Sony, and in fact any other decently sized tech company don't do. Hell, take a look at Intel and nVIDIA...


But no, everybody just has a go at Apple.
Cerberus90 19th April 2011, 14:20 Quote
Didn't realise you could copyright a cuboid, :D
proxess 19th April 2011, 14:20 Quote
Err Cei... Apple is having a go at everyone. Try reading just the head titles, I think it should be enough...
Yemerich 19th April 2011, 14:42 Quote
hmmmm
Didn't apple copied the design of a "intimate feminine absorbent" on its iPhone?
Flibblebot 19th April 2011, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
...they're actively buying up patients...
Google Healthcare? What will they think of next? :p

If, as you say, it's just to get cross-licensing deals, wouldn't it just be easier to negotiate those directly with other companies rather than going down the road of litigiousness? Sounds a bit over-complicated if you ask me.
Cei 19th April 2011, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Err Cei... Apple is having a go at everyone. Try reading just the head titles, I think it should be enough...

Yes, read the headlines and don't actually read the full content to get the actual picture. Great advice. Apple aren't suing "everybody", they're suing Samsung for copying the iPhone 3G(S) in design terms - whether that's legit or not is another thing entirely. They've also got an on-going suit against HTC for UI patent infringements.

Apple are however, being sued by Kodak (who are also suing RIM for the same thing). Go further afield, as other posters have said, and you'll realise that all the tech companies are constantly suing each other for everything and anything. This is simply another shot in a war that will never end, and Apple are not the leaders of the pack by any means.

Ergo, stop whinging about Apple and whinge about the ridiculous state of the US patent system that encourages this kind of thing instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Funny, and Samsung used to make parts for Apple products, and wasn't a problem before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submerged_2010
Doesn't Samsung provide some electronics stuff that is inside the iPad and iPhone? If so, its not rocket science to understand that they would be generally similar in look and electronics itself.

Apple still give Samsung a huge sum every year for components (apparently totalling 4% of Samsung's income) - particularly in NAND flash (SSDs for the MBA, NAND for the iOS devices) and the SoC A4/A5 processors in the iPhone/iPad, and displays. The whole thing is just the way big business renegotiates contracts these days...
Almightyrastus 19th April 2011, 15:00 Quote
Why haven't the Roddenberry estate sued Apple yet? The iPad is a blatant rip of of the Padds used in Star Trek, they hardly even bothered to change the name........... ;)
Kiytan 19th April 2011, 15:12 Quote
While I do agree that they look fairly similar (they look like every other bloody touch phone out there) I should think the words "SAMSUNG" in big letters across the top of the samsung phone should make it pretty hard to confuse with an iphone
Stickeh 19th April 2011, 15:23 Quote
I dont understand why they need waste their money suing, if your product is better, it sells better.

Spend the money making better products?! OR dont spend the money and make your products cheaper.
Tokukachi 19th April 2011, 15:34 Quote
Hang on, wasn't the iPhone a "clone" of the LG prada?

And I've got a tablet that in the same form factor from the early 2000's, it's just, well, fatter....

I think software patents need to die ASAP, I also think patents like this should not exist, sure for actual technical innovations, but not for things like form factor etc
Snips 19th April 2011, 15:43 Quote
Although I'm not the biggest fan of Apple on these forums. I do feel they have every right to protect their assets.

You have to agree that they all do appear to be similar looking and the box apps format is a bit too familiar.
Bauul 19th April 2011, 15:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
Err Cei... Apple is having a go at everyone. Try reading just the head titles, I think it should be enough...

Ergo, stop whinging about Apple and whinge about the ridiculous state of the US patent system that encourages this kind of thing instead.

I think people are more willing to have a go at Apple just because of how egotistical they can come across as a company.

They couldn't even submit of a piece of litigation without bigging themselves up:

"Apple's innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design."

Elegant packaging design? Christ whatever next? Apple's new beautiful and awe-inspiring power cable?
azazel1024 19th April 2011, 15:49 Quote
(tounge in cheek)

Its size envy. People don't want or need anything larger than an iPhone, so says the prophet Steve Jobs. Therefore anything larger is in apostasy and must be cleansed through holy lawsuits.

So says the prophet Steve Jobs.

So say we all.
SMIFFYDUDE 19th April 2011, 15:50 Quote
amen
Cei 19th April 2011, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul

Elegant packaging design? Christ whatever next? Apple's new beautiful and awe-inspiring power cable?

Apple do make nice boxes, got to give them that...

Yes, their marketing hyperbole is a bit annoying. However, to argue their case, they need to differentiate themselves somehow, so they do it via snazzy boxes and ridiculous over the top descriptions of MagSafe cables.


I think some people on Bit Tech have a go at Apple because they have some weird irrational hatred. I mean, it's just a technology company, not Justin Bieber.
Xir 19th April 2011, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almightyrastus
Why haven't the Roddenberry estate sued Apple yet? The iPad is a blatant rip of of the Padds used in Star Trek, they hardly even bothered to change the name........... ;)
Fantastic!
Javerh 19th April 2011, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei

I think some people on Bit Tech have a go at Apple because they have some weird irrational hatred. I mean, it's just a technology company, not Justin Bieber.

Another reason to hate Apple!

Seriously now, these lawsuits tend to fall flat anyway. Finnish manufacturer Fiskars tried to sue a Chinese manufacturer for copying their scissors-designs. Turns out they had filed several highly detailed patents on subject. The court ruled that the Fiskars design was so specific that the patents had not been infringed because the Chinese scissors were a bit different.

In my opinion, Apple is so specific on getting their iJunk patented to the smallest detail their patents won't hold against competitors.
niro 19th April 2011, 16:28 Quote
WHAT?! Apple trying to sue another company? I cant believe it

isnt the name apple a copyright on the name of the fruit? the descendants of whoever the hell invented the name apple to describe the fruit should totally sue these guys
HourBeforeDawn 19th April 2011, 17:15 Quote
gee how did Apple get its start again??? OH YA!!! by literally stealing all of Xerox creations including but not limited to what we know as the Mouse and GUI interfaces.... ~_~
Journeyer 19th April 2011, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat69
Hang on, wasn't the iPhone a "clone" of the LG prada?

Well no, clearly from these comparison pictures you can see that the corners of the iPhone are rounder... [/sarcasm]

Comparison pics

I am actually still using my KU990 which followed the Prada, and I have been very happy with it since I bought it. Now though, I'm looking to replace it with the latest dual-core LG :D
crazy95 19th April 2011, 17:36 Quote
apple are pathetic
so what if it similar big woop
lamboman 19th April 2011, 17:40 Quote
At the end of the day, companies are ALWAYS going to find some way to sue each other. It's their way of trying to wipe out the competition, although we all know that in reality, it doesn't really work.

Apple kinda do have a point. The Galaxy S looks like a bigger, plastic iPhone 3GS, and the new Galaxy Ace looks very iPhone 4 from the front. However, how far can you go? One day, companies will be suing each other because their displays on their devices are the same colour when they are turned off...
Sloth 19th April 2011, 17:52 Quote
Speaking as someone who doesn't really pay attention to smartphones, it'd be hard to tell the difference between the iPhone and Galaxy S. The Samsung logo and slightly different buttons are the only things that would clue me in and both are entirely possible to not see or notice fully if you're a few feet away.

The Prada, on the other hand, looks very different. It's lacking the silver border, the row of buttons along the bottom is easily recognizable, and the screen doesn't run the width of the phone like the iPhone does. It's easy to see where the iPhone may have drawn some inspiration, but it's hard to call a clone.
DXR_13KE 19th April 2011, 18:14 Quote
There is something strange with the interface on that galaxy S...
azrael- 19th April 2011, 18:33 Quote
As usual this is pure Apple BS. At least they could have sued over the new remote control for Samsung's 9000-series LCD tvs.
Kovoet 19th April 2011, 18:45 Quote
Weird thing is that samsung do the screen for them lol I HATE APPLE
azrael- 19th April 2011, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovoet
Weird thing is that samsung do the screen for them lol I HATE APPLE
I believe Apple gets its IPS panels from LG.Philips. Samsung does AMOLED, though, in case Apple has planned that kind of display for the iPhone5.
chrisb2e9 19th April 2011, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
the products are so similar that consumers could struggle to tell them apart
I'm pretty sure that this isn't an issue.

However after having said that. People have asked me what kind of iphone I have (when they see me using my phone)
And its an HTC touch pro 2.

Dear apple,
please don't sue someone just because there are people too stupid to know an apple from an orange.
Kovoet 19th April 2011, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
I believe Apple gets its IPS panels from LG.Philips. Samsung does AMOLED, though, in case Apple has planned that kind of display for the iPhone5.

Also they have a sony camera planned on it as well but as we all know there is so much speculation going around with it
Ergath 19th April 2011, 22:54 Quote
Can you patent magic?

/s
Pieface 19th April 2011, 23:19 Quote
The apple hatred in this thread shows the Achilles heel of this whole community. New members learn from older members that it's cool to hate on Apple, when in this case Apple are doing practices any other company does. I bet if the Samsung Galaxy came out first, and then the iPhone, and the case was Samsung suing Apple everyone will jump on the bandwagon TOO RIGHT, HOW DARE APPLE!
Skiddywinks 20th April 2011, 03:44 Quote
[QUOTE=Pieface]New members learn from all the bullshit that comes out of Apple, that it's cool to hate on them...QUOTE]

Fixed that for you.
sinner666999 20th April 2011, 04:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
Just for some context, here is a (slightly outdated) diagram detailing who is suing whom in the mobile telecom space.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=606&pictureid=18309

Not sure what the date on yours is but here is one from Oct. 2010. If its wrong then it just makes Nokia look like the biggest douche in the tech world.
chrismarkham1982 20th April 2011, 06:13 Quote
i better stop saying that i dont like apple....i might get sued next
Deders 20th April 2011, 06:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieface
The apple hatred in this thread shows the Achilles heel of this whole community. New members learn from older members that it's cool to hate on Apple,

I think most people who have more than a basic knowledge of PC's will learn to hate Apple in their own time, mostly for similar reasons
chrismarkham1982 20th April 2011, 07:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
I think most people who have more than a basic knowledge of PC's will learn to hate Apple in their own time, mostly for similar reasons

agreed although with me its mostly because the 2 or 3 people i know that have an imac or ish*t whatever they are called constantly go on about how there's are so much better and 'just work'
my reply? ive never had a problem with my pc or windows 7 (or even xp for that) and didnt mine cost less than half of yours and is still more powerfull?
shuts em up straight away

discliamer: before anyone decides to try and flame me, i am in no way saying that all apple fanboys are like that, just the one's that i know
Xir 20th April 2011, 08:03 Quote
I don't hate Apple, I just don't like it's price/performance ratio (and lack of standardisation)
Blarte 20th April 2011, 09:51 Quote
I like Apple I Phone, yet I like Samsung Only one way to sort this out ...FIGHTTTTT
Nexxo 20th April 2011, 10:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
How many other ways can you design a phone nowadays?

Microsoft managed it with Windows Mobile 7...
Alexandra18 20th April 2011, 11:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
Just for some context, here is a (slightly outdated) diagram detailing who is suing whom in the mobile telecom space.

http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=606&pictureid=18309

Put simply, this is Apple's legal team just doing their job. In fact, more often than not, the reason these lawsuits are filed isn't to 'win' in court (as that can easily take years, long after product in question ceases production) but to reach a settlement that usually involves a mutual licensing exchange.

Google recently posted a blog mentioning the ubiquity of such practises, stating that they're actively buying up patients in order to build up their own portfolio so that they're in a better position to 'deal' when lawsuits like this come around.

tl;dr - the world is in dire need of proper patent reform.
Good work dude:)
Jipa 20th April 2011, 12:32 Quote
iPhone = any other touch screen malarkey + Apple imago.

Who gives a flying ****, everyone's suing each other anyway.
Blarte 20th April 2011, 13:41 Quote
I am of an age my parents used to be able to shout at me for Touching the Telly
phrases like, do not touch the screen spring to mind so iPhone and other touch screen devises irritate me
azazel1024 20th April 2011, 15:16 Quote
My Dad gives me that line of, "it just works"

Dad, didn't you just have to have your Mac Book main board replaced under warranty because it died? That doesn't sound like just working to me? Oh, and yeah, you we're lucky that it was still 3 weeks inside of the warranty period...because $974 for a new main board sounds a bit like highway robbery to me.

I've had my fair share of Windows issues, mostly because I've been tinkering like hell with stuff. I bet I'd run in to OSX problems if I tinkered like hell with it. Oh...wait I couldn't even get 50+% of hardware made for computers to run on an OSX without tinkering (or working at all). But wait, most hardware will run on my windows machine without any problems.

Also oh wait, my network runs faster than your's does, both being gigabit. Oh, and my backups are more durable and distributed than yours are. Oh and I can play basically any video game I want to, without having to worry about dual booting or VM or massive slow down.

Yup, it just works. Not well, but it just works.

Honestly with the way the iPhone is going and likely the iPad as well, they are going to turn in to the Mac Book, Mac Book Air and iMac. A "nice product" that costs too much, "just works", is "hip", and a few people use. Apple has something like a 11-13% market share in the US.

That is pretty big (3rd largest as of a few quarters ago at least)...but compared to windows based PCs, that is a drop in the bucket. I personally think the iPhone and iPad are heading that direction (the iPhone already is quickly). Once there are decent alternatives, a lot of people want that over a device that costs a lot more, and is very limited in what you are allowed to do with it because of the closed ecosystem. Apple is very innovative with new products, but then tends to limit their vision of the product line. Sure they don't want to offer 40 flavors of the "same" device...but just like Jobs semi-infamous statement that people don't want a bigger phone and conversly his people don't want a smaller tablet statement, Apple comes out with an honestly nifty product, but then stratifies instead of branching out.
thil 20th April 2011, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungletron
I think Apple will be sueing the producers of actual apples next.

Apple v. Malus Domestica.

I'm surprised Apple hasn't sued paper manufacturers, laundry detergent makers, or the chalky cliffs of Dover for their use of the colour white.
GeorgeStorm 20th April 2011, 15:46 Quote
Didn't apple steal Samsungs design etc anyways?
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nMgzXpDyNhA/Ta3iBWUo3bI/AAAAAAAAM1g/RFGQO01hYa0/s1600/AppleSueSamsung.jpg
I dislike apple greatly (hate is such a strong word :P)
zatanna 20th April 2011, 19:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
Put simply, this is Apple's legal team just doing their job. In fact, more often than not, the reason these lawsuits are filed isn't to 'win' in court (as that can easily take years, long after product in question ceases production) but to reach a settlement that usually involves a mutual licensing exchange.

Google recently posted a blog mentioning the ubiquity of such practises, stating that they're actively buying up patients in order to build up their own portfolio so that they're in a better position to 'deal' when lawsuits like this come around.

tl;dr - the world is in dire need of proper patent reform.

^this!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot

If, as you say, it's just to get cross-licensing deals, wouldn't it just be easier to negotiate those directly with other companies rather than going down the road of litigiousness? Sounds a bit over-complicated if you ask me.

it would be easier, cheaper, faster and potentially more profitable, but that would be contrary to the competitive, "all-for-me" spirit.
dyzophoria 21st April 2011, 01:48 Quote
as i've posted on another forum, hardware-wise the two have really distinguishing looks, Apple is just pissed cause when an App for Android that looked similar to IOS was loaded on the Samsung they began to worry about "oh ****, people will actually buy samsung coz it looks like our Iphone, and its Android!, Sue!"
Pieface 21st April 2011, 01:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
I think most people who have more than a basic knowledge of PC's will learn to hate Apple in their own time, mostly for similar reasons

Explain why? Or is it people who have never used an Apple product hate on Apple, because in this community, it's the "in" thing to do? How much experience do you have with Mac's?
Deders 21st April 2011, 06:51 Quote
I don't really want to start everyone off on another Apple rant, and it's not really Mac's I dislike. Lets just say I find the apps on iPhones intriguing, but I'd never buy an iPod or have iTunes installed, and most of the time I find Mac's very restrictive compared to using a PC, which is great for people who just want to use a computer purely for productivity and not have to worry about PC's crashing, but I know enough about PC's so that on the very rare occasion that something might go wrong, I can sort it out myself almost immediately, without having to take it to get it fixed. I don't really like the idea of paying nearly double for something that does less, no matter how stylish it looks.

Oh and I have seen Mac's crash
chrismarkham1982 21st April 2011, 06:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
I don't really want to start everyone off on another Apple rant, and it's not really Mac's I dislike. Lets just say I find the apps on iPhones intriguing, but I'd never buy an iPod or have iTunes installed, and most of the time I find Mac's very restrictive compared to using a PC, which is great for people who just want to use a computer purely for productivity and not have to worry about PC's crashing, but I know enough about PC's so that on the very rare occasion that something might go wrong, I can sort it out myself almost immediately, without having to take it to get it fixed. I don't really like the idea of paying nearly double for something that does less, no matter how stylish it looks.

Oh and I have seen Mac's crash

bang on the money
Deders 21st April 2011, 07:33 Quote
Don't think I'll be getting an iPhone any time soon either.
uz1_l0v3r 21st April 2011, 13:24 Quote
At least Samsung don't keep track of your every movement with their phone.
mpe91 22nd April 2011, 09:51 Quote
surprise surprise, Samsung are counter suing...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13167573
The tech firms are all as bad as each other when it comes to alleged patent infringement. And a lot of the time the cases are tit for tat, a 'they sued us so we must sue them back' mentality.
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