Skip to comments.Samsung’s record of IP theft, other ruthless business tactics, and why Apple might still lose
Posted on 05/05/2014 11:45:35 PM PDT by Swordmaker
On August 4, 2010, amid the bustle of downtown Seoul, a small group of executives from Apple Inc. pushed through the revolving door into a blue-tinted, 44-story glass tower, ready to fire the first shot in what would become one of the bloodiest corporate wars in history, Kurt Eichenwald writes for Vanity Fair. The showdown had been brewing since spring, when Samsung launched the Galaxy S, a new entry into the smartphone market. Apple had snagged one early overseas and gave it to the iPhone team at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. The designers studied it with growing disbelief. The Galaxy S, they thought, was pure piracy. The overall appearance of the phone, the screen, the icons, even the box looked the same as the iPhones. Patented features such as rubber-banding, in which a screen image bounces slightly when a user tries to scroll past the bottom, were identical. Same with pinch to zoom, which allows users to manipulate image size by pinching the thumb and forefinger together on the screen.
Steve Jobs, Apples mercurial chief executive, was furious. His teams had toiled for years creating a breakthrough phone, and now, Jobs fumed, a competitoran Apple supplier no less!had stolen the design and many features. Jobs and Tim Cook, his chief operating officer, had spoken with Samsung president Jay Y. Lee in July to express their concern about the similarities of the two phones but received no satisfactory response,
(Excerpt) Read more at macdailynews.com ...
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I love my Samsung phone :)
It was so nice around here without these "apple is the only company that has any ideas and no other company can survive without stealing from apple" posts.
I have the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 (not the newer S5). The iPhone is an amazing device, but the Samsung is simply better.
The patent system in America needs to be reformed. When companies start spending tens of billions of dollars to buy other companies almost solely for the patent lawsuit ammunition, and then immediately sue your competitors for infringing on what is now “your” patents, you know something’s wrong. Companies are now sued for the vaguest patents that they allegedly copied.
So you call macnewsdaily an unbiased source ?
do you think apple will update the iphone early ?
Not a big Apple fan, but this article was a good read and I now have no love for a company like Samsung and the tactics it uses.
MacNewsDaily is a news Aggregator. . . Go to THEIR source.
Read the entire article. . .
I think they'll do it when they're good and ready. That said, Apple has announced an "enormous" iPhone event starting May 8th. . . the quoted word sounds interesting.
The quicker our business leaders realize that there is not a level playing field with our Asian competitors the better.
Samsung has accused apple of the same behavior and won cases in court. Litigation is a very common tactic to supplement actual innovation.
THEIR source is a former writer for the New York Times (Kurt Eichenwald). Another piece by this hard-left writer is "The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Uninsured". If you don't like that one, try "The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated", or "Bush White House was Deaf Before the 9/11 Storm". Or how about "Microsoft's Lost Decade"? Or maybe "My Family, Our Cancer, and the Murderous Cruelty of Conservatives? Or "Let's Repeal the Second Amendment?
Yep. An "unbiased source" for sure.
For me, the ‘whole package’ of the iPhone is better. There might be faster CPU speed on a particular Samsung, more pixels on the camera, a better screen etc. etc., but the ‘whole’ doesn't stick together functionally any where near as smoothly as an iPhone.
Don’t they have to show more than that the phone acts superficially like the Apple phone in order to make a patent infringement case? As in, they have to show that the Samsung was reverse engineered so as to mechanically perform the same functions?
Anyone who holds an advanced science degree and becomes a patent attorney can do very well for themselves. The nuances of these patent cases can be very tricky to wade through.
Anyway, corporate espionage is nasty stuff. And not all countries respect patents, either. It is very difficult to hold on to intellectual property... intellectual property theft is a big hindrance to innovation.
When I was in graduate school (for biochemistry), some lab published the description of a genetic construct that was identical to one patented by our principal investigator. They had never asked us for the construct—which we would have provided for free—they claimed it was all their own work. The principal investigator was *not* happy about this. Oh, it was a Korean lab.
The only real question in my mind is why bother? That's what always got me about the Samsung copying. Why copy Apple's icons? Why coat superior hardware and drift from the Android ecosphere to paint yourself as an iPhone?
To grab iPhone users? It takes seconds for someone used to an iPhone to get frustrated with Android, same the other way around. And coming from mostly vanilla Android builds, using the Galaxy Note can be equally frustrating. The only thing I can figure is that it is the handbag effect: seeking the look of the iPhone in a emerging market where the iPhone was a status symbol. Of taking a very well made and designed handbag and putting a Gucci logo on it as a lead in to the market.
Thankfully, the jury mostly saw through the claims and counter claims and mostly decided on the outright icon thefts. And Samsung should just pay up for the hubris of copying the icons and instead focus on design... Except, well, edit the design ideas a little... A heart rate feature? There's an app for that. ;) 3d pictures would have been much cooler. And licensing IBM's fingerprint scanner? Should have used their facial recognition patents. Instead of copying Apple again.
I own a Samsung Galaxy. It is junk. Pure junk. I eagerly await the day when I can upgrade to a phone that works and I can heave this techno-trash against a wall.
Snip from article demonstrating supremacist bigotry exists even among the tender vegan fruits of the Apple Tribal cult.
I dont know which is worse: Samsungs slavish copying or that there are tens of millions of dullards and/or morally-crippled consumers who would buy such obvious knockoffs. What kind of person rewards thieves, especially such obvious ones? What kind of person hands over their money to make sure that crime pays? Whats wrong with you people, exactly?.....To those people I say: Get some morals, will you, or how about at least acquiring a modicum of taste?...
every one of us with the real thing knows that youre carrying around a half-assed fake, you tasteless wonder.
SteveJack, MacDailyNews, August 6, 2012
Sammie vs The Apple...one billionaire arguing with another.
Both should quit the whining and fight it out in the marketplace!
Samsung should bring out a model called THE WORM just to screw with the Apple dweebs. Apple could counter with THE INCHON and flank the bastards.
In my humble opinion.....THEY ALL BLOW.....but what the heck do I know.
I got a Samsung III Mini lately after tiring of my older iphone not holding a charge, also tiring of Apple’s bloated upgrades that made the phone less appealing and less useful to me.
The Samsung does seem cheesier but I can get by.
What I was wondering—sincerely, not as a jab—is what phone would you think of trying next?
You’re probably asking the wrong guy. I just got a pad and all the features of the (so-called) smart phone are there and it includes a keyboard that’s actually useful. So my plan at this point is to take this piece o junk to the shooting range and try out some hollow-point reloads on it, after replacing it with the cheapest flip-phone I can find.
I’ll defer your question to the more techno-addicted among us.
I’m like you. I miss my little old bulletproof flip phone but those buggers are hard to find and expensive when you do find ‘em.
The son of Sam law should apply here. You just should not profit from theft.
Then you must feel the same way about Apple, because they are two peas in a pod.
So those articles mean that he would write a false history about Samsung? Where are the politics there? Those things are easily checkable. You'll find they are true.
The first trial was about "Trade Dress" and "Design Patents." Look at these photographs with the young-in-cheek heading.
And finally, here is a link to the an article with the entire 132 page "smoking gun" document from Samsung in which the upper management directed their engineering department on exactly what features of the iPhone to steal.
Well, it does look like the exterior design is meant to look like Apple’s. Are external design features patentable or copyrightable?
It is easy enough to engineer exterior features to look exactly the same, and the intent is clearly to trick people into buying the wrong product. But, on the inside, what does it look like? What is the coding? How closely does it function like the Apple products?
We were looking at tablets displayed in the store. I kept trying to minimize the active program on various tablets by pinching my fingers together on the screen... it didn’t work. Apparently, that only works on the iPad.
I must admit, I love my Galaxy S3...
Yes, they're call design patents. They're patents on the look and feel of a product and are akin to TradeMarks. Such patents generally have a D in front go their number, but are just as enforceable as Utility Patents.
Code is not required to be found infringing. Read the 132 page document from Samsung about how closely it worked like an iPhone.
Patent infringement is all about the claims, and sometimes (like when the claim says "means of doing blahblahblah") looking at the body of the patent to find what "means" have been described.
A patent claim that only claims function (and this can be a tough line to draw) isn't valid. The patent has to teach HOW to accomplish the function. For example, I can't patent something as vague as "3,000 pound car that gets more than 78 miles per gallon of gasoline." I have to describe (and claim) some way to get to that end. The point of patents is to make the "how to" a matter of public record, to teach the public how to practice your invention.
Anyway, reverse engineering isn't required (patent, unlike copyright, give the first inventor rights over a second and later independent inventors), and performing the same function isn't enough. BUT, if the infringing device does the same thing, the same way, that the patent claims, then there is supposed to be a finding of infringement. That finding is supposed to attach even in the absence of any copying or reverse engineering.
I am opposed to business method and software patents, because I think they are a drag on innovation, and they create a no-value-added industry of patent filing, prosecution, and infringement litigation.
I think the patent office royally screwed up when it granted the design (ornamental appearance) patent for a rectangular prismatic object with four rounded edges. I once had an inventor who asked about getting a design patent on what amounted to a triangular pocket (of fabric, but the claim would have covered paper or any flexible material). It's not supposed to be possible, because a triangular pocket, without more, lacks "ornamental appearance." But, I said, if you put some artwork on that item, THEN you have an object that is within the scope of "ornamental design."
The design patent you're referencing actually covered more than you cite. . . that was merely one aspect of a list of the Design parameters of the Design Patent, which included drawings, distinctive photographs, and the narrative description, as required by law to be included. The curve specifications of the rounded edges were precisely defined in the description. Color, sheen, polish, width of bezel, lack of markings, placement of markings, fonts of markings and sizes of text, all are included in a Design Patent. However, minor alterations by an infringer, say changes to a font or the logo, etc., do not sufficiently alter the design to avoid infringement. . . Design changes MUST be substantial and not merely decorative.
"Entirely" in scare quotes on account of some ornamental features require text for description, usually surface treatment or texture. The design patents that I have prosecuted sometime contain elements that are not part of the claimed design, for context. This practice is usually accompanied by some text disclaiming the contextualizing material as not part of the claimed ornamental appearance.
The Apple design patents that I looked at just now (D618,677 and D618,678) didn't contain a logo or any text (text being a necessary prerequisite to font), and illustrated the look of an iPhone. It did include width of bezels on the display face, slots, earphone port, and buttons, but didn't include any display objects.
The design patent that really got my goat must have been a different one.
Wow - less than 30 minutes and ONE post before someone had to throw anti-Apple garbage (and apparently without reading the linked article).
The original article:
The frequent cases of Samsung corruption and illegal business practices are a matter of public record (if one does just a little digging).
Now - to my own experiences and those of the people around me:
I have friends and family who have been long-time iPhone users, who have jumped to Samsung - all but one did it not because they felt the Samsung was a superior product, but because they wanted the much larger screen of the much bigger “Galaxy Note” and more recently, the Mega.
The one who stated that they thought the Samsung was a better product was upset over some issues they had had with their last iPhone (which was as much their own doing as anything....).
But I will not argue that some prefer Android to iOS. My own experience with Android on a Tablet I bought a few months ago leaves me longing for it to run iOS 95% of the time.
It is a big push to get folks to go ahead and update their previous iPhone models to a 5c or 5s (I believe it is to clear the shelves as much as possible before the next iPhone is announced - which always slows sales of current models).
If I recall correctly, the design patent of the iPhone and the iPad were based on being a slab with a singular lack of font, logo, or ornamentation. . . and the black, curves, etc. were part of the design esthetic. . . and it was ruled the description applied. There were font, logo and placement of same on the obverse IIRC, But I think the back layout has a separate design patent.
Thanks for the explicit detail on the Design Patents. I had read that merely adding a logo, or changing a font or manufacturer's name was not sufficient in case law to differentiate a non-infringing design.
Apple insists that no carrier may place any marking on the face of the iPhone or iPad. . . no logos at all.
That depends on the design or ornamental appearance in the first place, but what you heard is generally true. There are quite a few design patents on shoe fashion, for example, and changing the logo is not enough to "design around" the right of the inventor.
-- ... and it was ruled the description applied. --
I assume you mean the text description, to distinguish from the pictorial/photo description of the ornamental appearance. I'd have to read the case and look at the patent, but there may have been some argument over interpretation of the scope of the claimed design. I can picture a condition where, between the text and the graphics, there could be ambiguity. There isn't supposed to be ambiguity, but examiners are human and occassionaly let slop slip through the examination process.
-- I think the back layout has a separate design patent. --
Yeah, there are all sorts of ways to "carve up" inventive ideas. Big companies have plenty of cash with which to fund those adventures in intellectual property.
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