iPhone competitors copying the iPhone features & look/feel - why isn't Apple suing?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kharvel, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. kharvel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    #1
    Before the iPhone, nothing like the iPhone existed.

    After the iPhone was launched, everybody started copying the iPhone features and iPhone look/feel.

    Look at the Motorola Droid X - it's an iPhone clone with the same touch features, apps, etc. Why the heck isn't Apple suing the hell out of Motorola? This is like Apple vs. Microsoft all over again - MSFT copied the Mac stuff and put them into Windows and Apple sued.

    How come we're not seeing lawsuits all over the place by Apple with regards to the iPhone competitors?
     
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    They are suing HTC (probably the biggest hardware threat to Apple at the moment), but you have to remember - a lot of Apple's patents are considered by some to be far too general.

    Any court case would have to prove that:

    a) Apple's patents are legal and correct
    b) Company x has violated them

    It's not as simple as it sounds and the HTC case is expected to take years.

    Apple has itself (allegedly) violated patents in the iPhone's design.

    What often happens is that companies agree to licence each other's patents making any lawsuit void.
     
  3. Fidget08 macrumors regular

    Fidget08

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #3
    I dont think any phone on the market looks like the iPhone.
    Apps arent made by the phone company. Their made by developers that want to get their app across many platforms.
     
  4. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    Why are you so upset? competition is always good, you need to be the right holder in order to sue and Apple did not invent the touch screen or many features present o current smartphone, (they did a great implementation of it, but they did not invent it). Apple however does hold some patents and trademarks and have already indeed sue (yield the famous or infamous, depend on who you ask, collective sue against HTC - indirect to Google - but there are more)

    As mentioned before the iPhone "allegedly" have a lot IP from other companies.
     
  5. pflau macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #5
    Yes I remember when the iPhone first came out Steve Jobs said many elements of the iPhone were "very patented".

    I think the whole strategy of Apple not suing is to discourage competitors to actually come up with anything original. As long as they are just copying the iPhone they will ALWAYS be one step behind.

    So Apple is in this ideal position where their competitors have no incentive to innovate, but are still competitors with similar products so Apple would not get in trouble with DOJ for being a monopoly.
     
  6. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816

    SAD*FACED*CLOWN

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    maybe because Apple also is being accused by other companies of stealing proprietary ideas?
     
  7. chakraj macrumors 65816

    chakraj

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal
    #7
    ImateJam.jpg

    Its not like HTC came out with a touch screen, aluminum body, no keyboard, un cluttered, candy bar style, small, smartphone years before apple.

    Oh wait, they did, this is from 2004 and 2005 hmm, thats years ahead off apple, why doesnt HTC sue apple for copying them:confused:
     
  8. pflau macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #8
    That looks like an iPod.
     
  9. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    Yeah, Openmoko had the Interface pretty much way before IOS...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #10
    So? It was still a phone. i-mate JAM
     
  11. chakraj macrumors 65816

    chakraj

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal
    #11
    I was just remmembering back to those blazing fast internet speeds I would get on my old imate Jam, 24-48k gprs , wow, and I thought I was so cool:D

    Oh and it supports JAVA, Ha,ha,ha, that was five years ago :)
     
  12. wreckshop macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #12
    Lol another clueless iphone user. let me give you a hint. If nothing like the iphone truly existed before iphone, then apple would be suing every handset maker that has a touchscreen. But that's not happening now is it?
     
  13. jsquared macrumors 6502

    jsquared

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Nashvegas, TN
    #13
    There's no money to be made from suing each other back and forth over who came up with what. The reason Apple doesn't sue is because they thrive off of competition. Which in turn helps the consumer (you and I).

    Think about it, if Apple sued all the touchscreen smart phones for doing what they were doing, we'd never see improvements to the iPhone. Because HTC, BlackBerry, etc is pumping out new phones every month to catch up to the iPhone, Apple sees the new features they slap on their phones and in time does it better. Apple didn't invent the cell phone they just do it better than everyone else. It's a never ending cycle of giving the public just enough to be satisfied and still want more.
     
  14. wvphysics macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #14
    Why doesn't the Gene Rodenberry estate sue apple for using a hand held devices with a touch screen and makes noises. It is because that is a general idea. The idea if hand held devices with touchscreens has been around for decades. The general idea is not usually patentable (though some patents are more broad than they should be). However, the technological and aesthetic design is patentable. Saying "hey let's give it a touch screen" doesn't take much work, but desining the interface between screen and phone or designing the look dies take work. The patents apple refers to is likely hardware and software technilogy designs that are either truly novel, secret, or both.
     
  15. PerfSeeker macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 10, 2010
    #15
    Like the slide-to-lock gesture?
     
  16. pflau macrumors 6502

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #16
    That's why the imitators will always be one step behind. They figured they'd take an iPod and add a touch screen. But they didn't count on Apple doing away with the buttons altogether.
     
  17. wvphysics macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #17
    If they've patented the slide to lock feature, I can only see them winning a case if tge visual design is the same. Apple is likely not suing for these sorts of features even if they have a patent is because they know they won't win and will be out a large chunk of legal fees. Companies will also patent what ever they can his so they can say the have xx number of patents. It's like padding your resume.
     
  18. pflau macrumors 6502

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    Sep 17, 2007
    #18
    Those other phones might as well not have existed.
     
  19. twigg macrumors member

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #19
  20. wreckshop macrumors 6502

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #20
    Even if the visual design is exactly the same. Apple should have never been granted the slide to lock patent on the first place. How the hell do you patent a gesture????
     
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #21

    [​IMG]

    2002: Handspring Treo 180 & 180g Review
     
  22. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #22
    Apple keeps trying to. But that's another story for later.

    Apple wasn't the first with slide-to-unlock. Heck, gesture based unlocking for security was hot stuff on enterprise devices at the turn of the century. Of course, for security they did not show the user what path to take.

    What Apple somehow got a patent on, was the visual aid of a combination sliding block and path marker.

    The reason why I don't like this patent, is because it's obvious. Slide-to-unlock in a straight line had already been done on the all-touch Neonode in 2002:

    If your UI boss said, well I'd like the user to better see that their touch is registering, then half the programmers would come up with a visual item that follows the finger. Hardly eureka science. More like a design decision.

    In any case, that's why all other phones now slide-to-unlock without the patented combination of a visually defined path and finger-following block.
     
  23. Devnor macrumors member

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #23
    Oh yeah. That was a successful product. /sarcasm off
     
  24. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #24
    It doesn't matter if it was successful or not, the fact remains - the product existed long before Apple's did.

    With Intellectual Property, all that matters is who did it first. Look at Cisco's iPhone trademark - all they did was shove a sticker on the box of some existing products with the word "iPhone" (that they had already trademarked) and that left Apple having to negotiate to use it.
     
  25. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #25
    Don't forget "iOS" which is also a Cisco's trademark
     

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