This is why Apple's patent is a problem for consumers

Discussion in 'iPad' started by RetepNamenots, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. RetepNamenots macrumors 6502

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    #1
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001

    Check out the link above. It shows the 'protected design' that Apple holds which is now being used to block sales of Samsung's tablets and go after Motorola.

    The design is so minimal and plain, I can't see how Apple can claim exclusivity on it –*it essentially makes any and all other tablets 'copycats'.

    Now, before I get voted down, I completely understand that manufacturers should be able to protect their property and designs, because they can come from years of R&D and costing millions.

    They have essentially patented a shape. With rounded edges. Which essentially means that every tablet is in violation of this registered design.

    My question is, until this is reversed, how does anyone expect Samsung/Motorola/HTC or whoever else to bring their own products to market?
     
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #2
    Both the Xoom and Playbook fit that general description, but there is no suit against them. Probably because they have a unique style.
     
  3. MagnusF macrumors regular

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    #3
  4. LanEvo macrumors 6502

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    #4
    i find it genius, apple has reigns over the market already, but just securing its spot
     
  5. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #5
    We aren't living in a cartoon world. Apple's complaint is not about a single rounded-corner rectangular design element it's about a number of patents comprising a tablet device. I'm not going to claim detailed knowledge of every single patent involved, but it's clearly more than this. And Samsung has the money to hire any lawyers it wants. If there's no validity to Apple's claims then they can certainly address it in the courts.
     
  6. RetepNamenots thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    But the fact is that they own this 'protected design', which is nothing more than a rounded rectangle with an embedded display.

    I fully support them when it comes to protecting their other patents and IP, but surely you must agree that ownership of that specific design document causes unnecessary problems for other manufacturers and slows competition, which is ultimately good for consumers.
     
  7. funkdoctor macrumors member

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    #7
    There is a suit against Motorola in regards to the Xoom, which in my opinion looks nothing like the iPad.
     
  8. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #8
    Not in this case.

    That document (a European design registration, not a patent, btw) is only about a device with this shape:
    eu_design.png

    The complaint explains what Apple thinks is infringed:

    or translated into English:

     
  9. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Its worth noting that, as a supplier of display panels for Apple, Samsung got a very early look at what the iPad was going to look like. And they (at least in Apple's opinion) used that knowledge to develop a competing device that was (software aside) visually virtually identical to the iPad.

    IMHO it was this breach of supplier confidentiality, combined with the brazenness of the copying, that triggered Apple's legal action.

    Other competitors - RIM, HP, Motorola, etc. - weren't in the priviliged position that Samsung was. Their products have aesthetic differences (ie. the Xoom's back and surround is a black rubberized plastic, HP's is a shiny black, etc.), and as such they aren't subject to the legal action for violating Apple's EU design registration.

    I doubt, sincerely, that Apple will end up suing Motorola or HP, both of which make competent Android tablets, under these terms. So I fail to see how this legal action - against a dishonest and blatant copier - is in any way a "problem" for consumers.
     
  10. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #10
    ftfy
     
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #11
    Apple has made no such accusation. And why would they? The shape of a panel doesn't disclose the entire surrounding case. And heck, the Tab's display isn't even close to the same shape ratio.

    As noted elsewhere, Apple has also gone after the Xoom in the same way.
     
  12. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Apple's internal decision making is obviously something they aren't going to publicize. I'm merely speculating as to their motivation. But - from a purely human point of view - I think you can see how they might suspect that Samsung abused their position as a supplier in the case of the Galaxy. Barely three months after Samsung's first entry into the tablet market crashed and burned, here comes Sammy again with a product that was position, from the get go, as copying - if not agressively trying to "one up" - everything that was special about the iPad 2.

    In their position as a supplier, Samsung knew not only what the iPad 2 was going to look like, they also knew how many millions of the things Apple was selling well before Apple released their financial results.

    I think Samsung's behavior in this case has been pretty despicable. So much so that I'll actively look elsewhere rather than buy any product from them.
     
  13. RetepNamenots thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Samsung's decision to redesign their tablet line came after the introduction of the iPad 2.

    They were planning to introduce a new range of tablets just after the iPad 2's launch, but just a few weeks after Apple gave their keynote Samsung announced that they would be delaying the release of the tablet because it was a) much more expensive than the iPad, and b) worse in almost every regard – in terms of size, weight, software and price especially.
     
  14. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I can guarantee you that should Apple prevail it won't be because they "own a rounded rectangle" design. You can't just jump to a random conclusion. Patent and design lawsuits are extremely complicated and you can't just make a knee-jerk reaction based on a single document.
     
  15. RetepNamenots thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I understand that –*but what I'm contesting is the idea that they should have been granted ownership of this design in the first place.
     
  16. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #16
    HP makes an Android tablet?
     
  17. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    #17
    It's a "design registration" and says nothing about ownership. Apple believes they have a distinctive design and seeks to protect it. That's a far cry from any legal ownership rights. If, in fact, this ends up being a point of contention in some court then a determination will be made whether this design registration precludes anyone else from producing a similarly-designed item.

    Having taken patent law classes myself I wouldn't presume to second guess anything based on a single document.
     
  18. LanEvo macrumors 6502

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  19. boonlar macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Apple is basically becoming Microsoft. They are starting their anti-competitive practices and it sucks for the consumer yet fanboys are cheering them on.

    $pple needs to be broken apart by the government.
     
  20. psonice macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    The design patent: read the whole document, there's very likely quite a lot more to it. Then leave it to the courts, if it's too generic it'll be rejected. If the courts are banning stuff based on it despite very rich companies with big legal teams attacking it, then it's a valid patent. A lot of these patents sound like they cover pretty much everything in the world at first glance, but are actually quite specific when you read past page 1.

    Apple being anti-competitive: I think they've not been that bad so far, but the current tablet disputes might change that fast. We'll have to see what happens.

    Google meanwhile are doing quite a few things that are anti-competitive (see skyhook, their control of android device makers, the investigation of search engine result manipulation and so on...)

    And microsoft? They're actually not bad these days I think. Sure, they're attacking other companies with patents, but if they've put in the work to invent stuff that's actually reasonable. The difference with what apple are doing is that MS are asking for license fees, and apple are asking (or so it seems) for a ban. When the android device makers deal with microsoft, they end up paying to use android features that MS invented. When they deal with apple, they end up banned from sale until they've removed certain features (some of which might be critical, others will seriously damage the usability of the OS).
     
  21. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #21
    In this case, it's not a patent. It's an EU design registration, which is being discussed in this Tab thread and this Xoom thread.

    First, if you haven't done so, read this article about how ridiculous the EU registration process is. A written description isn't even required.

    Exactly. Apple depends on being able to voluntarily license IP from others (Nokia, Microsoft, the VVM holding company) for the iPhone to work, but won't license any of their own IP to others except when forced to.
     
  22. Vindicator macrumors member

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    #22
    awesome design :D
     
  23. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #23
    The level of ignorance of this post has reached ionospheric altitude. :)
     
  24. EbookReader macrumors 65816

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    #24
    has Apple won any patent war (for tablets) in court that hasn't been overruled by a higher court?
     

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