Yesterday’s court battle between Apple and Samsung continued with Apple showing an email from J.K. Shin, Samsung’s Head of Mobile Communications. According to Apple, Samsung went through a “crisis of design” shortly before the launch of the Galaxy S in 2010. Shin’s email said:
“All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,”
“Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.”
I’m no lawyer, but what’s the deal with Judge Lucy Koh? First she rules that Samsung is unable to use evidence that clearly shows they were working on designs that resembled the iPhone back in 2006, and now she ruled that Samsung can’t use footage from the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
As you know “2001: A Space Odyssey” features a tablet well before the iPad was even thought of let alone designed. I assume the reason why Koh keeps refusing these exhibits is because this case isn’t about refuting Apple’s patents. It’s on whether Samsung infringed on them or not. The fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should have or shouldn’t have granted these patents is not on the table.
You have to hand it to Microsoft. As Apple fights it out with Android manufacturers, Microsoft is quietly signing licencing deals. This all started last year when they were able to grab deals with HTC, Samsung, Acer, and ViewSonic. In fact, back in October they had a total of 10 deals.
As of today that total is at 15 with the latest one involving Honeywell International, Inc. It’s based on their digital assistant called the Dolphin, which is meant for field workers with data capture being its primary use.
All 15 of these deals generate quite a bit of money for Microsoft, and since they can’t sell any phones, this really helps their bottomline.
With 15 deals, you would think there really isn’t a company left to go after, but there is one major player yet to sign anything, and that’s Motorola. Microsoft recently scored some victories here in the U.S. and Germany, but Motorola continues to fight long and hard. It really makes me wonder why Motorola’s patents were worth so much when they’re forced to defend themselves constantly. Microsoft would rather Motorola sign a deal just like everyone else in order to save on legal fees, but kudos to Motorola for not giving in.
We reported the other day that Judge Lucy Koh was a little upset that Samsung released exhibits to the media. This was done after Judge Koh ruled that they could not be used as evidence in the trial that started this week.
Yesterday, Samsung attorney John Quinn released a declaration statement as ordered by Koh. The declaration stated that Quinn did approve the release after numerous requests from the media. He also said that all documents were previously in the public record and it wasn’t intended to influence jurors,
Apple still wasn’t pleased and filed an emergency motion seeking “sanctions and other relief that may be appropriate” against Samsung for the release of said exhibits. Apple said, “This deliberate attempt to influence the trial with inadmissible evidence is both improper and unethical.” Furthermore, Apple counsel William F. Lee questioned whether requests from the media even took place. He says that press reports are saying that it was an unsolicited release and even if they were requesting it, Samsung should never have released it.
Apple could ask for a mistrial, but they won’t. “A mistrial would play directly into Samsung’s strategy of delay, and only reward Samsung’s misconduct,” they said in the filing.
It should also be noted that Samsung has been sanctioned four times in this case for discovery abuses like destroying evidence. “Litigation misconduct is apparently a part of Samsung’s litigation strategy–and limited sanctions have not deterred Samsung from such misconduct,” Lee added.
Wow this trial is getting quite entertaining. They could make a reality show out of this!!
As the Apple vs. Samsung trial got going in earnest today, it did not take long for events to take a turn for the unusual. After yet another attempt to introduce evidence regarding its F700 phone, in development months before the iPhone, Samsung decided to appeal to the media, setting off an angry reaction from Judge Lucy Koh. Read more
Samsung and Apple are going head to head this week and we’ve shown you trial briefs from both companies (Samsung / Apple). The bottomline in this case is that Apple feels Samsung copied them. The bottomline to me is that it’s really a joke that they are spending all this money to “fight over rectangles” as quoted by Samsung’s Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham.
Furthermore, Samsung will show the court the designs above, which were possibilities for the Summer of 2006, well before the iPhone was released in 2007. In fact one of these ended up being the Samsung F700, and believe it or not, Apple went after Samsung for it only to retract when they learned it was designed before the iPhone. Then there is the whole discussion on if Apple copied Sony. This is all one big joke and the attorneys are laughing all the way to the bank. Hit the break for another image, but this time it’s Samsung’s proposed OS. Look similar?
As the Apple vs Samsung trial starts here in San Jose, California, neither side is backing down from the fight. Samsung’s Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham had some words that pretty much sum up his thoughts on the whole scene. It all comes down to fighting over rectangles. Here’s what he said during an interview with Wired.
“In terms of patents, we have a made lot of contributions in the design space as well. I would say the patents we’re struggling with — where there’s a lot of discussion and litigation right now — are around these very broad design patents like a rectangle. For us, it’s unreasonable that we’re fighting over rectangles, that that’s being considered as an infringement, which is why we’re defending ourselves.”
If we ignore all the legal detail surrounding the myriad of lawsuits between the two companies, and take a huge step back for a very wide point of view, it’s not impossible to boil the whole thing down to “Your thing looks too much like my thing!” and that’s what Packingham is essentially saying… that Apple and Samsung are at odds over a basic geometric shape.
Should a company be able to patent a shape? Obviously, hardware and software-wise, the two company’s devices are very different. But the general shape of a rounded-corner rectangle is common to both, so should that be allowed? You could also say that a particular Honda has the same shape as a particular Toyota, or that this Logitech mouse is shaped just like that Microsoft one. Personally, and perhaps obviously, I am totally on Samsung’s side on this one. Apple has a lot to lose since they have all their eggs in one iOS basket, so it makes sense they would defend it with all their power. But you’ve got to think somewhere inside the halls of Cupertino, someone is saying quietly to themselves, “Wow, I hope we get away with this.”
Lets face it, all this legal news has gotten way out of control and I was over it months ago, but I have to admit, it’s starting to get interesting again. With Samsung and Apple set to battle it out next week, we’ve seen trial briefs from both Samsung and Apple, but as part of Samsung’s trial brief there was a mention about Sony and this quote:
For good measure, Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone. Apple‘s own internal documents show this. In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived of, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article that contained an interview of a Sony designer to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, the Sony designer discussed Sony portable electronic device designs that lacked “excessive ornamentation” such as buttons, fit in the hand, were “square with a screen” and had “corners [which] have been rounded out.”
In 2006 two Sony product designers, Takashi Ashida and Yujin Morisawa, were interviewed by BusinessWeek. They were asked about design philosophies and how or if the iPod influenced their own designs for their new Walkman player. This very article was circulated internally to Apple executives and of course Steve Jobs saw it. Supposedly he ordered Apple designer Shin Nishibori to come up with a similar looking device.
Watching the epic legal battles between Apple and Samsung is like watching a boxing match, each side scoring hits of their own, round after round. This time it’s Samsung scoring a solid uppercut in the German courts, which upheld a previous February ruling that invalidated Apple’s patent relating to “list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display.”
So what does that mean? It means that the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy Tab 10.1N will continue being sold in Germany. The 10.1N is on a legal roll in Germany, where a couple days ago in Dusseldorf it won against Apple’s complaint about the look of the device, though the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was not so lucky. Samsung, of course, is very happy with these decisions, but the silence from the folks in Cupertino is deafening. Makes you wonder what Apple’s next attack plan is and whether they will score the next left hook.
As reported earlier today, Sprint began rolling out an update for the Galaxy Nexus phone. Likely requiring a few days to reach all devices, the update modifies the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), adds support for Sprint TV, and adjusts LTE settings to default to “on.” The update does a little more than that though – it removes local search capability.
For those jumping into the saga at this point, the local search capability refers to the ability to search contacts or files on the phone using the same search box one would use to do a search of the web. This capability has become the focus of a legal battle involving Apple, who obtained a preliminary injunction blocking sales of the Galaxy Nexus. The solution for carriers and the manufacturer, Samsung, has been to disable local search until the litigation is resolved.
Followers of the lawsuit are probably not surprised by this move by Sprint. They may be surprised that Sprint did not disclose this part of the update.
source: Android Central