SAN JOSE -- One of the guilty pleasures of covering a multi-billion dollar patent infringement case like Apple v. Samsung is you get permission to read the emails of industry executives, including luminaries like Steve Jobs. So, go ahead indulge yourself. Believe me, the rest of the tech world is doing it, too.
Let's start with a little one that's already generated a lot of buzz. Eddie Cue, head of Apple's retail outlets, sent an email to Apple's Tim Cook arguing the company ought to build seven-inch tablets. He argued that Steve Jobs was "very receptive" to the idea.
Read it again. They're talking about using a clickwheel with numbers around the periphery as a replacement for the standard cell phone numeric keypad. Apparently Samsung had done that (news to me) and Steve thought they screwed up by not having the numbers 3, 6 and 9 match their positions on a clock.
It is my understanding that in the current case the LG Prada handset is not being considered as prior art at least in part because it was not sold or marketed in the U.S. prior to the launch of the iPhone.
Any patent experts here can feel free to clarify the law.
Great reading. Shows what everyone knew all along: both companies benchmark and evaluate other products and ask themselves what they can do to incorporate and build on the features and capabilities they find. I am no lawyer or judge, but I would argue that the Jobs email is the most damming of all.
Would love to be a juror on this one.
I know I'm not seeing the whole picture just from these selected emails in this article, but what I see so far is not convincing of either side's case. Also, the timeline is unclear from the dates of these emails. Who allegedly copied who, and when?
The emails are interesting but not core to the case, IMHO. They establish industry practice is to examine in great detail competing products.
The emails do not speak directly to whether Samsung copied Apple's patented technologies.
I share this point 100%.
All companies serve customers. What every customer does before purchasing is comparing. Being competitive ''literally'' requires to know what competition is doing. Competitive and reverse analysis are necessary, any big company does it, this is one major task of any marketing department. To make a counter example, Nokia overlooked competition in 2009 and you see how it ended. I don't see how these sort of e-mails can seriously stand a trial about particular patent infringement.
This will the most ridiculous lawsuit of the century, if it wouldn't be happening. Apple's great competitive position is only due to good design and good marketing. The technology itself comes from others (e.g. Samsung in Korea). Even the assembly is done in China. Get real!
I'm with Dylan. This proves what everyone already knew. Companies always study each others' products in the greatest detail.
As to copying patented features, I've yet to see what features of the ones mentioned so far could be construed as credibly patented.
This is a matter of when technology reaches a certain stage, a flurry of new products can emerge, and they do. Certainly we saw this happening with the single-chip computer, with digital image compression, and countless other examples from the Industrial Revolution to today. Almost like a floodgate opens up, when a key invention is made.
Apple cannot credibly prevent progress.
I never would have thought, for the briefest moment, that the words 'may" and "could" were in Jobs' vocabulary.
So it appears to me that Jobs could have been insecure, hiding behind intimidation - this may make sense to me now.
I thought LG Prada also called as KE850 was sold in the USA. So how come it's not considered prior art.
I searched the net and came with this comparison done against the Prada when Iphone first came out.
Also, it most probably was available through Amazon in the USA.
I once worked for a major US electronics manufacturer and they had a whole department dedicated to the reverse engineering of competitor's products. They went as far as using an E-beam prober to read out the contents of protected EEPROM. They didn't copy the code, just use it for understanding benchmark results. I'm sure they weren't alone. Regarding prior art overseas, I would be very surprised if they could patent a a foreign invention overlooking foreign prior art. If they could then there would be very little stopping a foreign country from discounting any US IP rights overseas.
Someone told me recently some companies are having an attorney staff every major meeting so it can be considered privileged communications and exempt from discovery.
Anyone else heard of such practices?