SAN JOSE -- Apple released late Tuesday its best evidence that Samsung has copied its patents and trade dress, a 132-page Samsung report comparing its handsets to the iPhone.
The report methodically compares the iPhone and Samsung's S1 handset across 126 specific features. A page is dedicated to each feature with each page showing side-by-side comparisons of how the iPhone and the S1 implement the feature.
At the bottom of each page, the report makes recommendations for how Samsung could improve its handsets. The direction generally is to more closely adopt Apple's practices.
Apple sees this document from a product engineering team in Samsung's software verification group as its smoking gun. Samsung counters the document is merely observing and benchmarking best practices in the industry as one aspect of competition.
We'll let you decide by looking at some examples of the document below. We invite your comments. Is this evidence of illegal copying or normal industry benchmarking?
Would anyone like know if Apple really does have a case? Then check out this supremely sarcastic, iconoclastic, and bubble-bursting article on PC Magazine's site where they use the very unfair tactic of simply letting the actual facts of Apple's case speak for themselves. http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/300876/apple-vs-samsung-every-patent-tells-a-story What do these particular facts say? These facts reinforce the fact that, despite popular opinion and brisk sales, Apple has never innovated a single thing!In addition to not inventing the smartphone or the PMP, Apple ripped off windowing operating systems, the mouse, networked PCs, message-passing software [i.e., ObjectiveC], and the PostScript Laser printer from Xerox's PARC way back when and, recently, both OS X and iOS are mostly certified UNIX, which is in the public domain.)
I would argue that these days products can be differentiated by look and feel using design and utility patents and "trade dress." Apple has certainly mounted a compelling case with this ammo.
I agree this is very different from the kind of fundamental technology EEs are used to associating with patents. However, that doesn't mean the Apple approach is not valid.
Samsung is pointing out problems in their own product - Apple is merely being used as an example for contrast. if your calculator returns 1+1=3, it hardly matters whose correct calculator you use to illustrate that 1+1=2.
Apple is merely trying to compete by litigation, since they apparently can't compete by innovation.
For what reason do you think Samsung is pointing out "problems" [read: deficiencies] in their product? To pass to the advertising department? To hand out awards to their engineers? Please, get real... They are holding up Apple as the design target.
Your calculator example is a poor one wherein there is obviously only one correct "answer." UI design is nuanced and subtle and Apple (whether through innovation or idea recycling) knows how to implement that into their products long ahead of the crowd. That's the reason Apple was "...used as an example for contrast."
Samsung should now sue Apple for indulging in industrial espionage. How did Apple get that internal Samsung document?
And I remain totally unconvinced. For example, I happen to know that car companies always do a meticulous study of each others' products. If that were not the case, Lexus cars wouldn't consistenly be imitating Mercedes Benz models of a generation or two ago. And yet, they add their own improvements, e.g. to enhance reliability without increasing price. And you don't see Mercedes making a big production of suing Lexus.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with Samsung buying a iPhone, and "tearing it apart," to see what to adopt and what not to adopt.
But there's a lot wrong with Apple getting their hands on internal Samsung documents, not expressly meant for public distribution.
Besides, the display in the Galaxy is bigger and wider than that of iPhones, and Apple, obviously worried about this liability, is making the iPhone 5 screen bigger and (finally) of the "correct" aspect ratio.
I would say, that's blatantly copying Samsung.
@Bert22306, Apple got the Internal document, after the lawsuit was filed. Once a patent infringement lawsuit is filed all documents, emails, paper copies and anything taped, videos all can be accessed by lawyers for review for lawsuit case. Samsung,can ask for the same anything related to case. Lawyers ask only for things related the case and are under AND for not sharing anything that in not related to case and is confidential.
@Bert: Apple got the document through the legal discovery process both sides can use to seek internal documents including emails of the other company that support its case.
This document was released into evidence and became public record.
More to come.
Probably Sony should sue Apple for emulating their design for iphone.
I agree that Apple has revolutionized the market with the p(r)etty phone. Other vendors have taken the concept and are rapidly developing their own designs.
Apple can't compete with Samsung in the variety and is shedding crocodile tears.
Apple is becoming a$$le.
When school students are taught and told not to copy answers to assignment questions from the internet, when Ph.D students are told plagiarism of contents from other's theses means losing their Ph.D or their post (it happened in Germany) shoud not the society tell the companies that steal from other's that they stand to lose as well. I am sure all companies have tear down departments and analysing each other features. But the point of it is to learn, appreciate and be motivated to be more innovative and competitive than other's. I believe Steve Jobs/Apple has also adopted other's inventions ( Steve Wozniak, Xerox and other's) but I believe he bought the rights to commercialize them and has used his genius in in creating terrific user interfaces around them. Has Samsung done that. The answer is no.Have they copied Apple's patents. Yes. The case could be interpreted as being about patents of rectangles, but when it comes to the claims and the combination of thereof, I believe Apple can still claim uniqueness.
”Is this evidence of illegal copying”
No. Neither ”illegal” nor ”copying”.
”Copying”: What we see here is Samsung designers recommending copying Iphone features. We don't see evidence of any of these 126 features ever actually being copied.
Maybe that eventually happened. It would make total sense if Apple presented evidence tomorrow that confirmed that som of these features were actually copied.
”Illegal”: even if Samsung copied all of these features, that might not have been against californian law.
I hope for Samsung's customers sake that they did copy them all. From the list it is obvious that the Samsung smartphones of the time sucked big time. That's what the list proves: that Samsung phones sucked and that Iphones totally did not suck and that Samsung knew it and wanted what Apple had.
As Jantanring noted above, this document only shows Samsung carefully explored every aspect of the iPhone and wanted to emulate it.
Apple still has to connect the dots to show these changes made their way into Samsung products and these approaches were covered in its patents and trade dress. Apple has already done some of that work in court so far, but it has presented less than half its case to date.
For its part, Samsung has raised some significant doubts about whether the Apple patents should be considered valid and whether any real damage has been done because--for instance--Apple has so far shown only a little evidence buyers purchased Samsung products thinking they were from Apple.
Testimony resumes Friday.
There are 5 more sides to a phone, did Samsung really copy it all? What about the USB, the big button on the front characteristic of all iPhones and iPads, the removable cover, battery, camera, speaker, volume control, the UI? You can't pick and choose what you decide to define as a copy, it is either a copy or it is just similar.
I don't know that I've ever worked at a company that didn't study competitors' products. We always did competitive analyses. We always benchmarked. Granted I haven't seen all of the memos in question, but I certainly didn't see anything in the ones that I have read that wouldn't be considered pretty standard business practice.
Samsung is clearly showing lack of innovation, they must get out there and find ideas that are radically distinct, we sitting with big tech companies that keep on recycling ideas, apple broke this infinite loop by coming up with fresh ideas.
I think Samsung realized early on it can differentiate handsets with the bigger, better displays it makes and it's doing that successfully now with the S III and Note handsets--and Apple's iPhone 5 now needs to respond to them.
That was my point, a few posts back. Samsung introduced a 16:9 aspect ratio in its Galaxy phones, and Apple is playing catch-up with its iPhone5. Is that going to be grounds for a lawsuit?
Similarly, the Kindle Fire has an aspect ratio of around about 16:10, compared with the squarish iPad's 4:3. My bet is, the next version of the iPad will go wide aspect ratio too.
These are all the type of "look and feel" differences that Apple is making a big whoop about. And they seem to be indulging in the same copying as they accuse Samsung of.
Things like this evolve always, in similar-function appliances. It can't be helped. This lawsuit is frivolous.
Apple (Jobs) always focused on the customer needs and experience, adding quite a dash of style. Most firms just solder up a box of chips and throw the user a manual. Inventing a wheel isn't terribly useful without an axle ... then a horse ... then a buggy ... OK, now an engine ... then a gas station ... hey let's open a shop to fix those cars ...
I'm not a patent person nor a lawyer, but there's no questioning Apple's success. (And I own more Samsung products than Apple)
It's true that Apple caused a sorely needed sea change in the phone market by bringing together disparate elements to create something "different" than what had largely come before. But Does that mean none of their competitors have a right to make a rounded rectangular phone or have their product evaluated by their competition? No. Apple has already been rewarded handsomely by the market for their very nice but unpatentable features. That is all the compensation any company should reasonably expect in a free market. Nothing has been stolen or copied. They should just move on and change the world again already if they really think they need even more money.
While it is true that industries often do competitive analyses, in an IP infringement lawsuit, this is powerful evidence to a jury. In the end, I think Apple will recover far less in the way of damages than it seeks.