Samsung copied 'every element' of iPhone: Apple

Jul 31, 2012 by Joe Mullin
In this July 6, 2012 file photo, a Samsung Galaxy S III phone is held by a customer at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, July 6, 2012. Two tech titans are squaring off in federal court Monday in a closely watched trial over control of the worldwide smart phone and computer tablet markets. Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. last year alleging the world’s largest technology company’s smart phones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs. Samsung countered that it’s Apple that is doing the stealing and, besides, some of the technology at issue such as the rounded rectangular designs of smart phones have been industry standards for years. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung debated the differences between copying and honest competition as opening arguments were held Tuesday in a huge patent trial involving the two tech giants.

Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple in the blockbuster patent trial under way in San Jose, California, told the jury Samsung began copying the US firm as soon as the iPhone was publicly unveiled in January 2007.

"At the same time (Apple co-founder Steve) Jobs introduced the iPhone, he warned his competitors that he had filed for patent protection on more than 200 new inventions in the iPhone," McElhinny said in his opening argument.

"Samsung could come up with its own designs, it could beat Apple fairly in the marketplace. Or it could copy Apple... it's easier to copy than to innovate."

The lawyer said Samsung copied specific features, including a "bounce-back" feature in the scrolling process and a design with a black-on-black face.

"At the highest corporate levels, Samsung decided to copy every element of the iPhone," he said.

"This was not accidental. Samsung's copying was intentional."

He argued that Samsung made dozens of changes as Apple updated its products "so that the end result was identical to Apple products."

Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven countered Apple's opening with his own version of cell phone history, citing several large-screen phones that pre-dated the iPhone.

The South Korean firm is no "copyist" or "Johnny-come-lately," said Verhoeven, but a major technology company that does its own innovation. He said internal Apple documents show that designers themselves were inspired by designs from competitors, including Sony.

The iPhone was an "inspiring" product to many -- but that there was nothing wrong with that, said Verhoeven. "Is that infringement? No, that's competition," he said.

The lawyer said Samsung's design can be easily distinguished from Apple's, even by an ordinary observer.

He said Samsung will show its own patents for high-speed data streaming, sending email, and multitasking to back its counter-claims against Apple, which the jury will also consider.

The comments came as jurors began hearing the biggest US patent trial in decades, with billions at stake for the tech giants.

As testimony began, Apple industrial designer Christopher Stringer, the inventor on many Apple patents, took the stand to testify about the creative process behind the iPhone.

"We came out with something that was breathtaking," said Stringer. "It was a revolution. The challenges in terms of producing that product were enormous."

Stringer said when phones like Samsung's were released, it was "offensive" to his artistic sensibilities. "We've been ripped off, it's plain to see -- by Samsung in particular," said Stringer.

Asked why there was no Apple logo on the front of the iPhone, Stringer said it didn't need it. "When you make a startling and beautiful design, you don't need to," he answered. "It becomes an icon."

Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller was to be on the stand when the trial resumes Friday.

Just ahead of arguments, US District Judge Lucy Koh allowed one of the 10 jurors to be dismissed after the woman said she was confused about whether she was getting paid.

"The stress of this case is causing anxiety. She's having panic attacks," the judge said. "We understand this case would be a severe economic hardship on you."

Both sides agreed to the move which reduces the number of jurors hearing the case to nine, but does not impact the trial.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in a case accusing the South Korean firm of infringing on designs and other patents from the iPhone and iPad maker.

This is one of several cases in courts around the world involving the two big electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector, tablet computers and smartphones.

While the results so far have been mixed in courts in Europe and Australia, Samsung is clearly on the defensive in the US case.

Koh, who will preside in the jury case, has issued two temporary injunctions against US sales of Samsung's 10-inch Galaxy tablet and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone developed with Google.

Samsung could face big risks: If Apple wins, it would automatically get a permanent injunction on sales of Samsung devices. And if Samsung makes only minor changes, Apple could ask for the South Korean firm to be held in contempt.

The case has huge financial implications for both firms and the burgeoning industry for mobile devices.

A survey by research firm IDC showed Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones globally in the April-June period, while Apple sold 26 million iPhones. IDC said Samsung held 32.6 percent of the market to 16.9 percent for Apple.

Samsung is the leading maker of smartphones using Google's Android operating system, which has become the most popular platform despite complaints from Apple that it has infringed on its patents.

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User comments : 26

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Ionian
3.3 / 5 (15) Jul 31, 2012
Apple is doomed.
Samsung has been making devices like these for a long time before Apple came up with their iPhone. Samsung didn't copy the iPhone they merely copied their own prior art.
Skepticus
3.3 / 5 (19) Jul 31, 2012
Samsung executives at the highest level made a decision to copy "every element" of the iPhone

This is intolerable! They copied the rectangle shape, flat screen made of glass, thin, multi-touch, batteries and chips inside. It is really tragic there is no patents on a whole car, and Apple is not an automotive firm. Otherwise all the thieves out there have to pay for anything that is squarish, has doors, engine,seats, steering wheels, wheels, headlights...
..He argued that Samsung made continual changes as Apple updated its products.

How dare they have the right to update their products as Apple update theirs?
Just ahead of the arguments, US District Judge Lucy Koh allowed one of the 10 jurors to be dismissed after the woman said she was confused about whether she was getting paid.

Thank God this twit was not a jury. But I wonder how many of the remaining smarts clammed up instead of voicing their wit?
Skepticus
2.1 / 5 (11) Jul 31, 2012
Samsung executives at the highest level made a decision to copy "every element" of the iPhone

This is intolerable! They copied the rectangle shape, flat screen made of glass, thin, multi-touch, batteries and chips inside. It is really tragic Apple is not an automotive firm. Otherwise all the thieves out there have to pay for anything that is squarish, has doors, engine,seats, steering wheels, wheels, headlights...
..He argued that Samsung made continual changes as Apple updated its products.

How dare they have the right to update their products as Apple update theirs?
..Lucy Koh allowed one of the 10 jurors to be dismissed after the woman said she was confused about whether she was getting paid.

This is real injustice and discrimination to the disabled! I wonder how many of the remaining smarts were therefore forced to clammed up instead of voicing their wit?
I say write up a NPT and outlaw anyone else from making and selling anything "phony" on US soil!l
Bewia
1.8 / 5 (15) Jul 31, 2012
Infinion
1.9 / 5 (9) Jul 31, 2012
People shouldn't be rating this article lower just because its content is controversial. Physorg's rating system isn't designed for that.

Youtube's rating system is also abused in the same way. People click the dislike button on a video because the content is disagreeable regardless of if the information was well received, but Youtube focuses on videos that have been liked so the video gets the wrong attention
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (13) Jul 31, 2012
Cellphones http://phoneborn....-Now.jpg

This is stupid, I could make a similar picture "x before and after y" with any x and any y and cherry pick the examples I use to show anything I want. Apple did NOT have the first rectangular screen flat phone, nor is that even specific enough to patent.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 31, 2012
Cell Phones before apple pic (above) top row, items 5 through 10.

http://www.blamei...100.html

Released 2002 - Long Before the iNonsense.

http://netdna.web...cq_b.jpg
MIBO
4.9 / 5 (9) Jul 31, 2012
interesting before and affter pics, but was the apple design cause or effect. Arguably they had no choice to go for the design style, neither did anybody else. Phones "Before" didn't have high resolution touch screens, the design of all modern phones is an obvious choice when you add a touch screen, so as it's obvious it doesn't require an inventive step and therefore cannot be patented.
Bewia
2 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2012
..Youtube focuses on videos that have been liked..
I'm often enjoying the situation, when some frequently visited video at YouTube of apparently disgusting or sadistic nature gets low rank. If the people don't like that stuff, why the hell they're looking at it? IMO the public voting system at most forums doesn't work at all just because it can be abused with hateful individuals so easily. Most of my posts are downvoted with single user, who even doesn't participate into discussion. Such a voting system is just teaching the people the censorship instead of matter of fact argumentation. Do we really need the people trained in this way?
Rhada
5 / 5 (2) Jul 31, 2012
If Samsung did so, I consider it was not a legal competence, but, on the other hand samsung's cellphones are amazing at the end what people matters is the functionality.
canuckit
5 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2012
Everybody would agree that the Hyundai Elantra has copied many elements of the Ford Model T.
Pyle
4.3 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2012
I don't believe Apple is seeking payment because of the Samsung device's "rectangularness". I might be off, but I think the point was to establish a pattern of behavior.

I have to agree that patent law sucks. At the same time, how else do you protect your ideas? We progress faster when we share our ideas with each other. But oftentimes the motivation for innovation is profit. Without patent protection the motivation for many ideas to be developed would be gone and as a result our progress in many areas would grind to a halt. Abused and misused , but serving a purpose. Just like Spandex shorts.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.5 / 5 (8) Jul 31, 2012
Many ideas - including those stolen by apple - are not worthy of being patented.

I.E. a rectangular phone.

Death to Apple.

SatanLover
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 31, 2012
a folder structure on a phone.... patented. who the hell works at the patent office?
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2012
"who the hell works at the patent office?" - SatanLover

Virtually no one.

Ronald Reagan changed the way the patent office worked, from the previous method of reviewing patents for viability to one of simply stamping them as received.

You did know that didn't you?

Republicans destroy everything they touch.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2012
who the hell works at the patent office?
The people, who are payed with money for every patent applied. It's apparently conflict of interests: the organization which is financed from patent fees shouldn't judge the originality of patent applications.
Released 2002 - Long Before the iNonsense.
I don't think, the picture linked with me must be considered seriously (BTW I'm not using Apple products at all) - nevertheless I'd expect somehow more inventive approach from Samsung in this matter. IMO the pragmatism of Eastern civilization is way too based on copying if not stealing of foreign ideas. On the other hand, I'd never accept most of Apple patents including the rectangular design of his gadgets simply because they aren't original too. This controversy therefore has no simple straightforward solution.
RazorsEdge
5 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2012
Apple wants to maintain its high prices by stifling competition and patents are the weapon. Screw Apple. Let them compete in the marketplace with lower cost and more features.
Patents should be for revolutionary ideas. The iPhone is just evolution of the cell phone as advances in electronics have made more capabilities possible, e.g. bigger memory means you need folders just as your desktop did.
RazorsEdge
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2012
@Bewia Another name for copying is standardization. Should Samsung have the numeric keypad laid out 9-8-7/4-5-6/3-2-1?
Bewia
1 / 5 (8) Jul 31, 2012
Apple indeed sucks with its adherence on its virtual IP, but the Asians who don't respect IP at all is the dual side of this problem. Should we accept the Stalin's methods just because he fought against Hitler?
The iPhone is just evolution of the cell phone as advances in electronics have made more capabilities possible
This is indeed fine and all, but the capabilities is not what sells the contemporary gadgets. The ingenious movement of Jobs was, he guessed the ideal design of touch display controlled smartmobiles in time, when everyone added new and new buttons into their gadgets in an effort to beat the competetion. He build the style of new generation of smartphones in a way, he simply created a new one. Now we recognize iPhones and smartphones as a two independent categories, although their technical capabilities are roughly the same. It's not matter of technology protection, but the industrial design rights.
sherriffwoody
5 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2012
images are interesting
http://www.osnews..._devices
Satene
2 / 5 (4) Aug 01, 2012
I would say, it speaks clearly against Apple and the patent office, which allowed to patent it..
Another name for copying is standardization
Can we standardize the stuffs which are protected with patent or copyrighted?
TAz00
5 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2012
Thank god noone claimed design infringement on the original phone. Your phone design is also a handle? NOPE!

In patent silly USA, only Graham Bell calls you!
SatanLover
1 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2012
you are all wrong, star trek was first.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2012
If the people don't like that stuff, why the hell they're looking at it?


You generally need to look at something before you know if you like it or not.

The ingenious movement of Jobs was, he guessed the ideal design of touch display controlled smartmobiles in time, when everyone added new and new buttons into their gadgets in an effort to beat the competetion.


It wasn't the first phone to do that. The market had already rejected many attempts, because people -wanted- physical buttons. Manufacturers were making slide-out keyboards and blackberry-like PDAs and communicators.

It took Apple's marketing spin to make touchscreens desirable, and it actually took them couple years after the initial introduction to get the message through. Before that, people were like "touchscreens? Don't they get smudgy?", and they were right, but nobody cares now.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2012
Clearly Apple's design on the iPhone extends back in time. It is retroactive, like Ronmey's retirement from Bain Capital. He kept working for a half decade and then decided after he quit, to start his retirement 4 years (before) he quit.

Retroactive patents? It is explained here...

http://theweek.co...akeaways
Koen
1 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2012
You can't explain Apple's huge success by saying "Apple stole everything". The iphone was NOT a small step in the evolution of smart phones, so Apple is right: too many details of the iphone/ipad were stolen, without paying to Apple. Let OTHER companies prove Apple stole their designs and technology WITHOUT paying for it. I hope Asian companies become more innovative, but thus far I am not impressed. The copycat mentality undermines progress. And when you say "Death to Apple", you actually say "Death to innovative America/Europe", for obvious reasons.

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