Somebody just shoot Apple. Seriously, Anything pre Android 3????. Talk about sour grapes where Apple are squabbling for every little scrap from other companies.
Samsung Galaxy products which run Android 2.2.1 to 2.3.7 - the Galaxy S, SII and Ace - have been banned in the Netherlands after a Dutch court ruled that the devices infringe an Apple scrolling patent that relates to how a user swipes through photo galleries. The court said that Samsung's pre-Android 3.0 gear is using the …
What's actually happening is more realistic, and hats off to the Reg for keeping their end up. It's been proven this kind of behaviour actively drives customers away, so the last thing Apple want is their desperate bullying being kept in the headlines so much. Notice too the surface area shrinks with every new lawsuit - this time it's only pre-3.0 Android devices. Samsung/Google are no mugs. They know exactly what they needed to do to avoid these gullible courts bending to Apples whim on such pointless trivia. They have made sure a day will come when Apple can't keep squabbling over a bit of the next fucking picture being shown when you scroll, or whatever bollocks they paid the corrupt patent authorities to let them claim to have invented. On that day, Apple will have to innovate for real. The best they'll be able to do is just clone a current Android top end handset - they know it, you know it but most importantly the market knows it.
You've been rumbled, Apple - time to Think Different.
The dude posts a lot - not hard to do if you must give an opinion about everything lol.
Missed any email El Reg sent ->ancient board email has been deactivated till the spammers update their lists - updated now heh.
Fatal flaw in El Reg's software though, if you change your board username, it resets your postcount. Discovered this a year ago when going from 'Yeehaw' to '404'. Hell, I've been here since late 90's - got a Reg pin in fact (Lester was being a prick and John hooked me up - Thanks John!).
In any case, we doan' need no stinkin' badges!
Gold badge awarded for click-bait, I see! :D
Some companies and commentards can't see the difference between the law and what is right and wrong.
Apple is disliked here not because they are apple (the iphone isn't a terrible device) but most of us think that apple's patents and registered designs are not worthy of the legal protection they receive. When we see the nexus 4 next to the iphone 5 we see just what those spurious legal protections are going to cost us personally and we don't like it. Apple aren't trying to protect their invention, they are trying to make android a risky business proposition.
I suspect this is all going to backfire on apple:
- they are gaining antipathy for their legal shenanigins
- high profits on current devices hides the loss of market share issue which will bite them later
- attacking older versions of android will force faster upgrades (and the desire to be able to push upgrades faster) and push vanilla android over 3rd-party extended versions. That means the much cheaper nexus 4 et al which will further cut their market share. At the moment S3 vs iphone 5 is fairly even. Nexus 4 vs iphone 5 is not much of a contest.
Can't believe people actually support Samsung when a court finds they have infringed yet attack Apple for winning - yes the burglar is ok for robbing your house - you are the crim for trying to prosecute them.
Samsung PR Dept and Fandroid Zealots may downvote at their leisure.
This case sounds like being seriously petty on the part of Apple. But this:
"Samsung said that it had already dealt with that issue... But the court's panel of judges said that the firm had failed to provide them with evidence of the change "
Seriously, Samsung? You claim you fixed it way back and yet you can't show it in court? Don't even have a sample handset behaving in the non-infringing way.
I call double-fail !
This mad dog will not stop biting until people stop buying Apple products and services. Once their market share degrades to the point where they are forced to become decent corporate citizens then, and only then, will things change. It is starting to happen now, but more folks need to jump ship so their cash reserves start slipping.
Cupertino is a bunch of bullies and the USPO spineless weenies trousering the cash from idiotic "patents" that never should have been.
Apple can patent whatever the hell they want. They will never see a single pound of mine in their pocket.
"This mad dog will not stop biting until people stop buying Apple products and services"
But they won't and they aren't. Your average Joe neither knows nor cares about Apple's lawsuits and their products still command an aspirational status.
We've just renewed our company mobile contract - essentially because the directors all had Blackberries which they hated and couldn't wait to be rid of. The contract, normally handled by me at management level, was handled personally by the FD (with the purchasing manager) who secured iPhones for all the directors and the purchasing manager. The sales team were to be given low end Blackberries and everyone else cheap Droids. Then one of the sales manager's found out that the purchasing manager had got himself an iPhone 5 whilst he was only getting a mere Blackberry and kicked off about it. Slowly word spread and others started to mutter about it too.
What they don't yet know is that the order placed was actually for 6 iPhones when only 5 were needed. It was considered giving it to the sales manager that had kicked off but then they realised that giving one to one sales manager but not the others would lead to even more trouble. I'd already declined it so was asked to offer it to my assistant who also declined it so it's now just sitting in its box in a safe and not mentioned because if word gets out that there's a spare iPhone everything will kick off again. So, away from techies, Apple love is still very much alive and well though the purchasing manager's eyes did widen somewhat when he saw the HTC One X I'd got myself.
"Dutch court ruled that the devices infringe on an Apple scrolling patent that relates to how a user swipes through photo galleries.
The court said that Samsung's pre-Android 3.0 gear is using the patented Apple way of scrolling through a photo gallery, which lets you see a bit of the next image before it bounces back. The photo-scrolling patent is covered by European Patent 2 059 868."
So either Samsung release an OTA update to not show a bit of the next image or upgrade people upto Android 3/4.
But seriously Apple? Its an application and I for one fail to see how a UI enhancement is patentable - which is no different to Ruby or other various window effects in Linux/Windows/etc...
Apple really scraping the barrel. Its this sort of attitude that just winds me up...
Well - when I get a bit more cash for a smartphone I can say it certainly WON'T be Apple - and neither will rest of family.
....but the longer Apple insists on continuing their patent wars, the less likely I become to proselytize that love. Indeed, I find myself starting to grow somewhat embarrassed that I like their products so much. Still a load better than using Windoze though.
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What patents are those, though? I mean, there's an argument against patents in general, but I think the particular problem here is them being due to trivial software and "design" patents. (I'm sure Samsung have plenty of patents too, but that's not the issue.)
You've heard of hyperlinks I take it? Click on the one in the article and you'll be taken to the actual patent in question. It's for a "PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE FOR PHOTO MANAGEMENT" and describes a number of scenarios related to how photos can be managed on small form factor devices with limited screen sizes. You'll note that it's nothing to do with software, it's all about the device and how it manages certain interactions. You may even, if you read the article, notice that it's a European patent and thus, presumably, is valid under EU law or it wouldn't have been granted.
Oh, and if you're about to use the "Apple paid the corrupt system to grant this patent", please don't - it just sounds childish. If the patent is invalid, you'd think Samsung's legal team could get it invalidated.
The alleged infringement would seem to be related to one or more of the many examples of how the device will function (there's quite a list).
I know that as soon as the Reg prints an "Apple sues X" piece almost everyone jumps onto the comments and tells everyone else how evil Apple are and how they'll never buy another iDevice, etc. and how anyone who says differently is an Apple fanboi and can't be believed because they're on the kool aid but really, if you can't even be bothered to read the article and get your facts straight you just look like a fanboi from a different church.
It's just software. Apple could release iOS 6.1 and completely change how it works.
It's just an app, built into iOS but still just an app. There are no rubber bands, springs, or even transistors that manage the interactions.
This is no different then how MS Word, or Firefox manage certain interactions.
They could indeed change how it works, but then it would no longer be covered by the patent in question, assuming the patent is valid in the first place.
I'm not saying I agree with the patent, or the case, or that I even like Apple. All I'm saying is that the patent appears to be related to a portable device used to manage photos and goes into some detail about how certain elements of such management would be implemented, taking into account the screen size and other limitations presented by working on a mobile device as opposed to a workstation. It appears that the contention is that Samsung has used one or more of the methods described in the patent.
IANAL and to me it does seem that what Apple has done is attempt to gain a sort of software patent by describing methods of operation on a physical device that would obvioulsy be implemented in software. Whether that is valid is for the courts to decide and, if it is invalid, then I hope Samsung's lawyers will pursue that argument strongly. Not being a lawyer, I'm not sure where the distinction between describing a method for doing something that requires software and an actual software patent is drawn.
A more interesting point to me is how do you protect a novel way of handling interactions on a device? You seem to be saying that software is just, well, software so it's fine if someone takes my novel approach and just uses it without any reward for my work in coming up with said approach?
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Well, if you'll accept adverts as art, and a cultural misunderstanding over spelling.
At the patent court:
Apple guy: "That's the same as my rectangle with rounded corners, and I'm a creative, I'm a creative"
Samsung guy: "Dude, you're a barrister."
But anyway, Fanboi, have a coffee on me.
"Maybe Samsung will soon start to think of new, original stuff to put into TouchWiz instead of ripping everybody else off badly."
Maybe. On the other hand my Sammy works without having to be held in a special way, and my Google Maps work a treat. Oh, and it was hundreds of quid cheaper because I wasn't paying Apple's stupidity tax.
.........Take a look at the "age" of what Cupertino has succeeded in banning as a result of their "victory" - Sammy can take a very chilled attitude to this. It is old news - if this is the best that the iFruit company can do then it suggests that the high water of Apple's judicial assault on the industry is beginning to recede. I suspect that in a year or so we will look back on this and say "that was the moment at which it turned". These thrashings and twitchings are residual responses. I genuinely do not believe that Apple can pursue this for very much longer and the sooner they realise that the better for all concerned including their own customers.
"ripping off each other's work by being too cheap to licence it properly"
What? Like Apple ripping off the Swiss Railway's clock face design?
Or the wholesale ripping off of the look of Braun's products from he 60's?
If you think Jony Ive is original with his designs then you've strayed too far into the reality distortion field.
I've said it before.
Go throughy the entire Braun design catalogue and find more than 2 items that look remotely like anything Apple.
I've done it and there are only 2. A loudspeaker (a minimalist rectangular box) and a table-top cigarette lighter (also a minimalist box) both designed by Deiter Rams.
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Apple do appear to have run out of ideas and their back-end services don't appear to rival google's.
Wireless charging is an obvious upgrade, or if you don't like that, large contacts so you can charge/connect on a cradle without a wiggly plug.
Apple don't appear to have learnt from what happened with the original Mackintosh - and things move much faster these days.
The ipad was a _larger_ tablet, rather - handheld touchscreen devices existed for years (we called them other names, like PDAs, smartphones, media players). The thing that Apple did first was make one that was 10".
(If you're comparing to the older tablet PCs, that's an entirely kettle of fish - those were full blown PCs, not oversized phones. It's only now in 2012 that we finally see full PCs with the portability of a tablet, e.g. from the likes of Samsung, and even then, IIRC they're still understandably slightly heavier due to the extra functionality and power.)
If Apple invented this feature, created it in code, produced a working device showing that invention, and they patented it, then they are allowed to sue others who take that patented invention, implement it in code, and produce a working device showing that invention.
Samsung didn't invent that idea, they stole it. They should have attempted to patent it. A quick patent search might have shown it was already patented.
This doesn't apply only to Apple against Samsung; it applies to Samsung against Apple, too. If you invent it and patent it, you have the rights to it.
Those of you saying Apple are in the wrong for suing others who have taken their ideas, what do you think when the multi-millionaire investors on Dragons' Den ask whether the invention they're presented with has been patented? I guess you're okay with that. I think you're probably okay if this were Samsung suing Apple for the same reason?
actually it's also a behaviour, a form of feedback (an interactive element) and an appealing form for a human (like fashion is). I fail to see your logic in "not an invention ... gui element ... should not be patentable" - why? do explain. You mean that this GUI element created itself? If it's a part of the OS it hasn't been invented by somebody - a person like you or me. Also the Ribbon UI for Office is patented and more.
Some of you people don't realise that all these patent laws exist to protect IP and ultimately the work of a passionated guy. If it weren't for these laws, we'd be invaded by cheap clones or products based on those ideas produced in a cheap work location, and you'd probably have to go to the East to get a job as a product designer. Why would you bother to invent something if it would be copied the next day, and due to cheaper labour and higher agility (because of less stringent work laws in that location) would appear on the European market before your product?
In this case apple is right, because it's these precious details that turn a person from a competitor's product to apple's.
" Some of you people don't realise that all these patent laws exist to protect IP and ultimately the work of a passionated guy."
Patent laws exist so large companies can keep others from competing with them. They didn't spend a billion dollars in R&D coming up with showing the next image for a second, some designer spent 5 minutes twiddling his thumbs and thought "hey this would be cool". Parents are supposed to be novel and non obvious:
"Only research beyond that done as part of normal product design and development should be rewarded with a patent. Routine redesign should not be enough, for there is no need for monopolies as an incentive for such research."
But they throw alot of money at getting parents on bullshit so they can use the violence of the state against their competition, or to protect themselves from being sued over bullshit by being able to countersue.
No.. patent laws do not exist to protect IP - patents exist so that the inventor can be compensated for their work for a limited time. Apple refuse to licence their patents and therefore they use patents to restrict progress.
If you have no itention of allowing people to licence your patents then in my view you should be denied the patent .
Possibly quoting the US Constitution is just the wrong side of absolutely completely bloody ridiculously irrelevant when discussing the protection of a European patent in The Netherlands?
Is it so hard to do a bit of thinking before asking if it is so hard to research a bit before nixing yourself?
While you do make a valid point, that quote is to express what in Europe is not so eloquently expressed.
Here for your satisfaction ( i managed to find an faq instead of the text of law):
Patents protect technical inventions in all fields of technology. They are valid in individual countries, for a specified period. Patents give holders the right to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting their invention. In return, applicants must fully disclose their invention. Patent applications and granted patents are published, which makes them a prime source of technical information.
It's not really an "Invention". That's like calling sanded edges on a chair's armrests an invention. They might be marginally more comfortable that way, but it's a feature that's pretty obvious when crafting a chair, or in this case, creating a touchscreen photo gallery.
And the suggestion that Apple's business is being negatively effected to any significant degree by another's use of this tiny feature is absurd. They're just using software patents (which big companies can get for just about anything these days) to hurt the business of their smaller competitors. And just how does Apple need "protection" from this? They're currently listed as the highest valued corporation in the world, so they certainly don't appear to have been hurting much as a result of it.
Those who really lose out with software patents are the developers themselves, who end up with no idea what features they are and are not allowed to incorporate into a program. When designing an interface for a program, how is one supposed to keep track of what kinds of interface elements have already been reserved by some mega-corporation? The software developers themselves can't afford to patent interface elements they create, nor would any real developers want to, since its absurd, and does nothing but make programming unnecessarily difficult for everyone, and ultimately stifles innovation.
i don't think it's a pretty obvious invention at a time where touch was in its embrio phase, be honest would you have thought about it? why wasn't it invented for the windows mobile os already?
so many assumptions you make. no justification for them - and some are plain wrong.
I guess logic and reasoning is not taught in schools as it was 20 years ago.
anyway, we're all equal in front of the law and a big fat company is entitled to protection of its ip assets as much as anybody (a company is still people d'oh!). apple is all about details in details, of course it's affected by it (not effected). Tell me why it's absurd? Apple made touch appealing to the world & dog and they deserve many of their patents - just as the other phone makers deserve their technical patents. Also, some software patents are defining for an OS or a product and may not be licensed. And, having a big pot of money doesn't mean you don't need protection, kid.
you're not bringing any arguments on how the devs lose out. real smart developers do patent the cool things they do. but of course they have to have "inventions" for that. Being a developer, i don't think any developer who creates really cool stuff wouldn't want to patent original interface elements they create. it's not as expensive as you make it appear, any developer making some money can afford it. it looks you're just naively repeating somebody else's (perhaps misunderstood) opinion. Developers should not copy something they see used in another software product (especially when it has a stroke of genius) unless it's part of the OS they develop for or of the development environment. We're moving towards a society built on software - inventing will happen more and more in this area and will have to be protected.
U.S. Patent Law. a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.
@Loan - The reason it's absurd is because these interfaces, along with many programming algorithms in general, are built almost entirely upon the work of others. What if drag and drop, copy and paste, and clicking icons had been patented, and those owning the rights (rarely the actual developer) only allowed their use in their own company's software? Would the digital world be better off?
By the way, if you're going to take the time to point out my one typo, at least make some attempt at using proper capitalization and sentence structure in your own post. I'm seeing at least seventeen words that should have been capitalized, but weren't. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt though, and assume English isn't your native language, and that you're stuck typing on an iPhone in some Dutch courtroom.
hmmm. maybe not better off, but we'd certainly have more variety in how the software works. the interface we're talking about here is new in design - why do you think is built on the work of others (again not providing proof here)? of course patents must be carefully awarded, i'm not denying that. but the patent system works - and please think further than software.
it's a personal choice (we already have the punctuation so why capitals for forums - we're informal here). an iphone would capitalise the first word in a sentence, right? maybe other phones don't but even my windows phone 7.0 did that.
since that other guy grilled me for not pasting the european text for purpose of patent, i just found something you might like:
Under the European Patent Convention (EPC), patents are granted only for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step and are industrially applicable. An invention meets these requirements if it:
was not known to the public in any form,
is not obvious to a person skilled in the art, and
can be manufactured or used industrially.
Discoveries, mathematical methods, computer programs and business methods as such are not regarded as inventions. Surgical and therapeutic procedures, diagnostic methods and new plant or animal varieties are completely excluded from patentability.
The EPC does not recognise inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to 'ordre public' or ethical principles. These include, for example, means of cloning human life or the use of human embryos for commercial or industrial purposes.
"i don't think it's a pretty obvious invention at a time where touch was in its embrio phase, be honest would you have thought about it? why wasn't it invented for the windows mobile os already?"
It's more that it's not a particularly useful feature - personally I hate "bounce back". So that's why not everyone would have done it already, but it still doesn't follow that just because someone was first, they should have a monopoly on it. I mean, a grid of coloured icons was done by Amiga in 1985 (and possibly before), does that mean no one else should have that? And it was done on phones before, too (my 2005 feature phone had it, at least).
And even if you argued that if it's not really useful, it's okay for others not to have it, the problem is that that's not what happens. What happens is products getting banned, and Samsung having to give money to Apple. That's less money for our favourite Android devices, more money for future court cases.
(Also note that the other issues discussed in other cases are reasonably viewed as trivial imho.)
i understand you Mark.
The State has to be fair and protect people who invent stuff. you cannot undo the fact that so many infringing devices have been sold and have been used with the bounce back feature (which I love, it gives a feeling of real to the fake world in a portable device). I guess there shouldn't be a lot of money paid to Apple or banning of devices, if Samsung could pull back the feature from the devices. but that is not easy in the loose ecosystem of Android. I also think Samsung doesn't want to invest a lot of money to withdraw the feature (which involves programming, testing, distribution) - so if they settle they'll probably settle below the cost what the roll-out of the feature withdrawal would be. it's all business at this level money / money.
I sympathise with the Android cause, many people feel it's the rebel's choice and I also feel a bit like that, even though I don't use an Android (i still have a faint memory-dislike for apple things - even though I'm exclusively using that at the moment). but it all boils down to the fact the many many features were copied from the iOS when Android was built. in 5 years all these kinks will be ironed and i don't think we'll have so much drama anymore.
...is IMO the way the European patent system appears to be sliding down towards the "retarded" level at which the American patent system is currently sitting.
Ok, in this case I think its borderline for me. I can somewhat, with some difficulty, imagine how anyone would consider the next photo to pop in & pop out to be a specific feature. But patent worthy ?
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they still do compete on product quality. as a small company you can't go to trial with any company that has a claim on a patent related to what you did - it's cheaper to just pay the patent and hope that at some point a bigger company will invalidate it through a trial. You won't be snuffed this way as a small company and you may be able to grow to the point where you can fight back.
there are good things and bad things about this. i find though Europe much better with regards to patents than US, much harder to patent software stuff here (I tried).
The definition of "dike" is:
dike 1 |dīk | noun
1 a long wall or embankment built to prevent flooding from the sea.
2 a ditch or watercourse.
verb (often as adj. diked)
provide (land) with a wall or embankment to prevent flooding.
dyke 1 |dīk| noun
Felled by homo(nym)s, are ye?
dyke1, dike [daɪk]
1. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) an embankment constructed to prevent flooding, keep out the sea, etc.
2. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) a ditch or watercourse
3. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) a bank made of earth excavated for and placed alongside a ditch
4. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) Scot a wall, esp a dry-stone wall
5. a barrier or obstruction
6. (Earth Sciences / Geological Science) a vertical or near-vertical wall-like body of igneous rock intruded into cracks in older rock
7. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Furniture) Austral and NZ informal
a. a lavatory
b. (as modifier) a dyke roll
1. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) Civil engineering an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course
2. (Engineering / Civil Engineering) (tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke
[modification of Old English dic ditch; compare Old Norse dīki ditch]
I read that Samsung have been given 8 weeks to fix the offending devices which include devices running ICS and Jellybean. After the limit - Samsung will be fined the equivalent of $129k (£80k) for every day that they continue to infringe.... The interesting part of course being that the "rubber band" patent may not even be a valid patent - this is the one that was "tentatively" invalidated by the USPTO last month.....
The court has given Samsung 8 weeks to implement the changes before they impose the fine. Damages are still to be decided depending on the profits Samsung made on the affected devices since 2011 Android Authority have a more accurate coverage of the case http://www.androidauthority.com/apple-beats-samsung-dutch-courts-awarded-129000-day-under-certain-conditions-135036/
Usually with inventions, people say "If only I could go back in time with that idea". Here, it's not the idea - rather, I wish I could go back in time, with only the knowledge that trivial UI behaviour could be patented.
Then without even knowing what these particular ideas are, I could simply patent every trivial UI thing I could think of (or rather, more responsibly, simply document it as prior art).
It's certainly one to add to the UI programming workflow from now on:
1. Add GUI element.
2. Write functionality.
3. Link GUI to to functionality by pre-existing standard mechanism (e.g., drag, double-click).
4. Go to the patent office.
Basically the judge meant that Apple products are just very overpriced POS, if they stopped Samsung only for a Gallery swiping patent.
But the larger problem is that Apple's management thinks it's more important to focus on this problem instead of on their own products or their own production problems. Maps is a nightmare, iphone5 is still hard to find. In the meantime, everyone else buy other brands instead of waiting for an Apple.
In the end, it all seems a Pyrrhic victory.
If there was ever any prospect of allowing an Apple product in my house, it has now gone forever.
Most folk are aware that there is precious little to update an Apple product and so the fall off of folk
making another purchase of their goods will be a diminishing one.
Goodbye for ever Apple !
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