back to article Apple Schill-er: 'I was shocked - SHOCKED! They went and copied the iPhone'

This week saw the return of the big US patent trial that was once a resounding $1bn victory for Apple and is now a long-running, achingly irritating waste of everyone's time. Nevertheless, they continue to spar in courts all over the world, making lawyers rich instead of spending all their money on actual innovation. This week …


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  1. Pahhh

    Pathetic lawsuit

    Pathetic lawsuit from Apple who as far as I am concerned have done very little innovation. They do however do a lot of great designs.

    In case you think I'm another Apple hating pundit, then yes you are right. However, I do like their devices and own several iPhones, iPads, Apple TV (that is actually shit), Mac, 4 of their WiFi boxes, iTouch.

    The company is still despicable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pathetic lawsuit

      The irony os that is you regard they have done little innovation (something that I would dispute) but yet Samsung felt the need to copy it. Which is more 'despicable' the company or the company that (then) copies them?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Except of course

      2. Pahhh

        Re: Pathetic lawsuit

        Really..... get a life.

        Rounded corners and a few visual cues don't make innovation. The idea behind a touch screen PDA Phone is older than Apple iPhone. Check Palm etc for earlier phone/PDA devices. Sony dropped their PDA and bought Ericsson with a press release saying they didnt think there was a market for pure PDA.

        Apple stepped in at the right time. Batteries were better, screens were better, mobile cpus were great. On top the technology and Jobs relentless in getting the format he wanted. Thats good , no great design but not innovation.

        How exactly did Samsung copy Apple? Oh they made it rectangular with round corners. Big DEAL.

        I LIKE APPLE DEVICES, no question, spent $$$$$ on their stuff and not complaining.

        But wont except that Apple have been innovators , ever. All they have ever done is take ideas from other places and do a better job than other people . Started with their iMac being a copy of Xerox Palto Alto Labs innovation.

        1. Youngdog

          Re: Pathetic lawsuit

          While copying is a serious accusation it is pretty clear the direction the Android UI and Samsung handset designs both took changed radically after the iPhone's launch

          It could be argued that the new tech you mention available at the time allowed them to rethink their original ideas but it does seem pretty obvious where they found thier inspiration.

          1. dieselbug

            Re: Pathetic lawsuit

            Yeah, and Apple didn't copy Nokia (or Lotus Notes) chiclets when they "developed" the iPhone look and feel

            1. Youngdog

              Re: Pathetic lawsuit

              Are you talking about the Nokia 7770 by chance? Tell me how the iPhone copied it tell me how. If not - bothered

        2. conix67

          Re: Pathetic lawsuit

          I suggest people look at the first smartphones released by Samsung after iPhone became popular. Most unsuspecting consumers couldn't tell the difference. I'm getting sick of these BS arguments people put up without even looking at those phones themselves and going by what's described in court documents. Samsung knows better than anyone else, that they did copy iPhone, at least in the beginning. Since then, they have been trying very hard to differentiate theirs from the rest, including iPhone, which is what they should have done in the first place.

          1. Youngdog

            Re: Pathetic lawsuit

            I suspect the two who voted you down did the same to me. I'd rather be honest and disliked than popular and wrong. Have a like from me.

          2. dieselbug

            Re: Pathetic lawsuit

            Go look at Nokia phones in the 90s/early 00s. You'll find where Apple got their "inspiration" from . They are not, and never will be, innovators. They are just like Sony, Samsung and the rest - they refine someone else's ideas and sell them as their own. The difference is they have the USPTO on their side (and in their pockets - they get patents for "ideas" that obviously is copied from prior art)

            1. Quantum Leaper

              Re: Pathetic lawsuit

              Apple has been an Innovator but the problem is when Woz left so did the Innovation.

          3. PsychicMonkey

            Re: Pathetic lawsuit

            "Most unsuspecting consumers couldn't tell the difference"

            really? cause the large apple or words "Samsung" didn't make them look different?

            If you can't tell them apart you must be a muppet.

        3. ptmmac

          Re: Pathetic lawsuit

          Your final comment shows you just have not spent very much time getting the facts first. One old saw my Mom posted not the fridge was " Get the facts first, you can distort them later".

          Apple paid Xerox to allow them to see the prototype in their labs by giving them a portion of their stock worth several million dollars when the company went public. That is not stealing, and the iMac was a product introduced in 1997 not in 1985 when the Mac with the first mouse was unveiled. Making a better design is the type of innovation that the patent system was invented for. The OS introduced with the Mac had many features that were not used by the prototype at Xerox.

          Apple did in fact come up with the first phone that allowed full web page viewing because of pinch to zoom. The use of swipes and a multitouch type of screen gave Apple plenty of ammunition to patent. Just because you don't understand how patents work and believe me you are not alone, does not make your assertion that Apple patented rounded corners correct. Your review of all these errors that are so common in blogs on the internet makes you either an astroturfer or at best a naive repeater of their comments who can't tell the difference between facts and falsehoods.

      3. Matthew 25

        Re: Pathetic lawsuit

        That is not what he said, or really what the law suit is about. Samsung have copied the look and feel of the iDevices, and he said he likes the design elements of Apple devices enough to shell out his hard earned.

        If you look into it, everything that Apple have innovated already existed before, and they copied it. What Apple are really great at is packaging other peoples' innovations in products people want to buy.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Pathetic lawsuit

          To be fair, Apple's claims to be an innovator are primarily outside court. Inside court it merely establishes that it holds design patents and that argue that the defendant infringed on those patents, which they usually have because the patent system allows ridiculously broad design patents. Apple then throws in that the patents were copied maliciously, specifically to usurp the iPhone, because that works in their favour for quantification of damages.

          You can dislike the people at Apple for the smugness of their advertising, and you can dislike them for the cynicism of their legal manoeuvres but you're disliking them for two separate reasons.

          If you're anything like me you can even dislike them for those things but still rank them in the top half of the tech industry as Apple's sins have a much more diffuse effect on the market and on individual consumers than the classic villains.

      4. h3

        Re: Pathetic lawsuit

        Samsung has done much more useful things. (i.e in Screens / Flash Memory / Even SoC's).

        Apple wants to be a fashion accessory how about they have the same rules as fashion has. (i.e you cannot copy the name but the rest is fair game).

        Apple has never been in the business of actually doing much of any real benefit to the world.

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  3. ukgnome

    Speaking as a recent apple convert....

    This is a sham, Google never copied Apple

    Android devices are poop compared to the refined Apple user experience

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Speaking as a recent apple convert....

      @ukgnome: I do not own Apple equipment, so can't comment on the user experience. If it is as superior as you say, Apple will be taking market share from Samsung and the other Android based devices, and have no need to seek monopoly rents based on a broken patent environment.

      On the other hand, the dominance of the Androids is powerful evidence that the overwhelming majority of purchasers value the lower-priced "poop" more than the golden "user experience" - at the time they sign a contract. Two years on we will know from the sales figures whether they changed their minds. For whatever it's worth, my (Verizon) Android serves me satisfactorily, and having recently moved to a new city I find the map and navigation applications especially useful.

  4. jungle_jim

    I really

    want to go out drinking with Ballmer

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really

      Dear Sirs

      Do you have a photograph showing that a man of Mr Ballmer's experience can find that life continues after retirement etc etc?

  5. Longrod_von_Hugendong


    I think people might be mixing up Bill Gates' tears of sadness with tears of joy, i think a lot of people will have tears of joy come the day.

    Problem is for Samsung and Google is - here is a pre iPhone android / Samsung phone - holds up ugly crap phone(s) and here is one after iPhone... the case speaks for itself....

    Its like America figuring out how to go to the moon, its hard the fist time - you have to figure it all out. but then once the good ideas are out there its easy.

    Same with phone and tablet design, the hard bit is making it work, once you have that idea its easy, and Samsung should pay up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm....

      That Samsung phone did look bloody similar to the iPhone... but on the subject of whether it 'confused potential customers', my old man still sees any touch-screen smartphone and asks "Is that an iPhone?". It's almost as if, in the mainstream press at the time, the iPhone became a 'Hoover'. He has the cash to buy any phone or tablet without thinking, and unlike many readers here he doesn't have the inclination to learn how to use the device (he even considers 'swipe to answer a call' a hassle)- he is as representative of a smartphone buyer as are the digitally literate readers of the Reg - maybe more so, because if a device pisses him off he just buys another one in the hope it behaves better.

      What he really wants is a phone just like his old candy bar Nokia (size, shape, battery life), but has big maps on it (a physical impossibility, I know).

      1. william 10

        Re: Hmmm....

        I would say the first Samsung phone looked like a Sony phone with design influences taken from Braun - just like the first Iphone. In this whole battle people have forgotten that Sony / Nokia / Samsung where already in the the feature(smart) phone business they just lacked a little bit of extra refinement that Steve Jobs managed to bring (there was nothing radical in the first Iphone).

    2. Cryo

      Re: Hmmm....

      So, Apple made a smartphone that looked nice, so no one else is allowed to make a smartphone that looks nice? The iPhone was little more than a PDA with a phone built in, which had been done before. They just packaged it up to look nice and be a bit more consumer-friendly. If we get into their claims that aspects of their user interface were "stolen" by their competitors, it should be noted that Apple's own company was largely built on copying OS features "borrowed" from others. If it were some small company having their product design copied by a big company, I could see, but an industry-leading corporation should expect their competitors to iterate off of their product designs. It makes for a healthy, competitive market in which the consumer wins.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm....

      "like America figuring out how to go to the moon, its hard the fist time - you have to figure it all out"

      Well, it's not like they had a lack of inspiration .....

      The first man-made object to reach the Moon was

      the unmanned Soviet probe Luna 2,

      which made a hard landing on September 14, 1959.

      The far side of the Moon was first photographed on October 7, 1959

      by the Soviet probe Luna 3.

      Luna 9 was the first probe to soft land on the Moon and transmit pictures

      from the Lunar surface on February 3, 1966.

      The first artificial satellite of the Moon was the Soviet probe Luna 10

      launched March 31, 1966.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm....

        Ah, I see you've fallen for the classic logical error there. As a result of many conversations with merkins, I can put you straight. Lust because the Soviets got:

        The first artificial satellite in space

        First animal in space

        First man in space

        First woman in space

        First lunar orbiter

        First lunar landing

        First Venus probes

        First photograph from the surface of another planet

        there are NO Russian footprints on the moon, therefore the Soviet space program was a steaming pile of shit, while the US space program, which dedicated itself for 10 years to the single task of getting a man to walk on the moon to the exclusion of just about anything else, was victorious and, mor importantly, the US WON!!

        Of course, it's easier to win a race when you decide afterwards what the goal was, and make sure your competitors aren't taking part in the same race.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmm....

          "Just because the Soviets got... First animal in space"

          That's incorrect.

          The first animals in space were fruit flies launched in a V2 rocket by the US in 1947, and they were recovered alive.

          They followed this up with a monkey in 1949, and various monkeys and mice throughout the 1950's.

          The Soviets had the first animal into orbit, Laika in Sputnik 2, in 1957... they had put several dogs into space before this, starting in 1951, and some of them had even survived the journey.

          Source: a close relative works at the National Space Centre in Leicester, so I get to go and look around the exhibits fairly often!

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm....

            You are of course, sir, absolutely correct. I keep getting 'space' and 'orbit' mixed up. Rather like that nice Mr Branson and his Virgin Galactic starship thingy

  6. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    What mobile providers in US need ....

    .... is proper insurance scandal. Just like PPI here in UK. That would teach'em.

  7. My backside

    Really bad

    Worst. Article. Ever. Written. Period.

  8. avlisk

    Everyone does it

    If copying other companies' products was a crime, Microsoft's Windows would be a footnote in computer history. They've been chasing Apple's OS for years. Get over it, Apple, it's the way of the computer world. You'll always be copied as long as you continue putting out the best products in the market.

    1. conix67

      Re: Everyone does it

      In case you did not know, it wasn't like Apple didn't do anything about Microsoft Windows copying Apple OS. Apple shot themselves in their foot on this one, so they couldn't do anything about it. Back then these two companies worked together, and one of the most surprising fact is that the lead developer of successful Windows (2.0) is the Mac OS advocate but Microsoft employee sent to Apple to work closely with Apple on Microsoft office products.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everyone does it

        I personally believe that Dave Cutler of VMS / NT fame was more significant

    2. Quantum Leaper

      Re: Everyone does it

      You forgot to say, Apple copies Xerox who had already Copied Douglas Engelbart. Microsoft all they did was a copy a copier who had copied something. You have to remember who invented the Mouse and why it was invented. To use the NEW GUI was being designed.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everyone does it

      "You'll always be copied as long as you continue putting out the best products in the market"

      In which case they had better start doing so, and they will have nothing to fear from the other companies.

  9. GuildenNL

    US Patent System is Pathetic

    I ran across a patent granted to Apple last year regarding call center telephony. Problem is that it was 100% the same as one granted to Genesyslabs back in the late 90's. I informed Genesys and prodded them to attack Apple if they didn't retract the patent and inform the Patent Office of their huge mistake.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The irony

    The irony considering OSX' core is stolen from NetBSD, FreeBSD and BSD (

    Or how they stole the mouse from Xerox. ( - Don't believe it and want to go with mythbusting? That's fine too as long as you stand by Job's counter for stealing the mouse that it was commercially available and in the public domain and you can't steal that (oh, just oozing with irony) (

    Or...shall I go on? The list is rather long, actually.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The irony

      How can you steal BSD licensed software? It's entirely open you idiot. And what you say is completely wrong anyway. Read this, numbnuts;

      For the last fucking time. Doug Englebart invented the mouse. He didn't work for Xerox or PARC. IDEO designed and developed the mouse used with the Lisa and Macintosh for Apple. Watch this, doofus;


      1. Quantum Leaper

        Re: The irony

        The Youtube video is from 1968, 8 years BEFORE Apple was founder (1976). So Steve had to first invent the Tardis to go back in Time to ask Doug do invent the mouse for them????

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The irony

          I know! That's why I posted it; to make that exact point!

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: The irony

      I think you've got a very peculiar definition of stolen. E.g. the BSD authors want other people to reuse their code in any way that it proves useful. They're probably very happy that Apple uses their code.

      To put it another way: if Apple "stole" the mouse despite it being implemented widely by others earlier then it follows that Samsung did "steal" multitouch, etc from Apple. If what Samsung did was reasonable then Apple's use of the mouse was also reasonable. You can't have it both ways.

      It is, at worst, hypocrisy rather than irony.

    3. Quantum Leaper

      Re: The irony

      Xerox didn't invent the Mouse, Doug got there before them, Xerox just copied it.

    4. ptmmac

      Re: The irony

      You can't steal open source kernels. Apple paid xerox for the tour of their labs with several million $ worth of Apple stock. Perhaps you should work on your facts.

  11. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    When The iPhone was released...

    I was shocked.

    I remember saying "HP are gonna sue their asses"

    I guess HP felt that Apple stealing the 'i' from iPaq for use on the 'i' in iPhone was not a strong enough case. It's a shame Apple don't have their sense of shame.

    1. OrsonX


      oh yes!

      I thought Apple had invented the iThing, good point!

      Did Apple pay off HP?

    2. menotu

      Re: When The iPhone was released...

      Arrogance and Elitism don't recognize the word shame.

  12. markusgarvey
    Thumb Up

    i like my S4 because it's not an iPhone...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cool story, bro.

  13. 080

    Good old fashioned Iphone

    Since these cases started the world of smartphones has moved on considerably, all this is history, get over it Apple and start copying some of the better modern smartphones from LG, Sony, Sammy that are far better looking than the old iPhone bricks.

  14. Pahhh

    Dont forget the iPhone name

    Forget the iPaq , Apple's use of the iPhone was a major copyright infringement. It was originally owned by Cisco. Apple used it and then had to clear it up later.

    Cisco actually were quite reasonable about it. Contrast this with how Apple tries to sue anyone that has an "I" in the product name. Again , despicable company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dont forget the iPhone name

      The trouble with looking and reading like The Sun is that you attract the same kind of numbskulled readership. Apple are suing companies that use the word Apple you dick.

      1. Pahhh

        Re: Dont forget the iPhone name

        Brings me to the root of the Apple name too, owned by Apple the record label. The Beatles' record label.

        They was an agreement that Apple computers could use the Apple brand as long as they didn't go near the music industry. And of course Apple computers did with first the use of MIDI for music sequencing and then the iTunes store.

        Apple uses trademarks, concepts and designs from other companies, always has and continues to do so. I think evolving ideas and concepts is ok and that doesn't really bother me that Apple has done this. What annoys me is how hypocritical they when they legislate over quite trivial stuff.

    2. G 14

      Re: Dont forget the iPhone name

      i actually have two of the cisco iphone phones on the work network, rubbish wifi voip handheld that often needs a firmware flash after daylight savings.

  15. Alan Denman

    The day of the lesser spotted iPhone.

    I get the impression that Apple fans are wanting some of this money spent on them rather than making do with old standard Retina phones.

    Apple simply want to halt innovation and give us the same 'old before their time' phone products.

  16. Rick Giles

    Did I miss something?

    "We share a commitment that Microsoft will succeed as a company that makes the world a better place."

    I doubt they'll ever make the world a better place. And if they do, they need to start.

    1. cambsukguy

      Re: Did I miss something?

      They have made the world a better place, at least their money did, and is - large portions went to the Gates foundation.

  17. PaulR79

    About more than money - he lied

    "For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money."

    If that's true then put your unimportant money winnings where your mouth is and donate it all to charities. No? Didn't think so.

  18. theloon

    So now donate it all to charity

    As it's not about patents or profile....and you have more money than God already, do something useful Apple and the entire settlement to worthy causes....

  19. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    I too used Apple kit and longingly look back to a time not so long ago when my MacBook Pro, iPhone and Mac Pro were all wondrously synced and MobileMe did a thoroughly good job.

    I used to have an iPAQ too and wondered how such a small device did so much so very, very well.

    And MS then HP sort of ignored it into obscelecence.

    I've just bought into Android and no have my fingers crossed. It is rather wonderful and I am amazed at the range of functionality for so little squids.

  20. Zack Mollusc

    move on

    Bah! We should abandon these tired old arguments, given Apple's stupendous levels of innovation, in a couple of months there will be a totally new design of iPhone which will blow all current handsets out of the water. Everyone will gasp in awe at the truly original design and welcome the startlingly capable new UI paradigm which allows whole new vistas of opportunity.

  21. Whiznot

    I vow to never buy an Apple product and never run Apple software. I'm just not cool.

  22. Sheep!

    "At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern. Face it: I'm a pattern man who broke Microsoft

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