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elbanditoroso's avatar

On Friday, Apple won their lawsuit against Samsung claiming that Samsung infringed Apple patents on tablets and smartphones. What does this say?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30462points) August 26th, 2012

First, I don’t think that the $1 billion award by the jury will stand – this is going to be appealed and Apple is never going to collect anywhere near that amount.

But here’s my question: if Samsung is basically copying Apple (which is what the lawsuit said), then why in the world would I ever want to buy an Apple? I can buy a Samsung at half the price and it looks and operates the same (according to the lawsuit). Why would I pay double for the same thing?

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11 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

@elbanditoroso You’re talking like a typical shopper picking chinese made appliances off the shelf at Walmart – or buying the chinese made knock off parts at your local auto parts dealer.

Sadly you are in the majority. .... and the spiral continues.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The two smartphones really aren’t as similar as the lawsuit says that they are. Lawsuits like this typically involve really unimportant design patents that do not have much of an effect on the quality of the device. In my opinion, some of the things involved in this lawsuit shouldn’t be patent-able in the first place.

The whole point of this lawsuit is that Apple is trying to slow down the competition. Most of the lawsuit involves Apple claiming that the Samsung phones look too much like an iPhone, not that is operates like one. Samsung is counter-suing Apple, trying to do the same thing.

The patents involved things such as the phone being a rectangle with rounded corners, that swiping downward causes the page to “bounce” and refresh, and the arrangement of app icons on the screen. Both companies claim that the other company is copying the “look and feel” of their products, causing it to lose customers.

In my opinion, this shouldn’t influence your decision to buy one over the other, since the lawsuit has nothing to do with anything that influences the quality of the phone!

Here is a list of all of the patents involved, but the legal-speak is ridiculously hard to sort through.

ragingloli's avatar

Apple wants a monopoly on rounded rectangles.
It is like BMW suing Mercedes over the design “car with 4 wheels”.
It is completely ludicrous and repulsive, and the jury’s decision is completely baffling and devoid of any kind of common sense or moderation. But hey, Samsung is a foreign company, the enemy, and sued one of “their own”. So I guess that decision could have been predicted.

DominicX's avatar

It’s interesting that the HP Envy 15 laptop is a much closer rip-off of an Apple product than Samsung’s Galaxy, but Apple’s not going to bother going after a company that isn’t near as valuable as Samsung is…

jerv's avatar

This was never about the money. It also points out some of the issues inherent in intellectual property laws; there are certain things that should remain proprietary, but others that should be public domain. Round wheels and pinch-to-zoom are two of those things. But Apple is Jobs’ company, and even though he is no longer around, that doesn’t mean that Apple is going to stop it’s war against Android or it’s rabid protection ot’s alleged uniqueness anytime soon. Hell, since the iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone) are the only things where Apple has more than a small fraction of the market share, they will likely be more vicious trying to retain their leads in those areas.

And that is a loss for us all. They want to be the only innovator, and they seek to do that by stifling competition and therefore innovation. In the long term, that will only hurt them as they stagnate and become what they always accused their competitors of being.

@DominicX Apple cannot “negotiate” better prices on vital chips from HP; it’s Samsung that supplies them with what they need to make their best-selling products. Sure, Apple has tried to obtain their own chip supplier to cut off that dependency, much as they bought he company that made Siri (and then axed the Siri versions for all non-Apple products) but for the moment, Apple relies on Samsung, and much like the tensions between the US and the Middle East over oil, they don’t like having an enemy have them by the short hairs.

mazingerz88's avatar

It probably says, if a company beat you to a certain way of manipulating screens like pinch to zoom etc., maybe you should come up with doing it differently, especially if the complaining company warned you in advance of a possible future litigation?

I don’t understand the difficulties or the ease of coming up with a different way of executing such things but the patent universe exist for a reason and therefore needs to be respected, imo. I don’t know if the tech issues in contention are patented by Apple. If it is, why would Samsung even proceed with using the same tech?

Of course it stifles proliferation of certain innovative styles but shouldn’t Samsung not have copied and innovated a novel way to do it themselves or bought it from someone else maybe?

If Samsung gambled, violated a patent rule in the hopes that they could win in court battle, well, they risk losing and that’s what happened.

glacial's avatar

It means that Apple has a short memory.

jerv's avatar

@mazingerz88 Good luck with those square tires.

tom_g's avatar

Anyone want to buy an iPad 2? I have only spit on it twice.

filmfann's avatar

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak got their start up money for Apple from building black boxes that defrauded AT&T on long distance calls. If I were a lawyer for AT&T, I might consider suing, claiming that Apple should belong to AT&T, since they were the product of that fraud.
That kind of thing would never work, and the public would hate it, but I think AT&T would have a point. and it wouldn’t do my stock value any harm…

jrpowell's avatar

What Samsung did was pretty much the same as saving the source of a webpage and editing in your words in their design and publishing it.

They could have at least used a different color for the icon to call someone. Green doesn’t really scream “Call someone”. They didn’t even try. They could have used blue.

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