Apple and Samsung Face Off In Court
Tech giants battle over copyrights, patents, designs.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 14th, 2012
n April of last year, Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung, accusing the company of infringing on its patents. Four of the accusations have to do with design patents (two iPhone, one iPad, and one iOS), and the other three are utility patents. And considering Apple has a powerhouse legal team, one might assume that the case would be open and shut, with Apple taking all. But such is the case that Samsung has since countersued, arguing that Apple infringed on five of its patents, two of which have to do with 3G technology, which Samsung licenses out to other companies. So who is right? Which company (theoretically) stole patents?
As it stands, Samsung is demanding that Apple pay a royalty of 2.4% of the "entire selling price" of all of its iOS devices for use of the 3G patents. Apple, however, argues it should only have to pay one penny per each mobile device it sells. Needless to say, the opinions on what the patents are worth differ vastly between the companies.
Best Buy even told Samsung that some customers had returned their Galaxy Tab tablets after realizing that what they bought wasn't an iPad—the designs were so similar.
Apple has released charts detailing just how they think Samsung ripped off the iPhone's design (and if we're imparting our opinion here, it's clear to see that there was at least some inspiration, though the legalese involved in design is a bit hazy to us). Additionally, Apple allegedly has plans to release information from Google, who warned Samsung against ripping off the iPad in 2010. In particular, Google told Samsung that their designs for the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 were too similar to the iPad and even went so far to ask Samsung to make their designs "more distinguishable." Hilariously, Best Buy even told Samsung that customers were returning their Galaxy Tab tablets after realizing they had not bought iPads (now, whether this speaks to the intelligence level of said customers is a different story entirely—read the label, right?).
But enough about Apple's side. Samsung claims that not only did they not get their designs from Apple, but that Apple didn't even use their own designs for the iPhone—Samsung is claiming that Apple stole their design for the iPhone from Sony, and presented an image of an early iPhone design from 2006 that even has a Sony logo on it. Yikes. Apple countered this, though (of course they did) by presenting a prototype from 2005 that they called "Purple," which looks a lot like today's current iPhone 4S.
But perhaps the most interesting thing that's come from these trials isn't a he-said, she-said debate, but images of prototypes of early designs from both companies. For example, early designs of the iPad show a clunky, heavy-looking device that's worlds away from what we now know as the iPad. Other photos show an eight-sided iPhone (which, while hideously ugly, would solve the problem of sharp corners hitting the ground and the phone being ruined).
As for who will reign supreme in this battle of wits, it's hard to say. We're inclined to guess Apple just based on the company's rampant popularity and legal team that we'd never want to meet up with, but Samsung may have a few tricks up its sleeves.
Who do you think stole patents from whom?
[Main image from 7ozo.com]