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Apple wins key iPad patent case against Samsung

The Local · 9 Sep 2011, 12:35

Published: 09 Sep 2011 12:35 GMT+02:00

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The court, in the western city of Düsseldorf, said Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 computer, a rival to Apple's iconic iPad, had infringed key patent laws.

Presiding judge Johanna Brückner-Hoffmann said there was a "clear impression of similarity" between the Apple and the Samsung products. As an example, she cited the "minimalist, modern form" of the two firms' products, with flat screens and rounded edges.

However, the court limited the sales ban to Germany, despite ruling in a previous judgement that the ban should include all of Europe.

The court noted its authority “to order a Europe-wide ban for a firm headquartered outside the European Union” was only valid “if this firm has a German subsidiary," it said in a statement.

The Korean firm, which denies Apple's argument that it had "slavishly" copied the market-leading iPhone and iPad, had to pull its latest Galaxy Tab 7.7 inch from a major electronics fair in Berlin earlier this week in view of the case.

Industry analysts say that in the fast-moving world of tablet computers, which have a very short shelf-life before being replaced by improved products, even a temporary ban on sales can be fatal.

The two firms are also locked in legal battles in Australia, the United States and Asia. Samsung has responded to Apple's accusations by filing suits of its own in Seoul, asking for a ban on sales of the US firm's products in South Korea.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab, hailed by some in the industry as an "iPad killer," has been a huge-selling rival to the touch-screen phenomenon.

Story continues below…

Despite their prickly competition, the two actually have a close business relationship.

Apple was Samsung's second-biggest client in 2010 after Japan's Sony, accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm's 155 trillion won ($143 billion) annual revenue.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:13 September 9, 2011 by michael4096
"..flat screens and rounded edges.."

slavish copying indeed!
13:23 September 9, 2011 by tueken
"i-staff" is way too expansive, i would prefer to buy the Samsung.
15:21 September 9, 2011 by duckys
This is so funny.... yet... i bought mine from vodafone.de..... !?!?!? Also, you can buy the samsung from Amazon.de....

If you compared the two tablets... there is nothing the same on them... I think the judge must of been a fan boy of Apple...
15:56 September 9, 2011 by ahmdsamir
Is the editor sure about this news? as far as I understand from the German news there were no patents involved. Apple just claims Saumsung violated "geschmuack-muster" rather than any technical or patents issue.
17:55 September 9, 2011 by wood artist
On that basis, VW should sue BMW. I mean, it's obvious. BMW builds cars with four rubber tires, an engine in the front (most models), and even puts the driver's seat and controls in more or less the same places. They also (GASP) have rounded corners and even paint them similar colors.

Good grief! What a joke.

17:55 September 9, 2011 by berfel
What a tacky move by Apple. Exploiting people's short memories. "2001: A Space Odyssey" ... had table computers of similar form.

Is Kubrick going to sue Apple?

More recently, in "Start Trek: The Next Generation" and its offshoots, there are tablet computers "flying" back and forth all the time. They are ubiquitous in that SciFi.

Patents require an "inventive step", don't they? The iPad's form factor isn't inventive. It certainly hasn't been since 1968.
19:27 September 9, 2011 by finanzdoktor
Just great. Was going to switch from the Kindle (oops, it has rounded edges and a flat screen, too) to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. If I do, will it be confiscated at the airport?

By the way, do not most flat screen TVs have rounded corners, which would mean either one of them could bring a law suit against the others!!!! Guess I shouldn't have mentioned that.
22:00 September 9, 2011 by expatriarch
I suspect this was pushed through the German court system because German courts seem to be staffed by insane people. If the look and feel of the Samsung device was too close to the iPad, which it was only in the most banal, shallow way, not even including the dimension of the screen; then look out.... every single other industry. OMG, that BMW looks just like a Mercedes.... it has four wheels, windows in the front, windows in the back and it has an engine and doors. OMG it's such a rip-off and must be stopped by the German courts.

I have a sense that this is a grotesque example of the massive rot of the American patent system that is destroying our innovation splashing over across the Atlantic and infecting naive and sheltered German courts and judicial system. Mark my words, there is a specific reason why Apple brought these suites in German courts; Apple does not do anything uncalculated, especially when there are American lawyers behind it!

You will surly find it surprisingly interesting to listen to a recent episode of This American Life that covered the patent issue. That is what this is an effect of.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack (just hit the play button)
13:00 September 10, 2011 by J-Dub
Apple all have Napoleon syndrome. In the computer world, in case no one has noticed, what have Apple and Microsoft done innovation wise in the last 10-15 years? Nothing. Pretty much all of their innovations came from open source projects that both companies take over and use to make their own profit. Samsung created a tablet that is larger than the iPad, which ticks Apple off. Apple can't stand to lose in the small device market. They also know how feeble-brained German judges are and they are taking advantage of that to monopolize the tablet market. The iPad will eventually fall, as soon as Windows 8 is released on a tablet. When Windows 8 is released, Samsung should develop more tablets and give buyers the option to have a choice of cost-efficient Android or more expensive Windows 8 tablet. Then this would hurt Apple badly. I have said it before and I will say it again...Apple has stolen dramatically from the free open-source community for years and has asked for money for something that is commonly found for FREE...namely the UNIX kernel they use.
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