Apple's Ridiculous Patent Claims Against Samsung Destroyed!

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Tom Keating
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Apple's Ridiculous Patent Claims Against Samsung Destroyed!

Just had an awesome read on the Samsung vs. Apple patent battles and the ridiculousness of it all. For instance, the following is a list of alternative design options that Apple thought Samsung should have considered to not infringe on their patents. First off, the smartphone list that Apple provided, with my comments italicized:
  • Front surface that isn't black. [Really? Seriously? Going after home theater systems next, Apple?]
  • Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners. [What shape is acceptable? Circle tablets? triangle? They could do 'square' I suppose with equal sides, but TV format is 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios - both of which are rectangular - 16:9 being more rectangular than 4:3.]
  • Display screens that aren't centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders. [Just what I always wanted - an off-center tablet screen. Do PC monitors do this? No! It's an obvious engineering choice.]
  • Non-horizontal speaker slots. [So Apple wants Samsung to use vertical speakers? to put decent sized speakers, that would add to the thickness of tablet. Vertically mounted speakers is another obvious choice. Heck my old Windows phone had vertical speakers.]
  • Front surfaces with substantial adornment. [jumpy-laughing-smiley Ha! So Apple wants Samsung to put tons of buttons on their tablet and lots of other pizzazz so it doesn't look "simple" like the iPad with its single button. Fine, add a 2nd button Samsung and make it customizable, i.e. can instantly launch email, Facebook, or some other app. Problem solved!]
  • No front bezel at all. [Let's look at the definition of bezel: 'A grooved ring holding the glass or plastic cover of a watch face or other instrument in position.' Great Apple, so are you going to go after watch manufacturers too which have a front bezel? C'mon!]

On the tablet side, Apple identified a similar list of alternative designs Samsung should use:

  • Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.
  • Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.
  • Front surface that isn't entirely flat.
  • Profiles that aren't thin.
  • Cluttered appearance.
Baekdal does a wonderful job of destroying Apple's patent claims:
The first problem is one of margin. The main reason why every book has a margin, is to allow you to hold the book, while reading, without having your thumb and hand obscure the text. This is a simple readability concern. Without a margin, you would be forced constantly to move you hand out of the way, causing a rather intolerable reading experience.

Also, on a touch based device, you don't want the hand holding the tablet to touch the active part of the screen. That would create a conflict in the software as the tablet would constantly be trying to figure out if you hand is actually touching the page, or just holding the tablet.

The solution to both problems is to create a margin that is exactly the width of your thumb. Any more, and the tablet would be bigger than it needs to be. Any less, and you obscure the content.

Look at the image Baekdal created to demonstrate this point about needing the margins so your hand could hold it without obscuring the screen:
margin-on-tablets.jpg

The first sign of weakness in an argument, including a corporate patent argument is when you exaggerate or make ridiculous claims. Clearly, Apple is feeling the pressure from Android-based smartphones and tablets and isn't happy that others have joined the club, which will drive down Apple's profit margin. I like some aspects of Apple and even like my new Apple iPhone 4S, but when I see companies make ridiculous patent claims, I lose all respect. Wasn't it Bill Gates who said "Innovate or die!". You'd do well Apple to follow that mantra. Rest on your laurels of innovating the iPod, iPhone, and iPad and then simple become a un-innovative patent troll and you will die Apple.


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