US court recently ruled in favour of Apple Inc in it’s lawsuit against Samsung Electronics, where Apple claimed that Samsung was infringing 8 of Apple’s software and design patents with it’s latest smartphone line.
This verdict resulted in a more than $1b fine and subsequent 7% share price drop for Samsung. Ouch!!!
I was interested to know what exactly where these patents that Samsung was said to be infringing.
Knowing how truly “revolutinary and innovative” Apple’s recent products are, I was expecting these patent definitions to be quite amusing.
And I wasn’t disappointed. After several unsuccessful searches, I finally found this great article that clearly listed each of the 8 patents that, Apple claim, were infringed by the evil “copy-cat” Samsung.
I will go trough the 6 of 8 that were found to be infringed by US court, and share some comments on each:
1. Bounce Back. “Apple’s ’381 patent covers the so-called “bounce back” technology. As you can see in the photo on the right, when you get to the top or bottom of a page on iOS, it will pull down (or up) and then “bounce back” into place.”
This is perhaps the most reasonable of the 6, but, in my opinion, still not worthy a patent. If they care to patent a minor user interface gimmic like this, I wonder how many other patents they have for the whole of iOS UI?
2. Single Scroll, Pinch to Zoom. “The ’915 patent covers the use of a single finger to scroll through a page, as well as using two fingers to zoom in and out.”
Let’s put “single finger scroll” aside for a moment and concentrate on “pinch to zoom”.
Was Apple the first to realize that a human being has more than one finger that can be placed simultaniously on a touchscreen surface? Where they first to realize that you can assign zoom function to two simultanously moving touchscreen inputs? I bet they waren’t. But they for sure were first with enough money to go for a patent.
As for “single finger scroll” – you’ve got to be kidding me…
3. Tap to Zoom. “The ’163 patent allows for users to tap the screen of an iOS device twice in order to zoom in and out.”
What about “tap to scroll”, “tap to toggle”, “tap to highlight”, “tap to delete”, “tap to type”, “tap to anything”?
Again – you’ve got to be kidding me…
4. iPhone Front. “Apple’s D’677 design patent covers the front of the iPhone.”
I’ve got to see this “D677″ in detail. I bet it would provide much amusement. There is exactly nothing original about frontal design of an iPhone.
Is any rectangular shaped smartphone/PDA/tablet device with full size touchscreen infringing on Apples “D677″?
5. iPhone Back. “Apple’s D’087 design patent covers the back of the iPhone.”
Only attribute I can think of that is original and unique about the rear of an iPhone is the Apple logo. I don’t recall Samsung Galaxies having that bitten apple anywhere on their back or front side.
If it’s not the logo then it must be the rectangular shape again. Apple now owns rectangles, you shall pay them if you ever make one.
6. iPhone Home Screen. “The D’305 patent covers the iPhone home screen design.”.
Again – what’s so special about a homescreen that has nothing but a grid of icons? Apple might as well sue every hardware and software company that makes use of icons and graphical user interface.
Microsoft – you’re next!
7. Use of Latin letter “i” in naming a consumer electronics product.
OK, they haven’t gone this far yet, but I wouldn’t be very surprized if they did.
You never know what to expect form Apple. $0.6 trillion dollars buys a lot of patents.