Judge: Can you tell me which is iPad and which is yours? Samsung lawyer: ‘Not at this distance your honor’

“A U.S. judge said that Samsung Electronic’s Galaxy tablets infringe Apple Inc’s iPad patents, but added that Apple has a problem establishing the validity of its patents in the latest courtroom face-off between the technology giants,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters.

“U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made the comments in a court hearing on Thursday, but has yet to rule on Apple’s request to bar some Galaxy products from being sold in the United States,” Levine reports. “Earlier on Thursday, an Australian court slapped a temporary ban on the sale of Samsung’s latest computer tablet in that country. Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April, saying the South Korean company’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets ‘slavishly’ copies the iPhone and iPad.”

Levine reports, “Koh frequently remarked on the similarity between each company’s tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which. ‘Not at this distance your honor,’ said Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smirk.

Boycott Samsung. We no longer buy Samsung-branded products and advise our millions of readers worldwide to also avoid purchasing Samsung-branded products until they cease stealing Apple’s patented IP.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Sarah,” “Brawndo Drinker,” and “Thomas65807” for the heads up.]

46 Comments

    1. It was good for the cause that Ms Sullivan is a lawyer and not a gadget geek; even from that distance one could tell the iPad from any other device, just by looking at the home button should make it.

      By her answer (‘Not at this distance your honor,’), she was not smart enough to think that if her answer was going to anyway imply the devices are almost identical, why not give it shot and actually pick one of them and say “the one on your left hand your honor”.

      Or probably a little more “aggressive” attempt to get off the hook….. “could you turn them your honor?”.

      Blatantly copying will let you down at some point.

    2. That must’ve been a nightmare moment for that attorney. Nice move by the judge, btw.

      Some manager or director at Samsung messed up when they started down this road. They have the talent and the chops to produce something original. They’re well past the point of being a scrappy 3rd or 2nd world scrappy company attempting to get in the game by hook or crook — they’re a first tier global company now. But they didn’t — they chose to copy.

      The same could be said for GOOG.

    1. Wrong. The judge can’t issue damages or any other remedy (like an injunction) unless Samsung is found to have infringed upon a VALID patent. Because if a patent is invalid, then there is no infringement.

      1. I’m not saying they have the same “classiness”, just as Samsung phones and tablets aren’t in the same “Galaxy” as iPhone and iPad.
        After all, they’re running Windows!

        But they definitely steal the look and features of MBP.

    1. The view from above, including keyboard, is definitely stolen from Apple.

      But from other point views it is not that much, certainly less that some latest notebooks from LG, Asus, Acer, so on.

      1. Make no mistake, though; Honorable Judge Lucy (Haeran) Koh’s heritage cannot be dismissed. For this case, it might (even subconsciously) influence her to give Samsung a very strong benefit of the doubt. Some people might argue (without any proof, obviously) that her decision against any injunction on the basis of patent violation was not so much because she was suspicious of the validity of that patent, but because she gave a bit more latitude to a Korean company.

  1. I’m on Apple’s side here. But the two are different shapes, since the Samsung is wide screen. (See MDN’s photos.) Only an idiot could fail to tell them apart.

    1. That’s the point. A lot of consumers ARE stupid about this sort of stuff. To me its not the patent infringement so much as the near identical look of the item, the UI similarities and packaging. There is very little there that’s original in nature from Samsung. It enrages me to think a company like that merely looks at someone else’s example and then thinks it’s OK to just copy it like it’s no problem. And then feign righteous indignation when called on the carpet about it. Miserable a-holes. BOYCOT SHAMSUNG!!!!

    2. Not sure about the Galaxy but the iPad rotates it’s view to portrait or landscape depending on how you hold it, so it is both “wide screen” and “tall screen”.

    3. turn the screens off, and the last I checked.. there is nothing in the world preventing someone from turning the iPad or Galaxy to be on any side.

      put them side by side, walk 30+ feet back. and the average person would think they are the same.

    4. Just imagine, a lawyer representing Samsung, couldn’t differentiate between the two tablets, what do you expect a non-greek, non-tech news follower and a ordinary consumer to tell the two apart? Take out the SAMSUNG logo, I can safely bet that 90% of consumers would think that the Samsung tablet is produced by Apple. Verdict: Samsung copies Apple’s and rip its IPs and deserves to be banned from every countries on earth.

  2. I find it hard to believe that you can’t see the difference from 10 feet away as the form factor is somewhat different, and you should certainly see where the button is located.

    My guess is Samsung is going to fire that lawyer 😉

    1. actually read the article.

      “At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which. ‘Not at this distance your honor”

      she held one in each hand…. she could have blocked the button with her fingers, be design or accident.

  3. As I have said before:

    As a designer, if I had presented the Samsung product a week after the Apple product was presented in Design School, I have no doubt I would have failed for copying the earlier design.

    1. I don’t know what that means.
      This is not a school project.

      Even to use a photocopier for a mass targeted consumer product, it would take more than couple of weeks. And so, Samsung Galaxy Tablets came months later.

      I’m not arguing against your intended point (that Samsung is a blatant copycat that has failed to demonstrate any sense of ethics and/or shame), just that your Apple’s to oranges comparison isn’t very clear to me.

      Take for instance, HTC’s Prada designed smartphone came out before iPhone that also sported a keyboard free touchscreen design. I think they shipped the phone right after (like within a few weeks) iPhone’s introduction in January 2007, but before iPhone started shipping in June I think. Does that mean, one copied the other? No. You can just simply copy another product in that short amount of time; judges can ask for the development logs and can see the product development process. That takes time, even if you operate a hidden photocopier in the back room.

      1. HTC Prada looks much more like Handspring Visor (a Palm-OS based personal organiser) than an iPhone. Touchscreen devices have been in existence for at least 15 years before iPhone came along. They did need a stylus, though (although you could use your finger, or a fingernail, to navigate).

      2. Just trying to keep it simple.

        I think the analogy is valid. If the second student had access to the first students design during the development of the project, and came out with a project, packaging, and accessories called the “Galaxy” that so closely resembled the earlier iPad then I it seems clear the second project was mostly copied from the first and would not pass in a school environment. Of course, legal systems and school systems are clearly not the same, but in theory at least, the definition of “COPY” is the same.

        If two tablet computers have designs, packaging, and accessories that are very very similar, to the point of being indistinguishable from 10 feet away, as are the iPad, Galaxy, and much of their packaging and accessories, then the likelyhood of copying is high. If the second product is developed by a company that had a manufacturing and supplier relationship with the first company, and therefor had/has access to pre-release designs, then it becomes hard to argue against copying, IMNSHO!

  4. Why would a patent suit involve dissimulation which is deceiving the consumer as to the look and feel of a product. Wouldn’t that properly fall under copyright infringement. A patent infringement suit would entail the plaintiff show that the defendant had incorporated features invented by the plaintiff going beyond look and feel.

    1. Apple has “Design” patents as well as “Utility” patents. The design patents cover look and feel, and are key to the Apple complaint of “Slavish Copying”. Apple uses Utility Patents, Design Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, Non-Disclosure agreements, secrecy, and every other tool at their disposal to protect their IP. Samsung would have never become a Supplier/Manufacturer for Apple without agreeing to keep their secrets, and not to use Apple IP in non-Apple products.

      It seems to me that Samsung thought they were such a key Apple manufacturer/supplier that Apple would not react to their copying of Apple designs. Wrong!!!!!

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