Apple’s thermonuclear war on Android

“The case of Apple v. Samsung shows no sign of abating,” Paul M. Barrett reports for Businessweek. “Apple returned in February to the federal courthouse in San Jose to sue Samsung again, claiming the Korean manufacturer ‘slavishly copied’ Apple. An unrelenting recidivist, in Apple’s portrayal, Samsung has ‘continued to flood the market with copycat products, including at least 18 new infringing products released over the last eight months.'”

“The battle also signals a broader conflict pitting Apple against multiple mobile-device manufacturers in some three dozen legal and regulatory actions pending in 10 countries,” Barrett reports. “Beyond Samsung, Apple’s notable antagonists include Motorola Mobility and HTC. As Silicon Valley sophisticates underscore, however, the phone and tablet makers are mere proxies for another foe—Android, the operating system Google gives away to manufacturers. Google employs a come-one, come-all business model radically at odds with Apple’s and, in the late Steve Jobs’s view, existentially threatening to his company.”

Barrett reports, “In the last 18 months of his life, Jobs, who died on Oct. 5 at age 56, was obsessed with crushing Android. He explained to his authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson, that the litigation against device manufacturers was meant to communicate an unmistakable message: ‘Google, you f–king ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off. Grand theft.’ Jobs swore he would ‘spend my last dying breath’ and ‘every penny’ in Apple’s coffers ‘to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.'”

Much more in the extensive full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In the full article, Barrett reports: Several Asian manufacturers were noodling around with similar-looking rectangular smartphones before the iPhone came to market. Tipping its hat to a fellow Korean manufacturer, Samsung notes that in 2006, nearly a year before the iPhone appeared, LG Electronics (066570) announced the round-cornered LG Chocolate, with ‘virtually all of the [external] [design] features Apple claims’ to have patented.

Regarding “prior art,” “trade dress,” and patented software UI design and features: The world is not copying the LG Chocolate. The world is copying the iPhone, outside and inside, because Apple has invested considerable treasure in R&D, marketing, manufacturing, retailing, etc. Copying the iPhone in order to peddle it to the world’s ignoranti is theft. The copycats are riding for free on Apple’s considerable innovation and investment.

If courts rule that Samsung, for example, is free to copy the look of the iPhone because of “prior art,” then the courts are wrong. It’s not that the rectangle with rounded corners existed before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket, it’s that Apple made the rectangle with rounded corners immensely valuable. Likewise for the iOS elements and features that Android has shamelessly stolen. Nobody is ripping off the LG Chocolate’s look or feel. They are ripping off the iPhone in order to sell their own wares. That is theft. Makers of pretend iPhones, iPads, and pretend iOSes are stealing from Apple.

In this case, it’s quite appropriate to ask “What would Steve Jobs do?” Would Steve Jobs slavishly copy another company’s successful products in order to move as many units as he could? No, he wouldn’t. Because Steve Jobs took pride in his work.

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

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
J.D. Power: Apple ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction for 7th consecutive time – March 16, 2012
Samsung suffers second and even more important FRAND defeat to Apple in the Netherlands – March 14, 2012
Aftershocks from Android market share dive rumble through mobile market – January 31, 2012
ABI: Apple iPhone tops smartphone market as Android suffers its first decline in share – January 27, 2012
These charts will make the Fandroids want to puke – January 26, 2012
Apple’s iOS passes Google’s Android to take U.S. smartphone market share crown – January 25, 2012
Analyst: Verizon’s record iPhone sales signal waning demand for Google Android phones – January 24, 2012
Steve Jobs: ‘I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product; I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this’ – October 20, 2011

43 Comments

    1. As MDN has already very clearly explained: It’s not the rectangle with rounded corners existed long before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket, it’s that Apple made the rectangle with rounded corners immensely valuable. Likewise for the iOS elements and features that Android has shamelessly stolen. Nobody is ripping off the LG Chocolate’s look or feel. They are ripping off the iPhone in order to sell their own wares. That is theft. Makers of pretend iPhones, iPads, and pretend iOSes are stealing from Apple.

      1. Hey Brawndo, what’s with the daily plug for Carl Karcher?

        [brought to you by McDonald’s]

        {Note: See: I didn’t slavishly copy Brawndo’s style. I changed it a bit as all can clearly see! -Sam Sung}

    1. Thank you. In the interest of intellectual inquiry and wanting to form my own opinion rather than simply swallowing what others tell me, I found myself curious as to what an LG Chocolate looked like as well. I think those giving robbo a hard time might have missed his/her point, possibly even spectacularly. Now folks can jump on me….

      1. What the LG looks like (or dosen’t look like) is meaningless because:

        “It’s not the rectangle with rounded corners existed long before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket, it’s that Apple made the rectangle with rounded corners immensely valuable. Likewise for the iOS elements and features that Android has shamelessly stolen. Nobody is ripping off the LG Chocolate’s look or feel. They are ripping off the iPhone in order to sell their own wares. That is theft. Makers of pretend iPhones, iPads, and pretend iOSes are stealing from Apple.”

      2. There’s this thing called the Internet and if you search – LG Chocolate, you can see numerous pics. Try it and be amazed!!!

        Apple is not suing Samsung for their entire product line only the products that look almost exactly like Apple’s.

      3. Yes, because I’m sure you and robbo are both using a browser that only has access to MDN and has no access to search engines to see what it looked like.

        Also, you appear to be falling for Samdung’s fallacy that Apple’s complaint is focused on the iPhone’s shape.

        Also, the LG Chocolate Touch came out AFTER the iPhone. The original LG Chocolate that Samsung is referencing looked like this (I know you don’t have access to a search engine, so I did it for you and robbo):

        Yep, that looks just like an iPhone. Looks more like a Zune phone to me.

        1. LG should sue Apple! Clearly Apple “slavishly” copied the LG Chocolate when they designed the original iPod. The fact that the iPod was not a phone does not change a thing. Theft is theft!

          1. Wrong. LG was clearly designing the original Chocolate to look like an iPod. iPod is the device that popularized the ‘square with round corners’ design language though there were definitely some mobile phones with this basic shape many years back… for example, look at early Nokia designs like 2110 which had this shape (plus external antenna of course).

  1. Thermonuclear? So far, Apple has hit Android with marshmallows and Google is enjoying every bite it takes. Apple hasn’t seemingly done anything worthwhile in slowing down Android smartphone sales. Android activations are higher by the day, I think already surpassing the million unit mark. Oracle has done even less in gaining any advantage over Android and will probably end up paying Google instead of the other way round.

    Only Microsoft has made any money from Android which is quite a twist. Apple should probably do the same thing to get at least a bit of dignity out of these so far useless lawsuits. Google and partners are laughing at Apple and Oracle and proving that crime does pay.

    1. It takes longer to do it right. If you want to take the easy way like Microsoft, you just sue for some money. Suing for money is faster because then it’s just like the other company purchased it from you. Apple doesn’t want to sell iOS or sell the design of the iPhone/iPad. They want to destroy Android. Destroying another product takes longer.

      Oracle is doing something similar. As crazy as Larry Ellison may be, in some ways he’s a lot like Steve. He’s not gonna sell Java to the company that tried to steal it.

    2. They are clearly not doing the litigation directly for money, but they ARE doing it to preserve value, as their intellectual property is the main thing that made ’em the world’s most prosperous company. They can’t let this IP thing slide – look what happened with the Mac GUI. Right, Microsoft ripped it off and became the world’s most prosperous company in the 90s.

    3. It’s not for lack of trying that Apple hasn’t been able to make Google pay: it’s the laughably inefficient courts. The Samsungs drag their feet in procuring court documents, file inane counterclaims (that have yet to hold up in a single case) and otherwise keep peddling their knock-offs while the spirit of intellectual property gets it in the pooper. I can’t anticipate under what scenario Oracle will owe Google money. They may not get $3 billion, but they will get something. Not sure where you were coming from on that one.

      Apple invokes intellectual property in the spirit that IP was meant to be used: to protect their innovations. Apple has also won a number of judgments against Android OEMs, thereby validating their approach, so I don’t know what “dignity” you’re referring to. If crime pays, it’s not a reflection of the right thing to do. Your assertion that Microsoft’s “doing it right” leads me to believe you don’t know how Apple operates.

  2. Funny how MDN’s take is being quoted by everyone as gospel.

    Firstly, I do believe Android has infringed on Apple – a lot. However, claiming Apple is in the clear because everyone is copying Apple and nobody wanted to copy LG is simply flawed thinking in the legal sense.

    If LG had patents and if it is determinded that Apple used their patented information unlawfully, then they infringed. The success or desirability of the LG Chocolate has nothing to do with the matter.

    What if Android killed Apple? Would they be in the clear because now everyone wants an Android?

    The blinders some of you wear are extremely strong.

    1. You’ve missed the point. The only similarity with the LG was the rounded corner. No one would look at the LG and think “iPhone”. No one was copying the LG. When you look at the Samsung stuff, you think “iPhone” because Samsung copied the hell out of the iPhone.

      Samsung is just trying to muddy the waters by saying “hey there were other phones with rounded corners” as if thats the only thing that makes their phones look like iPhones. It’s a whole package, a look and feel thing. They did the same thing with tablets, saying there was a tablet like device in Space Odyssey 2001 that might have looked something like the iPad.

      1. That’s not the point I’m making. I agree they look almost nothing alike. My point is that success or popularity should not have anything to do with the determination of whether a patent has been infringed upon or not. MDN’s take implies that only wildly successful products should be able to hold meaningful patents, which any judge (or person with common sense) would laugh at.

        1. I don’t think that was the implication. From reading their take I got the idea that the success of the iPhone was the motivation for the theft and the reason such theft was more believable. The only reason I felt they were stating how successful the iPhone was, is to illustrate how likely it was that Samsung was in fact stealing the design. You wouldn’t steal if it wasn’t likely to get you some profit.

  3. When Apple stops Samsung from having anything to do with Apple (like manufacturing) THEN I’ll believe them!

    Until then it’s the old case of lawyers making money for themselves.

  4. What this war is all about is THEFT, STUPIDITY, IGNORANCE and PROPAGANDA.

    The fact remains that when Apple demoed the iPhone there was nothing even remotely close in existence.

    By now the Goorgle shills have flooded the nets with their false propaganda that Apple stole from Xerox and Android.
    NOTHING

    So nice try ASSHOLES!

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    The strafing air blood raid

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    Supreme art of strategy
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    Indication of triumph
    The numbers that are dead

    Sport the war, war support
    The sport is war, total war
    When victory’s really massacre
    The final swing is not a drill
    It’s how many people I can kill

    Sport the war, war support
    The sport is war, total war
    When victory’s really survival
    The final swing is not a drill
    It’s how many people I can kill

    Be dead fiend from above
    When darkness falls
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    Your fallen walls
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    Flanked all around
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    Deep in the Rhine
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    All battles scored
    What is our war crimes
    Era forever more

    …War

    Propaganda war ensemble
    Burial to be
    Bones shining by the night
    In blood laced misery
    Campaign of elimination
    Twisted psychology
    When victory is to survive
    And death is defeat

    Sport the war, war support
    The sport is war, total war
    When this end is a slaughter
    The final swing is not a drill
    It’s how many people I can kill

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