Samsung exec whines: Apple’s trying to patent the rectangle!

“The Apple v. Samsung trial that begins in a San Jose federal courtroom on Monday could emerge as the most important patent dispute of the decade. Apple and Samsung are accusing each other of infringing on a number technology patents, while Apple also claims that Samsung’s Galaxy phones and tablets wrongfully copy the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad,” Nathan Olivarez-Giles reports for Wired.

“The outcome of the battle could have far-reaching ramifications across the consumer electronics and mobile industries. Kevin Packingham, Samsung’s Chief Product Officer, knows what’s at stake, having previously worked as an executive at Sprint Nextel before launching a start-up that helped China’s Huawei bring its phones and tablets to the United States,” Olivarez-Giles reports. “Ahead of the trial, Packingham stopped by Wired’s newsroom in San Francisco to talk about Samsung’s role in the ongoing patent wars that have spawned dozens of lawsuits across the globe, involving not only Samsung and Apple, but also HTC, Motorola and Microsoft, among others. For its part, Samsung owns more than 100,000 patents worldwide, so it’s certainly no stranger to the patents game, and all the litigation it involves.‪”

Wired: It seems most of the patents that Samsung is either licensing to other folks, or using against competitors in patent suits, are related more to technology than design — 3G technologies and other wireless technologies, for example. But what’s used against Samsung most often focuses on design. Does Samsung just not have a ton of design patents? Or is it just impossible to patent a rectangular piece of glass with a touchscreen, which every smartphone and tablet has today, and is under dispute in the Apple trial?

Packingham: In terms of patents, we have a made lot of contributions in the design space as well. I would say the patents we’re struggling with — where there’s a lot of discussion and litigation right now — are around these very broad design patents like a rectangle. For us, it’s unreasonable that we’re fighting over rectangles, that that’s being considered as an infringement, which is why we’re defending ourselves.

Hopefully the entire industry is in the position now where we have to defend ourselves and say, “Look, it’s unreasonable for us to be in the position of claiming that there is design, claiming that there is some sort of protected property, around a rectangle.” So I would say, yeah, we have design patents as well, but they’re not as simple as the rectangle. And so that’s where I think you see a little bit of this challenge.

In some cases, for most of us in the industry, it’s defying common sense. We’re all scratching our heads and saying, “How is this possible that we’re actually having an industry-level debate and trying to stifle competition?” Consumers want rectangles and we’re fighting over whether you can deliver a product in the shape of a rectangle.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kevin Packingham is a disingenuous serial trade dress infringer who works for an unethical company run by a convict. He knows this is about more than “rectangles,” but the slavish copier has nothing else, so rather than being smart and saying nothing at all, he makes himself look like an idiotic ass on top of being a blatant knockoff peddler. We’d rather scrape shit at the local sewage plant for minimum wage than have Kevin Packingham’s soul-siphoning job.

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

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

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

Related articles:
Apple: Google warned Samsung against slavishly copying our products – July 25, 2012
Apple v. Samsung jury to learn of Samsung’s destruction of relevant evidence – July 25, 2012
Now Samsung slavishly copies Apple’s Mac mini – June 1, 2012
Samsung Mobile chief ‘designer’ denies that Samsung’s instinct is to slavishly copy Apple – March 23, 2012
Slavish copier Samsung shamelessly steals Apple’s iPhone 3G design – again – January 3, 2012
Slavish copier Samsung uses girl actress from iPhone 4S ad for Galaxy Tab 8.9 spot (with video) – January 2, 2012
Now Samsung’s slavishly copying Apple’s iPad television ads (with videos) – December 30, 2011
Judge: Can you tell me which is iPad and which is yours? Samsung lawyer: ‘Not at this distance your honor’ – October 14, 2011
Why are Apple’s icons on the wall of Samsung’s store? – September 24, 2011
Apple to Samsung: ‘Blatant copying is wrong’ – April 18, 2011
Apple sues Samsung for attempting to copy look and feel of iPhone, iPad – April 18, 2011
Samsung’s ‘Instinct’ is obviously to make Apple iPhone knockoffs – April 1, 2008


  1. This is just plain stupid. I like Apple–I’ve got a house full of Macs, some iPads, some iPods–and have recommended them to friends and family alike. I like them because they work smoothly and because their software is so nicely integrated. But these lawsuits show just how nutty our patent system has become. Rectangles, rounded rectangles have been part of products since the industrial revolution. Patents should never be granted on such obvious details. Patents shouldn’t be granted to software unless there is something really novel going on. Apple and their legions of lawyers are doing just what Microsoft did–trying to win by sucker-punching.

    Apple makes great products. So does Samsung (got a lot of their stuff too). How ’bout real competition instead of following Steve Jobs’ more childish impulses?

    1. Welcome To MDN, Mikey (Troll #354887)

      “How ’bout real competition instead of following Steve Jobs’ more childish impulses?”
      I assume you mean the “childish impulses” that built the world’s greatest & most profitable company?

      1. Troll eh? That’s what you get called when you offer an honest opinion? Guess I’m a troll then.

        And yes I mean childish impulses. Along with great creativity often come less savory characteristics. I admire Jobs for his European tastes, but he also brought along a lot of baggage that was less-than-admirable. He often took credit for things that he saw elsewhere. Heck, I remember rectangles from geometry class. From boxes. From TV screens. From computers long before Macs.

        The world’s greatest & most profitable company will cease to be than when the lawyers run the show. It would be best to focus on product and user experience. I really am a fan, but because Apple earned it–not because they’re called Apple. And you can bet that I’m a fair-weather friend. As long as they make the best, I’ll buy. As soon as they don’t–I’m gone.

        1. The real problem here is the loaded softball question served up to Packingham to knock out of the park. This has never been about patenting a rectangle. It is a combination of design cues that spelled out what an iPhone would look like. Samsung basically used this a check list, right down to the app icon design to hoodwink a naive public that they were buying the equivalent of the iPhone.
          • Rectangle with rounded corner…check
          • Full face glass surface… check
          • Bottom center home button… check
          • Center top slotted speaker… check
          • Silver metal edge band… check
          • Duplicate icons… check
          • Duplicate screen layout… check
          On and on…
          There is a reason why Samsung sells more Android phones than all the other Android phone builders combined. It’s because they took the road of building an iPhone knockoff from day one. Google knocked off the OS and Samsung knocked off the hardware. In this particular case I hope that Samsung is found guilty.

        2. Yes, a moron and definately a troll- obvious because ALL trolls always start off their spews with: “I own a TON of Apple products”, and/or “I love Apple products so much I want to marry them”, etc., etc.
          Fsck OFF “Mikey”, please leave us alone to enjoy our MDN site without having to see the crap you and your fellow (paid) scum write here, and just crawl back under your bridge (or go back down to your Mom’s basement).

        3. “As long as they make the best, I’ll buy. As soon as they don’t-I’m gone.” You must not remember what the phones were like before the iPhone came along. This article portrayed the patent as patenting a rectangle but in reality it changed the entire user interface to be something that is simple and easy to use. I stuck with a cheap phone (nokia brick) for years because I was uninterested in blackberry’s or any other “smart phone” because the user interface was terrible. Apple simplified it, made it easy to use, intuitive and then Samsung came along and ripped off the whole concept. If every time apple creates something better and someone else can come in and make the same thing or something almost identical then there is no incentive for companies like apple to come into the market place and spend time and money innovating because someone else will just take all of the profits. Hey, if Samsung didn’t copy apple they wouldn’t be anywhere near as close to having the same product as the iPhone. However they did and therefore they can compete by stealing someone else’s work.

          1. GTFU (grow the fuck up)

            I may not agree with his opinion, but at least I have the courtesy of saying so without resorting to your childishness. It’d be one thing if Mikey came on here blazing at fans with both barrels. He didn’t. He stated his opinion, calmly, respectably. It may have been misinformed, but that only means we should strive to correct his judgement, or the erroneous things off of which he based it, as several posters did eloquently above. But you, with your childish, arrogant little spanks, have no place in a rational discussion between adults.

            Go back to worshipping Ronnie Ray-gun and leave the adult conversations to those who can feed themselves without a bib.

        4. Then why wasn’t Samsung happy with keeping the design of their original rectangle phone? The pre-iPhone was obviously already capitalizing on the rectangle shape. I think the problem is where it went from there beyond just a rectangle shape.

    2. it’s not stupid. It’s about design patens and thats verrrry important.

      I am an Apple shareholder.
      – it’s not fun to have Apple’s intellectual property copied and sold to such a degree as has happened. I could have made another fortune already if not for that.

      So, it is not stupid.


    3. Hey Mikey…you comment is just plain stupid. How about this: I don’t care if a company illegally copies a product as long as it serves my selfish needs. There…fixed it for you.

    4. Mikey – no-one is trying to patent a rectangle. But if company B changes its products so that they look, feel and work just like company A’s more successful products, it is right for company A to sue company B. And if you owned company A, you’d feel very strongly about it.

    1. I thought the post said the Three Stooges of Ideas.

      Who put the yeast in?
      We all put the yeast in. BTW- someone here owes me royalties for the rectangle thing.

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