“On August 4, 2010, amid the bustle of downtown Seoul, a small group of executives from Apple Inc. pushed through the revolving door into a blue-tinted, 44-story glass tower, ready to fire the first shot in what would become one of the bloodiest corporate wars in history,” Kurt Eichenwald writes for Vanity Fair. “The showdown had been brewing since spring, when Samsung launched the Galaxy S, a new entry into the smartphone market. Apple had snagged one early overseas and gave it to the iPhone team at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. The designers studied it with growing disbelief. The Galaxy S, they thought, was pure piracy. The overall appearance of the phone, the screen, the icons, even the box looked the same as the iPhone’s. Patented features such as “rubber-banding,” in which a screen image bounces slightly when a user tries to scroll past the bottom, were identical. Same with “pinch to zoom,” which allows users to manipulate image size by pinching the thumb and forefinger together on the screen. And on and on.”
“Steve Jobs, Apple’s mercurial chief executive, was furious. His teams had toiled for years creating a breakthrough phone, and now, Jobs fumed, a competitor—an Apple supplier no less!—had stolen the design and many features. Jobs and Tim Cook, his chief operating officer, had spoken with Samsung president Jay Y. Lee in July to express their concern about the similarities of the two phones but received no satisfactory response,” Eichenwald writes. “”
“After weeks of delicate dancing, of smiling requests and impatient urgings, Jobs decided to take the gloves off. Hence the meeting in Seoul. The Apple executives were escorted to a conference room high in the Samsung Electronics Building, where they were greeted by about half a dozen Korean engineers and lawyers. Dr. Seungho Ahn, a Samsung vice president, was in charge, according to court records and people who attended the meeting. After some pleasantries, Chip Lutton, then Apple’s associate general counsel for intellectual property, took the floor and put up a PowerPoint slide with the title ‘Samsung’s Use of Apple Patents in Smartphones,'” Eichenwald writes. “Then he went into some of the similarities he considered especially outrageous, but the Samsung executives showed no reaction. So Lutton decided to be blunt. ‘Galaxy copied the iPhone,’ he said. ‘What do you mean, copied?’ Ahn replied. ‘Exactly what I said,’ Lutton insisted. ‘You copied the iPhone. The similarities are completely beyond the possibility of coincidence.’ Ahn would have none of it. ‘How dare you say that,’ he snapped. ‘How dare you accuse us of that!’ He paused, then said, ‘We’ve been building cell phones forever. We have our own patents, and Apple is probably violating some of those.'”
“The message was clear. If Apple executives pursued a claim against Samsung for stealing the iPhone, Samsung would come right back at them with a theft claim of its own,” Eichenwald writes. “The battle lines were drawn… Conversations eventually broke off, and Jobs grew increasingly eager to take Samsung to court and fight. [Then Apple COO Tim] Cook continued counseling patience, arguing that it would be better to have a negotiated resolution than to duke it out with a company of such importance to Apple’s business. Then, in late March 2011, Samsung introduced its latest tablet computer, this time with a 10-inch screen. It struck Apple executives as a knockoff of the company’s second version of its tablet, and they weren’t surprised: Samsung had already proclaimed that it would change its own model to rival the iPad 2. Cook’s caution was shoved aside. On April 15, 2011, the company filed a federal lawsuit in California against Samsung for infringing on the patents of both the iPhone and the iPad.”
Tons more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.
I don’t know which is worse: Samsung’s slavish copying or that there are tens of millions of dullards and/or morally-crippled consumers who would buy such obvious knockoffs. What kind of person rewards thieves, especially such obvious ones? What kind of person hands over their money to make sure that crime pays? What’s wrong with you people, exactly?
It makes me sad that there are outfits like Samsung Electronics on the planet, as I was with Microsoft before them. People who work for Samsung Electronics should be ashamed. It makes me even sadder to see people supporting blatant criminals, whether it be blindly or, worse, knowingly. To those people I say: Get some morals, will you, or how about at least acquiring a modicum of taste?
What you’re doing is supporting criminal activity. It’s like you’re buying knockoff Coach handbags, but you’re paying pretty much the Coach price! Not too smart, eh? Oh, sure, you might have “saved” a bit upfront on your fake iPhone (maybe you got one of those Buy One Get One or More Free deals), but you’re paying the same data rates – after a couple years, you’ve pretty much paid the same anyway! So, in the end, you’re saving little or nothing while:
a) depriving the company who basically inspired your inferior, fragmented product;
b) depriving yourself of the real deal and the real experience, and;
c) rewarding the criminal, encouraging them to steal even more.
Not a lot of sense being made in any aspect of your toting around that Android phone, is there? Oh, right it’s “open.” Smirk. And, yes, every one of us with the real thing knows that you’re carrying around a half-assed fake, you tasteless wonder.
Didn’t you people have parents? If so, what did they teach you, if anything? Sheesh. – SteveJack, MacDailyNews, August 6, 2012
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “eonicman” for the heads up.]