Apple v. Samsung Hinges on Patent Validity


On the same day an Australian court enforced a preliminary ban of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1,  Samsung and Apple met before US District Judge Lucy Koh to battle over a similar lawsuit. While a large part of the case is focused on accusations of Samsung blatantly copying Apple’s product designs, Judge Koh has expressed concern with the validity of the patents the Galaxy Tab is said to infringe upon.

We know from court documents that Samsung intended to raise questions about the legality of Apple’s patents by introducing as evidence a series of references to tablet-like computers in media and popular culture dating all the way back to the 1960s sci-fi class 2001: A Space Odyssey. They point to a clip in which two astronauts use tablets which resemble the Apple iPad:

Samsung hopes to establish the idea that the design that Apple has patented is not a new concept, and is rather a generic concept that existed long before the iPad hit shelves.

A report from Reuters indicates that Judge Koh is at least considering the argument, though she does not deny the similarities between Samsung and Apple’s competing products. During the hearing, Koh held both the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1 above her head and asked Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan to identify which was tablet was made by the company she represented. Sullivan was unable to distinguish between the two from a distance. Turning to the rest of Samsung’s legal team, one lawyer was able to correctly identify the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

At this point no final decision has been made, but Koh already stated that she would not rule in favor of a ban on at least one “utility” patent. Her final decision will be based around three design patents.


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  1. Steve Wozniac said that Steve Jobs had given mankind tools unlike any the world had ever seen.

    Someone replied: Yes, they’re called Apple fanboys.

  2. I can has a patent for time travel?

    1. You were probably expecting this but…

      No. Apple has a licensing agreement with Microsoft on that one. If you want, you can pay them an extremely high royalty fee and give them money for your idea.

  3. When I go to Best Buy and look at TV’s from 10feet away I can’t tell most from one another..Later that day I went to look at refrigerators and that same damn thing happened!! They all looked like the Kenmore!


    1. All of my socks look EXACTLY the same. Some evil genius is infringing all over the place.

      1. man…. you dumby, what about car tires?

        1. I was at work today too. couldn’t tell one hammer from another and all the damn screw drivers looked the same.

          1. Guess what i heard. There are a new nail clippers on the block. iClippers! Now the question is, will they sue the other clipper companies?

          2. no, but the original person who came up with the clippers could have and probably did sue the people who copied his/her design… get it? geesh man…

    2. e x a c t l y…..

    3. by the way, someone actually did look at the 2001 movie clip, “funny how no one did actually look at the clip except the judge that Samsung presented it to” (and anyone else with half a brain) what is your excuse for showing it after what the judge said? the thing they were viewing was a TV screen on a stand, with a thin bezel on three sides and the dimensions of a TV screen but in portrait mode, and a large bezel at the bottom, with a WHOLE bunch of buttons on the Bezel…. and this Bezel was bent up at a different angle….

      yet this is all Samsung could provide for prior design? The judge basically slapped Samsung up across the head…

      why in the world do you think Samsung isn’t providing that again? hello????

  4. let’s hold up two black rectangular devices and let you look at them from a distance… sure they may be hard to distinguish the two. look at the smartphones in general. the front of all smartphones look a lot alike. rectangular.with a dark touch screen and a small black bevel surrounding it. you look at the back of the phone, they look very different. the galaxy s looks like most other smart phones and that should be considered. they should throw in the iphone4, galaxy s, tmobile g2x, motorola droid and the htc evo, with the screen in sleep mode or turned off, have the entire room look at the front of all the devices and see if they can distinguish between them all. it’s called general design. something all smart phones share and cannot be patented! apple says samsung cannot keep apple from using their 3g wireless communication technology because it is used so widely… the look of the front of these devices is no different!

  5. Hey I have an idea. Let me hold up Samsung’s digital photo frame and see if you can tell it from the iPad.

    Better yet let me hold up a variety of computer monitors and see if you can recognize one from another from a distance.

    I could also hold up a wide variety of Android Phones and do the same gag.

    1. I could get a regular photo frame from a store that represents an iPad at a distance. That really is a dumb thing to do of a judge. Everything looks the same if at a far enough distance, a speck. So if I were to patent the look of a speck I could use this case as precedent and sue everybody.

      1. but if you were at 10′ then you wouldn’t, now go get that Digital frame, you know that one that is 5″ or 7″ across… with every one even blown up, not even close to an iPad… have you seen them lately? and do that test at 10′ yourself…. geesh man….

        1. At ten feet I could easily tell an iPad from any stock Honeycomb Tablet, even if viewed separately, merely by the aspect ratio. All current honeycomb tablets lengths are almost twice the height vs the more square 4:3 ipad. What was the distance between the judge and the lawyers that they couldn’t tell? If it was ten feet I’m going to argue they are Mr Magoo, Bottles the mole, Prof. Farnsworth, and one lawyer with some acceptable vision.

        2. Look up the Kodak pulse 10″ digital frame, one of the models looks exactly like the tab and the apple tablet.

    2. “Hey I have an idea. Let me hold up Samsung’s digital photo frame and see if you can tell it from the iPad.”

      hey and lets turn that Digital photo frame around, to the back side, and see if we still mistake the two? did you really think that Samsung failed to present that “drawing” to a judge because they were incompetent? the reason Samsung did not present the “drawing” of the digital frame, was because Apple would have simply shown the judge the back side of the frame, and then the Judge would have laughed Samsung out of court….

      seriously, why do you personally think Samsung left that “digital frame” out of every single court appearance they have been in… really i am curious to know….. it is amazing what a little bit of ignorance and a half truth can do with reality….

      and Android phones? how old are you? you do know that every single Android phone with an actual touch screen came after the iPhone right? geeze man…. are you trying to prove that Google copied or something?

      1. the backside of the two forementioned tablets have less similarity than the fronts aswell. You’d be pretty slow if you can’t tell an embossed apple with a bite in it from the word SAMSUNG.

      2. I’m not sure what you think you’re talking about. The Samsung digital photo frame was an actual product that made it to production and sales.

        I could probably just pull the monitor off a netbook and hold that up and people would mistake it for an iPad.

        Why didn’t Samsung use the photo frame? Because only from the front view is it similar because of how old the tech was. Apply a little engineering and common sense however and you get something thinner.

        Also you should understand that Notion Ink had made public a video of their tablet BEFORE Apple announced the iPad. Are the dimensions the same, no. Did Notion Ink get criticized for their design not being more “materialistic” you bet.

        All touch screen phones are clones of the iPhone now? Check your prior art my friend: iPhone didn’t make it out until June 2007 and this little baby was out in December 2006. Perhaps the LG enV from November of 2006 would help convince.

  6. This whole Apple/Samsung debacle is pure BS! In what universe would someone mistake a Galaxy Tab or any Samsung phone for an Apple product. They have the vaguest of resemblances. More importantly, the word Samsung emblazoned on the devices are a dead give away. I can’t speak to the validity of any disputed patents other than to say that the entire patent system is busted; patents are being handed out for the most obvious of things. Smh….

    1. “In what universe would someone mistake a Galaxy Tab or any Samsung phone for an Apple product.”

      a Samsung lawyer would mistake a Galaxy tab with an Apple product… and did, in front of a federal judge……. and that was in this universe, did you just get off the bus or something?

      1. From a distance… If someone was to hold the device in their hands they could easily tell the difference. If anything the big Apple logo would give it away. Now if Samsung starts putting Apples on their products THEN you’re point would be valid. This isn’t even counting actually turning the device on.

  7. I may be hard pressed to distinguish between a Toyota and a Nissan sedan from across a parking lot. Does that mean someone’s cars should be banned?

    1. Well in apples defense, they are the same basic shape and they both have 4 doors. . .so yeah.

      I’m sorry, if you buy a samsung because it looks like the ipad or because you thought it was the ipad, you need to be shot. They don’t even look that similar.

      1. I think the fanboys should be insulted that the gtab 10.1 is so amazingly similar right? Actually, we should be insulted. These lawsuits are saying that Samsung is a knock off of IPad which would say I’m getting just as a good deal if I buy either product. You and I know and the Apple fanboys that’s far from true and we would not even consider the other’s product for justified reasons.

        1. now go show your gramma those two tablets, and tell her one is $500 and one is $300, and tell her to pick out one….

          geesh man… do you get it now? Samsung is “cheapening” the brand…. did you think all these judges and all these countries just didn’t understand what is going on?

          after 1 country i would agree, maybe they got it wrong, after two, i would start wondering, after 3 countries and 3 judges, i’d have to start weight towards them, after 4 countries, well friend you are on your own….

          1. I bought a Windows computer not because it’s cheaper, but because I WANTED one.

            ppL will buy the Samsung one because they want Android. It just comes at a more convenience that it’s cheaper. If someone want’s an Apple device, of course they’d go for the iPad, no matter the price.

            Samsung isn’t “cheapening” the brand. The Galaxy Tab is a whole different OS. In that case, Microsoft is “cheapening” the brand as well with their $300 laptops compared to Apple’s overpriced laptops.

            And your whole little price tablet thing doesn’t match your argument. Just saying.

      2. to be honest, the whole “samsung copied my precious apple design” thing is getting old. Nevermind the fact the “APPLE” stole the design from someone else. But leave it to the apple fanboys to forget about that. their precious “APPLE” can do no wrong. I say f–k apple and their bs lawsuits. it’s ok for them to copy other companies but god forbid somebody else do the same? as for the looks, anybody who has used both products can easily distinguish the two from eachother when given a decent look. otherwise, from a distance or with just a quick glimpse, all tabs and touchscreen cell phones will look alike (unless it’s a different color). please note, that the motorola photon is an exception. and fanboys, stop defending apple… they are not innocent either and are far worse than anyother manufacturer in the industry! they are the original patent thieves.

        1. “stole the design from someone else” really? so you just threw that out there without showing us who Apple copied in the iPad? we are all very curious as to who this special company or person is that Apple copied the iPad from… please… fill us in….

          i guess lying to one’s self is one way to go with this…

          1. They copied it from the people that made the iPhone 3GS (and older) and the iPod touch. I mean, it looks almost identical but has a larger form factor. If you scaled them to both be the same size you couldn’t tell the difference. Apple should be sueing them instead!

            But seriously. There’s only so many ways you can do it. Why do you think nearly all TV’s look the same from a distance? The only way to be creative would be to make it a different shape or a different color. Maybe move the buttons around, but in the end no one is going to remember which brand had buttons where.

          2. Except that thats not true and in real world the devices cant ever be scaled down so its an invalid claim.

          3. Palm pilotsor Windows XP tablets from 5-10 years ago for touch screen computing devices. Etch a sketch for the form factor.

            If this is just about form factor I would not care, but the Samsung suit isn’t isolated, They are also suing Motorola, have sued HTC, and I am sure LG is not far behind. This is about excluding devices they can’t compete with technically. It is just the latest example of Apple bully tactics.

      3. there are four judges in four different countries who disagree with you…. by the way, who should we listen to? you or the judges?

        1. The judges are Apple fans or technologically ignorant or both.

        2. I wonder how many of those judges own iPhones, huh? Bunch of Fanboys.

    2. A Toyota and Nissan looks hella different dude. For starters A Toyota has Asian eyes for the brake lights and a Nissan has then Oval or Rounded Square. Easily noticeable.

      I think they mean when you look at it close up. I mean because everything looks the same far away.

  8. Isn’t the idea of competition to provide similar competitive objects to sell? Apple didn’t care that the G1 was similar to the iPhone because it sucked and wasn’t going to sell. Now they have actual competition that can compete in real time and often win so they want them thrown under the bus.

    1. I completely AGREE! Apple is getting sue happy just because now their hardware is absolute shit compared to newer androids.

  9. there are 2 twins living next door….i wonder when they will sue each other

    1. and if someone cloned your daughter without your permission, you could sue them…. so thanks for pointing that out??? are you trying to help Apple out or something?

      1. yawn

  10. Hey, don’t we remember that windows based tablets have been around for the last 10 years. Many other companies have made tablet like devices. That are touch screens without keyboards. Can’t we site these instead of going back to this movie. Apple clearly implemented a nice tablet which microsoft failed to do several times. But the idea is not theirs. Once again Apple creates something and make the concepts theirs and take credit. How many mp3 players were called ipods but were not. Kind of like Kleenex. Someone tell Samsung’s legal team to wake up and get busy with very pertinent examples.

    1. “Hey, don’t we remember that windows based tablets have been around for the last 10 years. Many other companies have made tablet like devices”

      wow man… have you seen the tablets from the time frame you are implying? they are so removed from an iPad that you’d have to be “touched” to confuse them… including how they operate…… worse they were absolute kludge… and why they failed.

      and since you appear to want to make Apple’s case for them, Samsung had a tablet design before the iPad,

      if you put that design out on a table, and then the iPad, and then the Galaxy tab. a judge would not only issue a prelim injunction against Samsung, they’d probably smack samsung upside the head and say what they heck were you thinking….

      1. good god go troll some where else…

  11. I created the rectangle. I am suing everybody for using my shape. hahahaha, eat your heart out apple!

    1. and if you combined that rectangle with a nice message inside, and then put it in a special box, that only holds your rectangle at precisely the top edge,

      but then someone came and copied the whole package with only tiny differences, then you could sue them and win by the way…. anyone awake with that?….

  12. I hope Samsung has a good case when they sue Apple for using 3G in the iPhone 4s.

    1. somebody didn’t read the news today….

      1. I did read the news. What I meant is that a month ago, Samsung was badging that they were going to sue apple over the 3g in the iPhone 4s, and so I said that I hope that Samsung wins.
        Here’s a link to what I was taking about:
        Subject: [phandroid] Re: Apple v. Samsung Hinges on Patent Validity

  13. There’s a company that was porting MacOS’s to tablets, they had been doing it for some time. The half eaten fruits weren’t even original at making an apple tablet.

    1. you do know what a touch screen is… right (because they sure didn’t)??? and that an iPad does not run a “MacOS” ???

      ignorance and stupidity does not make up for putting them together.. but what ever floats your boat man…

      seriously, did you just like copy that link from some other idiot that didn’t realize it was a pen based tablet without looking at it, like all the tablets before the iPad? (and why they all failed)….

      1. All the tablets before the ipad failed because there was no market for a device that couldn’t run real programs, fit in your pocket, or be purchased for a reasonable price. I suppose if you want to get mad that it isn’t a “real” touchscreen you should go back to 2008 and see how much they cost, what sizes and resolutions were available. The jump to a black framed rectangle that uses a finger instead of a pen really isn’t much of a revolution.

        Furthermore, it was an Apple themed device that was on display at MacWorld years before the iPad was even a rumor. No, obviously it didn’t run a mobile OS that didn’t exist yet; but there’s hardly any arguing that it doesn’t qualify as prior art.

        Finally, if you’re going to tell people what they do and don’t know, call them ignorant and stupid you should probably get your capitalization and punctuation in order.

      2. touchscreen was not invented by fapple, nor was multitouch. they just combined them and called it an invention. lol samsung preceded apple in the tablet department. it’s just that it didn’t have an OS and could just play movies, music and display pictures.

  14. the judge is retarded… if she did the thing where she held them above her head but did a FULL 360 the products would be easily distinguishable. the front is a SCREEN, and by god that is IT, so hell yea screens look the fucking same! but do a full 360 they look different.

    when your device has one side that is maximizing screen size of course its going to look similar to those competitors that are trying to maximize screen size as well…


  15. Since, utility patent cannot be ground for injunction, I doubt design patent will be. If US judge is as reasonable as Dutch Judge (who overthrew all design related claims of Apple), no injunction will be enforced which I strongly suspect will be the final ruling.

    Till date only German court has upheld the design patent of Apple (In Australia, injunction is not for design but two very technical patents). So it is one win each for Samsung and Apple as far as design is concerned.

  16. how is a rectangle with rounded edge not a FRAND patent?

    see the double standard of these faggots?

  17. I’m totally siding with Apple on this one and will continue to do so since both Samsung and Sprint kept stringing me along with 3 Samsung Epic 4G’s that didn’t work properly until it was too late for me to get the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch which came out 2 weeks after I upgraded my phone after suffering with my previous nightmare… wait for it… I you guessed it the Samsung Instinct for over 2 years which they said was the iPhone killer and they totally abandoned us Instinct users. Here was Sprints solution for me this time. “We can ship you the Nexus S or the HTC Evo 4g or just keep the 3rd Epic 4G that isn’t working properly either. Great job Sprint keeping me busy until my return period was past so I couldn’t have just upgraded to the Galaxy S II 4G Touch which I would have done if they would have let me know about it. Samsung said, sorry to hear you’re having problems with YOUR phone and I’d never hear back from anyone. Nice to know Sprint and Samsung have each other’s back. Now who’s watching the consumers back? I guess we’re on our own. Well at least I know which phone and service I will not be having come my birthday November 8, 2011. Thanks for the wonderful memories Sprint/Samsung.

  18. Samsung needs to show some of the XP tablets from 8 or 9 years ago that ran on XP to show Apple did NOT invent this genre, just improved on it. This is after all just an evolution of that concept, and before it the palm pilot.

    THe essential part here is that technology inside. If you patent the form factor than all television and automobile manufacturers would constantly be in court.

  19. Judge: ok, what now

    Samsung: you honor this guy copied my antenna and called it theirs, so just like Apple, i wanna block their sales as well

    Apple: your honor, as stupid as that may sound…i copied no one, i simply improved on on a design. You cant get in trouble for “improving the future”

    Samsung: oh this guy’s good. I would like to call a witness to the stand

    Judge: go ahead. Samsung calling witness to stand

    Google Voice: say a command

    Samsung: Call Professor Pedersen

    Google Voice: did you say…

    Samsung: YES YES

    Google Voice: ok…calling

    Professor Perdesen: ..Professor Perdesen how may i help you?

    Samsung: hi professor this is Samsung, i was wondering if it was true that we bought the rights to that antenna that was on the iPhone 4S that you invented. Is that correct?

    Professor Perdesen: yes. That is true. I heard Apple had improved on the design and called it theirs

    Samsung: I rest my case

    Apple: hold on hold on hold on. Yea that s all great and wonderful, but I would like to call my witness to the stand

    Samsung: can he do that?

    Judge: well, calling Apples witness to the stand

    Siri: how can I help you?

    Apple: yes um, is it true that Google Voice was the first voice command system out?

    Siri: let me think about that….no

    Apple: thank you, and was Professor Petersen’s antenna the first antenna period out?

    Siri: let me think about that…Im not quite sure, but I pulled up some websites that show the first antennas made

    Apple: was Professor Petersen’

  20. the late president of samsung and tim cook will have a private meeting soon to settle all the patent crap,

  21. The same point works in Samsung’s favor: Hold up an iPad, Galaxy Tab, AND 3 movie/TV props, AND 3 other Android tablets, and ask the lawyers and the judge in the case to tell them apart.

  22. I say Tim cook and Andy Rubin have a old western duel and who ever loses withdraws patten lawsuit. Or we get Nelson Mandela for peace.

  23. Hope one day Lux (soap) wont come against all these big guns for using their soap shape in mobiles and tabs…..

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