Samsung: Fighting Over Rectangles Is Unreasonable – We’d Have To Agree


The Apple vs Samsung trial kicked off today here in California and both sides are lighting  up their cannons, preparing for  war. In my head, this has all been playing out like those Spy vs Spy comics from back in the day, with both sides making strong arguments against one another, tossing around a lot of legal mumbo jumbo. If it’s been hard for you to follow along thus far, Samsung’s Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham breaks it all down — real down — in an interview he did today with Wired. His view? It all comes down to rectangles. His opinion is that Apple is trying to claim a patent on things that they never owned. You know, that almost square shape with rounded corners that Moses held when returning from Mt. Sinai. Here’s what Packingham had to say:

“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. “

Now, his opinion of course with just a little bit of bias (just a little) and even though I’m currently writing this post wearing a “Team Samsung” shirt, I’d lying if I said the original Galaxy S didn’t look just a little like the iPhone 3GS. Still, you gotta admit, it’s pretty ballsy for a company — no matter who they are — to try and patent a simple rectangle. If you guys want to check out the full interview (it’s a good read), visit the source link below.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I REALLY wish one of Sammy’s lawyers would point out if Moses were still alive he’d be suing Apple for patent infringement right now.

    1. Yes, the idea of images and words on a square or rectangular object has been around since the beginning of time. Apple will not go down without a fight. I predict the iPhone 5 will be as “innovative” as the 4S ROFL!

      1. it has a bigger screen and more features taken from android like voice turn by turn navigation for example, how are they able to steal everything from android and turn around and say android is copying iOS

        1. Sadly patents are the only thing US courts care about when it comes to this trial. If you got the patent nothing else matters. Apple can patent the name Joe and then everyone named Joe have to change their names after being sued for 3.4 million dollars. It’s a sad world.

      2. The only thing the phone itself will have will be a bigger screen, 4G capabilities and probably NFC. If they leave out any one of those things, count on the 5S next year to add it. They will call it revolutionary even though I can pick just about any Android out of a hat that’s better.

  2. My first smartphone was a Samsung SPH-i300. This was a full 6 years before the iPhone was released. It was a big rectangle with a touchscreen and icons. The rectangle was broken somewhat by the antenna sticking out of it but that was still state-of-the-art back then. Smartphones have evolved since then. Faster processors, more efficient batteries, internal antennas and higher resolution, capacitive touchscreens have brought about an obvious end result. It’s still a rectangle with a touchscreen and icons.

    1. Thank you. Hopefully the Lawyers Samsung hired are not the same idiots who couldn’t differentiate between an iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1

    2. Can you explain why Samsung’s design of the phone, packing and cables are SOOO close to Apples? Can you explain why no other company has problems distinguishing their rectangular phone/tablet from the iPhone/iPad? Stop being obtuse and a fucking fanboy.

      1. Are you really saying that on here? LOL you are an idiot. Especially on the cable part apple uses their own stupid charger of which is nothing like micro usb. The packaging is not even of a matter that i should even comment on because thats stupid.

        1. To be fair, the connector on Samsung’s tablets IS quite similar to the connector on the iPad, iPod and iPhone… of course it’s also quite similar to the connector on the aforementioned SPH-i300 from 2001.

          1. Ok i will say they are similar for the tab but this isn’t about a tab its about the smart phone A micro USB cord is no way like that idiotic 16 (or is it 32?) pin connector apple uses because they think they are better.

          2. LOL look at your fanboyish and idiotic mind at work… The Apple connector does a hell of a lot more than a micro USB cable does. To call it idiotic, is well, idiotic.

        2. Amazing that you think the packing isn’t up for discussion. Stupid fanboy wants to close his eyes and not admit the problem because he knows he would fucking lose. Idiot.

      2. I can explain it pretty succinctly: because it’s the most-effective way they could find to cram all that stuff into a pocket-sized box with a touch-screen. The touch-screen dictates the size of the thing, Apple doesn’t own the patent on touch-screens or sizes thereof, and I think that will be at least part of their legal undoing here. I like Android, you like Apple, we’re both fanboys and you’re in a glass house throwing stones.

    3. Dude that phone is not even close to what the SGS and the iPhone look like.

    4. That phone actually strengthens Apple’s case, since it shows that Samsung was designing phones that weren’t a rectangle. It’s sides are curved, like it started out as a rectangle but it was squeezed.

      I’m also jealous, that would have been an awesome phone to have in 2001. :-)

  3. This is exactly the point they should be making in court. TV manufacturers don’t sue each other because their TV’s look alike. Tire manufacturers don’t sue each other because the tires look alike. Its not about the shape or how it looks. Its the technology behind it. That’s exactly why apple is suing. They cannot keep up and they know it.

    1. Exactly. Imagine having a patent on a black circular tube of air, or a patent on a square frame with a place to insert pictures. How about a patent on moveable cloth hanging on a rod? A mechanism for opening a door utilizing a protruding, rotating device? A securing mechanism that is slid into place to prevent the opening of an object? Wait….That last one sounds familiar for some reason….hmmm….

      Honestly, Apple’s logic makes me want to go into a Best Buy, flag a sales rep down, take him over to an 80″ TV and ask if it’s an iPad. See the reaction I get.

      1. Oh man, I am sooo going to do that! Love the idea! We all should do that. Make the act go viral around the world. It would make a statement.

        1. I would just to piss off some people at the local Best Buy (they screwed me when I tried to buy a Nexus S).

    2. I totally agree. They are afraid with the fast pace Android is going they wouldnt be able to keep up with it.

  4. doesn’t look good for Samsung their judge is once again that evil bish Lucy koh

    1. Someone should find out what kind of phone and/or tablet she uses. That might give us some insight to the reason behind the temporary ban.

    2. Stop hating on Koh. You only come off as a fanboy. Recall back in December that Koh rejected Apple’s request for an injunction against Samsung, and it was the Federal Circuit that later ordered Koh’s denial for an injunction to be overturned.

    3. Wish they would throw that bias bribe taking shrew off the bench. #occupykohsFACE

  5. I better buy a new fridge before apples rectangle patent goes into full effect

    1. Just for the record, my next fridge is going to be a Samsung. Already have my eye on it.

      1. Rectangular shaped Samsung microwaves too. Totally ripping off the iPhone :-

  6. Judge Koh is presiding over this one, meaning Samsung will lose. (Unfortunately)

    1. It’s a jury trial, which means she won’t decide the outcome, the ten jurors will…oh, wait…if she thinks they got the verdict wrong, she CAN OVERTURN IT.


      1. Yeah, unfortunately Apple seems to have Americans in its pocket. I’ll bet there’s at least one Juror who’s totally biased and will vote against Samsung JUST BECAUSE HE LIKES APPLE.

        1. I think we need the Amish in the jury to help us out with this one.

      2. Don’t forget that she can force Samsung to exclude evidence, which means the jurors will never see it… like she has already done several times now with regards to iPhone prototypes.

  7. Wired is super biased in favor of Apple.

  8. It’s kinda interesting that she is Korean, which possibly makes it more difficult for her to side with a Korean company.

  9. I know this is a android fan site and I will be down voted. But come on Samsung Galaxy S was very similar to the iPhone 3 and 3GS. If Samsung remove it logo from the international one. Then it is even more of a dead ringer. HTC, LG, Sony, and Motorola has same form factor but they are not similar to the iPhone. Samsung was playing with fire and people fanboyism is getting the better of them. My GF got the player 4.0 for her sister and the first thing she said was it look like an iPhone. And most non-tech people will see it the same way

    1. You should see the Samsung Galaxy Ace.
      I seriously think Samsung designed this phone like that on purpose just to piss off Apple.

    2. I’m a fan of Android who’d never use an Apple product, and I had the Galaxy S for 1.5 years. And yes, it does look similar to the 3GS and can confuse people at first glance. Don’t mind the downvotes, those are from fanboys and people who refuse to see reason.

    3. Thanks for being objective. Look at all the stupid fanboys who have downvoted your comment. This is what idiotic Andorid fanboys do. They are so blind and want to do anything to hate on Apple. Such insecure pussies.

      1. What can you do? Fanboys are the same, no matter which product they follow. Religious devotion without seeing reason.

  10. i know apple is sue happy, but there is a huge difference between “rectangles” (like htc and motorola) and what samsung did with the gs1 (and only the gs1)…. exactly same proportions, chrome rim, and the android ui was tweaked to look even more like apple’s… it’s definitely not the case now but initially ‘come on son.’

    1. if that were the case, then every tire manufacturer in the world would be suing each other. all tires are the same color, same proportions, and even copy each other on the revolutionary feature named treads! if you ever come across a person who sees an iphone and goes “oh, nice galaxy s1” let me know. never gonna happen.

      1. That scenario is a bit different. Something similar would be like Toyota buying a Nissan Altima and just putting a T emblem on it. All cars have wheels and a steering wheel and windows, exhaust, etc, but I don’t think that situation would fly well with the courts. I agree that some of the patents are ridiculous. But all tires look the same, all cellphones dont mimic exactly the iphone, just that one galaxy s model.

        1. But most TVs look almost exactly the same. So do laptops, desktops, receivers, speakers, etc. Most people can only tell the difference by the name brand.

          1. Exactly. I think this is the key. In markets where Apple is not a player, all the other manufactures get along, play well together, and their designs usually all progress similarly over time. Let’s just hope Apple doesn’t start making TVs, appliances, toothbrushes, etc.

            And remember…..

            “Good artists copy…great artists steal!”

            disclaimer: The above quote is copyright 1996 Steve Jobs. Used without permission. Please don’t sue me, Apple!

        2. Why doesn’t Toyota sue Hyundai for their new models that look similar to their Lexus line then? Because it would be thrown out of the court… Apple is trying to patent shapes and visual queues. If they win this case it will open a can of worms..

          1. you seem to have me misunderstood. i think the majority of apple’s lawsuits are stupid and ridiculous and shouldn’t be patent-able. (i was a victim of the Evo LTE ban) However, i do think they have a case against samsung’s galaxy s1, depending on how the laws lay. It’s not like samsung just made a rectangle, they made the same shape, home hard button, same metallic trim, and they tweak stock android ui to look more liek ios. To me, all of those things combined (which i do not see motorola or sony or HTC doing) that makes me just shrug and think Samsung might have an uphill battle with this one.

      2. So, when I owned the Galaxy S, I was once at a mobile shop looking around at different phones. Then a Galaxy S catches my eye. But oh wait, it turned out to be an iPhone 3GS. So it does happen. Now, the confusion didn’t last long, but I did get the impression that I was initially looking at the Galaxy S, even though the phones aren’t the same in proportion. Of course, I may be just stupid, but then again, most in this world are quite stupid from what I hear.
        I don’t agree with Apple suing Samsung (I bloody hate Apple for all the lawsuits and then some), but to say that the SGS didn’t look at least a little like iPhone 3GS and might not have caused confusion is to be pretty ignorant.

        1. Exactly. I think they pushed it too far with the Galaxy S. It was a great phone, but I was actually a little embarrassed it looked so much like an iPhone. And if I showed my phone to someone, they would often mistake it for one. Therefore I’m glad the design of later Galaxy’s are more unique, as far as that’s possible with a smartphone.
          Although I do wonder if the Galaxy’s success would have been this huge if they didn’t made a phone that was so much like an iPhone…

          1. I think it would have been. The Galaxy S got famous more because of its specs than its design. First SAMOLED screen, the nice Hummingbird processor, etc etc. Without the similarity to iPhone, it would have been just as huge just without the patent and lawsuit shitstorm, hehehe.

      3. That scenario is a bit different. Something similar would be like Toyota buying a Nissan Altima and just putting a T emblem on it. All cars have wheels and a steering wheel and windows, exhaust, etc, but I don’t think that situation would fly well with the courts. I agree that some of the patents are ridiculous. But all tires look the same, all cellphones dont mimic exactly the iphone, just that one galaxy s model.

      4. but even if you disagree with that premise and think nothing should
        be patent-able in the mobile industry (like i do), that thats fine. I just dont like it when people act like the gs1 doesn’t look anything like the iphone. At least acknowledge they look the same, wether you think they have a right to or not is the real debate.

    2. I agree with you that Samsung went too far with their Android skin and it was stupid.

  11. If apple wins this bs, im definitely not getting an iphone. Hell, I returned 2 of them in the past. I might even buy me a tablet..

    1. Can you imagine using a sqauare or circle shaped phone?

    2. Funnily,I assume even if Samsung WON you wouldn’t be getting an iPhone either way,no?

  12. Yeah as an Android fansite I would assume you would agree with Samsung, an Android manufacturer xD.

    I hate Apple, just for clarification.

  13. Moses. Nice name drop.

  14. Apple is like the Monsanto of electronics.
    Seeds are now pattented.
    DNA strains are pattented.
    Plants are pattenrted.
    They will try to own every patent they can put their money on. So people will need to pay them.
    And the sad thing is shareholders are people in US government seats of power.
    What is going to happen to all of us?

    Microsoft had rectangular tablets before why are they not suing Apple? Is ther mutual agreement between the two?

    Or is this just a big show to creat factions, to make us all brand loyalist to encourage competition through fanboyism?

    Network Star wars, console wars, smartphone wars, OS wars,

    Its a War Economy!

    How can Apple sue Samsung that manufacture its components?

    I am sure Republicans and Democrats are really one group making a big show.

    Think logically.

  15. F U C K U APPLE They lost there market share they cant keep up with Samsung so they sue over stupid s h i t just go die apple

  16. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JBEtPQDQNcI looks like Apple will need to go back in time to 1994 and sue knight ridder for their 2010 iPad design.

  17. Do you not think it is UNREASONABLE that Samsung can’t design their rectangle phone in another way that doesn’t look like Apples? HTC, Motorola, LG etc don’t seem to have that fucking problem. Samsung chose to design so closely to Apple’s iPhone. This is apparent with the handset, packaging, cables etc. Samsung is being a big baby and childish pretending that they weren’t trying to copy. No other phone/tablet manufacturer is having trouble distinguishing their rectangular device from Apple’s.

    Jesus Christ, you guys are such biased losers. Terrible writers, terrible website, terrible commenters.

    1. Apple singles out Samsung because that’s their biggest competitor, its no more complicated that that.

      1. What a simple and stupid argument from a simpleton.

    2. The reason the other designers haven’t been AS targeted is (past injunctions) is because they haven’t been as successful.ask yourself why the Samsung focus (Windows phone)line hasn’t been brought up even once in this case..

      1. Oh, please. That’s a fucking stupid argument.

  18. Why doesn’t the Gene Roddenbery estate sue them all….Star Trek had tablets decades before any of these companies even thought about designing anything. Yeah, that should mess with all of them.

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