Pre-iPhone design concepts add weight to Samsung’s defense in patent trial


Remember this image? It was presented by Apple to the courts as proof that Samsung knowingly aped the design of the iPhone. The proof is plain to see, as Samsung shifted toward touchscreen designs shortly after the launch of the first iteration of the Apple’s first smartphone. Right. Nevermind the many other form factor designs that Samsung continued to release after the iPhone. And let’s not forget about product designs that existed before the iPhone. Yep. Samsung is fighting back with their little illustrative picture, and it makes Apple’s argument a bit harder to swallow.

The designs shown above can be dated to 2006, well before Apple’s plans for a smartphone were revealed. What’s more, the seeds of Samsung’s eventual touchscreen UI can also be traced back to the same time period. For further review, Samsung submitted a more detailed view of their phone concepts before and after Apple’s offering.

The basis for an all-touchscreen mobile device existed well before the iPhone, and it’s fair to say both parties drew much of their inspiration from similar sources and movement in the tech industry, but it’s harder to argue that Samsung blatantly copied patents held by Apple when designing what would become their lineup of Android smartphones. The court battle is just getting started out in California, but the mounting evidence makes a clear conclusion hard to reach at this time.

[via OSNews | Thanks, Tad!]

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  1. It’s quite clear this is not about patents, but egos. Although Steve Jobs is dead, his vision of being sole proprietor of smart phone technology is still alive and well. At what point do the courts see this and tell Apple to get lost?

    1. Probably never, since the judges likely use an iPhone/iPad

      1. i had 2 phones, a Sony Ericson P800 in 02, and a p900 in 2003. Both phones had the ability to remove the keyboard and be a complete touch interface. 3 years prior to the iphone… why hasnt anyone remembered this? look them both up. i remember in 2007, when i used my p990, everyone was saying “oh wow is that an iphone” and i was like..no.. i had this for 2 years already….

        1. Yeah Sony was already coming out with touch screen phones way before apple. I almost got the sony ericsson w950 before I even knew about the iphone.

        2. if I’m not mistaken… Samsung offered Sony devices and concepts as part of their evidence, and the judge threw it out.

          1. its because their judge is Lucy koh, she’s a total bizatch

          2. the judge threw it out? what a f-ing idiot… that would be awesome if Sony sues crapple… sony can crush apple just like godzilla crushed tokyo

        3. The only bright side is that this is a jury decided trial. So hopefully there are enough level headed people on the bench that aren’t just blind fanboys (or being bribed, because I wouldn’t doubt it). If Koh overturns a jury’s decision she’ll put the wrong kind of eye on herself.

          1. you mean “she’ll put the wrong kind of ‘i’ on herself”…lol
            i would imagine that when the lawyers picked a jury ( if its like that in this instance) the lawyers would make sure no jury member uses an android phone or an icrap phone

    2. it is not about egos….this is proved lying and about trying to overwhelm mobile market through criminality (lying and theft by Apple)

  2. You mean to say that Apple cherry-picked a few designs to make Samsung look like the bad guy? And also forgot to include release dates showing that some of the supposedly infringing designs came out within weeks after the iPhone, far too soon to have actually copied, manufactured, and shipped? You don’t say. /sarcasm

    1. The idea that apple thought they could get away with it is what baffles me.
      Seriously, with the amount lawyers are paid for, they come up with that s***?
      I should become a lawyer, I was on their level during kindergarten disputes!

    2. And they also resized the devices to make them look the exact same size as the iPhone. Hell, they even changed the orientation of tablets to match that of the iPad in other cases. Pathetic.

      1. take a look at this picture frame Samsung released back in 2006 it even has interent/wifi access, lol why aren’t they using this is their design patent lawsuit where apple claimed to have invented the rectangular shape with curved edges i mean if anything this picture frame looks almost exactly the same shape as the ipad yet it was released 5 years prior

    3. apple has a way about giving real info but they alter it to sound good in their defense, sort of how they said the iPad 3 is 4 times faster then any tablet on the market and has a quad core processor but in daily use its actually laggier then the iPad 2 and all jittery when playing 1080p videos not to mention that it has a quad core graphics processor not a central, or how they said it has 4g but forgot to mention it only works in north america, or how they claimed Google notified Samsung that their products looked too similar to apples but forgot to mention that wasn’t until 2011 so it had nothing to do with Samsung knowingly ripping them off, or my favorite where they claimed Mac books where immune to viruses and then when 1 million macs were attacked they cunningly removed the immune to virus from their list of features and replaced it with “built to be safe”

  3. Apple certainly has a point, they essentially did revolutionize the world when it comes to phones.

    That been said, Samsung’s counter-argument seems reasonable as well.

    1. Apple made smartphones hip and cool. They did not revolutionize the phone itself. They just changed the way the phone was viewed. This pictures above show that phones were heading in this direction anyway. Its hard to claim a patent on what is clearly no more than marketing.

      1. I don’t know how you can be into technology and say that. Not only am I an EE, but I have followed tech forever, and when the first iPhone came out it revolutionized what I thought a phone could be. I was blown away and bought it as soon as it dropped in price (after about 2 months), and was one of the early jailbreakers. Of course I love Android now, and rooted my phone the day I bought it. I always wanted a “Linux phone” even in the 90’s. Both platforms have their pros and cons…

        My point is Apple started this revolution, and it’s ridiculous to down vote what I said, it just shows you’re a blind fanboy. It takes one to know one.

        1. Well I understand how he can say that.
          Before the iPhone I was using my smartphone to surf the “real” internet. I was using it to store contacts and check my email. I was even using it as a remote on my TV. I was typing on an on screen keyboard albeit with a stylus(though you could use your finger) and doing such advance functions as cut and paste. I was playing games on my phones and the chips inside these smartphones and PDAs were improving a pretty nice clip.
          In fact I was not blown away by what the iPhone could do. I called it an iPod with a phone and initially that’s what it was. It has grown since then and many of the features it has lacked have come back and in a better format than before. But at the time the iPhone was lacking features compared to the competition in most areas except for the screen.
          The iPhone did have an influence in design and color schemes but not to the extent of copying. The iPhone did break free of legacy based systems(WinMo and Palm) that allowed for greater growth then the previously mentioned OSs. It was tied to iTunes for many peoples media uses(those tied to Apples popular apple store). It featured the best integration of multitouch at the time as well as attack the number one fear of smartphone users at the time. The need for a stylus. It did so with a larger screen… something that was bound to happen particularly in the HP line of phones if not HTC(Which was already hard at work on the Shift and Advantage).

          1. As the owner of a treo, I too looked at the original iPhone with a “who cares?” attitude since the Treo at the time could do much much more.

          2. and thats how i felt with my motorola q and i actually laughed at the thought of the iphone being stuck on edge i was enjoying the real internet on verizon’s 3g. i saw it as a ipod touch that can make phone calls. i alredy had a bad taste in my mouth from my ipod i was thinking who would want that pos for a phone.

        2. “when the first iPhone came out it revolutionized what I thought a phone could be.”


          I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Big_M meant when he wrote, “Apple made smartphones hip and cool. They did not revolutionize the phone itself. They just changed the way the phone was viewed.”

        3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the iPhone only get mms around the time of the iPhone 3gs?What exactly was revolutionary about the iPhone?

          1. blablabla it didn’t have mms, it didn’t have multitasking. it didn’t have 3G, who cares. the entire user experience was an incredible glimpse of what the future of phones and technology would be.

            Hell, it took Android until Jelly Bean to feel as fluid and responsive as a first gen iPhone with a 400MHz CPU and 128MB RAM.

          2. I don’t think you can patent “runs smooth.”

          3. Apple patented it when they patented the words “innovation”, “revolution”, “amazing” and “new”. The same day they patented oxygen.

          4. Sure is easy to make something run well on dedicated hardware. 1 phone with 1 sole OS. Windows and Android have had to develop with tons of devices in mind.

          5. I find it amusing that an apple fanboy like yourself would be perusing an Android site. LOL

          6. These comments are hilarous, all I did was point out that Android is not perfect, and that Samsung clearly is stepping on Apples patents here and suddenly i’m an Apple fanboy. Yes I bought 2 iPhones over the years, they were awesome, but once Android was “ready” I went for it and haven’t looked back. A Linux phone was what I wanted for 10+ years, it’s finally here. Jelly Bean also finally provides a good user experience throughout. Too bad it’s butchered by other devices outside the Nexus family.

          7. Nothig is perfect (except God, feel free to ignore that part because it is not relevant). Android is closer too perfection because we get to decide how the homscreen looks (widgets and neat shortcuts. The iPhone does not offer custimazition even close to android, with widgets it is easier to decide how your phone or tablet should look and makes it easier to make them work better for you.

            Wich patentd are you talking about (not said in an angry tone)? the patent that says APple owns the recangular shape, the patent that says apple was the first to create an electronical device that let’s you view E-mail on a touchscreen, the patent that says APple invented touchscreens you can use your finger on?

            People who have iPhones say that Apple’s suing is annoying and uneccasery (I do not own a dictionary) and most of apple’s patents should not be theirs or anybody else’s.

            What phones have recieved jellybean except from the nexus family?

          8. Smooth is nice but it is not the penultimate of a computing experience. They cut a lot of stuff out to achieve that user experience. The regular user experience at that time was a bit dated for sure but the iPhone was originally a feature phone that grew into something else. Largely on the back of the Jailbreakers who were influenced by the older systems.
            To get that smoothness it cost the consumer 2 things. The first was choice since the coded iOS specifically for that 1 device. The next thing it cost users were features that people who used smartphone at that time actually used. Thats a big reason why some of it was introduced into the iPhone via the JB community.
            I’m not knocking the iPhone. It introduced smartphones to the masses through he popularity of the iPod and has grown since than.

          9. Dude, the first gen iphone is the same phone as the 3rd or 4th gen iphone. The iphone has only changed with very minor upgrades, at its core its almost the exact software the original launched with, its just been tweaked for years, thats the only reason for the “smoothness” you speak of. If android never innovated and tweaked android 1.0 for 5 years like Apple has then it would be super smooth too. Lastly for the record, Android 1.0 aka the T-mobile G1, was as smooth or smoother than the first gen iphone, plus had tons of more features to boot. Apples success is based completely on marketing, convincing a bunch of idiots that they have a superior product, in that they are superior. Their tech is actually outdated and behind the tech times.

          10. i’m currently working on a marketing degree. apple is always the example in any if my classes. one of my professors said exactly that. all apple is good at is marketing in fact they are provably the best company at it. they will sell you something for a higher price and does less than most of their competitors products wither it is a smartphone, computer, or mp3 player. people just line up for it because it has their logo on it. most consumers don’t think about the specs of their products they are just comfortable with the most popular brands.

          11. I will admit that Android was not the smoothest OS, but it offered more than the iPhone.iSheep scream Retina display, more apps and smoothness, but android phones offer more than any iPhone has. I try to be neutral, but the iPhone’s features don’t match the pricetag.

          12. it sync’d with iTunes… really… I think it’s that simple of an explanation given the market share of mp3 sales…

        4. “My point is Apple started this revolution, and it’s ridiculous to down
          vote what I said, it just shows you’re a blind fanboy. It takes one to
          know one.”

          Seriously? Anyone who disagrees with you is a fanboy?

          Nice to know that you will not even consider another viewpoint as valid. Takes one to know one?

        5. If you read and understood the diagram above then you would understand that Samsung pioneered touchscreen technology, hence, Apple didnt start any revolution, they simply copied it and marketed it better. Thats not innovation or revolution. Thats a crime.

        6. it was revolutionary it had 2g radios when feature phones were on 3g. it had a touch screen, oh wait their were many windows mobile with touch screens already. come to think of it the only thing revolutionary i can think of is the app store ill give them that.

          1. yeah the app store was big, but the didn’t come out until the iOS 2. After there was already a apps for JB iphones

        7. Sorry but I saw the iPhone and said meh. I had been using my finger on my Palm Treo for over a year. I was doing the same on a PDA before that. There is nothing revolutionary about the UI because there’s barely any UI there. Its the same grid of icons we’ve always used. The most I could give you is the kinetic scrolling.

          They sparked up a stagnant market by making the phone more sleek than others . But even that’s not entirely accurate. Because well into the iPhone I was still trying to figure out the new found consumer interest in BlackBerry as it was new. I used to argue with many people about Palm that had the same its so amazing attitude about BB as you have here. Had the iPhone not come out the market for consumer smart phones would have taken off anyway.

        8. I didn’t down vote your comment. I also thought that I was fairly respectful in my response. My point was that the diagrams in the picture showed that the technology was going in that direction anyway and that the progress in that technology was inevitable.

    2. Whether or not Apple revolutionized the phone world is, in my opinion, irrelevant. I believe that, if Apple’s complaint is righteous, it would be equally so if they’d never manufactured a phone and if 99.9% of the world had never heard of them. In other words, revolutionizing the world confers no special privileges beyond those of the patents themselves (again, my opinion).

    3. Apple dint revolutionize anything, if you look at all the design prototypes from other company’s during that time or even earlier, they all had pretty much the same idea so if Apple had never developed the iPhone then another company would have like Sony and yes even Samsung and Lg. I will give Apple credit for showing the world that there was a need for smartphone’s because back then smart-phones were just an unnecessary device and today we couldn’t even imagine not having it with us wherever we go. Same could be said about Samsung though, Samsung has literally pushed the advancement in mobile technology at a incredible pace, if it wasn’t for Samsung we would still be using slow data speeds and extremely slow phones but instead in just a few short years we went from single core 600 mhz CPU’s and GPU’s that could barely even support the graphics of angry birds to Quad Core 1.7ghz CPU’s with GPU’s that support console quality games. They both played an important role but now Apple is trying to take the credit for all of it, like they are the only ones innovating.

    4. For further evidence to back up my previous post here are a few of those so called prototypes/ devices that were created in 2006 or earlier by Samsung and Sony

  4. They pretty much owned apple.

  5. Hey! The Gleam! The last flip phone that I owned, and I really liked that one!

    Interesting illustration. This could help Samsung in the long run…

  6. I like this last graphic better than the one the trolls made.
    Wonder how the htc camp is coming with their screen sharing suit they are building against ios6….

  7. So can samsung counter sue apple now for copying the rectangle with rounded edges…?

    1. dont forget the patent on the color black

  8. Why is the Intensity 2 under “Bar Type”? It has an identical design to the Gravity (slider). Samsung can’t even classify their own phones it seems… not that this has any bearing on the argument at hand.

    1. Because the Intensity doesn’t have a slide-out keyboard and the Gravity does?
      Or is there more to the Intensity than the picture shows?

  9. I thought we already knew that apple doesn’t really invent anything they just take everybody elses ideas and make it prettier.

  10. I think Its time Sony steps in and knock Apple back into the middle of the last century.

  11. ***taken from apple’s iBible***
    apple owns the rounded rectangles.
    apple owns the smartphones.
    apple owns the PCs.
    apple owns the ultrabooks.
    apple owns the internet.
    apple owns me.
    apple owns my friends and family.
    apple owns you and everyone else.
    apple owns Earth and the whole universe.

    -Sent from a sane person who has an apple logo tramp stamp.

    Sarcasm is so fun.
    Oh wait, does apple own sarcasm too?

    1. You might want to work on your execution a little.

    2. The court should fine Apple all of its cash reserves for filing all these frivolous lawsuits, wasting eveyones time and being dbags.

    3. Ever watch that SouthPark episode about Apple? episode is called: the Humancentipad

      1. I bought and Android phone after I saw that episode, just to be safe…

        1. LOL I wouldn’t be surprised if Google has similar customer agreement practices, i mean who reads those things, you know?

  12. Competitors copy each other and improve the design.

    iOS copies Android.

    Android copies iOS.

    Imagine if only RCA was allowed to build boxes with rectangle screens that display images…

    Or Ford only allowed to build gasoline powered vehicles with round wheels.

    1. Actually RCA copied Philco…Phillip Farmsworth both invented and owned the patent for TV. Unfortunately WW2 happened it basically ran down the clock of his monopoly.

    2. Android copies IOS HAHA good one…

    3. Android is Linux based. iOS isn’t. I’m done.

      1. iOS is Unix based in the same family as Linux…

        1. Don’t you hate it when someone who knows what they’re talking about joins the argument! :D

  13. Samsung needs to hire better lawyers. The lawyers hired by Apple may possibly win, because they can sell the story to the jury……

  14. Apple Just Got Samsunged!

  15. palm was using touch screen way before apple even had a thought of a phone

  16. I LOVED MY BLACKJACK!!! I remember they even moved it up to Windows mobile 6.5 before eol’ing it :-)

  17. Maybe apple is just trying to “call wolf” and get software patent lawsuits thrown out so they can copy from everyone else, and no one can sue them….

  18. Ram it up their app Samsung!!!

  19. Apple has some really bad Karma going around right now.

  20. Yikes, the users over at 9to5mac are crazy. I posted a comment and nearly got my head chopped off.

    I don’t understand the devotion some people have to a tech company. It’s just a company, not your freaking mother.

    I’d like to think the people who post comments on Android sites are much more civil, and honestly I would have to say they are. The iPhone Fanboy devotion verges on obsessively insane.

    1. Their slogan is a bit of an oxymoron!

  21. Apple is lying is lying is lying….is any one in the world with IQ>50 who can trust Apple???

  22. … a trial in san jose. the winner must be apple.

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