Apple’s motivation for suing Samsung

Reading the press from the Apple vs Samsung trial lead me to believe that most people don’t understand Apple’s motives for suing Samsung. This lawsuit isn’t about getting compensation for products that were released in 2007 or even 2011, it’s about protecting the products that will be released in 2013 and 2015 and beyond.

In a column on The New York Times last weekend, Nick Bilton wrote that Apple is doing itself more harm than good in suing Samsung.

“By showing the public how it designs products that twice radically changed the electronics industry, Apple could risk losing some of its magic,” said Bilton.

I’m not going to say that Apple doesn’t care at all about keeping its secrets, but this is a case of dealing with the lesser of two evils. Sue Samsung now and show some old prototype photos, but stop them from copying future products or let them continue copying.

Bilton clearly doesn’t understand what Apple has to gain here.

Apple has a purpose for everything it does, including this lawsuit. There can be no doubt that Apple has some clever, perhaps industry changing products in the pipeline over the next few years.

Although none us know for sure what those products are, if they are truly disruptive, like the iPhone and iPad, it’s in Apple’s best interests to stop Samsung now. This will effectively cut off the worst offender of companies copying its products in their tracks.

Of course, winning the lawsuit will also stop all of the other competitors from copying their designs.

Apple’s latest two industry changing products, the iPhone and iPad, have been shamelessly copied for years. Yes, it’s true that the company has lost a significant amount of revenue — estimated at $2.5 billion in the trial — but let’s face it, that’s pocket change for Apple who has $100 billion or so in the bank.

I believe that Apple’s future products are going to change the industry so much, Apple has to put a stop to Samsung now.

That’s Apple’s motive for suing Samsung.



  • http://twitter.com/SkylarSch Skylar Schipper

    Spot on.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZY2RTGRQWQK32MGXPRJAXS3LU Moodswyng

      The question is, if the next IPhone has a larger screen, are they copying Samsung?

      • Chris Licata

        That is the general drift of the market, it’s not samsung that has bigger screens, it’s everyone.

        • Curtis Something

          They use larger screens because Apple dominates the supply chain for iPhone 4 and 4s screens. Ditto for why other tablet vendors opt for smaller screens—Apple eats most of the supply of 9.7″ screens.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Uh…no. They use larger screens because people want them. “They” didn’t sit back and say “Hrmm…Apple owns small screens so none are available, let’s be different and go big!”

            Demand called for it so ODMs supplied them; even to the point of Jim’s favorite phone in the world, the phone formally known as Jim’s Note. ;-)

          • Glen Raphael

            Another possibility is that they use larger screens because people want devices that are thin but cheap and have good battery life. Making a thin product wider/taller gives you more room for the battery. To make a compelling android product with a screen the same size as the iPhone would require better power management software and more expensive engineering. So they made the overall product big because they couldn’t make it smaller, then (quite logically) decided to sell that bigness as a feature.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            I don’t buy it. For a while, the iPhone boasted a bigger (mAh wise) battery than most top Android phones.

          • twilightmoon

            How was the battery life on those Android phones? And further the 4G chips in current top end Android phones are battery eating monsters, so they need a larger battery to just function as a phone than previous non 4G Androids. Future 4G chips will likely be more power efficient, such as the one going into the next iPhone.

          • kiran bhanushali

            Screens aren’t built a specific size. They are large sheets and then are cut into specific dimensions to fit specific device specifications

          • nicoUY

            Feels like a HUGE apple fan boy the one who wrote the article… sick of those ppl who like to be ripped off by apple..

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            Are you one of those bozos that don’t know how a free market works?

          • Idealogue

            I think that comment says that the commentor knows exactly how a free market works. Unfortunately, the free market is free to market even to those that do not know they are being ripped off. The iPod was the biggest example.. hundreds of dollars spent on a shiny object so the consumer could only be part of iTunes locked music (when mp3 was already there – not device locked) a piece of crud device (dead battery ment lost data), and produced a market so that ipod owners could only shop from. The biggest dupe of consumers in the world’s history, Jobs was truly brilliant.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            I think

            No, you clearly are not.

            the free market is free to market even to those that do not know they are being ripped off.

            That statement is gibberish.

            Here’s basically how a free market works. You make something and sell it for a set price. People buy it or they don’t. If you sell an enormous amount of said something, so many that you have trouble keeping up with production, by definition your product is not over priced. Because the market has clearly decided that your something is worth the asking price. What you imagine to be the actual value of the device is irrelevant.

            undreds of dollars spent on a shiny object so the consumer could only be part of iTunes locked music

            More gibberish. From Day One, you could fill your iPod with music ripped from CDs or MP3 retailers or even music you stole from Napster and never pay another dime to Apple. Having to use the manufacturers software to transfer files to the manufacturers device is not lock in. Under no circumstances were you ever or even currently required to send another dime for music to Apple after you bought an iPod. Yet here you are in 2012 repeating nonsense that has never been true.

            (when mp3 was already there – not device locked)

            Are you under the mistaken impression that iPods only play AAC files? Because the iPod has been out there for 11 years and has played mp3s from day one.

            Did you suffer a traumatic brain injury and lose the last 12 years of memory? Because the alternative is that your cranium is as dense as neutronium and impervious to reality.

          • Blimp

            You do realize that Samsung is a part of that supply chain, right?

          • twilightmoon

            That only makes it far more disgusting that they so shamelessly ripped off Apple’s designs.

        • http://twitter.com/bob_love Bob Love

          When Apple does it, it’s “general drift of the market” When anyone else does it, they’re copying Apple. Stealing. Thieves. When Apple does it, they were “inspired” by prior art When anyone else does it, they’re copying Apple. Stealing. Thieves. When Apple uses a 4×4 grid of icons, they’re innovating. When anyone else does it, they’re copying Apple. Stealing. Thieves.

          The correct answer is, of course, that the next iPhone will have a bigger screen because that’s what people want, as evidenced by the huge popularity of products featuring a bigger screen.

          So by their own standards (I assume what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?) they’re effectively copying, stealing, thieves?

          • kibbles

            Increasing the screen != ripping off the trade dress of entire product lines. Durrr

          • http://twitter.com/bob_love Bob Love

            Neither is making products that are similar to other products, and following obvious market trends. If it were, Samsung, LG, Sony, Microsoft, and many others with arguably legitimate prior art products, would be suing Apple – who have already been thrown out of court (Posner, Birss, Gropper, Floyd, others) exposed as the blatant patent trolls they’ve become…

          • Kb

            Wow, you have no clue…

          • http://twitter.com/bob_love Bob Love

            Which part have I no clue about? That they’re patent trolls?

            They’ve just patented the “nanosim”! Yes – they shaved another couple of millimeters off the microsim and the USPTO allowed them to patent it. If that doesn’t expose both Apple and the USPTO as what they are, a troll and their puppet, I don’t know what does.

            They’ve just tried to patent “autocomplete”. They’ve recently tried to patent a design that looks exactly like a microsoft surface. Have you been following Apple’s manouevers over the last few months or are you just blind?

          • twilightmoon

            Posner doesn’t even believe in patent protection for software, and he doesn’t own a smartphone. He’s a completely clueless old cad past his prime and needs to retire. He’s out of his element and had no business taking up the case, he had nothing useful to contribute.

          • docmacdvet

            “I believe that Apple’s future products are going to change the industry so much, Apple has to put a stop to Samsung now.

            That’s Apple’s motive for suing Samsung”.

            Nay!, Read: That the Innovations, Design of Samsung has caught -up with Apple. The profits are not pouring in! So much so that, Apple is desperate to balance the books!

            What’s Apples way of recovering the losses? Solution: Sue them and hope to Win!

      • JohnDoey

        iPad has a larger screen than any Samsung device. It is not about a single feature. It is about copying so many features that people can’t tell the device apart.

        The fact that you think a larger-screen iPhone would be a copy of Samsung shows that Samsung succeeded in genericizing iPhone. I bought an iPhone in June 2007, and people said I was crazy. People said it can’t work. It was so unique and distinctive that people asked me questions about it if they saw me using it. Even in 2009 people couple not believe I was typing so fast on it. Now, you are like, “well if Apple makes their screen a few millimeters taller they are copying Samsung.” That is crazy.

        • Wojtczak Sebastian

          WTF? Samusung phones and tablets have a logo of Samsung on the front, how can sameone miss that?

          • Kb

            Ahh, right! It’s the logo that makes it different! Of course!

          • twilightmoon

            So if I paint the Mona Lisa, an exact replica with my signature at the bottom instead of Leonardo D, that means I have created an entirely original work because it has my name at the bottom?

            Lovely argument. Keep going. Really, you’re doing great.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            I don’t think anyone is saying Samsung made an exact replica. Similarity is only in some aspects of the device(s).

        • http://bradhubbard.net/ calciphus

          No, it doesn’t. iPad screen is 9.7 inches. Samsung sells multiple 10.1″ tablets.

          And for what it’s worth, those are all Samsung-made screens in the iPad.

          • Jonathan Polley

            By larger screen, they meant in area. The 9.7″ and 10.1″ is the diagonal. I can do the math for you if you’d like.

          • http://bradhubbard.net/ calciphus

            Valid – though that rarely translates into marketing knowledge. The fall of 4:3 displays from popularity has been one of the factors that makes the iPad “look” smaller than a 10.1″ tablet. That, and the large bezels.

          • Sy

            The “fall of 4:3 displays” hasn’t occurred with tablets, books or magazines. 4:3 has a place when you want a reasonable compromise between landscape and portrait operation. 4:3 is out of favor for TV and movies only. 16:9 tablets don’t do well in the portrait mode, but they are better for watching 16:9 video, for sure.

            Many computer monitors are 16:9 now, because its cheaper for the monitor vendors to make lots of 16:9 displays. But I really dislike the 16:9 for typing word documents. I’d rather have more vertical pixels than horizontal.

          • http://bradhubbard.net/ calciphus

            I can certainly understand that desire, too. Personally, I’ve got an un-necessarily large Dell monitor (27″, advantage of working for a company used to paying Apple prices) – 99% of the time it’s in split-horizontal mode, so I have two side-by-side windows.

            I don’t know that I necessarily agree that because one product has been successful that can be attributed to its aspect ratio. There are many reasons for the iPad to beat out its 16:9 brethren, and time will tell whether (especially in the paperback-sized 7″ models) that form factor will hold.

          • Xctd

            Stupid. If the diagonal is bigger. Then the area also follow. Did you pass calculus 4 or what?

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Actually, that’s Algebra 1. :-)

        • http://www.facebook.com/iamdluhansa Dody Luhansa

          iPad has a larger screen than any Samsung device.

          excuse me, but where do you live?

      • docmacdvet

        Yesiree! So who is copying whom?Profits or the bottomline. The one who is greedy for profits becomes a sore loser to an upstart! I most definitely agree. If an American Company loses in profits it cries foul and says: That is an intellectual rights infringement! yeah right! Lose with Dignity, Dont cry out to the courts. Sore losers are litiguous rascals!

      • Jim

        Oversimplified. Apple isn’t suing over screen size or rounded corners. They’re suing because there was a concerted effort to copy the overall look and operation of the iPhone, iPad, accessories, and packaging even, not to mention software patents too. So, to say Apple is copying by introducing a larger iPhone is just asinine.

    • Ruven_earl

      So, crybaby Apple is suing the mobile companies in an attempt to curb Google. So are the US Court system giving Apple a free pass for a Monopoly on mobile phones? I say WTF? Probably every juror in that room should have had to pull out their phones, and put them on the table. Bet they already have the iphone 5 in hand. Or getting them in the mail for free soon.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    Good post. I can see that.

  • http://twitter.com/AcorgInc Acorg Inc

    Maybe they are trying to add a layer of complexity to Samsung. I have read of lawyers taking over meetings at Microsoft and RIM after these types of suits. Those distractions can slow down innovation or in this case outright copying.

    • JohnDoey

      They are trying to make it so that Samsung does not get free design. 20% of an iPhone cost may go to design, but 0% of a Galaxy cost went to design because they just stole Apple design. That is a competitive advantage for Samsung and also it is the kind of thing that one corporation or person murders another over. Because Samsung is saying to Apple designers that they also work for Samsung and Samsung will not only not pay them, but they will also devalue the work they do for Apple. Even devalue the pay they may get in their post-Apple career because everybody else just copies Apple, no need to hire designers and make something new.

  • http://fcoramirez.betaid.org/ Francisco

    That and the Fender Stratocaster thing, of course

  • No

    Patents are worthless until they validated by the courts. Wright brothers fought patent battle for 20 years without win. Every Automobile innovation has been patented.

    Trademarks have to be defended or they are lost.

    Royalties on patents only come after they have been validated.

    • JohnDoey

      These are not tech patents, they are design patents.

      An equivalent is Simmons Drums from the 1980′s. They were the first commercially successful electronic drums, and they were distinctively hexagonal. Other drum makers created electronic drum lines to compete. No problem there, except that all the competing electronic drums were also hexagonal, and looked just like Simmons. Same size, colors, everything. There is no reason for that — round is actually better, and an electronic drum can look like anything. Simmons sued over their design patent, and other drum makers had to make non-hexagonal electronic drums. And then we got many different form factors of electronic drums, and it was better for everybody. Ome company specialized in putting the whole drum kit in a briefcase, others created ways to add triggers to traditional acoustic drums so you didn’t even need a separate electronic kit. And that is actually the most common approach today. A market of Simmons drums plus endless copycats was not healthy. Same as today where you have a choice of one real iPhone or one fake iPhone. Not healthy.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        99% of design patents never survive being tested by a court. Apple’s claim to owning the laptop design, smartphone design, tablet design IS NEVER GOING TO SURVIVE A COURT.

        • kibbles

          So you’re saying the ONLY way to design laptops, tablets, and smartphones is to design them the way apple has, trade dress and all? That’s the only way?

          Hmm.

    • bungle

      No. Microsoft for example gets a whole lot of royalties from patents that are not validated (e.g. exFAT). In most cases patents are not to be validated. They are like tactical nuclear weapons. Give your money or we will… So most of the cases are never validated in courts. Companies just agree to pay this modern tribute.

      • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

        Microsoft is getting ZERO DOLLARS from Android makers, if that is what you are suggesting. Microsoft is paying a few Android makers BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to desperately have them make a few Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices that nobody wants to buy.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

          You are wrong. Microsoft is getting money from the Android manufacturers in order to license Microsoft’s IP for Android phones. HTC for one.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Yeah and they have deals with about 6 or 7 for some good money too.

          • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

            Same 6-7 companies very close partners with Microsoft on Windows Phone/8, what a coincidence! But of course does not even make people like you wonder for even a second.

          • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

            That is absolutely not true. HTC is being paid hundreds of millions of dollars by Microsoft to release Windows Phones and Windows RT 8 devices that nobody wants to buy. HTC pays ZERO dollars to Microsoft for Android. Same for Barnes and Noble, Samsung, Huawei. ZTE, those companies pay absolutely nothing to Microsoft for selling Android. ZERO. Stop writing things that are not true.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II
          • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

            That’s a completely BS number pulled out of a completely BS analyst who has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. MICROSOFT PAYS FOR ANDROID, not the other way around. The companies supposedly having agreements with Microsoft ARE THE EXACT SAME ONES that have agreed to participate in the Windows Phone and Windows RT 8 experiment, the exact same companies. The exact same companies. The exact same companies. The exact same companies. I dunno, maybe I should write it another few times for everyone reading this to start to understand.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            The number was an estimate, yes, but the reality is HTC, Samsung, LG, and others are paying MSFT royalties on tech patents.

            “Microsoft Signs 15th Android Deal; Motorola Standoff Continues” http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120802-724132.html

            Google is your friend. You can’t deny facts. MSFT is licensing the heck out of their patents to Android ODMs. HTC and Samsung are just two of the 15.

          • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

            OH MAN! Do you take everything Microsoft’s lawyers say as gospel? Are you insane?

            HTC, Samsung and the others involved ARE PAID BY MICROSOFT!!!!!!! Not the other way around!!!!

            Every single one of these companies are volunteers in the Windows Phone and Windows RT 8 experiment!!!!!

            ZERO COMPANY not being part of Windows Phone/8 are in that supposed bogus FAKE FUD list of supposed Android companies paying a bogus fake fud Android licence to Microsoft. IT IS SIMPLY ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            wow, you sure are convinced. Just so you know google has actually commented on the matter and they Said microsoft is extorting money from android manufacturers. Why do you think they made that statement when the same people that are not denying and have confirmed the license deals? All rhetorical questions as I’m done with the conversation. I was just trying to help you out because you are pretty far off the mark but I see there’s no hope.

            Have a great day.

          • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

            Google is defending Andoid, what do you expect them to do? Just let Microsoft be a fricken bully? MICROSOFT IS TAKING ZERO MONEY for Android, all the stories are completely made up. Samsung, HTC, Barnes and Noble, NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER confirmed paying more than $0 to Microsoft for Android NONE ABSOLUTELY NONE.

          • kibbles

            Please supply links to support your stated opinions. Or, you know..l

  • Below$644AShareIsAnnoying!}:-D

    Does anyone here truly believe that Apple is going to win out over Samsung? Will Apple actually make any money from this case or slow down Android’s rapid growth? I’d say it’s very unlikely. Android appears to be unstoppable and every quarter sees iOS market share shrinking. Apple needs a big win in the court, but it’s probably too much to ask.

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      this will not stop android by any measure because they will just design around apples desire/right to enforce patents.

      Realize though last quarter android did not continue to grow and iOS did grow. Android still wins by a healthy margin if you use that metric but continuous growth in the way that we’ve seen just isn’t as likely and eric schmidt pointed it out last year or sometime that at some point android will begin the slow its adoption rate.

      • Alex

        Android is growing far faster than iOS, you’re just looking at US stats, not worldwide. Worldwide the gap is growing wider at an exponential rate.

        • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

          Agreed. That is a US stat only but I’m just mentioning it as a point of Android growth slowing.

          • NicoUY

            Android is growing at a 17.4% over apple worlwide,, apple has a lot of fanboys in US , but in other countries they are seen as “moneystealers” ,, just offering ridiculus prices for there boring products..

          • Max_Kelman

            That will change with China, right now Apple is not on China Mobile which has over 600 million subscribers. Android has been having a field day in third world countries. That will change over time.

    • Chris Licata

      The whole goal of the lawsuit is not to kill android or even samsung for that matter. It is to prevent Apple’s “next big thing” from being copied off of by samsung again. iPhone led to the Galaxy, iPad led to the Tab and what ever the others are called, the only phone samsung can call original is the galaxy note and even it was based of the galaxy phones. Whatever apple has next for us is so out there and innovative that they cannot risk letting it be copied…

      • NicoUY

        Cant understand your words… you are saying that the iphone (made by 78% of samsung parts, including the RAM and SCREEN) is innovation?? ,,, the real innovation is samsung making new screens and machinery for phones. Without samsung , apple products CANT exist….

        • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

          And there is absolutely NO ONE ELSE on the face of the planet who could make screens and RAM? Are you really going to argue that Samsung is the only one who can make these parts?

          And please explain how being contracted by Apple to make parts to a requested specification for an Apple product that Apple designed means that Samsung is responsible for the iPhone.

        • Dan Andersen

          Actually, it’s about 8% Samsung parts. See the breakdown analysis by iSuppli. And by the way, manufacturing is not “innovation;” it’s just manufacturing.

        • Max_Kelman

          You do know that a decent portion of Apple’s parts like the A5 Processor are developed by Apple, by Apple owned companies and that Samsung only manfacturers them right? Toshiba supplies majority of Apple’s RAM. Apple also invest in new machinery for its designs and manufacturing.

          • b9876

            No. The A4 was not “developed” by Apple or Apple owned company. It is actually ARM Cortex A9 (core developed by ARM) with PowerVR SGX (developed by Imagination Technologies) and host of parts from Samsung catalog. The A4 was built like Lego. There were some optimizations done, but they were joint venture between PA Semi and Samsung (see also hummingbird).

      • Ahmed Sayed

        You are such a delusioned apple fanboy. I could feel the tone you’re using writing these words. I’m not samsung’s fan btw, i’m HTC’s. But the way you write would make anyone think that apple made the first phone or tablet. Do i need to remind you of the first smartphone. Simon. and the first tablet? I don’t really remember but i think it was MS. So should i call apple stealing for make a smartphone and a tablet???

    • Max_Kelman

      Dude are you stupid or blind?

      iOS market share has never shrunk because it has never been big enough to shrink in the first place. You can say it has had slow growth thanks to the rise of Android and its limited availability worldwide.

      However, in the last quarter that is March to June, iOS in smartphones only outgrew Android by 1.6 points, while Android grew by just .6 points. The carrier and global expansion is working in Apple’s favor.

    • JohnDoey

      Android is irrelevant and off-topic. Whether Android or Bada is on these Samsung phones does not even matter. This is about the consumer-facing features, not the OS core.

      Similarly, some of the Apple devices that have been entered into evidence run iOS, some run Mac OS, and some may even run iPod OS. Doesn’t matter. One of the icons Samsung copied was the icon from iTunes for Mac and PC from about 2001 through 2010. That icon appeared on Mac OS and Windows only, not iOS. Doesn’t matter. You can’t copy other people’s artwork or designs. You are expected to make your own.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD

    Agree with the article completely. I suspect this lawsuit has more to do with future iPhones, and the upcoming Apple TV (whatever it ends up being) than it does with past iPhones and iPads – especially since Shitsung makes TVs.

  • craigphilips24

    Brilliant article.

    Basically, Apple is assuring its future design process.

    It’s pulling this weed from the root before it grows into a shit-flower.

  • Sy

    While one may argue that allowing companies to copy each other promotes innovation, blatant copying should be penalized. If Ford started making a car that looked EXACTLY like a Volkswagen Beetle, you can bet that VW would sue. The argument in court would be “well, all cars have 4 wheels, a windshield and have bent metal for fenders, so we’re not copying”. Samsung did not have to have the icons spaced the same, the phone icon background the same green color, or all of the other little things that made their phones look like an iPhone. They could have used blue plastic, but they didn’t.

    Open up a restaurant, call it McDougals, and put two arches on top of it and sell fast food hamburgers. See what happens.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cromwellian Ray Cromwell

      But that’s under Trademark/TradeDress. McDonalds doesn’t have a “Design Patent” on their restaurants, hence, Burger King. Could you imagine someone claiming in court that Burger King confuses consumers who think they are walking into a McDonalds?

      A BMW 328 looks like a Honda Civic from a distance, should BMW be able to argue in court they have a “design patent” on that car shape and that consumers go into Honda dealerships thinking they are buying BMWs? Should BMW be able to force every other manufacturer to make cars that look like 1980 Chevy Impalas?

      Apple did not invent “modernist” simple design concepts. These come in waves. When modernism arrived, suddenly every Sofa and Chair started looking modernist. Go to a contemporary furniture shop, a lot of the sofas look very similar.

      Walk into a Best Buy, the vast majority of the TVs and other consumer electronic devices like DVD players, receivers, flat panel TVs, all look by and large, mostly the same with small differences in flourishes.

      How do other companies combat this “copying” or similarity? Through marketing to prevent consumer confusion.

      Remember Intel’s “Intel Inside” campaign?

      Apple should not be permitted to own these design patents, it’s too generic and broad. If they want to prevent knockoffs, use existing trademark and tradedress law like everyone else.

      I highly doubt the founders of the country intended patents to be used for this silly purpose.

      The home-screen stuff is particular stupid. Grid of icons? You mean like my Palm OS, my Compaq iPAQ Phone, my Symbian devices? Apple acts like the Symbian, PalmPhone, and J2ME App-store era didn’t exist, even though billions of J2ME apps are still installed on feature phones through carrier app stores.

      Apple gets major props for invigorating and innovating in the smart phone market, but that in no way should entitle them to own the entire design concept. The tech industry would be a disaster if everyone was a litigious as Apple is over this stuff. I’ve never once seen anyone sue anyone over LCD flat panel displays, even though 99% of them all look the same, same bezel, same foot stand.

  • jacker101

    Apple’s motivation for suing Samsung = Monopoly

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      Apple wants to build hotels on Park Place?

  • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

    I’m amused at the idea that any of Apple’s competitors will gain an edge from these released policies and procedures.

    Because the simple fact of the matter is that Apple does in secret what other companies do in public. The competition has been throwing shit against the wall for 20, 30 years and trying to form markets around that which sticks. Or riding successful markets right up until the point the rug is yanked out from under them and discover they have no plan B (RIM comes to mind). At Apple, those walls are behind closed doors, and what goes out the door has stuck the longest, survived the crucible, been examined from as many angles as humanly possible. The cruft is burned away and the entire company is behind the product that gets released to the public, because that product is designed to fit in with Apple’s integrated vision, or ecosystem. Compare this to the public beta that has been Android for the last 5 years.

    Apple polishes their product line until it’s good enough for public release. The competition rarely does (Nexus Q, anyone?).

    In the final analysis, s it really any more complex than that?

  • regisqus

    Samsung’s been in the TV biz for a long time and has a large related patent portfolio. Wonder if Apple will find itself subject to this kind of litigation if it enters the television market.

  • http://rendion.myopenid.com/ render

    Im sorry, but its a totally ridiculous to think that apple needs to stop a company from making look alike products. I dont buy the market confusion angle, any idiot knows the difference.

    This parading around design patents has to stop they are essentially meaningless.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      No, idiots don’t know the difference. This sudden faith in the technological knowledge of average consumers from the very same nerds that typically denigrate normals is one of the weirdest aspects of the defence of Samsung.

  • Joseph

    Nick Bilton doesn’t seem to understand litigation. Forget the public. Apple knew that a lawsuit would result in having to turn over secrets to its arch rival during discovery. In other words, what we’re seeing now Samsung saw during discovery last year. So Jim is right. Apple prefers to show Samsung some old prototypes versus some new prototypes — assuming this lawsuit can establish precedent and prevent future copying, er, I mean fast following.

  • NicoUY

    Apple cant exist without samsung,,, everyone who states that samsung has become big by copying iphone and ipad are totally ignorant. Samsung has car industry, hotel inversions, white line products, tvs, machinery for aircrafts, security for hardware products,etc , etc, etc..and phones. Samsung is bigger than apple, in many ways.

    Iphones are 78% made of samsung parts including RAM and SCREEN. Without samsung innovation in making better screens and parts, iphones “innovative” ideas would never be done. Apple can make their products thanks to samsung innovation in ingeneering and innovation in mobile phone parts. Samsung has lunched new products each year, improving year by year,,,, apple has just been ripping of their clients since the first iphone 4. New ipad?? its the same thing with new hardware..New Macbook Pro?? its the SAME, only with intel i7 and twice as expensive,, New Iphone 4s?? its the SAME , only with the S for merchandising and a new procesor… and so on… as you see apple has stopped innovating since ipad 1… for all the apple fan boys , please stop letting apple ripp your wallets , lets fight for competitive markets that will benefit consumers…

    • Dan Andersen

      Actually, the iPhone is about 8% Samsung parts. See the breakdown analysis by iSuppli. And by the way, manufacturing is not “innovation;” it’s just manufacturing.

      • john

        Actually, it’s more like 20%. And samsung engineered and manufactured the parts, not just manufactured.

  • http://twitter.com/sethhart Seth Hart

    people here, including the author, know very little about how mobile device manufacturing occurs.

    • Gonji

      Pray tell, we’re all ears.

  • JohnDoey

    This is so obvious when you simply ask what does Apple have to do to make $2.5 billion? They have many options that don’t involve Jony Ive and Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue and other Apple superstars having to testify in court. Those guys could have spent that same time designing a watch and made $2.5 billion. The settlement money is absolutely immaterial to Apple, except as a penalty to disincentivize Samsung from copying. Samsung could have spent $2.5 billion designing an original phone and we might have a real alternative to iPhone instead of just a choice of real or fake. So Apple has to make it so that Samsung doesn’t get free design. If you did not hire designers, then hire lawyers. It is actually basic, but in tech there is a tradition of being anti-design while simultaneously cloning Apple products. Apple has to let it be known that tradition is over. This is Apple 2.0, post-comeback, not beleaguered Apple who fired their founder. If you want to sell to consumers, you will need to compete not just on tech but also on design.

  • ammagad

    I actually made sketches for the mobile in 2001 that was touchscreen with applications and 30gb+ storage. Also wlan and fast mobile networking aswell. Maybe I should say Apple stole from me? :)

    • kibbles

      Sure. Where are your shipped products and prototypes?

  • http://twitter.com/psp2roundup PS Vita Roundup

    When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone he said “We’ve patented the hell out of it!” I think 200 patents were mentioned. My only question is why Apple didn’t start taking action the second these clone devices started showing up. I think Apple’s case would be a lot stronger if it had done so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627403486 Sean Mac

    The reason they’re suing is simple; it’s part of Steve Job’s dying wish to crush Android. Samsung is the vehicle; stopping them (or at least slowing them down), makes every Android handset maker think twice.

  • Dexteroids

    Speculative at best. If your idea of Aplle’s next product being disruptive, they have no reason to stop samsung in the first place.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Samsung is going to destroy Apple in court, just as Samsung trashed Apple in the UK court with the same case.

    Apple never invented anything, Apple design is nothing special and Apple does not own any of their designs, Apple is a sad company.

  • Derp

    You’re all wanks.

  • Idealogue

    The rectangular shape of my new Sony plasma screen looks very much like the older Samasung LCD model.. Samsung should sue.

  • kibbles

    So you’re saying the only way to design laptops, tablets and smartphones is to use the way apple did theirs? That’s the only way?

    Hmm.

  • kibbles

    Counter-links, please. Or, you know…

  • Jimcaserta

    It’s about TVs. My iPad is a great video delivery system. iPad3 is even better. AppleTV is the best bargain apple product I’ve bought. Desktop Mac great for watching TV. Apple will revolutionize the TV viewing experience, somewhere Samsung is fairly entrenched in.

  • docmacdvet

    I agree this is the Flat-World. Apple, wake-up to the new realities! No one has a stranglehold on Technology, Design and Innovation. Let me suggest this: sell it cheaper, and you sell more.Whether you were the Innovators of this Technology, entitles you to nothing. Nokia used to be number one. Where are they now? The same with SonyEircsson. Where is it now? Swallow it down. That is the harsh reality. The Rest is catching up! Get a Grip Apple!

  • docmacdvet

    The Decline of the West and the Rise of the Rest.!

  • AznSta

    I heard they were contracting Samsung to work on some part and Samsung took it far enough to come up with their own product. I don’t know how’s right or wrong here but I know that America is for free market. Unless touchscreen phone and 7 – 12 layer board is patent, I don’t see how Samsung can’t create their version of phone also.

  • http://imobilerescue.com/ Ryan

    It should be interesting. I agree, they must think, “we have to stop these guys now, because more innovation is coming, and we can’t have them copying it.” Interesting thought.

  • Prash P

    Its not the iPhone but another device that Samsung/Sony could most likely emulate Apple which Apple is trying to protect (Hint: it ends with TV)

  • CA

    Holy freakin crap your absolutely right!!!!!!!

    And I hadn’t thought of that! :-)

    Now it all makes sense!!! And you failed to mention the other equally crucial purpose; to send a message!

    I was wondering, what was the real value Apple wanted from this trial case? I knew it wasn’t money. Markets share?- No!- because that I’d already lost. Mindshare?- Likely and plausible!- now Apple has ALL the mainstream media blazing this victory all over their mediums and and THAT will absolutely make some people question samsung in morality and talent or pack thereof since it had to copy! Forcing updates, well maybe but the phones are already in cunsumers hands….

    And then there’s your article! And it all makes sense!

    And I’m thrilled because I believe you! :-)

  • Sy

    Fundamentally, Apple takes the risk in the market, and when they succeed, others “slavishly copy”, and have been able to do so with impunity throughout the last 30 yrs. In fact, it’s cheaper to copy than it is to take the original design risk. And since Apple hasn’t bothered to sue in the past, people get away with it.

    If you are awarded a patent, you must defend it. You may argue that they shouldn’t be awarded those types of patents, or that the patent system is broken (really, a “one click” patent for Amazon??), but the law is the law. Everyone is on the same field, playing by the same rules. You may not like the rule, but tough!

    Apple isn’t a “crybaby” if someone copies their hard work. Imagine if you worked your butt off on a project, spent hours and hours on it, preparing for a presentation to management, only to have the guy in the next cubicle copy it and present it to management first as his own idea. You have a right to be indignant and cry FOUL!

    Litigation involves risk. Apple takes the biggest risks in the industry. They deserve to have their risk rewarded.

  • JP

    Apple was started from stealing other peoples hardware/software that is kind ironic if you ask me.