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Thursday, 02 August 2012 11:10

Apple did not invent the rounded rectangle

Written by Nick Farrell



Samsung claims to have been using it for ages


The court case between Samsung and Apple is in full swing with Samsung’s legal team pointing out that Jobs' Mob did not invent the rounded rectangle. Samsung attorney Charlie Verhoeven said that there’s a distinction between commercial success and inventing something.

Verhoeven showed a selection of tablet designs that looked very similar to the rectangular, minimalist look of the iPad.  Some of these tablets dated back to 1994.

“Apple didn’t invent the rectangular-shaped form factor you keep seeing,” Verhoeven said.

He showed a handful of slides illustrating the broad range of Samsung mobiles and smartphones before the iPhone was introduced in 2007, and then after. After the iPhone, he claimed consumers simply wanted candy bar-shaped phones with a large touchscreen on the face, and the entire industry moved toward that. He said that this was not infringement it was competition. It was  providing what the consumer wanted.

He provided examples of internal Apple documents dissecting and discussing competing smartphone and tablets in the space, including Samsung’s. He said that Samsung’s products were not causing confusion for consumers in the marketplace. Verhoeven said that Samsung is a major components supplier for Apple, but Apple thinks Samsung has invented something, to put its products in its phone.

Samsung’s phones don’t include the protected features of Apple’s design patents. There is no even bezel across the rim of the device. He also went into greater detail explaining Samsung’s patents to show how they are utility patents necessary to 3G transmission functionality. He shot a little dig at Apple's complaint saying that Samsung’s 3G patents are “much more fundamental than little things you can do on a touchscreen.”

Nick Farrell

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