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Samsung cites science fiction as prior art in US iPad patent case

post #1 of 143
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In its opposition brief against Apple's US motion for a preliminary injunction against sales of its Galaxy S, Infuse 4G, Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung is claiming a depiction of a video device from "2001: a Space Odyssey" as prior art.

Samsung's full opposition filing isn't yet public as it was filed under seal, but FOSS Patents has reported on one element the company plans to use in its defense: that the appearance of a device in a work of science fiction could be referenced as prior art to invalidate design patents.

Samsung depicts a scene from "2001" where actors in the futuristic 1968 Stanley Kubrick film watch a TV news broadcast from what appears to be a digital newspaper while they eat a meal. The company describes the scene as depicting astronauts "using personal tablet computers."

Samsung states that "the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table's surface), and a thin form factor." The movie does not, however, depict any interaction with a user interface on the device. Other works of science fiction have depicted tablet computers in various forms.

Fictional or artistic representations of inventions can be used to invalidate design patents. Robert A. Heinlein, who was described as one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers alongside Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, wrote detailed descriptions of the concept of a waterbed while hospitalized in the mid 1930s. His writings were later used as prior art to prevent a patent from being awarded in the 1960s as the waterbed started to become popular.

Apple was recently sued by Klausner Technologies over a patent claim against the iPhone's Visual Voicemail, a feature that could have similarly been defended with science fiction prior art. However, Apple settled with the company and licensed its patent.



Apple's US case against Samsung

However, Samsung has far more at stake in this case because Apple is seeking to block a wide range of its products as willfully infringing copies, rather than just seeking some licensing revenue.

Apple notes in its complaint that it "is limiting this motion to new products that Samsung recently released in the U.S. Apple has not targeted the unreleased Galaxy S 2 phone and GalaxyTab 8.9 tablet computer. Apple reserves the right to seek a preliminary injunction against those two products as their release becomes imminent."

The company adds that "unless enjoined, Samsung's sales of a new round of copycat products will cause irreparable harm to Apple that cannot be adequately compensated by damages. Accordingly, Apple requests that the Court issue a preliminary injunction and ensure that innovation not unlawful imitation is protected."

Apple's patent claims

Apple's US case for a preliminary injunction against Samsung relates to three US Design Patents (D618,677, D593,087 and D504,889) and a technology patent (7,469,381 described as "list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display") which Apple has previously asserted against HTC and Nokia.

Apple's D677 and D087 patents relate to the design of the front face of the iPhone, while D889 pertains to the iPad's overall design. The '381 patent is "a clever method for displaying images on touch screens: when one uses a finger to drag a displayed page past its bottom edge, for example, and releases the finger, the page bounces back to fill the full screen."

Apple stated that Nokia previously initiated a reexamination of the '381 patent "which included the best prior art references Nokia could find," but the Patent Office confirmed the validity of all twenty claims related to the patent.

Samsung's "2001" prior art appears to be directed at elements of the D889 design patent. However, Apple's complaint cites previous court decisions ruling that "the critical issue is whether 'the effect of the whole design [is] substantially the same' 'minor differences between a patent design and an accused articles design cannot, and shall not, prevent a finding of infringement.'"

Another case Apple cites found "if the accused design has copied a particular feature of the claimed design that departs conspicuously from the prior art, the accused design is naturally more likely to be regarded as deceptively similar to the claimed design, and thus infringing."

Apple's complaint notes that "the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is substantially, even strikingly, similar to Apples minimalist, patented D889 design, which in turn looks very different from the prior art," referencing actual design patents for tablet computers filed by IBM and Hitachi.



Evidence that evidence wasn't faked

Countering claims by a Dutch columnist for IDC that Apple had "doctored evidence" to fool the courts in Germany and the Netherlands, Apple notes in its US complaint that "differences between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Apples patented design are trivial and legally insignificant: the aspect ratio, thickness, and edge profiles do not appear to be absolutely identical in the Tab 10.1 and Apples patented design.

"But as discussed above, a product infringes a design patent even if it differs in several details, so long as an ordinary observer would view the overall appearance to be substantially the same. These minor differences do not affect the substantial similarity between Samsungs tablets and Apples claimed design when viewed as a whole, especially in light of the prior art."

post #2 of 143
Wow! Come on with the H.G. Wells and much more as prior art claims.

Poor Tesla actually invents so much stuff it would take life times to produce, but never mind him he's unimportant with all his patents because we've got Robert Heinlein's fictional work to be our case.

What's next? Roddenberry Estate steps in as well?
post #3 of 143
LOL! I saw that earlier today and thoght that surely they can do better than that. Their own photo frame intorduced in 2006 and mentioned several times recently, is a much closer match to the iPad
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #4 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

What's next? Roddenberry Estate steps in as well?

Roddenberry's estate should sue all of the flip phone makers for "ripping off" the Star Trek communicators!!
post #5 of 143
They don't touch the screens and the 'tablets' aren't moved at all (mainly because there is a 16mm film projector underneath providing the 'feed')
post #6 of 143
Wow... what would be even more insulting is if that defense carried even slight authority.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #7 of 143
Just when I thought patent law couldn't get any more absurd. I've been posting for years that since you don't actually have to produce anything or describe exact methodology, I should have patented the "business" process of time travel, motion picture holography, the holodeck, flying cars, replicators, WARP drive, space transporters and brain-embedded automatic translators. Oh yeah, maybe I should patent 'The Force' while I'm at it.
post #8 of 143
Here's a screen cap of my HD DVD rip of the movie for a larger, higher-quality shot.



Love that the tablet's an IBM product. Maybe Samsung should be suing them instead.

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #9 of 143
I really don't like copycats, as a matter of fact, I don't think I'll ever buy anything from Samsung again.

In my book, Samsung SUCKS. (all caps used for emphasis)
post #10 of 143
Well, 2001 was ten years ago now.

More seriously, that bottom graphic fails to demonstrate that Samsung did release touchscreen phones before the iPhone was released, such as the i700 and i710. What's changed is the exact design and the number of Samsung touchscreen phones.
post #11 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

LOL! I saw that earlier today and thoght that surely they can do better than that. Their own photo frame intorduced in 2006 and mentioned several times recently, is a much closer match to the iPad

Please don't quote the whole story, you didn't need to do that to make a two sentence reply.
post #12 of 143
Samsungs copying is blatant, as some of Apples images show. Others of Apples comparisons are pretty weaklike theyre throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks! So I guess Samsung can play that game too

Id like to see real competition and innovation: blatant copiers forced to innovate and make something unique instead, so we have real advances and more choices. Other companies have done this. Samsung cant make that claim here.

Id be mad if Apple were going after tablet designs because they were too unique and original! But going after tablet designs that are lazy copycats? That sounds good for me as a consumer who likes to see competition and innovation!
post #13 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Wow... what would be even more insulting is if that defense carried even slight authority.

Yeah, I'm really starting to wonder about those Samsung lawyers. This is not "prior art" it's a fantasy product. Even if it were a render of a "concept" it wouldn't be prior art.

It's not even close and it's embarrassing that their lawyers don't seem to know that.
post #14 of 143
Proves how badly the current patent system needs to be redone, how bogus most claims (Apple included) really are, because we allow things like "Bread Refreshing Method" (U.S. Patent Number 6,080,436 - recently featured on "This American Life") to be patented.

Yes, you read that correctly. Someone in 1999 filed, and later, in 2000, was awarded, a patent for toast...
post #15 of 143
post #16 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Here's a screen cap of my HD DVD rip of the movie for a larger, higher-quality shot.



Love that the tablet's an IBM product. Maybe Samsung should be suing them instead.

But you can clearly see the channel buttons on this product. This is not a tablet, it s a tv. It's not meant to be interacted as the iPad and tab is...it's just made to flip channels well you're eating. Also, it says IBM on it...if yo can find the original product, then this is a differnt story...
post #17 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple notes it its complaint

DED's ongoing typo a day...
post #18 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Samsungs copying is blatant, as some of Apples images show. Others of Apples comparisons are pretty weaklike theyre throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks! So I guess Samsung can play that game too

Id like to see real competition and innovation: blatant copiers forced to innovate and make something unique instead, so we have real advances and more choices. Other companies have done this. Samsung cant make that claim here.

Id be mad if Apple were going after tablet designs because they were too unique and original! But going after tablet designs that are lazy copycats? That sounds good for me as a consumer who likes to see competition and innovation!

I agree wholeheartedly. I said it before in another thread, but everything about the Samsung Galaxy Tab screams "Hey, you might think I am an iPad" down to the 30 pin connector. Someone took issue with that, yet couldn't provide me one other company using the 30 pin connector.

Let's see... Google/Android for an OS. Let's take that, put the "Samsung Skin" on it (hey, so know one thinks we are copying Apple, use iOS3 as the basis). Use the same basic looks/feel, and heck, that 30 pin dock connector? Let's do that, too. To mix it up, go see what rumor sites say they still wish the iPad had. Oh, dock connector on the long side? Sure, let's go with that...
post #19 of 143
The prior Samsung is citing is imaginary. It's a movie prop.
post #20 of 143
One day some one is going to figure how to get light to bend back on itself, Samsung will steal their ideas and then claim Star Wars for prior art.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #21 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Here's a screen cap of my HD DVD rip of the movie for a larger, higher-quality shot.

Hmmm. I see a nice row of buttons with no obvious function to them, and while it may be the angle, it looks like there is a stand, or perhaps the fictional device is not actually supposed to be a tablet shape.

It actually looks a but more like Samsung's "before iPad" tablets...
post #22 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Just when I thought patent law couldn't get any more absurd. I've been posting for years that since you don't actually have to produce anything or describe exact methodology, I should have patented the "business" process of time travel, motion picture holography, the holodeck, flying cars, replicators, WARP drive, space transporters and brain-embedded automatic translators. Oh yeah, maybe I should patent 'The Force' while I'm at it.

From the article you are commenting upon: "Fictional or artistic representations of inventions can be used to invalidate design patents." (Emphasis supplied)

None of your examples have anything whatsoever to do with the subject at hand, which are design patents.

But reality is so much more boring, eh?
post #23 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

They don't touch the screens and the 'tablets' aren't moved at all (mainly because there is a 16mm film projector underneath providing the 'feed')

Quick let's patent full frame video in the portrait view.

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post #24 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by pooman625 View Post

Also, it says IBM on it...if yo can find the original product, then this is a differnt story...

There isn't an original product. There was just all kinds of (very realistic) product placement in the movie based on what companies that were leaders back then that they figured would be leaders in their respective fields in 2001.

You know, like IBM and Pan Am

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #25 of 143
The statement from Samsung that Apple has become litigious "rather than seeking to innovate in the face of legitimate competition from Samsung" is uttered without a hint of irony. There is a powerful disincentive to innovate if competitors are allowed to freely pilfer and profit from your innovations.
post #26 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, I'm really starting to wonder about those Samsung lawyers. This is not "prior art" it's a fantasy product. Even if it were a render of a "concept" it wouldn't be prior art.

It's not even close and it's embarrassing that their lawyers don't seem to know that.

They know lots more than you. Study up on design patents, or, at the very least, read the article that you are responding too. Clue: The article tells you what is wrong with your analysis.
post #27 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The prior Samsung is citing is imaginary. It's a movie prop.

How is that relevant to Samsung's claim?
post #28 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

They know lots more than you. Study up on design patents, or, at the very least, read the article that you are responding too. Clue: The article tells you what is wrong with your analysis.

I'm pretty sure you are the one that didn't read the article.

For it to be prior art, it has to be a design, not just a mock up of a what-if. Heinlein wrote detailed notes on the waterbed, how it was made, how it worked etc. This is not the same thing as a slice of wood painted to look like a tablet, or in this case a tablet that is affixed to a table top because it's actually getting it's images from a 16mm projector underneath.

The "art" in prior art doesn't mean a picture it means "design art." Someone would have had to do some serious thinking about the design issues and how it all works, and goes together for it to be prior art. This is not that. Design is not just drawing a picture. Pictures are used *in* design, but a picture of something or a concept drawing does not constitute a design.

All this is made academic by the fact that a close up view of the tablet in question shows it to be much more similar in design to the kind of crap tablets samsung designed before the iPad came out anyway. It's square with sharp corners and bristling with buttons. The navigation interface is also by voice command not by gesture or swipe.
post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The prior Samsung is citing is imaginary. It's a movie prop.

If movie props can be used as prior art, a LOT of other products could be invalidated by patents. The mere mention of a technique in a movie to do something could invalidate any patent based on it.

Not a bad idea, actually.

So, I'm off to patent the teleporter...

CRAP, Star Trek beat me to it!
post #30 of 143
Well, there goes patenting my invention for synthesizing Dilithium crystals for use in my future warp-drive system (pat. pending).

Since it was used on the USS Enterprise, there's prior art.
post #31 of 143
Quick, someone buy up rights to Jules Verne, you'll be set for life. All other sci fi writers that followed him will be trumped by his prior art.
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post #32 of 143
Apple could theoretically use communicators from Star Trek to invalidate all of Motorola's mobile technology patents then?
post #33 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

If movie props can be used as prior art, a LOT of other products could be invalidated by patents. The mere mention of a technique in a movie to do something could invalidate any patent based on it.

Not a bad idea, actually.

So, I'm off to patent the teleporter...

CRAP, Star Trek beat me to it!

Don't forget "Minority Report". Talk about multi-touch!
post #34 of 143
Samsung just took the short bus to Crazy Town.

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post #35 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Quick, someone buy up rights to Jules Verne, you'll be set for life. All other sci fi writers that followed him will be trumped by his prior art.

Clarke came up with the space elevator (et. al.), so grab him for good measure.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #36 of 143
that's not a multitouch tablet. It is a passive viewing device, aka a space television, with 10 hardware keys marked 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Samsung could copy this form factor and avoid the apple suit, but the 10.1 tablet clearly infringes on Apple's trade dress from product design, to cables, plugs, packaging and accessories.

Samsung, you do make a blue ray player - go buy the disc and stop stealing from Apple and Youtube.
post #37 of 143
There goes my Hyperdrive invention. Curse you Samsung.....
post #38 of 143
You can't patent something this obvious, c'mon.

Samsung is copying Star Trek, Apple is copying Star Trek.

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/PADD
post #39 of 143
This is so funny. Samsung is about to get their a$$ handed to them in court. Sci-fi..... Prior art
post #40 of 143
I'm truly shocked at the number of "Yeah, good point Samsung!" posts I'm reading on other sites. How can a non-functioning special effect from a forty year old movie be patented? When a Boeing or Sikorsky suddenly invents a hovering car, will they have to call Robert Zemekis for his approval?

I think if anything Samsung's 2001 defense hurts them. The movie came out 43 years ago. Samsung took 43 years to produce a tablet similar to those seen in 2001, and that was 6 months after Apple came out with their own tablet. What was Samsung producing for those other 42 and a half years? Nothing close to 2001.

It's funny. When the Samsung lawsuits first started, they argued that they didn't copy Apple. Now it feels like they've admitted to copying Apple, and are simply trying to justify their actions.
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