Originally Posted by Imhotep397
... until Apple rolled the iPhone out and at that time there absolutely no question about the validity of the patent.
On the contrary, absolutely there were questions about the validity of many of their patents at the time they were granted.
And again, this patent isn't what you seem to think. It's for something that any touch designer would do.
It just seems as if now, three to fours years later, there's a sea of iPhone knock-offs some moron in the patent office wants to invalidate the patents based on the fact that ripping Apple off, as many companies have done, equals competition.
What has happened is that examiners and judges are now more familiar with the history of touch, due to the challenges that have come up. To someone who did not know that history, then yes some things would seem novel to them, and obvious to an experienced person in that field.
Samsung and the rest of the mobile industry need to go back their clamshell and Blackberryrip-off phone designs.
Why would they, when they were heading in the same direction already?
Touchscreen phones date back to 1993. From that moment, the entire industry was moving (albeit slower) in the same direction as Apple. Touch phones became more mainstream around 2002.
The 2002 Neonode touch WinCE phone used swipe-to-unlock.
The 2003 MyOrigio touch phone even had a rotation sensor:
The 2005 WinCE Pidion touchscreen phone shape foretold the rounded rectangle slab of the much later iPhone 4:
In mid 2006, Samsung sold an all-touch phone:
Part of the evidence that Apple's lawyers managed to ban (using a technicality) during the recent California trial was Samsung's internal R&D. Imagine if the jury had gotten to see this:
In fact, touch concept phones such as the BenQ Blackbox and Nokia Aeon designs were all the rage in 2006:
Synaptics (yes, the ones who make touchpads) spent 2006 showing off their working Onyx capacitive surface touch phone, trying to get manufacturers to use their technology:
And, of course, there was the world's first public announcement, in Nov 2006, of a multi-touch phone design with pinch zoom maps, the Open Linux phone, shown here in a Gizmodo article next to the later iPhone:
There is much, much more. The point is, the industry was headed in that direction, and that's why Jobs rushed to show off the iPhone six months before it was even ready for sale. You see, the largest annual world show of new phones was coming in early 2007, and everyone expected a slew of all-touch phones. Jobs obviously wanted his to be shown off first. As it turns out, he need not have worried. All that was shown was the LG Prada, which was indeed another capacitive screen phone, but with a far less sophisticated UI.
Mind you, Apple deserves full credit for being the first to bring the best ideas to market. They pushed everyone to bring their R&D out of the labs. But it was going to happen sooner or later.
Edited by KDarling - 12/12/12 at 7:40am