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Luxpro seeks $100m in damages from Apple over iPod shuffle knockoff - Page 2

post #41 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by themacolyte View Post

Funny, this didn't occur to me when I saw it. I was thinking of Scooby Doo. Is Scooby Doo just a veiled racist character? I think I've just been robbed of some lingering innocence.
...

ROTFLMFAO
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post #42 of 70
Look at nearly every Asian corporation, and it's easy to see that their R&D amounts to copying what's being done overseas. The judges aren't going to rule against homegrown companies making a buck, because they're being paid off too somewhere down the line.

Japanese automakers are a prime example of an industry that needed a boost back in the 60's. They didn't innovate, but simply what was being done in America at the time. Fortunately for them, they leapfrogged over the Americans because the years of development that we did they simply ignored; very easy to come out with something superior when you stand by the sidelines and just wait for the grunt work to be done by someone else, steal their work, defend such stealing with courtrooms and lawsuits, then march on.

There are myriad examples of such actions here in Silicon Valley. Cadence Design comes to mind, as does Rambus and quite a few others.

How often do you hear of Silicon Valley companies absorbing the first lawsuit? You don't, because all the ingenuity is here in the US; Asians simply copy. (By Asians, I mean Asian companies, not ethnicity. Please, no racial fires!)

At the root level, the cause of all this is culture. Americans are rewarded for risk, Asians aren't. The banking and venture capital culture there is the same way. Therefore, it really doesn't pay off to take risks, such as pumping your company's fortunes into an Industrial Design department headed by a high-flying Irish dude named Jonathan Ive. In Asia, he'd be a low-level employee who gets shot down at every meeting where he tries to propose something 'different'. Unless, of course, his proposal is already being done by a fruit-named company in the US who's selling millions of said device...
post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadHermit View Post

hmmm... now here we are presented with a very trickey statement. Clearly, this is making fun of Asian dificulties in separating 'L' and 'R' in spoken English.... my first impulse is to take it as a racist comment, but damn if I'm not guilty of the same thing every time I get one of the Japanese transfer students in my Japanese class to try to say "Squirel". Am I a bastard, or is context a valid consideration?

I thought it was mainly just the Japanese language that has that limitation. Nevertheless, of all the Asian languages, I have only studied Japanese. Other Asian languages do have limited phonetic sounds, but I think Japanese is among the most limited. IIRC, Japanese has about 100 phonetic sounds whereas English has about 3000, so it's easy to see where problems arise in learning how to speak English.
post #44 of 70
I don't know what sort of press release that is, but it looks pretty unprofessional.

I also don't see how the Super Tangent isn't a rip-off of Apple's designs. The buttons are very slightly different and they put the brand name on it, but that's it. A different color doesn't make it an original product either.
post #45 of 70
Proctor and Gamble, registered trademark holders of the name Lux (soap) will be suing LuxPro for infringement. makes as much sense.
post #46 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadHermit View Post

If I were going to guess... And I am, then I would guess that Apple did not file a PATENT properly for the Shuffle. I would bet that they lost on a technicality. And let's please be more judicious in our slinging of words such as "patent" and 'copywrite'.

But can't this be considered prior art or something?
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post #47 of 70
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Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Except that the Super Tangent doesn't have a screen. Go and google for it and see if you can find any screen. CNet's review even points this out as a critical problem with the device. But even aside from that, it has several features the Shuffle does not have (like a voice recorder and FM radio tuner), and comes in colors that Apple has never shipped.

As much as I like Apple, I would have to agree - this device is not doing anything illegal. It has a different feature set, it is not using any Apple trademarks, it identifies itself as a Luxpro product, and the overall look is far to trivial to be protected. (If that was protected, then every USB thumb-drive would be a potential violator as well.)

Now, if they later try to release something like the new Shuffle, that might be something different. It's look is something that clearly had a lot more thought behind it.

Followup: Although the Super Tangent has no screen, a different Luxpro product, the EZ Tangent does have a screen. But I've seen no indication that Apple was suing over this model - it is distinctive enough that no consumer would ever confuse it with an iPod Shuffle.


yea the super tangent doesn't have a screen, but neither does the ipod shuffle! that it copied.
post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Except that the Super Tangent doesn't have a screen. Go and google for it and see if you can find any screen. CNet's review even points this out as a critical problem with the device. But even aside from that, it has several features the Shuffle does not have (like a voice recorder and FM radio tuner), and comes in colors that Apple has never shipped.

As much as I like Apple, I would have to agree - this device is not doing anything illegal. It has a different feature set, it is not using any Apple trademarks, it identifies itself as a Luxpro product, and the overall look is far to trivial to be protected. (If that was protected, then every USB thumb-drive would be a potential violator as well.)

Actually, if I remember correctly, the original version of Luxpro's product, the one that Apple sued over, only came in white and didn't have the Luxpro name on the front like the Super Tangent. And a the CeBIT convention it was called the Super Shuffle not Super Tangent.

Now, you tell me, if little Jimmy asked Aunte Elaine for an iPod shuffle for Christmas, and sweet old Elaine saw a box on the shelf that looked exactly like an iPod shuffle except for some VERY minor variations in the shape of the buttons, the buttons labeled exactly the same as the Apple product, and the box was labeled "Super Shuffle", do you think she might get tricked into buying something she didn't intend?

Apple should not have lost the original lawsuit. Just like the didn't lose the lawsuit against the PC manufacturer who tried to copy the original iMac (translucent, all-in-one). In that case, said it had a different feature set (floppy disk, ran Windows, etc) and the name didn't try to imitate the iMac name. But the court rule that the similarities were too great and it could cause a unsuspecting consumer to buy a product they had not intended on buying.
post #49 of 70
Has anyone watched the documentary, "The Corporation" yet? This situation reminds me so much what a corporation is suppose to do. All these lawsuits and counterlawsuits of patents and copyrights amounts to nothing less than a company trying to gobble up as much profit as possible. If preventing someone else for gaining then it's already a battle worth winning.

Someone above mention it's a difference in culture. Please, it has little or nothing to do with it. We are in the age of global economy, earning an extra $100 million means a lot more than the next company that didn't.
post #50 of 70
Who needs who more? Does Taiwan need Apple more than Apple needs Taiwan, or vice versa?
post #51 of 70
"Taiwan has a very sophisticated electronics technology, and we can't just let a multinational corporation take advantage of its market force to put down Taiwan's industry at its will," said Luxpro Chairman Wu Fu-Ching.




How dare of he saying something like that !!!!

?? ? ?? ?
post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I also don't see how the Super Tangent isn't a rip-off of Apple's designs. The buttons are very slightly different and they put the brand name on it, but that's it. A different color doesn't make it an original product either.

... and a voice recorder, and an FM radio.

As long as they don't package it in apple's green-on-green packaging with Shuffle icons and Apple logos (the way a different product is being sold), there is no way somebody would buy it and think they have an Apple product.

Nobody buys Tangents or iPods by grabbing unpackaged devices from a bin, which is the only way you might confuse the two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiggin

Now, you tell me, if little Jimmy asked Aunte Elaine for an iPod shuffle for Christmas, and sweet old Elaine saw a box on the shelf that looked exactly like an iPod shuffle except for some VERY minor variations in the shape of the buttons, the buttons labeled exactly the same as the Apple product, and the box was labeled "Super Shuffle", do you think she might get tricked into buying something she didn't intend?

You just said it - the box. Do you think people will assume that every small white rectangular piece of plastic sold must be an iPod Shuffle, even when the name on the product, and on the packaging, clearly says otherwise?

Yes, I know there are some stupid people out there, but a product doesn't become illegal simply because some customers are idiots.

And as you wrote, they did change the name of the product already. So even if you consider "Super shuffle" to be a clone of "iPod shuffle", that issue is no longer applicable. (And if the word "shuffle" is so sacrosanct, then Sony should sue Apple - they have been using the word "shuffle" on their CD players for decades. Apple can't suddenly lay claim to a word that everybody has been using for over 20 years.)
post #53 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

... and a voice recorder, and an FM radio.

Adding a couple extra features doesn't mean that the basic aesthetics design wasn't ripped off. Not using Apple's logo or retail box doesn't mean it's OK to do that.

I haven't seen any pictures of the actual Super Shuffle package, so it's hard to comment on that part.
post #54 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

And as you wrote, they did change the name of the product already. So even if you consider "Super shuffle" to be a clone of "iPod shuffle", that issue is no longer applicable. (And if the word "shuffle" is so sacrosanct, then Sony should sue Apple - they have been using the word "shuffle" on their CD players for decades. Apple can't suddenly lay claim to a word that everybody has been using for over 20 years.)

First of all, Sony did not invent the word "shuffle". Apple is the first company to create a product called Shuffle and there fore has right to the name. If I create a music player called Play and you can't create a similar product called Play, with the attempt to compete with me; Even though you can certainly use the word on the controls of your device to indicate that it's playing.

I'm not sure if, say, Chevy could call a car a "Shuffle" as it can't possibly be confused with an iPod Shuffle or if Apple has exclusive rights to the term as a brand-name in the States. Are there any lawyers--or barristers--in the house?
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post #55 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

And as you wrote, they did change the name of the product already. So even if you consider "Super shuffle" to be a clone of "iPod shuffle", that issue is no longer applicable. (And if the word "shuffle" is so sacrosanct, then Sony should sue Apple - they have been using the word "shuffle" on their CD players for decades. Apple can't suddenly lay claim to a word that everybody has been using for over 20 years.)

You misunderstand trademarks, almost completely.

I don't think "shuffle" was a word invented by Sony. Whoever first used it for a particular feature adapted the word because they thought it fit well, and they probably never considered using it as the name of a product. Windows and Macintosh were words in common use, but one may trademark words in common use for a specific product type so that no one else may make a product of that type and use that same name for their product too. Apple may lay claim to the use of "Shuffle" in the name of an audio device because it is their trademark.

They cannot lay a claim against a shoe if it was named "Shuffle" though. Trademarks are usually pretty specific as to product categories, and you can't register trademarks for product categories that are unrelated to products that you make or intend to make. Apple can't prevent anyone from using the word shuffle as a name of a function, I don't remember even trying that even though you suggest that they might.
post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

First of all, Sony did not invent the word "shuffle". Apple is the first company to create a product called Shuffle and there fore has right to the name. If I create a music player called Play and you can't create a similar product called Play, with the attempt to compete with me; Even though you can certainly use the word on the controls of your device to indicate that it's playing.

They didn't. Apple created a product called "iPod shuffle".

It's quite a stretch to say that this protects all other names and phrases that include the word "shuffle".

I realize that companies have tried to protect whole segments of the English language, but it doesn't mean much. Intel actually managed to get a trademark for the letter "i", but I don't think they'll have any success trying to prosecute everybody else for using that letter in their product names.
post #57 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Adding a couple extra features doesn't mean that the basic aesthetics design wasn't ripped off. Not using Apple's logo or retail box doesn't mean it's OK to do that.

There is nothing special about the iPod shuffle's overall design. It's a plain white plastic rectangle. If that is protectable, then Apple should be sued by chewing gum companies, since their packs used that look first.

The parts of a Shuffle that are distinctive (the power switch, status light, and controls) are all different on the Super Tangent.
post #58 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

Ignore international trademarks and copyrights. Maybe they will get in line when the mainland takes them back over.

"Get in line" and enforce intellectual property rights because PRC takes over!?



(I assume you meant that as a joke, right?)
post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by willrob View Post

Proctor and Gamble, registered trademark holders of the name Lux (soap) will be suing LuxPro for infringement. makes as much sense.

Hmmm..... unless Unilever was taken over by P&G in secret, I believe "Lux" is already taken!

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lux_(soap)

post #60 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

There is nothing special about the iPod shuffle's overall design. It's a plain white plastic rectangle. If that is protectable, then Apple should be sued by chewing gum companies, since their packs used that look first.

The parts of a Shuffle that are distinctive (the power switch, status light, and controls) are all different on the Super Tangent.

I don't think so. It's more than just the shape primitive. The dimensions are practically identical between the two products, the radius on the corners look the same, the corners they chose to radius are the same. There is no pack of gum that looks like that, at least that I've ever seen. The end cap is pretty much identical in shape, possibly interchangeable. The relative placement of the controls on the body is the same, front and back. The switches on the back are pretty similar in shape too, it looks like the iPod shuffle's switch made narrower and then duplicated.

Even one of the packages tried to use the Apple logo:
http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/1/5/6492

I think it's harder to be more of a rip-off of the design without being counterfeit. There have been counterfeits, AppleInsider has reported about them in the past.

The original Super Shuffle promo, image including the Apple-style sillhouette and a unit that perfectly cloned the front controls:
http://www.macdailynews.com/index.ph...hufle_rip_off/
post #61 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Even one of the packages tried to use the Apple logo:
http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/1/5/6492

Okay, now you're just grasping at straws. That is obviously a peach, not an apple. How you can even draw comparisons between the two is beyond me. We both know that Luxpro is completely innovative and original in their designs and concepts. You really should stop with all this FUD!
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post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post


As long as they don't package it in apple's green-on-green packaging with Shuffle icons and Apple logos (the way a different product is being sold), there is no way somebody would buy it and think they have an Apple product.

Wow, really? Do you think that everyone knows what kind of package a shuffle comes in? That's a pretty foolish notion. (And as someone else already pointed out, the original packaging did in fact have an apple on it.) Quick describe the box a Canon camera comes in! How about describing the packaging for HP inkjet printers? And how many times have you bought something online and the web page shows the product out of the box. In most instances, you don't ever see the packaging anywhere on the web site. So your whole "but the packaging was different" angle is irrelevant.
post #63 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

It's quite a stretch to say that this protects all other names and phrases that include the word "shuffle".

I realize that companies have tried to protect whole segments of the English language, but it doesn't mean much. Intel actually managed to get a trademark for the letter "i", but I don't think they'll have any success trying to prosecute everybody else for using that letter in their product names.

I have no knowledge of this Intel trademark but I doubt that you are understand the facts. Intel can't--and wouldn't--try to keep others from using the letter 'i'; that makes absolutely no sense. I postulate that it was probably a trademarking of a logo with the letter 'i'. This doesn't mean that other logos can't contain the letter 'i', but it does mean that other companies can't copy their style. In other words, there can't be any confusion between the Intel 'i' and other logos in that category.
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post #64 of 70
And I just found this article from when they originally released the what was then called the super shuffle. If this isn't the definition of infringement, I don't know what is:

- Their product looks EXACTLY like the shuffle except the text on the back
- The product/headphone show is very similar to one Apple has used
- Two-tone marketing material, with silhouette of a person wearing the product in white

http://www.macdailynews.com/index.ph...hufle_rip_off/

If anyone still thinks it wasn't a blatant attempt by Luxpro to take advantage of Apple's hard work and deliberately deceive customers...

EDIT: Just noticed this is the same link JeffDM already posted.
post #65 of 70
I'm reminded of the McDowell restaurant in Coming to America.

Look... me and the McDonald's people got this little misunderstanding. See, they're McDonald's... I'm McDowell's. They got the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac, I got the Big Mick. We both got two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions, but their buns have sesame seeds. My buns have no seeds.
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post #66 of 70
Gee, it seems that everybody has decided to gang up on me here.

Yes, the original issue - the product called Super Shuffle - violated several trademarks. Mostly in the name and the packaging. Which is why, after the suit, they changed both the name and the packaging. That's over and done with - ancient history.

Any further claims of violation is really claiming that Apple has an eternal monopoly on anybody who makes a small white rectangular music player. Go and believe this if you want, but it makes no sense whatsoever.
post #67 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Gee, it seems that everybody has decided to gang up on me here.

Yes, the original issue - the product called Super Shuffle - violated several trademarks. Mostly in the name and the packaging. Which is why, after the suit, they changed both the name and the packaging. That's over and done with - ancient history.

Any further claims of violation is really claiming that Apple has an eternal monopoly on anybody who makes a small white rectangular music player. Go and believe this if you want, but it makes no sense whatsoever.

I'm not trying to "gang" up on you, but likewise, I'm saying that I simply don't understand your points and made a clear rebuttal. The problem is, I've already pointed out why it's not just another small white rectangular player. I noted that they shared several very specific design details, when present in that combination, simply do not lead me anywhere near your conclusion. If the only similarities were that it was a white rectangle, then I would agree with you, but Apple has not tried to sue Creative or Microsoft or any other company that made white or black players that are vaguely similar to the iPod, they don't have nearly as many similarities in the details that differentiate the two models as the iPod shuffle and Super Tangent do.
post #68 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Yes, the original issue - the product called Super Shuffle - violated several trademarks. Mostly in the name and the packaging. Which is why, after the suit, they changed both the name and the packaging. That's over and done with - ancient history.

Any further claims of violation is really claiming that Apple has an eternal monopoly on anybody who makes a small white rectangular music player. Go and believe this if you want, but it makes no sense whatsoever.

Ok, now we are finally getting on the same page. Note that the current article is on Luxpro suing Apple, not Apple suing Luxpro. So, to your second paragraph, at this point and time, no further claims of violation have been made by Apple (ie, Apple is not trying to exert its "eternal monopoly". Luxpro's suit is based on the supposed lost sales as a result of Apple winning the original lawsuit. As you say, the original lawsuit it over and done with. But this new lawsuit is baseless. First, they are trying to hold Apple liable for the courts original ruling in the first lawsuit. Second, as you point out, the Super shuffle clearly "violated several trademarks" and so Apple's original lawsuit was legit (regardless of the outcome).
post #69 of 70
Taiwan runs a factory grading system of 1, 2 and 3, those not meeting certain criteria can be relegated from 1, the highest, to a lower banding. 'Me to' manufacturing is common practice as ceratin aesthetics mean a product can only be one particular shape ie a car has a wheel in each corner, but most look entirely different with their shells on! Copyright infringement is more important when its intellectual rights, 'what makes it work'.
post #70 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

So Taiwan is able to just ignore copyrights? If I were Apple I'd pull everything out of that country.

A lot of Apple stuff is made in Taiwan.
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