German court to reportedly rule Samsung exploited 'image' of Apple's iPhone and iPod

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A German court is preparing to issue a tentative ruling on an Apple assertion that Samsung is guilty of unfair competition practices in deliberately copying the look of the iPhone and iPod, and one report claims the court will side with Apple.

Citing an "absolutely reliable and independent source," FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller said the D?sseldorf Regional Court is tentatively planning to make a ruling on August 8, which will reportedly find Samsung to have unlawfully imitated the iPhone and iPod with a number of legacy products.

The Samsung devices in question include the Galaxy S, Galaxy S Plus, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy R, and Galaxy Wave M smartphones, as well as the Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 media player.

Galaxy


Unlike many other high-profile suits involving Apple and Samsung, the case in Germany pertains to competition law and not patent or design rights. The Cupertino company asserts Samsung's products served to confuse consumers as to what company made the devices.

Mueller notes Apple's claims are based on Section 4 paragraph 9 of Germany's unfair competition law, which reads:
[Unfairness shall have occurred in particular where a person]

9. offers goods or services that are replicas of goods or services of a
competitor if he
a) causes avoidable deception of the purchaser regarding their commercial origin;
b) unreasonably exploits or impairs the assessment of the replicated goods or
services; or
c) dishonestly obtained the knowledge or documents needed for the replicas;
German law prohibits one company from imitating or copying a competitor's product or service, Mueller says, with analysis based on "overall impression" of said products. There are three degrees to which the court can find imitation: identical imitation, near-identical imitation and derivative imitation.

"The key test for the derivative imitation the court is inclined to find here is whether the design elements the defendant adopted (i.e., copied) are those who are characteristic of the plaintiff's asserted product," Mueller writes.

While not a death blow to Samsung by any means, mostly because the products in suit are older models, Apple could come away with substantial compensatory damages. Perhaps more important, a pro-Apple decision would further cement Samsung's role as a "copycat" in the court of public opinion.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    I like this law.
  • Reply 2 of 93
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Of course they served to confuse consumers. When even Samsung's attorneys couldn't tell the difference, it's obvious that there was an intent to make near-exact copies of Apple's products.
  • Reply 3 of 93
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    jragosta wrote: »
    Of course they served to confuse consumers. When even Samsung's attorneys couldn't tell the difference, it's obvious that there was an intent to make near-exact copies of Apple's products.

    I think the most damning thing are the chargers, cables, and packages. I mean, come on.
  • Reply 4 of 93
    pendergast wrote: »
    I think the most damning thing are the chargers, cables, and packages. I mean, come on.

    Shameless.
  • Reply 5 of 93
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,495member


    This is great news.  Anything to tighten the noose around Samsung's neck is better for everyone.

  • Reply 6 of 93
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Anything that makes Samsung copy less and innovate more means good things for competition, and good things for the consumer! Samsung Android fans should be the happiest about this of anyone.
  • Reply 7 of 93
    bizzarebizzare Posts: 61member
    "Copy Cat" Duh....
  • Reply 8 of 93
    jcallowsjcallows Posts: 142member
    "a pro-Apple decision would further cement Samsung's role as a copycat"

    But we already knew that.
  • Reply 9 of 93


    We said it before, and we say it again:


    Only three countries in the world where Apple can win these silly lawsuits:

  • Reply 10 of 93
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post



    I think the most damning thing are the chargers, cables, and packages. I mean, come on.


     


    Only one wart charger version looked vaguely like Apple's, but it was actually better designed, with a lip to aid in pulling it from the wall.  Ditto for some of the tablet cables, but smartphones didn't use those anyway.  They used mini or micro USB cables.


     


    In any case, nobody buys a phone based on what chargers, cables and packages look like.


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    Of course they served to confuse consumers. When even Samsung's attorneys couldn't tell the difference, it's obvious that there was an intent to make near-exact copies of Apple's products.


     


    There's no doubt that Samsung intended to use the same basic style as an attraction.  Where that's against the law, they should get nailed for it.


     


    As to confusing customers, it's not believable for someone to walk into a store to buy an iPhone and "accidentally" buy a Samsung instead.


     


    It's not like they're buying a box of cereal.  For one thing, stores don't leave boxes of expensive phones laying around.  You have to ASK a salesperson for the phone model you want, so they can bring it out of locked storage.


     


    So if someone comes in wanting an iPhone and leaves with a different phone, that's an outcome caused by salespeople getting involved and talking the customer into something else.   Everyone knows this happens.

  • Reply 11 of 93


    ABOUT TIME - got to love the german courts!

  • Reply 12 of 93

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gavinblur View Post


    ABOUT TIME - got to love the german courts!



     


    Heil Hitler!

  • Reply 13 of 93


    Not at all boy, but if you want to keep going down that lame path of ignorance then be it!

  • Reply 14 of 93

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gavinblur View Post


    Not at all boy, but if you want to keep going down that lame path of ignorance then be it!



     


    Deutschland über alles!

  • Reply 15 of 93
    radjinradjin Posts: 165member
    Samcrap would be much better at making copiers. That is what they do best.
  • Reply 16 of 93

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Radjin View Post



    Samcrap would be much better at making copiers. That is what they do best.


     


    Germans would be much better at making Zyklon B. That is what they do best.


     


  • Reply 17 of 93
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,585member
    kdarling wrote: »
    <span style="line-height:1.231;">There's no doubt that Samsung intended to use the same basic style as an attraction.  Where that's against the law, they should get nailed for it.</span>


    As to confusing customers, it's not believable for someone to walk into a store to buy an iPhone and "accidentally" buy a Samsung instead.

    It's not like they're buying a box of cereal.  <span style="line-height:1.231;">For one thing, stores don't leave boxes of expensive phones laying around.  You have to ASK a salesperson for the phone model you want, so they can bring it out of locked storage.</span>


    So if someone comes in wanting an iPhone and leaves with a different phone, that's an outcome caused by salespeople getting involved and talking the customer into something else.   Everyone knows this happens.
    How naive can you possibly be? If you've ever stood in a mobile phone store and listened to the paid Samsung shills push their devices as just like iPhones in features and functionality, to a consumer whose family members have recommended that they get an iPhone, and who is already told the sales person they use iTunes, and who then walk away totally confused in which choice to make because they look the same and are told they are the same in feature and function, you would know damn well that your statement is pure nonsense!
  • Reply 18 of 93
    starbird73starbird73 Posts: 538member
    I don't see how this is a surprise. I mean didn't Samsung have a smartphone that looked like a blackberry that functioned like a blackberry that they called the blackjack? I mean, if anything is surprising, it is that they didn't call theirs android overlay iAndroid...
  • Reply 19 of 93
    tribalogicaltribalogical Posts: 1,178member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by belowFreeFifty View Post


    We said it before, and we say it again:


    Only three countries in the world where Apple can win these silly lawsuits:


     


     


     




     


    "Stupid is as stupid does…"  - Forrest Gump


     


    Well, sorry to blow a hole in your meme theme here, but Apple just LOST an appeal of a case they LOST previously against Samsung, in Japan...


     


    They are having mixed results in the USA, and even in Germany where it's still "win some lose some" in their efforts.


     


    So this whole "heil hitler" crap regarding Germany's courts and Apple is total crap, and I hope the mods put an end to it… I mean "Jew murderers"? Really? 70 years later and you're still on about that crap? FFS…!

  • Reply 20 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    freerange wrote: »
    How naive can you possibly be? If you've ever stood in a mobile phone store and listened to the paid Samsung shills push their devices as just like iPhones in features and functionality, to a consumer whose family members have recommended that they get an iPhone, and who is already told the sales person they use iTunes, and who then walk away totally confused in which choice to make because they look the same and are told they are the same in feature and function, you would know damn well that your statement is pure nonsense!

    You are totally correct I have stood and witnessed this many times. Perhaps he is a paid Samsung shill, or Microsoft shill or perhaps just whatever his anti Apple company de jour is.
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