Apple MacBook Air design patent could disrupt Ultrabook rollouts

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 84
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fotoformat View Post


     


    You obviously get around on a "fixie" bike, like me... and therefore think because all cars have four wheels they look the same!



     


    I read the motoring press every week and I often see one car company clearly copying the overall general design of another with their new models.


     


    It's a fact of life. There simply aren't that many unique designs in the world so I think product designers often try and copy or take inspiration from other designs.


     


    Even Sir Jony Ive admits that he takes inspiration from other product designs.

  • Reply 62 of 84
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    And your comment about "certainly there is prior art..." is entirely unsupported. Have you looked at the prior art? Talk is cheap.  Show us the prior art.  The patent office (which is in the business of searching prior art) didn't find a computer casing with this design.  Until someone produces some prior art, this patent is valid as a matter of law.  



     


    Having worked through some patent applications, defenses and some challenges, the patent office is not actually that good at searching for any prior art.

  • Reply 63 of 84
    uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member


    I really wonder what the world would be like if non-Apple products didn't look like Apple products. Malkovich, Malkovich?

  • Reply 64 of 84
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


     


    I read the motoring press every week and I often see one car company clearly copying the overall general design of another with their new models.


     


    It's a fact of life. There simply aren't that many unique designs in the world so I think product designers often try and copy or take inspiration from other designs.


     


    Even Sir Jony Ive admits that he takes inspiration from other product designs.



     


    Rather than repeat it all here, see: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/150427/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-uses-identical-sony-made-camera-seen-in-iphone-4s#post_2119969


     


    The bottom line is that your thinking demonstrates an inability to distinguish between mindless imitation and inspiration.

  • Reply 65 of 84
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    drdoppio wrote: »
    The ultrabooks are very similar to the MBA, more than they need to be solely based on convergence, IMO. I still don't think there's a big chance of them getting sued solely based on things like the "wedge design". Here are two pictures from around 2004 to illustrate my point:

    Sony_Vaio_Wedge_505.png

    But that machine has its own set of lines and curves unique to Sony's styling, and of course, the center pivot is way different. It's not about a wedge design, wedge computers go back to at least as far back as the Apple ][. No one goes to the Coke bottle patents and say "it's just a bottle like everything else" because it's not about the basic bottle structure but the styling that makes the bottle specific to one brand.
  • Reply 66 of 84
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    But that machine has its own set of lines and curves unique to Sony's styling, and of course, the center pivot is way different. It's not about a wedge design...


     


    Yeah, that what I said as well. They won't be sued solely based on wedge design. If there are enough other similarities, those could be the reason. Of course, one could just as well emphasize on the differences, since design patents are necessarily very narrow. I don't know which argument would prevail.


     


    A good way to decide if the designs are too similar is to hold up an ultrabook and a MBA in the air, and to ask the lawyers if they can tell the difference. If the lawyers refuse to play, Apple wins. Or, the CEOs could wrestle each other.

  • Reply 67 of 84
    atlantatlant Posts: 5member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    I have never heard of Ford suing GM coz one car looks like another.


     


    Ridiculous.



    You need a broader range of knowledge; just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it didn't happen.


     


    Jeep sued Hummer over the distinctive "barred" design of the Jeep grille. Jeep lost, because they didn't take legal action soon enough.


     


    Apple have no intention of falling into this trap.

  • Reply 68 of 84
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,903member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Atlant View Post


    You need a broader range of knowledge; just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it didn't happen.


     


    Jeep sued Hummer over the distinctive "barred" design of the Jeep grille. Jeep lost, because they didn't take legal action soon enough.


     


    Apple have no intention of falling into this trap.



    Yes, what he should have is it's very VERY rare. Almost unheard-of actually. 

  • Reply 69 of 84
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Intel claims that ultrabooks not only offer <a href="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/02/intel_says_ultrabooks_trump_macbook_air_ipad.html">better performance</a> than the iPad but represent a better value than current laptop offerings from Apple, a comment directed at the Mac-maker's thin-and-light.

    I wonder if Intel is making too much money and they are intentionally trying to make Apple switch to AMD.

    "better performance?" Nonsense. The ultra books are using the same CPUs and GPUs as Apple. Performance of high end ultra books is roughly identical to the MBA. And at the low end, some ultra books are using platter hard disks, so will be much slower.

    Value? Also nonsense. The ultra books that are comparable to the MBA are roughly the same price or higher. Sure, there are crapware products that cost less, but that's not value. it's simply a matter of "we can sell you a POS for a few dollars less than you're paying for a premium product".

    shaun, uk wrote: »
    Yes. It's just a bottle. It's not an invention. As long as it doesn't have the words Coke on it so nobody could mistake it for a bottle of coke then I don't see the problem.

    Patents have 2 purposes: to protect an invention and/or to stop fake products (like a fake iPhone in China or shirts with the Nike logo that are knock offs).

    You're really confused. Patents are not generally designed to protect against fake products which contain the Nike or iPhone logo. That is normally handled by copyrights and trademarks.

    And you're also confused about the nature of Coke's design patent (or design patents in general). If your design is distinctive enough and recognizable enough (such as Coke's bottle), it represents your product in the consumer's mind and you have the right to prevent others from copying.
  • Reply 70 of 84
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    This is not the first patent Apple received for the MacBook Air. Why is this one making do much noise? And if Apple really waned to go after Ultrabook makers wouldn't they have done so already?
  • Reply 71 of 84
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    Rather than repeat it all here, see: http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/150427/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-uses-identical-sony-made-camera-seen-in-iphone-4s#post_2119969

    The bottom line is that your thinking demonstrates an inability to distinguish between mindless imitation and inspiration.

    That's a horrible example:

    1. It's not an identical camera. The Samsung SIII contains a newer version of the sensor than Apple uses while the optics and memory are different. So, it's essentially saying that one component of Samsung's phone is a newer version of the same component that Apple used.

    2. You're ignoring the probability for that to happen simply because of lack of alternatives. Let's say Samsung decides that they want an 8 MP camera. They send their engineers and/or buyers around to see what's available - and only have 2 or 3 to choose from. Sony offers the best balance of price, product, and availability out of all the options. If they offered Apple the best balance, it's likely that their product would be the best choice for Samsung, as well.

    Complaining about Samsung using this sensor is like saying "Apple is using an ARM processor so Samsung must be copying because Samsung is using an ARM processor, too" - or perhaps complaining that Dell is copying Apple because they both use Micron RAM in their desktop machines.
  • Reply 72 of 84
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    That's a horrible example:

    1. It's not an identical camera. ...


     


    I think perhaps you didn't read the post linked to, but just looked at what thread it was in. The post really had nothing to do with the camera, but was a more general criticism of copycat apologists. In fact, the post had more to do specifically with skirts than phones and computers.

  • Reply 73 of 84
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    That's a horrible example:

    1. It's not an identical camera. The Samsung SIII contains a newer version of the sensor than Apple uses while the optics and memory are different. So, it's essentially saying that one component of Samsung's phone is a newer version of the same component that Apple used.

    2. You're ignoring the probability for that to happen simply because of lack of alternatives. Let's say Samsung decides that they want an 8 MP camera. They send their engineers and/or buyers around to see what's available - and only have 2 or 3 to choose from. Sony offers the best balance of price, product, and availability out of all the options. If they offered Apple the best balance, it's likely that their product would be the best choice for Samsung, as well.

     


    You're right, especially considering that Sony is a huge vendor in this area. They're extremely well known for cameras at all levels and cmos sensors. Beyond that people are splitting hairs comparing the use of similar commodity parts. These things are cost effective because they are supplied for multiple products in high volume.

  • Reply 74 of 84
    logandiggeslogandigges Posts: 399member


    One thing to say, haha.

  • Reply 75 of 84
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    negafox wrote: »
    A good article on the topic:

    www . dailytech . com/ article24886.htm

    The design is too broad and the patent will likely get invalidated. The reason the teardrop shape exists for ultrabooks is because of the ports in the rear. Also, prior art appears to exist.
    <Strong> BTW anything that Jason Mick blogs/writes, about apple, is rabidly hating on Apple </strong>
    you have been warned... LOL
    and he also like to rip off others articles by just listing the source at the bottom of the link. (uses the bloggers privilege)
  • Reply 76 of 84
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jukes View Post


    seems like a clear situation where copyright is more appropriate than a patent



    You are clearly mistaken.  Copyrights are for works of art (books, movies, etc).  Design patents cover the design features of products.  The reason you can't get your mind around this being a patent is because you are only thinking of patents as "utility patents."  This is not a utility patent.  It is a design patent.

  • Reply 77 of 84
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post


     


    Having worked through some patent applications, defenses and some challenges, the patent office is not actually that good at searching for any prior art.



    I certainly trust the patent office more than naked allegation on a blog.  Show us the prior art and let us see if it infringes the claim.

  • Reply 78 of 84
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    The ultrabooks are very similar to the MBA, more than they need to be solely based on convergence, IMO. I still don't think there's a big chance of them getting sued solely based on things like the "wedge design". Here are two pictures from around 2004 to illustrate my point:


     


    imageimage



    You all need to go talk to a patent attorney (oh wait, I am a patent attorney).  I'm telling you, THIS PATENT DOESN'T COVER A TEAR DROP OR WEDGE SHAPE.  Look at the drawings (which constitute the claim in a design application).  The wedge aspect is dotted out.  That means the wedge isn't part of the claim.  The claim covers the design of the screen casing.  As I look at the design on the sony screen casing it is really apparent to me that it is not the same design as the MBA.

  • Reply 79 of 84
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


     


    Precisely. Apple should sue Sony for preemptively copying their future products.



    Before dishing out so much sarcasm, you might want to talk to a patent attorney and ask them how to interpret the claims of a design application.  You and everyone else on this blog are DEAD WRONG about the claims of the patent, interpretation of the prior art, and the patent office.  First of all, no one on this site seems to understand what a design patent is or how to interpret the claims of a design patent.  The claim of this patent does not cover the wedge shape.  It covers the screen casing.  And no Apple wouldn't sue Sony for infringement because as I see it the Sony laptop doesn't even come close to infringing...which is also why it doesn't anticipate the claim.

  • Reply 80 of 84
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post


     


    Having worked through some patent applications, defenses and some challenges, the patent office is not actually that good at searching for any prior art.



    By the way, this blog is a perfect example of what is wrong with the attitude that the computer industry has toward patents.  The computer industry thinks they know more than the patent office and makes allegations that are wrong, stupid, and just clearly not supported by the law.  We have over 70 comments about this patent and it is clear to me that none you have any idea how to interpret a claim for a design patent.  A small number of you are aware of the difference between a design patent and a utility patent, but most of you didn't even get that.  And then some of you don't even understand the difference between a copyright and a patent.  That would be like blogging about the design features of a new car engine when you don't even know the difference between a jet turbine and a piston motor.  


     


    You may think the Patent Office doesn't know what they are doing, but they do.  They aren't perfect by any means, but at least they know how to interpret the claims of a design application.   

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