Apple sues Samsung for copying its Innovation

Apple in a bid to threaten competitors from mimicking the ‘i’ devices,  have files a litigation against Samsung for Patent Violation, Copying design , User Interface and Style of its iPhone and iPad. Unlike many other patent suits unlike against Nokia and HTC this time it is more Vague, but nevertheless once again proves that US patent system is growing trolls than innovation.

Apple has complained about shape of the devices, packaging and icons being copied from Apple. Some of the complaints include copying the the “rectangular shape, the rounded corners, the silver edges, the black face, and the display of sixteen colorful icons”, “rectangular handheld mobile digital electronic device with rounded corners” and “rectangular handheld mobile digital electronic device with a gray rectangular portion in the center, a black band above and below the gray rectangle and on the curved corners, and a silver outer border and side”.These are all covered in the US registration Apple has filed for its trade dress registration (Similar to patents but for look and feel).

Ridiculous wordings aside some of Samsung’s Galaxy line surely include a resemblance to iPhone/iPad. But then again Samsung had its F700 and LG had Prada before Apple’s iPhone hit the market. And industry in General has moved and Apple itself have taken many of the features from various existing devices. If having rounded icon was a problem, Apple should be the infringer, because there were many other devices which had icons.

Coming back to icon design Apple has Dress registration for all its icons –

U.S. Registration No. 3,886,196 covers an icon that is green in color with a white silhouette of a phone handset arranged at a 45 degree angle and centered on the icon that represents the application for making telephone calls

U.S. Registration No. 3,889,642 covers an icon that is green in color with a white silhouette of a speech bubble centered on the icon that represents the application for messaging

And the registrations for its music,Photos,Contacts which all have elements which are generally used in the industry. Going by the nature of trade dress registrations, Apple wouldn’t have been able to launch a phone if Nokia,Blackberry et all had filed registrations diligently.

Apple also claims that Samsung has infringed 10 of its most outrageous patents (Maybe half Apple’s patents are of this nature). The list of infringed patents include the following

7,812,828 (the “’828 patent”) Ellipse Fitting For Multi-Touch Surfaces

7,669,134 (the “’134 patent”) Method and Apparatus For Displaying Information During An Instant Messaging Session

6,493,002 (the “’002 patent”) Method and Apparatus for Displaying and Accessing Control and Status Information in a Computer System

7,469,381 (the “’381 patent”) List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display

7,844,915 (the “’915 patent”) Application Programming Interfaces for Scrolling Operations

7,853,891 (the “’891 patent”) Method and Apparatus for Displaying a Window for a User Interface

7,863,533 (the “’533 patent”) Cantilevered Push Button Having Multiple Contacts and Fulcrums

D627,790 (the “’D790 patent”) Graphical User Interface For a Display Screen or Portion Thereof

D602,016 (the “’D016 patent”) Electronic Device

D618,677 (the “’D677 patent”) Electronic Device

With the nature of lawsuits in the mobile and Software space over patents , Microsoft’s battle with i4i assumes more significance to reduce the number of irrelevant and blatantly Generic patents. Also will increase the need for refining the patent law especially related to Software and Communication.

iPhone 5 with limited improvements in July 2011

If you go by just expectations alone iPhone 5 is already super hit even before an announcement of the phone from Apple. After the antenna gate of  Apple iPhone 4,  there is a huge expectation on the next version of iPhone, and going by Apple’s plan in the last few years we should have a new release of iPhone in June-July 2011. But then again going by the tone Steve Jobs set in iPad 2 launch we may not see a huge change in hardware from iPhone 4 except  the antenna.

Another question is whether Apple will call the new phone another version of iPhone 4 like 3GS for 3G.  With not many new enhancements a subversion of iPhone 4 will be the correct approach but again they may want to completely forget the iPhone 4 episode and jump to iPhone 5. With the new A5 processor confirmed to be available for next version iPhone, it is most likely to be christened iPhone 5.

Another factor in the recent months is Japan earth quake and Nuclear disaster which could push Apple’s schedule at least by few weeks if not by few months. And Apple’s have said they dont have any roadmaps from Apple for new product line, but again considering that iPhone 5 may not be much different from iPhone 4 and could be a more refined product, the information leak possibility is also reduced.

So lets wait and see if we get to see the new iPhone 5 this summer.

Apple iPad 2 Wish (Guess) List

The much anticipated iPad 2  is going be introduced on March 2 at an Apple event,  but there has been several speculations and rumours, starting with delay in production to iOS 5. But lets not get too ambitious on this.

Well one thing which is almost confirmed is the impending announcement about iPad 2 on March 2 event, after the not so obvious invitation sent to journalists last week.

The following are some of the most expected additions/upgrades

– Certainty is an upgraded processor in the lines of iPhone 4 (ARM).
– Higher resolution , but Retina eye display might be a stretch , but lets see if Apple surprises.
– No 7 inch iPad for now.
– Front facing camera
– CDMA addition to support Verizon.

We might get some new features but at the end of the day Apple could just add the Verixzon support and just lay out a
plan for 2011 just like they have mentioned in the invite.