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Why Samsung won't lose tablet lawsuit by Apple
Apple couldn't patent the iPad. It was already in the public domain - multiple times.
Imagine that. Apple took the idea developed by others; patented it; and then sued everyone in sight. The patent should never have been approved in the 1st place. The U.S. Patent office is a joke.
In 1994, while running a lab dreaming up the future of newspapers, Fidler starred in his own video demonstrating a prototype he cooked up that was remarkably like the iPad black, thin, rectangular, with text and video displayed on-screen.
A narrator described technology that at the time sounded like science fiction: Tablets will be a whole new class of computer. Theyll weigh under two pounds. Theyll be totally portable. Theyll have a clarity of screen display comparable to ink on paper. Theyll be able to blend text, video, audio and graphics together. ... We may still use computers to create information but will use the tablet to interact with information reading, watching, listening.
Apple is suing Samsung, alleging that the Korean company copied its iPad design. And Samsung is defending itself, in large part, by using Fidlers video-gone-viral, saying it proves the design was already in the public domain and is thus not patentable.
While nursing his tablet ambitions, Fidler worked on other projects at Knight-Ridder, including a service to bring interactive content to TVs. In 1992, he persuaded his superiors to let him open a skunk-works lab in Colorado to work on the tablet, and he recruited some of the brightest, most-forward-thinking minds in computer software, hardware and newspapers to join him.
The lab was essentially a tiny office in a glorified parking garage. Their neighbor: Apple. It, too, was thinking about the future of media in its own lab. Knight-Ridders lab worked on ideas for providing news to Apples ill-fated hand-held Newton device, an early personal digital assistant.
Apple and the Knight-Ridder lab were constantly swapping ideas and even visitors. Newspaper executives would visit Apple, then stop by Knight-Ridder. Newspaper executives would visit Knight-Ridder, then stop by Apple.
Samsungs lawyers countered that Fidlers video put the design into the public domain in 1994, well before Apple filed its patent. (They mentioned his 1981 essay, too.) Samsungs lawyers also noted that when Apple filed its patent, the company made no mention of Fidlers device even though the company, which had its lab next to Fidlers, knew of it because it had worked with him and his lab. The U.S. District judge in the case, Lucy H. Koh, declined Apples request to halt sales of the Galaxy Tab, in part because she found Samsungs argument about Fidlers tablet convincing.
Apple has not established that it is likely to succeed at trial against Samsungs challenge to the validity of the D889 patent,the judge wrote.
And here is where all the hullabaloo gets complicated for Fidler.
I cannot honestly say whether Steve Jobs took his inspiration for the iPad from my tablet, but its hard for me to believe that he wasnt aware of it, because the videos were circulating everywhere, Fidler said. I cant believe they werent aware of what I was doing.
In the 1968 Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, a collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke, astronauts use tablet computers. Samsung has even mentioned the movie in its legal filings, saying it provides more evidence that the idea was in the public domain. Fidler recalls having seen the movie and though he says he wasnt consciously thinking of it all those years later, he acknowledges it could have been an influence.
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|reply to FFH |
Apple has been able to patent many things however that should have been completely unpatentable. The USPTO is failing miserably.
Remember a key test of whether to grant a patent is obviousness, such as an obvious extention of technology, and also, prior art.
And yet time and time again Apple is granted patents that fail both litmus tests.
They now have patents on the rotating display, icons that arrange position based on the way you hold the device, multitouch, icons that change appearance when selected.
Basically imagine common things that many devices, PC's, Microsoft Windows, and notably Android based phones (the real target they want to cripple from competing)... stuff this software routinely does now, and have done for years--- now that's all patented by Apple. Que lawsuits in 3....2....1....
Stuff that should never have been granted and has tons of prior art and is obvious extention of existing technology.