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Updated: Judge did see tablets in Samsung patent case

  • ipad
  • apple pics

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 16 Aug 2011 at 09:31

UPDATE: The judge at the centre of the Apple-Samsung patent spat did have his hands on the iPad and Galaxy Tab hardware, dispelling fears that Apple had swayed the ruling by submitting inaccurate pictures of the hardware.

According to court documents (in German), the judge had substantiating evidence in the form of "visual inspection of the Galaxy Tab 10.1", so didn't rely on pictures submitted in Apple's original filing.

Apple had earlier been accused of submitting incorrect evidence to a German court in the patent case that led to an EU-wide ban on the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.

“Apple and its lawyers have, consciously or not, misled the court in Dusseldorf with the submission of incorrect evidence about the similarity of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the iPad 2,” claimed the report on Dutch site Webwereld.

According to the site, the main problem was that in its submission, Apple included images of the Tab and iPad side by side, but the picture of the Samsung was either incorrect or had been tampered with to make it look more like Apple's slate.

apple pics

The report highlighted images presented to the court that showed the Tab to have an aspect ratio of 1.36 – much closer to the iPad's 1.30 than Samsung's official dimensions that show a more oblong 1.46 aspect ratio.

“At least one of the pictures of the Galaxy Tab that Apple has used as evidence ​​is wrong or has been manipulated. It is one of the most striking image comparisons,” the report said.

The image included also featured no Samsung logo on the front of the product, which could be seen as an added differentiator.

The clarification of the judge's evidence base doesn't explain Apple's confusing use of images, but does mean it had no material impact on the injunction.

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User comments

Shame on you Apple.

Shame on you.

Using basic dirty tricks to retain an unfair commercial advantage in the face of worthy competition is one disgrace, but to lie and cheat and deceive the courts in the process is an entirely new low. Even for the one time great computer company, now driven by lawyers and not technical sparkle.

Shame on you.

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

Dirty Tricks

From Apple.No...I don't believe it (in his best Victor Meldrew voice).. well who would have thought that.Shock, horror ;-)

By Jaberwocky on 16 Aug 2011

And another thing...

Is PC Pro's reporting of this truly neutral, as it should be, or does your presumably deliberate use of the term "blunder" suggest that you are promoting the idea that this was a genuine mistake?

Neither you nor I can possibly know this, so why use language which steers opinion in favour of Apple, rather than correctly toeing the neutral line?

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

If...

this was accidental, the judge will regard it as a serious a professional failing and spank Apple hard.

If it was deliberate ...ow, ow, ow!

Either way, Samsung should be able to counter sue for lost sales and Apple will be unlikely to be able present a similar case in Europe while tablets have this current 'form'. Moreover, a ruling against Apple could also be cited in any US proceedings.

By fingerbob69 on 16 Aug 2011

edit...

...the judge will STILL regard it as a serious professional failing...

By fingerbob69 on 16 Aug 2011

When the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 was first announce it had a front and rear facing camera. The original ipad had no cameras.

Soon after the Galaxy 10.1 was launched the ipad2 was launched with 2 cameras.

Who copied whom?

By Phoomeister on 16 Aug 2011

Let's not be hasty.

Remember this could just be a lot of hearsay

Lets not shoot Apple down just yet!

And NO, I am not a fan of apple.
I'm Android through and through.

By wake1976 on 16 Aug 2011

@PaleRider

If it was a genuine mistake on Apple's behalf then they have made a blunder (check your dictionary) I find that usage fairly neutral.

Bias would have included words like 'lies, deliberate misleading....etc. As yet there is no evidence that this was the case. Better safe than sorry with Apple's lawyers seemingly resorting to litigation and making waves at the merest hint of provocation.

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

Airbrush

Apple also airbrushed off the Samsung logo - assisting the impression of similarity.
@wake1976, the comparison picture shown is taken directly from the document submitted to the court by Apple, however we would need an English translation of the German narrative to know exactly how Apple presented the information.

By milliganp on 16 Aug 2011

Useful lesson

Far too many people break the aspect ratio of images when making their documents "look nice". This would be a useful lesson for everyone regardless of the outcome!

By MJ2010 on 16 Aug 2011

When the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 was first announce it had a front and rear facing camera. The original ipad had no cameras.

Soon after the Galaxy 10.1 was launched the ipad2 was launched with 2 cameras.

Who copied whom?

By Phoomeister on 16 Aug 2011

Blunder?

PC Pro is right to use this sort of word at this stage - if they claim that Apple did it deliberately to deceive, then PC Pro could find themselves next in court. It is also right that they present the facts and leave the reader to form their own opinion.

By halsteadk on 16 Aug 2011

Samsung's weak legal argument

Samsung's legal argument is very weak apparently, hence their attempts to influence opinion by this mud-slinging PR campaign.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/12/sams
ung_misrepresented_its_surprise_in_eu_ipad_clone_b
an.html

By SwissMac on 16 Aug 2011

The word "Blunder"

Clearly implies that it was an _accident_ on Apple's part. We do not know that, therefore, the use of the word was inappropriate at this time.

The copy should read "Whether or not the court takes any action over Apple's **misrepresentation** depends on the discretion of the judge" (my own emphasis) in order to be truly neutral.

Sorry if my point was too difficult for some to understand.

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

Blunder - A Mistake.

n.
A usually serious mistake typically caused by ignorance or confusion.
v. blun·dered, blun·der·ing, blun·ders
v.intr.
1. To move clumsily or blindly.
2. To make a usually serious mistake.
v.tr.
1. To make a stupid, usually serious error in; botch.
2. To utter (something) stupidly or thoughtlessly.

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

"Apple also airbrushed off the Samsung logo"

That's some "accident".

Ooos, sorry. Blunder.

(Legal technicalities were never my strong point.)

By Lacrobat on 16 Aug 2011

@SwissMac

There is more to existence than Apple and Steve 'god' Jobs. Get a life.

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

Wait, what?

So, the court rulings were based on images supplied (and apparently doctored) by Apple and nothing more? No actual devices were presented?

By lkipper on 16 Aug 2011

It really doesn't matter how potentially weak Samsung's argument is. If (I'm not saying they have) apple's lawyers have doctored the evidence surely it is inadmissible in a court of law. by that reason alone the entire patent case could be thrown out.

By mr_chips on 16 Aug 2011

Samsung Mis-representation?

To comment on SwissMac's link to a new item about Samsung really knowing in advance I'd like to add a couple of points.
1) The source of the story is Florian Mueller, who consistently presents an anti-android narrative.
2) The way German injunctions work is that the 'defendant' is not informed of or represented at the preliminary hearing -so Samsung is telling the truth.
To prevent an anticipated injunction a company can attempt to get protection in advance of a yet unannounced action, which is what Samsung tried to do, given that Apple has previous form in this regard. This attempt would have been known about by the judge granting the injunction -and he obviously decided it did not have sufficient merit.

By milliganp on 16 Aug 2011

To jontym123

Thank you for the vocabulary lesson. However, you might want to consider the meaning of "blunder" yourself, before you compound your own blunder.

Nowhere has it been suggested that this was an accident on Apple's part. Indeed, the twofold manipulation of the images (the alteration of the aspect ratio and the removal of Samsung's own clear branding) suggests that this may not be a simple mistake, but a cynical move to add weight to Apple's otherwise rather flimsy case.

We do not know whether this was a genuine mistake (a blunder) or a contrived and deliberate manipulation of the images in order to mislead the courts, but to perpetuate the notion that this was a "blunder" is just as inappropriate at the moment as declaring this a deliberate deception.

Is the mist clearing yet, or would you like me to draw you a picture?

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

Apple v Samsung : Case dismissed - Apple fined!

That would be a nice headline - all over Europe's international press :)

By nicomo on 16 Aug 2011

So Apple, Do no evil?

Clearly some of this information is beyond dispute if the logo is left off the image.

I can't comment on the aspect ratio, but the basis of the Apple case is that this is a "copy" or "clone".

What is so weird is that this is a case of hardware ip not software. Are Apple trying to tell us that only they can make tablets?

I've always believed that Apple do evil as well as everyone else. Shame people still don't see it.

By Ajamu1 on 16 Aug 2011

Apple v Samsung : Case dismissed - Decision Reversed

That would be a better headline.

Sales of Apple's iPAD range banned in Europe for 6 months.

Quid pro quo.

By AlphaGeeK on 16 Aug 2011

@PaleRider

"Sorry if my point was too difficult for some to understand".
"Is the mist clearing yet, or would you like me to draw you a picture?"

I'm sorry you're so rude that you can't take part in a discussion or disagree with a point of view, without making veiled insults at other people's intelligence when you know nothing about the people you might be talking to.

The fact that your ongoing argument is based on none of us knowing the truth and that we should therefore be "toeing the neutral line" is surprising given the extremely non-neutral accusations in your first reply to this story where you accuse Apple of "lying, cheating and deceiving the courts".

By halsteadk on 16 Aug 2011

@PaleRider

I gave the dictionary definition of 'blunder' which, in my opinion at least, seems a most appropriate word to use in the circumstances as we presently know them. The words 'blunder' and 'accident' mean entirely different things.

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

The images were used in the motion to bring the case to court, not the case evidence. The judge saw the devices and packaging. It's too late to bleat about the motion now.

That aside, I want the tablet market to be successful. Why can't Apple and Samsung just get along?

By John_Greythorne on 16 Aug 2011

So basically, at this stage, a German judge has decided that anything flat, with a screen approx 10.1" across breaches Apple's registered design (which is a line drawing of a flat thing which seems to have a screen). Given that the original submission didn't have dimensions, this could also cover many phones.
In the UK you can go to the high court to reverse an obviously silly decision of a lower court - but Germany seems to presume guilt rather than innocence.

By milliganp on 16 Aug 2011

Apple and Samsung get along fine

Apple and Samsung do get along - Apple buys much of Samsung's memory chips, and is now switching to Samsung for the panels due to QA problems with its current screen supplier.

I love the way some of the parties posting here know exactly what the judge is thinking, what was said, how the picture was used, how its caption described it, and which precise aspects of Apple's many patents on the iPad/iPhone/iOS this case is all about.

Do grow up.

By SwissMac on 16 Aug 2011

Dear halsteadk

Did somebody appoint you the internet police?

No?

OK then. Thank you.

By the way, as I am simply a member of the public, expressing my _opinion_, as I am entitled to do, then I can rubbish Apple in one post and then question the integrity of the journalism in another, without any contradiction whatsoever. I have no responsibility to remain neutral, and my opinion of Apple is not required to be neutral.

Geddit?

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

to jontym123

So what you are saying is that Apple's behaviour has been careless, irresponsible even, and that fooling the courts, either deliberately or inadvertently, is a massive gaff, regardless of the competence or initial intent?

On that we would agree, but I still feel that "blunder" is a poor choice of words. I do not for one second believe that Apple's legal eagles fell off the back of the potato truck. Blunder does rather imply ignorance.

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

In the end all Apple, Samsung and all the other manufacturers want is a bigger share of the consumer's cash.

It doesn't matter how you do it and even if you get caught out in a lie, if the competition aren't selling as much as you - that's the main thing.

From the consumer's point of view, if you like what's on offer you'll buy it, you may have some brand loyalty but the manufacturer doesn't have any loyalty to you - they simply want your money and if getting a rival product withdrawn from sale boosts their own sales, even temporarily, then as far as they're concerned that's a win.

Maximising market share and profit are their interests, and that goes for the whole damn lot of them.

By 23522 on 16 Aug 2011

Naive judge

To becoming a judge involves a lot of intelligence but following technology is not part of it. If you have read the brief and then someone hands you the two tables, without outside knowledge you might think there has been a copy infringement. Anyone reading this will know that there are hundreds of tablet, all slightly different. The idea of a tablet predates Apples’ ipad by a long way. This will probably take a few months to sort out then Apple will pay for it. They will pass the cost on to the ipad and finally Samson will have a cheaper product and everyone will be happy.

By M_Hamer on 16 Aug 2011

@PaleRider

All I am saying is that it appears, on what limited information we have, that Apple have made a mistake. Maybe it was intentional; maybe it wasn't. We don't have enough info to decide.

You seem to be a very angry person. Chill. It isn't worth the stress.

ASFIAC end of post on this 'bluder or not' topic.

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

Not angry

Been smiling away the whole time.

"ASFIAC"? Don't know that one.

By PaleRider on 16 Aug 2011

@swissmac

Re your latest post, this is about a Registered Community Design, which has nothing to do with patents. the Registered Design concept was intended for things like Coke bottles, Mont Blanc pens etc where the physical design is the key element differentiating a product.
In my not very humble opinion a flat thing with a screen rather stretches the imagination on such ideas of design exclusivity.

By milliganp on 16 Aug 2011

AFAIAC As Far As I Am Concerned

By jontym123 on 16 Aug 2011

Further Update - Ban lifted for Europe!

It would seem that the German court has decided it can only rule for Germany and not other European countries, so the ban is lifted for the rest of Europe.

http://bit.ly/pkymZW

Now go to Google translate and do Dutch-English

By milliganp on 16 Aug 2011

@milliganp - spot on!

"So basically, at this stage, a German judge has decided that anything flat, with a screen approx 10.1" across breaches Apple's registered design (which is a line drawing of a flat thing which seems to have a screen). Given that the original submission didn't have dimensions, this could also cover many phones. "

I made this point (less effectively) in the original post on the ban.

By wittgenfrog on 16 Aug 2011

@milliganp

A flat thing with a screen may stretch the imagination, but that's the overly strict system of IP protection many US companies pushed for worldwide, so now we have the ability to Trademark a colour eg BP Green and so on.

I agree it does seem silly, but the rules are the rules. Because so many patent troll companies have been set up to register designs and patents on other people's technology, it's hardly surprising that the big companies seek to protect themselves using the same laws.

By SwissMac on 16 Aug 2011

@swissmac

Whilst I share your implied distaste for the way US Corporations have manipulated the patent system, in this case your strictures are incorrect.

One of the rules that are rules, of which you write relates to 'prior art'. Or simply put a test as to whether the patent relates to something 'original', or something that existed prior to the application.

In this case it is the Tablet form factor which is the basis of the patent.

There are numerous examples of 'Tablets' that pre-date the iPad by many years, most running various flavours of Windows.

By wittgenfrog on 16 Aug 2011

@Palerider

Misrepresentation is possibly the least neutral word you could have possibly used.

misrepresentation |ˌmisreprizenˈtāSHn|
noun
the action or offence of giving a false or misleading account of the nature of something: she is seeking damages on allegations of misrepresentation | this is a gross misrepresentation of the situation.

By steviesteveo12 on 17 Aug 2011

@steviesteveo12

Thank you. It possibly took much longer for someone to possibly find that than I possibly expected. :-)

By PaleRider on 17 Aug 2011

A few points

1) Not all Galaxy regional variants have the logo on the front.
2) Apple claim not to have been supplied with a reference model, so pictures in the filing were taken from other (named) sources
3) Apple aren't claiming any old rectangle; photos of pre-existing tablet PCs were shown to the court to demonstrate that they were (Apple claim) sufficiently different to warrant calling the iPad design "new".
4) If Apple deliberately doctored the picture, then they did so and got caught - I'd call that a blunder ;-)

By TheEponymousBob on 17 Aug 2011

A few points 2

1) The German variant does.
2) Apple gave the judge an iPad and a Tab to handle - thus they had one in their possession.
3) Apple are claiming the Tab was the same as the iPad's rectangle - therefore will lead to confusion between the products.
4) I'd agree with that.

By greemble on 17 Aug 2011

3

1), see 2)
2) Page 19 of the filing states that the applicant has no "current" copies of the device, and relies on presentations from other sources. That was filed on the 4th August, the injunction granted on the 9th. I suspect either they got their hands on one subsequent to filing, or the one they presented was a different region.
3) Yes; their claim is that the Tab looks more like an iPad than the iPad looks like any pre-existing tablet. I'm not saying they're right about that, but just clarifying because quite a few people seem to think that they are laying claim to any and all rectangular devices; they are not. The filing lists 6 criteria of similarity; aspect ratio is not one.

By TheEponymousBob on 17 Aug 2011

I'm pretty sure Apple wouldn't be happy with a certain supermarket chain (no name) if they saw what I did today - iPad 2s and Acer tablets under a huge iPad 2 sign.

They're not even slightly alike, but they're both on the same stand under the same sign.

By John_Greythorne on 18 Aug 2011

"but Germany seems to presume guilt rather than innocence."

They have a terrible habit of that, don't they ;-)

By alan_lj on 18 Aug 2011

@John_Greythorne

There are a hell of a lot of people who insist on calling any MP3 player an ipod.

Doubtless the same sort of muppet will insist on calling any tablet an ipad.

By qpw3141 on 18 Aug 2011

It's always been so, cf Hoover

@John_Greythorne, it's not only tablets and MP3 players - after all, don't most people talk about their Hoover, or Hoovering? Yet Hoover don't even make vacuum cleaners any more!

By Pembo on 20 Aug 2011

@John_~Greythorne

If it wasn't clear, I was agreeing, and in fact amplifying your point

By Pembo on 20 Aug 2011

When is the same not the same?

"Their claim is that the Tab looks more like an iPad than the iPad looks like any pre-existing tablet" also "It is the Tablet form factor which is the basis of the patent"
If "looking like" and "form factor don't include aspect ratio, then what on earth do they include?

By Pembo on 20 Aug 2011

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