Actually Looked at the Apple Patent? They Could Stop ANYONE from Building a Tablet

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10 Aug, 2011 7:00 pm


A German court on Tuesday granted Apple a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, excluding the Netherlands.

I think its absolutely insane that the court in Germany actually let this patent stand if you took a look at the patent itself. If you look at the actual patent that won them the right to stop the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Europe it could apply to ANY tablet on the market, not just their top selling competitor. In Germany, Apple asserts an infringement of Community design and they also cite unfair competition grounds, denouncing the Galaxy Tab as an iPad imitation. So lets take a closer look at this Community Design, its a mere 4 page document that you can check out here, it doesn’t really mean much except if you’re into legal speak, its the photo’s that are the most interesting part! Back in 2010 Apple filed for a design patent for a screen with a bezel and a back…a tablet. They called it the handheld computer.

Take a look at the above design and tell me that doesn’t look like EVERY TABLET on the market. Apple has just chosen the most competitive Android tablet on the market and taken it down. This Community Design patent by Apple has only been around since 2010 so clearly Apple didn’t invent the tablet, Bert Keely, in 2000 at Comdex in Las Vegas the showed off Microsoft’s vision for the Tablet PC. Look familiar? Kind of looks like the images above, how can Apple patent an entire product category? At any moment Apple could decide that any tablet is too much competition and file a suit!

What I think its important to point out is that what we have is a rectangular screen with rounded corners! This is playing dirty in my books. Instead of letting the market decide which tablet will dominate, Apple has made it so that any device that looks like a tablet is in fact infringing on their intellectual property! Forget about innovation and competition, in this world of blanket IP its not about who can actually create a decent product, its who can hire the best patent lawyers!

I’m left wondering if perhaps the suits might have been inspired by one of the earliest tablet designs i can remember. Apple’s probably lucky that the etch-a-sketch didn’t have a CPU!

What do you think? Am I far off or did Apple just claim Intellectual Property on an entire product category?

UPDATE: Sadly I’m right….It looks like Apple has now gone after Motorola!

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Here is page three of the Community Design document


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  • Haha

    Yes you can. In Mars

  • Haha

    You are right bro. Your research will cause tremors in planet Pluto

  • Guest

    Sensible post.

  • Guest

    pragmaticmarketing . com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_cant_innovate_like_apple
    Excellent article on why Apple is the most innovative company of our times.

  • Andy Owen

    (regardless of whether I agree that Apple is the most innovative company or not…)

    Did you read the article? It starts from the proposition that Apple is the most innovative company, offering no proof that this is the case, as evidence it offers a few links to articles (from 2008 or earlier)- one of which actually places Google as the #1 company for innovation.
    Then it goes on to explain how they design their products in some detail. None of which actually backs up the claim that they ARE the most innovative, merely showing how they manage their innovation (which is interesting in itself).

    With ~30 products on the shelves compared to hundreds or thousands for some of their competitors (from the article), there has to be an argument that other companies, which come out with several new products a year, are actually more innovative, as they produce more NEW innovations in these multiple products (e.g. Sony: This year they have announced or brought to market: the Vita, the Clamshell Android tablet, the cut down PSP, the Xperia Arc and Game (with Bravia displays), 3D TV and Recording devices, [admittedly Only one or two of which are completely new products], last year MS brought us Win7 and Kinect, Nintendo brought us 3DS this year, and announced their new console, LG brought us the first 3D phone, etc…).

    I’m not going to argue here that Apple aren’t innovative because they copy/improve on others’ ideas, but the more I think about it the less INNOVATIVE (in the true sense of the term) they seem to be.

  • Edward Meeker

    OK everyone, there is only one action that bastards like this will understand, stop buying any of it. If they act like criminals, then just shun them. As far as their being innovative, they just market better, everything, they have introduced as ‘new’ was done before. 

  • Fapfap

    apple fanboys are lame

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  • Guest

    You are a genius. Become a good human being first. Doesn’t matter whether you become a good critic or not.  

  • Guest

    Innovation is not be measured by quantity, but by the quality – the impact it creates on culture – by touching people’s life. There are millions of copiers, but only a few innovators. That’s how it has always been. Apple has changed the way people use their phones. iPad has changed the way people read books, watch movies, surf the web. I use the iPad for data visualization apps and it is easier for me to change dimensions using my finger. Apple started the innovation. Others followed.

    Beyond that I have nothing else to tell you. If you think you have won – you win.

  • bannman

    So Google fanboys are awesome? I find Googlers far more outspoken then Apple fans. 

  • Guest

    In no way did Apple change the way people use their phones. Smartphones existed before the iPhone, and Apple did’nt even have the first touchscreen smartphone. Apple also did not invent the tablet. People like you want to believe that Apple has done so in order that you can reinforce your belief that buying Apple products makes you cool and nonconformist. Apples own phrase “think different” becomes more and more hypocritical as more people buy their products. Now, as their products are slowly abandoned, Apple sees the need to fire lawsuits at everyone around them in a futile attempt to make their outdated business strategy relevant. 

  • ldzman218

    Google bought motorola because moto has lots of patents. read my comment above, i am the same guest

  • Zachary S Green

    Thats because google fanboys have doctorates in computer science and work in IT, and apple fanboys are fat freetrade worshippers who live in starbucks and think that buying a white mac makes them special 

  • Guest

    Do you understand the concept of market creation? Whether or not Apple “invented” the iPad (they did) does not mean they invented the tablet. There is a market for ultraportable, touchscreen slates. Therefore, Apple and Samsung both made top-notch tablets to meet those markets. Samsung isn’t copying Apple, they are making a product that does something similar, but does it differently. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not a copy, it’s just another device. Whichever you choose, you will probably do so because of ideological or economic reasons.

  • Zachary S Green

    Why are you so stupid? I, honestly, do not believe you know. Or are you a troll? You do seem almost too stupid.

  • Zachary S Green

    I hope that, when the zombies come, they seek you out and rape you. Not eat you, rape you. You are clearly beyond the reach of rationality.

  • Fuckyou

    Are you retarded. Apple didnt invent ANY OF THAT. THEY STOLE IT FORM MS. That not innovation its THEFT. I would STRONGLY argue that my companies im starting are significantly more innovative than Apple.

  • TH

    Umm…. hardwarewise, I agree with you Tt. Software… you know Google betrayed Apple right? That was some fun news back than. Google helped Apple design the first iPhone OS and interface, then it found out it can make a name of itself, so bye bye Apple. That was an epic betrayal.

  • TH

    I read books on my Kindle DX. Obviously you are not a bookworm. When it comes to visual entertainment, iPad. When it comes to books, e-books are the only option.

    It is sad when MS announced Surface 1.0, it also announced the concept of 2 pages thin book like device which was over 9000 cooler than iPad. Nobody paid heed back than and the project was never heard of ever since. The same way nobody believed iPad would last in the tech conference on Feb 2010. 3 months later everyone calling the giant smartphone a tablet computer, and following the steps in everyway.

    It’s a bluff, you just have to read through the lies from their advertising department to see the truth.

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  • Anonymous

    What a bunch of slimy control freaks… sheesh.

  • Anonymous

    How true and they should sue every company that is trying to cash in on their invention and infringe on their patent.  Sorry, to say AH’s Apple was the FIRST and has RIGHTS !

  • Anonymous

    Apple ROCKS and will Take over the pad world forever !

  • Kevin

    Apple should be ashamed!! They suck at making good product’s, and now they want to be the only tablet producer.. LOL! Apple don’t care about us users, they really don’t care about us. To them we are just consumers with money. They don’t even want to give. It was possible to make a tablet for users the best tablet they can make. If they can make a table with a 10

  • Kevin

    Apple should be ashamed!! They suck at making good product’s, and now they want to be the only tablet producer.. LOL! Apple don’t care about us users, they really don’t care about us. To them we are just consumers with money. They don’t even want to give us the best they can make. It was possible to make a tablet for users with 10Ghz CPU, they would only make it 6Ghz. And then after 5-6months they would be releasing a new tablet with 7Ghz. And so on… If we get the best tablet is not apple’s concern. I’m guessing apple’s employment  guideline is: make new products, not better. And make the most money out of the products we all ready have! F*** the customers as long as we get what we want. This is my guess.. Anyway I really do hate everything about apple and they’re products. I hope Samsung will Sue them for every thing they got in the future. Or maybe they should counter Sue them now, because they are messing with Samsungs financial aspect. Samsung is loosing money on apple bullShit lawsuits. But my point is that apple in fact knows they make bad products, and now they are just grasping after straws, so that they can try to avoid bankruptcy.. But as we all know, this faith for apple is unavoidable! Apple is loosing this battle. Haha apple is going down! :-)