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View Diary: Why Patents Can Stifle Innovation (74 comments)

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  •  Design patents are different. You can patent and (1+ / 0-)
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    Dogs are fuzzy

    protect a specific physical design or logo.  I don't think many people confused the samsung with an apple though.  Calling samsung an apple counterfeit is really pushing it.  Their patent is 'an ornamental design'.  If the layout or any of the proportions are different, it is then a different 'ornamental design'.

    And ornamental designs do need to have limits.  For example, a design patent protecting a portable radio with earphone jacks by dressing them up as 'ornamental' is a cheap end-around to the fact that a utility patent could not be issued for said earphone jacks.

    If courts are allowing design patents to proceed where utility patents fail, then the patent system is broken.

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 08:01:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Logos are ornamental designs (0+ / 0-)

      And Apple did not invent the trade dress patent, a class of which Samsung has many.

      The Samsung design, right down to copying things like the shape of cables and the design of product packaging is so obviously a copy that you might want to find another case to make this argument.

      And if the essence of your argument is "I don't think many people were confused" I'd suggest that, likewise, "not many people would fail to see Samsung copied the design".

      To a less than casual observer, the only real difference is:

      (a) square home button vs round home button
      (b) Samsung logo verses Apple logo

      Otherwise, the Samsung is an obvious copy.

      I agree the system is totally screwed-up, but honestly, Samsung copied Apple and suggesting otherwise is kind of a joke. Seriously, if you can't see it, maybe you need an eye exam.

      And note this too: Galaxy 3, which looks nothing like an Apple product (but is rectangular, has rounded corners and comes in black or white) is the most successful Samsung product to date, so is it possible that (a) not copying other products promotes innovation (b) long-term this kick in the ass will be good for Samsung?

      Any comment on Samsung's rotten behavior on FRAND patents?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 09:55:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way (0+ / 0-)

      The terms "ornamental design" and "trade dress" are, in fact, "a specific physical design" as you put it, i.e., "Design Patents".

      That is the legal terminology applied.

      The question in any case is whether a design in dispute is deemed to appropriate the "embodiment" that is patented, and if you go to the patent in question I linked to, you can see the extent of the claims and the preferred embodiment, which are a specific physical design. I encourage you to actually read it.

      Samsung lost on that count with respect to certain models, and it's pretty obvious why.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 10:40:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't referring to the Apple patent (0+ / 0-)

        but to the generic statement in the diary itself.  If "trade dress", "ornamental design", or "design patents" are protecting otherwise free and clear utility, then the system is being abused.

        and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

        by ban48 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:00:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but it might not be that simple (0+ / 0-)

          In principle, I agree that appearance and utility are different issues and the former should be quite narrowly defined, even, possibly, to the extent of requiring a product facsimile as would be required with embodiments of logos, for example.

          However, what we have in the Apple vs Samsung case is a bit more complex in that, not only was the product appearance found to conflict with the trade dress patent, but various software features were found to violate design patents and then there were clams/counter-claims based on utility patents.

          So while I think the trade-dress issue is pretty clear-cut (and obviously think Apple had a case there), the case in general was a bit less clear-cut and is a good illustration of the pratfalls industry faces with an antiquated system that does not adequately differentiate issues such as trade dress, design verses utility, proprietary utility verses standards-essential utility and so-on.

          And that is why I posted various links to some articles that elaborate the situation and state some of the issues more clearly with examples, and to some articles that argue principles.

          So, any thoughts on the current cases involving FRAND patents Samsung is trying to retroactively claim as proprietary?

          Or the extent of Apple software patents (just to be fair)?

          Both companies seem to be playing the system now, ironically prompted into doing so by others such as Nokia, Motorola, et al.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:54:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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