The 3-week legal battle between Apple and Samsung has come to a close with Apple coming out on top. What patented features did Samsung copy?? ...and what does this 'win' mean for Apple and the future of mobile devices...??
I'm sure you probably heard by now that the Samsung vs. Apple trial is now to a close and the jury-of-nine unanimously ruled in favor of Apple. The 3-week long trial concluded with Samsung owing Apple $1.05-Billion in damages of patent infringement. Many features including user-interface and physical design found on Samsung / Android devices are now in serious jeopardy. Below is a visual list of the features that were copied from Apple and will now be taken off or drastically re-designed in future models...
This victory is huge and it may have negative impacts on phones already released and those coming out in the future. Android phones, which currently comprise 60-70 percent of all smartphones sold around the world, could lose key functionality. Many of them could be taken off the market or be drastically redesigned so that they don’t remotely resemble the iPhone.
|The jury found that many of Samsung’s phones violated Apple’s patents related to outward design (things like rounded corners) and that they copied the overall outward design of the iPhone. Because of this ruling, don’t expect manufacturers to get bold enough to design phones that look like the iPhone.|
|Apple won big in this case by claiming that Samsung mimicked the design of iOS icons (4x4 app grid) and layouts, including a home tray of icons.|
|...we’ll see less of them with physical home buttons (Galaxy S3), and designs may start getting stranger or packed with unnecessary flourishes to differentiate from the look of the iPhone.|
|A particularly crazy patent granted to Apple asserts that it basically owns the entire design and style of navigating a touch smartphone and the types of menus present on most of them today. This means that many apps might be redesigned or altered in ways to not resemble functionality or designs seen on the iPhone. This patent even covers the idea of a touch keyboard and displaying lists of documents.|
|The Apple patent that covers “pinch to zoom” also covers a broad swatch of other gestures, some of which are far-reaching. Expect Android manufacturers and app makers to avoid supporting basic things like virtual e-book page turns, on-screen turnable dial controls (for something like volume), and moving a window or object by touching it with two fingers at the same time.|
|Two of the key patents that the jury just upheld were for “pinch to zoom” and “double tap to zoom.” Pinching and double tapping to zoom are natural touch gestures we all use constantly to zoom in on web pages, maps, and all kinds of things on phones. How will we zoom now? Well, we’ll probably have to tap an onscreen zoom bar or something stupid. Not cool.|
|Though this trial didn’t involve “slide to unlock” patent at the end, other Apple lawsuits have, and you can bet that Android manufacturers are going to try to avoid any gesture or software patents Apple has actively protected. Most Android phones have already been altered to avoid breaking this patent. Most newer Android phones do not unlock with a straight left-to-right sliding motion anymore (or at least a bar that you swipe across). Expect the onscreen ways you unlock your phone to get stranger as time goes on.|
....What does this mean for the future of non-Apple mobile devices??
"The result will likely be an increase in costs to Android users because of licensing fees to Apple," Houston-based intellectual property lawyer Steve Mitby told Wired. In layman's terms: expect Android phones to cost more. "This will drive many Android consumers over to Apple. Next to Samsung, the biggest loser today is Google." Android handset makers could also find themselves having a difficult time designing around some of these patent claims. But as Apple's closing arguments showed, it's not impossible: products like the Nokia Lumia and Xperia Arc S were cited as models of functional alternative designs to that of the iPhone. Perhaps we could even be pleasantly surprised by the influx of diversity to the smartphone space. But unfortunately, you can't really "force" invention.
|...this is a video still from the first-gen iPhone keynote in 2007.|
Clearly and Publicly states that iPhone's features (multitouch) are patented.