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Apple v. Samsung: Mixed Phone Marriages End in Divorce?

Apple v. Samsung: Mixed Phone Marriages End in Divorce?
by Daniel Nenni on 10-28-2012 at 8:10 pm

 A funny thing happened at dinner the other night. The SemiWiki blog “8 Things I Hate about My iPhone5” caused quite a discussion. Half the table had Samsung phones and the other half iPhones. It really was more of a religious or political debate versus a rational consumer electronic discussion. An interesting side note, it seems mixed marriages, where one spouse has a Samsung phone and the other an iPhone, were much more likely to end in divorce. Seriously, my position is that the majority of ex-spouses or ex significant others have opposing phones.

To test this hypothesis you can participate in a highly scientific poll HERE. Anybody can vote so please do.

My marriage used to be mixed. In the past I let my wife and children pick whatever phones they liked. Moving to smartphones however I insisted on one phone type for all (crowd sourcing) and the vote was 2 for Android (oldest son and I) versus 4 for Apple. Now we all happily belong to the Church of Apple and shun Samsungites.

The legal action between Apple and Samsung probably increased the mixed phone divorce rate. I spend quite a bit of my professional time on the legal side of things so I have been following the different Apple v. Samsung cases around the world. You can see the full Apple U.S. complaint HERE which resulted in a $1B+ jury verdict. Samsung internal emails about copying Apple products really sunk them. Generally, in most case law nowadays, incriminating email plays a significant role so be warned.

Apple lost a case in the UK with the judge ruling that “Samsung tablets are not as cool as iPads” with the judge imposing an interesting penalty. Apple was required to post an apology with a font size of at least Arial 14.

Well, the Apple “apology” is out now and it is indicative of the sometimes juvenile Apple versus Samsung discussions I have heard. Here it is in Arial 14:

Samsung / Apple UK judgment
On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.


That is the apology part. Here is the not so apologetic part:

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.”

“The informed user’s overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.”

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.

Clearly, like the iProducts, Apple has taken a simple apology to a whole new level with an added focus on the Apple user experience! 😎

Also see: A Brief History of Mobile: Gen 1 and 2

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