It’s the third week of the Apple v. Samsung mega-suit and Samsung is on the offensive with some interesting assertions meant to invalidate some of Apple’s key patents. For example, the Galaxy maker, whom Apple accuses of ripping off its iPad and iPhone wholesale, now counterclaims that Apple stole its patents related to things like e-mail, photo albums and playing music in the background.

Furthermore, Samsung brought a number of experts who testified that Apple’s patents should be invalidated due to a bunch of prior art. Heck, the company even wheeled in a monstrous Surface-like tablet computer into the courtroom in an attempt to invalidate Apple’s pinch-zoom feature and establish that everyone, even Apple, takes inspiration from someone else’s work…

Joel Rosenblatt, reporting for Bloomberg, points to a videotaped testimony by Roger Fidler, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. It was shown yesterday to the jury as Samsung’s attempt to invalidate Apple’s iPad design due to alleged prior art.

Fidler said in a written declaration he started working on a tablet design in 1981 and that “Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes” during a period in the mid-1990s when the company collaborated with Knight-Ridder Inc.’s information design laboratory in Colorado.

His first tablet mockup was meant to be what today’s tablets are:

“My feeling was that it should be something that’s lightweight, portable, with a flat screen that had an ability to use a touch screen,” Fidler testified, referring to the first mock-up of his tablet from the early 1980s.

Fidler built another version of his tablet in 1994. It had “rounded corners”, slots for memory cards and of course a “flat touchscreen”.

“My original assumptions were that it would be a touchscreen without a stylus,” he said.

Tactics changed, the South Korean firm is now accusing Apple of infringing on three patents covering things like e-mail, photo albums and playing music in the background of other apps. The company also attempted to invalidate Apple’s rubber-band scrolling patent that Steve Jobs warned Samsung not to copy and the pinch-to-zoom feature.

Yesterday, Samsung summoned its witness, a Mistubishi engineer named Adam Bogue (via Fortune), who worked on a device called Diamond Touch from a company called Circle Twelve.

It’s akin to Microsoft’s Surface and has pinch-zoom functionality, which is one of Apple’s prized iPhone patents.

Samsung actually wheeled this tech monstrosity on a tripod in the courtroom.

Not sure if the jurors will be able to draw parallels between pinch and zoom functionality on this large table-like device and the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display.

Here’s a video of it in action.

Samsung is attempting to establish that everyone copies, even Apple, in the hope of  making the case for its claim that Apple’s intellectual property is invalid to begin with.

Itay Sherman, the inventor and CEO of multitouch company DoubleTouch, testified that Apple’s patents should be invalidated due to a number of alleged prior art claims. In respect to the iPhone, Sherman mentioned a Japanese design patent from 2005 describing a device with rounded corners, rectangular shape and “lozenge-shaped” speaker.

Of course, he also mentioned LG’s Prada handset.

As for the iPad, Sherman brought up the 1994 Fidler tablet concept (seen below) and Compaq’s TC1000 tablet computer from 2002.

InformationWeek on Monday quoted Christopher Canari, chairman of the American Bar Association’s design rights committee and former chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association committee on industrial design, who thinks the court will side with Apple.

Angered by the ongoing courtroom “theatrics”, Judge Lucy Koh which presides over the case ordered on Monday and again on Wednesday that lawyers for both parties meet in person one last time, advising the parties to settle to avoid both getting burned by verdict.

What do you think, does Samsung have a shot at invalidating Apple’s prized inventions?

  • pegger1

    I don’t know how the courts would be able to side with Apple, with all this prior art on the table. If they did, then all these other companies should be able to hit Apple for a lot more.

    • because prior ART doesn’t prove product. i can draw a picture of whatever i want but it doesn’t mean some day if the invention comes to fruition that i own it or invented it. the issue here is PATENTS. apple was smart enough to apply for patents, and was awarded them. if the prior art wasn’t patented, because the technology or product didn’t exist then what are they whining about?

      Samsung can claim whatever they want but they’ve already been blown out of the water. it has already been established they INTENTIONALLY copied the iPhone. they intentionally infringed upon patents.

      there is a reason samsung wasn’t allowed to use ART from 2001:a space odyssey because it is simply that…art…from a sci-fi movie. not a real working product.

      • Well stated. I was going to say something similar. It’s all about owning the patents and the making these art concepts a reality. Like Jobs said in ’07, “Boy have we patent this.” He and Apple knew what they have just accomplished and that they need to protect it to the fullest for days like this.

      • That’s not true at all. You sound like Apple plans on making every single patent they have! Patenting is just patenting. It is on paper, it doesn’t have to become a reality and that is the dumbest part of it! And Apple has waay many more patents then they have ever used and will ever use! So, it has nothing to do with making the art into reality. If I drew a concept that is similar to iPad before iPad’s design, sure I won’t have anything to sue Apple by because I didn’t patent it, but it proves that I had my own design ideas. Thus, I am not a thief!

      • You’re partially right. If you draw something and never do anything with it, then you can’t sue not can it be used as prior art. If you register said drawing, however, then you CAN sue and it CAN be used as prior art. I don’t know the details on this guy’s designs, but if he registered them, then yes, Apple would be taking some heat IF the designs resemble the prior designs.

      • Well.. if Apple copied that art works, than Samsung did it too… so, what kind of argument is this Samsung…?

      • goofygreek

        If Samsung can show the courts that apple copied this design, than apple wouldn’t have a case because apple is saying Samsung copied apple. That make sense?

      • Than the court should explain not only to Apple but to everybody why Apple got those patents approved. Will we see the system discredit itself?

      • Because the USPO is full of idiots. They will approve just about anything from all of the big guys. The USPO doesn’t do hardly any research. I think they are approving patents out of good faith that the companies applying for the patents did all of the work.

        If the USPO worked correctly, we wouldn’t be plagued with constant reports of patent trolls.

      • pegger1

        Being a real working product I don’t think has any bearing. Especially with respect to design and how it looks (rounded corners). Patents normally aren’t real working products when they’re submitted, just ideas.

        *I’d like to note I’m not a Samsung fan, I have an iPhone. I prefer it for my needs (doesn’t mean I wouldn’t switch in the future). I’m just making comments on my take

      • No more Obama

        a drawing/painting is always copy righted. you don’t need to go to an office to do it. and you don’t need to write it under your painting that you posted.

      • Papapau

        Apple copied Samsung’s 3g patent right? They just dont feel like trolling like your Apple religion.. using theyre copied ideas to harm innovation and competition.

  • a) Apple Bashful Prototype, 1983 <- Google this.
    b) On that video, it's not "Pinch to Zoom". He grabs the Window corners to increase and decrease the Window size. There's no Zoom there.

    Samsung, if the design are so "obvious" why Galaxy (pad and phones) didn't appear before Apples iPad and iPhone…?

    Seriously, Samsung it's a really a big piece of shit, because they look like kids saying that "But apple did this.. and that…"

    Samsung, did Apple stole anything from you? If yes, bring that to court.. stop using sci-fi and other stupid arguments. You guys are totally lost and full of Shitsung.

    • No more Obama

      classy remarks there

    • Paul Smith


      Samsung, if the design is so ‘obvious’, why Galaxy (pad and phones) didn’t appear before Apples iPad and iPhone.”

      It’s similar to saying, “Hey, I just broke a world record and became the first human to run a 4 minute mile. Anybody who runs faster than that is copying me. What!? You say that running a faster mile is obvious…then why haven’t you done it before?”

      Phone were getting smaller, screens were getting bigger, touch was being incorporated, music was already being included, icons were already being used, etc. That’s the way things were going.

      And to cite the jury verdict as evidence to the contrary is ridiculous. Just because a jury decided the sky is green doesn’t make it green. Yeah, maybe Samsung will have to pay, but that doesn’t change the original facts. @djmobil2 above sites a great list of prior examples of what was already going on in the world BEFORE the iPhone.

      I wasn’t impressed with pinch to zoom when I first saw an iPhone. I was impressed that Apple created a device so small and elegant, sure. But I’d already seen it demonstrated. Years before.

      The problem is, the average jury member doesn’t watch TED videos, etc. Their first exposure to those techs are the iPhone. They are shown those other things in court, but their gut is still being loyal to their personal experience with Apple. It’s evident by their discussions of their deliberation process that they were influenced by things other than just what they were told in court. They failed miserably.

      • No..no..no.

        Being faster, is being better, it’s being innovative.
        Samsung didn’t anything better, they just limited to mimic Apple.

        That’s why they lost the case. Seriously, if it was only a few things, gettting inspired, or getting the rights to do it without copying… that could be fine, but copying almost everything, it’s going too much far… it’s korean bs and obviously on samsung dna (and hyundai too, where the samsung designer used to design car exterior, that are exacly copy of known cars around the world, like Mercedes and BMW)

        There’s no denial that Samsung rip-off apple on almost everything. Even their inside documents proof that.

        From one of the Samsung big bosses:

        “The difference between our interface and Apple’s is like heaven and hell” … “let’s make it similar”. “copy this, copy that”

      • Paul Smith

        I agree with all that. I’m not defending what Samsung did. I was responding specifically to the concept “if it was obvious, why didn’t you do it already”.

        I don’t care to defend Samsung at all, but Apple is ridiculous with the manner in which they claim things as their own that were around loooong before they started using them. It’s absurd.

      • In some cases, they go too far… I agree. But we must keep in mind that Apple looks like a new company from 2000 but they are here since the late 70’s. They have made part in many inventions. Not for iOS specifically but for the computer industry, MacOSX (NexT), etc. So, iOS is just a “son” of the Apple legacy.

        Apple invent some stuff, others they just bought it, wich it’s fair enough to call “their product”. Other companies, like Google, Microsoft, and even Samsung, does the same. Apple are being hit HARD at this moment because they are the most powerful one, and there’s a lot of other companies out there trying to join forces to make them weak. And one of the tool that they all are using in common is Android. That’s the string that make them stay together. Most of the people dislike samsung, but since they sell Android devices, they are only getting more defenders because of that.

        Apple didn’t invented the multi-touch, but they are the ones who have made it mainstream is working since the day ONE fast and smooth. They have made the multi-touch (capacitive devices) working as we always imagine in our dreams. They are responsable too for this technology being successful nowadays. That’s how Apple works since ever, they try new stuff and see potential on stuff that are only available in labs, waiting for some company with vision to make them reality (to the people).

      • Paul Smith

        All true. But as you say, they didn’t invent multi-touch. So they shouldn’t be able to prevent other people from using it. Pinch to Zoom was around before the iPhone. Maybe it didn’t have that name, but the gesture was there. They should just have tried to protect that name. Just because they popularize something should not give them bullying power over others. Heck, in MOST average person’s mind, Google “invented” search. They didn’t, of course, and they don’t presume to have done so. They just made it very quick and accurate. Apple’s method would be to stand up on stage, lie to the world saying that they did, and then sue the pants off of every company that deals with search.

        Sure, protect what’s yours, but this whole business of trying to pretend that everything is yours to begin with is just wrong.

      • Agree, but Software and hardware design are really, really hard to copyright, and patents are the only way to protect their work (unfortunately). Samsung went too far, that’s why Apple pulled all the power to fight against them. There’s a lot of brands that trade patents and others just get inspired by or buy the rights to use it, without ripping off other companies. And if you see that cases, Apple never sued them. Samsung is one of the companies out there that ripps off everything and never wanted to pay a cent to use other companies inventions.

        Lets just imagine if Apple build some manufacture and start to make some chips that samsung owns the patent…and never pay a cent to them, just ripping off the whole roadmap…

        and like I say almost every day. if someone or some company think or have sure that Apple use technology that they don’t own, just sue them. would be fair enough… all I want (and everybody I think) is a fair competition, and fight for innovation. Im not saying that Apple is a “angel” but they have done, by far, more than Samsung…who shameless are in the mobile world almost 20 years and Apple are here only since 2007..

  • I want to know one thing…samsung is bringing all these prior art componies….bt what ll happen if these companies sue samsung in return as mayb they are nt infringing on apple bt they are still infringing….
    In short Samsung is still a copier….

    • Geeks on Hugs

      Proving prior art will invalidate apples patents but does not great a patent to the prior artist.

  • Qlobster

    is that thing in the film a touchscreen? you can see light coming from above! it looks like some kind of overhead projector.

    • Geeks on Hugs

      I tink its a different touch technology, something like an Xbox kinnect.

  • cruzcontrol1001

    Fail.

    • That article is from 2010, which makes that design 29 years old. This is, however, from 1981, which makes it 31 years old. Math. Derp.

      • cruzcontrol1001

        Yes your right but this is tablet not a damn projector screen so open your eyes Kilroy.

  • cruzcontrol1001

    That quick NOTE jotting looks strikingly familiar. I know I’ve seen it before.

  • Yeah maybe that they could say that Apple copied iPad from Wacom Cintiq

  • they are desperate

  • cani canii

    Fck samsung u dam ass

  • air naji

    These are fakes … You never seen the people in the video swipe. To a new screen or close out any screen with one hand. Samsungs reaching !

  • So technically samsung admit that they copy apple? Since apple had patent their design, samsung is guilty. Case close

    • Papapau

      That simple? So why are they in a courtroom? Simple minded or selective hearing? Geez.. Samsung was inspired by the iPhone.

      • Paul Smith

        Why are they in a court room? Um, because Apple sued. It is indeed that simple.

  • cruzcontrol1001

    While the bashful tablet may not be completely flat it is a tablet not a projector screen as shown on that YouTube video that Samsung a is trying to use as prior art. cool little tablet you showed me. I also had a newton and I loved it.

  • Society evolution goes hand by hand with new technology and innovation. Technology companies can’t try to monopolize their work by sueing any one that takes something similar or equal to other’s work (which may have some characteristics in common with another one’s work) and innovate.
    To better understand this here’s a brief on cell phone technology innovations: Calypso Wireless – first phone with WiFi, Nokia – first smartphone, first phone with WAP browser and first predictive T9 text messaging , Benefone with the first phone with GPS, Samsung – with the first cell phone to have MP3 music capabilities, Ericsson – first Bluetooth-capable and first tochscreen phones, Motorola- first color display, first camera phones by Kyocera and Sharp, Sanyo – first cell phone integrating camera with flash and LCD. Their innovations evolved and became the standards for cell phone of today.
    What if… these companies sued and banned all the phones with “a like technology” from the competition? Do you think that the cell phone of today would be what it is?
    Apple, just reinforced the new evident phase on the smartphone evolution, which is now moving the market towards the same direction and they cannot pretend that nobody else follow the trend. Tablets, touch screens, voice recognition, NFC wallets…

    • Geeks on Hugs

      People smitten with Apple have no perception of the broader world. To them Apple invented the GUI the mouse the touch screen multi touch…if Al Gore had Apple doing his PR when he ran for president it would be established fact by now that he invented the internet! And he would have the patents to “prove” it. Lol…it would be funnier if apple wasn’t destroying our future.