Dilbert’s Take on Design Trademark Violations

Dilbert has a way of bringing current topics into their world with a twist of humor. From what I can gather, today’s comic pokes fun at Apple’s design lawsuits filed against Samsung. From today’s Dilbert comic:

Dilbert Comic - 2011.10.18


Netherlands Denies Samsung’s Request to Ban Apple’s 3G Devices

Samsung lost in its attempt to ban all Apple devices that use 3G in the Netherlands. From the Reuters article:

“A win for Apple but also relief for the industry because the judge upheld widespread understanding of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms in the use of patents,” independent intellectual property expert Florian Mueller said.

We’ve discussed Samsung’s use of RAND patents against Apple before. Now it appears that the next battles in Italy and France could also play in Apple’s favor.

“Apple will be taking French and Italian translations of the Dutch ruling with it. This makes it a long shot for Samsung that it could win an injunction in the EU based on its 3G patents,” Mueller said.

Samsung Found to Infringe Apple Patents in U.S.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said Samsung’s Galaxy tabets infringed on Apple’s patents, but left the onus on Apple to establish the validity of their patents. As for issuing an injunction against Samsung:

At the hearing on Thursday in a San Jose, California federal court, Koh also said she would deny Apple’s request for an injunction based on one of Apple’s so-called “utility” patents.

She did not say whether she would grant the injunction based on three other Apple “design” patents.

The following courtroom conversation helps illustrate why Apple is going after Samsung for allegedly copying its flagship iOS devices:

Koh frequently remarked on the similarity between each company’s tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.

“Not at this distance your honor,” said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

“Can any of Samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?” Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

iPhone 4S Antenna May Infringe on Samsung Patents

According to an article on 9to5Mac, Apple’s new iPhone 4S antenna design may infringe Samsung patents. From the article:

Pedersen and others at the Aalborg University think Apple will run into legal issues related to patents the professors sold to Samsung in 2007. The report also notes Samsung has not yet used these patents in litigation with Apple.

Regarding implementing a multi-antenna design that intelligently switches to improve reception, Danish professor Gert Frølund Pedersen stated:

“I can not say that they are directly breaking the patent, but there are not many ways they can choose the right antenna, without coming to break many patents.”

Samsung Requests iPhone 4S Sales Block In France and Italy

From Samsung’s official blog:

Samsung Electronics will file separate preliminary injunction motions in Paris, France and Milano, Italy on October 5 local time requesting the courts block the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the respective markets.

Samsung’s preliminary injunction requests in France and Italy will each cite two patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications technology, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.

The second paragraph plainly states this has to do with the RAND patents we’ve discussed before.

The iPhone 4S is scheduled to launch on October 14th for France, and October 28th for Italy.

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