iPhone knockoffs

“China’s ZTE Corp, the world’s fourth-biggest mobile phone vendor, is unfazed by the possibility of being sued by Apple Inc over patent violations, and is looking to boost its own patents and find unique designs and features for its range of handsets,” Lee Chyen Yee reports for Reuters.

“In the wake of Apple’s patent victory over South Korea’s Samsung Electronics in the United States last week, ZTE and other phone makers that use Google’s Android operating system were cited as being at risk if Apple opted to extend the lawsuit beyond Samsung,” Yee reports. “‘We’re not worried about it. As a listed company we’re very careful when it comes to our phone designs to make sure we don’t violate any patents,’ Luo Zhongsheng, vice president of ZTE’s handset division, told Reuters on Tuesday.”

Yee reports, “The Shenzhen-based firm has been making its phones slimmer and sleeker, while packing in more power and features. ‘We’ve been trying to improve the exterior design from this year. A few years ago, some people may think ZTE phones are ugly, but now, the feel is different,’ Luo said. In terms of software, ZTE executives said they hoped the Mifavor user interface would help the company set its phones apart from rival brands… The company is also being investigated by the FBI over allegations it illegally sold U.S. computer products to Iran. Separately, the European Union is investigating whether ZTE benefited unfairly from Chinese government subsidies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That crap-peddler sounds as if they understand patents about as thoroughly as did Samsung.

“Apple Inc. licensed its prized design patents to Microsoft Corp but with an ‘anti-cloning agreement’ to prevent copying of its iPhone and iPad, an Apple executive said on Monday,” Dan Levine and Edwin Chan report for Reuters. “The testimony from Apple patent licensing director Boris Teksler came in one of the most closely watched technology trials in years”

Levine and Chan report,” Apple’s decision to license its design patents to Microsoft was consistent with its corporate strategy, Teksler said, because the agreement prohibited Microsoft from manufacturing copies. ‘There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type,’ Teksler said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine if such a deal with and “anti-cloning agreement” had been done with the Mac OS way back when.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Andrew W.” for the heads up.]

“As the patent battle between Apple and Samsung continues to rumble on, we have been made privy to information that both companies have fought hard to keep a secret. Apple VPs Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall have already testified on the creation, sales and hardships of iPhone project, also providing some fresh insight into how highly Steve Jobs regarded patents registered by the company,” Matt Brian reports for TNW.

“NetworkWorld pored through comments made by Senior VP of iOS software Scott Forstall, where he explained the importance of Apple’s ‘381, ‘915 and ‘163 patents, which are all currently being asserted against Samsung in a Californian District Court,” Brian reports. “Forstall explained his delight at being able to create an iPhone that utilised pinch-to-zoom (the ‘163 patent on which he is listed as an inventor), he also detailed Steve Jobs’ close connection to Apple’s ‘381 patent – a technology that covers the “rubber band” (or inertial scrolling) effect that occurs when a user attempts to scroll past the end of a displayed document or webpage.”

Brian reports, “The Apple VP also underlined the importance of the feature to Steve Jobs: ‘Rubber banding is one of the sort of key things for the fluidity of the iPhone and – and all of iOS, and so I know it was one of the ones that Steve really cared about. I actually think that Android had not done rubber banding at some point and it was actually added later. So they actually went form sort of, you know, not yet copying and infringing to – to choosing to copy, which is sad and distasteful,’ Forstall added.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Samsung attorneys drew a bead on Apple’s claims about the uniqueness of its iPhone design Monday, with stronger counterclaims about preceding designs or ‘prior art,’ citing three patent applications that preceded the iPhone,” Charles Babcock reports for InformationWeek.

“Lead Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven also highlighted some surprising differences between Samsung smartphones and the iPhone, differences that a key expert witness for Apple seemed unaware of. On the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, the rounded corners aren’t rounded equally, as the iPhone’s are, Verhoeven pointed out,” Babcock reports. “He asked key Apple witness Peter Bressler, an expert on industrial design, if he had noticed how much the top corners are a tighter curve than the bottom corners on the Galaxy. If part of a circle, the top corners would have a radius of 10 centimeters; the bottom, 13 centimeters, he said. ‘I couldn’t dispute your measurements,’ Bressler responded. ‘I haven’t measured the corners’ on the Galaxy, he testified.”

Babcock reports, “But he came closer to drawing blood when one of his detail questions about a Samsung design elicited an inadvertent or unexpected response from Bressler. In evaluating one Samsung design, he said he didn’t spend time inspecting and couldn’t explain the four buttons at the bottom of the phone’s face, a common element of Android design. ‘You’re not an expert in the (operational) functions of a smartphone? I thought I just heard you say that,’ Verhoeven said. ‘I’m an expert on the function of design patterns,’ said Bressler. Verhoeven: ‘Did you actually use any of those buttons?’ Bressler: ‘No, not as part of my understanding of the design of the phones.’ …Verhoeven charged that Bressler had reached his conclusions that Samsung infringes based on “a thin layer” of surface design-only analysis.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Chuck, it’s called Trade Dress Infringement. It’s part of the reason why your client is being hauled into courts the world over, including the one in which you’re floundering. It’s SOP to attempt to discredit expert testimony, but Samsung’s shyster’s ability to do so is severely lacking. Hopefully the jury can see right through it, too.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone