Updated: More details surfaced regarding Samsung's Legal defense against Apple, and were shared over at PhoneArena. We used the older F700 vs the iPhone pic in the story before, simply because we didn't have a better example. Now however, we have the original Sony design concept pic that was in the public domain 6 years ago. Apparently, this is a big part of what Samsung will use in court to fight Apple. We have edited this post to show the more updated info, and you can see the pic above. Source: PhoneArena
For many months now we have been hearing from Apple constantly that Samsung stole their ideas and that their blatant copying must stop. Not surprisingly, Samsung has a different perspective on this issue, and they have recently shared it in a legal brief to the U.S. Court. Of course, when showing their side of things, it's easy to asume that they are biased, especially since they are going to show the point-of-view that is most supportive of their position. In this instance, what is so interesting (and "damning" for Apple) is that Samsung's perspective mostly just offers facts based upon documented evidence from the history of smartphones.
It really displays in stark relief just how much Apple has abused the patent system, and that they have acquired patents which should be invalid. There are multiple cases of "prior art" that seem to establish these discrepancies. In fact, in part of their legal brief Samsung even points out that both Samsung and Apple borrowed Sony design concepts that were available in the public domain far prior to the release of the iPhone, such as phones that were “square with a screen” and had “corners [which] have been rounded out.” Apple's own internal documents even reflect this. Another famous example is shown in the picture below, in which Samsung debuted a smartphone design, the F700, a year before Apple announced the iPhone. Now, it is important to note, that it is possible that both of these devices could have been developed at relatively the same time; however, that would still show that Samsung didn't copy Apple, which still invalidates Apple's argument.
Here are several quotes from Samsung's legal defense brief that elaborate further:
So, just who is copying whom? The trial begins next week, and we shall see...Samsung has been researching and developing mobile telecommunications technology since at least as early as 1991 and invented much of the technology for today‘s smartphones. Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly twenty years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology.
Samsung internal documents from 2006, well before the iPhone was announced, show rectangular phones with rounded corners, large displays, flat front faces, and graphic interfaces with icons with grid layouts.
As . . . documents confirm, Samsung independently developed the allegedly copied design features months before Apple had even announced the iPhone. It did not switch its design direction because of the iPhone.
Apple‘s utility patents relate to ancillary features that allow users to perform trivial touch screen functions, even though these technologies were developed and in widespread use well before Apple entered the mobile device market in 2007. Samsung does not infringe any of Apple‘s patents and has located dead-on prior art that invalidates them.
Apple relied heavily on Samsung‘s technology to enter the telecommunications space, and it continues to use Samsung‘s technology to this day in its iPhone and iPad products. For example, Samsung supplies the flash memory, main memory, and application processor for the iPhone. . . . But Apple also uses patented Samsung technology that it has not paid for. This includes standards-essential technology required for Apple‘s products to interact with products from other manufacturers, and several device features that Samsung developed for use in its products.
Long before Apple even announced any of its 3G products that use Samsung‘s standards-essential technology, Samsung had offered licenses for these patents (along with other patents) to virtually every major player in the mobile phone industry, successfully striking cross-licensing deals with all of them. After Apple released products that use the technology patented in the [two standards-essential patents at issue in the trial], Samsung similarly offered a cross-licensing deal to Apple, asking for a fair and reasonable royalty in return for Apple‘s use of Samsung‘s technology. Unlike all the major players in the mobile phone industry, however, Apple refused to enter a cross-licensing deal with Samsung.
Instead, despite the fact that virtually every other major industry participant was willing to take a license from Samsung for use of the standards-essential patents in this suit, Apple claimed that Samsung‘s patents are unenforceable.
Source: WSJ - Samsung's Defense Brief and WSJ - Apple's Argument