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Samsung: Android's Multitouch Not As Good As Apple's 176

Posted by timothy
from the when-the-facts-are-on-your-side dept.
itwbennett writes "Hoping to avoid a sales ban in the Netherlands, Samsung has said that Android's multitouch software doesn't work as well as Apple's. Samsung lawyer Bas Berghuis van Woortman said that while Apple's technology is a 'very nice invention,' the Android system is harder for developers to use. Arguing the bizarre counterpoint, Apple's lawyer Theo Blomme told judge Peter Blok, that the Android multitouch isn't inferior and does so infringe on Apple's patent: 'They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,' said Blomme."
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Samsung: Android's Multitouch Not As Good As Apple's

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  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:01PM (#41268307) Homepage

    I just found this post today:

    AT&T (yeah, them) is the one that invented a grid of colorful icons, half a decade before Apple.

    http://www.statusq.org/archives/2012/08/30/4453/ [statusq.org]

    Add this to the prior art file.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:02PM (#41268331) Homepage

      Yeah, but those are *square* icons, you see.

        • How is the iPhone icon interface much different from this? http://img.tfd.com/cde/_PROGMN2.GIF [tfd.com]

          Give a half decent team of engineers to make the above work with capacitive touch, and you can easily end up with the iPhone homescreen swipes.

          The only mobile interface to claim to be really unique among UIs is Microsoft's Metro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=locNEna0of4&feature=plcp [youtube.com]

          Shame on Apple for trying to enforce basic touchscreen actions like multitouch and the jury not able to debate that because of the

    • by Abreu (173023)

      And, wasn't the grid of icons also a part of the PalmOS user interface?

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      pretty sure it was xerox.

    • And then a decade before AT&T, Apple invented the Newton [pcmag.com]. Sure it didn't have a coloured screen, but the grid of icons is there.

      That said, it is hardly a revolutionary idea to display icons in a grid.

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        how else would you display them? My desktops have always had a grid layout for icons.

      • by hazydave (96747)

        Apple didn't bother to try to patent the Newton's row-of-icons. Neither did Palm. They were both small companies back then, and small companies think about winning via technology, not winning in court. But the Apple patent in question doesn't attempt to patent a grid of icons. It's all about the look -- it's a design patent,not a utility patent. And a big part of that look is that all icons are squares (or perhaps squares with rounded corners -- the patent mostly just shows pictures, it doesn't explain what

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by oakgrove (845019)

      Yeah but see...

      <idiotJuror>Those icons won't compile and run on an iPhone so it isn't prior art at all. As a matter of fact "prior art" as a concept is just too much of a burden to even think about and, wouldn't you look at the clock, it's lunchtime!</idiotJuror>

    • I know the guy who writes that blog and your quoting an apple "fanboy" so I'm pretty sure he's not as butt hurt as the fandroids would like to think.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tgibbs (83782)

      I guess that would be relevant if Apple's design patent were just for "grid of colorful icons."

      But it isn't. [theverge.com]

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        >I guess that would be relevant if Apple's design patent were just for "grid of colorful icons."

        Your sentence is misleading. Are you implying that Apple has a patent for a whole bunch of stuff, and an icon grid is only one small part?

        The link you gave describes a couple of Apple patents.

        One of them is the icon grid patent. To wit: "The ornamental design for a [GUI] for a display screen or portion thereof, as shown and described" and then they give a picture of their icon grid.

        So, if Apple's claiming the

        • One of them is the icon grid patent. To wit: "The ornamental design for a [GUI] for a display screen or portion thereof, as shown and described" and then they give a picture of their icon grid.

          Correct. Showing the key features: the specific shape and design of the icons, their arrangement on the screen with text labeling below, the position of the dock on the screen, and the icons in the dock. All of these specific features together--not merely a "grid of icons" (colorful or otherwise)--were at issue in the

    • by hazydave (96747)

      Pretty good. I hadn't found that one yet.

      Palm obviously did the grid of colorful icons, easily a decade before Apple did. Apple actually did B&W grids of icons on the Newton, but didn't patent that.

      The main thing they had on Samsung was the grid of icons set in squares -- all the iOS icons are in squares (kind of the way Windows 7 Phone forces every icon into a square, only, smaller squares). Most of the grid of icons UIs, going back to Windows, MacOS, AmigaOS (did it in color before MacOS did), etc. al

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I just found this post today:

      AT&T (yeah, them) is the one that invented a grid of colorful icons, half a decade before Apple.

      First of all: neither Apple nor AT&T "invented" "a grid of colorful icons"

      Second: Apple doesn't claim to have "invented" "a grid of colorful icons"

      Third: AT&T's icons don't look like Apple's icons, while Samsung's look like Apple's.

  • by udachny (2454394) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:03PM (#41268347) Journal

    This is ridiculous, isn't it? A patent system, that gov't introduces supposedly to encourage more innovation and invention is now being routed around because of the damage that it is causing.

    It's damage that gov't involvement in the market is causing with all laws and this case is a good example even to the most staunch defenders of government intervention that it is damaging the clients, the end users, the consumers, because it can prevent you from having more choices (and thus from lower prices).

    As always it is with all gov't regulations, laws, the actual effect is the exact opposite of the supposedly desired one, and it's always negative for the people.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Let's see the patent system was tweaked by lawyers and the net affect has been to generated more gratuitous law suite, somehow I believe those lawyers were 100% successful as far as they were concerned. The whole principle of first to patent rather than first to invent is to generate more court cases and lower the strength of prior art in arguing a case to ensure the case lasts far longer and always generates an appeal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      As always it is with all gov't regulations, laws, the actual effect is the exact opposite of the supposedly desired one, and it's always negative for the people.

      So the law against murder actually causes more murders and is negative for the people. Amazing what you learn on Slashdot.

      • by oakgrove (845019)

        So the law against murder actually causes more murders and is negative for the people. Amazing what you learn on Slashdot.

        The entire paragraph preceding what you quoted is focusing specifically on government interference in the market. It's reasonable to assume that the "laws" he was talking about are those specifically in that domain. I'm not saying whether I agree with him or not but I can't imagine how you misconstrued his meaning so badly.

        • The anti-murder law definitely is a huge government interference on the market of paid killers, to the point of making it illegal.

        • by dzfoo (772245)

          That would be fine, except that he said, "as always," without further qualification.

          Words have mearning, you know.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ukemike (956477)

      As always it is with all gov't regulations, laws, the actual effect is the exact opposite of the supposedly desired one, and it's always negative for the people.

      If you though about it for just a moment instead of just spouting a talking point you'd realize that you are being silly. By your statement above the government ban on murder actually encourages murder and is somehow bad for the people. There are thousands of regulations that have exactly the effect they were intended to have.
      The OSHA and EPA regulations regarding asbestos result in a condition where the overwhelming majority of asbestos installed in buildings is handled in a much safer manner than it w

    • On the other hand it's also equally ridiculous that if you invest the time and money into R&D to build something cool a competitor can just snipe you out of house and home and undercut you.

      This is why we have a patent system. Good ideas are not fungible. Good implementations are. As long as good ideas are scarce or that the resources to live are scarce, we will need a patent system.

    • It's damage that gov't involvement in the market is causing with all laws and this case is a good example even to the most staunch defenders of government intervention that it is damaging the clients, the end users, the consumers, because it can prevent you from having more choices (and thus from lower prices).

      As always it is with all gov't regulations, laws, the actual effect is the exact opposite of the supposedly desired one, and it's always negative for the people.

      The day the 'market' agrees to have no secrets at all is the day I might agree they need no regulation other than consumers doing infomed choices.

      Of course, keeping the sosiopathic bastards honest to that degree will require immensive gevernment interference...

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:04PM (#41268377) Journal
    No, I swear to God, our multitouch sucks, its nowhere as good as Apple's. He's lying your honor, their Samsung multitouch is almost as good as Apple's
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shaitand (626655)

      From the summary, " 'They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,' "

      " He's lying your honor, their Samsung multitouch is almost as good as Apple's"

      I find it interesting that you edited them saying just as good to be "almost" as good.

      • What are you implying?
        • by oji-sama (1151023)

          I do believe that he is implying that your interpretation of the picture is leaning towards Apple. And your interpretation is a bit curious. Perhaps accidentally, but curious anyway.

          In the original Samsung states that the multitouch is harder to develop against, and Apple states that this just isn't true. In your version Samsung is saying that the whole thing sucks and Apple partially agrees.

          If you are going to exaggerate, you should exaggerate both statements, not exaggerate one and mitigate the other. ('

      • I find it interesting that you edited them saying just as good to be "almost" as good.

        Except they didn't make either of those statements. The actual quote from Apple's lawyer was ""They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true".

        • by shaitand (626655)

          Yes, I included that quote. If Samsung's solution isn't lesser than Apple's the only possibilities that remain are that it is equal or that it is superior. It seems fair to paraphrase that as "as good" where "almost as good" run in direct contrast to the quote, almost as good would in fact be a lesser solution.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Statement against interest, your honor!

      Ooh, wait my Law and Order DVD just arrived. Let me memorize some more courtroom cliches, and I'll get back to you.

  • If the pathetic nature of Samsung's claim isn't obvious to you, you drank too much kool-aid!

    • by SScorpio (595836)

      Or they are just being awesome marketers.

      Mac Vs PC
      Mac: Hi PC, I'm so much better than you.
      PC: Boy you sure are.

      Samsung vs Apple.
      Samsung: Man our phones aren't nearly as good as the iPhone. Why are you suing us?
      Apple: Your phones run just as well as ours.
      The Public: It's just like the iPhone but a larger screen and cheaper?

      • Let's try an even sharper version.

        Samsung: "We admit, you rule, and we suk. Therefore, we appeal to have the judgement vacated. However, the public will buy a shitty product for half the price, because it's good enough. Bye now!"

  • by fm6 (162816) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:20PM (#41268553) Homepage Journal

    I had thought that my problems with multitouch (on my Android phone, where I avoid it as much as possible; on my laptop touchpad, where I've disabled it) had to do with my own poor physical coordination. But now it turns out that Apple is the only company that knows how to do multitouch right.

    So maybe I should become an Apple person. Naw, the patriarchial user echosystems around OS X and iOS still suck too much. And I still don't understand how any sane person can live with iTunes!

    • by arose (644256)
      Didn't you read the whole thing? Apple confirmed that it's just as good, you can rest assured that switching will do you no good.
    • by paimin (656338)
      Why would you need to use iTunes?
      • by fm6 (162816)

        To download content and applications to to my iWhatever?

        • by paimin (656338)
          Why do that, instead of loading content directly?
          • by fm6 (162816)

            The last time I used an iPod, the only way to get MP3s onto the iPod was through iTunes. If that's changed, I'll certainly be more open to using iDevices in the future.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple's holds a patent for "Good Multi-touch".
    Since we just lost a Billion dollars on an insane patent law suit, we can no longer take any chances.
    We must now have a touchscreen that is not compliant with "Good". Sorry world.

    FML

  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:39PM (#41268753) Homepage
    Samsung: Our phones are WAAAAY crappier than Apple's!
    Apple: No they're not, they're just as good!

    Bizarro world.
  • by theRunicBard (2662581) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:40PM (#41268765)
    We have gotten to the point where Samsung is insisting Android is crap while Apple is insisting it is every bit as good as their technology. Could an actual flying pig be more than a week away?
    • by Kartu (1490911)
      Jokes aside, I find talks about apparently superior Android being "as good" as outdated (grid of icons eh? My iPaq 5555 10 years ago had much more than that) iOS to be an insult to humanity.
  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday September 07, 2012 @08:09PM (#41269055)

    I suppose no one thought of this as one of the most brilliant marketing schemes ever...$299 Android phones that are (admittedly by Apple themselves) equal to a $500 iPhone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dzfoo (772245)

      Not quite true. Apple is claiming that Samsung's solution for multitouch works in much the same way as theirs. They are not saying that the overall product equals in quality. They are not even claiming that the multitouch solution is equal in quality; just that the solution to the problem is similar.

      Method and quality similarity are not equivalent. The one doesn't necessarily leads to the other.

  • by subreality (157447) on Friday September 07, 2012 @08:12PM (#41269067)

    I feel like I've fallen into a Monty Python skit.

    Vendor A: "I assure you our product inferior to the competition's!"

    Vendor B: "Don't believe his lies! His product is every bit as good as ours!"

    Something is seriously wrong in the market if we're getting arguments like this.

    • Hell, I feel like it's a kids in the hall sketch every time the courts are involved. Corporations are PEOPLE! We INVENTED rounded corners! The gloves don't fit, clearly I couldn't have done it, despite all the DNA evidence!
  • Samsung is right (Score:4, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday September 07, 2012 @08:50PM (#41269409) Homepage Journal

    Apple's touch is currently better. I find Android systems (including mine) as having much more trouble figuring out what my touches are supposed to do ("how many times do I have to click on this goddamn link?"). The hardware and drivers are OK, as the virtual keyboards usually work fine, but there's something in the runtime that's not quite right yet (as least up to ICS).

    Which just makes the lack of 'undo' in Android that much more insane, because it's not hard to accidentlly whack a big bock of text with an errant multi-touch gesture.

    • by oakgrove (845019) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:39PM (#41269811)

      Apple's touch is currently better. I find Android systems (including mine) as having much more trouble figuring out what my touches are supposed to do

      That's strange since in my situation I've found it to be precisely opposite. When I'm using my iPad it's mostly for surfing the internet and I almost always have to tap twice on the urlbar before I hit the right spot for it to register. Dead on isn't it for some reason. Other parts of the OS have the same issue but maybe not as bad. Contrast that with my Xoom running Jellybean and the Xoom touches are always just right. My finger touches an element straight on and it hits it. Same with my Galaxy Nexus. Maybe my iPad's defective but it's always been that way since I bought it.

      • Contrast that with my Xoom running Jellybean

        It would be great if this is one of the improvements in Jellybean!

    • Apple's touch is currently better. I find Android systems (including mine) as having much more trouble figuring out what my touches are supposed to do

      You obviously have a much more involved relationship with your phone's than most people have. Which is fine but I wouldn't want any kids reading about it.

  • by pbjones (315127)

    give each member of the legal teams a knife, lock them in a room, and only let the last person standing, exit. This is going to go on long than MacOS vs, Windows 2.

  • We were told recently the Samsung slapdown by Apple was because of Samsung mods to Android.

  • Samsung: "Apple products are better than ours!" Apple: "No, Samsung products are just as good as ours!" We've come to live in interesting times, where insisting that your product is NOT better than that of the competition is what makes it more competitive in the market place. I guess I'll start selling pieces of cardboard in a rectangular shape with rounded corners. I'll make sure to tell the courts that BOTH Apple and Android multi-touch are better than mine. I'll make a fortune!
  • Not going to debate the Apple/Samsung thing directly, but overall in a patent/copyright case it really doesn't matter how bad a copy is, its still infringement..

    This is a bad and stupid prescient.

  • The argument is simple and straightforward: The device does not have an inferior solution. It uses OUR (Apple's) solution.
  • Arguing the bizarre counterpoint, Apple's lawyer Theo Blomme told judge Peter Blok, that the Android multitouch isn't inferior and does so infringe on Apple's patent: 'They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,' said Blomme."

    Hook, line and sinker...

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