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back to article Galaxy Tab case tweaked to evade Germany ban

Samsung has tweaked the Galaxy Tab's casing and added an 'N' to the name to slip it past a sales ban in Germany, though it remains to be seen if the courts approve. Samsung isn't allowed to sell the Tab 10.1 as a German court decided it infringes Apple's Community Design patent, and thus the products could be confused. So now …

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Oil Slick??

Will be interesting to see if this works but it does beg the question of why they didn't just go for a different design in the first place.

Plus without them admitting and fixing the infamous oil slick problem with the screen once and for all I can't see it increasing market share. If they expect people to pay iPad prices then they've got to match Apple's (possibly imagined) build quality.

I almost bought one a few months back before reading up about the issue and looking elsewhere, don't want to pay £400 for a device which has a 40% chance of having a defect and all the hassle involved in return etc. Heck even the display model in Currys Digital down the road had the issue a few weeks back! They just turned it off but doesn't look good for Samsung or Android tablets in general.

Thankfully whilst was I delaying buying one the Transformer Prime appeared on the scene so now going to hang on for one of them instead!

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FAIL

Why didn't they go for a different design in the first place?

Because the design they did go for is visibly different to the iPad - unless, that is, you are presented with Photoshopped evidence or an envelope stuffed with used 20-Euro notes.

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That would have defeated the purpose.

Whichever side of the argument you stand on with regards to what should/shouldn't be patentable or trademarkable the fact remains that Samsung DID copy the iPhone/iPad looks from the box it ships in to the design of the icons on the screen. There's plenty of comparisons on the internet showing the Galaxy and Galaxy Tab next to both the Apple products and the previous gen Samsung ones. You can tell an HTC phone at a glance, the same with the Galaxy Nexus but this isn't the case with these two.

The reasoning is simple, Samsung wanted to attract previous iPhone owners to their product by providing something with a familiar look and feel. They wanted them to be able to pick up a Galaxy and immediately know how to use it. I don't think there was ever a desire to confuse customers about what they were using, but there's certainly a desire there for it to feel the same as using one.

Whether Samsung broke the law or not is not something I'm trying to get into. That really depends on whether you believe that Apple should have been allowed to protect those elements in the first place, however I don't think anyone can objectively compare the two devices and not feel that one was based on the design of the other.

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Coat

Patent it

Samsung should immediately patent "A method or process for simulating a real-life oil slick effect produced when the LCD screen comes into close proximity with one or more protective glass layers" and then sue the ass off anybody who's kit has the misfortune of developing the same fault (sorry, Effect)

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Good design costs money and sometimes having your product look like the market leader is a good thing from a sales perspective.

Many designers are sheep and just follow. Look at clothes designers, they come up with outrageous catwalk designs and then high street designers rob elements of the design for their range.

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"They just turned it off"

my glod, how bad can Currys get?

'we know this is broken, but lets sell it anyway'

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Trollface

@ vehlin - how to compare iPad and Galaxy Tab

Easy way that most people can compare an iPad and a Galaxy Tab (powered off)

Take your widescreen monitor / TV as it currently sits/fixed to wall - that orientation is how you [typically] hold a Galaxy Tab

Now rotate it through 90 degree's - That's how you [typically] hold an iPad

Still look the same now?

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Anonymous Coward

Desperation

The behaviour of apple in this case (and all the others) reeks of desperation - they know that they only have a short time to sell the iPad before it's swamped by much better specced Android tablets, so they are squeezing as much out of the market as they can!

Bye bye apple ... so long and thanks for all the flash ;)

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Not desperation

It's a case of Samsung sailing too close to the wind and acting all indignant when Apple sued them for it. There are enough screenshots around of Samsung's packaging, it's cable connector, it's power block and the device itself which show the similarities are more than coincidence. There is even a Samsung approved ripoff of the smart cover produced by a company run by the boss of Samsung's son.

Other tablets don't find themselves in this situation and IMO Samsung was asking for this really.

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Facepalm

Harumph

Quite. Do send us a postcard from Planet La La, won't you?

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Boffin

Re: better specced

When I went through sales school, they taught us one important lesson;

Features < Advantages < Benefits (FAB)

FEATURES are what a product HAS, i.e. AirPlay (to pick one at random).

ADVANTAGES are what it DOES, i.e. it makes all the media in your house location-irrelevant, allows you to stream from your iDevice to your TV, audio installation, office speakers or whatever.

BENEFITS are what it MEANS, i.e. my wife and I can actually sit on the couch in the evening and watch that film I downloaded on my iPhone, on the big screen. It won't stutter or fail halfway through, and because it's painless my wife will actually sit and watch it instead of getting pissed off and going out with friends, leaving me to spend an hour under the TV cabinet cursing at the damn thing to get it working again.

Having come from a Windows/Nokia background, that shit's worth gold to me.

Customers don't give a shit about FEATURES. They are drawn in by ADVANTAGES (but still have to translate them to their own particular use case), and are sold on BENEFITS.

Samsung, Motorola et al are consummate FEATURES sellers; they pitch products on the basis that they have a faster processor than the rest, a bigger screen than the rest, more connection ports than the rest, etc etc.

HTC are great ADVANTAGES sellers; they talk in terms of why a faster processor means a slicker UI, emphasise that MicroUSB is fast and ubiquitous and so on.

Apple sell their stuff on BENEFITS. What it means to the consumer. They take real life customer use cases, and fit their products into those like a glove. People don't need to do any translating, they just think "Hey that would be cool". Then they go buy the product, and lo and behold, it's as easy to spend money with Apple (App Store, ITMS) as it is to use the products.

There's a REASON why Apple makes a ton of money people, and it's to do with the above. When the rest cotton on to the fact that it's not about what you've got but about what your customers can do with it, Apple will have some real competition.

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Anonymous Coward

So if everything doesn't go exactly your wifes way she has a tantrum and storms off down the pub?

If she was my wife I think I'ld be glad of the peace.

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Facepalm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What's the bet that the OP Mr. Anonymous Coward registered himself a couple of extra accounts and used them to downvote any posts NOT rabidly-anti-Apple on this thread?

It's a conspiracy, I tells ya!!!

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I'd love to see you sweat and toil producing a product only for a competitor to lift huge elements of it.

Would you be angry? I expect so. If you patented much of your design you would sue, why on earth wouldn't you? there's no point having copyright, patents and trademarks if you don't then use them.

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@Lord Elpuss

Don't worry I'm used to it. I'm very anti Apple but it is quite obvious Apple had a case here. Samsung went out of their way to ape the iPad, running afoul of various design laws and they got burned for it. They only have themselves to blame for that.

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Devil

It's all about the spin.

> There's a REASON why Apple makes a ton of money people,

Yes, and it's marketing.

The proper "location irrelevant' source is not your phone. It's just something that looks really impressive to people that really don't have any clue what they are looking at and are in no position to judge it based on that understanding (that they don't have).

Anything that can be streamed by an iPhone probably has no business being viewed in the manner you described. It's a great parlour trick but it ultimately shows a lack of taste by Apple and it's target demographic.

Being able to move data around freely is a considerable advantage. Anyone that's ever knackered their copy of iTunes can relate.

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I'll take that bet

Given that I've voted your cretinous Apple sycophancy down, and am not Mr OPAC, it seems like a winner to me.

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@Jedit

Sycophancy; 4 syllables, well done. Word of the day toilet paper, or did your mum help you?

Just out of interest, why is it that if a post is anti-Apple and pro-Android, even to the point of frothing rabidly at the mouth, it's considered rational debate - and yet as soon as somebody dares put their head above the parapet and say gosh, you know, Apple might have a point with their iPad market positioning (and perish the thought, they might actually have thought this thing through), they're branded sycophantic and cretinous.

Isn't that the mark of a tried and true fandroid, hands firmly placed over ears, eyes shut and shouting "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!" when faced with something they disagree with?

Yeeeaaaah, thought so.

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Alert

@JEDIDIAH re; Spin

As of WWDC June 2011 Apple had sold 25million iPads. Thatis one helluva parlor trick!

And as regards a lack of taste by Apple and it's target demographic, what you I or anybody else thinks about what's tasteful or not, is more or less irrelevant. Whatever they're doing, works.

Or to put it another way, being the only sane person in a mad, mad world makes YOU the insane one.

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@Lord Elpuss

"Sycophancy; 4 syllables, well done. Word of the day toilet paper, or did your mum help you?"

Fucking funny :-)

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FAIL

Here's another 4-syllable word: "hypocrisy"

You want to say my hands are over my ears? How about yours being over your eyes? There is explicit proof that Apple forged their evidence in the German ruling, and you have ignored it. That is why I think you are a sycophantic cretin, not because you support Apple. And do be assured that if Apple had provided real proof that Samsung had ripped off the iPad, and someone tried claiming that it wasn't the case, I would be just as quick to jump on them for their stupidity.

Not that you'll believe any of that, of course, because in your eyes I'm just a "fandroid". It isn't true, but then you don't have to claim that Android is always right for Apple fanbois to label you that way - you just have to claim that Apple have ever been wrong.

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Black Helicopters

@Jedit

It's not a personal thing Jedit - although your tone is decidedly puerile. As regards explicit proof, well - you and I only have what we read in the various news articles as 'proof', plus our layman's understanding of the patents in the event you've read them. I have read them (and the court transcripts where available), but am not a patent expert so am quite happy to admit that a patent lawyer knows far more than me.

It seems somewhat unlikely to me that a court would rule in Apple's favour based *solely* on forged evidence. As a corporation they have far, far more to lose by forging evidence than by arguing a case on its merits. According to various court followers, the court appears to have accepted since August (when this issue arose) that even if Apple altered the scale, perspective and in one case the relative dimensions, of comparative images, the essence of the comparison was valid; that a slightly different size and W/H ratio was not sufficient differentiation to avoid infringement.

Reading the court transcripts, the courts considered more than the simple photoshopped diagram (which Apple argued was similar to zooming in on a photo to highlight similarities). They also considered packaging, the charger, positioning of the ports, bezel width, GUI look and feel and a number of other factors.

The conclusion was that Samsung was riding too close to the wind on this one.

Oh, and one last thing. Cretin? That's not very nice. Do stop it.

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WTF?

While I'm on the subject...

Did anybody read about that Italian Samsung store where the walls were covered with icons from (supposedly) the Galaxy SII, except Samsung (or the ad agency who designed the wall) forgot to exclude some rather damning evidence that the icons were actually from the iPhone.

http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsung-shamefully-covers-up-apple-appstore-icons-with-s-letters/

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Apple need to grow up

As a Mac user, I also have a Galaxy 10.1 . Apple need to grow up. There's no way you could confuse the two tablets. They should no more be able to sue Samsung over the look of their tablet than Dell should be able to sue Apple because a Macbook looks a bit like a Dell laptop. It's all rather pathetic and reflects badly on Apple.

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Pics

ITYM http://allaboutsamsung.de/2011/11/das-galaxy-tab-10-1-ist-zuruck-als-galaxy-tab-10-1n-im-handel-erhaltlich/

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Trollface

As neither look like an iPad I am unsure which of those pictures is the N and the one that isn't

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Pint

plus

like a game of poker it raises the pot for the eventual winner as if apple lose the case (and it was only a preliminary injunction) then I imagine they will pay through the arse for it.

playing catch with a legal handgrenade

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It'll all end in tears

Redesigning and renaming for the German market has a sorry history....

"Just look at the shape of this beauty. Look, I tell you what we'll do. We'll redesign the plane, right? And instead of just calling it the F104, we'll call it the F104G." - Wing Commander Bob Calvert

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G for Germany!

Have a thumb up!

And RIP Bob, you fabulous crazy nutter.

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Anonymous Coward

Suggested Fix

Samsung provide all tablets with a gigantic inflatable orange fish attached.

With can be removed by the customer.

The giant inflatable fish, when inflated, makes the taqb look substantially different from the ipad.

If the fish is removed, then it is a bit of end user customization.

But the fish is standard.

Until apple release ipad 3 with a giant inflatable green fish.

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Anonymous Coward

There is a cheaper way...

All they have to do is release a tablet that is identical in eveery single visual way to an iPad, same dimensions, same detailing, the lot. Then call it the "Steaming Turd".

Having done this, Apple then have a choice to make. Do they sue and have one of their lawyers stand up in court and declare that the Steaming Turd looks identical to an iPad. I am sure the press that is less than favourable to Apple would love to start writing those headlines! The alternative would be that Apple would have to ignore this tablet, and open themselves up to losing cases around the world, as, if they don't object to something that is identical in every way, they can't object to something that looks similar.

If nothing else, it would mean that one lawyer, somewhere, would have to utter the phrase "The iPad looks like a Stemaing Turd"... childish, but, let's face it, worth every single penny to embarrass just one lawyer.

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Alas, amusing as though your proposal is, lawyers do occasionally manage to display the faintest glimmer of intelligence. I know, a crazy notion.

Anyway, you're far more likely to hear the Apple lawyers holding forth on how "Samsung has copied design elements from the Apple iPad, but have succeeded only in delivering a Steaming Turd."

Much better to shut all the legal teams in a room with some lengths of 2x4.

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Headmaster

No No, you can't say it that way

To say that "The iPad looks like a Stemaing Turd" implies that the iPad was copied from a Steaming Turd when in fact the iPad was copied from a whole range of other prior art.

You would have to say that the Steaming Turd looks like an iPad, or if you were Yoda, "The Steaming Turd like an iPad looks"

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No loophole required

Just picked up my Galaxy 8.9 from the post office bought legally as "EU goods" - anything imported anywhere in the EU can be (re)sold in any other member state. Noticeably lighter than the Ipad which is important to me, though I do think Apple probably has it right on the aspect ratio. Looks like accessories are going to be a bit of a faff.

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Stencil, Spray paint : "THIS IS NOT AN iPAD" on the back of each one. problem solved.

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And then...

... have Apple sue you for using their trademark on the device. D'Oh! Don't think you thought that one through.

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Trollface

just wait til Apple see an hp touchpad

Apoplectic response awaited...

Not sure how the big "Samsung" word on the bezel isn't a bit of a giveaway. HP's tab has no such moniker.

It works in portrait mode too!

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Inevitable design?

I see the black-bezel rectangle as more or less the inevitable minimal design for a tablet computer: If all interaction is through a touch screen, you want the screen to take up as much of the front as you can, which inevitably leads to a thin bezel with little or no features. Black is the obvious colour, as it is darker than the screen (which is why most TVs use a black frame). And you want to keep the design thin for practical reasons, so this is obvious too. The rest are tiny details such as whether to surround the black bezel with a metal rim, how rounded the corners are and so on. The inevitability is clear from the future-vision designs both from 2001: A Space Odyssey and from the newspaper tablet video from the 1980s, which both use essentially the same design as the iPad.

So the question is really if it should be possible to claim rights on a design that follows the function so directly? I would agree that if you _added_ something significant to the inevitable minimal design, then you could claim rights to it. But can you claim rights to removing details? Apple could with good right say that the navigation wheel on the original iPad was a significant design invention. But a rectangle with a slightly rounded black bezel? Even the slate tablets used in schools prior to WW2 looked like that (though most used unpainted wooden frames). And before those, wax tablets had similar design (see, for example, http://www.lawrensnest.com/images/rac9005a.jpg).

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Inevitable?

Yes, it was inevitable once Apple designed it and sold a shit-ton. If it was so inevitable, why didn't billy-boy come up with it in the last 15 years?

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Some things are not inevitable

There are enough tablets out there to know you don't have to ape an iPad to produce one. Apple would a vastly more difficult time persuading any judge that Asus, Acer, or Motorola (for example) infringed their design because those are all very distinct looking devices. Any similarity they bare is more a function of utility than style. Samsung did choose to ape an iPad and they got sued for it.

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Joke

added an 'N'

How's that help? Did apple miss the letter N when they patented the alphabet?

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couldn't they

have just changed the colour?

The fruity fondleslabs are only ever going to be black or white, so doing a whole range of colours would mean they were unlikely to be confused. Once they were established, then then they could release 'special edition' black and white versions

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FAIL

My car has a steering wheel. Oh shit! Karl Benz has patented that, I must control my car some other way!!

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Ahh innovation !!!

It is so wonderful to see an innovative company at work improving their product for consumers!!

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Gimp

Chinese knock off versions.

This weeks Dr Ashens review looks at an iPhone 5 (yes really!) knock off from China. With hundreds of such devices being openly flogged online you'd think Apple's ire would be better directed at them rather than Samsung. Lord knows how many of these knock off's (and presumably knock off iPads) are flogged in China, complete with their logo on them.

If you don't watch all of it, just fast forward to 5 minutes 25 seconds for the "big reveal". I was in hysterics at the extra feature those crazy chinese had added to their "iphone 5" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSO1KWLGd50

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