While some may believe that Samsung blatantly ripped off Apple design, one expert argues that the design shouldn’t be protected to begin with.
Inventor and CEO of multi-touch company DoubleTouch Itay Sherman took the stand today arguing not against Samsung’s inspiration from Apple designs, but rather the validity of those design patents to begin with. The three design patents argued by Sherman are the ‘677 and ‘087 patents that describe the look of the front of the phone, and the ‘899 patent that covers the iPad.
The argument cites a couple of Japanese design patents, a Korean design patent, and the LG Prada. All of the examples that Sherman brought to the stand feature a rectangular shape with rounded corners and a centered screen, and all of the example predate the iPhone. Sherman says that this means that Apple’s patented designs were not unique and rather somewhat of an industry standard.
Sherman proceeded to argue against the nature of Apple’s patents themselves, stating the patents focus on functional elements rather than ornamental elements as design patents should. Sherman pointed out that the focus was on ease of use and comfort rather than the actual look. Apple later countered this by showing many other phones on the market that use said designs for the same purpose, and also by showing a Nokia Lumia device, which forgoes the traditional rounded corners proving that not every device has to feature a rounded design.