When Apple’s victory over Samsung was declared, Fandroids all over the world collectively cried BS. And we have to agree. Apple attacked Samsung for patent infringement, but they’ve been stealing stuff for years. It’s 10:46am, we’re calling shenanigans and we’ve got the evidence to back it up.
The fact that Apple is in court at all is a little ludicrous to us. Because back in 1996, Steve Jobs did an interview for a documentary called Triumph of the Nerds. And in it, he said “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”.
Good on you, 1996-era Steve Jobs! It’s called “prior art”/“state of the art” and these are ideas that are obviously public or just plain obvious can’t be patented. That’s why you don’t see ancestors of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot running around suing Ford or Lincoln and demanding royalties for the modern car, or those cavemen from Geico in court over the invention of fire.
And that’s why you’re not supposed to sue over “the phone” itself, Apple. And besides, you didn’t even invent it anyway.
2. Apple Didn’t Invent the “Simple Home Screen with Icons”
This, ladies and gentleman is the Sony-Ericsson P1i. As you can see, it has a simple home screen. And icons. And it’s a touch screen. And the Sony-Ericsson P1i was in the works at the same time as the iPhone. They both came out in 2007.
In fairness to apple, the first iPhone came out a month or so earlier. But was that really enough time for Sony-Ericsson to steal groundbreaking technology? We don’t think so, especially considering the fact that Sony-Ericsson announced the handset long before it launched.
3. Apple Didn’t Invent “Slide to Unlock”
Isn’t YouTube awesome? This is a video of the N1m phone released in July 2004 by a Swedish company called Neonode. And as you can see, you slide it to unlock it. And although the phone was only released in 2004, the feature is at least as old as 2002 when the phone’s prototype was displayed at a trade show.
Again, if Apple is suing anyone, they should be suing Neonode. But they’re not because they’d lose.
4. Apple Didn’t Invent the Notification Bar Either
This is a picture of the Android 1.0 OS with a notification bar that they announced in 2006, three years before iOS. The actual Android 1.0 OS was released in 2008. Apple didn’t file a patent for the notification bar until 2009 and that patent is still pending as we speak.
5. Or the Handset
One of the biggest aspects of Apple’s suit was their handset. By claiming to have invented the rectangular phone with rounded edges, Apple is basically trying to patent the shape of the modern phone.
And they didn’t even invent it. Both the Samsung F700 and the first iPhone were released in 2007. They both had the same shape, the same dominant touch screen and the same central home key.
Samsung debuted the F700 at CeBIT in 2006 and released it in February 2007. Apple debuted the iPhone at Macworld in January 2007 and released the iPhone in June of 2007. If I were a judge, I might declare this one too close to call.
And even Apple had to drop part of their suit because Samsung revealed that it applied for design registration for the F700 in December of 2006, a full month before iPhone publicly unveiled their phone. But then — in a move that we struggle to understand — Judge Luch Koh excluded the Samsung F700 from Samsung’s case altogether! So now it’s a moot point in court, except it isn’t really so Samsung publicized the slides anyway so that the world would know who was right.
6. And Finally, Siri
Siri is so not Apple’s that they’re being sued about it by two different entities as we speak. Most recently Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University claims that they filed a patent for speech-data matching software like Siri back in 2005 and received the patent in 2010. They also filed a patent for speech recognition in 2002 and received it in 2007.
Zhizhen Network Technology of Shanghai is also suing Apple claiming that they patented the tech for “a type of instant messaging chat bot system” back in 2004. And here’s a video of Xiaoi Bot, developed in 2010 and quite a lot like Siri.
Apple has refused to respond to either of the suits.