Apple sues Motorola over XOOM Android tablet design in Europe

No sooner did Apple win a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany (which carries over to most of the rest of the EU), then they've gone and sued Motorola over the same trade dress/design infringement grounds for the XOOM tablet. (And a local German company called JAY-tech for good measure.)

It's generally considered a more noble, Zen-like achievement to grow your own line rather than cut the line of a competitor. Apple seems to think it's smart to do both. To innovate AND litigate, and unlike Microsoft, they don't seem to want to make Android more expensive -- they want to make it less usable.

It's clear that Apple is determined to assert its different intellectual property rights -- hardware patents, software patents, and design-related rights -- against Android device makers. While Apple appears to place particular emphasis on lawsuits over tablet computers in its European design-related lawsuits, I believe the reason is that a preliminary injunction can't be requested in Germany if the right holder has been aware of an infringement for too long. There isn't a clear statutory limit, but German lawyers usually discourage such motions unless they are filed within one month of finding out about an infringement. It's possible to get permanent injunctions even against older products, but for preliminary ones there must be a particular sense of urgency. It's possible that Apple has also been aware of the Xoom for too long to file for a preliminary injunction at this stage.

Preliminary injunctions seem easy to get, settlements usually harder to negotiate. We'll see what happens.

[FOSS Patents]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple sues Motorola over XOOM Android tablet design in Europe


Okay. I'll bite.
So what design would NOT be "copying" the iPad?
Can someone not only give me a description, but visuals also?

This must be scary for other companies considering how much money Apple has on hand. They can bully anyone they want.

Ok Apple...I kinda liked you, Now since you want to Sue everybody who breaths, I am going to go out and buy a Galaxy pad rather than waiting for the ipad 3...This is my first step, next will be selling my Macbook on ebay.

This is the beginning of the end for apple.. They must be scared of something.

I'm still waiting on a description of a design that wouldn't infringe on the design of the iPad.
Are we to have triangle tablets? Hexagons?
Being serious wouldn't the buttonless, 16:9, plastic back design be enough to exclude these devices from "design copying"?

Apparently not... Apple is falling into the 'litigate instead of innovate' trap.
iOS has been stale now for a few years, and iOS 5 brings no real innovation. The situation on the iPad is even worse, where it is clear how iPad competitor OSes now use the added desktop space more efficiently other than treating the iPad desktop as a scaled up iPhone.
C'mon, Apple! Push the design now...

I remember not so long ago when the epitome of evil was Microsoft, suing right and left. Now that Apple is on top, they have taken that role as well. Meanwhile iOS is starting to look old and dated, and the iPhone/iPad is always two steps behind the competition. When the 'Jobs' magic is gone this will all blow back on Apple's face.

he always sound so happy when apple are ''winning'' these lawsuits[we still dont know if it will hold once samsung are given the chance to defend themselves]...also i remember when ifanboys were saying apple are not gonna sue the xoom because it looks nothing alike but now thats it being sued they gonna say hey the xoom also copied apples might just ban all tablets that are rectangular and have a bezel the way thing are going..if companies were suing for such broad design from day 1, technology probably would not even be where it is today.

Sigh. Can I get someone that has an actual SOLID way to not infringe.
Lets go down the list of why these past, and present, devices hold no merit to "copying".
1.) Windows is not Android. Windows was never meant to be a touch friendly OS. They shoehorned a desktop OS onto a "mobile" device and tried to sell it. Which sadly failed. Android was put out as a touch oriented OS. They even went BEYOND iOS by removing the need for buttons beyond the buttons that any device needs; power, volume, etc.
2.) You pick mostly work variants of these tablets to try and prove your point. Because I recall, before the iPad, there were tablets that didn't look like such because the screen swiveled into tablet form. So therefore there wasn't "handles, etc" on them.
3.) Take a look at that iPad. Take a look at that Xoom. I notice three distinct differences. Screen ratio, lack of front facing buttons, and OS UI. So for someone who "copied" they sure did a piss poor job at it. Cause it looks nothing like it. SMH. Damn them.
So I ask again, how can you make a design that doesn't infringe on the iPad's so called "original design" when these tablets already deviate from what the iPad is doing. Because you clearly skipped the question to just post a random fanboy link as to how people are copying. Not how you can get around the "copying".

Box design? I never see the box for a tablet on a shelf. I admit that the icons are identical on the Samsung Galaxy phone, but the Xoom and the Samsung tablet are in no way similar to the iPad.
The competing tablets will soon have their shortcomings worked out and offer an even better experience (for example FLASH, SSD slots, USB ports, etc). Prices will drop (look at how prices on LCD TV's have dropped over the past couple of years) and further erode Apples share in the tablet market. Apple once enjoyed a monopoly over tablets and it's iPhone is over a year old, so there is reason for them to be scared. Unfortunately, instead of relying on their products to maintain market share, they are suing everyone.

Did he ever say anything about the 4.3" screen? I remember his comment about the 7" tablet screen saying it was "too much like a large phone and no one would want them".

so ipad is the only tablet that can have curves...this is become ridiculous and for one moment just stop being fanboys and just maybe you might see through your apple googles..i use to be a fan of apple but how can you support a company that trademarks and patents the obvious of things...

Cool story bro.
But the mobile tablets (what the iPad is) existed before the iPad and the Windows tablets (what you compared the iPad too) still exist today. Also, consumer level Windows tablets actually looked a lot better than that BEFORE the iPad was released. It's also cute of you to toss in Toughbooks and try to say the iPad is some kind of evolution from them. Considering what they are designed to survive that the iPad won't come close to surviving, that's pretty nice attempt at FUD.

Come on Apple, get real. I love my macbook pro but this whole sue every one is getting a bit out of hand. Xoom? Really?! That thing in no way shape or form resembles an iPad. Move on Apple.

My Palm Pilot home page had icon laid out in a grid form that took me to apps. Pocket PCs and Phone Editions had them too. Both of these were years before the iPhone.

Oh, what about Slate PCs? Like ones from Sahara or Motion Computing? They've been out way longer than the iPad. If anything the iPad and Xoom look like them.

and when they get a bigger screen everyone will forget he ever said says so much crap that amount of time he has contradicted himself is laughable.

Motion computing slate pcs
Sahara slate pcs
HTC Advantage
These are just a few examples that pre-date the ipad.

companies like samsung have had tablets before they just couldnt make them popular like apple did and now that apple has made tablets known they are making tablets again...there are plenty of thing that have been 1st. the 1st phone,the first car,the first tv etc but they did not trademark or patent the basic designs such as apple and to be honest they should not have been have you seen the drawings the used to get the ban lol those drawing could be any tablet or tv

By your argument Apple has made no innovation since iOS 1.0. (updates don't count?)
So you then agree with me that Apple has not innovated in years?
I'm a happy iPhone 4 user, BTW, not an Android supporter. But I can tell from your user name that this is far more of a religious debate for you, so further discussion is useless. You are the stereotypical Apple fan boy that Android users talk so much about. Congratulations! :-)

why does everyone like you resort to cheap (not funny) insults? and you still didn't answer the question so you FAIL!, sell out. :-o

All that shows is some badly made themes. Cydia has plenty of those as well.
But fanboys never made much sense.

Really Apple, I didnt know you could do the following on an ipad too since you want to get all crazy now.
iPad cannot do the following, Other Tablets like the Motorola Xoom can.

  1. Run flash
  2. Use a Micro SD card for expandable storage
  3. Direct from device HDMI video output
  4. Included a front and rear camera on first version of tablet
  5. The Android OS is centered around a 4 icon, on screen interface.
    along the bottom of the screen. iPad is centered on home button.
  6. Run widgets on the home screen.
  7. It's not even the same shade of black.

The ipad is doing quite well in the market, its like kicking a puppy
for apple to attempt this. The Xoom is nice but its no threat to the ipad.

his point is that they are nothing alike...only thing same is shape (different rectangle) and that they both have screens.

Lol @ everyone who is angry at apple for suing. This is how business works. If you think it is worth the assets to attempt to stop production of a rival company, that's exactly what you do. Can't we all just get along has no place in business. If motorolla hasn't copied or infringed on anything than nothing will happen and life will go on. if they have, then apple succeeds in slowing a competitor and further succeeds at solidifying it's place at the top. Just because you think they are being mean is not a good enough reason not pursue this.
Oh, and the whole "they should spend more time innovating and less time litigating" is also stupid. What, do you guys think Apple's engineers and designers are moonlighting as the legal team? Innovation continues no matter what the other side of the company is doing.

Part of the first-to-market business model requires that Apple go after these kinds of things. But, the question is, will that business model keep working for Apple? It kind of worked against Microsoft since MS was not about innovation, but about commoditization. But Google's model is to be second-to-market and improve on what the first guys do. That saves Google millions in R&D and marketing/advertising. If Apple DOESN'T sue, they risk losing that R&D investment when they do ROI on the iPad2. They have to sue to make business sense. But over time, they might have to tweak their business model lest they get too much bad PR for appearing to be "sue happy". REMEMBER: Samsung, Google, Apple and all the rest have valid business models. They are just very different.

This was not innovative.... well at least not for android since they were not the 1st phone to offer it. Blackberry has had that for years before android even existed.

You're still thinking Apple innovates, Rene? Don't make me laugh. Since WHEN could someone patent a RECTANGULAR design? Seriously? And how exactly does Honeycomb look anything like iOS5? Oh, right.. it doesn't. The last thing anyone would think when looking at a Xoom/Honeycomb is "Wow, that looks just like an iPad/iOS."
For everyone who thinks "this is just business," I would literally bet an actual iPad 2 that you would be bitching and crying if Apple was on the other side ,getting attacked by bullshit patents. This is getting old. When people on this site (you know, the Apple supporters) begin to criticize Apple's practices, maybe Apple ISN'T doing the right thing after all. Do you really want to read the notifications argument? No, not really, because it's clearly fucking obvious who is copying who. How about the placement of a talk-to-text button on the keyboard? Yeah.. let's all just forget about that.
I love both iOS and Android. But what I want is for these technologies to constantly be moving forward -- not waste a bunch of ****ing time trying to one up the other in court. Nobody wins. The company loses face, development is put on halt, and ultimately, the consumers feel it. Get over yourselves, Apple, and get back to the drawing board.
And Rene, seriously.. I get that you're an Apple guy, but to say one innovates AND litigates is just your own delusional fantasy. Apple has done nothing, ultimately, to truly claim they are still innovating. Riding on past successes is nothing.

1000% agree.this is what i been wanting to say but was to lazy to say so THANK still in shock how apple were even granted such a generic patent for tablets..and no joke,apple fanboys have actually commented on other sites that android copied ios5 notification lol that is how much some have been brainwashed sadly..

Exactly. I think they're just trying to slow down the competition as much as they can even if they're not a threat to them at the moment. It has already been predicted that Android tables will dominate by 2015.

apple and el steve have officially patented the rectangle..cannot believe the system gotten this bad that you can patent something so generic

I'm glad to be reading more rational, level-headed comments on here instead of the apologist stuff I expected. Also, WP7 is pretty original.

Well the Galaxy Tab 10.1 didn't even ship with Twiz, and Tablet Twiz looks more like windows phone UI than anything else... Several pictures:
However, I'm totally lost with why they're suing Motorola. The software is stock Android Honeycomb without any Motorola tweaks, so if that were the case, they should go after google... thus I assume they're suing over the design factor. Having family that owns both the iPad 1 ans 2 and the Xoom, I can safely say it is impossible to confuse the two.

Now, I'm very interested to see how Google reacts to iOS5's stealing Android's notification bar. Even my roommate, who up til now has been very pro-iPhone says it's pretty obvious that they stole that.

How about...
-True multitasking
-Folders (which didn't take 2-3 years to implement)
-Dropdown notification bar (I hope you didn't think apple invented that in iOS5...)
-Web-integration (Gmail contacts backup and sync)
-Changing wallpapers in the 1st version of the OS
-Changeable keyboards and launchers (and generally the ability to be flexible)
-Built in search key
-Ever tried using Android's voice commands vs iPhone's?
And that's just to name a couple random things... Then there's everything that's been accomplished with Root by everyday coders, which is pretty awesome. Enhanced data speeds (yeah, your iPhone is software throttled), general UI speed, etc.

Uh, check the Compaq TC1000. Tablet pc with detachable keyboard, and with it detached, it pretty much looks like tablets today. From 2003.

I was playing with my M8's desire last night rooting it & installing the Redux rom, now his phone is smoother than a baby's bum.
I have had an apple device since the first iPod touch & it's still the same OS currently it's been like 5 years : Android is a breath of fresh air to me, it's new it's different, it's even good enough for apple to copy ideas from them. (notifications)
I own an iphone4 & iPad first gen.

I wonder if Apple Photoshopped the Motorola logo out and put the Apple logo in? Similar things worked in Germany why not keep it up..

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