Ahead of the mega Samsung vs Apple court trial some internal Apple document shows that Apple’s design team took the concept of such a phone from Sony. [Also read: If Apple’s Mac UI Came From Xerox, iPhone Came From Sony?]
According to The Verge, “A recent court filing by Samsung reveals that in 2006 Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to design an iPhone prototype inspired by Sony’s aesthetics after Tony Fadell internally circulated an interview with a designer from the company. An assortment of renders reveal his design, complete with a Sony logo — save for one where the logo has been modified to read “Jony,” presumably in honor of Apple’s Jony Ive.”
Apple/Microsoft Disamring Competitors
It’s also interesting that Apple asked a royalty rate of $24 per unit from Samsung for design patents. When Samsung objected to the price and asked for a lower price something similar to what Samsung charges for it’s standard patents. Apple, as expected, refused and sued Samsung. On the other hand Apple infringes upon Samsung patents for it.
The interesting piece is Apple thinks that Samsung’s ‘technology’ patents which required heavy investment in R&D should not exceed $0.0049 per unit for each infringing patent. So, Samsung should get less than $0.0050 per patent where as Apple should get $24 for a design which it simply stole from Sony.
Same applies for Microsoft. While companies like Samsung and Motorola are expected to ‘release’ there R&D under FRAND tearms so that Microsoft & Apple can get them for cheaper than penny, when it comes to their own technologies they use it to sue the same companies which build the foundation of mobile technologies. Only recently Microsoft got Motorola’s Android banned in Germany based on FAT which should have been available under FRAND terms.
As Groklaw rightly puts it:
In other words, they want to disarm the companies that got there first, built the standards, and created the field, while the come-later types clean up on patents on things like slide to unlock or a tablet shape with rounded corners.
Then the money flows to Apple and Microsoft, and away from Android — and isn’t that really the point of all this, to destroy Android by hook or by crook? The parties who were in the mobile phone business years before Apple or Microsoft even thought about doing it thus get nothing much for their earlier issued patents that have become standards. Apple and Microsoft can’t compete on an even field, because the patent system rewards the first to invent (or now, after the recent patent reform, the first to file). Neither Apple nor Microsoft got there first. Samsung *was* there, since the ’90s:
That Samsung is able to offer such a wide variety of quality mobile telecommunications devices is no coincidence. Samsung has been researching and developing mobile telecommunications technology since at least as early as 1991 and invented much of the technology for today‘s smartphones. Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly twenty years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology. Even as Apple has carried out a coordinated campaign of dragging Samsung‘s name through the mud in this lawsuit and in the media, it has used Samsung‘s patented technology while flatly refusing to pay for its use.
Update: Looking at the comments below there seems to be some confusion that the design of the iPhone was concieved at Apple. Please read this post If Apple’s Mac UI Came From Xerox, iPhone Came From Sony?