Apple's iPad Design Patent: Been There, Done That (Images)

Apple's iPad Design Patent: Been There, Done That (Images)

Summary: Come on! Is there really anything about the iPad's design that makes it so special that it should be used ban Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales? I Don't Think So.


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  • Roman wax tablet

    Roman Wax Tablet: In fact, those darn Romans back before the common era were already using tablets! Look, you can even see that they already had a frame around the display!

  • The Etch-a-Sketch had Apple beat to the basic tablet design as well.

    Moving a few thousand years ahead, consider if you will, the Etch-a-Sketch: It's state-of-the-art toy technology for 1960. Sure, it has two knobs on the front, but darn, it's clearly a tablet!

  • Star Trek had tablets in the 60s.

    Thanks to the wonders of television, we also knew in 1966 that the future belong to tablets. Here, we see Lt. Uhura of tne Enterprise using what presumably is an iPad 2255—better known to true Star Trek fans as a Personal Access Display Device (PADD).

Topics: Tablets, Apple, iPad, Legal, Samsung

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  • It isn't often that you are right

    But this time, you are totally right. Apple is behaving like a spoiled child. This is why they are currently being charged with anti-competitive practices in a court of law.
    • Now you've don't it accusing Apple of being a spoiled brat HOW DARE YOU SIR

      OR MADAME!!!! I've seen low in my time and I've visited low many times myself over these many years and enjoyed it I might add but still you've gone lower than low this time around and I'll not stand for it!!! To sink to the level of accusing Apple of being MS like is well beyond the pale my friend or should I say girl friend! SHAME sir or madame... Shame!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • James

        You should know that William "toddbottom3" Farrel, is a known Microsoft Fanboy/paid astroturfer. So there is a level of hatred that you'll rarely see, outside his monthly Microsoft fanboy club meetings.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
        • You opened your mouth again..

          And put your foot right into it..
          Apparently everyone that doesn't like Apple or or has anything positive to say about MS is being paid by MS.. They don't have the MASSIVE purse Apple does..

          Get a life and go away until you can say something intelligent!

      • This time Steven is wrong, because there is no way to register design ...

        ... patent without assigning category.

        And there was NEVER tablet computer with design like iPad.

        (Yes, photoframes and videophones from 1960s' films have nothing to do being "prior art" related to iPad design.)
        • Must be a lawyer

          The only ones to really gain anything from this flood of lawsuits all over the world.. so of course 2000 years of a shape being all over the place is not "prior Art"..

          Jefferson was right..
      • Set your Way-Back machine

        "Excuse me? The iPad just looks like a freaking tablet to me."

        Amazing how the passing of time makes some people have "selective" amnesia.

        Set your Way-Back machine to the day that Apple introduced the iPhone, and the day that Apple introduced the iPad. On those particular days there were no other products for sale that looked or acted like Apple's products.

        Time passes, and now almost every mobile phone you see, and almost every multi-touch tablet you see, look very similar to the iPhone and the iPad.

        So today, we see that other "freaking tablets" look like the iPad. But it is NOT the other way around. The iPad did not copy other similar looking "freaking tablets" that came out after it... unless you think that Apple used a time machine to accomplish that amazing feat. ;-)
        Harvey Lubin
        • Form follows function

          There appears to be a lowering of collective IQ's around here.. the article is simply stating that the 'idea' of the tablet form factor has been around for thousands of years and certainly has been in popular media since the 60's. I can't believe Apple was given such a generic patent.. There was sooo much prior art before apple filed that patent that the patent office must have been asleep when he stamped that one. I had a Windows touch phone that looked almost identical to the iPhone 10 years ago.. Touch phones have been around for a long time! Admittedly the iPhone got the screen/OS right which was groundbreaking but it was more a natural progression than true original design.

        • Prototype did exist ...

          did you know this ? , the concept was released wayyy before the Ipad , so based on that apple CANNOT claim a design patent on the ipad , I was for apple until I started READING THE DESIGN PATENTS , it includes a "shiny surface " too , if a company is allowed such frivolous patents , its not a matter of your "APPLE" sentiments but "INNOVATION" as a whole , apple's newest lawsuit is based on its design patents i.e rounded corners !!, so you are saying what rounded corners didn't exist before apple ....Gimme a break..
          Micheal Estrada
      • Cat backed in a corner

        There is no low to the truth that Apple is acting like a cat backed up into a corner. They are starting to throw everything but the kitchen sink at their competitors to try to stop them, but it's futile.

        And to all the Apple supporters, i'm sure they're behind Apple in making these moves. They're the same people who probably feels important that they overpaid for all Apple product and would like to keep paying the high prices if there are no competition.

        I'm glad that those Chinese companies are giving Apple a taste of it's own medicines.
        Just sit back and enjoy seeing Apple squander their money on frivolous lawsuits.
        Wala Bee
        • They all sue

          All of these companies sue, NOT just Apple. Apple haters say YEAH! If Motorola wins a suit, which they have recently where Apple has too pay and one that Samsung won where Apple has to pay. If you don't like Apple products fine, don't buy them but they are certainly entitled to defend their patents and designs, and respond to lawsuits as well. Motorola recently won a patent suit that would have taken the XBox and other Microsoft devices off of the shelf so Microsoft is now paying a licensing fee to them. It's all the same so don't say it's JUST Apple, that's not accurate and all of them want our money, ALL of them. Haters say that Apple users are a cult, but getting all emotional about Android, MS or any company is cult like if that is what you post about Apple also. They are JUST devices! To treat other human beings badly over their choice of a device is just sad! All of these companies will gladly take your money. WIth 7 in our home we have many devices, Apple, Android and Microsoft, plus Linux. It is possible to own devices of all makes and not fight.
          • If you keep

            Interjecting logic and common sense, they will ban you from the web. :-)

            Of course you are right, it is all stupid.. and the fanboi's are the dumbest of the bunch. They do not seem happy unless they are feeling superior by bashing what someone else likes.
            I like Windows and Linux, you like MAC OS.. Why does that matter, we all do our email, letters and surf the web on them..
        • Yeah, we should model China

          This is a country that is steep in censorship, was so polluted that Olympic athletes had to where masks to protect themselves from smog, keeps cost low by stealing IP and keeping wages ridiculously low. Yeah, we should definitely hoist them up as a role model for the world.

          On that note, if China (and other AsianPac countries) and their companies are so great, why did Apple get so much flack for using FoxConn? It's not like these companies aren't using FoxConn or similar assembly lines.

          On a related note, do a search on "blood phones" and see where various tech companies stand.
      • *clap* *clap* *clap*

        What if he responded to you citing examples of Microsoft doing what made him now cite Apple as... hey, toddbottom3 there didn't mention MS... which is okay because, in other posts, he's cited as being a MS Fanboy...

        it's hilarious how the world seems to work...
    • No, You are dead wrong.

      Apple is defending their long, careful, expensive creative efforts - efforts that have produced extremely desirable products that have revolutionized the music business, the phone business and the computer business. Apple has obtained patents on many aspects of what they have done, including software functionality, hardware and industrial design. To obtain a patent in any of these areas, Apple had to show convincingly that what they developed was at the time of their patent application unique enough to qualify for patent protection.

      You, like many others, have cavalierly asserted that Apple's patented industrial design is indistinguishable from any number of previous tablet designs. If it is in fact true that the tablet device *as defined and claimed* in the Apple patent is indistinguishable from prior art, it will be a simple and straight forward matter for Samsung or anyone else sued by Apple over this tablet design to go to court and have Apple's patent declared invalid.

      If Samsung was, for instance, making a knock-off copy of one of those earlier tablet like devices, rather than copying Apple's tablet design, Apple wouldn't have a leg to stand on. But that's not what's going on, is it? No. Samsung has clearly tried to make a tablet extremely similar to the iPad so as to compete against the iPad in the market. And, this is exactly the kind of behavior our patent laws are intended to discourage.
      • No they did not.


        The US patent laws are a bad joke, and Apple are one of the bigger offenders in breaking the system in the first place. Most of their patents arent patents at all, they are applications for patents.

        They've registered so many that it will take years to process them all, and until they are processed, they are protected by interim. They dont have to be a valid patent to be applied for and protected by that and Apple know this.
        Then theres how they got away with practically stealing the iphone IP off Cisco, for a device that at the time had very similar, but newer technologies to my then-obsolete Motorola A1000.

        Regardless whether they are being copied themselves, Apple dont copy a look, they grab others good ideas and give them the Apple look. Then claim they invented them.

    • She couldn't even tell them apart

      Can you believe Samsung hired Kathleen Sullivan to represent them in court instead of Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols? What does she know? She's just a professor at the Stanford Law School and a name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the high-priced law firm with offices around the world.

      Sure, she was once considered for a seat on the Supreme Court, but she's nowhere near as good as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at deciphering the complexities of intellectual property law. Neither she nor anyone in her firm even thought to show the judge an Etch-a-Sketch. They're so stupid they probably thought the judge would laugh in their face.

      Yep, the reason Samsung lost this case is that they didn't have anybody who understood the law representing them. They should've come to ZDNet for help.
      Robert Hahn
    • Samsung lawyers couldn't tell difference between the Ipad2 and Galaxy Table

      The Samsung lawyers could not tell the Samsung Galaxy Tab from the IPad 2 there were many sites with pictures from the box to the connector to the tablet, they can be found in search, 2 articles if I can post urls?
    • Steven and toddbottom3

      With all due respects, that you both are wrong. I am NOT A mac fans but I am NOT stupid either. Every one knows that the design, the shape and the Size of the Samsung Galaxy tablet and Apple Ipad are identical. These come down to detailed components such as user interfaces, the color and the piece of symbols such as: telephone , email etc between ipad and galaxy. If I were Apple owner, I would get pissed as well. Apple does not sue Motorola , SONY, TOshiba and other brands for they are not copying the way they design the tablets.

      I had both IPAD and Galaxy tablets and I am particularly upset knowing that the quality of the SAMSUNG is like "made in China" especially with the cable connection that lasted only for less than 10 months. The only differences between the Samsung and the ipad is the connector that is used for recharging the devices . That is why I could not recharge the SAMSUNG Galaxy tablet using the ipad cable connector. Obviously Samsung uses Google O/S and that was not why Apple is not suing Apple for the o/s but for the look and feel.
      • Oh the irony

        Strange then that the ipad etc is made in China while the other is made in Korea.

        The Apple connector is the one thing that would stop me from buying into Apple (oh alright iTunes/store kills it for me too) Strange that all the other manufacturers have got it together to use a single sensible connector.