Apple Vs Samsung - Multi-touch Madness
August 14, 2012

Apple Vs Samsung – Did Apple Steal Multi-touch From A Bunch Of College Kids?

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

The Apple v Samsung trial in San Jose can´t be all kitchen table revelations and legal temper tantrums. No, at some point the two must begin discussing matters such as actual patents, who had the patents at what time, and the validity of said patents.

Though everything was shaping up to be a very boring day on Monday, we did get a very revealing piece of information from Apple and a brand new argument from Samsung which kept us watching on our toes, ready for what may come next.

During yesterday´s session, it was revealed that Apple cross-licenses their technologies and, furthermore, offered to license some of these technologies to Samsung in 2010, but to no avail.

Taking the stand, Boris Teksler explained to the court who Apple offers these licenses to, saying, “We do so with rare exception knowing we´re not enabling someone to build a clone product.”

According to Teksler´s testimony, Apple doesn´t offer these licenses out easily, and though Samsung turned down the opportunity to get into bed with Apple, one company had no qualms doing so. Microsoft has licensed several patents from Apple, one of only a few companies which Teksler can “count on one hand” that Apple licenses their patents out to. Most interestingly about this agreement, according to Reuters, is Apple´s “Anti-cloning agreement” with the Redmond company, ensuring that their Windows Phones and new Surface Tablets don´t look too closely to Apple´s famed devices.

When Samsung took the stand, they went straight to the heart of Apple´s arguments, specifically their iOS platform and multi-touch patents. According to the Korean company, Apple´s “pinch-to-zoom” technology that Steve Jobs gushed over during the iPhone´s initial announcement is actually taken from a 2001 experimental device called the DiamondTouch Table. Developed at the Mitsubishi Electronic Research Laboratory (MERL), the DiamondTouch Table was a projection-based touchscreen surface which allowed users to draw on existing images as well as use gestures such as pinching and pulling to zoom in or out on webpages and other images.

In another hit to Apple´s arguments, the DiamondTouch Table also featured an application called “Tablecloth” which allowed users to pull down an image over the existing image, then release it to watch it snap back to its original position. This application, according to Samsung, is proof that not only does Apple not have a right to the bounce-back effect patent they´ve been accusing Samsung of stealing, it also proves that everyone copies, an argument they´ve opted rather than arguing that they didn´t actually steal any patents.

According to The Verge, member of Apple´s counsel, Michael Jacobs, cross examined Adam Bogue, the president of Circle 12 who had shown off the DiamondTouch Table, and revealed that not only had the DiamondTouch Table been easily seen by anyone in Cupertino, (the table sat in the MERL lobby for anyone to touch and play with) Bogue had even presented the table to Apple himself in 2003.

After some further questioning, Bogue admitted that their “Fractal Zoom,” (what we now call pinch-to-zoom) wasn´t implemented in the device until after the device had been shown to Apple. Later, it was revealed that the early model of this device had been sold to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan–yes, that Quinn– the same law firm representing Samsung in this case. Jacobs then asked for a model of the DiamondTouch Table to be brought to the court room immediately.