December 25, 2012
Here We Go Again, Samsung Reportedly Files Another Patent Suit Against Apple
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Apple changed the entire ball game when they released the iPhone, this much is true. One of the more pointed pieces of proof is the slides which Apple used as evidence in their San Jose court case against Samsung this summer.
In the days before iPhone, many phone manufacturers were either chasing Palm or RIM or simply creating whatever odd handset tickled their fancy. Once the iPhone was released, many phone makers – specifically Samsung – began shifting away from these designs and moving towards a full-touchscreen model.
This isn´t to say the iPhone is a completely original idea, of course.
As these two tech titans were squared off in the same court, many debates arose in and out of the courtroom about who had first invented some of the core technologies in each of the phones. For all of Apple´s apparent original innovation and Samsung´s clear copying of it, there is one feature which appeared in newer iPhones which clearly came from Google´s Android: Notification Center.
Now, Samsung is finally striking back against Apple´s constant barrage of litigation, suing the iPhone maker for patent infringement in South Korea.
According to Patently Apple, news source BrightWire has reported that Samsung has filed a suit against Apple over their use of the “Notification Center” patent.
Many Android fans who felt personally affronted by Apple´s lawsuit against Samsung vented their anger of forums, asking why Samsung hadn´t made the claim that Apple had stolen this feature from Google.
According to Patently Apple, Samsung has only recently been granted a patent which covers the Notification Center. This patent is titled “Priority Inbox Notifications and Synchronization for Mobile-Messaging Application.”
As pointed out by Florian Mueller at the Foss Patents blog, the lack of details in this reported story makes it difficult to know what to expect from this case, should it be true.
Though Apple very clearly did borrow or rip-off Android´s notifications, this doesn´t allow Samsung to sue unless they´ve patented their own improvement of spin on the idea.
“Google was just granted a notification center patent in the United States, but Samsung can't patent what Google creates,” writes Mueller in his blog entry about this story. “It can patent some further enhancements of Google's creations, or it can acquire a patent from Google (if Google feels it should give ammunition to its Android partners to sue Apple, or that it should compensate for the poaching of Samsung talent), but there's no such thing as shared patent ownership among an entire ecosystem.”
Notification Center is Apple´s chosen method of corralling all the notifications received on an iOS device. When the device is locked, emails, missed calls, messages and other notifications can be seen from the lock screen without making the user turn on their phone to hunt for this information. When the device is being used, a simple swipe down from the top of the screen calls up the Notification Center again. Notification Center also holds stock and weather information and in iOS 6, users can even send a Tweet or post a status to Facebook from within Notification Center.