Samsung Exec Believes That 'Fighting Over Rectangles' Is Unreasonable

There are many, many accusations being tossed back and forth between Apple and Samsung. There have been for months, there will continue to be. But perhaps none of them has perfectly distilled the fight that the two mega-corporations are having quite like Samsung's chief product officer Kevin Packingham did in an interview today with Wired. It's a matter, you see, of rectangles.

The Galaxy Tab has been banned off and on in both Europe and here in Australia for bearing too similar a resemblance to the iPad. Which, hey, at one point not even Samsung's lawyers could tell them apart. But, as Packingham explained to Wired, that's just unavoidable geometry:

"For us, it's unreasonable that we're fighting over rectangles, that that's being considered as an infringement, which is why we're defending ourselves... Consumers want rectangles and we're fighting over whether you can deliver a product in the shape of a rectangle."

What does Apple expect Samsung to do, make a trapezoid tablet? A rhombus? Actually, yes! Cupertino has a patent, as silly as it may seem, on a flat rectangular computing machine. It's ridiculously broad, sure. But it exists. And in Apple's mind, it has every right to defend that patent.

At the same time, Packingham's certainly got a point; if HP had patented a clamshell laptop design and defended it as aggressively as Apple has the iPad, we'd all be typing on Pavilions right now. And what kind of world would that be?

Honestly, at this point the whole thing's exhausting even just to read about. So when someone finally breaks it down to a battle over one of the most basic geometric shapes there is, it makes you appreciate how absurd the whole thing is — but also how interminable. [Wired]


Comments

    It's not cool to hate Apple anymore; everyone is doing it.

      Yes but I was there at the start.

        So was I :')

          As was I.

            Me three. I doing hating Apple before it was cool.

              Err, I *WAS* hating Apple. How the hell did I make that typo?

              You doing typing bad also. Still not cool.

                I corrected it straight after, but for some reason the comment is awaiting moderation :/

    It's time for them to unleash the power of the Pyramid.

      How much RAM does it have without the expansion pack?

    Poor Apple :(

      Poor Apple? Never before has the history of mankind seen a more bloodthirsty, spoilt and anti-competitive company. Competition is what makes the market for technology so exciting. Competition is among the main reasons why technology develops so quickly. Imagine where we'd all be if Ford put a patent on the automobile, banning the development of all other automotive technologies due to the presence of four wheels. There's nothing I want more than to see big companies, mainly Apple, remove the elongated rods from their posteriors and competing to bring fans better and better products. It's a hell of a lot better than putting out one line of products, and suing everybody who comes within a 10% likeliness of their product.

        I don't want to see anyone lose just for a dose of schadenfreude. But in this case, I hope Apple DOES lose because they have so little on the line. Even if all their allegations are true, the existence of imitators obviously has no impact on their financial standing.

        It Apple loses, they just shrug it off, sell 10 million more iPhones and stuff a few more billion into their coffers. If Apple wins, the entire industry (including consumers) loses. Even those who use Apple products such as myself should not wish for that outcome purely out of self-interest, because the very existence of competitors like Samsung keeps Apple on their toes.

      So poor they have $117 billion in liquid assets and currently worth more than Microsoft and Google combined. I'm not a big 'underdog' guy, but even if Apple loses this (they probably won't), it's just a drop in the bucket for them.

    I'm still cool and edgy. I'm a fan of MS' software and Samsung displays.

    Apple need to die in a fire.

      Apple need to die in a fire???? That sounds a little drastic.

    There's an excellent video on utube about the "patent problem"
    Search for the googletechtalks channel, and search within that channel for "The Patent Pollution Problem"
    Something needs to be done, but by all indications, the incentives at play in the patent world all work in the wrong direction.

    This is the beginning of the end... of the beginning. Apple won so far because they were able to innovate and create ahead of everyone. Their own success changes them and they start to become heaver and slower and less able to change direction quickly. Now they are looking back and fending off competitors who are moving into spaces Apple has owned for a while now. You don't want to be claiming ownership of a geometric shape. You want to be moving on to somewhere nobody else is at yet. You want to keep competing on the terms which gave you success, not slowing down and holding others back. That means you have stopped.

    Look at Microsoft. The threat of apple has spurred them into all sorts of innovation and change. They were doing nothing for so long. The more the power in the industry sways around, the better for the consumer. Apple needs some solid competition before it starts lowering its prices.

    And protecting this rectangle is basically about allowing them to maintain high prices.

    So Samsung should start researching the spherical tablet. I'd love to watch a movie or check my email with a "crystal ball"

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