Even Samsung Can't Tell The Difference Between Its Tablet And iPad

Apple says Samsung's blatantly ripped off its device designs. Not true, Samsung replies! Too bad its lawyer blew that argument sky-high: they couldn't tell the difference between a Galaxy Tab and iPad. In court

Reuters reports the horrific embarrassment: when a Samsung attorney was asked by US District Judge Lucy Koh whether they could tell which tablet was which, what was the response? "Not at this distance, your honour."

Gulp. I really can't imagine any possibly worse answer, other than saying, "There is no difference, your honour. Please ban us from selling our products. Please." What followed might be even more painful:

"Can any of Samsung's lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

What can even happen from this point forward? How can Samsung's legal team look any judge in the face and argue that their device didn't copy the Apple product that came before it? Whether this copying is illegal in its extent is for the court to decide, but today, Samsung essentially admitted the Galaxy Tab is identical to the iPad.

[Reuters via AllThingsD]



    "The one with the bitten apple logo is Apple's..."

    "Not at this distance" is the correct answer. I wonder if you could tell a kindle from an ipad from across a room? Its a tablet PC fer crissake- of course they look the same at a distance, or they wouldn't be tablets

      Ten feet is hardly "across the room", but hey, any excuse for Samsung, right?

    Ican't see how Apple has afeg to stand on they never invented the devices look. They COPIED IT. The Judge only has to look at Star Trek. 2011 and Ican rememember seeing that shape being used on a old black and white show thats like saying one Car maker copied another because LOOK their car is a box shape and 4 wheels just like mine. Software infringment is another kettle of Fish. Apple is killing the open marketplace and consumer are the losers

      I'm sorry, but can you translate your, whatever it is you're trying to rant on about, into so sort of comprehendible language, or is it your Android keyboard stuffing up?

        that would be a massive burn if he wasn't using a mac or pc. But we'll never know, so that was an excellent contribution to the discussion.

    Im quite sure if you turn over a motorola or HTC upside down and did the same with an iPhone 4 and show both models to someone at a 5 or 10 meter distance, they'd have trouble telling the difference too.

      Agreed, but more importantly the legal team may never have seen either before and simply may not know. They are there to fight a legal battle not a guessing game.

        It'd be a pretty stupid move to go into a court room for a case involving design infringements without having looked at the device to be able to argue why one design doesn't infringe on the other companies IP.

        The fact they aren't there to play guessing games is exactly why they should be familiar with the devices they are trying to keep on the market.

      that only shows they copied it too, what has that got to do with this trial?

      here is the point about "10 feet", in the advertisements, including booths at conventions, and in TV commercials, there are several shots that are 10 feet or more apart, meaning consumers are going to confuse the two tablets, and when they buy a samsung, think all tablets suck, like a samsung for not having any apps to run, and the crashing of the flash and such...

      that is the point of that test...

      the really serious point is that Samsung even copied the shipping box including the inner plastics... THAT is how slavishly they copied it, that should never be allowed for any product. that is what patent laws are for... to protect against a chinese or korean company to simply copy american innovation. (which they do, and Samsung did)...

      to prove the point, Samsung would never have a Tablet and phone with a touch screen to this day, if Apple had not come out with one first as an entire package.

        wooo, racism! fun!

    I agree with ash. Ms Lucy koh`s argument seems to be skin deep and why is a judge leaning to any particular side? I thought I judge is mean to be fair to all parties.

      uh so a judge making a "judgement" is not "leaning" to a side? to day was supposed to be "judgement" day... but she put it off...

      and by the way, so you think the German court, the Australian court, the Netherlands court, and the US court are all looking at this as "skin deep"???? why are they all ruling the same way?

      probably because Samsung actually did commit the crime... wouldn't you think? how many more countries do you need???

      It was obvious to the judge how similar the devices were, so she simply asked the lawyers representing Samsung. They failed. Hardly the judge taking sides. If the legal team didn't look at the two devices before entering this case, they are as stupid as Samsung. Honestly, four injunctions, in four countries and all granted.So every judge must be biased? Or the fact that Samsung rip off others IP has been exposed, at last. Sony should have sued these mangy dogs 15 years ago for ripping off their IP. It's everybody's fault but Samsung, right? Haters, get a life.

      What was unfair? It seems like she gave the oppositions lawyer a fair chance to identify the device they were defending. It seems very reasonable to me, if the lawyers are going to argue the device is distinctive then surely asking them to identify it is a fair test?

      Unfair would be turning the lights off and asking them to do it.

    "Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

    10 feet/~3 metres.

    How about you get the whole quote next time Sam.

    He was at a distance and there was probably a height difference too.

    “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.” Steve Jobs 1996

      and "great ideas" and "concepts" are not copyrightable, nor patentable, every advance in history are based on ideas, and concepts, that were built on previous ideas and concepts.... however actual product based on those ideas are... get it???? i doubt it. the reason for the patent system is to ENCOURAGE design and ideas... not smother them... get it? take the idea of a tablet... please... but don't copy the actual design.... GET IT???? geeze man...

      i for one don't think Software should ever be patentable, unless it has a real piece of hardware with it as a package....

      Software should be copyrightable, and that is it...

      Maybe the judge should have held up the packaging too, oh, wait, it's the same. Maybe the judge should have given the lawyers a magnifying glass, or maybe the damn lawyer should've seen the product first. Really, no wonder Samsung fail, they copied their lawyers from Danny Crane too. Shucks.

    Apple's new Motto: Can't better them? Sue Them!!

      Did you even read the article? More like:
      Samsung's new Motto: Can't better them? Copy them!!

        Mate, did YOU read the article? As I pointed out in the comment below:

        "Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Apple’s product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Apple’s patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before."

    Really, out of that whole article that's the part you found most significant? How about this:

    "Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Apple's product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Apple's patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before."

    I love Apple products, but even I think this is going too far. It still amazes me that people don't see that their devotion to Apple is becoming more akin to blind faith than fact. Please pull your head in Giz. I used to love this site but find myself visiting less and less.

    Someone forgot to close off the italic tag...

    But doesn't this also show that a tablet is a tablet is a tablet? Or slate...?

    If I held up a Crown Corning dinner plate and a K-Mart special dinner plate I doubt very few people could tell the difference either.

      Nah, someone opened a second em tag for some reason.

      Difference is, Crown Corning don't patent their crockery, but thats just a moot point, right?

    Looks like someone forgot to close their italics tag?

    easy the guy who i a douche has the ipad

    This is stupid. Honestly not only was the Galaxy Tab more like the apple product but the new galaxy tab is in many ways very different in design construction and presentation but yes the only noticeable factor that differs from them is the logo and white backing but realistically just because you cant tell the difference at a distance does not make it an exact copy. The author of this article is so pig-eyed i cant believe it.

    Does it say whether this person has sight issues? this doesn't prove much along the lines of infringement when as people say its a similar shape cause if it wasn't it wouldn't be a tablet PC. I stick by my moto that apple is all about anti-competitiveness.

      Maybe Apple are about protecting IP. Billions of dollars in R&D and they should just give it to all and sundry? They didn't protect their IP when Microsuck ripped the GUI from the Mac OS, and they won't be fooled again. But any excuse to hate, right?

        Microsoft ripping the GUI from Apple? everyone takes design ques from everyone, you would probably see apple has taken just as much from Microsoft as the other way. the start bar originated on windows yet you see a 'variation' of it on osx. but any reason to hate aye.

        Why aren't car manufacturers suing each other for having the same style as each other. i can't tell the difference between some different makes of cars.

    They're both tablets, they both share the same form factor. So what if from a distance they both look similar? It will have little bearing on the outcome of the trial.

    All TVs look the same. DVD players,camcorders, SLR cameras, digital cameras.

    You telling me you can tell a Panasonic blue ray player from an LG one if i flipped them upside down?

    Just yesterday you ran an article on how somebody couldn´t tell a magazine from an ipad.

    Also, the question makes it sound like Samsung is trying to pass it´s product off as an ipad, which clearly isn´t the case, Samsung aren´t calling their product the epad, iipad or appad. The fact that apple´s sheisters are lying and saying people are too stupid to know what product they are buying doesn´t make it so.

      Geez, have you seen a therapist about your anger management issues? The only thing Samsung didn't do when they copied the iPad and the packaging and stole multitouch without buying a license, was to call it an ePad. But that would be obvious to anyone with half a brain, unlike our fandroid trolls here. You don't have to like the judgement made by four courts in four countries, but you know the truth, you just can't admit samsung stole pretty much everything the iPad has. I repeat, four courts, four judgements AGAINST samsung. Thats a fail, squared.

        Go away Kroo. I'm only half way down but did you seriously go and abuse every slightly anti-apple comment?

      [1] I am not angry, I have no idea how you came to such a conclusion.
      [2] Even if I was angry I hardly think that writing on an internet forum is evidence of being so angry that therapy is called for.

    "Just yesterday you ran an article on how somebody couldn´t tell a magazine from an ipad."

    uh you mean the one about the 4 month old baby???? wow man... that nearly topped the comment by the Samsung lawyer who couldn't see the difference from 10' away...

    and yes, Samsung is trying to pass the thing off as a clone of the iPad, that is why they cloned it.... get it?

    how many country's rulings that are exactly the same ruling is it going to take? did you think all the judges in all the countries were "too stupid"????

      Yes, the article with the infant. I´m not trying to construct a legal argument, just pointing out that people confusing ipads with other things isn´t unheard of, there was an article on it just yesterday.

      Also, we must have different ideas on what constitutes a clone, to the best of my knowledge the Samsung tablet doesn´t come with iOS loaded.

    The one running the far superior OS is the Samsung, your honour! Still a fan of the ipad, and it was definately in my shortlist for tablets, but it has to be the flexability of android for me, and many of my friends.

      I hope you enjoy your ice-cream sundae or whatever stupid name they call their OS now, and I hope you enjoy flashing the RAM and waiting for the phone carriers to release a year old update. "One ice-cream sandwich, coming right up. Would you like fragmentation with that"? "Or a side order of bug riddled apps with spy wear"?

        Seems yes you did.

    Can you tell the difference between a Pink Lady and Jonagold at 5 feet?

    All rectangles that are similar in size look alike at a certain distance with 20/20 vision, just like all apples do.

    Some people aren't experts in varieties of apples. In fact some would not only need to be right in front of the two apples, they would need to look for the little sticky label.

    I'd probably want an expert in patent law arguing my case too, rather than an expert in rectangles.

    What the isheep have to remember is that the ipad is full of samsung parts. If Apple was such a big innovator they would have been making their own chips for their products, but they are not so they have rely on others to provide them. Apple are scared so suing is the best option ,Win 8 tablets will be kicking ass soon, awesome hardware with a proper OS.

    I could hold up a black shiny painted piece of wood and an ipad and get the same result.

    What a stupid article, how anyone can look at them and say they look the same is beyond me....its plain to see the differences, can anyone look at that pic at the top of the page and honestly not tell them apart?

    God IP drives me nuts, it's all a bunch of BS.

    Hold on a sec, how on earth is "a moment later" looking bad at samsung's lawyers? did one not pick the right one????

    Well, these guys are fighting a lawsuit based on the claim that one tablet copied another's design, right?

    Therefore, would it not be reasonable to assume that the legal representatives would familiarise themselves with the products at hand - specifically noting the similarities and differences?

    So, (and this is purely speculatory), someone who one could reasonably expect has done some research into said design differences and similarities be able to "spot the difference", from a number of distances? Assuming that they're attempting to dispel claims of vast similarity, one would assume they'd be able to demonstrate the basis of the entire argument, yes?

    Just my thoughts...

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