Without any doubt, even those people who are non tech savvy heard by now the news about the ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung. We covered some of these disputes between the two companies when we heard about something which was new, but there is one news which drew our attention seriously.
According to TNW and CultofMac news sources, a tablet prototype from 1994 shreds Apple’s defense against Samsung in the tablet war that’s been going on for ages now. While Apple was keen on pointing the finger towards Samsung that they’ve been copying every device released by the Cupertino based company, a video recorded 18 years ago might cause them some serious issues. Apple’s main argument in the tablet war refers to the design of the iPad was copied inch by inch in Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line-up.
Apple says that the rounded squares design of the iPad was infringed by Samsung but the truth lies somewhere in between. The tablet concept is not something from our days, as the below video will prove. Sure, the technology back in 1994 wouldn’t have allowed someone to manufacture a device as thin as an iPad or GalaxyTab but there’s no technical limitation in imagining things.
A television network called Knight-Ridder envisioned reading a newspaper on a tablet device, like we currently do in our days. The prototype of the ’94 tablet resembles the rounded square design that Apple has in their iPad so it makes you wonder why they keep on saying that the Korean manufacturer, Samsung, copied it from them.
The truth is that there was a high number of touch enabled prototypes long before Apple’s iPad came out so if they want to sue Samsung for patent infringement, then Apple should search for other arguments than the design line of a device.
If the 1994 tablet prototype will be accepted by the presiding Judge, Apple’s strategy might backfire as this is the main argument used for building the case. If you analyze the video thoroughly, you will see that the tablet prototype had some features that Apple decided to add starting with the iOS 4. I am really curious to find out if Apple used this 1994 tablet mockup as their main source of inspiration when designing the iPad concept.
1994 tablet prototype infringed or not, the iPad vs GalaxyTab war between Apple and Samsung will continue to exist at least until the summer, when the court rules the verdict. Anyways, here is the video that caused such a stir.