Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce How Samsung could have avoided Apple lawsuit

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As Apple and Samsung continue their wrestle to death in the US and a number of other countries, Apple has provided evidence to show that this nasty fight need never have been.

The evidence, in a redacted public legal brief, shows clearly to anyone of sound mind who is able to exercise logic and reasoning that the fault is all on Samsung's side. It talks about the patents that it claims have been infringed and offers choices that Samsung could have opted for.

Yep, all ye who claim that Apple does not offer choice - this legal brief should shoot down any and all of your arguments about the company being more proprietary in its approach than Microsoft.

As Apple puts it, Samsung could well have avoided the entire legal mess by manufacturing smartphones that have front surfaces that are not rectangular or black or flat and have no rounded corners.

A pyramid shape suggests itself. Or maybe an octagon, replete with signs of the zodiac. Plenty of choice there. I guess if Samsung had opted for the pentagon, then the administration from the land of the brave and free would be on its back.

Of course, Samsung's errors do not end there. It should have stuck to display screens that are more square than rectangular or not rectangular at all and not centred on the front surface of the phone. How about the shape of the Sphinx? Or the shape of Kylie Minogue's arse? Neither of those, to my knowledge, have been patented by anyone - yet.

There's more. The display screen should have had substantial lateral borders, speaker openings that are not horizontal slots with rounded ends, and that are not centred above the display screen.

Samsung also had a choice of making front surfaces with substantial adornment (a touch of lipstick? or some rouge?), phones without bezels or with bezels that look nothing like those on the iPhone. Maybe a bezel that is rhomboidal would fit the bill.

Apple has also clearly indicated how Samsung could have avoided the tablet imbroglio. Just manufacture tablets with an overall shape that is not rectangular with four flat sides. You could make one resembling a speed hump, there would be no problem at all. Or one looking like an elephant or a dromedary. The shape of the camel wouldn't be frowned on either - but some Bedou tribes may have patented that.

Oh, and the tablet should not have four rounded corners - three rounded ones and one resembling the apex of a KKK hat would not pose a problem, I presume. Or you could have one that resembles an Ouija board. Now who said Samsung was not spoilt for choice?

The front surfaces of this tablet should have substantial adornment (cue, the makeup artist), thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface and profiles that have a cluttered appearance. Don't understand what the last thing means? Just go out in the Australian summer and sit under a tree with a  number of magpies in it and a white sheet in your hand - you'll see what cluttered means soon enough.

And this wonderful legal brief - yes, this kind of comedy is actually presented in a US court of law - which raises some doubts as to what kind of vaudeville the US legal system has become, suggests that since Samsung has chosen to ignore all these wonderful alternatives, it has no case.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.