Every once in a while in patent litigation, you end up having to take the awkward stance that the other party’s technology is just as good or better than yours in order to justify your case. That’s the situation that Apple and Samsung are in right now while arguing a case before the Court of the Hague in the Netherlands, reports Loek Essers, for PC World.
The patent case is over a European patent entitled ‘Touch event model’, which outlines the way that Apple handles accidental presses outside of an intended touch target. Think the heel of your hand hitting a button while you’re tapping something with a thumb. Apple is arguing that Samsung Galaxy devices that run Android 2.3 and higher infringe on this patent.
In order to convince the court, Apple is having to talk up the Android solution, saying that it is easily as good as Apple’s and that it mimics the way that Apple itself handles these mistaken touches. Meanwhile, Samsung has the unenviable task of saying that Android’s handling is nowhere near as good as Apple’s and that it shouldn’t be compared. It’s all very hilarious.
From Essers’ report:
While Apple’s technology is a “very nice invention,” the technique used in Android differs from the iOS solution, argued Bas Berghuis van Woortman, one of Samsung’s lawyers. Because the Android based method is more hierarchical the system is more complex and therefore harder for developers to use, he said.
Apple disagrees. “They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,” said Apple’s lawyer Theo Blomme to judge Peter Blok, who presided over a team of three judges, in a response to Samsung’s claim. The technique used in Android does solve a multiple input “conflict situation” and in that way the Android software essentially does the same as Apple’s, he said.
Hilarious. The full account of the argument, including Samsung’s claim that multitouch error reporting was invented by Mitsubishi via DiamondTouch is here.