Can Apple Patent Beauty? Asks Samsung
Bangalore: The ongoing patent struggle between tech giants Apple and Samsung underwent a twist in Australian Federal Court recently with the Korean phone manufacturer questioning whether Apple’s claims to “beauty” and “elegance” in its iOS interface is enough to justify an enforceable patent.
The case began in July 2011, when Apple sued Samsung over alleged patent infringement in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. As per ZDNet reports, Samsung counsel Richard Coben disagreed that Apple patents like pinch-to-zoom and slide-to-unlock describes only human-computer interaction, a design principle which cannot be patented.
According to Coben, “Patents are not granted for the reason that something is beautiful or elegant.” He added saying “The attractiveness of a feature is subjective.” He continued saying, "We dispute functionality can be derived from the attractiveness of a feature. What is subjectively beautiful to one may not be beautiful to another."
Currently, Samsung attempts to invalidate the patents in suit with the Australian Commissioner of Patents. Apple can’t hold innovation patents and be granted standard patents for the same patents. In case the court gives them the permission, there would be larger scope for Apple to “threaten the market” with more patents going forward.
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