Samsung has slammed Apple's legal attack on the Galaxy line of phone and tablets, saying it "defies common sense". A top Samsung chap reckons Apple has no right to lay claim to the rectangle as a design.
Samsung's chief product officer Kevin Packingham, speaking to Wired, ridiculed Apple's claims that Samsung "slavishly copied" the design of the iPad and iPhone. Samsung counters that certain principles of mobile design are fundamental and cannot be patented.
As Packingham puts it, "A rectangle did not come out of research and development." He plainly states, "It's unreasonable that we're fighting over rectangles.
"It's defying common sense. We're all scratching our heads and saying, 'How is this possible that we're actually having an industry-level debate and trying to stifle competition?' Consumers want rectangles and we're fighting over whether you can deliver a product in the shape of a rectangle."
Packingham blames Apple for the current round of heated legal warfare: "There's just one company that's firing the first shot consistently. Most everybody else seems to be getting along really well."
He also describes how Samsung is split in two isolated divisions: the components division that makes bits for Apple products, and the product division that competes with Apple by making phones and tablets.
The separation between the two means that Samsung and Apple can do billion-dollar deals while at the same time suing the pants off each other in vicious patent disputes. Although Packingham admits, "There are times when I'm absolutely appalled that we sell what I consider to be the most innovative, most secret parts of the sauce of our products to some other manufacturer."
Apple has long claimed that Samsung's copying reached beyond such common-sense design elements to the general look and feel of the Galaxy Tab tablets -- even down to the packaging.
The dispute between the two technology giants was recently settled in Samsung's favour in British courts, with Apple hilariously ordered to apologise to Samsung in adverts to run for six months. The US court case is being decided this month.
Is Packingham right? Can you patent a rectangle? Trademark your thoughts in the comments or on our patented Facebook page.