Stop the Noiz

iPad Trade Dress Ruling in Europe Won't End Tablet Competition

Frank Fox - 2011.08.11 - Tip Jar

Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The world of tablets is going to end, because Apple has a trade dress on the look of the iPad that has blocked Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab in Europe. That's the myopic opinion of ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes (see Apple's EU Legal Win Could Prevent All OEMs from Building Tablets) and others (for instance, Kevin C. Tofel's At This Rate, There Won't Be a Tablet Market, Just an iPad Market on GigaOM).

Here's the image from the Community Design patent that "proves" only Apple can now make a tablet.

iPad Trade Dress
iPad Trade Dress

It is pure bull to say that Apple has locked out all other vendors. Sure, the design Apple has made famous is very popular now, but it isn't the only choice. I can prove it by showing five other tablet and PDA examples.

HP EliteBook 2740p
HP EliteBook 2740p 12" TabletPC

Dell Latitude XT2
Dell Latitude XT2

Palm m500 series
Palm m500 series

Newton MessagePad 120
Newton MessagePad 120

Toshiba Portege R400
Toshiba Portegé R400

Apple eMate
Apple eMate

And for an extra bonus - even though it is not a true tablet - the Apple eMate (right) shows how unique a design can be while still being functional.

Samsung is mimicking the iPad not because it is the only option, but because it is the most popular. That is something Samsung and the rest are going to have to deal with to make their own product that doesn't simply copy Apple's design. LEM

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