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Herr Barnack

Leica T camera: AppCam claims Leica ripped them off

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Hmmm - is this a case of sour grapes on AppCam's part or is there more to it?

 

Leica Allegedly Rips Off AppCam for the New Leica T

 

Link: Leica Allegedly Rips Off AppCam for the New Leica T

 

Your thoughts please, ladies and gents...

 

Edit by Admin: Official Statement below

Edited by admin
Link to Official Statement by Leica

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Hmmm - is this a case of sour grapes on AppCam's part or is there more to it?

 

 

 

Your thoughts please, ladies and gents...

 

I think the "T" UI looks more like a Windows SmartPhone than AppCam's solution:

 

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There are some significant differences in the menu configuration process and Leica took the time to test out a precise touchscreen that could function with flush software buttons instead of AppCam's layout that has a good amount of "dead" space.

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It really depends on the claims in their patent. You can't tell just by looking at similarities because appearances are covered by copyright law and not patent law. They might have a copyright infringement claim but it would be up to a court to decide whether the similarities were so close as to amount to an infringement.

 

For small companies wanting to sell their inventions, this is always a risk and it depends on the nature of their non-diclosure agreement. However, even though they can't afford the litigation expense, they could sell an interest in the patent to one of the patent troll companies that have deep pockets and would not hesitate to go after a potential infringer with deep pockets. That is how they make their money. Look at Blackberry for an example.

Edited by barjohn

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Hmmm - is this a case of sour grapes on AppCam's part or is there more to it?

Your thoughts please, ladies and gents...

 

AppCam (Uniden) is full of it.

.

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It really depends on the claims in their patent.

 

Uniden has already suffered from threats of law suits, and there is at least one left to litigate. It must suck to be them. Seriously.

.

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The only similarity is that the settings can be configured and re-arranged. But that is something AppCam has copied from iOS; Leica does it in a slightly different way.

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Looks to me like AppCam is using this as an opportunity to get themselves some 'free' publicity, similarities or not. How many of you had heard of them before this?

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I don't know if they have a patent, but the actual similarity in appearance would only be an incidental factor. If the patent were for a means to control camera functions using moveable tiles to perform the functions via mini applications associated with each tile on a visual media (this is not the exact legal language but intended to illustrate the concept), the actual implementation that incorporated that functionality would not matter. Nor would the appearance need to match perfectly. Notice, I left out how the tiles would be moved so it wouldn't matter if it was a dial or a finger.

 

If they have a patent in Germany (or the US) I would think they would not have difficulty finding an organization to defend their patent. On the other hand, if they don't have a patent or never filed for a patent, they are down to copy-right law and that is more about appearance and substantial use of code.

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Discussions in forums like this which try to address copyright, patent and trademark eventually reveal individuals' ignorance and rarely yield anything important to anyone. Also consider that even if one is an expert it matters not because most conflicts are settled on a case-by-case basis in a court. Speculation of an outcome is futile.

.

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I can see the rough similarities (grid layout, reserved area to right) but those features are on just about every smartphone out there (except the reserved area is on the bottom not the side), so I do not see how their version is unique enough to warrant a patent defense.

 

That would be like me trying to patent icons on a desktop in a particular configuration - just about every, if not all, modern computers uses a desktop with layout of icons. It would be silly to try to defend the patent on such a concept just because it is now being utilized on a camera. Same concept could be used on a remote control, etc.

 

When the interface first came out (i.e. before *anyone* was using the interface on *any* product at all), then I could see getting a patent, but certainly not for an idea that is already out there, albeit on a different device (cell phone vs camera).

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The only original ideas I see in the AppCam demos are the six dials (which seem silly, to me) and then the more sensible "virtual grid" which introduces the bumps on the screen glass to provide tactile feedback (which are a unique invention).

 

The rest is copied from existing smartphone and tablet interfaces.

 

Leica did not copy either of the AppCam original ideas.

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Bumps on glass would restrict icon location and put spacial constraints on future software design decisions.

 

If each option-icon has the same dimensions, or if they do not and they 'snap' into position beneath the bump it wouldn't matter where one puts the option-icon. There are more ways to work it out, including scaling.

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Good points, but it seems like the bumps on the glass would force the buttons to have to reside in a given location (under the bump) on the screen. Later designs may include larger buttons, buttons placed in different areas and so forth. Plus, it seems, to me at least, that having bumps on the glass would make dragging, pinching, unpinching and other gestures less intuitive - better a smooth surface I would think, like on smart phones and like on Apple's touchpad.

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Hmmm - is this a case of sour grapes on AppCam's part or is there more to it?

 

We just received an official statement by Leica Camera AG:

 

With the Leica T, Leica Camera AG has launched a system camera featuring a, for cameras, innovative operating concept in conjunction with touchscreen control. The design, development and realisation of this operating concept began in spring 2010 in Leica’s own facilities and led, in March 2011, to the successful recognition of several protective rights applications submitted at this time by Leica Camera AG. These protective rights applications are based exclusively on developments conceived and realised within and by our company.

 

Any claims, allegations or insinuations that the Leica T operating concept is based on or derived from developments by other parties are totally without foundation.

 

 

The operating system developed by AppCam was presented to Leica Camera AG in November 2011, many months after the development of the Leica T-System operating concept and the corresponding protective rights applications from March 2011. One of the characteristic features of AppCam OS is the setting dials immediately adjacent to the application fields. The Leica T operating concept has no setting dials and differs significantly from the AppCam concept in numerous other ways.

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"One of the characteristic features of AppCam OS is the setting dials immediately adjacent to the application fields. The Leica T operating concept has no setting dials and differs significantly from the AppCam concept in numerous other ways."

 

Having seen the AppCam video, I would definitely have to agree with Leica. The first thing that occurred to me was, thank goodness Leica did not go with the AppCam concept as I could not imagine having to fiddle around with all those extra dials.

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saved by the dials

 

No, not saved by the dials...

 

Saved by applying for copyright protections on their own concept way before they met with the AppCam team...

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I think those are the patents mentioned:

 

EP2012000934 NAVIGATION OF A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE USING MULTI - DIMENSIONAL MENUS AND MODES

 

EP2012000933 GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE HAVING AN ORBITAL MENU SYSTEM

 

The patent office filing for the US shows a date of March 4 2011 in both cases.

 

(Priority Data: Date when Inventor/Applicant filed with their National Patent Office: LDPA)

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