"Apple Patented the Rectangle"

If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people going around the internet saying how Apple claims that they have patented the rectangle, and are suing all those who have devices that are rectangles. I am quite annoyed by this, and how far they have stretched the truth.

If we go back a few months, where it all began, you can recall that Apple sued Samsung for its Galaxy Tab 10.1. They claimed that it infringed its design patents. Apple then made a list of suggestions for Samsung on how to design future tablets.

On that list was, "Don't make a rectangular tablet," along with several other wild ideas. Immediately, people took this as Apple was suing Samsung for making a rectangular tablet. To me, I saw it differently. Apple gave them a list of wild ideas that weren't even supposed to be taken seriously. I saw it as humor, not something they were suing for. If anything, why would Apple even give competitors tips on how to design their tablets.

It's clear that Apple sued samsung because it feared it would lose market share. They were afraid that people would mistake the Samsung tablet for an iPad. Of course, in the viewpoint of techies like us, its impossible to mistake one for the other. But techies aren't the people who will make those mistakes. Normal people will. We've all seen someone ask another if the Android tablet that they're holding is an iPad, and look confused when the answer is no. I can give plenty of anecdotes, but we have to agree that that can sometimes happen, even if it is not with us.

In fact, very little of Apple's lawsuits have to do with design at all. Yet, the comments about how Apple patents rectangles seems to appear the most. Apple does have several other lawsuits concerning different fields. I won't take a stand on them, simply because I don't know enough about them. I don't trust the fact that a media site will give me the whole story so I tend to leave them alone.

However, this "rectangle patent" caught my eye, and those comments have annoyed me ever since. I hope that I don't come across as foolish or fanboyish. This is just how I see the situation.