Apple Saw My Prototype Tablet Way Before iPad, Claims Samsung Witness


Roger Fidler, a news technology developer called as a trial witness by Samsung yesterday in the ongoing patents infringement trial with Apple, claimed that Cupertino company saw his prototype for a tablet computer over a decade before the iPad was released in 2010, Bloomberg reports. The witness, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri, said in a written declaration that he started working on a tablet design in 1981 and that Apple personnel were exposed to his tablet prototypes during a period in the mid-1990s.

Detailing from the source:

“My feeling was that it should be something that’s lightweight, portable, with a flat screen that had an ability to use a touch screen,” Fidler testified, referring to the first mock-up of his tablet from the early 1980s.

“My original assumptions were that it would be a touchscreen without a stylus,” he said.

Samsung’s use of Fidler’s testimony, as with other witnesses the company has called, is intended to discredit Apple’s claims of originality behind the patented technology used in the iPad and the iPhone. In a session without the jury present, Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven, defending the company’s attempt to show the testimony, told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh it was central to the company’s case and that Apple had successfully blocked Fidler from testifying in person.

Apple sued Samsung back in April 2011, accusing it of copying patented designs and is now claiming at least $2.5 billion in damages for patent infringement, in addition to permanently banning sales of Samsung Galaxy tablet and extend the ban to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.


  • FragilityG4

    I’m not too sure if I understand Samsungs point here … Fidler doesn’t have the patent they infringed, Apple does. This isn’t a case about who had the idea first (clearly its me back in 1931 I told a lad my idea in a pub over an Ale in The Shire) it’s a case of patent infringement. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • ThatGuy

    Didn’t apple release a video of a book/tablet with a male version of Siri, would like a link if you know what I’m talking about.

  • ThatGuy

    *Back in 1980 something…

  • Peter

    You are 100% wrong 🙂

    If samsung can prove prior art, it invalidates apples patent.

    Get it?

    Go try and patent the wheel, even if you get it, do you honestly think it would hold up in a court of law?

  • Farids

    The first idea and mockup of a tablet I know of, was envisioned and made by Gene Rodenberry in late 60’s and was shown on TV in numerous episodes of the original Star Trek. it even had the digital stylus/pen!

  • FragilityG4

    Ok thanks for clearing that up.

    I guess my next question is this is a lawsuit more geared towards the look and feel of the iPad … There have been many different tablets before the iPad but it’s the look and feel Apple is suing about … So why would Fidler testimony matter than since he only speaks of a tablet idea?

  • DR. AL

    If it has to deal with prior art, why doesnt Samsung then just make the jury watch hours of the original StarTrek series, and then followed by the Next Generation series, and the StarTrek motion pictures. Or call the set designers for the StarTrek series and movies as well.

    Seems like that would have more evidence behind it than some guy who claims to have had a design in the 80’s. I’m sure there is prior “art” in this case, but they also didnt have the technology to get it working which should also come into play. Anybody can take piece of glass that is a rectangle with rounded corners, and stick a black boarder around it and call it a tablet, but until it functions it is just a piece of glass.