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Samsung's Galaxy S on the left, Apple's iPhone 3GS on the right
Apple means business with its new lawsuit against Samsung

There's no question that Apple turned the smartphone market upside down when it introduced the original iPhone way back in during the summer of 2007. After its release, numerous competitors kicked into overdrive to come up with smartphones built around a touch interface. 

Apple again caught the industry with its pants down when it launched the iPad in 2010. Once again, competitors were caught off guard and rushed to get their own products onto the market.

In a new lawsuit filed this week, Apple is alleging that at least one of its competitors -- Samsung -- took a few shortcuts in getting its smartphones and tablets to market. Those shortcuts, Apple alleges, are that Samsung copied the exterior design and interface elements of its iOS-based devices.

Apple names the Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, and Nexus smartphones along with the Galaxy Tab tablet in the lawsuit according to the Wall Street Journal

Apple claims: 

Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products. 

Ina Fried of Mobilized received stronger language from an Apple spokesperson; "It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Apple may have a point when it comes to the Galaxy S smartphones, as the design and interface do look more than a bit like the iPhone 3GS. It remains to be seen whether the courts will agree with Apple, however.



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So...
By Joz on 4/18/2011 5:05:03 PM , Rating: 5
We can copyright "styles" now?

I copyright, all of them.

Introducing the "Style" it looks like every smart phone on the market; but i copyrighted its style.




RE: So...
By sweatshopking on 4/18/2011 5:07:36 PM , Rating: 3
damn you! you just won the world!


RE: So...
By Cerin218 on 4/18/2011 5:09:38 PM , Rating: 5
All my base r belong to u.


RE: So...
By dubldwn on 4/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By amanojaku on 4/18/2011 6:36:54 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, the idea someone else would develop a rectangular display with icons is VERY far fetched. Samsung should have made it conical, with a text-based display.

The iPhone is display is the lowest-common denominator. There is no imagination, innovation, or magic.


RE: So...
By dubldwn on 4/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: So...
By jhb116 on 4/18/2011 8:59:42 PM , Rating: 5
I think people's general feelings for Apple are properly placed. The iPhone was not the first touch screen smart phone - i know shocking. Nor was the iPad the first touch screen tablet - I know I'm speaking blasphemy now for which I'll be stricken to hell for. The reality is that Apple was NOT the first - they just broke into a market full of sucky products and made a well integrated product with fewer flaws. I'll give them credit for a well integrate product, as they should be - but they where not the first so get off you fanboy horse and come down to reality. Reality is that Apple improves existing products, claims to be the first then sues everyone once they catch up. This is a cycle repeated many times over in their history.


RE: So...
By tamalero on 4/18/2011 9:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
correct, Archos had a tablet way before the whole Sheeps of apple flocked to the "ipad".

no idea about the "touch" phone, but that would be the Blackberry series, right?


RE: So...
By augiem on 4/18/2011 9:59:08 PM , Rating: 5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Prada_(KE850)

The LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada,[1] is a touchscreen mobile phone made by LG Electronics. It was first announced on December 12, 2006. (Further down the article) LG Electronics has claimed the iPhone's design was copied from the LG Prada. Woo-Young Kwak, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center, said at a press conference, “We consider that Apple copied the Prada phone after the design was unveiled when it was presented in the iF Design Award and won the prize in September 2006.”[9][10]


RE: So...
By quiksilvr on 4/19/2011 9:19:47 AM , Rating: 3
And five years later, no lawsuit. Why? BECAUSE LG AREN'T ASSHOLES.


RE: So...
By EricMartello on 4/19/2011 1:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
If a company feels that another company is duplicating its intellectual property, then it is bad business NOT to take legal action. LG should have sued Apple if they thought their Prada design was ripped...the reason they didn't is anyone's guess but if they did, they could have been collecting royalties from Apple right now.

Yes, you can copyright a DESIGN, which to many of you would be "style". But that is not the only thing Apple is naming in the lawsuit. They're also claiming that Samsung is infringing on certain Apple patents regarding the device's OS design and functionality.

In this instance I'm inclined to agree with Apple. They're the ones who made these types of products popular, and companies like Samsung are really just trying to throw out a cheaper "copy cat" version. I have a Galaxy S phone which I like, but it is a Windows Phone which is > than iOS and Android. :)


RE: So...
By Denigrate on 4/19/2011 9:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Try the Nokia Tablets, 770, N800, and N810 were all out long before Apple thought about an iPad. Difference is the Nokia's were geek tablets, and us geeks loved them, but the gen pop couldn't be arsed to figure out how to use them.


RE: So...
By robinthakur on 4/19/2011 9:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but did it look like the iPad in any sense? Did the packaging resemble the iPad? Nope. It's not a cooincidence that hardly anybody here bought them, certainly not those making all the noise at the moment.

Looking at, particularly a Galaxy Tab and a Galaxy phone side by side with their Apple equivalents, only geeks and those that follow tech news could tell them apart (apart from the silver samsung logo) even down to the Samsung devices having white cloned Apple shaped cables. Yes their design is *very* clearly inspired heavily by the iPhone 3GS and the iPad, and this should be obvious to anybody with eyes. Whether you want to admit it is a different thing.

I think this is a real shame because it means that Samsung don't have the confidence to actually use their own designers in the way in which they have for their TV lines for example which are industry *leading*. They tried going their own path for phones for a while, but they always manage to look tacky and have shoddy build quality, which follows through to the Galaxy S. Apple clearly are one of, if not the only, tech company that gets decent design and how they can command a premium price for it, so for once in a copyright suit I completed agree with them.


RE: So...
By nafhan on 4/19/2011 1:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
"Apple shaped cables" do you mean a cable with a rectangular connector on each end? Hmmm...


RE: So...
By augiem on 4/18/2011 10:07:30 PM , Rating: 4
Apple's biggest "innovation" in history was the GUI w/ mouse which they stole from Xerox after being shown a fully working demo of Xerox's GUI. On a documentary about Apple I saw, the manager of the GUI team at Xerox said she argued strongly against showing Steve Jobs the prototype and warned the management that you'd be "giving away the house" or something to that effect. We all know what happened.

This is all par for the course with Jobs.


RE: So...
By Shadowmaster625 on 4/19/2011 8:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
yep. And that is the innovation americans are only too happy to reward.


RE: So...
By Fritzr on 4/19/2011 8:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft and Amiga Corporation (later bought by Commodore) also got the idea directly from Xerox.

Apple lost a similar lawsuit claiming theft of their idea for a GUI OS by Microsoft due to this Xerox history.

Atari got the idea after Jack Tramiel left Commodore to join Atari to develop what was known jokingly as the Jackintosh (Atari ST series)

If Apple wins the suit LG will have grounds for a lawsuit claiming Apple's theft of the LG design :P


RE: So...
By tayb on 4/18/11, Rating: -1
RE: So...
By euler007 on 4/19/2011 9:21:14 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The iPhone was the first product built from the ground up for touch. This is a fact.


To this I counter: braille books.


RE: So...
By Denigrate on 4/19/2011 9:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's amazing what iSheeple will believe.


RE: So...
By euler007 on 4/19/2011 9:12:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll give them credit for a well integrate product, as they should be


I mostly give credit to Foxconn to being able to build it to their spec at the insane low price. That's the reason for the real success of the iphone, it would have cost a lot more if built in the USA.

Them slave cities sure are productive.


RE: So...
By omnicronx on 4/19/2011 12:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
Thats ok, Apple just started with Samsungs S5PC110A01, and just altered it.. BAM.. A4..

Seriously people, the story here is not 'OMG YOU CAN't PATENT THAT', or 'OMG THAT IS A BLATANT RIPOFF OF iOS'

The story here is that Apple is suing the very manufacturer that produced pretty much every single iPhone/iPad SOC..

So what is the real motive here? Are you people completely overlooking the fact that this will take years to settle in which UI and hardware design will have drastically changed by then?

Is this a sign of things to come? Seems like a very big gamble to bite the hand that feeds you unless you have dark motives in play ;)


RE: So...
By bah12 on 4/19/2011 9:30:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems like a very big gamble to bite the hand that feeds you unless you have dark motives in play ;)
Seems like a very savvy business move to leverage as a negotiation point for cheaper SoC rates from Samsung to me. You were close but it is not biting the hand that feeds you, rather letting the hand know that you do have teeth if needed.


RE: So...
By Smilin on 4/19/2011 11:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
So does Windows 3.11 but I think you missed his sarcasm.


RE: So...
By seraphim1982 on 4/21/2011 4:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone rips off everyone... just whether you get caught or not. ie.
Apple / MS
Korean Cars / Jap Cars


RE: So...
By rburnham on 4/18/2011 6:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I am copyrighting Blue Steel!


RE: So...
By Joz on 4/18/2011 8:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, it looks like my Style, pay up.

(No, I'm not sorry.)


RE: So...
By cknobman on 4/19/2011 3:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
but can you turn left?


RE: So...
By Digimonkey on 4/18/2011 10:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not surprising at all since they've basically made the point that no one can use an apple for their logo.

http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Sues+Woolsworths+Ov...


RE: So...
By Landiepete on 4/19/2011 2:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Since I own the trademark to the word 'Style' (including plurals, anagrams and variants, in form, meaning, etc and so forth) (unfortunately 'Window' was already taken), I think you owe me a lot of money. I will see you in court.


Apple is really reaching on this one.
By lightfoot on 4/18/2011 5:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
Unless the Samsung device comes preinstalled with all those icons, this simply looks like someone went to a great deal of trouble trying to MAKE the Android device LOOK like the iPhone.

One of the advantages and disadvantages to having a customizable GUI is that you can make it look however you like. Even as lame as the iPhone.

Specifically what is Apple's complaint? That Samsung/Google used a black background?? That the icons are arranged on a 4x5 grid? That the icons have text names below them? That the device is pocket sized and made out of plastic and metal?

The only legitimate complaint that Apple may have is with the four icons at the bottom. Even that is questionable.

If the devices/interfaces are even 10% different, Apple will have a very hard time proving that they were copied.




RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By adiposity on 4/18/2011 5:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless the Samsung device comes preinstalled with all those icons, this simply looks like someone went to a great deal of trouble trying to MAKE the Android device LOOK like the iPhone.


One look at the icons and you can see the icons are not even the same. They are talking about the rounded corners, bevels, ear piece hole, etc...in short the hardware design.

Granted, this is stupid and they should lose. You should not be able to stop someone from making their hardware look like yours. Most hardware in the same category bears resemblances and the iPhone was not 100% unique when it was released.


RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By wielander on 4/18/2011 10:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't really matter what should or shouldn't be the case; if Apple was granted an design patent for the ornamental design of the iPhone and its packaging (very likely), then it is illegal for anyone else to sell hardware that substantially resembles theirs.

I don't think anyone doubts that Samsung tried to make their phones look like Apple's. If Apple has a design patent, the burden will be on Samsung to prove instead that the patent should be invalid because Apple's designs weren't substantially unique from the beginning.

In the end my guess is that Samsung will end up paying Apple an undisclosed amount of money to end the matter (that's all they really want). Even without taking this lawsuit into account Samsung should be further differentiating its devices. Pretty much everyone hates Touchwiz, and there's nothing incredible about Samsungs designs. Making your premier devices look like knock-offs is not a good strategy.


By omnicronx on 4/19/2011 1:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It doesn't really matter what should or shouldn't be the case; if Apple was granted an design patent for the ornamental design of the iPhone and its packaging (very likely), then it is illegal for anyone else to sell hardware that substantially resembles theirs.
Upon last check the courts decide whether or not a patent is valid, not the patent office granting the patents. So it surely DOES matter what 'should or shouldn't be the case'..

Either way, its irrelevant until we know what the actual dispute is about. As of right now this is nothing but speculation.

You don't sue the manufacturer of your SOC's without a darn good reason, so it seems to me we just don't know what is going on here yet.


RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By dubldwn on 4/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: Apple is really reaching on this one.
By lightfoot on 4/18/2011 6:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for the clarification. I was unsure if this was Samsung's doing or Apple trying to make it look even more like a copy. It sounds like someone in Samsung's marketing department thought it would be really clever to preload the phone to make it look like a clone. I'm surprised that their legal department allowed it.

In any case I find it odd that you seem to be saying that Apple should somehow have exclusive rights to using the face of an analog clock as the icon for a clock application. Apple may think that they can copyright a clock icon (they probably also think that they can copyright the term "clock" for a clock app) but that does not make it so.


By Solandri on 4/18/2011 6:54:59 PM , Rating: 3
(Had to cut the links out of this - the site is flagging it as spam. Just google for larger versions of the icons and see for yourself.)

I have a Galaxy S phone and have never used an iPhone. Looking at the pic of the iPhone above (which is small enough that I can't see the icon names), the only icons I can see that are similar are the telephone and clock icons.

The phone handset to symbolize a phone is a universal sign by now.

Same for an analog clock face to represent a clock. The 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions on the Samsung are actually the preferred config for an icon since it's symmetric, and pointing upwards makes it reminiscent of a smile. The clock faces themselves look nothing like each other, aside from being white with black numbers and hands (which incidentally is the color scheme of the analog clock on my wall - did they copy the iPhone too 15 years before the iPhone was released?)

The only other ones I can guess at are the envelope for SMS, and the big '9' which I'm guessing is a calendar.

Looking at a bigger versions... I now see that the envelope is for email on the iPhone, not SMS. Silly me for assuming the envelope which represents SMS on my phone also represents SMS on an iPhone.

The Safari icon looks nothing like the Internet icon.

The calendar icon in the above pic looks like Samsung's calendar icon, but that's not the calendar icon on my Galaxy S. Mine looks like an actual calendar.

The photos icon looks nothing like Samsung's gallery icon.

The camera icon (HAL-like pic of a lens head-on) looks nothing like Samsung's camera icon (pic of a camera).

The Maps icon looks nothing like Samsung's Maps icon.

The calculator icon looks nothing like Samsung's calculator icon.

The notes icon looks nothing like Samsung's Memo icon.

The music icon looks nothing like Samsung's music player icon (which looks like a CD). I suppose you could argue the color is similar.

And the app store icon looks nothing like Google's market icon (briefcase).

I'm not seeing many similarities, other than the black background. The iPhone icons also have the shiny bubble look to them which the Samsung icons lack.


By Stoanhart on 4/18/2011 6:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
They do come with those icons. It's extremely obvious at first glance that the Galaxy S is intended to be an iPhone clone.

My initial reaction to seeing the Galaxy S was "Wow, could this be any more of an iPhone knock off?" It almost prevented me from buying it. However, the product does innovate. Sure, the visual style is copied, but it offers a phenomenal screen, better CPU and GPU, more memory, expandable storage, user-changeable battery, and fantastic audio quality for music. For those reasons I bought the phone, and I absolutely love it. Visually, though, it's absolutely an iPhone clone. I've even had some of the anti-Apple people at school (I'm in comp-sci) mock me for being an iPhone "fanboi" and that I should support the more open Android platform. Boy were their faces read when they realized what phone it was.


By jvillaro on 4/18/2011 7:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about android in this case.
It's that they designed waaay to similar to the iPhone and that Samsung's own UI layer (Touchwiz) looks waaay to similar to iOS's UI


NEWS FLASH!
By Ammohunt on 4/18/2011 5:22:03 PM , Rating: 3
Ford sues Chevy accusing them of automobile copycatting.




RE: NEWS FLASH!
By AssBall on 4/18/2011 5:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
Your Half ton does the same thing as our half ton... WE'LL SUE YOU.


RE: NEWS FLASH!
By omnicronx on 4/19/2011 12:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
Its even more insane then that..

Its more like Mazda suing Ford for body design, even though many of the vehicles house engines that come from the very same plant (i.e made by Ford)..

Samsung is the manufacturer of the A4 and the new A5 used in both of the latest Apple devices, I'm actually quite perplexed as to what is going on here.


samsung / apple
By VitalyTheUnknown on 4/19/2011 6:20:01 AM , Rating: 3
samsung F700 / ipnone

http://i.imgur.com/aLGOQ.jpg




RE: samsung / apple
By Camikazi on 4/19/2011 9:14:56 AM , Rating: 4
Apple does not see the past as you do, nothing they copied existed until they created it, so even though that phone was out first Samsung still copied Apple :P


haha
By Zeock9 on 4/19/2011 3:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung holds far more patents pertaining to wireless/mobile technologies than Apple does, and in fact is the second largest US Patent holder in the world next to IBM.

Does Apple really think they are so slate clean that they will escape unscathed if they start throwing their patent law suits at each other?

And interestingly enough, Nokia has about 50 cases pending against Apple for 'copying' their products.
A copycat blaming another company for being a 'copycat'?
Oh the irony...




RE: haha
By RdBiker on 4/19/2011 9:12:13 AM , Rating: 2
They hope that if they through enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick...


RE: haha
By Denigrate on 4/19/2011 9:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
Nokia is a true innovator, and Apple stole many of their "new ideas" from Nokia's products.


Damn you, Samsung!
By bug77 on 4/18/2011 5:08:33 PM , Rating: 5
They even copied the SuperAMOLED screen, a few years before Apple introduced it! Bastards!




look at history
By tharik on 4/18/2011 5:14:21 PM , Rating: 5
Apple tried to sue Microsoft for making Windows similar to a Mac. How did that go Apple?

Here is a refresher:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._...




Wait
By Einy0 on 4/18/2011 7:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
Doesn't Samsung fab Apple's SoCs?(A4, A5, etc...)I thought they did, if so biting the hand that feeds you, bad move.




RE: Wait
By Zeock9 on 4/19/2011 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
they do,

however Samsung commented that other areas of their business partnership won't be affected by this lawsuit.


wow
By sprockkets on 4/18/2011 7:57:42 PM , Rating: 3
I can see the similarities between the two. If they have a design patent on it, oh well.

No matter. Even if apple is right, the only thing they will get out of it is looking like the whiny bitch Steve Jobs is , suing the world over "IP" he thinks he invented.

Hey Steve, didn't sell enough iphones this winter? Ipad2 sales are so terrible you can't keep enough in stock? Need to squeeze ever last drop of blood in the market?

GTFO.




RE: wow
By marvdmartian on 4/19/2011 9:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, come on......liver transplants cost money! And the clone Steve's having built, so he can have his brain transplanted to the new body? That's costing him BILLIONS, I'm sure!

Samsung should answer this lawsuit with the fact that in no way did they copy the iPhone......since their phone doesn't have any problems with cutting out if you hold it the wrong way! ;)


Good job Samsung.
By smartalco on 4/18/2011 5:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
There is a pretty fine line between copying something and being inspired by something. This is no where that line. I can't believe anyone at Samsung actually thought this blatant rip was a good idea.




I hope Apple wins...
By UNCjigga on 4/18/2011 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung might be forced to release a software update...wait...Samsung releasing a SOFTWARE UPDATE??!?

Anyway, as I was saying, Samsung might be forced to remove TouchWiz and leave us with a stock Android UI. That would be an improvement IMHO.

Not sure how the Nexus S fits into this...




By stm1185 on 4/18/2011 5:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously they are ripping off the style of Icons from whoever first created icons. That person should sue! And the person who invented the grid system! And the person who first created an icon and named it phone!

I find this laughable. Stealing their UI, what UI! Its icons on a grid. I have had icons on a grid for over a decade on my computers.

They both have green phone icons that is the only thing I can see that is really similar of note.But I think they should standardize the phone icon so everyone gets familiar with it and easily recognizes it. Like the Power button, pause button, play button...




Waiting for ...
By vignyan on 4/18/2011 7:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
Pirkins to come and start his BS! ;)




It's true...
By tayb on 4/18/2011 9:29:40 PM , Rating: 1
If you've used the stock Samsung UI on their newer phones the UI is a blatant ripoff of iOS. They don't try to hide this at all.

Whether you can actually copyright a "style" is another debate altogether....




RE: It's true...
By xti on 4/19/2011 9:36:09 AM , Rating: 1
its sickening that the other comments on here refuse to acknowledge this. even the 4 main apps have the background shaded, just one look at it all and you know they look eerily similar.

goes to show everyone hates apple because its too trendy, get out of the basement, blah blah blah.


Make Better Stuff
By The Insolent One on 4/18/2011 10:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
There must be millions of people around the world in the field of high technology, and the only ones that can come up with stuff that's worthy of being copied work for Apple?

It's really a bummer that Apple leads so many people around by the noses.

For the love of God, someone, anyone, innovate and come up with some really cool stuff. Make it look nice and be comfy to hold, with a great battery, and fast. The kind of stuff that makes people emotional about something.

<waiting...>




Yes
By damianrobertjones on 4/19/2011 3:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung turns up with the Samsung Q1 and Q1 Ultra..

Prototype tablets (Yeah, I know, UMPC's)




Suspicious
By valkator on 4/19/2011 4:42:44 PM , Rating: 2
This may sound a little strange but,

What if this lawsuit is just a scam? To me it sounds like a "marketing" lawsuit where each party benefits from this. They get free advertising in the media and Apple practically saying that samsung's product has the same innovations as the iphone. Sounds weird that a business partner decided to replicate certain aspects of the IPHONE and try to pass it off as their own without Apple being in on it in the first place. Maybe if Apple states the galaxy S is just like an iphone, the samsung galaxy sells better and maybe samsung gives them a deal on their products they offer Apple.

I know the theory sounds strange, but boy what a huge coincidence that their BUSINESS PARTNER benefits from the publicity of this lawsuit. I mean these articles are all over the net and some on the news, and we being the consumers are buying this up.

Just wait, if this lawsuit fades to the background eventually and nothing really major happens and the sales for the galaxy go way up, then this theory isn't too far fetched.




Shameless
By iluvdeal on 4/19/2011 1:21:59 AM , Rating: 1
Cloning their inner hardware design and interface too? That's pretty shameless of Samsung. I expect this sort of thing out of no-name Chinese electronic companies selling, it's pretty disappointing to hear a major electronics company like Samsung can't even design a unique interface.

Apple contracts with Samsung for the chips that are the brains of devices so they are pretty screwed here, I don't think they have any choice but to deal with a company that is aping their products.




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