Print 63 comment(s) - last by seraphim1982.. on Apr 21 at 4:44 PM

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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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.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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