Patently

For me, the patent wars, in which so many major brands are currently embroiled are fascinating because of the underlying biases they expose. Read any story about XYZ Corp winning a legal battle and scroll down to the comments and you’ll find acres of diatribe about just how immoral it is for XYZ Corp to take such a matter to court, as if they were suing the council for an uneven pavement.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Apple in the world. And it’s certainly easy to see their business practices as aggressive at times. But how can anyone keep a straight face and defend Samsung as having not copied the iPhone, either in principle or by debating the intention to copy.

Just after the Apple IPhone 3, Samsung released the Galaxy Ace Plus:

And then, when the IPhone 4 came out, they released the Galaxy S2

Incidentally, here are the USB plug adapters in the US:

Perhaps it is a cultural thing. Perhaps all property is theft. Perhaps it was a homage. These may be valid points but to claim that there was not  a causal effect between one and the other is to treat your audience as plain daft.

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Comments

  1. The thing is that there are a lot of different cases going on all lumped in together as patent wars but all are actually very different in very complicated technical ways. For example the famous case Apple lost to Samsung in the UK, wasn’t actually about a patent but rather a registered design. The judge said the design wasn’t infringed for a number of reasons such as that the Apple iPad design is understated and doesn’t include a front logo while the Samsung design includes theirs across the front of the device. The case wasn’t to decide whether Samsung had copied the design or been influenced by it but rather had it infringed a specific registered design in very specific ways.

    • Totally agree Colm. I’ve actually been doing a reasonable amount of looking at specific patents and the like recently, and – like many others – am often surprised by what can and can’t be patented.

      Perhaps the law does not even aim to restrict borrowing of the sort shown above. But I still would find it hard to believe that the Samsung designs so closely resemble Apple’s by pure chance. Or to put it another way, whatever the realities of the infringement case, can anyone seriously question what the intent was in the design studio?

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