Apple’s patent and trademark lawsuit against Samsung yesterday seemed like another chapter in the smartphone battle: everybody seems to be suing everybody else, trying to slow down competitors or extract licensing fees.
Photo: Nilay Patel, This Is My Next
But as former Engadget editor Nilay Patel points out today, some of the similarities between Samsung’s Galaxy line and Apple’s iPhone and iPad are so obvious, you’d have to be blind not to see them.
Check out this lineup of icons from Apple (left) and Samsung (right).
Did Samsung really have to use a white phone icon on a green background at exactly the same angle as Apple has been doing since 2007? Why did Samsung choose a sunflower — of all things — as its background for the photo icon?
It looks like a blatant lack of imagination at the very least. Apple is calling it trademark infringement.
Apple is also accusing Samsung of other “trade dress” infringements, such as using a box that looks almost identical to the iPhone’s (rectangular box, silver lettering, large front-view picture of the product) and four rounded corners.
Taken alone, any one of these claims might seem like a stretch, but when you read them all, Apple seems to have a legitimate gripe: Samsung appears to have made the Galaxy line look as similar to the iPhone and iPad as possible. Apple argues that those similarities confuse customers.
Patel points out that Apple has a history of success in trade dress claims — it sued a couple of companies in 2000 because they made computers that looked like the iMac, and eventually was able to shut them down.
Now, don’t miss: Samsung Has Been Copying Everyone Forever, Not Just Apple.