back to article Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel

Apple has sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iOS look-and-feel in its line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. "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 …


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  1. zenkaon
    Jobs Horns

    They're completely different

    Samsung has put the time all the way over on the right hand side.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    These people need to get a fucking grip.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      But if they do that,

      then they can't make calls!

      1. Big-nosed Pengie


        You owe me one.

      2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


        Best post.

        But seriously, Just when you think Apple can't get any lamer....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hear

      there's an app for that.

  3. Eddy Ito

    Nothing but reruns... again

    Dueling handba... er, trashcans at dawn! Hey, at least it's fun to watch.

  4. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Prior Art:

    I have an antique doodad that slices the corners off innocent pieces of paper, giving a smooth rounded edge.

    I used it to round one corner of my business cards, making them not only cool, but 25% safer.

  5. HP Cynic


    I remember when Apple announced they had 40 Billion Dollars laying about and Jobs refused to issue a dividend, instead "saving it for something nice".

    It seems "something nice" is having the endless money to file stupid lawsuits.

  6. Andy 129

    They used to say

    If you can't beat them, join them, now it's if you can't beat them, sue them.

  7. Camilla Smythe

    Oooooooops Bugger

    Better strip all those..

    type TShapeType = (stRectangle, stSquare, stRoundRect, stRoundSquare, stEllipse, stCircle)

    enum TShapeType { stRectangle, stSquare, stRoundRect, stRoundSquare, stEllipse, stCircle };

    references to 'round' things out of programming languages and recompile Planet Earth before the Sue Fest moves to the next level.

    Watch out AutoDesk and other vendors of MechCAD software. Did you not know that you were only supposed to supply the arc/bevel function to Apple?

    Next up Ford Sues Toyota + Dog for putting engines in cars and fitting round wheels.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      recompile Planet Earth

      What's that you say? Planet Earth is not square, but has rounded bits? Don't tell Jobs, god only knows what he'd do!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't tell Jobs, god only knows what he'd do!

        Steve Jobs *is* god. Ask any Apple fanboi.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          So that'why they call it the Jezus phone.. or was it the Judas-phone?

      2. amehaye

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        Now I understand Minecraft.

  8. ratfox

    What's their point?

    I thought that you needed to claim that a patent or something was infringed in order to sue...

    I mean yeah, they do look very much the same, and the iThingies were inspiration but I am not sure that is illegal in any way... (and it is not clear to me that the design had never been used before)

    I take it that aiming at a semi-friendly furnisher is a preparation for the big target starting with G.

    1. LaeMing

      Their point

      is a distinct lack of points all roune, me thunks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        All the points have been rounded off for legal reasons.

    2. Tom 13

      That was before someone invented the "look and feel"

      copyright out of whole cloth. It is making it impossible to implement obvious simple solutions to programming problems. Well, in the US at least, which is where the lawsuit is being filed. Things might be better in Ol' Blighty, but from comments I've read here, it's probably not by much.

  9. Arctic fox


    This means in practice that Cupertino have decided to sue *everybody*, merely starting with Samsung in the formal sense. The implications of the way they have framed their claim appear to be so widely drawn that they appear to be (in practice) demanding that everybody else get out of the smartphone business. They have had the lead in this market for the last 3 - 4 years or so but that (as was inevitable in a market growing at such a rate) lead has slipped. One simple question can be posed. Why now? Why did they not fire off a writ the moment that they saw the launch of the Galaxy S - if it was such a clear violation of their IP? Apple have apparently decided to declare war on the rest of the smartphone market - not the smartest move one could imagine. The company appears to have decided that vexatious litigation rather than impressive innovation is the way forward from now on.

  10. Robert Heffernan
    Jobs Horns

    Apple Fail.

    "Expect a settlement of this lawsuit, perhaps with a few interface tweaks and possibly some licensing cash flowing from Seoul to Cupertino."

    If that happens, I am dumping Samsung as my personal supplier of phone and tablet devices.

    It's also beyond a joke that apple is taking issue with the rounded corners of the phone itself. Rounded corners on a product such as a phone is almost a requirement, due to the (admittedly small) chance of the damage that could be caused to the device, or even to the user, a child, small animal, etc of being hit with the sharp corner when the device is dropped.

    Where the hell is the anti-trust case against Apple!

    1. yakitoo
      Jobs Horns

      Just think of the maids

      when its thrown by the Stretham Clothes Horse

    2. Manu T

      I think Apple is right. The SGS looks a lot like an iPhone 3G(s).

      Just look at the top 2 images.

      Let's be honest the Galaxy is an exact rip-off of iPhone.

      The placing o/t hard button. The screen with the similar looking icons, the dark gray bottom bar with 4 buttons. Every reviewer said so in their review that the Galaxy looked remarkable like an iPhone.

      Techradar January: "...the chassis looks decidedly similar too," "Hij ziet er misschien uit als een iPhone-clone, maar daar eindigen de gelijkenissen." (translated as "he maybe looks like an iPhone Clone but that's where the similarities end")

      trustedreviews: "Obviously there's the general feeling of homage to the iPhone,"- notice the word "obviously"?

      And the list goes on...

      As if Samsung is just defied Apple. Makes me wonder how many ppl actually bought one thinking it was a (cheaper) iPhone clone.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think Apple is right. The SGS looks a lot like an iPhone 3G(s).

        "Let's be honest the Galaxy is an exact rip-off of iPhone."

        Then the iPhone is a rip-off of my vintage Sony Ericsson if all you can do is gape at a grid of icons or a commonplace shape and think someone should have a monopoly on it.

        Samsung should cultivate their other customer relationships and leave Apple to struggle making their own chipsets, especially since a bunch of the semiconductor people Apple "acquired" have since jumped ship.

      2. dssf


        Look again. The face buttons are different. iPhone has buttons in different places.

        The body feel is different.

        I think I'll buy a Galaxy Tab II just to spite Apple...

  11. J 3
    Jobs Horns


    Hasn't Apple already lost the "look and feel" lawsuit... in the 90s or so?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Er...

      Apple didn't lose their "look and feel" lawsuit. They settled, in return for a large cash injection and a guarantee that Office would continue to be available for the Mac.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        They did lose

        It was pointed out that Xerox's work was prior art and the case was pretty much laughed out of court. The MS Office deal was when Apple were close to bankruptcy and MS needed an excuse that they didn't have a monopoly.

        Look and feel might apply to luxury items like clothing and jewellery but consumer electronics? Or is Apple getting out of the market and preparing to be in luxury goods only? I can't see this case going very far as it would set a horrible precedent.

  12. Dave 124

    I guess I have to return my HP 45?

    Someone might want to show the idiots at Apple an HP45, yes, rounded corners have been around for quite a while. Next thing Apple will sue over is a phone with a battery, a case that doesn't have wires hanging out or using a screen with color. Apple - what looser's!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      over the top lawyers?

      Blimey - a company who's lawyers are going over the top in trying to protect their IP and market position. Who would have thought it possible?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news...

    Boeing has announced that it is suing Airbus for its look and feel of it's planes pointing out how similar they look, two wings, rounded cockpit at the front and a tail at the back.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Round Windows?

        Play School claims prior art.

  14. mafoo

    They didn't sue when this happened

    Samsung shipped a phone with apple's actual artwork on as its own for the GUI. Many lolz were had.

  15. kedaly
    Thumb Down

    Apple needs to grow up!

    iThingees are not the only innovative products.. Maybe nokia should sue apple for front facing cameras. I'm sure they're not the first touch screen device as well.

    Hopefully Google will win the bid for nortels patent portfolio and end this silliness for once and all.

    From my Samsung galaxy s

  16. NorthernSands

    18 days late

    I think you'll find you're 18 days late with this news item.

    Or at least I hope you are! This is one of the most ridiculous law suits I've heard of in a while (since some daft bint in the US sued an RV company). How far will they go with this stupidity? Do they specify the exact radius limits that they will sue over?

    I never thought I'd worry about Apple's smartphone / tablet market-share in the face of the opposition, not for a good few years anyway, but if they honestly believe this is how they are going to beat the competition, rather than simply having a great / better product, then perhaps we should all be worried.

    Yes, the Iphone4 and the Galaxy phone do share a resemblance, but if I had any sort of Apple product I would be hanging my head in shame. And if Samsung capitulate, being an owner of some of their products, I will hang my head in shame.

    1. Jason Hall

      Don't feel sad


      It's what lawyers do to earn their pay. There's nothing actually wrong with this once you understand every company would shut-down all their competition if they possibly could.

      If Apple's/Samsung's/Whoever lawyers weren't doing stupid things like this their shareholders would be going crazy looking for different lawyers who would.

      Now to ethical/rational people like you and me - this is obviously silly. But when was the business world ever 'ethical'?

      1. BorkedAgain

        Still makes me feel sad.

        Y'see, I know that these are rational business decisions made by hard-nosed people in suits that probably cost more than my car, but the emergent phenomena look an awful like petulant three-year-olds scrapping over a favourite stuffed toy in the nursery playground.

        Good grief, if an infant can get their head around the concept of sharing, why can't a corporation? And the thing is, almost every item of consumer electronics has rouded corners now, and this has been true since way before the iWhatever came out. It simply makes sense with anything that's going into a pocket or being held in a hand. And a touchscreen UI will end up looking similar as well. it's convergent evolution; it's also why the silhouette of a penguin (bird), dolphin (mammal) and shark (fish) all look similar.

        If I were the judge, I'd sentence the senior execs of BOTH sides to enforced sessions with Barney and Big Bird until they learned to play nice... No parole. Cruel and unusual, perhaps, but justified.

        1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


          "Good grief, if an infant can get their head around the concept of sharing, why can't a corporation? "

          Ah now that would be the fucking huge piles of spondoolics that can be made by all and sundry if this pointless shite actually manages to get to court and through a full hearing!

  17. Arthur Kater

    Copy or Creativity

    I don't like Apple Inc.

    They always played the poor underdog until they became a mean beast themselves. They became rich and powerfull with the help of all the app developers... and now screw them big.

    That said... In the case of the IPhone design vs the Samsung Galaxy S I believe Samsung did a poor job and merely copied the IPhone design instead of being creative themselves. When I first saw the Galaxy S I first thought of it as a IPhone clone.

    The IPad vs the Galaxy tablet however I see much less infringements (but still very little creativity from Samsung)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      How much scope is there to differentiate

      a touch screen device that you hold in your hand, control with your finger and carry in your pocket, without compromising the basic physical requirements? Do we expect paperback books to look different depending on the publisher? Is Apple trying to claim that icons with rounded corners are its own innovation?

  18. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Probable Judgement?

    "It's not that big of a deal".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    It is somewhat like one band suing another because they used a 12 bar blues progression.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Right well that's whatever is left of Status Quo's career fucked then!

      I'm sure the estates of such names as Mr M. Waters and Mr Howling-Wolf should get down the solicitors office first thing if they fancy an easy win!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    bring out your freetards!

    Any excuse not to spend money on your own r&d. We all know they are engineering geeks who would be out of place in an art course, psych, law or just about anything really.

    Look at the sorry state of ugly linux fonts and icons for all that time before they found starving artists drunk on cheap Chillean wine to do some finger painting for them.

    Paris cus she gets sum mo than your average freetard!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: bring out your freetards!

      "Any excuse not to spend money on your own r&d."

      Well, I think Samsung should give Apple the opportunity to do without Samsung's extensive R&D *and* manufacturing contributions to the iGadgets. A few quarters later and they (along with buffoons like yourself) would be considerably less smug.

  21. Lars Silver badge
    Jobs Halo

    I think

    Jobs is in desperate need of a brain transplant bye now.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Tom 13

        Despite the downvotes for Oliver, I think he nailed it.

        It's not so much Jobs looking for the brain transplant as Apple. The last time he left, they almost did too. His next exit looks to be a bit more permanent, even if he stays amongst the living. When corporations lose their ability to innovate, they turn to their lawyers instead. Apple haven't shown much ability to innovate without at least one of Jobs or Woz.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: I think

      I believe that St Steve of Cupertino is on medical leave right now.

      Actually, weren't the last round of "look 'n feel" lawsuits from Apple fired off when they were jobsless? Do they really not have *anyone* else in that company who can find their own arse without using Google Streetview?

      Next week: Next iPhone to ship with 2.1 speaker system, badged as the "New Tone"....

  22. Mr Floppy

    fight the fight

    Samsung should just pull the plug on the chip supply unless they've signed up to supply the chips for a long time.

    Samgsung could have designed a different interface but once again, like Asus, a hardware manufacturer takes the easy way out. A widget or two on the home screen and there's something you wont find on iOS.

    Given the ties between the two though, it does sound a bit suspicious to me. It does sound like some sneaky way to open a revenue stream and securing of IP rights. Smells like cartel behaviour to me

  23. Sean Baggaley 1

    Corporate lawyers...

    ... are a law unto themselves. And they rarely bother with minor details like facts, either.

    Apple's are no different. You'll be hard-pressed to find *any* major multinational corporation that isn't flinging lawsuits at others for the sheer joy of giving their tame legal eagles something to do of a dull Monday morning.

    1. Ian Yates

      On the plus side

      it's all MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) - or a "Patent Gap" in Peter Sellers talk.

      They'll all fight it out and then agree to stop suing each other because of the sheer size of the suits flying around, and a few years later it'll all start again.

      The patent system is so opaque that they don't even know if they hold valid patents and most companies aren't really interested in being proven wrong. It's the legal equivalent of slapping your dick in someone's face.

      (Where's our evil lawyer icon? No need for the good one)

  24. Big-nosed Pengie

    I'm going to patent...

    ...that metal use to

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: metal deenie

      metal dealy.

  25. Tony Paulazzo


    Needs to be bitchslapped. Jobs needs to retire. They need to add Flash and microSD capabilities to the iPad and that's not going to happen while he's still there. I mean, Gates left, you don't see him rushing back to dig Ballmer out of the shit pit he's digging.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One would argue...

      that Samsung need to be more subtle when it comes to ripping others ideas off! It's pretty hard to deny that the Galaxy S is a rip off of the 3G/s...

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      "rushing back to dig Ballmer out of the shit pit he's digging"

      If you give me just one sensible reason why anyone in a right mind would even wish to consider that a worthwhile use of their time, I'll eat my PC!

  26. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Cash flow

    "Expect a settlement of this lawsuit, perhaps with a few interface tweaks and possibly some licensing cash flowing from Seoul to Cupertino."

    And then flowing back in the form of the price of the A4 and A5 chips... Still, it keeps the lawyers in beer and fags * and that's the main thing.

    * 'cigarettes' before anyone sues me.

  27. Gian


    I found too the galaxy body too much an imitation of the iphone 3, worse so of an outdated model, that's why I didnt consider it. And gave more prestige of the apple brand.

    But also I found the ip4 an imitation of my REALLY OUTDATED eten x500+, and so on...

    IP = intellectual property legislation should strongly limited in scope and time; patents should be issued only on outstanding inventive steps

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      That's uncanny

      but as well, I think that HP ought to look at Palm's IP that they obtained with the buyout. There's several devices in the portfolio featuring touch screens, curved corners, rectangular grids of icons (on rectangular backgrounds), hard keys at the bottom etc.

      Palm were never so keen on the shiny chrome, preferring the brushed metal look, however.

  28. ShaggyDoggy


    Apple and good design used in the same sentence .... have you forgotten Antennagate already ?

  29. Danny 5
    Thumb Down

    smart move

    now that it's become clear Apple's going to lose out to Android/Samsung pretty soon, this is the new approach? too bad i can't hate apple more then i do now, i'll go and flame them even more now though, bloody hell what a messed up company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      As much as i dislike apple, its works, and its rulers, I dont think there going to lose out to Android any time soon.

      They may lose part of the hardcore geek market, but i doubt they would even notice.

      Sad but true.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: smart move

      "now that it's become clear Apple's going to lose out to Android/Samsung pretty soon, this is the new approach?"

      You're a bit off base. Although Apple's share of the smartphone handset market, isn't likely to rise - e.g. increase by 2% in the next four years, it'll be flogging 400% more phones. However, Apple isn't trying to dominate the smartphone market in terms of handsets shifted. If you look at the smartphone industry's figures for last year, 29% of total revenue went to Apple - although Nokia may be the market leader and had over twice the market share, it only had 20% of the industry revenue. In one quarter last year, half the profits of the entire smartphone industry was Apple's.

      That's what Apple is doing - taking a smaller section of the market, but an extremely profitable one.

      Although Android will be the main platform for smartphones, there will be loads of manufactuers trying to take a slice of the pie - but it'll be Google and Apple that have the biggest profits.

  30. Mad as a Bat

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Anyone remember the Apple Lisa? You know the one with the GUI that was lifted from the Alto developed by Xerox PARC.

    1. John I'm only dancing


      Xerox didn't want it, virtually gave it to Apple, along with the mouse.

    2. RichyS


      By lifted, do you mean sold? This myth that Apple stole the GUI from Xerox is tiresome...

      Xerox were given preferential shares in Apple (100k shares for $1M -- within a year they were worth nearly $18M after share splits and Apple's IPO -- god knows what they'd be worth these days after several more splits).

      So, Xerox did okay out of the deal. PARC were great inventors, but poor innovators. Pretty much all their good ideas were made successful in the market by someone else.

      Finally, MS won the "look'n'feel" case because of a clause in the contract giving MS access to MacOS during development of Excel (which came out first on the Mac, not Windows). Basically the idiot management at Apple at the time gave away rights to the look and feel. Nothing to do with prior art.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    ...but I had rounded corners on my icons on my old Atari. Apple you owe me billions!

    PS Turing's estate also wants his fee's for his work you ripped off.

  32. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I was going to get an iPad

    But Apple says the Galaxy Tab is just as good!

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Free publicity?

      Certainly is if you look at it like that. That's Apple's big problem and worry - how to keep selling expensive shiny shiny when the cheap stuff looks as good and works as well. The rise of the Androids in the hands of plebs is difficult to ignore and the walled garden approach will just piss more and more people off.

  33. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    shouldn't the inventor of the brick

    be suing everybody for using remotely brick-shaped objects (even if they are flatter)? Let people do their own innovation and not just copy the shape.

    All your oblongs are belong to us!!

    Grenade, because it is a different shape

  34. Nic 3
    Thumb Up

    They have a point this time

    I am not generally in favour of patent battles like this but come on! Samsung were taking the piss a little here. For those of your bitching about the rounded corners, I don't think the whole case is based on that, more a some of parts. The device and interface look comedically similar and for once I think Apple have a right to take action.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Considering the nature of these devices.

      How different do you expect them to look?

      Unless you are deliberately trying to make them look unusual and therefore less popular with consumers then these are the only logical designs.

      1. RichyS
        Thumb Down

        @Norfolk 'n' Goode

        Well, before the iPhone, none of the smartphones looked much like an iPhone. Now most of them do. Some (cough, Samsung, cough) more than others.

    2. dssf

      Samsung could easily say it is copying its own SyncMaster 206BW

      As for the Galaxy S vs iPhone 3GS...

      Concave-backed iPhone 3GS vs convex-backed Galaxy S...

      Rounded corners are an engineering and manufacturing STAPLE. Anyone who makes delicate stress-subjected or drop-prone produces and does so with square corners/edges deserves to suffer massive product returns. Even on ships, brackets, angles, and cutouts are not done square nor with sharp angles, this being because multi-axial stresses will shatter, snap, tear, or otherwise cause the part to fail. Even wallets have roundness of flxible softness to get them into and out of pockets.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    HP should take action against apple

    The iPad design is clearly a rip of off the TC1xxx tables that were released around 2003... Rounded edges, thin it is pretty blatent!

  36. Keith Crooks

    Not just the icons

    It's not just the rounded corners of the icons it's also their positioning (4x4 grid with 4 in a bar at the bottom) in addition to the similar design of the hardware as well. While it is a bit of a pointless lawsuit, you can't deny that the side-by-side picture of the two phones in the article is a spot-the-difference job.

    I'd be interested to see the reaction if it was the other way around and it was Apple copying Samsung.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Firstly, I have a Nexus S (apparently included in this law suit). 4x4 yes, but 3 at the bottom (+2 small prev/next 'dot' icons). Secondly, this is only true if you don't have any widgets (which, by default, one usually does - and that breaks this layout completely - not possible on an iphone).

      Next, there's no rounded corners (unless the original icon developer made it that way - a couple of the standard apps have this shape, but most do not!)

      Lastly, if it's the 4x4 grid of icons that is troubling Apple, then perhaps Nokia should get involved and sue them, as my old Nokia (older than the original iPhone!!!) also had a 4x4 grid of icons on the menu screen!

      I don't think there's anything truly innovative here on any device - it's all been done before in varying different combinations. Most of Apple's patent say things like "It does xyz ON A PHONE!", meaning it's all been done on another device at some point. Not truly innovative, but not wrong - it works! Just unnecessary to sue everyone else all the time just because they're bored and have pots of cash or whatever.

  37. Gareth 18

    If I were Samsung

    I would say. "Fair enough. Sue us. Just don't expect us to supply you with any iPad screens any time soon."

  38. Anonymous Coward

    How tough would it have been...

    ...for Samsung to have injected a little creativity into its phone design instead of parroting that of the iPhone, really? Apple majors on image and to have that image mimicked so faithfully by a competitor is pretty stupid of the copyist. If any of you people out there had designed and manufactured a gadget of some kind, you'd be pretty pissed when the guy next door simply took your creative work and stuck his own badge on your design. If you say you'd be ok with it, you're either lying or you're simply fooling yourselves.

    Arguments about both phones having rounded corners and other features common to any tech product are disingenuous at best; Samsung seem to have set out to copy Apple's design work and achieve commercial success through little effort of their own.

    For the record, no, I don't have an iPhone or an iPad and I could hardly care less about both items, but this perpetual anti-Apple schtick is juvenile and ignores the importance of product identity and marketing.

    However, I wonder if Apple at any point had a little word in Samsung's ear and asked them nicely to stop copying Cupertino's ideas. If so, did Samsung think they could continue to do so without Apple speed-dialling its lawyers?

    1. Francis Boyle

      Look, it's a rip-off

      But that's not and has never been the point.

      Generally a creative person, an artist or designer or novelist or whatever, tries to be creative. That's what adds value and wins awards. Generally, however, they fail. As a consequence they fail in the marketplace. We don't however punish then with the threat of an IP lawsuit. If we did, then for example, Tolkien's estate would be rolling in the proceeds of lawsuits against about 90% of 20th Century fantasy authors.

      Of course, in this case, Samsung hasn't tried to be creative, or rather they have deliberately decided not to be. For that the market should punish them. (Hell, I'd be embarrassed enough to be seen to be a fanboi, but a fake fanboi?) If this lawsuit succeeded it would set a disastrous precedent. Which is why it won't. Originality is simple the price we pay for originality and even the law knows it.

  39. Wibble

    It's hard to tell them apart

    To be honest it's hard to tell them apart, such is the similarity of the look & feel. It's hardly surprising that Apple are getting upset.

    At least Microsoft didn't copy Apple with their nascent phone OS (still won't make it sell though:-)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Really hard

      If it's hard for you to tell your iFad/iPhone apart from Samsung's products then I suggest you make enquiries as to which of your friends has written "SAMSUNG" on the front of your device.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge


        you might ask yourself why you paid twice as much for the classy logo on the back.

        Cut the phones open and line the components up next to each other and compare. Then try and reassemble the shiny shiny without the CPU and memory chips.

      2. Wibble

        I'd rather the original

        So you buy supermarket own-brand baked beans rather than the real thing?

        I have had my iPhone for yonks longer than the Samsung copy. I couldn't give a toss what other people think; I like my iPhone and have done ever since I bought the iPhone 1.

        It's completely reasonable to see Apple going after a company that, to be honest, seems to be copying Apple's ideas. At first glance the iPhone and iPad have been copied. When you see an iPad-like slab in the likes of PC World, they look remarkably like the real thing.

        Hardly surprising that Apple are trying to protect their differentiation. I'm all for it as I don't want every pleb to have a rip-off copy of my exclusive fondle phones or slabs. I paid good money for that exclusivity.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Oh no

    I think I'm going to hide in the under stairs cupboard and put my fingers in my ears and wait for it all to be over, everything will be OK, it'll be fine, nothing bad ever happens, you'll see, you will see... 3, 2, 1 .... *here come the salvoes of ignorance and painfully bad argument from both sides*

  41. EddieD

    Back in the '70s

    I had the one on the left - rounded corners on the device, square icons (okay, buttons) with rounded corners...

    When are Apple going to invent a time machine so that they can sue Casio for pre-emptive copyright violation.

    All the best

  42. Richard Scratcher

    Typical Samsung

    They copied my microwave oven too. Illuminated oven cavity with rotating turntable, glass panel door hinged down the left, clock/timer display in the upper right and control knob below it. B@st@rds!

    1. dssf

      If you feel that way about microwaves, then go look at Samsung fridges

      on a showroom floor. Just go to Best Buy or other places. Samsung's fridges with bottom freezers and double-door tops are breathtakingly neater and more functional than the GE and other brands. Even if Samsung copied them, it went farther. I looked at maybe 10 models from 4 or 5 makers (Samsung and non-Samsung) and spent maybe 30 minutes going back and forth.

      Samsung clearly knows how to modify and improve on things. From hinges to door flaps, to the door dispensers, to moveable/resizable shelves.

  43. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Seriously, though...

    who HASN'T picked up a Galaxy S and thought "this looks about as close to an iPhone you can get without being a counterfeit"? If you've got one, just show it to a non-techie friend and ask "What does this look like?"

    I have to side with Apple on this one. Samsung's phone lifts major parts of its outside enclosure and its software menu system from Apple, for no other reason than to look like an iPhone. HTC managed to make a great phone with Android without looking like Apple or Nokia or anyone else.

    And can we give the whole rounded rectangle thing a break, please? I try not to use them anymore - partly because it's become such a cliche (thanks to Apple and the Web2.0 sites), but mainly because superellipses look so much better on modern high-res displays...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously, though...

      "If you've got one, just show it to a non-techie friend and ask "What does this look like?""

      "It looks like a phone, dufus!"

      (The joke is the sentiment that "Ooh, it looks like something else - give monetary damages, Mr Judge!")

  44. El Zorro

    Sounds like a good lawsuit opportunity for HP

    I loved my TC1100 - 8 years old, and not a sharp/pointy corner in sight

  45. EyeCU
    Jobs Horns

    And here go the Apple apologists

    Maybe you lot should take a peek outside the walled garden from time to time and you might see that Apple did not invent everything, did not design everything and pretty much everything they have ever done has been lifted or 'inspired' by work that has already been done elsewhere in the tech industry.

    They did not invent rounded corners on either hardware or icons. They did not have a brilliant designer who saw a square and decided to stretch it into an oblong. They certainly did not invent anything at all to do with mobile telecommunications - they let others do all the research and hard work and are now trying to steal it by setting lawyers onto everybody. Maybe if they spent much less money on lawyers, a bit less money on designers (let's face it, they think they have reached the pinnacle of design which is why every Apple product of the last few years looks almost identical to the previous generation) then they would have much more to spend on R&D and they might actually come up with something interesting of their own.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You What?!

      The vast majority of the posts here are having a go at Apple!. Christ on a bike, it's one thing not reading the article, but you take the biscuit not reading the comments too!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardly news

    Does Samsung have any product which they didn't copy off someone else?

    Copy off any successful design, sell cheaper (while exploiting their staff, if not the whole population of South Korea - look up chaebol on Wikipedia - to the bitter ends)

    That's the Samsung spirit.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was speaking to a patent lawyer last year. What a very boring man he was, but one thing he said stuck in my mind. He told me that when a company starts firing out lawsuits left right and centre then you can be pretty sure that they know they have no fresh ideas.

    It seems these days Apple are suing somebody new every week.

  48. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Yes, they'd lost before they began...

      In 1984, Apple signed a co-development agreement with Microsoft which foolishly granted MS the right to copy the Apple look and feel in MS's applications. This was necessary for the new Mac Word and Excel products to "fit in" as Mac applications, but the agreement didn't restrict this permission to Mac application software, and in effect gave MS permission to copy large chunks of the Apple UI in Windows. Apple disagreed, but the court sided with MS.

      What the earlier poster is referring to is probably the case later, in the mid-1990s, where MS ripped off large chunks of Apple's QuickTime to make Windows Media. Unfortunately, they also managed to copy an obscure bug in one of the QT video codecs, one that was eventually traced to a typo in the QuickTime sourcecode, making the chances of honest reproduction in Windows Media infinitesimally small. Apple, having MS by the balls this time, demanded a large cash settlement and continued development of MS Office on Mac, which they got (Microsoft taking a non-voting shareholding in Apple as part of the deal).

  49. RichyS

    Negotiating device

    Apple spend nearly $8BN a year on Samsung parts and manufacturing. What's the betting that negotiations to reduce this weren't going to well. I think this lawsuit is just another negotiating tool... "knock 10% off what we already pay, and we'll make the lawsuit go away" sort of thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not sure it's a negotiating device or if Samsung has made heavier contract demands for the newer parts, but the reality is that Apple-Samsung relations had been deteriorating for some time.

      Rumours abound that the A5 processor will at some point switch foundries, and even now Apple has started to use DRAM from Elpida inside the A5 capsule (which is still manufactured by Samsung)

      But yes given the complex arrangements between the two parties I'm pretty sure this is much more than a simple look-and-feel lawsuit.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Two things

    1. Get rid of the insane software patents.

    2. Get rid of lawyers.

    In order of priority, its a close call.....

    1. Anonymous Coward


      It's not a close call. Clearly you need to make the lawyers shred the software patents and then dispose of the lawyers. Can't very well make them clean up their own mess if you get rid of them before hand.

    2. Wibble

      And copyright?

      So, taking this to it's logical conclusion, you can simply rip off any software design you like?

      Software patents are abhorrent, that there's little doubt. But copyright is another issue altogether. WTF should an organisation put a huge effort and expense into building a new UI just to have it copied almost exactly by everyone else?

  51. Anonymous Coward

    No I'm not putting in a title so there!

    I looked at the iPhony and the iPhone and plumped for the Galaxy S. The difference? Well the man wanted actual cash for the Apple one but I liked the bigger display on the S -plus overall it was a way better deal. Love the phone, it's the canine danglies.

    That and the open source approach cos I already shovel enough cash to itunes, time someone else got some of my money.

    Seen the Kies programme? You use it to control your Galaxy S iphony.

    Kinda reminds me of summat else........

  52. Alan Bourke
    Thumb Down

    Funny how it wasn't a problem ...

    .... before Droid started overtaking.

  53. Gobhicks

    It's Like This, M'Lud...

    ... rounded corners and uniform arrays provide stress distribution that reduces icon-fatigue, which can otherwise lead to catastrophic GUI failure. This is an old and obvious solution to which the Plaintiff can claim no exclusive rights. The defence rests.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    The bevel is in the detail

    Cupertinans: is there not prior art? I believe we first had rounded corners when Man discovered sandpaper and wood planes.

  55. twunt


    The great thing about KIES, is that its so awful that it makes iTunes look amazing.

    Not only is it a huge 300 meg + download, its slow, fails to recognise the phone, and fails whenever you try to update.

    I owned a 3GS and a Galaxy S - they're so similar that most people didn't notice I'd switched. But for me the Galaxy S has too many flaws - KIES is by far the worst of them, but the terrible Samsung UI and the ridiculous LAG made me get rid of.

    Now a happy HTC Desire owner, in my opinion better than EITHER the iphone or the Galaxy.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Kies 2 is a lot better

      Kies 1 was a total pig: slow, buggy and lacking features. Kies 2 is a very different beast and, as far as phone management software goes, pretty good. There is even a version with a subset of features for Mac OS. Kudos to Samsung for dumping an exercise in XPS based frustration for something better.

      Anyway, glad you're happy with your HTC Desire: choice is good.

  56. Sarah Davis
    Jobs Horns


    why are Apple such a whiny bunch of merchants. They make under-specced over-priced stuff that doesn't always work. Of course someones going to make it better and cheaper.

    APPLE !... NO !.... You whiny bunch of merchants !

  57. g e

    In other news

    Apple has patented Round Corners On Things

    Expect everything from baby toys upwards to be hauled into court.

    I hear the first defendant called is The Moon.

    StupidFuckingTossers (tm)

  58. ratfox

    Infringement of 6 trademarked icons!!

    Example: FLOWER ICON[SN%2CRN]

    "The color(s) yellow, blue, green, brown, black, gray and white is/are claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of a gray, white, and blue rectangle with rounded corners depicting a stylized flower in the colors green, yellow, brown, black, white and gray."

    You mean lawyers get paid to do this??

    1. BorkedAgain

      It seems so...

      ...and, depressingly enough, probably more than you or I, friend.

      Oh, and I reskon this was a finer example:

      You couldn't make it up... :D

  59. Mark 8

    Hope the lawsuit doesn't talk about an iPhone 4

    The Samsung Galaxy S was released before the iPhone 4 (They had the best LCD display on a phone for a while before the iPhone 4 came out). and only 3 months after the original iPad came out so I would think Samsung will be able to prove that most of the graphics for touchwiz were already drawn at that point.

    Be interesting to see which revision of phone and iOS they are saying breaches copyright won't it ;)

  60. Rovindi


    Let us not forget that Jobs and Wozniak toured Xerox´s Palo Alto research institute back in the day, when Xerox had the whole WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointers) malarkey nailed down. Sadly Xerox didn´t realise what they had (just like Postscript) and by some strange *fluke* they "came up" with the Mac...

    Typical Jobsian hypocrisy.

    Rip off other peoples ideas, make them your own and do some Stalinesque rewriting of history...

    Flame on Fanbois....

    1. RichyS


      It would really help if you knew your history. It would make you less wrong...

  61. Mark .

    desktops; not just Google and Apple

    Both of them look like the standard icon based displays that's been common on desktops for decades. And this is nothing new on mobile devices - my Nokia 5800 looks just the same, and predates both those phones.

    "It's almost too obvious to point out that this lawsuit is yet another volley in the smartphone OS wars – a conflict that currently is being fought almost solely by Apple and Google, with Microsoft's Windows Phone involved in only a skirmish or three while it keeps its powder dry until Nokia phones based on Redmond's OS offering begin to appear, supposedly next year.

    "Oh yes, and there's HP/Palm's webOS, of course, but it hasn't proven to be a threat in the smartphone market. RIM's BlackBerry OS seems to be stuck in its own niche."

    Oh, and you forgot Nokia, who are only like number one, outselling Apple two to one (ten to one in phones - "smartphone" isn't well defined), and sell as much as all Android manufacturers put together. But yes, apart from that minor point, it's just Google and Apple.

    (Unless you mean fights, but there have been patent wars between Nokia and Apple too.)

  62. Fuh Quit

    Why not be proud instead?

    Apple: "Our design is so innovative, it's been copied by many"

    That's a much better marketing spiel than churning out the lawsuits.

    Apple has just joined Sony on my no-buy list :-)

  63. Mark .

    re: smart move

    "Although Apple's share of the smartphone handset market, isn't likely to rise - e.g. increase by 2% in the next four years, it'll be flogging 400% more phones."

    No, Android outsells Apple IOS by a factor of two, that's before we look at growth.

    (And it's funny how you appeal to absolute sales rather than market share changes for Apple, yet it's always the reverse when people criticise Nokia: there we've had years of moaning because they no longer dominate the market quite as much, but it's rarely pointed out that they're still number one - and in fact, still with increasing sales.)

    "In one quarter last year, half the profits of the entire smartphone industry was Apple's."

    So Apple sell more expensive products and make more money. Why should consumers care about that?

    Imagine that in the old Mac versus Windows debates? "Oh, it doesn't matter that you think Mac is better - just look at how much money Microsoft have!" Doesn't really work, does it?

    Yes, Apple make lots of money by selling expensive products to a niche. I don't think anyone disputes that - it's just most of us prefer something else.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Since when...

      Was Android outselling iOS 2:1? That might be true for iPhone, but not iOS devices as a whole. Also it's worth understanding the market a little better. Apple get 100% of the 25% share. The 33% belonging to Android is shared between at least 4 manufacturers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Blatant copy

      Most of you "prefer something else" because you have limited resources and make rational economic decisions based on these limited resources.

      For those of us with substantially more resources, it semms most of us prefer an "iThingy"


      Paris: Who prefers the occasional "thingy"

      1. dssf

        Not everyone can afford to

        Drink from the azure-green, bat-winged, rubbery-rimmed chalace of Steve. Apple has no moral qualms about overpricing its products even when clearly/probably 30% of its clientel are fashionistas on the verge (one or 2 paycheck away from) homelessness. True, many Android-based phones are roughly the same price as iPhones. But, many iPhone users also own multiple other products of Apple that cost 2x the just-make-do non-Apple alternatives. If one is truly making income from art or documents AND the personal or business bottom line are not suffering, then buy what you want.

        But, not everyone wants the drink. If I COULD afford Apple laptops, i probably WOULD buy an 18"-ish laptop for the thinness, the battery life, and the huge screen. But, it better have alt+right-click functionality...

  64. Nick Galloway

    Italians and the auto industry?

    I suppose Italian car manufacturers can sue the auto industry for copying chariots as they had wheels, axles and body work, along with real horsepower!

    Apple, you make too much money for shoddy 'fashion' products, stop being greedy and make the batteries user replaceable and allow for USB removable memory.

  65. Richard Scratcher
    Jobs Halo

    OMGb! Intel are at it too!

    Just noticed how similar the Intel 320 SSD is to the iPhone 4.

    Coincidence? No, it's a blatant rip off!

  66. dssf

    Get a GRIP and then ooze and say Ahhh, Apple...

    Could one say "yai shek" to apple?

    FINALLY, the other shoe drops. Now, new to apple: FOXTROT OSCAR, MIKE ALFA's! How many shoes look similar? How many cars look similar? How many TOOTHBRUSHES, COMBS, and PANTS look similar. Get fuc*ing REAL. The bezel is THICKER. The edge radius is LARGER. The SCREEN is 4.3, not 3.5...

    Apple, do you need more socks to be stuffed into your mouth? How many other phones and automobiles cross-cannibalize from each other and we don't hear about it in the news? You're just grousing because iPhone is set to lose market share. You wouldn't like it if Samsung just shut down the A4/A5 assembly line on you, now would you? STFU and just sell your doing-well, popular phone. Nothing lasts forever.

    Apple, you need to get a GRIP! Oh, wait, but then you might not be able to make calls, hehehehe.... (I copied that from someone... i was being THOROUGHLY un-innovative, and un original... SUE ME!)

    Funny thing is is that RIGHT NOW I am looking at my Samsung SyncMaster 206BW, you know, the one with a black bezel that looks like Samsungs Tab and somewhat like the ipad...

    The Syncmaste 206BW has been reviewed since 2008

    Strip off the stand and then it very MUCH looks like the Galaxy Tab and then apple will sue over that, too, if the SM206BW is turned into a tablet...

    This YouTube vid existed since 2007:

    Looks like a big Galaxy Tab & Tab II to me. Maybe Apple cribbed teh SyncMaster 206BW for the ipad's face look and feel? I hope Samsung prevails.

  67. dssf


    Companies may think that the lawsuit they initiate upon another company is just between them/their team and the defendant/defendant's team, but some companies manage to irk or ire many in the public.

    Is there a database at which courts and juries MUST look when a case such as A v S goes public? The Samsung SynchMaster 206BW could possibly be -- only for this case/instance -- Samsung's rescue. Others named products that probably inspired the iPad. Such a database might save courts' time and stop enriching knock-down, drag-out attorneys who engage in these types of suits for a living.

    Such a database should demand citations, sources, and be robust from attack or damage.

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