Send in the layers Apple is alleging that Samsung has infringed on it’s patents, trademarks and intellectual properties. The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in California relates specifically to it’s smartphone and tablet products. Apple claims that Samsung has copied the designs of their iPhone and iPad with their Galaxy S, Epic, Nexus S and Galaxy Tab offerings. The extent of Apple’s grievance encompasses everything from the look and feel of the display icons used in the Samsung phones to the hardware chassis designs and even the internal components of some of their devices.
An Apple representative stated: ““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.”
Samsung responded by clarifying their position on the issue: “Samsung’s development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success,” – “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property.”
In my view although there are similarities, which can be seen in the image comparisons above Samsung has still done enough to separate it’s hardware from Apple’s. All tech companies are guilty of small degrees of copying now and then, Apple included. The fact is that the iPhone was used as a starting off point for many competitors to catch up with. The Galaxy Tab deviates more from the iPad than the Galaxy S does to the iPhone. Apple’s lawsuit smacks of a desperate attempt to hurt the competition through legal technicalities because they feel that the market place they established is now being encroached upon. This latest case is all too similar to when Apple unsuccessfully challenged HTC on their use of capacitive multi-touch displays in their smart devices. Patents exist to protect the patent holders but that doesn’t mean that very similar products can’t be developed that bare a close resemblance but deviate enough to be a unique entity. The simple fact is that great ideas are born and spread quickly.