While it’s well known that creating anything that even remotely resembles an Apple product will find you on the business end of a lawsuit from the Cupertino company, this one might be taking things a bit too far.
As reported from All Things D, Apple is suing Samsung, stating that Samsung has willfully violated patents, committed trademark infringement and exercised unfair competition. Why, you might ask? It all goes back to Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones and tablets.
According to an Apple spokesperson, quoted at Mobilized:
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.
It seems that Apple is guns forward at Samsung on items such as the icons (which leads me to believe that Apple is bringing up TouchWiz), core technology and most notably the shape of the hardware.
Why most notably? Because there isn’t a lot of difference across the board in the shape of candybar-style phones. While some might have rounder corners or similar button placements, the overall form factor is almost identical across the board. In fact, looking at the images that are provided in the filing, you could easily mistake the Samsung phone used by Apple for comparison for many other phones on the market:
The problem inherent to the suit is that, if it is upheld, it opens the door for Apple to sue any other manufacturer that makes phones in a similar style. Hopefully a judge will understand the general idea of form factors and keep this ball out of Apple’s court.
It is reported that the suit also brings up the iPad in reference to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, though we’ve not yet gotten a chance to dig into Apple’s complaints specific to tablets.
We’re digging into the suit a bit more, as it’s very interesting to see what Apple is referencing with the accusations related to core technology and icons. As John Gruber questions on Daring Fireball, “has anyone ever won a lawsuit based on copying stuff like this?”