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It's not stealing when Apple does it, because it wasn't stealing when Google did it either

0. phoneArena 13 Jun 2013, 16:17 posted on

Every time there are new features announced for iOS, there is an uproar around the web about Apple "stealing" features. I have talked before about why I think this is a silly argument, but I wanted to put up a refresher on the idea, because the claims simply won't die out. Here's the simple reason: it's not stealing when Apple does it, because it wasn't stealing when Google did it either...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:25 24

1. tedkord (Posts: 11629; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Watch out, Michael. Both sides are gunning for you now.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:31 15

5. biophone (Posts: 1956; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

Such is the problem with being unbiased. Any rational person regardless of os prefrence isn't gunning for him though.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:09 29

46. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

If everyone disagrees with me, I'm either doing my job really well or really poorly. I'm just aiming for the former.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 18:00 11

74. the_best (Posts: 139; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

The problem isnt that we Think that they are stealing.
The problem is that companies as apple, microsoft, google and so on keep claiming that everybody else is stealing from them even if its true or not.

And when people see these obvius thefts they get angry because these big companies never get what they deserve.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 18:04 19

78. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)


posted on 13 Jun 2013, 18:20

89. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Like you I've always felt that it's not stealing and everyone b copies ideas and builds of one another.. The issue I've always had is with apples hypocrisy..you said not to judge them by Steve jobs apple but imo it looks like they still trying to run apple the Steve jobs way.. Am pretty sure they are seeing over the s3 and s4 and they were after Steve lobs death.. True apple not the only one in litigation but in most cases if anyone is suing apple it's usually just to defend themselves.. I hope your right the "new" apple will not be suing over petty things and I know it's just as much the fault of the dumbest patent system ever that these lawsuits even exist..

posted on 18 May 2016, 20:17

236. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

If you are using someone's patented tech, and they try to license it to you and refuse to buy it and you still use it anyway, that is stealing.

Apple did t copy Xerox, they stole what they had. The iPod was a copy of existing tech. Not a big deal. The iPhone wasn't a big deal. The iPad certainly borrowed ideas from lots of products.

But they did steal product names. That wasn't copying. That was theft!

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 18:49 11

106. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1159; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

I thought it was a good article. I don't view the features shared by iOS, Android, and WP8 as copying each other or stealing from each other, but rather I view it in the sense of which company is actually leading and which company is just a follower. If a company is just adding features that have already existed for months or years to its devices, then to me they aren't the real leaders or innovators in the mobile space. If, however, they bring something new and innovative that others then want to put onto their devices, then they are the true leader in that respect. So, the question then becomes: with the recent introduction of iOS 7, was Apple a leader or a follower?

It looks like the readers have already made up their minds.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 20:45

145. buccob (Posts: 2564; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Exactly my thoughts. Thumbs up for you Dr.

And there are ways to innovate without strictly following... its true you don't have to re-invent the wheel every single time, but there are other ways to add functionality while keeping aesthetics and simplicity.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 20:53

149. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)

I completely disagree. First and foremost: tldr!!
Secondly, the tidbits I was able to quickly scan over and process with my bionic vision implied a comparison between various desktop platforms and Android (or Google Chrome) and, therefore, I am at an utter loss as to how these analogies apply specifically to two mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, respectively??

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 21:19 5

152. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1159; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Perhaps you should read the article then and maybe you would know why he made those comparisons. I don't understand how someone can say they disagree with something when all they did was scan through the entire article. You missed a lot of important points.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 21:25

154. datoserigarylaw (unregistered)


posted on 13 Jun 2013, 18:54 2

112. Stuntman (Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

I think the quality of the comments here reflect that you are doing your job well.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 21:30 2

155. a_tumiwa (Posts: 373; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

so Michael, do u agree that Apple is wrong when they started a patent war against Samsung and the others?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 21:46

157. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4185; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

See I've been saying something similar to this for awhile now. I'd mention a feature that was supposedly new, and then bring up that they've had that feature on desktops & laptops for quite awhile. The response I'd always get was "Yeah, but this is on a phone!" So what? A smartphone is basically a pocket computer with radios to make wireless calls. All of these OSs for these phones could work or be adapted to work on a non mobile platform. So rather than re-issuing patents for mobile, they should go off of the original patent that's applicable, whether desktop or mobile. I'd bet a lot of the patents that people are suing over would be invalid because what they did was adapt someone else's patent to work on their device, and figured since it's on a mobile device that's new ground.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 23:15

171. joey_sfb (Posts: 5741; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

I agree with you 100% that why Samsung and the rest of the world was shock when Apple sue Samsung over their design patent.

Now everyone want to sue every body else over design and software patents. Learn about the new Oracle and Google follow-up law suit. Oracle and Microsoft wants more protection over their codes.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 23:17 1

172. Mittal (Posts: 493; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

your thoughts on features having been present in other devices/platforms in some form or the other makes sense. But when we talk about taking inspiration from real life scenarios, to some extent , yes, we can say that its not a case of pure genious, but we must credit the first company to adopt that feature for its farsightedness and confidence to do the new thing in the electronic world.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 23:40 1

174. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 141; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)

It is not the stealing part that should really bother anyone. With so many advancements in technology, it is almost impossible to come up with something that may not have existed before. This is because every new technology MUST depend on older technologies. Otherwise, it's like saying that everyone has been stealing from GOD.

The reason why Apple is highlighted in this issue most is because of the terms they use when introducing products. You can't copy something and call it innovative or new or whatever term you want to use. You copied it, fine! Move on. So there IS a difference here.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 01:26

184. Anti-troll-returns (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

Stop putting ban on me.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 07:51 2

207. JunitoNH (Posts: 1775; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


This is the reason adults run the world, not children. Fantasy is one thing, reality a whole different story.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 18:05

224. jroc74 (Posts: 6005; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

I agree with this article, Michael. I just wish an article like this popped up when soooo many fanboys accused Google, Android of copying Apple, iOS.

So...in that sense expect some backlash for this article....lol.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:28 26

2. Anti-Troll (banned) (Posts: 64; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)

And yet you are calling yourself unbiased.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:30 50

4. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

And, there's the first person to completely misread the article...

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:34 5

8. Anti-Troll (banned) (Posts: 64; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)

Thanks for replying. This is the first time that you have replied me.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 20:37 1

141. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Cause you're new to PA®

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 01:27

185. Anti-troll-returns (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

I am not new kiddo.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:37 15

11. Anti-Troll (banned) (Posts: 64; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)

But the point is.. They steal from it others. patent it and yet call it "innovation". They even sue others. That is not fair.
For Example: iOS 7 multitasking is copied from WebOS/WP8 multitasking, did they gave credits? No.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:42 11

17. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Has MS gave credits to WebOS when they copied their Multitasking UI in WP?? No

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:53 19

27. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Ah feres got my point exactly

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 23:42 1

175. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 141; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)

YES, but when Apple copies, they also go to court for silly things they didn't really invent.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 01:28 2

186. Anti-troll-returns (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

But still they are not calling it like "revolutionary" or "innovation".
Please accept the facts.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 01:29 1

187. Anti-troll-returns (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


posted on 14 Jun 2013, 03:48 1

194. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)

Seems that phoneareana are out of control...

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:01 1

40. Hallucinator (Posts: 354; Member since: 24 May 2010)

how could they have copied it from wp8 when ms copied it from web os and so on?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:37 3

65. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

THAT is a point I will give. The overall concept of the article is correct to my viewpoint, but when apple dates to copy something seen as standard or that predates it, and then goes to court over it (which, as Michael H stated, seems to not have happened in the last couple years), it is a severe breach of, well not sure what to call it, decency or a universal agreement not to be jerks?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:05 14

42. darkkjedii (Posts: 21204; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Extremely well written, and intelligent article Michael. 100% agreed +100 lol.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:10 15

47. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I'm gonna have to talk to the guys upstairs about adding a "+100 lol" button

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:20 1

55. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

Michael bro.
This is a offtopic..its very rare to get you .
Can you add battery test along with reviews like gsmarena do?
Can you the upstairs guys ;)

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:21

58. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

Can you ask*

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:41 5

68. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I'll mention it to the others, for sure!

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 10:33

209. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I checked with the editors, and I've been told we are working on adding more extensive battery testing to reviews.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 20:56 2

150. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)

I completely disagree; tldr and pointless.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 23:02 1

169. Charlie_boy (Posts: 69; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)

how can one disagree with something they havent read?
One has to understand it first before disagreeing...

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 00:10

177. duckymomo26 (Posts: 19; Member since: 01 Jun 2012)

I would also have to disagree with your existence. Its also pointless why you have to live.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 04:38 1

203. ghaniosman (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)

If thats the case apple should make their patents like 'pinch to zoom' and 'slide to unlock' and 'rectangular device with rounded corners and screen in the middle and a thin profile' (can u believe that ridiculous sentence is a registered patent) to make them universal standard and if not get ready for excepting taunts of 'stealing' which r valid..

posted on 19 May 2016, 09:37

237. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Really? Here is why he is right.
The problem isn't copying. They all copy. As you stated, many inventions wouldn't be where they are if someone didn't take an idea and move it forward.

But here is where you defended Apple and its this that makes a hell of a big difference.

When Apple copied ideas, and saw they weren't patented, they went to the USPTO office and file for a patent that should never have been granted in the first place. They tried to evolve an idea that wasn't enevr theirs, and then when others used those non-obvious concepts, Apple sued them.

Also, Google didn't make Android, someone else did. Peopel who make the stupid false claims that Google changed their original concept of Android which was following Blackberry and saw iOS, they changed. It could be true to "some" degree.

Hwoever, the point an click UI is over 3 decades old. Which means its been on every smartphone and feature-phone since FOREVER. So Apple should not have been allowed to patent that concept, because it was not unique and non-obvious. All smartphones had this general concept as it states here:


Sure Google copied lots of ideas from others. THEY ALL DO. But no one ever tried to patent them. The only thing you should get a patent for is if you attain the same concept by other means. Which means I can make the exact same product you make, but I have to develop a different way. You can also obvious patent an actual invention.

US Patents require that the invention be "non-obvious" and "novel". If someone already have the foundation for the concept and all you did is evolve it, you don't get to patent it as a new invention, because it isn't.

What was so unique about rounded corners and Apple trade-dress? NOTHING. Even though the Samsung Frame was not a tablet, it still had that concept do to the form factor. In other words, it looked just like a tablet. Did you see Samsung try to patent that? No. Because it is the same concept used for Tv's and computer monitors.

The problem with your article is, most of the people here who agreed with you are not so smart. They didn't see how you changed things up.

But not all of us are stupid. Those of us who received high scores in "reading/comprehension", can see right through what you did.

Example...you said this an I quote:
"But, we have to be careful about tossing around the term "stealing", because 1) that implies that these features never existed before they appeared on the other mobile operating systems, which is almost never the case;"

That is a complete and uttered lie! Sure some fanboy idiot would certainly say that, typical of most of the writers here.

Stealing is, taking anything that doesn't belong to you. In the case of Apple. They stole patented technology from Sony-Ericcsson and were FOUND GUILTY. Apple refused to pay the cost that Sony offered to license

posted on 19 May 2016, 09:48

238. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

cont'd...the tech to them. Apple says they didnt want to pay that, they wanted to pay this because they felt it wasnt worth what Sony asked for. You dont get to dictate th rules when you steal. Apple has some nerve wen Samsung tried to license their patents, Apple had a ridiculous price structure and Samsung refused to pay. Please deny that happened, because its in the court documents which I read word for word.

You basically tried to say, its okay to steal because everyone does it. That is false.

Then Apple later says, we don't license our stuff and yet turn around and did a deal with HTC. Apple then did a motion to the court to have the details of this sealed. Samsung has motioned to have it opened, because Samsung believes that Apple did license its stuff to HTC, and it was based on many for the patents which have not been invalidated by the USPTO. I agree 100% with them. After all, look at the latest HTC models. Do you see HTC suing Apple for "stealing" their idea with the design?

Its not stealing if the copying isn't patented. Because those general things are not novel and they are not non-obvious and are thus general concepts that are required for certain form factors. That is why desktop, laptops, cars, planes and many other things look the same. You see them all suing. Do you? Why? Because the shape of a plane is require for it to fly and it is a invention that si not novel or non-obvious. It is a design that is required for flight. The only thing a company could patent is, they may patent a technology on the wing for example, that woudl give the wing more lift. But they could not just patent a airplane wing. That si what Apple did with rounded corners and many other things.

You made some other points that I can agree with in general speak. But your claims in general are false. Because Apple not only stole, they patented those things and claimed it was their own even though there is mountains of "prior art".

Sorry dude...you are just like most of the posters here. The force of Apple Reality Distortion Field is great on this site and its really sad that money will make you lie. That is why I could never be a journalist. I will never give up what I morally believe in for a payout. EVER! Even if I am totally wrong in my belief. As long as I believe I am right, that is all that matters, no matter what anyone else thinks or believes. After all we have a right to believe whatever we want.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 20:05

135. Gawain (Posts: 420; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

You've obviously missed Michael's articles about Google and Android...he's pretty much all-in with Google/Android etc.

posted on 19 May 2016, 09:59

239. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Not in this one.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 16:29 9

3. biophone (Posts: 1956; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

Good article mike.

I don't have any problem with "stealing" as long as one company isn't trying to steal another's brand identity. Otherwise its just building upon others which is smart.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:00 6

39. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)


posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:12 8

50. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

I agree. Well put article. One of these days I'll get over hating Apple.. one of these days. Your point about it not being Jobs company actually helped quite a bit. I just can't see Cook saying something as ridiculous as "going thermonuclear" on a company.

That said, I don't hate the people that use their products. I'm happy my iOS friends are getting these "new" features.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 01:30

188. Anti-troll-returns (banned) (Posts: 11; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

Thanks to you also for putting ban on me.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 10:34

210. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Sorry, but I never even gave you a warning.

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 16:18

222. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

Eh, sorry. Off the topic. But I can see Anti-troll-returns is banned. Just asking.

posted on 19 May 2016, 10:27

240. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

I do agree its a good article compared to much of what I do read.

But you have to be more unbiased. If you think you weren't, just go back and read a few things you said.

But I do like the fact you can show many points that are general and can easily be agreed with. But the Apple stance really has to change.

The main thing you missed is, copy is only wrong if what you stole is property of someone else. And copying is illegal, stealing is.

There is a huge difference in "stealing" and "copying".

The only thing I can thing of where both can be interchanged is, if I go out and make my own plates and make my own money. In that case I would need to COPY the real money and make a plate. Which is both copying and stealing.

Apple copied others ideas, and they stole them by using patented technologies they knew were not theirs.

They stole other people idea that were not their own. Like the Wifi Sync app they stole for Hughes. They stole product names. They stole their own company name. They stole the Siri UI. They stole from Xerox and then tried to sue Microsoft with it.

When Steve Jobs stated that Good artist copy and great artist steal; who do you think he was talkign about? He was talkign about his company which did more than just copy. They stole and they were "shameless about stealing". They didnt care about getting caught, because by that time, they would have the money to pay off any court handed fine or damages to the plaintiff. This is always how Apple has operated. We all know this is how Apple does business.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:02 4

41. gustavoace (Posts: 180; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)

I think exactly the same way. Some features are great, and I want it on my phone, regardless the OS. But Apple crossed all the lines with the copying thing, patenting ridiculous things (e.g. the rectangular with round corners design), and now everyone else accuses them of stealing. Karma is a bitch.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 17:46 3

70. biophone (Posts: 1956; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

Copying things I feel is ok as I stated as long as they aren't trying to steal brand identity.

The patents were redic however its the uspto fault for putting them through

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 04:07 1

196. tedkord (Posts: 11629; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

The USPTO is definitely effed up, but Apple its just as much to blame. If you take advantage of a messed up system, you are at fault.

If I use an ATM, and it starts spitting money at me from everyone else's account, keeping it would be wrong on my part. Returning and doing it again would make me a pretty awful person. It would be the banks fault for having a faulty ATM, but I know the difference between right and wrong.

Apple walks right up to that ATM, and time and again withdraws all the money and tells us to blame the bank.

posted on 19 May 2016, 10:31

241. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Dude...you are just awesome!

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