Samsung says Apple claims of design copying won't be "legally problematic"

Samsung says Apple claims of design copying won't be
Patent suits happen on a near constant basis in the tech world, and design patent suits are notoriously annoying and difficult to win, but Apple is trying anyway. The backstory is that Apple claims that Samsung copied the iPhone design when making the Galaxy S line of phones and the TouchWiz interface that Samsung puts on its Android devices. Of course, not too long after making that claim, pictures began circulating which showed that the Samsung F700, which was released before the iPhone, was seemingly the physical predecessor to the Galaxy S. And, it seems Samsung thinks their defense is stronger for it. 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications, said, "We didn't copy Apple's design. We have used many similar designs over the past years and [Apple's claims] will not be legally problematic." 

In regards to the physical design of the handsets, Samsung probably has a strong case, but the TouchWiz UI may be more difficult as Samsung doesn't have the historical predecessors to draw on for that side of the case. Plus, it's hard to argue that just in looking at the dock, icons and coloring of TouchWiz that consumers could be confused into thinking it's just like an iPhone. The big Samsung branding on the front of each device notwithstanding that is. 

Both sides are trying to strengthen their cases by asking for access to other products. A judge granted Apple access to the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 & 10.1, Infuse 4G and DROID Charge. In response, Samsung has asked for access to the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in order to prepare their defense. 

Related phones

iPhone 3GS
  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 3 MP
  • Storage 32GB
  • Battery 1219 mAh(12.00h talk time)
Galaxy S
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 16GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.55h 3G talk time)



3. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Hardware wise, I think Apple might not have a case. Software wise? Easy fix: use vanilla Android. But Apple mentioned the Nexus S for software. Thats really odd since it runs vanilla Android. Apple is trying to be slick and go after Android on the down low.

19. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

Looks like everybody agrees that Apple doesn't have a case hardware wise, but honestly the UI looks like a carbon copy from Samsung, the galaxy phones are dying to be an iPhone, at least that's what the homescreen screams, sure the iPhone doesn't have widgets, customization, etc, but Apple is not suing Android as an OS, but Samsung's skin and they look too similar in my opinion.

4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Lol, oops Apple, looks like there's even stronger arguments against your stupid anti competitive lawsuit already. I can't deny that Touchwiz looks similar to the iOS interface, but the similarities aren't glaringly obvious until you open the app tray on the Galaxy S. Besides, if blatantly knocking entirely off of Apple was Samsung's strategy, their strongest variant, the Captivate, wouldn't look so different from the phone.

11. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

why is this an oops apple? and u just said touchwiz looks almost the same as the ios interface... which it completely does... and u really think the captivate was best? i had it but i thought maybe the vibrant was better... and the captivate yes looks different, but what about the fascniate and vibrant? the cud easily be ip 3g knockoffs...

12. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

So let me get this straight. In regards to physical design, the iPhone gets to have a monopoly on the general shape of a rectangle with curved corners? The Fascinate and Vibrant look even less like the iphone than the base Galaxy S. They're bigger with different buttons on the front, and the backs are curved, which is ergonomically intelligent and more like the previous generations of the iphone than the iphone 4. I'm not going to defend Touchwiz too much (quite frankly, I hate the skin anyway) but physically, Apple has no case. It would be like Henry Ford suing other car manufacturers for having four wheels and a roof.

13. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

no, becuase as u said, they obviously can produce other designs... they dont need to copy apples iphone 3g shape and look... and obviously other companies can produce designs that dont look like the 3g... samsung just got lazy and wasnt very innovative...

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

No, Samsung used design cues that worked. Just because they can design something completely different from the iPhone, it doesn't mean that Apple gets exclusive rights to curved corners and backs on their phones. I mean, it's just such a general couple of physical design cues that you can't justify a copyright claim on it.

16. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

and what would the new design be circle or triangle

20. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

no a new design wud be a captivate... or an evo... those dont look at all like a 3g...

5. kaka unregistered

surely this proves that apple has no case. could the reason as to why the s2 still has no release date in the US is because apple are preventing it?

6. vantenkiest

Posts: 316; Member since: Apr 20, 2011

more likely the case is over seas is mostly gsm.. and like the first series of GS phones they want to release it close together on all of the carriers that they choose.. so sprint and verizon need cdma models.. maybe the thing is making enough to control the supply and demand ratio. i know i will be getting 5 as they come out. one more me my sister my mother her husband and my bigger larger brother. My fiancee just got the dinc2 so she doesnt get one lol

7. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

Money spent on litigation just comes down to higher prices for the consumer. How does any of this benefit either company? It doesn't if the customer suffers or feels pinched.

9. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Actually, TouchWiz is a bit different than iOS. iOS isn't as customizable as TouchWiz for starters. Second, TouchWiz is on more devices than iOS is. Third is that TouchWiz has widgets and mostly runs on Android. What's the UI on the Samsung Behold and Samsung Memoir, isn't that the first variation of TouchWiz? Didn't they come out before the iPhone?

10. mikeypopps

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 20, 2011

I love Touchwiz but the argument Apple will make is the four button grey bar on the bottom, the app draw in page format, the numbers and white points above each page on the home screen or app draw and the colors behind every icon making them uniform. The Grey bar is similar but is on LG phones too so they better watch out. The app draw in pages is kinda generic. The numbers and points are similar but they ore on the bottom of the page in the new touch wiz. The colors behind the icons is again to generic. So I say Apple has one definite arguable point the app bar.

17. aries.phills

Posts: 161; Member since: May 17, 2011

Apple might lose this time. I just don't see any strong arguement on their side. Well, the outcome might be different from my prediction. Allthesame, I like Iphone 4 and I like galaxy s II even more.

21. BigEaze22

Posts: 25; Member since: May 17, 2011

so it looks like it was apple who was copying samsung, then tried to sneak under their noses and claim infringement. damn

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