Poor Samsung, caught between a rock and a hard place. Their court case with Apple started a couple weeks ago and is said to continue for just as long. The goal for Apple is to prove that Samsung copied the iPhone, iPad, and iOS, and either get compensation for damages to the tune of well over $2 Billion, or get an injunction on all their products. Either way you look at it, it doesn't look to good for the South Korean company at this point.
Apple rolled out some new "evidence" which was a leaked internal document from Samsung. From back in 2010 and 132 pages, it definitely paints a nice picture for Apple in court, that's for sure. Of course imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to tech and as we've seen, that'll land you in court.
One of the graphics in the internal document was comparing the graphical menu of the UI of iOS with TouchWiz. Essentially and with the next graphic we'll mention as well, Samsung is basically comparing what Apple has done with what they've done, and what is Apple doing right that they can implement.
Anyways, their direction for improvement with the graphical menu of the UI was:
- Insert effects of light for a softer, more luxurious icon implementation
- Make the edge curve more smooth to erase the hard feel
- Remove a feeling that iPhone's menu icons are copied by differentiating design
Well, it seems the design wasn't differentiated enough. Also, another graphic had to do with setting an alarm and Samsung concluded that they needed to "add sound effects that stimulate user's sense of nostalgia and emotions". This whole court case seems to paint Samsung in a rather negative light which is exactly what Apple wanted. Thing is, did Apple invent the grid icon menu? No. Did they invent the idea of sound effects when someone sets an alarm? No.
Many, if not most of Apple's patents to begin with are bogus and have already been implemented in the past. Thanks to the United States Patent and Trademark Office though, they let them fly right through. At this point, it is pretty clear that Samsung used the iPhone and iOS for inspiration to creating their own mobile devices. This happens all the time in many industries.
The reason the tech giant is able to differentiate themselves so much is their dedication to design and, let's be honest, the fact that they were the first company to roll out devices (tablets and touchscreen smartphones for example), that became the hottest selling electronics on the planet.
Who are you going to draw inspiration from? An okay concept or a wildly successful concept? I honestly can't blame Samsung and whether they blatantly copied Apple or not is completely left up to interpretation, and soon to be decided in the courts.
EDIT: In the process of getting this post written, I said that Samsung was a Taiwanese company, not South Korean, accidentally confusing them with HTC which was on my mind at the time.