Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Aug 2012 22:14 UTC
Legal "The web has been alight these past few weeks with the details of the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit. It's been a unique opportunity to peer behind the curtain of how these two companies operate, as the trial seeks to answer the question: did Samsung copy Apple? But there's actually another question that I think is much more interesting to the future of innovation in the technology industry: regardless of whether the courts say that Samsung copied Apple or not, would we all be better off if we allowed - even encouraged - companies to copy one another?" This is very relevant.
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Ridiculous
by imhotepx on Tue 21st Aug 2012 00:40 UTC
imhotepx
Member since:
2012-08-08

Most ridiculous thing I've read this morning. There are many reasons why this is just wrong. For now I'll just say this would kill innovation all together and stifle the upstarts who won't be able to compete with the entrenched (and rich) players that will just copy whatever the new innovation of the day is.

Mayble, I'll start my own blog site, i'll copy the design of osnews.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ridiculous
by Lazarus on Tue 21st Aug 2012 01:04 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

Mayble, I'll start my own blog site, i'll copy the design of osnews.


Do it.

That is likely the only way you're going to understand that copying something isn't going to have the dire results you think it will.

You're not going to magically gain any kind of an audience, let alone any meaningful fraction of this site's readers. Ad money? Good luck. Will OSNews take a nose dive because you or anyone else copies it?

Get real.

Same goes for phones and anything else.

Reply Score: 24

RE: Ridiculous
by satsujinka on Tue 21st Aug 2012 01:08 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
satsujinka Member since:
2010-03-11

If an idea can be copied so quickly that the originator of the idea can't establish themselves, then the idea probably wasn't very innovative.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by koffie on Tue 21st Aug 2012 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
koffie Member since:
2010-05-06

And that is exactly the problem. The 'iPhone' might seem simple to copy at first, but when did the iPhone come out? 2007. It is (in my opinion) only since the Samsung Galaxy S2 and now Android 4.0/4.1 that decent competition is there from that corner, and even with that many cores thrown at it - it still sometimes feels laggy.

The problem is that it "looked" the same at first glance, but it wasn't, it was a bad copy. They copied the looks, and completely missed out on the 'feel' part. And yes that reflects badly on Apple, since people think it's "just the same", and Android manufacturers try very hard to convince customers of just this - that it is the same. People are put of then by this idea of a 'smartphone'.

Android, and certainly the Samsung Touchwiz interface was simply put, a bad copy, and people dismissed this as "a bad idea" in general, and yes I know quite a few of those, who refuse to even consider a new 'smartphone' because they had bad experiences with crappy Android 1.6 phones.

Now just to be clear, I use an iPhone and I never liked Android until it reached 4.0, and that's not out of blind fanboy-ism. I'm confronted with mobile development every day - and in order to do this "right" you have to get to know the phone, so you have to use it. For example, I really like what MS managed to do with the Windows Mobile 7 architecture, which is probably the nicest I've seen in mobile. This is a ground-up rebuild of their own (pretty neat) ideas, it was maybe inspired by, and certainly copied a lot of things from iOS - but they did a good job copying it. The only things stopping me from switching to WinMo7 are messed up software upgrade path, my iOS software collection and decent hardware.

And that is also something I still want to see: decent Android hardware where I can leave on my wifi, gprs/3g/ bluetooth and location services and still get through the day on one charge, without relying on battery optimizers/appliction killer apps. I don't want to do the phone's work, and the iPhone apparently still is the only smartphone that is able to pull this off.

Every day I:
- call approximately 1 hour/day, of which half of the time it's connected to my bluetooth handsfree set in my car
- send 20 to 40 or so messages
- connect it to my car-stereo to play music - which doesn't charge it, thanks to Apple changing that for the iPhone vs iPod, what's even worse is that Apple decided it had to turn on the screen constantly to warn you about this fact that it isn't charging - draining the battery even more.
- Play an occasional game
- read my mails, check facebook,
- Check in occasionally in foursquare and have google latitude on 24/7

I never turn off any feature on my 2-y old iPhone 4, and I only charge my phone at night, wake up, get through the day and at 1am - when I go to bed, my phone usually has about 10% battery left, sometimes it runs out if it was a busy day. So if other phone manufacturers should copy ONE feature: THIS IS IT. THAT would be good for innovation. Not the "how it looks".

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by JAlexoid on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I don't want to do the phone's work, and the iPhone apparently still is the only smartphone that is able to pull this off.

How are those 2009 misconceptions working out for you?

(Nexus S GT9023 - constantly use it as my Endomondo tracker. Gets 4.5 hours of 3G+GPS+music, in the non-low power Endomondo mode.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by tylerdurden on Tue 21st Aug 2012 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

That is a ridiculously subjective assessment.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by satsujinka on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 04:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
satsujinka Member since:
2010-03-11

Because "innovative" is ridiculously subjective. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the impression that something is "innovative" is inversely correlated with knowledge in that particular field.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ridiculous
by kwan_e on Tue 21st Aug 2012 01:30 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

For now I'll just say this would kill innovation


Maybe take some time out of your busy schedule to read the article which discusses instances of historical experience in which copying didn't kill innovation but spurred it on.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Ridiculous
by cyrilleberger on Tue 21st Aug 2012 06:57 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Most ridiculous thing I've read this morning. There are many reasons why this is just wrong. For now I'll just say this would kill innovation all together and stifle the upstarts who won't be able to compete with the entrenched (and rich) players that will just copy whatever the new innovation of the day is.


Or it could have the opposite effect, force companies to keep innovating to keep an edge. There are two decisive factors for buyers: features or price. If you have better features, you can justify a higher price and bring attention and consumers to your products. Hence it push you to innovate. More than if you own patents and can use them to block competition.

What I am saying is however not true for all technology fields, it mostly apply to computer systems. But given that it takes between 6 months to a year to bring new features to your customers, if, a company only copy, it will always be 6 months to a year late in the game, and people will stick with the innovative company.

Mayble, I'll start my own blog site, i'll copy the design of osnews.


Why would I visit your blog that will get the article only after the original website ?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by henderson101 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Why would I visit your blog that will get the article only after the original website ?


Well, I don't know. Why are you here commenting on this blog that got the news item (original post) after the original blog? Circular, isn't it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by jgagnon on Tue 21st Aug 2012 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

Because, obviously, our presence here is more than just about the article in question. It's a community with interesting, and not so interesting, personalities. It's the same reason people choose to frequent one bar over another, or choose one sports team over another.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Ridiculous
by henderson101 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ridiculous"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Exactly. So the OP may have only joked about creating a blog. But, you know what? That's kind of how OS News started/got to this point. It existed for some time. However, once Eugenia took over as editor, it became a lot like her personal tech blog and she built a following and achieved "critical mass". Thom took over and did much the same, maybe even more so. I'll ask the original question in a slightly different way "Why is it okay to read a blog post on the blog post here, and not on an up and coming new site with less readership?" There you go. Answer that.

I also think claiming OS News has a real community is stretching the reality of this site somewhat. We have a small gathering of real users. We have a bunch of zealots for various hardware/software vendors/flavours foaming at the mouth. We then have a lot of trolls who will argue that the moon is made of cheese just for the rise. Problem is, the zealots don't play well together and trolls bleat loudly. Most of the real people are drowned out on many comment threads. It's usually only the more traditional OS News items (the ones on OS development and non Apple/Microsoft/Linux/iOS/Android) that get decent comments and interesting feedback.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Ridiculous
by jgagnon on Tue 21st Aug 2012 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ridiculous"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

You will get more of the bad as any site grows... Slashdot is a great example. It's nearly impossible to have a reasoned conversation there. Here, at least, it is a lot easier to ignore the trolls because there are fewer of them.

To answer your question, nothing stops people from leaving Site A and going to Site B except their attachment to A, however strong or weak that may be. This is where the copying argument gets hard to quantify. Plenty of folks stick with Apple BECAUSE it is Apple, not because of any single quality or quantity. If Samsung comes along and makes a cheaper clone that doesn't mean everyone that is currently using the original will switch to the cheaper clone. Some will, no doubt, but those people weren't the kind of customers that Apple was looking for to begin with.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Ridiculous
by henderson101 on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ridiculous"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Exactly. That was exactly Jobs stand point. The Apple credo is very much - "We make great products; great products change the world. If you don’t like our products, get other products." - "Other products" being something made by another company. I saw a quote from Jobs close to that sentiment, but I can't find a reliable source online. Jobs very much stood by that throughout his life. It's one of the things that, despite the many flaws in his general make-up, one should respect him for.

Edit: an just to show how that statement doesn't contradict Apple suing the bejesus out of anyone "copying" their products:

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs


Edited 2012-08-22 10:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Ridiculous
by Fergy on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ridiculous"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I also think claiming OS News has a real community is stretching the reality of this site somewhat.

I come here on OSnews because they have the best comments. Most websites have 99% clueless users that know so little that it would take years of educating before you could even start a discussion with them.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ridiculous
by Jezza on Tue 21st Aug 2012 07:51 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
Jezza Member since:
2005-10-13

If that were the case, we'd all be buying our iPeds or inPads etc... for $100 from China. You know, the ones that fell from a truck with the iPad hardware and Android or Maemo installed on them...

The above is even one step ahead of 'copying' as it includes actual hardware theft, but I bet you don't know a single person who has one, which kind of scuppers your argument, really.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ridiculous
by JeeperMate on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 06:20 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
JeeperMate Member since:
2010-06-12

Mayble, I'll start my own blog site, i'll copy the design of osnews.

Actually that should be okay, as long as you leave out OSNews' artworks and branding elements (e.g. OSNews logos and names).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"Mayble, I'll start my own blog site, i'll copy the design of osnews.

Actually that should be okay, as long as you leave out OSNews' artworks and branding elements (e.g. OSNews logos and names).
"


People have been making the I'll-copy-OSNews-and-its-content argument for years, and I've always responded the same: go ahead. Let's see how long you'll last copying every individual article. Let's see how many readers will think you're a dick for doing so.

We mostly link to other people's stuff. It would be insane to prohibit others from doing so.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting Question
by Lorin on Tue 21st Aug 2012 01:20 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Of course the question is really useless when you consider that Samsung has been building phones for as many as 30 years and Apple only 5. It does not take much intelligence to determine who actually copied who and if you want to get technical, Apple acquired reference designs from Sony.

A judge repressing evidence that clearly invalidates Apple patents does not change facts and if Samsung were to lose it would be overturned very quickly on appeal.

Reply Score: 5

I agree with this
by obsidian on Tue 21st Aug 2012 01:20 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

I think the whole patents and copyright area is a real mess at the moment.

Copyrights, for example. The Wikipedia article mentions that in most of the world, they last for "the life of the author plus 50 or 70 years".
For computer software, **how ridiculous is that?**

It would be REAL common-sense to put the copyright term (for software) at *20* years. In 20 years, any company could make an absolute fortune out of a given app, and they could *still* have the copyright over any versions of the code released *less than* 20 years ago. They could *still* charge for that software *and* for support.

So, for example, FooApp-Aug-20-1992 would now have just been released into the public domain, but FooApp-Aug-25-1992 and later versions would still be under copyright (until the 20-year-term ticked over for them). See?
Clean, simple, common-sense and FAIR.

If such law were in force, we could look forward to Win95 being released as P.D. in three more years.
You reckon MS really cares much about Win95?
I doubt it. So, given that it isn't even SOLD any more by them - why not have it released as PD?
Why have the code locked up for decades more?

Edited 2012-08-21 01:24 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: I agree with this
by Yehppael on Tue 21st Aug 2012 06:24 UTC in reply to "I agree with this "
Yehppael Member since:
2012-08-01

Yes, but the problem is, the patents aren't for the software itself.

It's for the ideas. You can reuse an idea from Win 95 in Windows 25, and if we believe them, in Android too.

Reply Score: 0

Altruism/socialism
by kwan_e on Tue 21st Aug 2012 03:57 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

From the article:

"Like with open-source software, altruism and socialism played no role—just good old-fashioned capitalist incentives."

Article probably didn't need that part, being irrelevant at best, and contradicting other parts of the Cornwall engine story. Towards the end of the article the author assumes, for some inexplicable reason, that the drive for competition are somehow opposed to altruism and socialism in principle.

Capitalism may be the driver of the continued innovation, but it was not the motive. As the article notes, it began with the willingness to share information, which is not a necessary part of capitalist theory, but certainly in line with altruism* and socialism.

The reason why I say capitalism was not the motive is because the people to do the sharing were engineers. Not the owners of the mines. If there's one thing that hasn't changed, it's the innate tendency of engineers everywhere to want to make things better, whether or not there are capitalist incentives, and certainly when it's improving on a rival's design.

The lesson to learn here is always: let the engineers get on with their work, and the only way they can get on with their work is if they have all the information they want at their disposal. Patents are a dam along the river of the flow of information. You may get a big lake, but there's less to work with down stream, and your lake has destroyed the ecology quite a ways upstream.**

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA4dZ6NVNbk Studies into game theory using the Prisoner's Dilemma shows "niceness" as being a part of the winning formula.

** And the solution for a drought is not more dams...

Reply Score: 7

v No, we would not be better off.
by tbutler on Tue 21st Aug 2012 04:32 UTC
RE: No, we would not be better off.
by Radio on Tue 21st Aug 2012 06:16 UTC in reply to "No, we would not be better off."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I remember the first time I tried the Galaxy Tab 7. The mail application had the EXACT same icon layout at the iPad -- every function on the toolbar was in the same order. The colors were similar.

Oh, the horror!

Take icons like the infamous handset on a green backdrop or the musical note on top of a CD with a blue backdrop. While these are clear ways to represent a given function, even within the bounds of a relatively square icon, there are probably dozens of different ways to do the same thing well. Why exactly copy Apple?
Oh yeah. Like, Apple are the first to associate a lifted handset with the color green. Because that was never done before. Genius! Who would have though of associating an icon representing a physical part of a phone, with the color associated with "ok", "start", "go"! No other phone maker did that before, right? It is only after Apple spent billions of dollar of UX research that they made this great insight in intuitive design, right?

Reply Score: 9

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I think the point the chap was trying to make that it was almost a complete rip-off.

Say what you want about Metro, Unity and Gnome 3 ... at least they are attempting to do something different.

I haven't used a recent Android Device, so I won't comment on whether it does or not. However the OP obviously thinks it does.

If what the OP said was true, forgetting about patents itself ... it just shows staggering degrees of laziness and IMO just plagiarism.

Reply Score: 2

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Say what you want about Metro, Unity and Gnome 3 ... at least they are attempting to do something different.

Metro? White handset icon in a solid (green in some manufacturers default settings) color square. Total rip-off!

More seriously, where are you coming from? Gnome has been berated for years for being a bad knock-off of OSX (and KDE for being a cheap Windows rip-off), and Unity is a mix of OSX and Win7 (the latter already "copying" the former) with the bar on the side.

Tiling WM are the only UX concept really adopted and expanded by non-corporate entities (even if, like everything else, it may have been invented at Xerox) which, if it were one day adopted by the general public, could not be said to have been "ripped off a successful commercial product" (even if the usual fanbois will try to rewrite history).

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I get tired of this thinking that is similar to saying "Because a Van and a Car have 4 wheels they are exactly the same thing".

It akin to saying that OSX and Windows 7 have exactly the same UI because they generally follow the WIMP paradigm ... it is far too high leve.

If someone can point out where the UI is soo similar the only difference is that it looks like it been themed then it is a rip-off.

I don't really care much for the patent rubbish, but it does point out that they were trying to clone the their biggest rival.

As I said, while Metro, Unity and Gnome 3 share elements with other environments, they generally unique enough.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Tiling WM are the only UX concept really adopted and expanded by non-corporate entities (even if, like everything else, it may have been invented at Xerox) which, if it were one day adopted by the general public, could not be said to have been "ripped off a successful commercial product" (even if the usual fanbois will try to rewrite history).

Well, Metro is sort of tiling, in the ~tablet/PC variant. The first version of Windows or later GEM definitely are, nobody will need to "rewrite history" (...for some values of "successful" at least)

Reply Score: 2

devnet Member since:
2007-01-16

If that's the case, take a peek at a Samsung phone from 2001 that has a green handset icon on it about 6 years before the iphone came out.

https://plus.google.com/photos/114809694981451178696/albums/57741286...

Reply Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I really wish there was a :facepalm: emote for this website.

Reply Score: 0

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

white handset on green or red background has been used by skype for many years

here is a picture from 2005:
http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ImDiggingSkypeMoreAndMoreTheImTiredOf...

Reply Score: 4

tbutler Member since:
2005-07-06

Why would you want to defend exact copying? The point the original article was trying to make had to do with how Samsung's copying was beneficial. I don't see how exactly copying something is beneficial to anyone. Let's see competitors do their own spins on things rather than making cheap "KIRF" designs -- that'll actually cause innovation.

Note that Samsung didn't associate Green and a Phone, they picked the same sort of silhouette of a phone and set it on a green background. What about a gray background with a green handset? Or a different style of handset? The point is, there are lots of ways to design the icon, Samsung picked to essentially mirror Apple's icon, other many other manufacturers have not.

There isn't any real reason to suspect that Samsung would have come up with that same icon had Apple not designed it first. In some flavors, Samsung's icon even had diagonal stripes behind the handset, just like Apple. Some copying is logical, yes, but at some point you cross the line from "this is the most logical thing to do" to "this is just because we don't feel like coming up with something of our own."

This sort of reminds me of Hyundai-Kia's penchant about a decade ago of copying other makes of cars. One model looked a lot like a Jaguar, another was a riff on a Saab. Many of the design ideas where obvious enough that you could say "well, of course they'd use chrome in that way or slope the roof that way, it's obvious!", and yet no other manufacturer needed to do it to make a decent car. It didn't help innovation, but it did manage to tarnish formerly premium design elements. Thankfully, at some point they stopped doing that and started making some really nice looking cars on their own right. Now, instead of being a cheap knockoff maker, it isn't uncommon for people to talk about how, say, the Sonata has a nicer design than its nearest competitors.

I'd like to see Samsung learn something from its compatriot. Once it does, then we will see more innovation. I'd wager this even: many of the things Samsung has copied from Apple are things that some other design could be better than Apple's. Why not find that better design option by doing real R&D?

Reply Score: 0

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The conditions imposed by placing a button on the screen (vs more clearly visible paint on a button always in the same place) mean that, yes, making the background green is pretty much the most sensible way... but naturally you're unable to realise that.

Just like with those Kia designs (though IMHO it's good such design elements & the overall "US tough/mean" front styling are generally retired, they're fugly and silly) - all present cars are so close that you can see what you want to see. The distinctions are almost artificial, that was always the case - we generally don't recognize old designs as belonging to a particular marque, but as "cars from the 20s", "cars from the 30s/40s", "cars from the 50s" and so on.

BTW, the 2012 US/Korea/China Passat ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Passat_NMS ) is, stylistically, quite clearly a copy of a Kia model from few years back ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2010_Kia_Optima_EX_--_06-16-2010.... )

Reply Score: 2

phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Take icons like the infamous handset on a green backdrop or the musical note on top of a CD with a blue backdrop. While these are clear ways to represent a given function, even within the bounds of a relatively square icon, there are probably dozens of different ways to do the same thing well. Why exactly copy Apple?


Big news: the musical note symbol wasn't invented by Apple but by... Solfège notation.

Big News 2: not everything was invented by Apple. Not even most icons.

What about a yellow phone icon to harken back to the Yellow Pages? Or a Blue one to allude to Ma Bell,


Welcome to America: not everybody live there, and their *yellow pages* are not necessary yellow color-themed, and their historical phone company is not necessary blue-color-themed.

Hence the need to find a *world-wide* symbol for the same function.


a musical note without the "antiquated" CD?


The musical note is far more antiquated than the optical disc, actually. And only the later carrier the digital meaning.

What about a phonograph ala the one the RCA dog "hears his master's voice" in?


Love that one. One simple answer: trademark infrigment.
How ironic that trying that it's still possible to not mimic existing design you fall yourself in the IP trap...

And is there anything necessarily blue about music players other than that iTunes has had a blue note icon since iTunes 5.0?


Huh? I though that what was troubling regarding Samsung vs iPhone icons was the *purple* music player icon.

Oh well.
Let's patent colors.
And, next, letters.

Everyday, pro-patents are inventing... another reason to *not* respect patent system.
Well done, guys.

Reply Score: 7

tbutler Member since:
2005-07-06

I think your reply shows exactly what I was critiquing. I didn't say no one else could use a musical note, for example. But, the particular arrangement of a particular musical note overlaid on a CD is something that is specifically related to iTunes. Why not use a different note? Or skip the CD? That was my point. The phonograph reference was intended to be ironic.

(Oh, and while a CD is a dying technology, a musical note isn't, so I think a CD is antiquated whereas a musical note is not. Antiquated implies it is outdated, not just old.)

Reply Score: 0

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

But, the particular arrangement of a particular musical note overlaid on a CD is something that is specifically related to iTunes.


that particular arrangement is a pure ripoff of the cd-player icon in win 95

Reply Score: 4

tbutler Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually the note in Windows 95 is different, whereas it is the same on the Samsung devices as it is on Apple devices. In the Windows 95 icon, the two notes with a beam are moving downward, in the others, the notes are moving up the scale. Yes, it is close, but at least it is different -- especially if you pay attention to details. Likewise, the location of the note was on the top right in Windows; in older iTunes icons and the Samsung icons derived from them, it starts on the bottom right. In some cases, Samsung uses the same purple as the iTunes Store icon, in others it uses a similar blue to the old iTunes desktop icon. In either case, it could have even varied its choices more by picking a different shade of purple or blue (or even, sticking to red as Samsung has done in some other variants).

(Notably, Apple used an even more distinctly different musical note in early iTunes releases, though Microsoft had deemphasized the CD Player in favor of Windows Media Player already by that point. It wasn't until CD Player was all but forgotten that Apple switched to its familiar two note icon.)

Reply Score: 0

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Even more ridiculous mental acrobatics ...you point out many variants that are different as if that proved malice - do you really think there are that many variants of doing it, if somebody constantly changes them?

Ultimately, it's about iconography that's familiar to people, a kind of universal language - of course many variants will be close (do you also expect each place to have very different road signs? ...you know, identical could be "infringing", somebody designs them, their details). Understand it's like mouse pointers by now, which are also very similar in their depictions of common basic idea/functionality.

Edited 2012-08-28 00:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 04:47 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

"Apple didn't stop innovating at all. Instead: they came out with the iMac."

Yeah, but they almost went bankrupt before that and it took the return of Steve and a financial injection from Micrsoft to save them. After that it still took a couple of years to become relevant. Probably the iPod, more than the iMac, put new wind in their sails.

"Copying" probably benefits the consumer in the sort run, but it stops innovation from companies in the long one. Without any game changers companies, like Samsung, just copy others and keep adding bells 'n' whistles to their products, but never really change anything.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Tue 21st Aug 2012 05:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"Copying" probably benefits the consumer in the sort run, but it stops innovation from companies in the long one.


Again, this has not been proven, and one of the articles points to instances where the real world does the opposite.

As long as consumers benefit from (and thus demand) innovation, companies will continue to innovate. There is no incentive for any company to innovate if it can ride on the back of one innovation made years ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 05:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

RIM and Microsoft have seemed to be able to create products that don't imitate Apple products. This is innovation, this is what customers give a real and clear choice.

What hinders innovation are the huge number of silly patents, like attaching a picture to an email(!?). Even if you made a totally different product you can still get hit when that product can attach a picture to an email.

A patent like this isn't an invention, an innovation or even "it's obvious with hindsight, but you never would have thought about it yourself".

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Tue 21st Aug 2012 07:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Two things:

1) "Copying" isn't "imitating".

2) Everyone copies from older designs.

None of this has been shown to stop innovation. History shows it can increase innovation. Conversely, innovation grinds to a halt when copying is forbidden.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, you can copy an idea. Microsoft Surface and RIM's Playbook build on the tablet idea, an idea Apple showed can make money if done right.

Neither Surface or Playbook scream "iPad". A number of Android powered products do, but Samsung went much further than that.

So I consider Surface and Playbook to be innovations and Samsung's stuff copies.

Microsoft and RIM used the success of the iPad to do their own tablets, which you can't blame them for, and they did it their way, which is also good. Samsung just copied the iPad/iPhone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Tue 21st Aug 2012 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Samsung just copied the iPad/iPhone.


I keep seeing this being asserted and nothing more. Before the iPad came out, anyone person familiar with sci-fi would have had the same idea for a tablet. The only thing that was holding it back was the technology wasn't quite there yet for most of computing's history.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Before the iPad there were tablets, including ones from Samsung.

And it was a market that didn't yields a lot of profits, if any. That's not a situation where you can be sure that a new tablet will sell and make money. Nobody predicted tablets would sell in these numbers.

Apple took a chance and it paid off. They tested the water and the rest jumped after them. Nothing wrong with that though.

Perhaps the technology was now available, hardware wise, but there was no software. Apple made iOS ready and it worked. Others had to do with Android which wasn't ready.

Again there is nothing Samsung brought to the mix, unlike Microsoft and RIM. Amazon even put in the effort with the Kindle Fire, which is based on Android, to make something that's not a shameless imitation.

Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Amazon and well, I guess even Google with Android are the innovators, Samsung spends its time making their stuff look like Apple's. This doesn't add to the innovation or customer choice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by JAlexoid on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Before the iPad there were tablets, including ones from Samsung.


Including CruchPad. If a blogger has the same idea and resources to make a device that is essentially an iPad, then technology is already there. iPad just followed the technology.

Why didn't Apple produce a tablet in 2004? One word - technology. (Or would you say that ChrunchPad is a rip-off of Apple's original idea?)

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by falcon_dark on Tue 21st Aug 2012 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
falcon_dark Member since:
2012-08-07

Before the iPad came out, anyone person familiar with sci-fi would have had the same idea for a tablet.


You just put a bullet on Samsung's head.

If your statement is false: Not everyone could see iPad as a obvious path to tablets. So Apple is a true innovator.

If your statement is true: No company, not even Microsoft who first showed a tablet to the market, realize that. So they are all blinds going the wrong direction until iPad came out. Look for Samsung tablets before the iPad and see how different they are from Galaxys of today. So Apple is a true innovator. Or they were no blinds was obvious that this design was the way indeed. But there were no tech to build those things in a iPad like form and Apple was the first to achieve it. So Apple is a true innovator.

Do you realize that it doen't matters if your argument is true or false? Arguments don't change facts. An idea only became a innovation when is executed. Microsoft and Samsung didn't created the iPad because they were painting the wrong picture. At least you will not see a MS report on how to make Surface look and feel like the iPad. MS is following iPad but is trying to be an innovator also.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by JAlexoid on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

RIM not imitating? If you subscribe that iPhone is the original in finger touch oriented device with rectangular icons, then RIM is imitating very much. As well as WP7.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 22nd Aug 2012 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

RIM used their own OS and are now switching to QNX, which they now own, build their own BlackBerry network, designed their own handsets and have own way of operating them. When you see one you recognize it.

WP7/8 is also a product you can easily identify. Nokia WP phones have their own identity. I business phone is a Lumia 800 and I like it.

Amazon did some heavy modification on Android and made it work with their content.

Samsung made Android worse with their attempt to make it look more like iOS. I personally have come across a number of unknown brands that produced media and tablets that even look more like Apple stuff than Samsung's.

Perhaps a strange thing to say from someone like me, but Samsung's stuff would have been better if they were less Apple-like. Stock Android, no crapware, updates to the latest and greatest equals winner.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by lucas_maximus on Tue 21st Aug 2012 08:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 21st Aug 2012 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They were just "dumb" phones with features tacked on. While there were phones about that were truly different, they never really made it big in the market place.


Symbian? PalmOS (Treo)? Windows Mobile?

Those were pretty big.

Reply Score: 11

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by henderson101 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Symbian? PalmOS (Treo)? Windows Mobile?

Those were pretty big.


Not really. Not here in the UK.

Symbian was most frequently on the Nokia dumb phones here, and the N95 was probably the first popular Symbian phone that really made inroads towards "smart"... but it was still pretty basic by comparison to Android or iOS these days. There was UIQ, but those phones were stupidly expensive (this was when most people paid max £25 for a new phone on contract - they were upwards of £80.)

The Treo was available here, but was niche due to the price tag. I never saw one in the wild, despite being in IT and owning (and loving) various Palm(OS) devices.

Windows Mobile, yes there were quite popular amongst geeks/IT professionals, but they also had crappy battery life. I worked with Windows Mobile devices for a number of years and the XDA (the one O2 in the UK sold, I think MDA was another re-badging by Orange or similar) was okay... it wasn't brilliant though. We had about 4 or 5 different models in house and they were all light on battery duration. They also cost a lot more than most casual users would pay for a phone - especially when Data contracts were still really expensive in the UK. I did work with someone who used to buy (at full price) the HTC Win Mobile phones (the smallish one) right up to Win Mobile 6.5 and loved them. Still had crappy battery life and he has since moved to Android.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 21st Aug 2012 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

In The Netherlands it was all Nokia, the candy bar ones being most popular. Windows Mobile was pretty rare and well, Treos even more.

Nokia did make the best "dumb" phones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by lucas_maximus on Tue 21st Aug 2012 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Not in the UK.

Everyone was using Nokias on pay monthly contracts and pay as you go for ages. Most feature phones were Nokias were not much more than 3210s on steroids.

http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/June2005/Nokia6280Closed.jpg

This was selling for the same price a HTC desire in 2005, and it was hardly more than a 3210 with a colour screen and a web browser and a few Java Apps.

Sorry Treo, PalmOS and Windows Mobile was hardly mainsteam and didn't have the impact the iPhone did. I knew one person that had a Treo and work gave him that.

I never met anyone that was running Windows Mobile and Palm phones were mostly unheard of.

A lot of people in the UK love their blackberry's, mainly because they are cheap with contracts and we send a lot of SMS messages.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Mon 27th Aug 2012 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Everyone was using Nokias on pay monthly contracts and pay as you go for ages. Most feature phones were Nokias were not much more than 3210s on steroids.
http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/June2005/Nokia6280Closed.jpg
This was selling for the same price a HTC desire in 2005, and it was hardly more than a 3210 with a colour screen and a web browser and a few Java Apps.

If you put it that way - same could be said about the iPhone ...except, it didn't even have apps (which are quite popular on Nokia feature phones: http://www.opera.com/smw/2012/03/ - or were on Symbian smartphones, for which UK was one of the prime markets, contrary to what you seem to imply)

Reply Score: 2

the car industry has always copied
by unclefester on Tue 21st Aug 2012 06:49 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The car industry has been based on shamelessly copying other manufacturers technology for the past 125 years. It has improved innovation rather than hindering it.

-In the 1960s/1970s Nissan simply copied a Mercedes six cylinder and the Ford 4.7L V8 small block engine with many parts being interchangeable.

- The Mazda MX-5 was a very heavily based on the 1960s Lotus Elan.

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

In both examples the copies were better in a number of ways than the originals. The Nissan engines were much cheaper to build and lighter than the originals without sacrificing perfomance or reliability. The MX-5 was far better built and far more reliable than the Lotus

Reply Score: 3

Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

That's the thing missing from this debate. That the very act of redoing or copying (if you must use the term) can lead to innovation.

Just the act of redoing someone elses work allows you to understand their thinking and allows you to introduce your own.

Far to many people believe in the singular designer or creative talent that works in isolation and plucks amazing ideas out of thin air.

We all build on each others work. Sometimes those building on others aren't of the same skill, but we still allow it all the same.

Ive's designs are clearly built on the work of Dieter Rams, only an idiot would argue otherwise. However Ive's added his own thinking and I utterly defend his right to do so.

Apple is a trendsetter, we accept trends and artistic movements with ease in other fields why is it so hard to accept in the tech industry?

Reply Score: 5

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


Ive's designs are clearly built on the work of Dieter Rams, only an idiot would argue otherwise. However Ive's added his own thinking and I utterly defend his right to do so.


Dieter Rams works were also highly derivative and not particularly unoriginal. His ideas can be readily traced back to the minimalist designs of the early 20th century. These in turn were derived from ancient Japanese design principles.

Reply Score: 2

Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

Bit of a double negative there, but I agree with what you mean.

That's the thing though, a good design need not be that original, it can just be well executed.

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Typo corrected:

Dieter Rams works were also highly derivative and not particularly ORIGINAL.

Reply Score: 2

Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Innovation is not the only goal.

I dare say for more people getting a job and living a decent life far outweighs a little more innovation.

You cannot dismiss that people are the ones who innovate and if the *best* people are not going into the innovative field, you are unlikely to get the most innovation.

So how so you encourage the best and brightest to enter a field where their ideas can be easily copied and their focus cannot sustain a career? The answer is it is not going to happen.

We see that happening today as more and more of the best and brightest retreat to more regular careers as lawyers and doctors and public section in the Western world. Many senior skilled people are remnants of the last great tech boom and no new person is stupid enough to buy into it.

You cannot have this kind of discussion about removing patents without a great discussion on careers and funding with respect to the general society.

So long as we have a public sector, high taxes and an economy bent on growth, industry will need something to make it a viable sector for both industry and those employed in it. Patents are a part of that. Monopolies are another part.

It's a complicated issue.
My own view is industry has given more than enough to encourage short term innovation (free-trade, removing monopolies, lack of unions, no powerful professional body...). The rest of society is looking too attractive that any more like removing patents will probably result in short term innovation, followed by a shortage of people willing to make an innovation private sector field their career.

Reply Score: 0

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

So how so you encourage the best and brightest to enter a field where their ideas can be easily copied and their focus cannot sustain a career? The answer is it is not going to happen.


Ah.... yes. The old dilemma of innovators aren't going to innovate is they aren't paid. It's like saying that musicians aren't going to play their instrument if they aren't paid for it...

Reply Score: 4

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

"Best and brightest" go into Serious Science(tm) ...the whole friggin' idea of which is sharing of innovation and advancements - hell, the scientific process simply wouldn't work without it!

Actual hard and expensive research (where nobody would even suggest wasting time & resources on patenting/protecting frivolous "UI inventions") is where long-term thinking really goes on, not corporate "innovative" fields & their dynamics revolving around stock market performance.
(come on, look at LHC - somehow we do manage to fund this biggest and most expensive single scientific experiment in history ...and one that is unlikely to bring any direct benefits for, say, half a century at least - and quite probably longer, when all presently living people will be dead)

Overall, realise that you're advocating a variant of broken window fallacy...

Reply Score: 2

v Did you copy tests in school?
by jefro on Tue 21st Aug 2012 19:59 UTC
RE: Did you copy tests in school?
by smashIt on Tue 21st Aug 2012 22:32 UTC in reply to "Did you copy tests in school?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Why would I ever bother to make a product if it were not protected?

there already is a strong movement among producing companies away from patents
simply because without a patent you will always be 1 generation ahead of your competition, and the copycats have to do some nasty reversengineering

What kind of commie state

why the hatered against communism?

Reply Score: 3

mantrik00
Member since:
2011-07-06

All the progress in humanity (from the days of the primitive man) is because of stolen ideas and no entity is an exception to this truth.

Reply Score: 4