Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:29 UTC
Legal Well. Raise your hands if you didn't see this one coming. Nobody is safe from Apple's and Microsoft's legal crusade against Android, not even Samsung, which supplies a lot of chips to Apple. Apple has sued Samsung for copying Cupertino's look and feel in various Samsung devices. This is about as surprising as the tides rolling in. Update: And Samsung's going to strike back. Hit 'm hard, Samsung. I don't like you anymore than any of these other patent trolls, but maybe we'll finally see it all crash and burn.
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The point I think Thom was making is not who was first, the point is it simply shouldn't f*cking matter...

Look and feel patents are absolutely stupid and shouldn't exist. Actually, software patents in general are stupid and shouldn't exist - but look and feel patents FOR software is like stupid-squared...

Unless [favorite upstart company] is violating the trademarks of [favorite entrenched behemoth] it simply should matter legally speaking.

ps. Additionally, you should not be able to trademark generic images/icons and whatnot like most big software companies do. If it isn't directly related to company or product branding it should be off limits imo.

If you wholesale rip off a UI of a competitor and don't do anything to improve it - simply rip it off; well it's not like you can do it secretly or something. EVERYONE KNOWS. You either do it better, you do it significantly cheaper, or you fail.

Copy-catting the look and feel of something and competing only on price is in my opinion a perfectly acceptable business practice if you can make it work. It's not like it is an automatic recipe for success - you have to at least have a competitive product. If you can manage it I say good for you. I don't necessarily like the practice and it would certainly not be something I would look favorably on as a customer, but at the same time I don't think a UI paradigm is something you should be able to get a government approved monopoly over either.

Edited 2011-04-19 23:29 UTC

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