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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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.

I'm no fan of software patents, but design patents have their place. Protecting the physical and visual design of products is simply an extension of trademarking. It protects the company brand. There's nothing wrong with that, and design patents can't be abused in a similar vein to ambiguous software patents for blocking competition. They're very specific.

I'm growing very tired of Apple's shenanigans, but in their defense, I'm going to buck the trend and assert that Samsung has in fact intentionally copied the iPhone look and feel. I mean, seriously. They've tried to clone it in what seems like a shameless attempt to deceive a naive customer into thinking it is the same thing.

Google themselves have a design patent on the design of their search site. You can bet that they would exercise it if another search site adopted Google's visual style in a way that could mislead users into thinking they were viewing Google.

This particular issue is a bit of a distraction from the real clusterf*ck that is the software/process patent warfare going on right now.

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