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.
Thread beginning with comment 531604
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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."
Member since:

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 Parent Score: 9

lucas_maximus Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2

Radio Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2

devnet Member since:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tbutler Member since:

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 Parent Score: 0

zima Member since:

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 ( ) is, stylistically, quite clearly a copy of a Kia model from few years back ( )

Reply Parent Score: 2