Well wasn't that an entertaining read and argument between melgross and Gatorguy
Guess what: you are both right. 1:1. When is the Mud-Match to decide the tie?
The reason why you were both right:
a) Yes... quite stupid on Sammy's part to display this picture prominently on their website, considering the circumstances of the lawsuits that are barring them in Europe. Point for melgross.
b) Yes... questions do need to be asked and answered before passing TOTAL judgement against Samsung. Point goes to Gatorguy.
Truth be known: if this is similar to in-store displays in Euronics locations in Germany, or any other big electronics retailer like Saturn or Media Markt here... well guess what? The retailers do anything they darn well please.
A very good buddy/client of mine prints and installs just such displays, with one of his clients just down the block from me. Guess what it is? A Euronics. The promotions and displays are all at the whims and fancies of the retailer/owner. These stores are what we call in German "Filialen".... basically wholly owned stores, but with marketing and purchasing ties to a larger conglomerate. Kind of like franchises in America, but with far more control on the part of the owners to do what they want here.
I suspect in this Italian example, it was similar to what happens here in Germany:
- owner goes to a display/large-format printing service; tells them what he wants;
- the idea gets dropped on an intern's desk. At the moment in Germany at least, these people make 400,-/mo. They are NOT designers or lawyers... and even many of the owners are not traditionally trained in graphics. They just bought a large-format printer and a couple of computers. We call them: *Garagen-Grafiker (not a compliment, in light of Apple's origins).
- Owner comes back to take a look at a comp... and very possibly suggests, "why not add some cool icons like those on my iPhone". G-G says OK. Owner asks when he can have it installed.
- Client is king here. What the client wants, he gets... and suffers the consequences fully and alone... if there are even any "consequences". At most: take it down.
That's it. That's how it's very possible that Samsung has absolutely nothing to say about the store in Italy even. Regardless of their display materials being used, surrounded be potential litigious logos... and even when the owner IS potentially trying to confuse the customer. This kind of stuff goes on here in all of retail, every day; whether packaging, posters, or displays. Also, considering my numerous trips to Italy, I would say "suggestive false advertising" is even more of a cultural phenomenon there, than here in Germany.
With the landscape in retail as it is here, I was rather surprised when the German court sided with Apple against Samsung. I could bring dozens of packaging design disputes to court, where my clients have been "copied" to the point where even my hand-drawn graphics were scanned and used. However in general, the court system here looks down on such lawsuits... and it costs a small fortune, with very little in return if you ever win. More like: change the color; or change the graphics. That's all. No monetary recourse... or at least any amount that would be worth your while and time. It may even backlash on ya, and make you a pariah with suppliers or other clients.
Whatever. Just thought I'd bring a little more light on the subject from this side of "The Pond".
*PS. No... my buddy isn't a Garage-Grafiker. He happens to be the 5th generation to own a small printing business here. Both he, his sister, and employees are all professionally trained in Heidelberg and Cologne or Trier Design Schools. Yes: they do their best to be ethical and respect trademarks and copyrights, but again: if the client wants it, he gets it.