Court documents allegedly show Samsung copied iPhone icons



  • Reply 101 of 102
    shaminoshamino Posts: 527member


    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    And even Google's icon is the same, but with a rotation and different colors.


    That's a big difference here.


    Anyone can argue that a silhouette of a telephone handset is an obvious icon for a telephony app, but there is no way you can argue that all the other elements of the icons (angle, scaling, color, background, etc.) are self-obvious.  The fact that many different smartphones (including many different vendors' releases of Android) do not use the Apple icon is proof.



    Originally Posted by WayWard View Post

    What we have here is an argument between originality and ubiquity and I tend to fall just (and only just, mind you) on the side of ubiquity. Green is the color for calling and red for hanging up - it's a common schema that Apple has applied producing an Icon that is like and old mobile phone's call button, just as it's red button to terminate the call follows that same visual language. So that's a common motif for phones and one that Apple also follows. Calendars, settings and other common functions have developed a set of common visual references that we are all familiar with. Those that do not follow it have chosen another path usually because they don't want the hassle of a ridiculous court case, not for any reason of improved user friendliness.


    Your logic is faulty.


    If someone was trying to copy the iconography of the physical buttons used on non-smart phones, then the handset itself would be green on some other color (or transparent) background, since that's what feature-phone handsets all use universally.  A white icon on a green background (especially one with a very detailed textured background) is not an obvious port.


    As for other apps, have you actually looked at the Android screen shots that have been posted here?  There are plenty of alternate ways to represent these features.  Are you trying to argue that Apple came up with the one and true perfect icon for every application and that companies who don't copy Apple are deliberately crippling their UI to avoid lawsuits?  I don't think anybody is going to make such a claim.


    The calendar is a perfect example.  A round-rect with a red stripe at the top and a large digit below is far from the only possible representation.  The Android-standard icon (a calendar page with spiral binding on top, a blue stripe, gridlines and a swirl) is pretty different, but also represents the concept of a calendar page quite well.  I don't know if Samsung's calendar icon dynamically updates with the system date the way Apple's does, but if so, then that's another aspect where they copied a feature that is otherwise unique to Apple.


    Yes, icons tend to represent real-world objects, but as anyone walking into an office supply store can tell you, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of variations for the design of all these real-world objects.  To claim that there shouldn't be similar variety for the icons based on them is just silly.

  • Reply 102 of 102

    Well, considering you seemed to be arguing that the other icons were too generic, I believe it does. My point is, they weren't as there are many other ways to represent the meaning of the icons.



    Others, though, are not so obvious. The messaging icon doesn't impress me as an obvious copy. It seems generic enough. The contacts one also doesn't impress me much - although the binding on the left of the icons is perhaps suggestive. Notes? What else does a note look like? If they had chosen post-it notes, then people would have been complaining about Apple's Stickies. That one looks pretty generic. Settings? Could go either way. The music one also doesn't look like an obvious copy. After all, what represents music more than a couple of notes and a CD?




    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

    I don't think that changes anything I said.

    Some of the icons are very obvious copies. It will be easy to prove that they were copied - especially if Apple compares them to the standard icons in Android.

    Others will be harder to prove. is simply a pair of connected eighth notes protectable? probably not. Is a yellow legal pad protectable? probably not. So Apple has a much higher burden of proof for those icons.

    In the end, it won't matter, though. If the icons themselves were protected by trademarks, then copying them is an infringement and Samsung will lose. If the icons were NOT protected by trademarks, then Apple would have to show that Google's copies were nearly identical (like the phone icon) to win. If they are similar, but different, Google may well get off by saying that they were inspired by the Apple icons, but not copies.

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