Startup seeks $200,000 from Apple over 'stolen' Shortcuts app icon

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 7
Apple's iOS 12 operating system, unveiled earlier this week, is already the target of a $200,000 legal overture alleging the design of the tech giant's new Shortcuts app icon was cribbed from the logo of tech startup Shift.

Shortcuts Icon
Apple's Shortcuts icon (left) vaguely resembles Shift's official logo.


It took Shift, which markets an app that uses blockchain technology to create websites, less than four days to draft a cease and desist letter requesting Apple stop infringing on its intellectual property, reports The Sun. Apple debuted Shortcuts at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in San Jose, Calif., on Monday.

Apple's Shortcuts icon, seen above, depicts two generic iOS app icon silhouettes overlaid one atop the other. Partial gradients are applied to both "squircles," as are selective transparencies to achieve a final design that resembles an "S" shape, for "Shortcuts."

Shift's logo employs a similar design theme, albeit in block form, and a vaguely comparable color palette. Instead of overlaying two separate graphical entities, the logo is akin to a long strip of translucent material with two folds that, when viewed from the correct angle, creates an "S."

"It's mind-blowing that Apple, the firm with the biggest cash pile in history, the firm that is so design oriented, had to copy our logo," a Shift spokesperson said.

In its letter, Shift's legal representatives note the company sinks "substantial time and effort" in promoting the official logo, which customers recognize as the firm's trademark. As such, the design has become "an asset of susbtantial [sic] value and a symbol of our client's goodwill."

Shift demands Apple either redesign the Shortcuts icon or pay $200,000, a sum that will supposedly be used to create new branding assets for the startup.

"We are not necessarily trying to go after Apple," the spokesperson said. "They can keep the logo if they reimburse us for a new one."

Apple has yet to respond to the letter, the report said.

Shortcuts is a highlight iOS 12 feature that allows users to create and run app macros via a custom Siri phrase. For example, an iPhone user can create a shortcut called "I lost my keys" that automatically pings a connected Bluetooth-enabled Tile tracker.

Apple product manager Kim Beverett demonstrated the system onstage, using the app's drag-and-drop editor to add a series of actions to a customized Shortcut called "Heading Home." When spoken, the phrase commanded Siri to query Maps for a navigation route, send a custom text via Messages, set a home thermostat and begin playback of KQED Radio.

Shortcuts ships with iOS 12 later this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    devjahdevjah Posts: 1member
    lol
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 76
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 159member
    Apple's shortcut icon looks nothing like shifts icon, or maybe i'm missing something 
    jbdragoncapasicummagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 76
    zompzomp Posts: 43member
    Inspired by shift’s, but def different. 
    Sasung’s first phones was definitely inspired by Apple - Apple didn’t win that case. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 76
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 860member
    LukeCage said:
    Apple's shortcut icon looks nothing like shifts icon, or maybe i'm missing something 
    You probably missed the bigger picture here. People try to get a slice of Apple's 200+ billion cash one way or another.
    bloggerblogwilliamlondonredgeminipalkruppmagman1979macxpresswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 76
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,029member
    Total horse-shit. I wouldn't mistake the 2 logos in a million years. Apple has always used those app shapes for logos and different marketing purposes. Also lol @ needing $200,000 to "rebrand".
    Alex1Nlamboaudi4bloggerblogredgeminipaGG1magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 76
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,603member
    Fishing expedition without bait.
    Alex1NGG1magman1979
  • Reply 7 of 76
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 521member
    kevin kee said:
    LukeCage said:
    Apple's shortcut icon looks nothing like shifts icon, or maybe i'm missing something 
    You probably missed the bigger picture here. People try to get a slice of Apple's 200+ billion cash one way or another.
    ..and to use Apple name for publicity.  

    You get your name out in the media and someone might paid you too. What’s not to like?
    edited June 7 Alex1Nredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 76
    Really? Apple's icon looks better, but there's very little similarity between the two icons, other than the colors that were used.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 76
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,775member
    Apple’s icon: Two layers of round cornered squares in 3D space, the transparency on the right side of the top square creates the letter “S”.
    Also the two round cornered squares are reminiscent of AppStore icons.

    The other: Two intersecting squares creates a third square, to resemble a block and a chain in 2D space.
    edited June 7 capasicumthtjony0
  • Reply 10 of 76
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,534member
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid up.  Maybe they could win but it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept.  As such it looks really bad if Apple is seen beating up on a startup.  
    Alex1Navon b7dasanman69
  • Reply 11 of 76
    nunzynunzy Posts: 658member
    These trolls know no shame. Suing Apple just for publicity. Apple should stomp them into the ground and make an example of them.
    williamlondonmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 76
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 206member
    Oh not again.....NEXT
    jbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 76
    CiprolCiprol Posts: 11member
    Troll and of limited value. iOS 12 is still in beta and has no revenue, hence no real financial value. In a court, they wouldn't get anything. If they really want the money, then at least wait until iOS 12 is out and then hit hard. With mentality like that, save your investment money on this startup. Won't go far.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 76
    leighrleighr Posts: 167member
    wizard69 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid up.  Maybe they could win but it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept.  As such it looks really bad if Apple is seen beating up on a startup.  
    Umm.. No. If you look at all of Apples "Kit" icons, they are all the same concept of layered squares with round edges, representing underlying layers of code/tools that can be built upon. Look at HomeKit, ArKit, SiriKit etc.. etc.. Ridiculous to think that Apple would bother to copy anyone's icon.
    capasicumwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 76
    adbeadbe Posts: 12member
    wizard69 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid up.  Maybe they could win but it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept.  As such it looks really bad if Apple is seen beating up on a startup.  
    I doubt they did.  Representing an S, or Z with two opposed rectangular images is not a new conceit.  This is very likely a case where two different designers could come to somewhat similar results.

    The only question Apple's lawyers need to address is would the average man confuse the two.  Here at least, Apple is probably on very solid ground.  This isn't like the Swiss Federal Railway Clock, where Apple were clearly taking the piss.
    steven n.entropysfotoformatcapasicumAlex1N
  • Reply 16 of 76
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,047member
    wizard69 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid up.  Maybe they could win but it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept.  As such it looks really bad if Apple is seen beating up on a startup.  
    ??? The two are fundamentally different. From colors to shapes you have to be sitting in a chair relaxing toking something in CO, CA or OR to say: "it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept". This is nothing more than a company seeing a minor passing resemblance of an icon probably 0.01% of people at Apple have every even seen.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 76
    asciiascii Posts: 5,813member
    They're not asking for a fortune, seems like a legitimate complaint rather than a rort.
    Alex1Navon b7
  • Reply 18 of 76
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,020member
    Not seeing it myself. 

    I look at the Apple logo and I see the letter “S”. 

    I look at the Shift logo and I think “That cost $200,000??”
    fastasleepcapasicumwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 19 of 76
    asciiascii Posts: 5,813member
    Yeah, you could argue that its their fault for choosing something so generic in the first place. If you don't want a future logo clash then make something more specific to begin with.
  • Reply 20 of 76
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,774member
    wizard69 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid up.  Maybe they could win but it is pretty obvious that soneone at Apple copied the concept.  As such it looks really bad if Apple is seen beating up on a startup.  

    Granted I can definitely see that the logo could have possibly been inspired by the other, but they are also clearly different enough that one cannot be confused for the other. There are only a finite number of ways to abstract the letter “S”, which is what they both do. Really the only thing that is “copied” here, is the color scheme, which would be an extremely easy change.
    radarthekatgilly017
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