Apple Sues Samsung For Copying Technology, UI, and Style

The Wall Street Journal:

The lawsuit, filed on April 15 in the Northern District of California, alleged that Samsung’s smartphones, such as the “Galaxy S 4G,” “Epic 4G,” “Nexus S” and its “Galaxy Tab” touchscreen tablet, violated Apple’s intellectual property.

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” the lawsuit said.

It might be just talk but most that work in the high-tech industry and are closely associated with Samsung will acknowledge that the company’s strategy came straight from the top and was to copy the best, which in this case is Apple. The similarities between the Samsung Galaxy smartphones and the iPhone is not the result of two companies working independently and moving toward an optimum hardware industrial design and UI. No, the similarities are directly the result of Samsung’s simple, cost-effective, and successful strategy of copying Apple. Naturally Apple is pissed, but John Gruber asks a very important question:

But has anyone ever won a lawsuit based on copying stuff like this?

Apple suing Samsung is a really big deal. Apple may be Samsung’s largest customer for many components that make up the iPhone and the iPad: displays and flash memory to name two. Samsung even manufactures Apple’s proprietary A4 and A5 CPUs. Samsung needs Apple, but Apple needs Samsung just as much as a supplier of these key components. The primary supplier of 3.5-inch IPS LCDs is LG Display (LGD) but even allocating an entire line to manufacturing the iPhone 4 Retina Displays didn’t mitigate shortages, which Samsung and others are needed to make up. Samsung is also one of the largest suppliers of flash memory without Samsung there is little chance that Apple could get all it needs. If the scope of business between Samsung and Apple is enlarged to other products like the MacBooks and iMacs this lawsuit makes little sense to me. Maybe Apple is up to something, gearing up to be even more self-sufficient than it already is, and carving a future that has less Samsung in it. Or maybe this is a gesture of warning toward Google by going after the most successful company implementing Google’s Android OS in both smartphones and tablets.