Google explicitily warned Samsung against deliberately copying the iPhone and iPad

By , Jul 25, 2012

This is interesting. Google apparently specifically advised Samsung against ripping off the iPhone. Worse, Samsung reportedly was well aware that its Galaxy smartphones and tablets bore a striking resemblance to the iPhone and iPad. On top of that, the South Korean conglomerate apparently discussed this issue and dimissed concerns from both Google and famous designers who felt strongly that Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone “looked like it copied the iPhone too much”.

This is per Samsung’s own internal documents that Apple intends use against Samsung in the high-profile Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit scheduled to begin July 30 in the United States. More juice details, including quotes, right after the break…

Some of the more notable examples Apple gleaned from Samsung’s documents, as reported by John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD blog:

• In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”

• In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.

• As part of a formal, Samsung-sponsored evaluation, famous designers warned Samsung that the Galaxy S “looked like it copied the iPhone too much,” and that “innovation is needed.” The designers explained that the appearance of the Galaxy S “[c] losely resembles the iPhone shape so as to have no distinguishable elements,” and “[a]ll you have to do is cover up the Samsung logo and it’s difficult to find anything different from the iPhone.”

This comes just as we learn that Samsung is stepping up its legal response against Apple’s copycat accusations by aggressively claiming there would have been no iPhone in the first place had it not been for its wireless patents.


Samsung phones before and after the iPhone. Click for larger.

Following up on that report, Joel Rosenblatt wrote for Bloomberg today that Apple will tell jurors that Samsung had intentionally destroyed email messages that Apple later sought as evidence.

Also ahead the July 30 trial, Apple recently won an EU-wide sales ban on the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab, though it lost appeal on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Apple is also reportedly seeking royalty fees in excess of up to $2.5 billion and offered Samsung to pay half a cent per device in exchange for its patents.

Do you feel that these developments strengthen Apple’s legal position ahead of the July 30 trial?

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  • slowdeath

    yes

  • Manuel Molina

    The iPhone looks a lot like the old Samsung phones before the iPhone even came out. Does this mean they copied first….? Lol. Kidding… Or am I?

  • Charles Valdez

    This I agree with. Android copying iOS is silly. Samsung copying Apple is a different story.

  • Rodney Coleman

    Kinda stupid.. apple just has a plan Jane design… plus Samsung makes all of apples chips.. cameras.. etc.. so y not copy or bend the patients

  • http://twitter.com/iKrill Antonio Santos

    According to the image, samsung’s phone have always looked the way they look now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604885391 Richard Borkovec

    Is it me, or has Samsung’s designs barely changed? The “before” and “after” look pretty damn identical to me. I mean, there’s only so many ways you can redesign a basic shape (rectangle), and if you’re listening to your customers it’s even harder, but this seems like Samsung has stuck to the same basic design strategy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beenthruhel Mayank Thapa

    Sigh* Samsung you need to learn to how to innovate…..

  • Will Walker

    The Galaxy S3 looks nothing like the iPhone in form, but the interface well…. Idk.

  • Alan R.

    That`s stupid… how Samsung should make tablets? To look like circle so they will not look like Ipad. Greedy Apple.. They have billions and they just gathering more and more money and not investing anywhere except in their stupid products.

  • babiloe

    I think it is not a total ripoff like china Shenzhen products that copycat the same form shape and same interface.
    People can judge the maturity of the phones and and it’s operating system.
    So apple let’s improve

  • John McCombs

    A simple way to not “copy” Apple would be to give the phone a display bigger than 3.5 inches, as well as legit 4G, or use different colors other than Black and White. Apple has great products, but they are greedy. And by passing/winning all of these patents, they are ruining innovation for others.

  • Hahn Kransilbruk

    All of the television manufacturers should sue each other because ALL televisions look the same.

    You know what?… Michelin should sue Goodyear because their tyres are round and black and have the same sizes.

    In fact, Kleenex should sue Sorbent for copying the idea of using white coloured toilet paper with ripples through it.

    Where does it stop?

    Apple has to realise that mobile phone technology and the fusion of computers and the Internet with the telephones has to evolve… in the past, there were trend setters (Nokia) and their were followers – but that was yesteryear. Now, we can say that Apple is the trend setter and others are following.

    I’ll ask you to make a business decision for an imaginary technology company named “Samson” (purely in general terms, with no specifics or requirements)…

    You have a choice (1) Mimic a design and style that seems to be very popular. OR (2) Use a different design (like other manufacturers have tried to but have failed).

    Go ahead… make your decision.

    Choice (1) is the correct answer. It’s been happening since the dawn of humankind. What’s that famous saying?… “Why re-invent the wheel?”

    Apple – get over it, otherwise we’ll get Xerox on your arse for stealing the GUI and Mouse idea.

    • http://twitter.com/HuchongLing Joey_Z

      nop, bad examples, better keep the topic on phones, because things are different…

      there are more regulations and unification on productions tires and you just cannot run rectangular tires on cars, but you can use different shaped phones. and FYI, tread patterns on tires are actually patented. see? sometimes it’s the smallest thing which makes the huge difference.

      Now all the companies can make tubeless tires, which was patented by Goodyear. but this patent was expired many years ago for the greater public. In recent years, Michelin uses a center-floating piece to achieve the
      run-flat-tire function, whereas Bridgestone reinforces the tire wall for
      the same function. and these different construction methods are
      patented.

      iPhone design is not tubeless tire, it is indeed the run-flat-tire, Apple can still enjoy its younger patent, and who says there are no other way around?

  • Rob Zieman

    So let me get this straight. Apple is suing Samsung because they have a candybar (rectangle) phone with a touch screen that can fit in your pocket? Hmm, how many other manufactures have the same thing? This is pathetic. Is there something that I’m missing here? I have an Ipad and a Galaxy tab 10.1. They are nothing alike other than they’re rectangular and have a touch screen.

  • John Doe

    wow, a rectangle with glass. Now let’s see companies sue for using a cuboid for a computer case, a square for the shape of a processor, an elongated rectangle for the shape of RAM, the use of metal enclosures for hard drives, the use of fins on a CPU cooler and so on and so forth.
    It is not the shape and design of the device that matters it is the technical functionality behind it that allows it to perform the actions it does. Companies can patent their technical techniques and process to produce the device. But they cannot stop others from producing the same outcome with their own technical process. This is how things move forward. people building on top of other ideas while tweaking it in their own direction.

  • http://twitter.com/HuchongLing Joey_Z

    sounds like a punitive compensation is needed…

  • Dinator

    Absolutely. Stop fucking blatantly and knowingly copying Apple and come up with different Samsung!