The best thing about Apple’s win over Samsung in Germany

“The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible… For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks [like the iPad].”

The above is from presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofman in her verdict.

Forget whether you think the tech world is lawsuit-happy. Forget whether you think this is a bad decision. Forget whether you think this is just Germany, and no other country will rule this way. Forget your Apple hate or Samsung/Android love. Forget all that.

Instead, remember the above quote.

It gets old seeing companies copy Apple so fully, and then claim they had no choice because there’s no other way to make whatever it is they’re making. Of course there is. We’re not talking a single function like a volume switch or camera button, but rather an entire product. If Apple used that lazy cop-out, the iPad would have been built like previous Windows tablet designs and failed miserably.

What Apple did was rethink what a tablet could be, and so could anyone else if they choose. It may then be a success or failure, but it wouldn’t be a copy. 

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33 thoughts on “The best thing about Apple’s win over Samsung in Germany

  1. @John,These two examples might shine some light on whether or not Samsung deserves this ruling.1. Look at an iPhone home screen, look at an Android home screen. How different are they? Pretty much the same. You might say, “but that’s just how home screens are these days!” Wrong! Go look at a WINDOWS phone. Did they copy iOS or Android? 2. Imagine a TV store before recent flat screens. How many TV’s have black plastic frames around the screen? How many have the buttons located at the bottom of the screen, behind a pop-open plastic door? A LOT of them. How many don’t? Quite a few. Similar is normal and okay, but nearly the same is not. I agree with PXLated: “Isn’t it really about the “totality” of the copying – right down to the minimalist packaging? You can argue about the little details but when put together, it’s obvious what they were trying to do. ” This is especially true when it departs from the traditional style of design and packaging. Samsung made a mistake when they went from being Samsung-like to 90% Apple-like with the Galaxy tab.

  2. @John,These two examples might shine some light on whether or not Samsung deserves this ruling.1. Look at an iPhone home screen, look at an Android home screen. How different are they? Pretty much the same. You might say, “but that’s just how home screens are these days!” Wrong! Go look at a WINDOWS phone. Did they copy iOS or Android? 2. Imagine a TV store before recent flat screens. How many TV’s have black plastic frames around the screen? How many have the buttons located at the bottom of the screen, behind a pop-open plastic door? A LOT of them. How many don’t? Quite a few. Similar is normal and okay, but nearly the same is not. I agree with PXLated: “Isn’t it really about the “totality” of the copying – right down to the minimalist packaging? You can argue about the little details but when put together, it’s obvious what they were trying to do. ” This is especially true when it departs from the traditional style of design and packaging. Samsung made a mistake when they went from being Samsung-like to 90% Apple-like with the Galaxy tab.

  3. @PXLated,No doubt, I do not thing Google was wronged and they copy more than most. My point is the tech industry is full of companies copying ideas from others and building on it. I know “embrace and extend” is tied to MSFT but it applies to just about every company in the industry including AAPL and their approach to Samsung in EU is hypocrisy at it’s best.

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