A verdict for Apple will not end the iClones

Is it hardware or software patents that might hurt Samsung most and intimidate Apple imitations?

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If that’s true, then the case is less intimidating for most Android phone makers than is assumed. Of all the Android brands I’m aware of, Samsung hues the most closely to the iPhone and iPad, and there is evidence to that effect introduced in the case. Otherwise, Android devices tend to have employ some of the same principles of smartphone use as Apple—an all-touch screen, with a home screen full of app shortcuts—but not the same feature-by-feature offerings of each software product.

With most products that Apple feels are directly infringing, there’s a pattern. There’s a bold move by a copycat maker or hack tool, Apple sends a rather firm cease-and-desist, and the infringer disappears entirely. That’s been the case with knock-off Macs, Steve Jobs dolls, software work-arounds, and other maybe-they-won’t-notice schemes. But look at what happened when Google wanted its first closely monitored Android phone, the Nexus One, to have the same multi-touch gestures as that other leading smartphone. It seemed like Apple was keeping “pinch to zoom” off the market, until Google just went ahead and activated it, and, well, nothing much happened, at least in the courts.

So while the software side of Apple v. Samsung may be the most solid and influential, it also doesn’t meant that anybody is going to stop looking to Apple as a design leader any time soon. For that to happen, people would have to stopy buying their products in such quantities.

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