Apple Sues Samsung, Samsung Vows to Counter (Icon Fight)

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If you’ve used one of Samsung’s Android phones or tablets recently, you may have thought to yourself that the square-icons-with-rounded-corners design used throughout the interface looked a little familiar.

Apple thinks Samsung’s icon design looks more than a little familiar and has filed a lawsuit alleging that “Samsung violated Apple’s patents and trademarks,” according to Reuters.

Samsung has responded to the lawsuit, saying, “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property,” reports the AFP.

The basis of this legal skirmish, Samsung’s icon design, is summed up as follows: “[T]he icons in earlier versions of the Samsung smart phones looked different because they had a variety of shapes — and did not appear as a field of square icons with rounded corners,” according to the lawsuit.

“This kind of blatant copying is wrong,” said an Apple spokesperson.

Here’s what Samsung’s “TouchWiz” user interface icons look like on the current crop of Galaxy-branded Android phones and tablets:

samsungui

And here are the icons Apple uses on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad:

appleui

So, yes, they definitely look similar. Now we basically get to see if Apple can legally claim the use of squares with rounded corners.

Adding another interesting twist to the ordeal is the fact that Apple buys Samsung parts for some of its products. The AFP reports a Samsung official saying, “Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but respond strongly this time.”

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