With Samsung spanked, could Google be next?

With Samsung spanked, could Google be next?

Summary: Apple won a historic victory in court today against Samsung getting over $1 billion in damages. Will Apple set its sights on Google next?

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TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Legal, Samsung
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With Samsung spanked, could Google be next? - Jason O'Grady

 

Today's jury award of $1.05 billion in damages to Apple after Samsung was found to have blatantly ripped off its designs will have a ripple effect through the entire Android community. I wouldn't feel too good if I was HTC right now -- or Google. 

After 21 hours of deliberation, a nine-person jury sided with Apple on a majority of its patent infringement claims against Samsung. Apple originally asked for $2.75 billion in damages, Samsung asked for $421 million in its countersuit and got nothing. (Complete coverage).

While Samsung's the biggest offender, almost every Android smartphone looks practically the same these days and just about any Android OEM could be the next target of Apple's legal team. 

Take a look at the HTC One X (pictured above) ... or Jellybean for that matter. They're spitting images of iOS. Right down to the size and proportion of the icons and the menu bar and dock. If the current crop of Android smartphones didn't have larger screens, they'd be practically indistinguishable from iPhones from a distance.

 

Windows Phone, Yeah, it's completely different than iOS - Jason O'Grady

 

To better understand how egregiously Andrdoid copied iOS one need to look no further than a Windows Phone (above). Its UI is completely different and a genuine departure from the "icon grid" home screen layout found on iOS. Android, by comparison, is a shameless lift of the iOS home screen. The only difference is that that Google tries to switch it up a little by changing the swipe animation or the scrolling direction.

In what's sure to be a precedent-setting case, Samsung, HTC and all the Android OEMs will be forced to completley re-think and refine their user interfaces so that they're not so "Appley" or they'll risk being on the receiving end of a legal whooping from Apple. 

Google now needs to take a long, hard look at its Android UI/UX and I bet that big changes will be coming to the next flavor of Android, a.k.a. "Key Lime Pie." In fact, I'd venture to say that Apple would have a pretty good case against Android and that it might be able to deliver a similar blow to Google in court (although it's not quite a slam dunk).

Google's digging in it's heels and isn't going to roll over. It's already lawyered up in preparation for Motorola Mobility's patent infringement case against Apple in which the Google-owned hardware maker claims that Apple infringes seven of its patents (including location reminders, email notification, and Siri). 

Regardless of the merit of the Motorola action, Apple will be going into the courtroom with a serious head of steam after its major legal victory today. 

Does Google have anything to worry about? Isn't Android essentially an iOS clone?

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Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Legal, Samsung

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129 comments
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  • To Better Understand How Egregiously IOS Has Copied Android ...

    ... just look at the list of new features added to successive versions of IOS that were already present in Android:

    * installable apps (the first Iphone didn't even have an App Store)
    * copy/paste
    * multitasking (still only a poor copy)
    * modeless notifications

    Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for Android, IOS wouldn’t look anything like it does today.
    ldo17
    • Erm...

      Excuse my ignorance here, but copy/paste, multi-tasking and installable apps all existed long before the first smartphone ever existed, no?
      bitcrazed
      • funny you ask that

        But that argument did not work for Samsung. Course we are talking about Apple, guess it wouldn't matter if Motorola had patents for those things :/
        brad1000
      • And icons in a grid didn't?

        All of these patents are just absurd. Regular computers did virtually all of these things, yet corporations are awarded a new patent because they do them on a smartphone which is just a small computer.
        blarelli
        • Windows Program Manager

          It seems the US Patent Office forgot Windows Program Manager from the mid 80s, when they awarded the patent for arranging icons in a grid form on the iPhone...

          There are probably other, earlier examples as well.
          wright_is
          • True!!

            Because i don't see any much difference from the Iphone Homescreen and the windows 2000 desktop?
            KafilEkemode
          • mid-80s... that's the key you ignored.

            Back when Windows 3 existed.

            Do a web search for some images of Windows 3...

            And Xerox... what's going on now is just someone doing to Apple what Apple did 30 years ago (and got away with, unfortunately...)
            HypnoToad72
          • Or Xerox...

            The Apple situation of late is so grossly ironic...
            HypnoToad72
      • Ah, but you are forgetting...

        in the US patent system, adding the word "mobile" to an existing patent makes it a new and unique idea!
        wright_is
      • Seriously??? Copy/Paste

        Yes copy/paste did exist before any smartphone, however this was one of the features that IOS lacked even on their Mac Books, and yet no one sued Apple for this.
        The Iphone was not the 1st touch screen, thus borrowed idea from other existing touchscreen phones, yet no one is suing Apple for it.
        KafilEkemode
    • The only...

      ...egregious thing here is your idiotic rewriting of history and winge-ing about the result of Apple's totally deserved victory.
      So good to see the Android fanbois in apoplectic agony, the rest of us have had to put up with a monstrous amount of stupid, for months. You got exactly what you deserved...crushed!
      frogspaw
      • It's not over yet

        The inevitable appeal is going to be very interesting. I understand that the jury didn't even feel the need to even read the judge's instructions.
        BRC-4c5c4
      • You choose

        an ibrick and blame us?:
        " the rest of us have had to put up with a monstrous amount of stupid, for months"
        Little Old Man
    • in which world are you from

      All that 'android' feature existed in Windows mobile since 2002. So now you know who copied who..
      owllnet
    • I do agree, Android's multitasking is very poor

      It has a design a freshman is CS could do. Very underwhelming compared to iOS's implementation.
      Bruizer
      • You want true multitasking on your mobile?

        Then you need a Symbian or MeeGo device.
        URNumber6
        • How about WebOS or Blackberry?

          How is the multitasking on those?
          Michael Alan Goff
          • I love WebOS

            WebOS was/is also a very nice multitasking OS.

            BB10 is looking good too, I hope RIM can hang in long enough to get it to market.
            URNumber6
        • You want a true multitasking device?

          Get a HP WebOS phone like Palm Pre.
          projayjay
    • And if it wasn't for iOS

      Android would be a Blackberry clone and look nothing like it does today. Your point is? Face the facts Samsung was found guilty.
      NonFanboy