Apple Comes Back Swinging: Says Google Warned Samsung About Devices Looking Too Similar To Apple’s


Well, it looks like we have more info on Apple’s side of the story in “Patents of Our Lives.” According to ‘ol Cupertino, they believe they have evidence showing that Google specifically warned Samsung that both their original Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab too closely resembled Apple’s iPhone and iPad — but Samsung did nothing to change the design. This coming straight from Samsung documents Apple will be presenting in court. Here’s some bullet points from Apple’s trial brief as provided by AllThingsD:

  • 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.”

It looks like Apple came back swinging. It will be interesting to see how Samsung addresses these issues later in court. I wont lie to you, even I thought the original Galaxy S looked like a knock-off iPhone 3GS back when it first launched. Still, whether or not Samsung copied Apple (who originally copied Samsung or Sony or whoever), I think can all agree Apple didn’t invent a shiny, black rectangle that makes calls, and no company — not Samsung, Motorola, Google, or Microsoft — should have a patent on something so ridiculous. What do you guys think? Is Samsung already down for the count?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Well, I hate Apple for all these lawsuits and stuff, but I agree that the Galaxy S was similar to the 3GS a LOT. I mean, I confused a 3GS for an SGS once at a shop, only to later realize it was an iPhone, and even then I thought ‘no wonder Apple is suing them’. But of course, if Samsung’s designs have been going on since before iPhone, then Samsung isn’t to blame. All will be clear at the trial :D

  2. Wheres the proof ? all i see is apple says this apple said that but without any real proof that any of this really happened >.>
    This coming from the same company that won a case because the galaxy tab looks too much like an iPad from 10 feet away although the galaxy tab has no physical buttons and a big ass Samsung logo on the front >.>

    1. Let’s see what happens. They both claim to have internal documents, so all will be revealed during the trial..

    2. That’s what I’m seeing too. Samsung comes out with official documents and Apple brings out statements that are most likely false. They hardly ever have a true official document to show their claim

  3. I never even considered them to look similar. You wouldn’t even notice unless you were looking for something to complain about.

    1. lol come on now. We all Apple goes overboard with the lawsuits, but you have to be kidding me if you don’t think they look similar. They look exactly the same, n its not the general shape patent, cuz HTC and Motorola had touch screen rectangle smartphones that same year that looked nothing like this.

  4. Samsung will pull this off :-) they’ve been patenting the galaxy tab since before the ipad was a wet dream of any apple ifans.

    1. Uh, what fantasy world are you living in, because not a single thing you said is even close to being correct, and MULTIPLE courts in several countries have said the same thing.

      Sorry dude, you’re just plain wrong.

  5. Nonsense. Samsung designs are older than Google’s warnings.

  6. BREAKING NEWS! Lexus is preparing lawsuit against Honda for infringing on their revolutionary “4 wheeled car” design

    1. Sorry, buy Ford has prior art with the the model T.

      1. I think you’ll find Karl Benz’s 1893 Velo trumps Ford’s 1909 Model T by a few years.

        1. Actually, both of them were copied from Leonardo da Vinci’s tank design in 1482…. (it’s so fun to joke about Apple, LOL)

    2. Apple already invented the wheel, see link.

  7. Ok, Apple made this style popular for tablets and phones, but they didn’t invent it, F700, Lg Prada and numerous other had a very similar style before the iPhone.

    Not to mention the fact that it is so simple and obvious, it’d never get a patent in the UK, hence the recent court case being lost by Apple over here.

    1. That LG Prada junk was debunked ages ago. LG made the Prada after a leak of the iPhone design.

      1. Whatever Troll boy, show me where the debunked anything, the LG Prada won the iF design award in September 2006. months before the iPhone was first seen.

        and what about this lot of Samsung designs including the F700? take off your Apple tinted glasses, they make you look a fool.

  8. Sorry Sammy I cant argue for you on this one, youre on your own. The main reason i didnt like the original galaxy s was because it looked too much like an iPhone. I thought that was really careless and in bad taste on their part. Im the biggest android fan but there is no excusong the design of the origonal galaxy s. It was a dead to rights rip off. Sorry guys

  9. Haha Apple is pathetic. Google didn’t warn Samsung about anything. Google knew what Samsung had started to develop before the iPhone was even out. Why do you think Google has such close ties with Samsung. Apple is just grabbing at straws now and making false statements because that’s all they have.

  10. I like apple and android , Samsung is just stupid to think that
    Apple wouldn’t care. Samung took the ” I don’t give a f**k” attitude
    And flat out copied apple..

  11. Why Galaxy S is not an evolution of Samsung F700, I find it difficult to understand. F700 design patent was filed by Samsung in December 2006 one month before iphone launch.

    And if that evolution led Samsung design to be too similar to Apple one, it is not some copycat story. Yes definitely it is “regrettable” that evolution of F700 resembled Iphone 3GS too much but it was not intentional.

    1. Not to mention Samsung had already used almost the EXACT iPad look in a photoframe in 2006:

      1. That story is about the launch date of f700(Feb 2007) not about when the design was conceptualized. Samsung has clearly told in court document that f700 design patent was filed on Dec 2006 a month before iPhone launch. So the claim of f700 copying iPhone falls on its face. I believe that might be the reason Apple withdrawing its complaint against this device in ongoing trial.

  12. does it really matter if they did look similar? people buy apple because its apple, if someone copies your design, you say awesome we must be doing something right if people want to copy it, apple should take it as a complement, cause i can see samsung saying stuff you, get your chips from elsewhere & find someone else to make your screens, which i hope they do, go android and sammy

  13. People buy an iPhone because of the OS. It has nothing to do with the shape of the phone. Nobody goes into the store and buys a black rectangle thing, then takes it home and discovers “Oh crap, I thought I was buying a Samsung phone but accidentally got this clunky iPhone.”

    1. Can anyone claim to have purchased a Samsung because it looked like an iPhone but they couldn’t afford an iPhone or made a mistake or something? I highly doubt it.

      1. Why would you doubt it? People in wireless stores are steered to Android devices all the time and told “it’s just like an iPhone.” Or the devices are cheaper, or on a “buy one, get one” deal. It does happen.

  14. I think your right nobody should have patents on such general designs or simple input functions for touch screen phones.

  15. Hell what about apple copying the Android software like the pull down curtain and bring able to go to your messages directly from the lock screen. Did Android not do that first. Why is google not suing apple for that

    1. Some of that is actually HTC’s sense.

      1. I can do all those thing on my GN.

        1. I think Sense did this before vanilla Android, I could be wrong though.

          1. It is possible. Im not saying they invented it. But y’all get my point

    2. I think Google is taking the high road, thus not suing.

    3. they are not suing because they would flat out lose. Apple did not copy that, no matter how much the Android fandorks try to claim they did. That action came from webOS, and the guy that designed it (and the jailbreak guy that did a bunch of other notification center stuff) went to work for Apple. If anything, Android has been ripping it off from webOS/Palm.

      But hey, what’s stopping a bunch of Android zealots from pointing fingers, eh?

      1. How about the fact that Google have a patent pending on the notification bar that Apple did indeed copy…. back under your bridge troll boy.

  16. Doubtful any of these people knew about Samsung’s internal documents of prototype phones that being developed before the iPhone. Nice try Apple.

  17. It’s obvious Samsung copies designs / layout of the most popular phone , tablet, laptop, flat screen tv’s. Unlike other big consumer electronics companies, Apple has a very thin product line. That’s why when they’re copied, they know and they’re pissed.

  18. Saturn should sue Uranus for copying it’s rings.

  19. For crying out loud, I wear glasses. Does this mean that Apple is going to sue me for looking too much like Steve Jobs, and demand that all people with frames with small round lenses be forced to pick another style of eyewear? “You must wear a square lens so nobody confuses you with Steve.” Their petty, crybaby antics are really getting annoying.

    1. Harry Potter has the patent on round frames.


  20. I don’t grasp how any company can have a patent on the basic rectangular shape of a phone. What about the laptop or for that matter the desktop computer, last I checked they all look pretty much the same, does someone have a patent for those? Did someone have a patent for the shape of the cordless phone, they all looked basically the same as well. If so then Apple might have a case, otherwise they are just full of it. But that’s my opinion

  21. Hey Apple, why don’t you cry about it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

  22. Google’s “warnings” appear to me to have been design and differentiation concerns, not legal concerns. Pretty flimsy evidence, if you ask me. Apple wants to convince everybody that nothing existed until *they* made it. Sure, they made many aspects of modern smartphones popular, but they didn’t create them.

  23. Adam and Eve are now suing Apple because they were the first ones to have an apple with a bite taken out of it.

  24. I agree with Chris’ observation. At the outset I should mention that I have been using android phones since the G1. I clearly remember walking into the AT&T store to check out the Samsung captivate and my first reaction was – yikes, how long before Apple sues Samsung. I even remember the four “permanent” icons across all pages that made it resemble the iphone even more. I did not buy it because I thought people would mistake my phone for an iphone. No regrets- I already owned the nexus one.

  25. I don’t think people are that stupid to know which one is an Ipad and another one is Samsung Galaxy Tab. Geez it’s just Apple trying to monopolize the market using that crap excuse. No disrespect to Apple, but that tactic needs to stop now.

  26. So what if Google felt that way? That was (allegedly) their opinion and it is not binding…unless of course Apple wants to set a precedent that Google’s opinions on design similarities should have legal bearing. I doubt Apple wants to go there. At any rate, the opinion of the court decides infringement on design/patents…not Apple, not Google, not Samsung. This argument is weak at best. I hope Apple isn’t paying a lot for their legal team.

  27. This is so petty. It reminds me of the Family Guy vs. The Simpsons debate. Family Guy copied The Simpsons, who copied The Flintstones, who copied The Honeymooners. It seriously is a soap opera.

  28. I wouldn’t say it’s the ridiculousness of the patent, but the vagueness of it. Apple thinks that because they have a claim over a vague tech concept that gives them the right to beat down anyone with something similar. And so what if it closely resembles the iPhone? It would take someone pretty absent minded to get the two confused.

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