“If Apple had really been in the design business then they’d have seen Samsung’s copy as sheer flattery (at least at the trade dress level) and moved on to the next iteration,” Haydn Shaughnessy writes for Forbes. “Design is fashion, a peculiar form of intellectual property that wavers and transforms by the season.”
“Design is not invention. It arises from a common pool of creativity. I happen to think Apple’s icon designs are superlative but no more so than Chris Bangle’s designs for BMW – now take a close look at Opel, which are as similar to BMW as Audi are to Mercedes and not just because Opel designers finally know how to do curves – more importantly they have the technology to bend the metal like BMW does,” Shaughnessy writes. “Apple deserves no kudos for taking the trade dress fight to the courts. Maybe if they were a bunch of losers whose design advantage had been unfairly appropriated and now they had no cash for the kids’ school fees, then there would be a cause for sympathy. But this is is the most valuable company in history. Mr Cook. Move on. Create.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: People who do not grasp the value of trade dress – the marketing treasure expended alone – run the risk of sounding as silly and as ignorant as Haydn Shaughnessy.
Apple created the modern day smartphone and taught the world what an iPhone is. This was not trivial, nor was it free.
The reason there are copies – of anything – is to take for free (steal) that which was paid for by the original maker: The R&D, the salary and perks of the world’s preeminent industrial designer, the education of the public through TV spots and a very expensive network of retail outlets, the hundreds of millions in online, print, television, etc. marketing, everything that goes into a product.
This why a maker of knockoff handbags makes Coach knockoffs, to trade on Coach’s work in order to move their fake wares without investing in the design, marketing, etc. This is why a maker of auto knockoffs makes BMW knockoffs. This is why Samsung knocked off iPhone. Samsung stole Apple’s work and they traded on Apple’s considerable investment. This is why the jury found Samsung guilty.
There is no market for paintings of Campbell’s soup cans without Warhol.
Making knockoffs isn’t flattery, it’s theft. It’s also an expression of companies’ disdain and low opinion of their own customers.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tony Hawat” for the heads up.]