Wowsers! It's not often that courtroom battles are interesting, but we're guessing that this is one of those rare occasions where it will indeed have the eye of the tech world for some time to come. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple
(yes, the company that makes the iPad) has just sued Samsung
Electronics (yes, the company that makes the rival Galaxy Tab). That's no small deal, and it could open up an entirely new can of worms when it comes to companies "taking inspiration" from similar products.
According to the report, Apple has sued Samsung "claiming the Korean electronics giant copied the look and feel of its popular iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers." But here's what's really crazy -- there are numerous companies in Asia that have outright copied Apple's goods, right down to the home button. The difference, we're guessing, is that Samsung is a mega company, and a company that has profited mightily from taking inspiration from Apple's goods. The lawsuit specifically claims that the Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G, Nexus S and Galaxy Tab "violated Apple's intellectual property." Specifically, it said: "Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products."
Those are huge fighting words, and while neither company is responding for comment right now, it's no laughing matter. The reason we find this so interesting is that it has the potential to bleed over. Just about every slate-style smartphone looks a little bit like the iPhone, and in turn, the Galaxy line of phones. So, where does the line draw itself? Who is copying who? Isn't there some level of expectation that all smartphones will look somewhat similar? We're sure we haven't heard the last of this one...