A lot of people roll their eyes when they catch wind that Apple is suing someone over “look and feel”. And when TMA says “roll their eyes”, he means “holler soprano through knotted panties”. To wit:
“This just in.. Ford sues the whole motor industry for copying the Model T. 4 wheels.. Check! Steering wheel.. Check! Combustion engine.. Check! I know.. Crazy huh?” –Some Engadget douchebag
“Clearly subjective. The “user interface” is nothing like IOS outside of the square app options. This suit is rediculous and I hope Steve Jobs dies already.” –Classy Gizmodo commenter (currently “unstarred”, but with SJ comment and rediculous spelling, it’s only a matter of time)
So why does Apple continue to fire lawsuit salvos from behind its “walled garden”?
Because you didn’t design the iPhone. Neither did Samsung (LOL@the Samsung fantards, BTW). Apple did. And the way the intellectual property protection system works in technology, if you invest in something, you patent it. It could be highly technical and difficult to reverse-engineer or not so technical and trivially easy to rip off. Sometimes, the “easy to rip off” stuff is harder to get right than the components that support it. The particularly uninformed have a hard time grasping this. Someone had to do more than think of this stuff. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t you. That’s why you’re not bringing products to market and “trade dress” is a part of what’s protectable.
Like any system designed to protect, the trademark and patent system in this country can be abused. TMA isn’t claiming to agree with the specifics of every Apple claim with regard to “look and feel”, but the overarching rationale behind them is hard to knock. This isn’t about Apple trying to extort annuities in the form of licensing agreements from companies, a strategy that dying whales like Microsoft and Nokia are clinging to. This is about protecting the enormous investment Apple made in developing a product that was unlike anything before it, but is serving as the copy-glass original for everything since.