Samsung’s Icons Are “Substantially Similar” To Apple’s, Says Designer


While Apple continues to pile up evidence in the court-case against Samsung, a former Apple graphic designer, Susan Kare, has mistaken a Samsung phone for an iPhone. Kare, who designed icons for the original Mac, was brought to the stand to tell her story.

She testified on Tuesday, describing all eleven of Samsung’s smartphones icons “substantially similar” to that of Apple’s D’305 patent. Here’s her actual words in the courtroom describing how she had mistaken a Samsung phone for an iPhone: (via AllThingsD)

“There was a big conference table with a bunch of smartphones on it,” Kare said. “A number of them were on; I could see their screens. I went to pick up an iPhone to make a point about onscreen graphics, and found I was holding a Samsung. I think of myself as someone who’s pretty granular about looking at graphics, and I mistook one for the other. So I personally have had the experience of being confused.”

When she was later asked how she could have possibly tangled up the iPhone and Droid Charge, she failed to respond, sticking with her initial plead regarding the similarities between the icons.

Kare said, “The similarities I saw were the regular grid, the rows of four icons, and the colorful mix of icons that are square with rounded corners,” which all happened to be far to coincidental. Even the photo icon on both devices include a sunflower design.

“It seemed likely to me that Samsung used iPhone screen graphics as a guide,” said Kare.

I will admit, the bottom dock and a few of the icons look similar, but that’s all. Do you think the similarities are huge?


  • Ziaur Rahman

    OMG I can’t believe how low Apple is willing to go to win, if the judge Koh buys Ms Kare’s BS then this is all a big setup. A person at her level to have a samsung phone mistaken for a Apple iphone doesnt make sense to me at all. Apple screen & icon layout have not change since the very first iphone in 2007 (except some minor tweeks). I do agree with you on some of the icon are similiar but that’s about it.

  • Troy Colliss

    Apple just can’t handle competition, I can’t beleive how immature this whole thing is.

  • websnap

    two things:

    1. Keep in mind they are not refering to us, the electronic enthusiasts that would be able to tell the difference between an iPhone and one of the many, many phones (besides the Fasinate) that this case revolves around but rather the average consumer that sees an ad, goes into the store and has some one there say it’s the same as an iPhone. It is not news that Apple is extreamly protective of it’s brand. Anyone would be.

    2. This is just a sliver of the comparisons between what Samsung had released after the iPhone launch and the iPhone it’s self; including behaviour, UI and Industrial Design. If it was just one of these on one phone, I agree – that would be petty and immature. But it’s not. It’s all three spanning most of their line (almost ALL of their “smartphone” catagory devices).

    This isn’t just about what Samsung has done, but what they – and anyone else – should be allowed to do when their own solutions are failing.

  • sandrewb