The legal spat between Apple and Samsung has highlighted the fact that Android phones need to develop a look of their own. Smartphones are starting to meld into one homogenous look so it’s becoming hard to distinguish one brand from another. In this arena, Apple will always win out because they pioneered that smartphone look with the original iPhone and have been quick with filing patents for every initiative they have taken.
Samsung Galaxy S4 should introduce a unique trade dress in 2013
Next year when Samsung unveils the Galaxy S4, the Note 3, the Nexus 5 or whatever else it has up its sleeve, these devices will need their own “trade dress” – or look. The Korean company can’t just get by on packing the best hardware under the hood anymore.
Judge Koh said that Samsung had infringed Apple’s copyright, so the company will have to work on its wardrobe or face more legal wrangles. Samsung could start using unique colours or cases, decorations on the front of the phones….anything, as long as you can see “Samsung” immediately (and so would the judge and jury). The company is believed to have copied 13 or so of Apple’s patents, and these patents have caused all the problems. Even the Samsung Galaxy S3 is involved in this wrangle.
A big part of Apple’s trade dress is covered by patent #D305 that deals with the famous grid of squares on a black backdrop on Apple’s homescreen. If another company wants to use something like it, it’ll have to make changes to it – turn the squares into circles, maybe? Even Microsoft was clever to stay clear with this and introduced what is dubbed Metro Tiles with its Windows Phone 8 OS. If Samsung pays a bit of attention to its external looks as well as its TouchWiz UI, then the Android gang will be able to go out and about in style.
With the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung should try to reinvent the smartphone game like Apple did back in 2007. Right now, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the template for a lot of new smartphones – its looks are the basis for the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Premier Premier and even the recently announced S3 Mini – so when the Samsung Galaxy S4 is released we should have a good idea as to what the Samsung Galaxy Androids of 2013 will look like.
If rumors serve true, we may be seeing the Samsung Galaxy S4 at MWC 2013 in February next year. Rumors point to a faster processor, 5-inch 1080p display and new screen technology. Here’s hoping that a truly unique trade dress is on the cards as well.