When is it a copy and when not?
I was reading an interview on Fast Company with Johny Ive, the “design God” of Apple: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3027811/4-things-we-learned-from-this-rare-interview-with-apple-design-god-jonathan-ive. Halfway through the interview Ive starts talking about the Samsung Galaxy being a copy of iPhone and that this is just plain theft. I just could not believe that nobody at Apple has never “copied” something and improved it for their own company that it is so justified to claim “theft” in an interview.
When you look throughout history most of what humans do is copy and improve. Innovations still require a base to work on and such is the case with anything really. Especially in the tech and design world it is very hard to still innovate but rather improve and simplify are now big things, user experience and interaction are at the core of design now and how much more simple can you go without “copying” someone or something.
With the internet at the center of everything as soon as a design or piece of tech comes out, it is there as an inspiration for improvement. One of the best examples is how Sina’s Weibo has “copied” Twitter and improved it to fit the Chinese market. You can add photos, locations etc… That then again sparked Twitter to “copy” those improvements to their own site.
While there certainly should be control over those copy innovations they should also not stop companies from innovating and actually bringing improvements to the lives of many.