HP And RIM Produce Similar Device… Don't Freak Out

from the man-bites-dog? dept

ChurchHatesTucker points us to a recent story about how RIM’s Playbook tablet device and interface looks incredibly similar to HP’s TouchPad tablet device interface (using WebOS), but rather than get all freaked out about “copying,” the two companies seem to handle this maturely, noting that it’s just the nature of innovation. HP’s initial response more or less suggests that RIM copied HP, but uses it as an opportunity to position itself as a leader in the space, rather than a follower:

From HP:

“It’s a fast innovation cycle and a fast imitation cycle in this market, so we just know that we have the creative engine here to continue to build on what we have, and we’ll keep innovating, we’ll keep honing and those guys hopefully will continue to see the value in it and keep following us by about a year.”

RIM (Blackberry) responds.

“Well, when you?re trying to optimize user experience that juggles multitasking, multiple apps open at once and on a small screen, you?re going to get people landing on similar kinds of designs.”

Notice no legal threats. No claims of intellectual property violations. Some might claim this is a “non-story,” but in an age when the default so often seems to break out the lawyers, cease-and-desists and threats (if not outright lawsuits), it’s nice to see a response like this. In some ways it’s more of a story, since it seems so rare.

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Companies: hp, rim

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Comments on “HP And RIM Produce Similar Device… Don't Freak Out”

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12 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I suspect HP realized that the similarities are vague, the devices themselves different, and the operating systems different enough to make proving anything difficult, if not pointless. They would have to go into a whole bunch of discovery to discover, well, nothing.

There is a significant difference from copying a look and feel instead of just two competitors landing in similar places in parallel development. If the code was copied from one to another, there might be something to discuss. Further, as this isn’t exactly “unique” stuff, there is no “first to the solution” protections forthcoming. I doubt either of them will be able to patent or copyright their tablet top layouts.

Do I smell “non-story” here?

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

only if your computer’s cooling systems are failing.

otherwise you’re only seeing it, and it’s only a non-story if you fail to consider the amount of stupid that usually goes on when these kinds of things crop up…

which, if you read the actual article properly, you’ll notice Mike spending most of the last paragraph on addressing exactly this claim.

started well, that comment. weak end though.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re:

I suspect HP realized that the similarities are vague, the devices themselves different, and the operating systems different enough to make proving anything difficult, if not pointless. They would have to go into a whole bunch of discovery to discover, well, nothing.

Yes, because that’s always stopped major companies suing before. Yup, common sense based on lack of anything beyond superficial resemblance, works every time…..

Donny (profile) says:

Feels

It’s odd, I feel encouraged to take note of HP/RIM as names to keep an eye out for now.

Their exchange suggests they don’t rest on their laurels, they work hard at putting out the best products they can, they are attuned to a broader picture than the first moment of sale.

Naive, sure. But comparing it to how I feel about a company when I hear they’re engaging in litigation…even if it’s well-founded, my personal assessment of the company’s ‘character’ is affected.

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