Dieter Rams and Over 100 Top Designers Support Apple in Longstanding Samsung Lawsuit
Calvin Klein, Dieter Rams, Norman Foster, and over 100 of the world's leading design professionals have filed a lengthy amicus brief [PDF] in support of Apple in an over five year old patent lawsuit against rival Samsung.
Apple was awarded nearly $1 billion in damages in 2012 after Samsung was found to have copied the "look and feel" of the iPhone, but a significant part of the decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million -- a sum that Samsung has paid but continues to appeal. The patent lawsuit began back in 2011 and has since made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Apple is fighting for it to remain.
The design professionals, which have collectively provided services to Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, GM, Google, IBM, Knoll, Lenovo, LG, Louis Vuitton, NASA, Nike, Polaroid, Porsche, Starbucks, Target, Xerox, and even Samsung itself, among others, believe that Apple is entitled to all profits that Samsung has earned from copying patented designs.
The designers argued that a product's visual design has "powerful effects on the human mind and decision making processes," citing a 1949 study that showed more than 99% of Americans could identify a bottle of Coca-Cola by shape alone. The amicus brief further states that "successful technology companies use design to differentiate themselves from competitors."