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Apple Patent Lawsuit Fallout: 'Braun or Apple?' Graphics Go Viral Once More

By Scott Craft on September 4, 2012 1:03 PM EDT 0

Braun or Apple?
The fallout from Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung continues to grow, and the web has responded by recirculating an old comparison of notable Braun and Apple products.

Several years after the comparisons were first made, variations of the 'Braun or Apple?' graphic are back in circulation on social media today as part of the growing PR backlash from Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung.

Following the conclusion of Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung, and the ensuing frenzy with which Apple's legal department tried to have "infringing devices" pulled from store shelves, many on the internet want to remind Apple that they too have been guilty of mimicking a design or two. Actually, it's more like five to six at minimum, but who's counting?

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Over the last decade, many in the tech industry have noted the Apple design team's apparent love of old Braun electronics. The comparisons began shortly after the turn of the century, initially with the release of the first iPod, and picked up steam after the PowerMac G5 hit the market. Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior VP of industrial design, has even spoken on record about his admiration for former Braun designer Dieter Rams and his 10 principles for good design.

The similarities don't end with hardware though. As Cult of Mac noted earlier this year, Apple is not above incorporating Braun designs into their software either. The iOS app "Podcasts", which - unsurprisingly - is used to record podcasts, contains the digitally recreated front panel of a Braun TG 60 tape recorder. The original iPhone calculator app also bore a striking resemblance to the Braun ET55 personal calculator.

Of course, no one is expecting Braun to file suit against Apple over the design of their products. There is one quesiton that many people would like to see answered though: If Apple is allowed to borrow quite liberally from the design of other devices, why can't the manufacturers of other devices borrow just as liberally from Apple?

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