Apple concerned with iPhone icons' alleged misuse

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The iPhone features touch-screen operation

Apple's lawyers are reportedly pursuing legal action against persons whom they claim are wrongfully using icons, interfaces, and other copyright- or patent-protected materials from its new iPhone on other smart phones, which may have features similar to the iPhone's. Apple has also reportedly contacted at least one blogger who posted screenshots of iPhone icons with "cease and desist" requests, although it should be noted that in the one reported case referenced below, the blogger had also posted a download link to an interface containing features allegedly appropriated from the iPhone. Apple's new gadget was demonstrated at Macworld 2007.

Protecting intellectual property can involve a balance between (among other things) allowing some unauthorized use of such material in order to obtain "free promotion" of a company or product, and preventing competitors from "piggybacking" upon original research or upon an established reputation.