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Samsung just straight-up copied Apple’s Face ID icon

Samsung got itself in a lot of legal hot water, many moons ago, by copying the UI elements of Apple’s iPhone handset. You may remember that after a lengthy battle, Samsung’s actions ended up costing it a few bob.

You’d think the never-ending intellectual property lawsuits from the early part of the 2010s would have convinced the company to steer well clear of any potential copycat allegations in the future.

But lo-and-behold, check out the new icons for Samsung Pass, the new biometric “identity management as-a-service” tool, Samsung announced during its CES 2020 keynote on Monday.

Related: CES 2020 – our full coverage

The facial recognition icon, second from the left, is almost identical to Apple’s Face ID logo, which was originally based on the Macintosh logo from way back in the 1980s. Among those to spot the striking resemblance was Buzzfeed’s Parker Ortelani.

The smiley-faced logo is one thing, but the inclusion of the crooked nose and the presence of the four cut-out corners within Samsung’s design makes it difficult to argue the Korean firm has at least been ‘inspired’ by Apple’s design.

Whether this will raise the ire of Apple’s typically keen team of intellectual property lawyers remains to be be seen. Apple has the Face ID logo trademarked and, given Samsung’s design refers to exactly the same type of technology, a court might see Samsung’s presentation as an infringement.

It’s not as if the logo presented has long been established as the generic means of depicting facial recognition technology, so there might be some interest from the legal eagles.

Samsung and Apple have been getting on much better, as of late, so it’d be a shame for the companies to start going at it tooth and nail once again. Plus, it’d be incredibly boring for us to start writing about, and you to start reading about, an intellectual property lawsuit between the two firms once again.

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