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Did Leica Rip Off Their New Touchscreen Interface from AppCam?

By Hanssie on June 6th 2014

Leica is celebrating their 100th birthday this year as a camera maker. A few weeks ago, the new Leica T was announced with a lot of fanfare and excitement. Not only is the camera beautiful and sexy, it boasts a 16.5MP APS-C sensor, two new lenses and a new mount, plus a (relatively) inexpensive price tag. In the Leica T, a new touchscreen interface, the T app, is available for iOS devices, allowing users a quick way to upload images to social media sites and control functions like shutter speed and aperture with the touch of a button.

[REWIND: A HANDS ON LOOK AT THE NEW LEICA T, IS IT WORTH THE MONEY??]

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The Leica T app

The problem is that the developers at AppCam, a company that creates software for a graphic user interface for digital cameras is accusing Leica of stealing their product. The company alleges that their app, which was released two years ago, tried to work with Leica to integrate the app within the Leica systems. After a trial period, AppCam claims, Leica declined in a letter posted here on Photography Bay.

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In a press release from AppCam titled, “A short story about small inventors, large companies and the true whereabouts of Elvis Aaron Presley,”developer Jürgen Habenstein notes the “surprising resemblance to the system of the AppCam.” After speaking to the folks at Leica, Habenstein writes,

The legal department of Leica told us very clearly that there must have been a kind of “parallel development” of our two companies, and that each publicly expressed doubt from AppCam about that will result in massive legal action and substantial claim for compensation by Leica.

The letter ends somewhat snarkily with these two truths and signs off with well wishes to Leica:

“Because such a hard crackdown would probably ruin our small company, we would like to announce at this point this two following immutable truths:

  • The emergence of the operating system of the Leica T has nothing to do with our former presentation of the AppCam system. All similarities are completely coincidental.
  • Elvis is still alive, somewhere out there …”

Leica has not publically commented but you can read Habenstein’s entire letter on the Photography Bay website.

What do you think? Was this a coincidence of parallel development or did Leica rip off this little company? Comment below.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jacob Jexmark

    From where I’m standing Leica has nothing to worry about. The UIs are not really alike.

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  2. Bokeh Monk

    This sounds as specious as Amazon copy-writting photographing on a white seamless !!!

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