AppCam Claims Leica Stole Its Software for the Leica T, Slams Them via Press Release


About a month ago, Leica debuted the touch-friendly, aluminum unibody Leica T: a hand-polished beauty that, despite the standard (read: REALLY!?) Leica price tag has been received pretty positively. Well, by some people at least.

There is one company that was less-than-thrilled when they saw the Leica T, however, and that company’s name is AppCam. According to AppCam, the operating system on the Leica T is almost identical to the AppCam OS… the same OS that they tried to shop out to Leica two and a half years ago.

AppCam drew the same conclusion that you probably drew when you read that last sentence: the chances that this is mere coincidence are slim. But since AppCam is a tiny little company and Leica is… well… Leica, there’s not much they can do about it. They can’t really go after Leica in a court of law, and so, instead, they’ve decided to go after them in the far less forgiving court known as the press.

In a press release that can be described as snarky, tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic and scathing, they… shall we say… let the world know about this anomaly and wished Leica “lots of success” in the same way you and I would say “bless you” to someone who just sneezed directly on us. From the press release, as reprinted by Photography Bay:

As we now inquired at Leica about the circumstances of this incredible accident, they taught us a very hard lesson quickly. 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.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Elvis is still alive, somewhere out there …

You can read the full release over on Photography Bay, but it is a lesson in sarcasm and, if we may, poking a bear with a sharp stick. We’re not entirely sure whether or not Leica actually stole the design, although we can certainly see how AppCam arrived at that conclusion. What we are substantially more sure of is that Leica won’t take kindly to AppCam’s press release.

We’ve included a press image of the Leica system and a video example of AppCam’s OS above, so you can judge for yourself. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments down below.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Alright folks, my couch has two more spots on it and the piping hot popcorn is served.

    Who’s in?

  • Future is Now

    Not having used the Leica T leaves me with an insufficient basis to make a fully-informed opinion. But solely on the basis of the video as compared to the screen-shots I’ve seen of the T’s interface I’d have to say to this little company: Fuggettaboutit.

    Unless, of course, they’ve established intellectual property rights on organizing a screen into square function spots.

  • Pickle

    I am a Leica hater, but sorry, it’s a standard touch screen interface. 99% of them look the same because it’s a small screen and we have fat fingers. What’s next? patenting a lighting setup?

  • Eric Schwab

    It sure does look Leic-a copy.

  • opiapr

    Without looking at both OSs source code we can’t reach to conclusions as the UI maybe different but the underlaying layers may be similar.

  • David Liang

    The cheese shouldn’t have made me laugh but it did, well played

  • dannybuoy

    And appcam stole Leica’s camera design for their app.

  • Mike

    Patent the action of pressing a button!

  • Mike

    What…what kind of spots? And where is the popcorn located?

  • Faction Script

    A ton of mobile camera apps organize their interface in grids, just check a few on iOS or Android app stores… is there even sliders on the Leica T’s interface?

  • Burnin Biomass

    I think if there was a case there would be a lawsuit. The Leica sure didn’t use all the dials.

    Here is a vid i found from Steve huff detailing the OS on the Leica T (I hopefully have it queued to the time he starts on it on the link, otherwise it starts around 7:25).

  • Jorge Sanchez

    Both systems were clearly inspired by Apple. I don’t know about the ethics of Leica but it is entirely possible that they wanted to have iPhone like on their cameras and they were working on it so when AppCam came they were not interested as they were doing the stuff. O maybe they saw the AppCam stuff and then they decided to develop their own interface. A reminder Apple visited the Xerox labs and got the inspiration’ for the first Macintosh.

  • Tobias W.

    I beg to differ. The “T” is essentially a “Leicanized” Sony NEX. Not that the NEX was already ugly enough, Leica went over the top with the T.
    I am taking so much entertainment from this new development. But hey, Leica, this is what you get when you cease to be an innovator and simply try to produce “me too” products with a luxury twist and high price tag!

  • Thomas Kryton

    Actually, already been done, Amazon has successfully patented shooting against a white background.

  • stavrography

    your couch is a d600?

  • Bruce

    Inspired by Apple? Some parts may have been influenced, but Apple did not invent this stuff either. AppCam looks more of an Apple rip-off than the T.

    Many companies have used grids of programmable buttons to control things since long before Apple reinvented the world. Decades ago I worked at a jet engine test company that used a Programmable Multi-Legend Control System (PMLCS) to fire up and control the engines. 48 “programmable” buttons were available in a 19″ rack-mountable unit about 6″ high. Each button was limited to displaying 12 different pre-defined “images” that were all on a 1″ square film chip where up to three sections could be displayed at a time on the rear-projection button (usually the Legend, Value, and Red/Yellow/Green status).

  • Poki

    These two operating systems are not even close to be similar – both design and function wise. Seriously, are they claiming Leica stole it because you can change the aperture in both of them?

  • Toby Hawkins

    I can see the similarities.

  • dannybuoy

    No I mean look at the rounded corner, silver camera shape on the app. Pure Leica

  • devtank

    It really doesn’t matter whether its legally correct or not, its morally wrong. Telling somebody to forget about it is trite and lacks empathy.
    When a company, a boutique company at that, takes ideas from someone else’s hard work and then applies their standard pricing conventions to their product and benefits financially from it, that is wrong. There are too many instances where ideas are stolen and the originator gets no benefit from that. and its on par with creatives having their ideas grafted by capricious clients.

    This Leica T is becoming infamous for its representation of ugliness from Leica who used to stand for quality and innovation, and what with the blatant lies about the image quality being solely due to the optical quality of the lenses and and not on software corrections, and now this.

    I see Leica now as an embarrassing statement on how we, as the buying public, place more emphasis on our ego’s and our need to impress others, than on applying strict logic to our purchasing decisions.

  • Chang He

    It’s all Bauhaus anyway. Which means Leica is closer to the source than Apple.

  • Tobias W.

    Sorry, I disagree. The T is not Leica design, not Leica, not “pure Leica” by far. The Leica M3 is pure Leica. This looks nothing like a Leica M3. This is actually designed by Audi Design, so Leica officially outsourced the design to a third party. The shape and form factor clearly borrow from Sony’s NEX.

  • Erhard Baltrusch

    It seems to me that the moderators here are a bit biased, to say the least. How else should I explain that my post about a legitimate claim from a photographer who had is work stolen by AppCam has mysteriously “vanished”?