Most of those design changes "Samsung's lawyers made" (not gonna get into the invalidity of this claim) were ones that I was glad Samsung made. From the front, the SGS3 looks great, not ugly. And as for user interface, Touchwiz needed a little added differentiation from iOS, at least in my opinion.
Its the rear of the device and the materials used back there that have me underwhelmed and this article mentions nothing about those aspects of the phone.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I still each have one apple, but if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."