Symptom 84: In Space No One Can Copy Aliens

We conclude Copycat August in September with a discussion of Alien and how it was stolen, I mean copied, I mean inspired, I mean, bears a similarity to the Ixtl in the novel Voyage of The Space Beagle. The Voyage of the Space Beagle has an Alien that gets onto the ship full of space scientists, has super strength and intelligence and lays its eggs inside humans and gets defeated by being tricked out into space. Alien has a alien that sneaks onto the ship full of space scientists, lays its eggs in humans and is defeated by being blown out of an airlock. 

Yes, clearly different stories. One goes dun dun dun da da dun dun and the other goes dun dun dun da da din din. 

Or maybe they are different stories because their isn't a face hugger, scientists aren't space truckers and the Ixtl doesn't really remember a Xenomorph.  

The real question - does it matter? You can't hold a patent on any space survival story written, even if its 30 years later, because you wrote a short story about a crew surviving a hostile Alien trying to take over their ship (and laying eggs inside living human bodies). There are only so many concepts and as long as the authors characters are original and there is at least some effort at a unique setting/plot, then maybe its ok to be inspired by or even retell with a twist a story that came before.