A Hong Kong design student's tribute to Steve Jobs that generated a buzz in cyberspace following the death of the co-founder of Apple last week is not original, but it is not a rip-off, the teenager said.

Jonathan Mak, 19, said on Monday he was not the first to come up with the design that fits Jobs's silhouette into the bite of the Apple logo. He was speaking after comments surfaced on Twitter that a U.K.-based designer, known as Raid71 on the web, created the original design in May.

But Mak added that he was unaware of the design by Raid71 when he posted his tribute on the Internet, which spread like wildfire in cyberspace on Thursday after Jobs died.

It drew hundreds of thousands of posts, and commemorative caps and T-shirts peddled on eBay featured his design. The logo was even used by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher as his Twitter profile picture.

Mak, a student at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University School of Design, acknowledged he was not the original creator of the design.

I didn't rip off his work, Mak told Reuters. I still arrived at the solution on my own, and my conscience is still clear, but I'm more than happy to acknowledge the fact that somebody did it before me.

Like Mak's design, the UK-based designer fits Jobs's silhouette into the bite of the Apple logo. But the dimensions and proportions of that design differ from Mak's logo.

Jobs, who created revolutionary products and reshaped the way the world approaches computing and personal communications, died on Wednesday at the age of 56.

(Reporting by Sisi Tang; Editing by Charlie Zhu and Nick Macfie)