There are several technology giants currently at war in the courts over the IP (Intellectual Property) rights for smartphones and tablet computers.
Here’s a smattering of the recent news reports:
Samsung to pay Microsoft royalties over Android
Samsung and Apple warring over patents again
T-Mobile wants to prevent U.S. ban on Samsung products
Microsoft ‘extorts profits from rivals’, claims Google
US trade body to probe HTC’s Apple technology complaint
So currently we seem to have several protagonists in this technology war:
Samsung and Apple are locked in a legal wrangle over technology patents; It’s a ‘who owns what’ tit-for-tat battle, triggered by the release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, tablet PC.
Now I know a client who has one of these little beauties and I can see that it is significantly different from the iPad, in both look and feel – the very thing that Apple have launched the case over.
It’s interesting that both T-Mobile and Verizon have asked that the Apple case be set aside – both of these companies are massive telecom companies – and come to stand side-by-side with Samsung.
In the case of Samsung and Microsoft it seems ridiculous that they [Samsung] are having to pay Microsoft royalties when their device runs the Andriod operating system – i.e. not running Windows.
To give a personal insight, I have been involved in a lengthy case regarding these very issues and know just how murky they can get. The work ‘complex’ doesn’t even get close to the reality of what can be called in to question. It took me a long time to defend a legal claim which we finally won. What a waste of everyone’s time…
The ridiculous laws concerning copyright and IP are also partly to blame in the way these things are conducted, as it’s sometimes necessary to replicate something to achieve something else.
Imagine if I wanted to design a car and someone had IP rights for the wheel, or a bolt, for instance. Would I expect to have to pay someone for the use of that wheel or bolt? In the case of programming and electronics, without creating a whole new way of writing code, or making a component, it is impossible to make something without infringing someone’s rights.
Want to know something really scary? In the USA they have started protecting DNA, the fundamental building block of life. Soon you may not even have the right to your own DNA ~ how ridiculous is that??
I think the bottom line is simple – ditch these stupid laws. They don’t stop copies being made and simply make the legal practitioners lots of money. Consumers never get a better product as a result of these cases, and it harms the progression of technology.
One day perhaps…
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