Friday, 6 May 2011

Apple vs Samsung Patent Tangle

Sigh. Another legal set-to between technology companies. 

This time it's Apple suing Samsung for willfully and deliberately - I believe the word 'slavishly' has been bandied about by Apple - copying wholesale the design of the iPhone 4, right down to the icons (monochrome or color it doesn't matter). Now this is Samsung Mobile division, rather than Samsung Semi-conductor from whom Apple sources some $6.5 billion in components every year. Samsung being a giant umbrella corporation building everything from TV's to container ships, Apple clearly has no problem suing one division whilst trading with another... 

Why would they do this? I think it has less to do with Samsung on an individual basis and more to do with Apple being forced to defend it's patents in the US. Letting a patent go undefended this time sets a precedent for any rival phone maker to copy the iPhone in future. Commerce is commerce, Apple can't let that happen. 

However, patent law being what it is, Samsung has ligitated right back hitting Apple with a countersuit in various Asian and European courts, hoping to win precedents to take the fight back to the US. Expect this to end in settlement sometime in 2012. Now can we all stop litigating and start innovating? Please?!?! RC

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