Aug 152012

We’ve all been privy to the news with regard to Samsung and Apple.  The two have been locked in an epic battle for months now, and not a single customer anywhere has benefited from it, though many have been harmed in one way or another.  I could go into great detail to discuss who’s right and whose wrong, but that would be nothing but opinion, and there’s plenty of that to be found on the internet elsewhere.  I suggest you google Samsung vs Apple if you want opinions.  What I want to bring to light is the underlying issues.

Software & Design Patents

Software & Design patents seem like they might be primarily at fault here, and perhaps they are.  Apple claims Samsung copied Apple, Samsung has evidence to the contrary and claims Apple copied Sony…  It’s a huge cow pie of blame going around.  But what was really copied here?  Apple copied “Simplicity” from Sony..  Samsung copied “Rectangle with round corners” and “icons on the screen” from Apple.  Are any of these concepts worthy of million dollar lawsuits?

Patent laws are in place for a number of reasons.  First and foremost is to encourage innovation.  Apple innovated.  They took the concept of a smart phone and made one, just like the rest of the smart devices that came before.  Same as Samsung has innovated by making a smart phone just like the rest of the smart devices that came before.  Lawsuits discourage innovation.  The money that both sides have put into this public display would be better spent on R&D.

Patents on software have done nothing but stifle innovation.  For years, Microsoft threatened Linux with patent lawsuits.  Since there is no coherent unit to Linux, Microsoft’s attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, returning only minor revenues and wasting thousands of working hours.  Ultimately, the products Microsoft was attempting to sue over were independent, original developments.  Innovative ideas from men and women like you and I which were released FREELY to people around the world.  Microsoft used Patents to attempt to stifle this innovation and failed.

Apple and Samsung are a similar matter.  Apple is attempting to use Patents to stifle Samsung innovation.  Apple fears Samsung.  Why isn’t Apple suing HTC?  Nokia?  Google?  Because none of these entities are providing the kind of direct competition to apple’s products that Samsung is.  Despite the fact that UK Judge Colin Birss says otherwise, Samsung’s tablets are just a pile of awesome sauce giving Apple’s iProducts a run for their money.  I’ve personally used both Apple and Samsung products, and I’ve found that the Samsung (and in general all android devices) are simply better: easier, more performant, more capable, and prettier than their iProduct counterparts.  Apple isn’t suing Samsung because they wants recompense for their alleged patent infringements, they’re suing because they can’t compete otherwise.  Simply put, Apples products aren’t good enough, so Apple is “crying to mommy” to make them win.  The patents are just an excuse.  Microsoft did the same thing.  Microsoft knows that ultimately Linux is the better product, and in the face of losing market share to Linux, decided to throw around the idea of lawsuits against anyone using Linux.  Again using patents as an excuse.

Litigation as Competition

It’s come to the point in our fair market economy that when some large company begins to lose out to a better, smaller company and can’t compete fairly, they turn to lawsuits.  Litigation is the new Competition.  We the people are letting it happen.  The courts are letting it happen.  Our politicians are probably profiting from it.  It’s time that we do something about it, before it grows more out of hand than it already has.  Write to judge Lucy Koh, ask her to quit biasing her decisions toward Apple, and to maintain a fair courtroom.  Ask her to dismiss the case without prejudice even.  Write to your congressmen and senators, ask them to stop the mindless lawsuits, ask them to pass laws eliminating software and design patents, and encouraging innovation.  Vote.  Not just at the ballot box, but also with your soap box.  Write an article on your blog or website about the problem.  If you don’t have a blog, find a good article and link it from your forum or e-mail signatures!  Vote with your wallets!  Don’t buy products from companies who partake in these practices.  Support the victimized companies.  Call your local suppliers and demand such products as the banned oppressed galaxy tab 10.1.  If you can’t find a local carrier, buy a similar product.

At the end of the day, the only people being hurt by this sort of action is You, the reader.  If you can’t buy the superior galaxy tab 10.1 it’s not because it wasn’t good enough, it’s because it was too good.  If some day you get served with a lawsuit for using Linux, it’s because Linux was too good.  Who knows what farce the future will hold, but rest assured, if we do nothing today, Litigation will truly remain the new Competition.

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