Samsung Versus Apple: What it means to You

The ongoing case is effectively a long drawn business battle to sell more products and in the long run, could prove to be a costly affair for you….the user.

What Apple is inadvertently trying to do is to sue anyone who makes cars because it holds the patent rights to transportation with wheels, and wheels were not invented by Apple.

As you can see from the past, Apple is good at identifying and packaging technology into a consumer product, unfortunately you can’t patent such a process but for some reason or other, the US patent office has issued these patents to Apple in due ignorance. It has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that much of the technology that Apple so called owns in the touch screen smartphone business has been utilized and demonstrated in tech products before. The most shameless of these patents is in the look and feel of the interface which Apple has charged Samsung for copying. In the UK, this same suit was thrown out of court by a judge and the judge in turn demanded that Apple publicly admit that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is not a copy of Apple’s iOS. This in essence is probably as good as it gets since English Law has existed way before the forming of the United States of America.

This same battle is being played out in US courts. Court litigations are costly affairs, and should either side wins in one country, it can and will pursue its view of justice in other countries through the use of registered patents.

Patents are a funny thing because it has to be registered. Even though there is a world body that acts to recognize patents registered, the enforcement of individual patents is left to the patent holder. This means if you wish to haul an offending party to court, you need to ante up on the cost of the legal action.

Such actions, should it be taken and proven successful can only mean one thing, you are going to have to pay more for a consumer product. Products have to be rectified with firmware updates so that it no longer infringes on the patent, and manufacturers are loath to do so unless the market itself is big enough for them to make money from it. That is why such court battles are fought in countries where there is a substantial market share to be gained should one party wins.

This is bad news for you, since you are essentially the victim of such a fallout. You can only end up paying more for something which essentially cost less. Much worst is that certain functions might also be missing due to patent issues, neutering the device in the process. And for outright sales bans, consumers will have to import their own devices from another country should you wish to use them.

The battle for patent supremacy is really a battle for your wallet. Only you can dictate who wins in the end the moment you decide to buy from one party rather than the other. Patent hogs like Apple will simply focus more on litigation rather than innovation since it makes more sense to muscle the competition out of business.

There is always a likelihood that should Apple concede, it will start to license its patents in FRAND (fair, reasonable and non discriminatory terms). This will be a win-win situation for all but at this point, it doesn’t seem to be going this way.