Apple Wins Patent Lawsuit
As smartphones advance in innovation and design, so do the patent wars between their makers. Companies engaged in the phone industry, such as Apple and Samsung, spend millions buying patents and suing each other over their every infringement.
In the United States Courthouse, Apple recently won a case against Samsung for infringing on six patents. The lawsuit was filed in April 2011 and demanded $2.50 billion in damages. It was decreed that certain innovations relating to the design and technology of the Apple smartphone were copied by Samsung. As a result, a verdict was reached ordering Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages. An appeal by Samsung is expected to be made.
The patents in questions involved design basics, such as the shape of the phones and the icon display. Specifically, Jurors decided that an Apple invention known as “bounce-back”, which involves the ability to scroll and zoom, was stolen by Samsung, who implemented a similar feature. The descriptions of the patents can be broad and general, making infringement cases complicating and difficult to settle.
The patent disputes don’t end with Apple and Samsung. Lawsuits and conflicts between Apple, Motorola, Microsoft, and Nokia are still ongoing. Patents aren’t bought for encouraging innovation and creation anymore, but rather for defensive and offensive warfare between the companies.
In light of recent events, fears have risen suggesting consumers are the biggest victims of the lawsuit, especially with the threat of more to come. Apple lawyers plan to demand that Samsung remove its most successful products from the market. This leaves consumers with less choice and Apple with less competition to strive to make their products satisfactory.
The general concern is that if the smartphone industry becomes monopolized by a single entity, quality and innovation will fall while prices inflate. If these fears are grounded, the result of the Apple-Samsung case may very well be the beginnings of a failing industry.