Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Technics: Patent rights: Last summer's case between Samsung and Apple, explained

I've reached back to August 2012 to get an angle on what happened six months ago when the USA courts made a judgment against Samsung in the law suit brawt by Apple, claiming patent infringement. Michael Bowen's effort to explain to laity the issue involved in this technology matter, and the right to copy or not, is much appreciated.

Techknowlb, refWrite Backpage technics newspotter, analyst, columnist


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Michael Bowen, a technology professional in California, isn't worried about yesterday's patent ruling: "From my point of view, it seems completely right and proper that developers should complain about any legal and regulatory constraints that lead to monopoly. But there are two qualifiactions on that. The first is whether or not these 'innovations' are really that. You see if somebody patents a power window button, what's to stop you from making a power window lever, or drawstring, or voice control, or dial? It is ultimately a matter of superior or inferior design and if Apple has the exclusive rights to the superior design, then how can they be wrong? So I find it hard to buy the idea that Apple's defense of rights stifles innovation."

He continues his commentary: "The second qualification is whether or not the thousands of developers who voice this complaint are actually capable of building something materially different. To use the automobile analogy again, all of the mechanics are complaining that the patents for piston rings cost them money and stifle innovation. But that's only because they are thinking about the market leading engine technology. Rotary engines, the kind used in Mazdas don't use pistons or piston rings at all. If you were truly innovative, you'd put your own engine out there. But most mechanics are incapable of building engines from scratch, they need prior designs."

More commentary from Mr. Bowen: "At some point in the future, the market is going to show that the marginal value of Apple's luxury products is minimal. As it stands, Apple's strategy strands their own products into the bargain bin a mere three years out. Apple's strength is that they deliver their innovations to the market like movie studios deliver summer blockbusters. And those blockbusters and their sequels deliver the big profits up front, and then dwindle in value over time. The complainers want the big summer movie audience. Whoops, two analogies."

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