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26
Sep
2011

Samsung and Apple make sweet, sweet, patent love

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Written by Vedran Dakic   

Samsung LogoAccording to news reports, it's Christmas time again - Apple and Samsung are about to clash on various markets, on various patents, on various claims, on various percentages... it's about to become very, very interesting again, we should say. There were all sorts of news in the past weeks about it - first Apple sued Samsung and got an injunction in Germany for Samsung's Galaxy Tab which led to Samsung pulling its device from a trade show. Then Samsung responded by getting ready to duke it out on iPhone 5 in a "strategical" way. Translation - just right on time to try and screw up Apple's iPhone 5 launch. Now, there are various claims that Samsung is asking for a 2.4% fee on iPhone's chipsets. Let's see where does that leave us....

As users, I'd say, it leaves us mostly nowhere. I mean, this patent warfare will last as long as the two parties don't make some kind of a sensible deal. For user's sake - and their own, of course - I hope they do it soon. But this time, I don't see it happening all that soon. The lines have been drawn and patent bombs are gonna fall all over the place. In the end, sales of both of these companies and, in the end - users who would like to buy their products - will suffer.

To come to a situation where companies bid for other companies for the sole purpose of owning their patents so they can protect their own skin from lawsuits from other companies (as Microsoft, Apple and others did a couple of weeks ago, against Google) is just insane. There used to be some kind of normal regulation of patents, which seems to be gone down the drain right now. Nobody's claiming that patents (therefore, intellectual property, IP) isn't worth anything, it is. It's also a perfect way to do some serious obstruction - one company to another. US overhauled their patent law a couple of days ago and this was a first significant change in that department since the 50s, which is just staggering. In a fast-paced world, today, this is just mind-boggling, as patents are one of the primary ways of having new employment opportunities. US has more then 1.2 million pending patents in its backlog. Without getting too political about it, this is one of the reasons why a lot of these patent lawsuits are happening today, as lawmakers all around the world aren't ready to keep up the pace with changes on the market. And at some point, something's gonna have to change. Or we'll face significant slow-down of adoption for new technologies, which isn't in anyone's best interest.

A couple of days ago, Samsung sued Apple in Australia, as well, claiming that Apple broke its seven patents, mostly based on various wireless technologies. And it's impossible to say when all of this patent rocket-launching will be settled as there are many more companies coming to "the game".

We're gonna watch this as much as we can and keep you posted. And - hope that it all comes to an end, and soon...

 

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