“The web has been alight these past few weeks with the details of the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit,” James Allworth writes for Harvard Business Review. “It’s been a unique opportunity to peer behind the curtain of how these two companies operate, as the trial seeks to answer the question: did Samsung copy Apple? But there’s actually another question that I think is much more interesting to the future of innovation in the technology industry: regardless of whether the courts say that Samsung copied Apple or not, would we all be better off if we allowed — even encouraged — companies to copy one another?”
“Given the underlying reason that Apple has been bringing these cases to court was to enable them to continue to innovate, it’s hard not to ask: if copying stops innovation, why didn’t Apple stop innovating last time they were copied [the Mac OS, by Microsoft]? Being copied didn’t stop or slow their ability to innovate at all,” Allworth writes. “If anything, it only seemed to accelerate it. Apple wasn’t able to rest on its laurels; to return to profitability, and to take the mantle they hold today of one of the technology industry’s largest companies, they had to innovate as fast as they could.”
MacDailyNews Take: Allworth’s “logic” fails to take into account the extraordinary Steve Jobs. The Steve-less Apple floundered nearly to death in the face of Microsoft’s contractual ability to rip-off Apple’s Mac innovations ad infinitum. Not until Steve Jobs returned did Apple begin to innovate again.
Allworth writes, “Now, if you’re with me so far, then I don’t think it’s a leap to suggest that having these companies duke it out in court over ‘who might have copied who’ is counterproductive. All these lawsuits flying around suggest that everyone is already copying each other, anyway.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: No, we’re not with you. Because Apple’s not copying Samsung. And because we understand the very simple concept of design patents vs. standards-essential patents.
Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:
Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]