“I can see that those who would like Apple to ‘destroy’ (as Steve Jobs put it) Android in court (for which Apple’s own customers would also pay the price) increasingly realize that Apple does not appear to be, if the results of more than four years of litigation are any indication, a nuclear world power,” Florian Müller writes for FOSS Patents. “There’s a sense of entitlement in the Apple camp and it is centered around the notion that Apple, because it reinvented the smartphone (I agree) and built the first popular tablet in history (I agree, too), has exclusionary rights that give it serious leverage over Google and its hardware partners (on this one I disagree for non-philosophical reasons after watching Apple’s lawsuits for several years). A secondary consideration is that Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt stayed on Apple’s board of directors for way too long. I would agree on this one philosophically, but Apple never claimed any violations of trade secrets.”
“Apple deserved, and continues to deserve, a substantial reward for the impact it had on the market. But unless it lowers its prices and accepts lower profits (which its shareholders won’t allow management to do until it’s too late), Android will become so extremely popular that third-party innovation will concentrate on Android the way it did on Windows,” Müller writes. “No single company can match the power of a massive ecosystem, and the Android ecosystem is now by far the most powerful one, with the gap widening further every day.”
“Patent rights are not designed to protect form factors, much less those who are not the first ones to come up with a form factor but merely the first ones to make those form factors popular,” Müller writes. “Four of my six multitouch smartphones, and all of the ones I bought over the last couple of years, are phablets. No small part of the market share that Apple claims Samsung took away by copying is attributable to the fact that Samsung made phablets popular. This, too, wasn’t easy to do. Otherwise it would have been done by others. Even if Apple could have done it, it simply didn’t.”
“It doesn’t mean that Samsung now ‘owns’ phablets in an intellectual property sense. It would have been a better and more consumer-friendly choice for Apple to make a phablet than to sue, as it is doing in the current California case, someone else over phablets,” Müller writes. “Just like copyright law didn’t solve Apple’s problem in the 1990s, patent law won’t solve it in the 2010s. Apple would need a whole new sui generis kind of intellectual property right that is detached in its scope from creative expression (copyright) and inventive contribution (patents) and simply says that if you did something creative (Apple did) and you make some inventive contribution (even if the only exclusive feature you can currently claim under patent law is rubber-banding) and you succeed in the marketplace, no one else has the right to take market share away from you. But that kind of intellectual property right does not exist and never will. Even Apple’s fans would not want to live in such a static world because innovation would slow down while prices would go up.”
Much, much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Tuesday:
When all is said and done including any appeals, and just like with Microsoft’s wholesale ripoff of the Mac, Apple is simply not going to get justice. Heartening, no?
Lesson for the kiddies: Knockoff whatever you want, scoff at the “justice system,” make billions from stolen property, and good luck with Karma – hopefully she’ll be at least half the bitch to you that she’s being to Microsoft today.
Perhaps Apple should stop tilting at windmills and, instead of flushing money down the toilet we call “the justice system,” invest in a chip fab and other blatantly obvious ways that would allow them to finally stop doing business with and inflict at least some measure of punishment onto Samsung?
That said, certainly by now, if they haven’t always, Apple understands the difficulty of patenting “iPhone” and enforcing the patents, so it seems their desired outcome of all of this litigation is to continue owning the high-end smartphone market while reaping the highest possible royalties from Android while working to invent the next big thing.
BTW: The most popular platform for developers is Apple’s iOS. Developers tend to like making apps for those with money and the proven will to spend it. Android is an afterthought to be dealt with once you’ve coded and released your iOS app, if ever.
10 European judges found Apple had not invented slide-to-unlock (star patent at Samsung trial) – April 2, 2014
Florian Müller: When all is said and done, despite years of Apple litigation, Android will continue to be world’s most popular mobile platform – April 1, 2014
Apple v. Samsung jury is seated in California patent trial – April 1, 2014