Depends on how you look at it, Waqas. Judges have been finding for Samsung fairly consistently on these issues, in countries where there's no jury trial for patent cases: perhaps the legal advice didn't take sufficient account of what a California jury was likely to find.
" It has always been risky to innovate in a way which brings you close to infringing existing patents."
Patent infringement legislation in spirit is not to hamper creativity but to stop plagiarism. I said in spirit. I dont know how they are able to differentiate between inspiration and the actual copy. There is only a fine line in between. Samsung must have taken legal opinion before product launch. Bad decision by legal experts I guess.
May be if you stop plagiarism in product's apparent design, you will get away with all the legal complications. Developer doing plagiarism in app development is most likely to be get away with unless the app is an exact match.
Sorry, Tony, but I must repectfully disagree. Apple looked to the past, and stole everything they now claim is their own work (WIMP interface, and multi-touch and gesture controls, to name just two). They didn't invent it first, they just patented it first. Do the terms 'prior art' and 'clear and obvious' mean nothing? Let's face it: that jury should be sterilized lest they reproduce their idiocy and pollute the gene pool. Twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty is no way to run something as important as technological innovation. After all, where would Apple be if Xerox PARC had sued them for stealing their work? Where would they be if Bell Labs had sued over the theft of their touch interface technologies? They would be precisely nowhere, which is exactly where all patent trolls deserve to be. We should not let them get away with trying to steal in the courts what they could not win in the marketplace. I will never again buy an Apple product, or allow any of my clients to purchase them. Let's send a clear and unequivocal message -- you didn't invent it, so you shouldn't profit from stealing it.
Agreed. The more revolutionary verdict would have been a win for Samsung that allowed Samsung (and other companies) to copy and improve upon patented designs... The verdict that was reached was the status quo.
I agree about overlooking history. The whole case should end up with Samsung inventing something different, something that we could really say it's innovative. Something just like the iPhone, but cheaper, doesn't have any true value in the world of innovation.
Kim, I agree that it is important, and not new, to protect the intellectual property rights. I think what is different "potentially" about this case will be how broadly they interpret this and the fence they build around those rights.
The industry has been built on innovation with a good balance of intellectual rights and stimulating competition. As we move forward, however, how this ruling is interpreted and applied will affect whether or not this has a chilling affect on other players to adapt, innovate, and create new technology.
Competition in the marketplace is good, competition in the courtroom, where the balance tips in favor of the big players with more resources, is a different story. That is where I weighed in on the viewpoint and supported Mary's thoughts.
That's what is so valuable about IE, the quality of thinking (yourself and Mary), that stimulate our thoughts and result in our better understanding the issues.
I just hate to overlook...well, history. Corporations have been using patent law to ring fence their inventions since at least the 1950s to my knowledge (probably longer). It has always been risky to innovate in a way which brings you close to infringing existing patents.
The Apple, Samsung case creates no precedent whatsoever, as far as I can see, and it should therefore have no effect on inventors -- except the possibly beneficial one that their mission will no longer be "make something just like an iPhone but cheaper."
I tend to agree with your view, Mary. The principle of putting a big fence around intellectual property, to the degree represented in this case, will definitely put a restraint on innovation and competition, particularly with small business.
As Tony effectively points out, much of technology innovation has been an evolutionary process. Now, with this ruling, the progress may be limited more to the domain of the sole intellectual property holders.
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