Friday, September 14, 2012

Patent Wars Episode I : The Apple menace

A quick search on the word patent,on wikipedia reveals the following :
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention.
It also mentions the following,typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must meet the relevant patentability requirements such as novelty and non-obviousness.(keywords here being invention and non-obviousness)

Armed with a zillion "patents",right from pressing a button to start the phone,to making square icons,Apple quickly sued every freaking competitor in sight for billions of dollars.
Apple's claim being Samsung "copying their unique design".Well these "unique designs" were actually first visible on LG Prada phone and even Samsung's F700(both of which were released before iPhone).Only difference being,unlike Apple,neither LG nor Sammy claim sole rights on these design,because they weren't inventions,they were sort of industry standards.Neither were any of the previous bar/clamshell designs ever patented,because again,they were industry standards.
Oh and btw,this design was based on Sony's Shin-Nishibori's concept of a whole touch device,as Sony would conceive them to be.Nishibori was asked to share his thought's on a Sony phone,by Apple's design brainchild,Jony Ive.He then used Nishibori's renderings to design what we know the iPhone as.(In one of the early renderings,he even replaced Sony by Jony.Now thats innovation!)

Apple claimed Sammy even copied Apple's patented icon styling,a square with rounded edges.Seriously?Thats an invention? I can remember having icons on every electronic device ever made,since the start of GUI.

Anyhow,Apple claimed Samsung,HTC,Motorola,among others have violated their zillion "patents" in one way or other,like using square icons,sliding to unlock device,etc.At the same time,they shamelessly copied stuff like drop down notifications,or a camera shortcut,right on the homescreen !
Frankly,I detest the patent offices even more,for granting Apple these patents in the first place.

Henry Ford was the biggest loser in that case.He should've patented the use of wheels,steering wheel,engine,etc to make a car.Because thats an invention too,right? Then he would've sued the asses of Mercedes and Ferrari.The world be such a happier place!

What Apple has done by winning the patent wars,is actually gradually killed off competition,and to an extent the whole concept of innovation.Instead of wasting so much time,effort and money on these stupid patent wars,there is so much that can be done in terms of innovation,like using the energy generated while walking down the road to charge the ever discharging smartphones.That is something worth getting a patent for.

Think about it,at this rate,the day ain't far when someone is granted a patent for dialing digits and pressing a button to make call.
Monopolizing the market with these stupid patents,is plain dumb.The love and respect I once had for an Apple device is somehow lost now.

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