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Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
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Monthly Archives: August 2012
No huge essay on the outcome of the Apple/Samsung trial, but a few bullet points I thought I’d write down for your amusement…
- Apple spent 5 years and a lot of resources inventing the original iPhone. It’s hard to think back to what life was in mobile phones at the time, but it was, more or less, a device like a Samsung Blackjack. Which was a decent and boring phone.
- Samsung spent literally weeks grabbing pieces of Apple’s design and technology and stuffing it into their phones. The people attacking Apple and saying this decision stifles innovation don’t understand what ‘innovation’ means.
- For the record, I think the current patent system is broken. But until everyone comes up with a consensus of how to fix it and get that consensus implemented, those are the rules.
- There’s a segment of the geek population that has a strong opinion of “if we don’t like the rules, we’ll complain and ignore them”. If you think the rules are broken, fight to get them changed and fixed. Don’t just whine. Many companies, from Napster to now Samsung, have ignored the rules and ended up paying for it the hard way.
- My views of the patent system being broken, I believe Apple deserves some protection from what Samsung did. If you make it legal and acceptable for a company to grab innovative ideas that quickly and that easily, where is the incentive to keep innovating?
- Which parts of what Apple did deserve protection and for how long, I don’t pretend to know where the lines get drawn. I do hope this decision catalyzes that discussion and pushes patent reform forward. (I’m not holding my breath. I also believe we need trademark and copyright reform. I’m not holding my breath there, either — but the continuing of extension of copyright and loss of material falling into the public domain is another aspect of this same big problem).
- Samsung’s best attack on appeal is through prior art, which I think the jury mostly ignored. And I do believe on appeal some (but not all) of this judgement will be set back. And should.
My bottom line: Apple deserved to win this case, but I’d like to see the win ultimately narrowed and tied to some key intellectual property innovations. Samsung deserved to lose, and their lawyers need to have a long, loud talk with company executives loosely titled “what the hell were you thinking saying those things in writing, anyway?” They were so blantant at how they ripped off Apple that it’s hard to have any sympathy for them, even given my belief the current patent system is pretty damn broken.