After the jury released their verdict for the patent infringement case, Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a Californian and a Korean company, respectively, in favor of Apple’s claim, most of us would wonder why and think about ways how this such crime — an intellectual copyrights violation in general — would affect everyone’s view about patent law.
Wikipedia defines that “the term patent usually refers to the right granted to anyone who invents any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.”
By contemplating this definition, this may suggest subjectivity on the matter in granting the right to anyone who invents a new, non-obvious process, or composition of matter. Why? Common sense speaks it so.
In the case of Apple vs. Samsung, where the former filed a suit against the latter charging of patent infringement of Apple’s products (alleged copying of features in iPhone and iPad), the district court’s jury of the Northern District Court of California unanimously cast a guilty verdict to Samsung for its 17 products allegedly copied from Apple’s. In doing so, the jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages.
Meanwhile, a report from Reuters published by Yahoo! News said that “Seeking to capitalize on a major legal victory over its rival Samsung Electronics Ltd, Apple Inc has asked a federal court in a separate case to find that four additional Samsung products, including the Galaxy S III, infringe Apple’s patents.”
“Clearly, the evidence, to us, spoke overwhelmingly,” Hogan said in an interview for Bloomberg as published on phonearena.com. ”There was no question about it.”
“In this country, intellectual property deserves to be protected,” he said. ”If any company decides to ignore the stipulations and the rules and get too close that they cross the line and infringe and do it willfully — they need to understand if they take the risk and get caught, they should have to pay for it,” the same media outfit reported.
However, iPhone India Blog reported that according to the Korea Times that “Executives at the [Samsung] company are ‘reeling in shock’ at the decision.” Furthermore, “Samsung is seeking to have Judge Lucy Koh overrule the jury’s decision before filing an official appeal while Apple is likely to seek a tripling of the damage award based on rulings that Samsung’s infringement was willful,” according to iPhone India Blog.
Finally, the Apple vs. Samsung case isn’t new in the business arena. It does prove to us that patent laws are no longer helpful to the health of the business community, especially to the manufacturing companies, aren’t they? They categorically made the manufacturing business core competitive neither.
As we all know, competition sustains the equilibrium of business and the economy, besides the supply and the demand. Issues on patent law are increasingly trending, and one of the most affected was competition. Our common sense could argue with this.
Now may not be the right time to reconsider or revisit the laws on patent. But, with the trending issues of patent cases, competition is sacrificed. We know that “free market” isn’t like this; it isn’t about crimes either. But what truly it proposes is the free-flow of products, ideas, and goods that will sustain the entire economy. Because of this, was patent law unfair to the “free market” principle that most economies in the world have lived by it?
Given how popular Samsung’s and other companies’ Android devices are with consumers, it’s unlikely that major telecom carriers would limit their selection of them in the wake of the San Jose verdict. And in the long term, the duel between Apple’s closed-garden operating system and Google’s open system (and between the iPhone and its many imitators) will be determined where it ought to be: At retail sales counters in the U.S. and around the world. In the court of capitalism, consumers are the ultimate jurors.
- Japanese court says Samsung did not infringe on Apple patent (androidauthority.com)
- Patent Law Needs Update in Age of Apple (bloomberg.com)
- Samsung V. Apple And The Obviousness Standard (techcrunch.com)
- Samsung To Sue Apple Over LTE Patents After New iPhone Announcement (redmondpie.com)
- Japanese Court Rules That Samsung Devices Do Not Infringe On Apple’s Utility Based Patents (uberinterest.wordpress.com)
- Apple patent claims stifling innovation; Japan court rules in favour of Samsung (rightways.wordpress.com)
- Samsung win: Patent violation case brought by Apple in Japan dismissed by judge (digitaltrends.com)