Patents vs. Innovation

Rather than encouraging the innovation of technology and improvements of current mobile products, organisations tend to concentrate on unnecessary patent fighting. Apple has been the key name in defending its patents and attacking others over such allegations. A recent example is where Samsung had to pull out of promoting the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the Berlin IFA electronics fair. The electronics fair is one of the most important showcases for organisations looking to attract European consumers which Samsung has lost on.


Due to the global patent war between the two and the restrictions on certain products, Samsung has decided not to reveal the new tablet.  Apple has also put a stop to the sales of the product in Germany. Apple complained that Samsung copied the design and feel of their iPhone and iPad devices into the tablet. Samsung has counter-sued Apple, saying it infringed Samsung’s wireless patents.


With the delay of the release of certain products, ban of products in certain countries and call-back of others due to apparent breach of patents, organisations are forgetting about the main focus or the core competence of existence; which is the innovation of technology. In a recent post by David Drummond, senior vice president, corporate development and chief legal officer of Google said:


“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it”.


In my opinion, if organisations concentrate more on the development and perfection of products rather than patent wars, there would be less fatuous faults in products, example antenna issue with the iPhone 4 which is really annoying, and more creativity in products. With the upcoming Amazon Kindle Tablet, it would be interesting to see what apparent patent breaches it comes with; leave alone the specifications of the device.

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