On the Apple-Samsung Verdict and Inefficient Innovation

I was unable to attend the seminar today where the Apple-Samsung verdict was discussed and while I am sure we have all heard the various arguments I thought it might be interesting to ask how our class members  view the verdict.

Some say the verdict will help incentivize more innovation in the marketplace while some say the patent verdict will discourage innovation. One main area of controversy is the patent on the “pinch to zoom” feature that the jury upheld which many people say will prevent other companies from creating similar features that allow the user to have the same experience. For people who enjoy this feature and who generally tend to buy any brand but Apple this could present an issue. A common opinion that forcing other brands to find different ways to do things just for the sake of coming up with different ways to do things will create worthless inefficiency in the innovation field.

While I think all the arguments (at least that I have heard/read) have many valuable points, I share the opinion that this patent issue is similar to requiring car manufacturers to create triangular steering wheels for their cars out of patent litigation concerns, even though circular steering wheels are the universally standard shape. (I am not trying to take credit for coming up with that analogy.) I am not an avid technology junkie. In fact, I usually have to be forced to upgrade phones before ever doing so, and I think my personal approach to technology certainly influences the way I view this issue. My hope is to learn the various reasons why others take the opposing or same opinion.

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2 thoughts on “On the Apple-Samsung Verdict and Inefficient Innovation

  1. One of the theories behind patent protection is to incentivise innovation by providing the patent owner with a limited monopoly on their invention. Patent protection in the United States is founded in Article 1 of the Constitution and the founding fathers believed strongly in the need “to Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Apple created the “pinch to zoom” feature and was granted a utility patent for this feature. They spent countless hours and a substantial sum of money in this pursuit. The idea behind patent protection is that no rationale person would pursue the often expensive and time-consuming undertaking of invention if their product could then be replicated by their competitor and sold for a lower price.

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