Matt HealeyWednesday,21 November 2012

The Snap: 

There have been a number of high profile SW patent lawsuits over the past year. Most of these have been brought by Apple, a company that is widely, and increasingly inaccurately, viewed as a highly innovative company. I say this because over the past year, it seams like the innovation has come to a stop and Apple is relying exclusively on brand perception and lawsuits.

The Download: 

I am surprised that Shane has not written about this. These patent battles are BS. The tech industry, especially on the consumer side has stopped innovating and started trying to block innovation. The leader in this movement is Apple. They have recognized that since the death of Steve Jobs, they have nothing in the R & D cupboard. So, rather than addressing that they have turned to blocking others by patenting rectangles with rounded corners, the icon for music (an icon depicting a single note), and page turning.

This approach is bull and it stifles innovation. Patenting real advances is fine, but rounded corners? This is patent abuse and is absurd. Millions of dollars are being spent in increasing legal battles over these patents. That is money that would be better used for actual innovation. But since the patent system is broken, Samsung and Apple keep fighting. On the positive side, the problems with the system are coming to light. Articles about the system preventing innovation have begun to come out, Judge Posner wrote a scathing ruling in a recent case about patents and an Ig Nobel award was presented for a patenting the wheel. Hopefully, this system will be dismantled so that real innovation can continue and truly innovative companies like Samsung and Google can thrive.

Hat Tips:

AAPL page turnAAPL rounded cornersAAPL musical note patentHow patents really workEric Schmidt on AAPLPosner RulingPatenting the wheel, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Take Action!


  1. […] while back I wrote about how the software patent system needs to change. The basic point of the article was that the patent system has gone crazy. The fact that Apple […]

Subscribe to get updates delivered to your inbox