The recent patent infringement lawsuit of Apple vs. Samsung was settled last Friday. The jury found that Samsung infringed upon patents by copying the look and feel of Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad. Samsung owes Apple over $1 billion, although they plan to appeal.
Apple is already requesting that Samsung’s eGalaxy S 4S, Galaxy S2 variants, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail be banned from stores in the US. Apple released a statement saying this was more about values than money: “At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy.”
Alternatively, Samsung is concerned that this verdict is a step toward Apple monopolizing the mobile industry, saying: “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.”
Both companies raise good points. A monopoly in the mobile industry would be unfavorable for businesses and consumers alike. Just as the cloud is breaking the tech industry away from a monopolized culture by giving people many computing choices via new startups and services, lawsuits like this could drive the mobile industry further toward monopolization.
That said, it seems unfair to say this lawsuit discourages innovation. On the contrary, if Samsung had been more innovative by coming up with unique designs for their products, this wouldn’t be a problem. The more businesses innovate, the more choices we will have. Hopefully in the end, the best products and services will win.
What do you think? Does this verdict stifle innovation or encourage it? Do you take Apple or Samsung’s side, or neither? Let us know in the comments.