Judge in Apple versus Motorola case questions if we really need patents

Look, I’m not going to pretend that I know about every single court case that Apple is currently engaged in. What I do know however is that there was a trial between Apple and Motorla where the judge simply threw the case out. Jude Posner, who has written many books, including one about intellectual property, told Reuters in an interview that companies are animals. And like animals, they will “use all the means at their disposal, all their teeth and claws that are permitted by the ecosystem” in order to attack each other. In other words, companies will do anything it takes to trip up their competitors. Regarding the patent system as a whole, Posner said: “It’s not clear that we really need patents in most industries.” That’s an incredible statement. We can only hope that his views will plant a seed in the mind’s of regulators to actually try and change the status quo.

How is it possible that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which rightfully competes against the Apple iPhone, can be banned because of a patent relating to how a search engine works? It’s insane and a symptom of a system that needs to be dismantled. In related news, there’s a patent troll that recently sued an American startup called “Hipmunk”. They provide a flight and hotel booking service. Said patent troll waited until Hipmunk got funding before striking.

Will all this brouhaha force companies to reconsider doing business in the United States? Think about it for a second, if patents are destroying a company’s ability to compete, then why not just exit the market altogether? Start up a company in Europe, look to expand into Asia, but America? Forget them!

What do you guys think? We hate covering these patent stories, but we kind of have to.

[Via: Boy Genius Report]

  • I think there are three issues here. One is that Patent Office’s should be better funded, so that they are able to do a better due diligence and be more rigorous in granting patents i.e. are their real technological innovations going on. 

    The second thing is that Judges should use more common sense in enforcing patents and come down hard on patent infringements. As an example, if you look at Samsung phones pre and post iPhone they copy the style, packaging even the plug! (their moto is “fast follower”). The Peanut Butter website sums it up very well:-


    The other big problem is the juvenile reporting of the issues of software development and industrial design. They are reported as if they are trivial cosmetic issues. In fact a slightly slimmer casing or a swipe gesture interface may well take years to develop. This kind of throwaway comment by a Judge is a good example.

  • Based on the extreme  refraction of those glasses, I pretty much guarantee this guy can see the future 😛

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