If you haven’t been following the Apple/Samsung patent battle, here’s the short-shrift:
- The iPhone was a revolutionary device.
- Samsung has been shamelessly copying Apple products since the iPhone came out.
- Samsung is the only company making money on Android.
- Apple thinks Google shamelessly stole the iPhone (Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, was on Apple’s board while the iPhone was being developed). This is true, but who wouldn’t? Google just got a head start because of their inside knowledge.
- Apple is trying to slow the sale of Android devices by aggressively going after sales injunctions due to violations of their IP (all the multi-touch patents, design patents, etc.). There are good economic reasons to do this; plus, Apple (at least Steve Jobs) has vowed to kill Android.
- Since Samsung is making all the Android money (and copying Apple in it’s hardware products the most shamelessly), that’s where the battle has naturally lead.
- Because of the patent suits, Apple (usually very secretive) has been forced to admit into evidence much of the iPhone development history and have it’s senior leadership testify in court (really interesting stuff).
- People worry that Apple is destroying the mystery by doing this.
- Samsung is no hero (even if you are sick of Apple); South Korea is pretty freakin’ corrupt.
- Although Apple deserves restitution (license fees, penalties, etc.), it wouldn’t be good for them to prevent outright some technologies from entering the market (e.g.,multitouch). This would really be bad for progress, market competition, and the consumer.
- Conan has the definitive take on all this (below).
Update: Apple wins first patent fight, awarded 1 billion in damages.