Will the outcome of the Apple vs Samsung case stifle or help innovation?

Will the outcome of the Apple vs Samsung case stifle or help innovation?
The Apple versus Samsung legal battle now has a definite winner. After months of endless discussions and polarizing opinions, it has brought a kind of a legal drama the mobile industry has never had.

The jury has decided that Samsung infringes on virtually all Apple patents, and Samsung could be forced to pay $1.05 billion. If Northern District Court of California Judge Lucy Koh agrees that Samsung has infringed willfully on the patents, that sum could triple.

But as much as those scary billions of dollars are thrown around, the big question remains what will this mean for other Android phone makers and the ecosystem as a whole. Jury foreman Velvin Hogan was very explicit saying that the jury isn’t defending the right of a company to patent black rectangles as Samsung claims, but rather saw an issue with the particular Samsung designs. Google has also come up with a statement that should calm everyone down, saying that the verdict affects Samsung, but not the Android ecosystem as a whole.

Still, we can’t help but ask ourselves every time we see a rectangular handset: is it Apple-proof? We’re sure we’re not alone in feeling this new fear. After the ruling, Apple has a precedent at hand and it could use it as a weapon (be it a real weapon, or an imaginary fear mongering threat) in Steve Jobs’ notorious “thermonuclear” war on Android.

What really matters however is innovation, and that’s what we want to ask your opinion on today. Will the jury’s staggering decision stifle or actually help innovation? One side argues that the ruling will stifle innovation by stripping Android of common sense gestures like the bounce back and multitouch ones, and paints Apple as a big scary corporation with tons of lawyers ready to attack. The other says the opposite - this decision will finally force companies to design something on their own, not just steal ideas. What’s your take on the issue? We’re looking forward to your arguments in the comments below.

Will the outcome of the Apple vs Samsung case stifle or help innovation?

The decision is a loss for consumers. It will bring "Apple tax" to Android and ultimately stifle innovation with fear.
81.61%
The decision is a win for consumers. It sends a powerful message that you can't just steal ideas, and it will stimulate real innovation.
18.39%

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63 Comments

1. ilia1986 unregistered

Unless someone invents a way to scroll through a list more effectively than with one finger, to zoom in on something more effectively than by using pinch-to-zoom and indicate that one has reached the end of a page more effectively than rubber-bouncing - it's an insane loss for consumers and a great impact on consumer choice and freedom.

8. wendygarett unregistered

Soon Google will patent 'command to zoom' and 'taste to unlock' to replace Apple so-called innovation :)

15. Aeires unregistered

I don't think I want to taste my phone.

19. wendygarett unregistered

Nah, just sayin :) Im satisfied the face unlock on my android phone It makes me convenience to show my pretty face on it :D

35. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

I would like you to show your pretty face one me :D

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

nah, it will be think to zoom! and double blink to unlock. lol Or they could make you snap along to the Adams Family theme song... that would be entertaining at least to see people walking down the street doing that. lol

31. Victor.H

Posts: 1026; Member since: May 27, 2011

Laughed at the Adams Family snapping along idea! You know, you should patent it, remixfa, it's money :)

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i got me some official Apple "iNapkin" patent drawing paper, and Imma get to work on that :)

38. tedkord

Posts: 17076; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nice try, but all those actions are just zero length pinches. The only way to escape Apple lawsuits is to not compete with them.

48. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

the clapper didnt take off as expected... so i dont see the snap to unlock.. but at least the writer seems to thinks so.. have fun unlocking your phone at a crowded stadium..

55. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

gallito, That was half the joke.. watching other people doing it and the randomness it would cause. Way to completely miss the bus on that one. Not everything has to be crazed fan warfare.

18. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

"Lick To Unlock" Hmmm.. That seem legit.

46. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

People must stop buying and boycot Ape products until all lawsuits are drop.

52. Hemlocke unregistered

Allowing companies to just steal patented processes would stifle innovation far more. How is allowing cheating more conducive? If everyone can do the same thing on all phones, then why bother developing the next great thing or a better way to do anything? There is absolutely no incentive to innovate if a company knows that any company can just copy their work without spending the time and resources actually developing the process. If a company, like Samsung, wants to use patented Apple processes, then they need to pay for it. If the price is too high, develop an alternative.

54. xaz0r

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

Actually it's kind of fair. Apple is just as welcome to use Samsung's ideas as Samsung is to use Apples. If everyone shares then it's still fair. The fact is, if anyone can take the idea and do it better or put it to better use, then I think it's only fair that they receive the profits. If I invent or innovate something and somebody else comes along and does it better than I did, then I better find a way to do it better or they get the business. It's called "competition". It actually drives the free market and is great for consumers. Some companies don't like it so much because it means they have to keep inventing and innovating or they can't stay ahead. What Apple is trying to do is essentially monopolize through patents. While the stated purpose of patents is to protect innovation, their current function actually hinders it.

61. Hemlocke unregistered

You made the argument for the ruling NOT stifling innovation. By telling them they could not just use what Apple developed, it forces them to either license, if they are lazy, or create a better way of doing it.

2. MeoCao unregistered

If the rulings stand Android users will have to pay for multitouch functionalities unjustly.

3. wendygarett unregistered

this decision will make more innovation in order to kick apple away. Consumer will soon be a winner

4. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

It will help, as it may (!) help companies worthy of being top Android manufacturers as HTC and Sony to raise their market shares thanks to the Samsung image loss. Now, Apple and Samsung monopolize the market. Apple turned the whole mobile device market around with its innovations, now they are only refining existing products. I did not see much innovation here in the last year... Okay, there was the retina iPad. End of it, as the iPhone 4S was disappointing for Apple innovation fans as me, despite selling like crazy. Lets see, what the next keynote brings - is Apple gonna start degrading or is Apple gonna keep evolving. And there is Samsung. Samsung makes decent hardware, but with the exception of the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 their products, especially regarding software, design and build quality, were kinda fails. Samsung i a mass-market assembler, but i do not see much innovation from them other than making devices larger. They tried to make some useful software gimmicks on the Galaxy S3 and Note 10.1, but judging by the reviews of experts like The Verge, they failed hard to do so. Now there is HTC. A company that specialises in smartphones only, that can make beautiful and refined products - trough the newest Sense performance kinda meh. Same goes for Sony that also has a big base of content (Playstation, multimedia) for their devices and refined design philisophy. Let us give them a chance too. Im tired of alike-looking Samsungs. And not to forget Asus that, in my opinion, rivals Apple both in design and hardware. I would be happy to see them enter the smartphone market and continue their rise to a tablet top manufacturer behind Apple. Transformer series >>>>> Galaxy Tab.

24. JMeyerSA

Posts: 9; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

I work in a cellphone store in Cape Town, South Africa, and in one week more than 200 people came to exchange their iPhone for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and other top Android devices. And we have a question we ask all our customers when they return phones, "what did you think of it", and 95% of them replied Apple dont give enough support and iOS is lacking behind Android and even Windows Phone. Now to my point: Apple is unfairly trying to dominate the mobile phone market by taking Samsung to court over the stupidest patents. And that is going to slow down innovation. Apple is scared that the smart consumers see that Samsung products are better then their own stuff. Apple's biggest products are the iPhone and iPad, And Google and Motorola are busy with legal action against Apple about those two products, and if Apple loses that they can do nothing but close their doors. Nokia is also thinking about taking Apple to court aver some infringement. So the biggest names in mobile technology is now going after Apple. I feel sorry for American consumers now being bullied into buying the stupid iPhone. Apple South Africa asked us why so many people are giving back their iPhones and iPads, and my obvious reply was "Apple is stupid and Android is the way forward".

25. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

I was so close in being convinced about everything you just stated, until I read your last statement in the last paragraph. Except that, I agree about everything else you said.

29. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

We've seen a massive changes in customers in store switch from iPhone to android. Boredom and the lack of freedom in iOS is a crucial factor. Certainly outside the. US apple is falling well behind

49. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I hear that Apple consumers bring back their phone all the time. hey is normal it happens in Android too.. besides the sales still back up Apple as being successful, unless sales start declining I will start believing that people don't like the iphone

27. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Transformer series always get the good reviews but still having a insignificant tablet sale (though it's better now with the cheap quadcore tf300 and Nexus7). Do you know why? I bought three Asus's tablets, and here are reasons - Bad build quality, even worse than Galaxy Tab series. My Prime is the worst decision I ever made. - Really bad firmware. They update frequently but a lot of issues.are still unsolved. - Bad warranty. The bootloader is tricky because it will void your warranty.

47. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Newest Sense performance is great. Unless the newest Sense that you're talking about is 4.0. I'm using Sense 4.1, battery is better than ever and performance is rockin. Looking forward to JB now. Other than that, completely agree with you on ASUS. Padfone is a great idea, but not an idea that I could afford.

5. BreakingNews

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Latest: J. Robert Oppenheimer is suing Apple for going thermonuclear on Samsung. Apple are currently trawling through Nazi documents in an attempt to show prior art.

14. Victor.H

Posts: 1026; Member since: May 27, 2011

Ha, good one!

6. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

Stopping innovation is all apple is doing because they're scared that people are starting to see that Samsung's products are better.

23. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

Wow, you really hit the nail on the head! And btw, happy 13th birthday!

32. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

Its not my birthday... ps I'm 16,not 13

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