Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Aug 2012 23:54 UTC
Legal And just like that, within a matter of days, the jury has reached a verdict in Apple vs. Samsung. The basic gist is simple: Apple's software patents are valid, and many Samsung devices infringe upon them. Apple's iPhone 3G trade dress is valid, and Samsung's Galaxy S line infringes, but other devices did not. Samsung did not infringe Apple's iPad design patent. Apple did not infringe any of Samsung's patents. Apple is awarded a little over $1 billion in damages. Competition lost today, and developers in the United States should really start to get worried - software patents got validated big time today.
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by lucere on Tue 28th Aug 2012 03:51 UTC
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Someone asked me a few weeks ago if I was following the Samsung v. Apple case. I replied with surprise and a mild tone of disgust, "of coarse not". The reply, I realize now, was sourced by naivety; it never occurred to me that a group would unanimously and confidently agree to these absurdities. This was, of coarse, one more attempt to use legal technicalities as a way to make money easier than producing products that could compete on their own merit. It's hard to make a great product so lets take down companies (and the individuals that make up those great R&D departments) producing those superior products because that's easier than improving our products. Who would see this any other way?

Now lets fly back to the real word. A world where a group of people award pseudo validation to "creations" that aren't creations. Creations such as rounded edges, tap to zoom, etc.

Lets ask a few questions here. Is the award for creation due to those who create or those who popularize? Is credit due to those that enhance society or those that say they enhance society? Is it unreasonable to think that two groups of people could come to the same conclusion regarding design or even product direction regardless of whether that direction is "good" or "bad"?

That last question is an interesting one. Lets take an example. Almost every laptop computer has a monitor with a hinge system behind the keyboard and opens in the same way to reveal a keyboard in front of the display. Does this mean that all of the laptop companies except one is copying each other or, is it more likely that it is simply a logical design even if not the best design?

Lets brake this down:
A.) Unbiased Jury: Can we really think that it is likely to put together an unbiased group of people all of which have not been effected by the fabulous marketing efforts of a company who's business is marketing? Is the jury making decisions based on logical analysis of information or emotional response to well structured marketing efforts conducted year after year before this case. Is this a scenario that is sourcing such realizations as the current art exhibit "More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness" which depicts the current trend of society to be content to create fact from easily available information regardless of it's truth as apposed to taking the effort to find the truth?

B.) Continuing on the example mentioned earlier: if a company releases a car with four wheels instead of three wheels, then goes out of business to be followed by another company that releases a car with four wheels that becomes successful via an incredible marketing effort to then feel the obstacle of healthy competition by a company that releases a much better car with four wheels, could the argument be made that the third company was copying the second? Or were they both inspired by the first obscure company? Or, did all three independently come to the same logical conclusion that it would be worth trying a vehicle with four wheels? Can anyone say with a straight face that four instead of three requires specialized design skills? In this Apple v. Samsung scenario, the jury made the error of conflating association with correlation.

Will this get recognized by vocal people? Will developers continue to support companies like Apple that restrict creativity and compete via legal tactics instead of attempting to produce a superior product?

We live in an interesting time; future anthropologists will have a delight studying this period.

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