Apple and Samsung are engaged in another patent infringement lawsuit this week but unlike before, Apple is also focussed on Google. According to the suit, Samsung has infringed on five of Apple’s patents and therefore, should payout $2 billion. However, some of those patents are actually being infringed upon by Google.
At the same time as Samsung is playing the role of defendant, it is also claiming that Apple stole ideas from it and infringed upon two patents as well.
It does seem odd that Apple is targeting Samsung rather than Google directly, considering that some of the features that it supposedly created are actually appearing on a wide range of Android smartphones. So, the problem is really with Google more than it is with Samsung, considering that Samsung simply uses Android on its devices.
Apple revolutionised the market in personal computing devices…Samsung, in contrast, has systematically copied Apple’s innovative technology and products, features and designs, and has deluged markets with infringing devices. – Apple
The main patent that Apple is complaining about deals with the “swipe to unlock” feature, which it originally created. Even if that is true, the topic of standard-essential patents will come up again, meaning that discussion over whether or not Apple should even have a patent for that type of feature will rage on.
Standard-essential patents have become a major problem in the tech industry, as if they are allowed to continue, anyone that first comes up with a somewhat unique idea will control that idea forever. However, a feature like swipe to unlock is found with most smartphones and is arguably not hurting Apple as a result.
One of the witnesses to be called in the case is Google engineer Andy Rubin. Some are speculating that he will state that Google was working on the same features as Apple prior to any patent being filed.
If Apple were to win, the $2 billion (or less) payout would be the least important issue. Instead, both Samsung and Google would presumably have to change their operating systems in a significant way in order to avoid future lawsuits.
Question – Is Apple hurting competition with these patent lawsuits?
Summary: Apple and Samsung are back in court this week with Apple stating that its opponent infringed upon five patents. Google is also getting involved, since some of the Apple features are found in non-Samsung Android devices as well.
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