“Apple asserted in German court that Samsung’s tablet had imitated the iPad so closely that it infringed on Apple’s intellectual property rights. The court agreed with Apple … block[ing] the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union…” [via Apple blocks sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe]
This is the kind of bullshit “Intellectual Property Rights” that discourages the hell out of me and innovators in general. No longer does the best product, a melting pot of all the best ideas executed, rise to the top on its own merit. This instance with Samsung has hit mainstream media because it’s one big player against another.
As far as Apple is concerned, I have long since strongly disagreed with their uber proprietary worldview. This news further fuels the fire that this company is, at the core: greedy, secretive, anti-entrepreneurial tech mongers. Epitomizing “If you’re not with us, you are against us.”
For more on the extremely sorry-state of IP & patent rights, I encourage you to hear This American Life’s “WHEN PATENTS ATTACK!” podcast containing some eye-opening investigative journalism that has certainly colored my optimism a shade darker. Or, for the hard and fast version from the same reporters, Planet Money’s “The Patent War“.
The source of the madness ultimately lies with faulty copyright legislation. It’s unlikely to be resolved anytime due to the state of big business which has evolved to coddle and encourage patent-rights beginning most strongly with Microsoft’s infamous rise to (one of) the world’s largest software makers.
You can bet your ass we won’t see any ambitious young startups who may employ early-Microsoft like tactics obtain success. They will be dealt a swift strike from the cease & desist ban hammer. Not to say it is utterly impossible to make it as a startup; hundreds of young companies continue to weather the storm. I’m just saying it’s is a stifling environment these days.
As for the big players, they’ve their “hands” full with the highest cards – armed with an arsenal of patents. But, I digress: there is a bit of positive news in the Apple slaps Samsung injunction. Samsung has its own arsenal of funds and patents. Maybe, together, they’ll tear down the acrid system unintentionally whilst fighting the tablet market-share war.
Unsurprising Update – Apple is also suing Motorola in Europe over the Xoom tablet’s design