Racing to the bottom

Apple came out on top today in a patent fight with Samsung. $1,049,000,000 on top. It doesn’t stop there, either. On September 20th, the two sides will meet again to talk about whether Samsung pays to license the patents that are deemed infringement or is banned from selling its infringing products.

Even more interesting was Samsung’s response, “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will likely lead to fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices.”

Was Samsung arguing that we’re all better off if everyone races to the bottom by matching design and features until only commodity markets remain? Did I get that right?

Apple leads the world in innovation. The iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook Air, AppleTV, and other products were the first of their kinds. Apple earned its place in the market by innovating in ways that people were willing to pay more for, not by copying anyone else’s great ideas.

If Samsung wants to be a great electronics manufacturer, it needs to put on its innovation hat and start creating things that are unique and valuable. It is a fast-changing landscape. Surely with their resources they can do better.

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Categories: Innovation

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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2 Comments on “Racing to the bottom”

  1. August 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    AA: Intellectual Properties are as valuable or perhaps more, than physical properties.

    BB: In many ways they are unique and invaluable because they are created by humans without material core (sure you need support facilities and environment which cost money).

    CC: The creators and owners of properties have legitimate right to enjoy all the benefits that properties grant to them peacefully without intrusion and infringement of any kind.

    DD: Those who are in any kind of business must honor all the above, particularly those who want the benefits on IP for themselves. They should do so voluntarily, without courts and governments directing them and imposing fines / injunctions.

    EE: This is certainly NOT for the consumers to decide….they can decide what they buy and indirectly drive the prices. They go by prices, mostly, lower the better for them. If that is the only factor, stolen properties become legitimate and sell most. The evolution will be reversed. May be that is better … humans have not done a lot of good for themselves or the planet Earth, for the privilege they have!

  2. August 27, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    I think the point you’re missing is that Apple is being very hypocritical. They achieved their position not through “creating” new things but by evolving designs of others and in some cases just straight out copying. Just like they’re accusing Samsung of doing now. Can you imagine if IBM had enforced patents on this device? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Simon

    (One of the arguments I’ve seen around is that the jury didn’t consider prior art, which seems kind of fishy to me? Also, that there were no smartphones without keys prior to the iPhone, which is also false, see my above link.)

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