Let me first preface this by saying that I believe our patent system does need to be revamped. Let me also say that there are some devices where designs become fairly standardized and there’s really nothing much more that can be done. That being said, Samsung got exactly what it deserved.
I’m sure you’ve stumbled across an article or Facebook post about the decisions in the Apple vs Samsung trial that were handed down the other night. Apple sued Samsung for infringement and won nearly every point, although for less in damages than they’d sought (whatever, they’ve got more money than some countries probably do in the bank). Now, I’m not saying that Samsung got what they deserved because I’m writing this on my MacBook Air while listening to my iPhone 4S. I completely disagreed with a decision a few years ago where Microsoft had to pay $500 million over some software patent that some troll had been awarded; they didn’t actually make anything, just held a patent and waited for license fees. I’m saying that Samsung got what they deserved because their copying was extemely blatant and obvious – they weren’t even trying with the devices these disputes were over.
To see how badly they cloned the iPhone all you need to do is look at Samsung’s phones before 2007 when the orginal iPhone was released and then look at them directly afterward. They’re nearly indistinguishable. It’s laughable. Hell, it’s even gotten to the point where they were copying Apple’s packaging aesthetic as well as their store designs.
Now that that’s all out of the way – to all the people who are saying that this is now the worst thing ever and Apple is just destroying competition, please, shut up. Do you see them going after HTC in this manner? Microsoft? Nokia? No, you don’t. They went after Samsung because they clearly and blatantly ripped off software and hardware designs. They did a damn good job too because they’re now the 2nd most profitably mobile company in the world.
This isn’t going to destroy their company. It’s not going to give Apple a monopoly in the industry. It’s not going to do anything other than force companies to be innovative on their own and not just blatantly steal ideas. Samsung seems to be doing pretty well with their new phones and designs so good for them.
And, at the end of the day, innovation will actually end up occuring sooner and with better quality products! Seriously, look at Windows Phone 8. It’s a damn good looking OS. I would even say that it’s a better looking OS than iOS in some instances. It’s definitely a more unique take on how a phone OS can be designed and used. Know how that happened? By having to come up with it on their own and relying on their own designers’ knowledge and skills. Know who didn’t do that? Google. Android is such a cheap knockoff of iOS it’s not even funny. Yes, I know it does things differently. Yes, I know it sometimes does things better (and vice versa) but at the end of the day it’s just an ugly version of iOS. In fact, to see how badly they copied Apple in the first place, all you have to do is look at what the first Google phone was going to be until Google’s CEO – who sat on Apple’s board – saw iOS, ran back to Google, and scrapped it all.
So, if you’re going to sit there and whine about Samsung getting the shit slapped out of them for copying, you’re just being an apologist and willfully denying the truth in the scenario. Samsung got what they deserved, Apple used the system in the exact way it should’ve, and innovation and design is going to be accelerated and benificial to us.