Tech Titans: Apple vs. Samsung


HARMFUL
By Carly Banner

In August, a decision in the case Apple v. Samsung was reached. Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages through the overzealous pursuit of patent protection.

If companies like Apple continue to pursue their patent rights so vigorously, this could be the first of many cases in which a large, successful technology company is allowed to stifle progress and competition. This practice is dangerous to the American consumer and the American economy, and it shows that there is a pressing need for greater regulation on which concepts can and should be patented.

The patents Apple contended included the homescreen and app display, pinch zooming, bouncing at the end of a scrolled page, and a square shape with rounded corners. Intangible concepts like these should not be possible to patent under U.S. law.

The great American dream is to come up from nothing, work hard or be smart enough to develop a new, desirable product, and reap the monetary rewards. Apple has set a precedent of blocking the path of the entrepreneur with patents and lawsuits over technicalities that smaller companies wouldn’t be able to afford to legally battle.

But now Apple has reached a time in which greed and monopoly over the market is slowing innovation. Apple is too busy squabbling over rounded corners and patent infringement to recognize that more can be accomplished by sharing new ideas and building on them than by hoarding them away.

In 2011, iPhone sales grew 142 percent, and iPad sales grew 183 percent. Apple’s 2011 record third quarter net profit was 7.31 billion. Clearly, Apple will have an abundance of income regardless of Samsung’s success. But if there is no less expensive alternative in the market, Apple will be free to jack up prices to its heart’s content.
If roadblocks like Apple’s patenting of minute details and general ideas becomes a common practice, making a start and moving forward in the American economy will become even more difficult. And if companies like Samsung are edged out of the game, there will be no competition, no drive to make a superior product. And that would be a disservice to technology consumers.

BENEFICIAL
Jennifer Fleming
In August, a decision in the case Apple v. Samsung was reached. Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages through the overzealous pursuit of patent protection.

If companies like Apple continue to pursue their patent rights so vigorously, this could be the first of many cases in which a large, successful technology company is allowed to stifle progress and competition. This practice is dangerous to the American consumer and the American economy, and it shows that there is a pressing need for greater regulation on which concepts can and should be patented.

The patents Apple contended included the homescreen and app display, pinch zooming, bouncing at the end of a scrolled page, and a square shape with rounded corners. Intangible concepts like these should not be possible to patent under U.S. law.

The great American dream is to come up from nothing, work hard or be smart enough to develop a new, desirable product, and reap the monetary rewards. Apple has set a precedent of blocking the path of the entrepreneur with patents and lawsuits over technicalities that smaller companies wouldn’t be able to afford to legally battle.

But now Apple has reached a time in which greed and monopoly over the market is slowing innovation. Apple is too busy squabbling over rounded corners and patent infringement to recognize that more can be accomplished by sharing new ideas and building on them than by hoarding them away.

In 2011, iPhone sales grew 142 percent, and iPad sales grew 183 percent. Apple’s 2011 record third quarter net profit was 7.31 billion. Clearly, Apple will have an abundance of income regardless of Samsung’s success. But if there is no less expensive alternative in the market, Apple will be free to jack up prices to its heart’s content.
If roadblocks like Apple’s patenting of minute details and general ideas becomes a common practice, making a start and moving forward in the American economy will become even more difficult. And if companies like Samsung are edged out of the game, there will be no competition, no drive to make a superior product. And that would be a disservice to technology consumers.

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