I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear that the warring tech giants of Apple and Samsung have failed to reach an agreement over their multinational and multi-faceted patent and design disputes, which will mean more expensive and boring wrangling between the two for the foreseeable future.
One would think that by agreeing to go into talks with each other, both sides would have been prepared to give a little to make a compromise, but like stubborn little school children both companies decided the most appropriate course of action was to stand firm – with Samsung claiming Apple should pay royalties for using its wireless transmission technology, whilst Apple is claiming that Samsung copied their industrial design.
In fairness to both sides, Apple is using Samsung’s patented wireless technology, but with it being a patent required to actually make a phone work it should be licensed to Apple under FRAND terms. Equally, Samsung’s earlier devices took a lot of inspiration from the iPhone – but there was no doubt they were Samsung-made what with the Samsung logo on them and all. How these relatively simple claims have taken in thousands of hours of lawyers fees and courts across the globe is quite beyond me.
These patent wars are meaning that huge sums are being spent on legal fees rather than R&D, and it is progress and the consumer that are losing out. Patents are supposed to be there to offer incentives for people and companies to build new technologies, not to be used as legal sledge hammers to batter down the opposition into submission under the sheer weight of legal fees. Apple and Samsung are two of the worst offenders, but everyone is at it, and it is ridiculous and it should force legislators into some form of patent reform.