Apple vs Samsung

The Apple vs Samsung patent lawsuit has come to thrilling conclusion, the whole incident has left me with mixed feelings.

While I'm glad that Apple won the case against Samsung, it does set a precendent and only reinforces the arguably broken US patent system, specifically where it comes to software patents.

Many software patents seem to be pretty vague and cover broad concepts, and it's become this arms race between Silicon Valley tech companies to build and collect patent portfolios to defend themselves against litigation, or to go after their competitors when they get a bit too close for comfort.

There are also the so-called patent trolls. Shell companies set up to hold patents, and exist solely to demand licensing fees or damages, but do not produce anything themselves. These bloodsuckers are a drain on the economy and resources of companies that could better spend that money on R&D or other more productive uses than paying lawyers to fight them or to settle out of court.

I believe that the decision on the Apple vs Samsung case was the right one, I really hope that this isn't a lose/lose situation for us consumers. Other manufacturers will probably have to go back to the drawing board and revise their hardware and software designs in a way not to fall afoul of Apple's patents, which might set back development by months or years, giving Apple unimpeded freedom to continue their phenomenal growth.

Companies like Samsung, HTC, LG and the like would have to change things for the sake of being different when certain touch-based user interactions have already proven to be effective and intuitive. It's hard to imagine right now how anybody else could do a 'zoom' gesture better than the reverse-pinch that Apple patented.

As I said at the start, I'm not sure that the ruling in Apple's favour is necessarily a good thing for everyone. I'm with Judge Lucy Koh that they should have settled out of court and just move on and everybody can get back to innovating and producing good products that we all love.