Maybe Samsung Wasn't Ripping Off iPhone
And 'NYT' looks at a patent system that's out of date in digital world
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 8, 2012 7:44 AM CDT
A woman walks by a billboard of Samsung Electronics's smartphones in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(Newser) – Not long after Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion over patent infringement, unredacted court documents are telling a different story. A perusal of the materials reveals that Samsung bosses apparently called on employees to "make something like the iPhone"—not to copy its design, notes Chris Matyszczyk at CNET. In the documents, an exec says the Apple product is already the industry standard, and that Samsung needs to think "six months ahead"; he asks his staff to "be people with creativity." Apple lawyers reportedly avoided mentioning that particular quote in court.

The report comes amid broader questions over a murky patent system that many say is outdated, taking a toll on technological progress. The New York Times highlights the issue in a lengthy report today, noting that the last two years have seen $20 billion spent on patents and related legal battles; indeed, Apple and Google spent more on patent issues than on research and development last year. While patents were designed for mechanical technology, digital patents can "effectively grant ownership of concepts," allowing firms to strike down competitors' work on barely-related products. Click through for the full piece.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
gomer99
Oct 8, 2012 1:23 PM CDT
Imaging that Nikolaus Otto was as big an asshole as Apple. Ford, Toyota, etc. would have to be in court constantly fighting about how they built their engines. I avoid Apple products primarily for this reason. (other reasons are equivalent products are available for WAAAAY cheaper) They are proprietary pricks. The entire world is open source ......... except them. Without the marketing genius that convinced the impressionable, trendy dipshits that they were "cool", they would have gone the way of BetaMax -- and for the same selfish reasons. Check the recent commercials for Galaxy phones. They have NAILED the " I'm so cool " willful ignorance of the Apple herd.
lvan
Oct 8, 2012 12:23 PM CDT
Why is Apple getting it's panties in a twist? The only valid argument from iOwners I hear is quality hardware. Sumsung is already making iPhone.
Rembrandt_Q_Einstein
Oct 8, 2012 10:24 AM CDT
Software patents are ridiculous. So is the idea that you can patent a rectangle with rounded corners.