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Apple’s Samsung hissy fit hear around the world

Apple’s Samsung hissy fit hear around the world

As Apple takes one of its strongest tech competitors Samsung to the legal battlefield, are its charges justified?

September 11, 2011 3:53 by

“Don’t get mad. Get even.” This line was made more famous in our popular psyche by politicians and celebrities. It is this Kipper’s not-so-secret shame that we’ve heard Ivanka Trump say this line but have more recently seen attributions to a more prestigious American family, the Kennedys—although my suspicions are this is probably one of those lines that have been passed on from generation to generation.

And it’s certainly one that Apple is subscribing to as it enters into the legal battle with one if its biggest competitors, Samsung, charging it “for violation of its wireless technology patents around the world.” Apple has accused Samsung on the same grounds for its mobile phones and tablets.

Most recently Germany has ruled in favour of Apple and has stopped Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablets from being sold in the country. The tablet, says the judge, looked too similar to the design of the iPad.

Conversely, a Dutch court last month dismissed a similar case within their jurisdiction, finding no such design infringement.

Nevertheless, the German ruling will become a precedent for all other pending and future cases Apple has against Samsung and other competitors. Will this create a domino effect of victory for Apple or just a fluke?

On a larger framework, one can’t help but put forth this theory that Apple is fighting a moot battle in terms of design. Hardware is becoming so homogenised that the real competition is in the marketing/branding (of which Apple is a master), as well as in the software and interface capabilities. So what does Apple have to be afraid of?

There are some in the industry that see the German victory as a step towards stifling creativity and innovation. While my gut reaction was to agree with this, there’s also another perspective wherein genuine innovation often comes from the presence of a lot of preconditions and lack of total design freedom. Maybe this ruling, while I see no real direct value in them, will result in true innovation for Samsung, which is already leaps and bounds in other aspects like bendable, flexible LED screens.

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