(Every week, Kyle St. Romain will talk about the business and legal side of the app world. While his opinions don’t always reflect those of Rocksauce Studios, you should hear him out…the guy knows his stuff!)
Patent lawsuits seem are all the rage these days. Even if you haven’t read my numerous posts about patent suits in the tech world, you have likely heard of Apple v. Samsung, which is a closely-watched patent case currently being heard in the Northern District of California.
Patent lawsuits put an enormous strain on companies’ resources, particularly tech companies. In addition to the time and money involved in maintaining or defending a patent lawsuit, there are also costs that you can’t readily put a dollar value on; one of the biggest being the information you may be asked to produce during discovery. Since court cases are matters of public record, and Samsung is suing Apple for patent infringement, we the people now get to hear some of Apple’s inside information.
- Apple has spent over $1.1 billion marketing the iPhone and iPad from 2007 to 2011. About 40 percent of that was for the iPad alone, which has only been on the market since 2010.
- Apple’s research found that 78 percent of iPhone buyers also buy a case for their device; the iPhone case market is lucrative.
- Apple’s leading designers are hired from within and are assigned to special teams. The first rule of Apple R&D is: don’t talk about R&D; it’s very Fight Club’esque.
- Apple did consider adding a kickstand to the iPhone at one point (which I wish they would have done).
Back to the actual controversy: Apple claims that Samsung “blatantly imitated the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success.” In particular, Apple alleged that Samsung’s family of Galaxy devices “slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive produce and packaging design.” In the other corner, Samsung claims Apple stole it’s designs from Sony. In any case, Samsung appears to be getting desperate and is deliberately leaking evidence in formal press statements.
For more reading: T3 has a nice article Apple vs Samsung Trial: Patent lawsuit in pictures if you prefer picture books over novels (I do). All Things SD also has a nice slideshow with Dozens of iPhone, iPad Prototypes Shown in New Apple v. Samsung Filing. Finally, Apple has done us the favor of posting an actual copy of the complaint.
What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy: innovative or copied? Let us know in the comments below.