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The Litigious Period

Posted: August 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Apple, Apple vs Samsung, Chronic, Favorite New Thought, Google, Kiss My . . ., M.Aaron Silverman, Smartphone, Tablet, Technoid Computer News, Technoid Gadget News, Übergadget | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Litigious Period

We missed out on the Cretaceous Period, got our start in the Devonian Period,  woke up to ourselves in the Pliocene and have been running straight toward the Litigious Period. As megaliths and behemoths battle it out over who owns what patent, and which gadget belongs to who, the consumer is likely to be the victim in what looks like warming to be a long and fierce battle. There seems to be the distinct possibility that more products would be blocked from sale, after Apple yet again blocked Samsung from selling its Galaxy.

Originally the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was delayed because Apple claimed Samsung was infringing on it’s patents.

The battle between Apple and Samsung was taken to a new level this week. Samsung’s counsel has agreed to delay any launch of the device until late September. The company has also complicated matters by stating it intends to counter-sue. To complicate matters, Samsung said that it intended selling two versions of the Galaxy Tab. Apple seems to be having a hard time  believing the rhetoric and claims both device infringe on its patents. The battle is only the latest round between the two companies.

The web technology weaves is getting more and more complex. As more consumer electronics monoliths start patenting technology, third party businesses starts acquiring patents, and manufacturers hold patent on components a complicated system overlap of what bit went into what gadget has arisen. Not that we’reclaiming innocence for anyone, we reckon there are rooms filled with boffins trying to broaden the line between someone elses patent and gee wizz look what we just made.

Clearly Samsung and Apple is the big news, it’s easy to overlook the big-picture though. Multiple patent lawsuits have been ongoing between giants including Apple, HTC, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Amusement has also arisen over a recent patent bid, where Google accused Microsoft and Apple of teaming up to buy a trove of patents from Nortel. Google – being the awe inspiring strategist they are –  responded by purchasing the mobile business of Motorola, stating that its patent holdings were a key consideration in the decision.

Until now lawsuits have mostly been settled out of court, Apple has now demonstrated it is prepared to block the sale of devices point blank. This raises considerable problems for businesses, taking a product from development, through production, boxed and ready for store is an uber-expensive exercise if you can’t sell the darn thing. It is likely that many of these lawsuits will settle, however further litigation resulting in restrictions on sales should be expected.

Vendors need to position themselves to adequately manage customer expectation, as seen with the Galaxy Tab: a product doesn’t exist until the punter has it in hand. Ensuring that vendors have actual product is going to get nail biting, that the product will be defendable in court is possible going to be farce, wait for the Recalls and expect the Litigious Period to get a heap more tumultuous!?

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