Sophisticated intellectual property and patented technologies sometimes take many years and many hours to develop. Companies that take the risk and make the investment required to develop new innovations should be rewarded and have the opportunity to recuperate their costs and enjoy the profits of hard work and innovation.
Unfortunately, there are some ‘companies’ spending more time engaging in frivolous lawsuits than they spend on development of innovation.
Recently one company has tried to take Apple, Google, Samsung, and HTC to court over what they claim is patent infringement.
When a technology is so widely used that it’s incorporated in the devices of multiple manufacturers, one must wonder how unique that technology is.
Part of the problem is with the original patents being too vaguely worded, broadly defined, or allowing patents to be issued for relatively common sense, generic, and obvious designs. These things create a context for conflict.
Based on these poorly conceived patents, companies are now trying to take advantage of the patent system and court system.
A spokesperson from Apple described one of their recent court battles this way:
“[The company that is suing us] makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented. We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.”
This is, of course, only one side of the story, but if true, it illustrates the wide-spread problem we’re seeing repeatedly today.
The company suing Apple for $533 million is self described on their website as “an innovative technology development and licensing corporation that owns an expanding portfolio of foundational patents….” This description sounds more like an organization established as a patent broker.
Surprisingly, this company that is suing Apple for $533 million has only a simple five page template website using stock photos that was copyrighted back in 2013.
Ultimately consumers pay the cost of all these lawsuits, and as with war, there often are no winners, only losers, as all the expense, stress, and effort doesn’t go toward creating solutions for a better world, but instead only drains our valuable scarce resources.