First of all, the patent system hurts the consumer, because if two competing companies each own a patent for a specific feature of their product, you will never see a product containing both features. Patents are obtained by companies merely to block competition. The majority of patent applications are both obvious and frivolous. One of our competitors filed an application this year claiming to have invented the use of an accelerometer as a tilt sensor - basically there are trying to patent the laws of physics.
The patent first was legalized in the republic of Venice around 1500.
It was done for two reasons.
1) give an incentive to invent
2) get the best mind to came to Venice.
The word patent is the Latin litterae patentes open letter and the term patent is from the English empire. The king would give to someone the right to sale or import and other things to someone that payed a large amount of money to get the patent letter giving them the privilege.
Among the other things there was the IP but it was used a lot by merchants to get the exclusive to import goods.
The patent should defend small inventors not the other way.
One thing that should be added is that any invention that is not used for two years is considered abandoned.
I took from the drawer my old palm and it is rectangular with a large screen and bowed short sides no rounded corners.
If there were a decent way of finding my past posts related to these subjects ten I would provide links back. But this website lacks a comprehensive way of finding what one posted in the past...
So, lets sat that I had provided sufficient information to reflect that the patent system needs revision.
I have also provided more than a trivial representation that what iPhone provided was available as much as 5 years prior to the announcement of the iPhone. Related to this lookup the Handspring phone. But, the Palm based systems were always deemed business or hobbiest systems and so the real difference between the Handspring phone and iPhone was marketing and availability of lower power more capable hardware 5 years later. iPhone was not a technology nor innovation gain over Handspring phone.
I will give Apple credit in that they defeature products well and thereby allowing them to integrate and polish a product with fewer features attractively.
Could Apple shield themselves from Samsung 3G patents by sourcing through other vendors. Reminds me when Cyrix back in the 90's didn't have a patent cross license to x86 compatibility and sourced wafers through companies (TI and IBM) that did to fend off liability and litigation.
However, who can Samsung source through for the patents that Apple is throwing against them? And this to me is the strategic issue. If Apple wins even one count, Samsung must either change the product, pay Apple, or not produce. There is no other sourcing alternative. And by proxy, the entire Android eco-system.
What is at stake is the strategic implications of what you choose to patent and why. Coca Cola flavor is still Trade Secret protection because there is nothing to gain from patenting. Technology on the other hand has a decaying useful life from the inception of the idea unless it's scope is so fundamental that it is worth going after with the risk you tell your competitor both how you're doing it and how to work around it. All patents are not created equal.
Moelar: I know because I hold patents, I have had to debate with overextended examiners, and I have spent enough time doing IP consulting work that I have had to do many patent searches. To anyone who does these things and is "skilled in the art", the conclusion obvious.