Monday, July 2, 2012

Apple, Microsoft, Google & Others: END THE PATENT WAR NOW!!

Look, we get it, each company wants to be successful and ultimately be the dominant player in the mobile phone arena. Microsoft, you've got Windows Phone which showcases your ideas on what a smartphone should be. Apple, your products have always been innovative and well thought out and well implemented. Google & the Android camp, you've got the momentum, the ability to rapidly improve and adapt, and the open source movements to bolster Android devices. And all of you, Microsoft, Apple, Google and the Android army are all doing one thing extremely well: pissing all of us the hell off!!

Patents are a key to maintaining intellectual property and protecting its enclosed ideas. We outsiders understand that and recognize that without patents, a lot of the advances we enjoy every day might not have been possible because there might be too many competing technologies on the market to enable advancements based on them to develop. But that can hardly be the case with operating systems, mobile or otherwise.

Face it, you all have stolen or borrowed ideas not only from one another, but from your predecessors. And I'm especially aiming that comment at Microsoft and Apple! But what you guys are doing right now isn't about protecting your business, it's about hurting the other guy. This patent war is barely accomplishing even that! What you don't realize is that you're hurting your customers!  Most of what you are suing one another over is prior art, common sense, or the reasonable evolution of an idea that likely didn't even have its origin with your companies.

What it's mainly doing is pissing off all of your current and potential customers. Apple and Microsoft: you make many consumer products outside of the smartphone market that you're probably hurting your own sales of those products as well future smartphone sales as you alienate Android enthusiasts. While most Android manufacturers simply tout their product and try to keep to themselves, others, like Samsung, have taken an aggressive stance in their advertising campaigns deliberately targeting iPhone users. While it's hard for me to paint Android as an antagonist in this war, simply an entity defending itself, it's obvious that some of the things that Android developers and manufacturers have done have been deliberately provocative.

Then again, isn't that the whole idea of competition in the capitalist market? Anytime someone implements a similar feature is implemented in Android, lawsuits start flying. Never mind that the same features have been implemented in desktop OSes or in iOS and Windows Phone without triggering the same lawsuits. The bottom line is that rather than competing and relying on the superiority of your implementation, you unleash a team of lawyers.

Give the people you claim you're serving a break, and stop this damned patent war!!

Update 7/9/2012: I'm not exactly the only one thinking this way...,16220.html and