Originally Posted by lem
well if they can ban the tab in australia maybe they can get the 4s banned too (provided samsung/google have the correct patents). it has to go both ways. that would hurt apple more than it would it would hurt samsung considering the pre-orders on the 4s. the courts here may be harsh but i can only hope its balanced.
Maybe they can't? It is quite possible that Apple has paid licensing fees for any other companies' patents, which means they hold a license for the technology. Samsung, on the other hand, refused to pay for licensing when Steve Jobs personally contacted them to work out a solution.
Originally Posted by Ikrin
I mostly agree. The amount of regulation that covers patents is not as robust as it should be. Patents are also not reviewed as thoroughly as they should be. Why is it that companies that specifically search through patent databases to distinguish claims that are of similar scope are that much more thorough than patent offices? The situation is no better with employees at those offices being incentivized to approve patents.
However, I think the main issue is not necessarily only design patents, but software patents. Their introduction has led to an immense catalog of millions, and thousands upon thousands of them describe very conceptually identical features. The most reform needs to be in that particular area, such that ideas that are simply not that novel, including pinch-to-zoom, scrolling galleries, etc. cannot be licensed. Companies should never have been granted rights to any of those features, given that they are not so completely innovative, and it has nothing to do with the interface's underlying code. I'm sure that most developers would agree that it makes no sense to be patenting a technology based on basic descriptions, rather than the actual code.
Oh, I don't disagree with you on the "basic descriptions" part. Unfortunately, one can blather their way through half of a patent application and be granted a patent that's very generic.
I'm not saying Apple is right or wrong here, I'm just saying that hating Apple for suing Samsung is pretty pointless, because as long as patents are granted for such things, it's going to happen and many companies will sue whoever they can to ensure that their IP is protected.