Android operating system potential target in Samsung vs Apple war.
While the recent ruling in the Samsung vs Apple case brought the legal hammer down on Samsung’s head, the real target may be the Android operating system as a whole.
Steve Jobs hated the Android operating system, viewing it as a stolen product and saying at one point “You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you.” The courts ruling brings his vision one step closer to reality, Apple now has precedent to attack all Android manufacturers and maybe Google itself. Some of the patent claims Apple won such as the “bounce back” feature will be relatively easy to replace while others related to things like pinch to zoom will be harder.
While there is still the appeal process to work through, if Apple’s claims hold up it could be very bad for Android in the long run. Manufacturers will either have to pay licensing costs jacking up the price for consumers or provide workarounds for the patents that aren’t the most efficient way of doing the activity. Either way the consumer loses which is what Samsung said in their statement. In regards to Apple’s patent on the front of their iPhone, there are only so many ways to make a mobile device with a screen so it will be interesting to see how manufacturers respond.
If this case has made one thing clear, it’s the overwhelming need for patent reform. It’s a perfect example of how technology patents on basic things such as pinch to zoom can destroy competition and innovation for a whole industry. I am not sure what such reform would look like but it’s a conversation we need to be having now if us consumers want consistently better products and not the steps back we are taking now.
It is too early to say exactly what will come from this case but it’s not to early to shake your head in frustration. Android lovers should keep their eye out for future ramifications.