Opinion: Apple Winning The Patent Wars Is Great For Innovation

Opinion: Apple Winning The Patent Wars Is Great For Innovation

I said this on August 24, 2011, exactly one year before a US jury declared that Samsung had intentionally copied Apple and then some: “We hope Apple wins the patent wars.” Fortunately, they did.

Yes, fortunately. Don’t listen to the obtuse apologists and the blind fandroids of the me-too — this is great news for consumers and technology because it’s the End of the iPhone Era.

There was never much doubt that this would be the outcome of the case. Anyone except its most fierce and partisan advocates, everyone with two eyes can see how blatant and crude these Samsung and Google copies are. The emails that showed Samsung’s intent were the final nails in the coffin.

The need for real innovation

Microsoft knew this too. Even while the Redmond company had a strong patent agreement with Apple, it knew there was no way it could clone the iPhone and the iPad and get away with it — neither legally nor commercially. If it really wanted to succeed, Microsoft knew it needed to do something different. Something better, which is why it created Metro and the new Windows Phone. These are the ultimate examples that prove wrong those who claim that there’s no way to do things but the iPhone way and Apple winning the patent wars would kill the smartphone as we know it.

This is poppycock. The truth is that Apple’s win only kills the crap smartphones and the unimaginative copycats who poop them out of their design boards busting with carbon paper. The people at Google, Samsung and HTC who thought “oh screw this, let’s all do the same.”

Even Google proves the patent whiners wrong. Recent versions of Android — smelling the inevitable outcome of the patent wars — tinkered with the interface enough that it finally felt new and fresh. And sometimes its innovations were much better than Apple’s own stuff. Oh, and guess what? Google patented those too. And when they didn’t have the patents, they bought them. They will fiercely defend them against Apple or anyone else if the occasion arises.

But until the litigation shootout began, the iPhone’s Android-based competitors were largely clones that showed little imagination, no better ways to do things, something that we hate. Now, not only will future imitators be discouraged, those currently on the market might find themselves banned.

Microsoft showed the world that there was a different way to do things. Like I said one year ago, Windows 8 “introduces diversity, new methods, evolution. That, as someone who loves brilliant technology, excites me. You should be excited too. And you should hope that Apple wins all these patent wars against the lame and lazy. Because that would mean they’ll all have to do something new to beat Apple at their own game.”

The fun starts now

So I hope that Apple wins all the appeals. Hope that Apple wins every single lawsuit in which their patents are valid. Because the fact is that Apple’s court triumph will drive innovation, not stifle it. Steve Jobs’s ultimate afterlife victory will drive prices down, not up. It will give us, the consumer, more options — not less.

And this will not kill Android, it will only make it better. It will just kill the lazy part of Android. It will push Google and its cohorts to innovate, rather than just follow whatever methods and aesthetics come out of Cupertino.

If Apple keeps winning, you will end up with a much better phone. Not just a cheaper phone, but a better phone. If you look at Android’s latest offerings, this is already happening. And you, Apple fanboy, will also end up with a much better iPhone, because the more other companies push the envelope, the more Apple will have to truly innovate, rather than rehash their old recipe — like they have been doing for quite a long time now. We are sick of those Apple retreads already, by the way. They are the new beige. They smell rancid, past glory days covered with stitched leather.

So let’s forget about all these disgusting years of refried concepts and facsimiles and remember this day: Friday, August 24, 2012 — the day that marks the End of the iPhone Era.

The fun and awesome starts right now.