Nothing But Tablets reported back in August about how Apple is suing Samsung in an Australian court in an attempt to block the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from being sold due to patent infringements. Well this decision was just reversed, and the tablet can be available for sale as early as 4:00pm Friday December 2. The panel overturned a decision that was made by Justice Bennett, and said “she should have found that there was no arguable case of infringement of the heuristics patent.”
This is great news for Samsung, and also as an extension Android. In recent months Apple has gotten a lot of news coverage by suing everyone and everything that makes some sort of new technology it seems. After a court decision in Germany forced them to redesign their Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, Apple still wasn’t happy, and are trying to block the sale of this new version of the tablet.
As a technology lover I see all of these Apple lawsuits as a complete waste of time and money. Money that will eventually be passed down to me, the end user, in the form of higher prices. Apple is trying to make money off things they supposedly invented. Some of them are ridiculous, and it should fall on the patent system to reject these claims, but they don’t. For example, Apple was awarded a patent back in June for “Portable multifunction device, method, and graphical user interface for translating displayed content.” What this boils down to is how you swipe your finger across a device to control it. Really, you can patent how I move my finger on my touchscreen device? I’m sorry but this is just getting ridiculous.
This might just be me as an Android fan talking, but I see it as Apple has done nothing really new since they came out with the iPad, and are now being forced to play catch up with their competition and aren’t happy with it. I look to the most recent update to iOS 5. Their biggest selling point has been Siri for the iPhone 4s and also their cloud services. Well they aren’t the first to have speech enabled commands, although I will give them that they did a nice job implementing it. And they are way behind on the cloud front, as they finally implemented features that Android users have had for more than a year, and PC users for a lot longer than that. I have a friend that tweeted after updating to iOS 5.0.1 on their iPhone over the air for the first time how exciting it was. I thought to myself that the salesman at Best Buy did that on my phone a year ago when I bought it, why are you celebrating something that should have happened a long time ago?
Now let me just say that I understand the whole purpose of the patent system, and how important it is for people to be able to patent their designs, but to be able to patent “intellectual property” is getting a little ridiculous. I feel the biggest blame falls on the patent system for not changing with the times. They are stuck in a time when the things they needed to patent were a new tool or car part. Here we are in 2011 with tens of thousands of patents that were granted to technology companies that probably should not have been. I see Apple as just taking advantage of a flawed system. Hopefully one day soon everyone will give up on the lawsuits and invest those resources back into research and development where it belongs so that we, the customers, can continue to get great products.
UPDATE: The ban was extended one more week after Apple appealed to the High Court. This legal battle appears to be far from over, and once again, it’s the customers that are losing out.[DailyTech]