I’ve previously spoken about my support of Free and Open-Source Software so it can’t come as much of a surprise that I’m not a big fan of Apple. I like iTunes and my iPod was really important for me for the few years after I got it but in general I find the company to really grating. It probably won’t come as news that they recently won a court battle against Samsung. The California court ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1,05 billion for patent infringements. That may or may not be fair, I don’t know the details but I’m guessing it’s not fair since one of the patents that was violated is for “a grid of rounded square icons against a black background.”
What I found most annoying about the whole event is that when that court case is mentioned they fail to talk about any of the other cases involving Apple. You can see it in this article, reporting on how Apple wants more Samsung phones banned, but it was particularly noticeable on Morning Live where the presenters made a number of jibes at Samsung and treated Apple like it was some sort of saint. It isn’t.
The start of the year saw Apple paying $5 million to a Taiwanese company as part of a deal after it had brought a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringements relating to touch-screen technology. It’s also facing a lawsuit in China over it’s FaceTime feature. Siri is even more contentious and Apple is facing patent lawsuits both from the Chinese makers of Xiaoi Bot and from a Taiwanese University holding patents on certain speech recognition technology. Most of those have not been settled but it seems a tad irresponsible not to at least make a reference to them when discussing Apple and patents.
The California judgement against Samsung isn’t the first time the two companies have met in court. Just before that judgement a South Korean court found both companies were guilty of copyright infringement and banned some of their products from sale in that country. After their American victory Apple lost a court battle in Japan where it was decided that Samsung did not infringe Apple’s patents.
No doubt there are plenty more court cases I don’t even know about but the point is that Apple is not an innocent victim here. Samsung may have infringed some patents (although some of them seem ridiculous in the first place) but Apple seems to have been doing it’s own share of patent infringement. It certainly has the upper hand now but let’s not forget about it’s own transgressions.
PS: I wanted to include this picture from 9GAG but it took up too much column space.