How Will the Apple v Samsung Outcome Affect Innovation?

Whose side are you on? Apple, Samsung, the designers, the future innovators, the lawyers? And what will the verdict in favor of Apple mean to all innovators?

This article in PCWorld by John P. Mello Jr., Apple v. Samsung Verdict: Opinion on Consumer Impact, Innovation Divided, helps us sort through the many opinions out there, but the real impact may not be known, now or ever.

“Since the jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion on Friday in the Apple v. Samsung copyright case, there’s been no shortage of analysis on the Internet about the ramifications of this verdict. The public’s opinion on the verdict appears to be divided – in everything from how the case will affect consumers, to its influence on innovation, to how it will affect companies such as Microsoft and Research In Motion.”

On one side you have the argument, “You’ve taken a major competitor out of the marketplace,”  says Stanford Law School fellow Vivek Wadhwa. The implication there, of course, is that less competition means higher prices and less inclination toward innovation.

On the glass is half full side we have this idea: “Within a product cycle or two, consumers will begin to see exciting, new, and different-looking designs,” said Christopher V. Carani, a partner at intellectual property law firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy.

Protecting your inventions with good intellectual property is essential, especially for start ups who are seeking investors. This debate over whether patents help or hurt is not a new issue. In 1897, George Eastman had tired of using up valuable resources fighting for his patents. He said, “If we can get out improved goods every year, nobody will be able to follow or compete with us.” So he organized a new experimental department in Camera Works to quickly create new products to keep the customers’ wallets out on the counter.

Apple has become one of the largest corporations in the world with a parade of elegant and useful new products.  Is Samsung trying to leapfrog them with its own rapid succession of phones and tablets? Lawsuit aside, we as consumers have clearly benefitted.

How does your enterprise “keep the customers wallets out on the counter?”

By Chuck Frey

About the author

Chuck Frey Senior Editor, founded and served as its publisher from its launch in 2002 until the partnership with Innovation Management in 2012. He is the publisher of The Mind Mapping Software Blog, the definitive souce for news, trends, tips and best practices for visual mapping tools. A journalist by trade, Chuck has over 14 years of experience in online marketing, and over 10 years experience in business-to-business public relations. His interests include creative problem solving, visual thinking, photography, business strategy and technology. His unique combination of experience and influences enables him to envision new possibilities and opportunities.