The Patent War Battlefield

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Smartphones are an inevitable part of the technology laden lives of human beings today. These means of mobility have evolved with their increasing usability ever since their inception. Over the years, not only have the scales of their performance risen extraordinarily but they have also bought substantial change in the legality associated with these techies as well. Every year the smartphone giants spend millions of dollars in their patent war battle field. Let’s explore what this patent war saga is all about.

The design and the specs that are the copyright of an organization are its most valued asset. This is because each smartphone’s popularity is a combination of each of its features which includes its design specifications, software compatibilities, hardware robustness and usability paradigms etcetera. Each smartphone maker is thus highly possessive of its product’s copyright issues and its specifications. If some other smartphone manufacturer may happen to make a smartphone having any or all similar specs with another one of its competitors the earlier company files a lawsuit against it in court claiming that the latter has copied its product. The resultants of such cases are settlements over billions of dollars. But this is just not it. It is not only the software company that gets affected other resultants of this happening may be:

As a result of the need to pay millions of dollars companies often increase the prices of their products trickling the cost factor down to their customers.

Some times in line with the court orders the disputed smartphones are banned and their production and sales is sealed right away. This is an even bigger loss for the manufacturer, promoter of the product.

It is imperative to state at this point that almost all smartphone giants of today’s world are indulged in these patent wars and have put their millions of dollars at stake in these issues. You may name any organizations and there it would be among the list of patent war opponents. Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Hp, Google, Sony, Amazon, Pantech, Sony Ericsson and Nokia are all part of the list. PC mag (figure 1.0) gives an informative graphical review of the existing and resolved lawsuits files amongst many existing smartphone giants.

The severity of the situation can be assessed from the fact that according to BBC the UN is aiming at resolving the patent war issues by holding talks among the concerned companies in the near future. It has been mentioned that innovations such as JPEG and 3G, that directly affect the industrial domain would be center of the dialogue. Let’s hope that a unanimous code of agreement is settled upon by these companies resulting in the resolution of patent war sage as a whole.


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Twaha Ahmed Minai is associated with computer science and software development industry since early 90s. His area of specialization is development and algorithms. On his credit he has several computer based tutorials designed for different walks of life including defence sector. He has been teaching software development and algorithm analysis at undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 12 years. He has been actively involved in computer science based research which includes Bio-informatics, Physiognomy and forecasting. He is an inquisitive follower of the ongoing developments in computing era.

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