Galaxy Tab 10.1, or When Patent Lawyers Attack Progress

11 08 2011

Some people argue that patents for inventors slow rather than encourage technological innovation. I’m inclined to agree with this view, but I recognize that there are some really smart people on both sides of this raging debate. For more about “patent trolls”,  see here.

Yesterday, a court in Germany decided to throw some more  fuel on the fire when it issued an injunction banning sales of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet because it is too similar to Apple’s tablet. The problem is that both devices have a rectangular screen surrounded by a black frame.

Apparently, Apple’s lawyers have somehow been able to copyright the square.  The FT has more details:

Apple’s success in delaying the sale in Europe of Samsung Electronic’s Galaxy Tab, the top competitor to its iPad, buttresses its position as the dominant tablet supplier worldwide, while shining a spotlight on the chaotic nature of intellectual property rights enforcement.

The Silicon Valley powerhouse on Tuesday won a preliminary injunction from a Dusseldorf court, barring Samsung’s sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in every European Union member nation but the Netherlands.


The Guardian reports:

European customs officers have been ordered to seize shipments of Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab computers after Apple won a preliminary injunction against the Korean electronics giant in an acrimonious patent dispute.

Personally, I’m planning to get a trademark over the circle. That way I can sue all of the manufacturers of wheels. In fact, if I got a court order shutting down the world’s car industry, I could become an environmental hero.

Frigging absurd.

Patent Trolls Are a Big Problem






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