Apple, Samsung, Motorola Patent War May Shake Mobile Industry to Its Core
NEWS ANALYSIS: For some of us, the use of litigation instead of innovation as a way to beat the competition brings back memories of when that practice failed before and in the process killed a once-prominent database company.It's not surprising that Apple's CEO Tim Cook doesn't remember Ashton-Tate. He was hardly out of graduate school when the company crashed and burned as the result of a series of misguided and ultimately tragic lawsuits, the final one of which showed that the company didn't own the technology upon which it depended. The chances are, very few people remember this company, despite the fact that it was once one of the largest technology companies in the world during the early days of the PC revolution in mid-1980s. Ashton-Tate was as big or even bigger in those days than Microsoft, and more influential than Lotus.
In other words, it was a lot like Apple in many ways. The company started out with some innovative ideas that were primarily driven by one man. The company depended on one primary product and was bolstered by a few related products. Eventually, Ashton-Tate stopped innovating and instead started depending on technology developed by others, and it would sue the bejesus out of anyone that the company lawyers thought was getting a little too close to its ideas for comfort.