Apple Should Give Up Its Mobile Patent Lawsuit Campaign: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-01-24 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple has been embroiled in patent-infringement lawsuits for years now with mixed results that haven't done much to improve its bottom line. They certainly haven't done anything to improve relations with its competitors. Isn't it about time the company eased up on the litigation?

It seems every week there's a news story cropping up saying that Apple has either launched a lawsuit against a mobile competitor or that competitor has launched a lawsuit against the iPhone maker. Those are usually followed by a court ruling made by a judge halfway around the world, deciding if a patent brought before him or her is violated by a respective mobile product. The litigation never ends.

So far, much of the lawsuit activity has been between Apple and Samsung. Both companies are performing exceedingly well in the mobile market, and each firm's products are threats to the other's. However, so far, neither company has been able to gain the upper hand, and it appears the chances of the lawsuits coming to an end any time soon are slim. Looking at the rest of 2012, it appears Apple and Samsung will be waging court battles in even more wide-ranging jurisdictions around the world.

But it's about time all that stops. Apple should realize that its lawsuits are not helping its operation in any way. It should discontinue all the patent-infringement lawsuits it has pending against Samsung and Motorola, along with any other mobile patent infringement suits it is contemplating. The lawsuits are hurting Apple and its standing in the industry. It's about time it moves on.

Read on to find out why:

1. It isn't winning anything

If Apple were engaging in lawsuits that were actually helping the company win something, then sticking with them might make sense. However, Apple has won only a few preliminary injunctions, and in other cases lost legal battles. If Apple isn't winning anything yet, there's a good chance it won't win any big rulings in the coming months. Why not just cut its losses now and move on?

2. It's costing the company boatloads of money

Although Apple hasn't divulged how much it has spent on its lawsuits, it's believed that the company could have spent more than $100 million on a single lawsuit against HTC alone. That's cash Apple can spend on research, product development and acquisitions. Those all would be a much better use of its money.

3. It makes Apple look bad

Companies have a right to protect their intellectual property through patent-infringement lawsuits. But it looks like Apple is using lawsuits to try to gain and maintain competitive advantage as a relative newcomer to the mobile phone industry. Historically, Microsoft has been that kind of company, and it's been called a bully because of it. Does Apple really want to be Microsoft? Absolutely not.

4. It might end the suits against it

Part of the reason Apple is engaged in so many legal battles right now is that the defendants, namely Samsung, have been launching their own lawsuits against the iPhone maker alleging patent infringement to protect themselves. Maybe it's time Apple ends all the lawsuits it has brought to court to see if the companies it's battling will back off as well. There's a good chance they might.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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