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Apple vs. the World

Over on his blog, Louis Gray has a thoughtful post about Apple's latest attempts to legally thwart its competitors, this time in the arena of patent-infringement. Here's a good point that Louis makes:

But the volley of lawsuits smacks of preemptive desperation, not from a company in trouble by any means, but by one that wants to make sure it won't ever be.

In March of 2010, former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote a post, titled, in a nod to Jobs, "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal". In the post, he claimed that Apple going after the competition raised their visibility and relevancy to the market.
I have to say that this sounds pretty spot on. A lot of regular folks (i.e. non-techies) are aware of the iPhone and the iPad, but I'd wager that they're not as familiar with the Samsung Galaxy phones and Tab. But they probably soon will be, if Apple keeps this up.

This also smacks a bit of being ever-so-slightly overly litigious. While no one can dispute that Apple's designs for smartphones and tablets are the gold standard and, yes, have been the... ahem... inspiration (shall we say) for several smartphones and tablets ever since, it's also a fact of life that the business world thrives on competition, and that imitation is the sincerest (and most common) form of flattery.

After all, most cars (for example) look the same. They have the same basic build. The form factor varies a bit from car-to-car, as well as the build-quality and special features. But they all have doors, tires, engines, windows, trunks/hatches, hoods, etc. I don't see how smartphones and tablets are any different. They all pretty much follow a similar build pattern, with somewhat different form factors. But they all have screens, keypads (virtual or physical), speakers, etc.

Apple should be proud to be the groundbreaking, innovative, highly-copied and successful company that it is, and get over it.


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