In an age where technology reigns as king, smartphones have taken the position as prince. Whether we realize it or not, they tend to dominate the majority of our telecommunications; and for some, our lives. From social media, surfing the web, online shopping, gaming, and of course, calling, smartphones can do just about everything these days. Trust me from experience when I say that these little pocket devices are taking over the way we as humans interact (don’t show that one that to my girlfriend).
Looking at the big picture, the war wages on between the major corporations. The big brands these days include Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, HTC, and many more. All essentially provide the same product; however, their differentiation only barely distinguishes each brand from one another, and therefore, is often the spark in the fights between them.
Most prevalent in recent news is the patent litigation battle between Apple and Samsung. Definitively the two top dogs in the industry, both have been fighting since spring 2011 over alleged patent infringements. Keep in mind that this was thrown on top of the war already waging between Apple and Motorola. Moving into the fall, Apple and Samsung had already racked up 19 ongoing litigation cases spread over 9 different countries (as if one wasn’t enough). By July 2012, it turned into 50+.
The initial ruling came on August 24, 2012 as a jury returned a favorable verdict to Apple. They were awarded $1.049 billion in damages while Samsung received nothing. To no ones surprise, Samsung filed appeals and counter-suits, and after several more months of fighting, they were able to get the damages watered down to $450 million.
While Apple and Samsung remain at the forefront of this war, it continues to wage on behind the scenes between many of the major corporations. At the center of this war and on the front lines of each battle are the patents that protect the technologies these smartphones offer. In a time where patent litigation is more prevalent than ever, it is likely that a truce will not be coming anytime soon. It will be interesting to see where these battles go in the future, and how the patents that sparked them are affected. The real question in mind is at the end of the day, does anyone win in the smartphone patent wars? Looking to the future, only one thing is certain – patents will continue define the way corporations battle each other for many years to come.