Google-Apple Choose To Appeal Patent Ruling
Google's subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, and Apple have decided to appeal patent rulings made on June 22 by a federal judge concerning their infringement claims against each other. Judge Richard Posner of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the companies' claims due to their unsound damage theories. The jury trial scheduled for June 11 never occurred. According to Bloomberg, it would have been the first trial between Google, the Android smartphone maker, and Apple, the creator of iPhone, since acquiring Motorola Mobility months earlier.
Apple vs. Competitors
Since 2010, Apple has sought to fight against competitors in court. The company recently tried to prevent the release of Samsung's Galaxy S III, a smartphone that also runs on Android. Claims brought forth by Apple against Motorola involve four possible patent violations. As new Android smartphone devices launch for consumers, Apple will push against any appeal patent ruling not in their favor. Kristin Huguet, Apple's spokeswoman, states, "This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual ideas when companies steal our ideas."
Vague Patent Laws
Is a poor patent system to blame? Many of Apple's opponents believe the company uses patents to gain a monopoly on the market. Google's spokesman Jim Prosser said, "The rise of patent litigation is due to too many vague software patents." It seems likely that more companies competing with Apple will find themselves in a patent battle as they rush to develop more creative smartphone features. Lawyers write software patents in a language that is difficult for software engineers to comprehend. Companies such as Google may not understand what gets covered under a patent until a court declares it in litigation.
Learning From the Google, Apple Battle
While the courtroom saga continues for Apple and Google's Motorola, midsize businesses can apply certain practices to avoid a similar outcome. The New York Technology Council urges companies to prepare for the broad US patent law changes. Elimination of the twelve-month grace period results in companies no longer being able to sell products before filing for a patent. A new "first to file" rule affects innovative businesses.
In addition to patent lawyers, IT professionals play a vital role in protecting intellectual property rights and depend on the newest technological advances to do a variety of tasks. Companies can negotiate cross-licensing agreements by allowing each other to use patented technology. Businesses greatly benefit from having technology managers who received training in patent laws. Those technology managers can give clear advice on how to protect a new invention or device features.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.