Apple Launches Patent Nuclear Arsenal At Creative
from the fun-for-patent-lawyers-everywhere dept
We've talked in the past about how patents have really become the nuclear stockpiling of the software industry. Everyone feels the needs to stockpile as many patents as possible, not for the sake of innovation, but so they have a big patent portfolio any time anyone threatens them with patent infringement. This way, they can respond with an "oh yeah, well, you must violate one of ours..." and hopefully keep the patent lawsuits down to a minimum. This keeps the patent office and patent lawyers happy enough, though it's unclear what good it does for actual innovation. Of course, as with nuclear stockpiling, the result when someone launches can be a bit of overkill. Witness what's happening in the Apple/Creative lawsuit. Remember, Creative, who was unable to compete well enough in the market with the iPod decided to sue Apple over patents it held on user interfaces that involve a hierarchical categorization of music (as if no one had ever thought of that before). Apple has returned fire, throwing all sorts of patent infringement claims right back at Creative, claiming the company is "infringing three patents relating to using icons, and displaying and editing data." Once again, patent lawyers will be thrilled, but money that could have gone to actually developing new and better products gets wasted.