from the if-you-can't-innovate,-litigate dept
This story nicely highlights a few other points as well. We keep hearing from patent system supporters how the patent system is necessary because, without it, the market leader would always just immediately copy the upstart and "steal" their idea. Of course, Nokia has had two plus years to "steal" Apple's idea, and where is it in the smartphone market? It's not so easy to just copy someone else's idea -- especially if you're a huge player like Nokia, who will often view the disruptive innovator as not being worthy of paying attention to (which basically was Nokia's reaction to the iPhone).
Separately, remember how confused we were when Steve Jobs proudly hyped up the fact that Apple had over 200 patents on the iPhone concept? We've pointed out that it's hardly done anything to stop lawsuits. Apple has been sued over and over and over and over and over and over again for patent infringement. Welcome to the tragedy of the anti-commons, where it becomes impossible to do pretty much anything innovative without facing massive legal costs. Basically, if you build anything even remotely innovative these days, you're going to get sued for patent infringement, probably multiple times. It's become a massive tax on innovation, rather than a lever for innovation.