So, Apple is up to its old tricks again. It just hit HTC with yet another patent dispute on June 4, although the details only recently came to light. Apparently, Apple is claiming that HTC is still violating the patents that HTC says it’s now avoiding, although this time 29 devices are affected, including the HTC EVO 4G LTE, the One X, the One S, and the One V. If Apple succeeds, all of these devices will be delayed yet again (best case), or banned for sale in the US (worst case).
Meanwhile, have you heard about how Google and Motorola Mobility are trying to block Xbox 360 imports and other Microsoft products based on another patent dispute? Oh, and Apple is also trying to block imports of the new Samsung Galaxy SIII in the US.
There are a billion and one other patent disputes going on, as well, but these are receiving the most press.
So here’s a novel idea: instead of competing with each other in the courtroom, why not try competing through innovation? We all know that the GS3 will be sold in the US, come hell or high water. The Xbox 360 isn’t going anywhere, either. And neither are the EVO 4G LTE or the HTC One Series. All these patents accomplish in the end is footing each company involved with a multi-million dollar bill for court fees, lawyer fees, licensing fees, ITC fees, and other bogus costs. These, in turn, end up being passed on to consumers in the form of higher costs for devices.
Stop it, already. All of you. But especially you, Apple. The only thing you accomplished by delaying the launch of the EVO 4G LTE was ticking off a bunch of customers who have now added your products to their “list of things to never buy.” How, exactly, does that contribute to higher iPhone or iPad sales?
And Google: whatever happened to not being evil? How exactly is Xbox 360 – an in-home gaming system – a threat to Motorola Mobility, which makes smartphones?
All of these patent lawsuits are ultimately bad for consumers, bad for competition, and ineffective in the long run. To all consumers: if you’ve been thinking about grabbing an EVO or One Series device, you better do it now, before it’s too late. And to all the companies involved in these frivolous suits: let’s start getting serious again about making the best handsets we can, and let’s try to grow out these temper tantrums that happen every time you feel threatened by someone who – let’s face it – just made a better product than you did.