Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I think we also need to page Mark Palko

Today's new patent is from Apple, US patent #8,082,523.  It is best described as:
In other words, anything you’d recognize as a smartphone seems to be covered.

Matthew Yglesias asks the smart question:
The issue is that there's just no sound public interest case for granting monopolies over certain features to the first-to-market firms in this industry. Apple has already gained a very large competitive advantage from the fact that they were the first people to deploy a working touchscreen smartphone and even without patents clearly has a strong financial need to continue investing in improving its product lest lower-margin Android-powered phones eat away at its profits.

But the general trend seems worrisome.  Not only does it vastly increase business complexity (searching the patent office for thousands of potentially applicable patents), but it stifles innovation by making new entry into the smartphone field more difficult.


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