The business world in the US is a funny thing especially when it comes to legal matters. There is an unwritten rule that seems to be in use when companies break the law. This rule is all about making sure not to hurt the business regardless of the damage a company does to consumers or anything else really. We are seeing a great example of this with the Apple eBook price fixing trial. Although Apple was found to have conspired to fix prices at a much higher point that the market standard (by forcing an agency model) they still feel they should not have any consequences for this action.
Apple has become very brave in the light of their apparent victory over Samsung in Judge Lucy Koh’s court room. Despite potential issues with the verdict including evidence that the jury ignored the explicit instructions that were directly read to them by Judge Koh and written in several places, Apple is riding on a wave of euphoria that has caused them to expand their attack against Samsung. This was not overlay surprising as Apple is confident that the US population is ignorant of the concept of Prior Art, the differences between being inspired by a design and copying as well as some of the basic concepts behind software development (and that nagging little detail that prevents you from copyrighting a UI).
Apple is in an interesting position right now and it is one that we are not sure will work out to their benefit. Although Apple is following other smart phone manufacturers and catching up to where they were 2 years ago they are also working very hard to patent items that should NEVER be allowed. Because of this we have a feeling that Apple will be pushing their legal battle on the smartphone and tablet front even harder than before. The problem is that they will only come out looking bad in the end especially overseas where some of the courts are starting to wake up to Apple’s pattern of broad “attack” patents meant for use against competitors.
We have written more than our share of articles showing the decline of Apple as a major player in the market. We would never go so far as to say that we are predicting the “death of Apple” like so many analysts do about the PC on a monthly basis. The market needs both Apple and Microsoft to thrive (and really both are “PCs”). What we are talking about is the massive popularity of Apple mobile products will continue to decline as their rivals begin to bring faster and more compelling technology to the market. Right now Apple’s biggest method of competition is the law suit which they wield around the globe to prevent competitors from releasing their designs (all in the name of protecting IP).
We have talked at length about Facebook and some of the ways they take advantage of their user base. One of the last ones we talked about directly was the paid promotions idea that they came up with. For a few dollars you can promote your advertising to reach more of the people that like your page. We have called this idea a lot of things (some not suitable for printing) and likened it to paid spam.
Yesterday we talked about a finding posted by the US Federal Trade Commission and sent to the US International Trade Commission on how product bans hurt consumers. Although the finding by the FTC was geared toward standards essential patents it also could be argued that any product ban is harmful to consumers unless the product in question was an outright copy. The comment was aimed at Apple and their pattern of filing for broad patents to ensure they have ammunition against competition.