USPTO Rolling Back Some Key Apple Patents

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 19 2012 5:10 PM

USPTO Rolling Back Some Key Apple Patents

This is cheering not because I'm an Apple hater, but because patent law in general needs to be massively scaled back and because the smartphone industry is overwhelmingly an example of the fact that "me too" product development is very beneficial. The Android devices Apple is upset about were pretty obviously developed with the intention of making something broadly similar to iOS and its great that they've succeeded. Apple has a very particular business model and corporate strategy and good for them, but the proliferation of Android-powered imitators has let the basics of touchscreen smartphone technology exist at a much wider range of price points and form factors than Apple ever would have been inclined to serve. Meanwhile, it's created a situation where Apple couldn't just rest on its iPhone 3GS laurels. As Android grew, there was a real chance that Apple would have its lunch eaten. But so far it hasn't happened. They rolled out the iPhone 4 and 4s and 5 and a bunch of iPads and clearly—and rightly—feel the need to keep innovating to protect their profit margins.

Advertisement

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and it's great for consumers. But the competition ought to play out in the R&D labs and in the marketplace, not in the courtroom.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.