Samsung faces Apple in court today

Queena Kim Jul 30, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Samsung faces Apple in court today

Queena Kim Jul 30, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Jeremy Hobson: Lawyers from the two biggest smartphone producers in the world will be in federal court in San Jose, Calif. today. Samsung — that’s number one — is being sued by Apple, which is the second biggest smartphone producer, believe it or not. Apple is asking for more than $2 billion in damages, as well as an injunction to stop the sale of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets.

Marketplace’s Queena Kim reports.


Queena Kim: Apple claims that Samsung products copy the iPad and iPhone’s design. And Apple has a patent on those designs, which includes:

Colleen Chien: …the button placed on the bottom, a large screen, rounded corners and a rectangular shape.

Colleen Chien is a law professor at Santa Clara University. And Samsung’s comeback? No, Apple — you’re the copy cat!

Chien: Samsung’s rejoinder is: you can only get a patent over something that’s new and other people had this similar idea before you.

The lawsuit signals that “design patents” are emerging as the newest weapon in patent wars and Apple has a big arsenal.

Robin Feldman is a law professor at U.C. Hastings. She says Apple even has a patent for “clean lines.”

Robin Feldman: It’s worth asking whether we should be giving so much power for the kinds of things that we give design patents for.

Because in the hands of a power company like Apple, Feldman says, “design patents” could squash competitors and innovation.

In San Francisco, I’m Queena Kim for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.