The Patents war: Apple VS Samsung

The patents war between Apple and Samsung generated a lot of negative sentiments against the patents system. The current trend is to blame the patents law as the cause of the adverse effects of this war.  It is true that the patents system is far from ideal. As a matter of fact, (paraphrasing Churchill’s opinion on democracy), it is the worst system except all other systems that are known and tried.

The purpose of the patent system is to encourage inventors to invent and to share the inventions with the public. Thus the system rewards the inventor for sharing with the public the outcome of his efforts, investment and ingenuity, while preventing the copying and “stealing” his idea.  A “good” system should balance between the rights of the inventor and the interest of the public  while not blocking the desire of other inventors to continue and develop new inventions that may be close but do not infringe the rights of the patent owner.

The problem is to find the optimal balance and to keep it consistent (avoiding situations such as in our case, where Apple won in the USA, and Samsung won in Korea and in Japan), while minimizing the agony, the high cost and the bureaucracy involved in doing it. Several steps has been made to this end:

  1. The definition of the characteristics of a patentable idea (Industrial applicability, novelty and inventive step)
  2. PCT. Which is international but still requires the country level examination, acceptance and ruling)

But this still does not make it an ideal system. Further enhancements are needed. So, instead of “throwing the baby with the water” by trying to eliminate or paralyze the patents system altogether, a remedy should be found in order to overcome its shortcomings.

 We, in Gonen & Schwartz, can do very little regarding the improvement of the  existing patents system, but we certainly can assist you in protecting and in optimizing your gain from your intellectual property. We offer consulting, handling patents, renewals (including PCT country level “National phase”) and dealing   with the commercial and the legal aspects. So, instead of wasting your time, criticizing the system, the lawyers and the giant companies, concentrate on your own interest:  If you have an idea for an invention or an innovative development, you are invited to approach us… Who knows, you might be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

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