News of high-tech companies suing their competition has dominated the technology news for many years now. Apple Inc. suing Samsung Group and vice-versa is almost getting old, but there is possibly a good side to all the bad. Those battles being fought by the tech giants are aiding human progress.
To think a century ago, most people didn’t even own a car and still traveled by horse or train, if they were even near a train. Commercial air travel hasn’t even been around for a century yet. The wrist watch was seen as high-tech for the times, but wasn’t popular until the 1920’s. Then right around a century ago, telephone and radio would revolutionize the world.
The inventions of the telephone also generated patent arguments as inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell bickered back and forth arguing whose invention the telephone actually was. Many inventors were also involved in radio patents as well.
What complicated the patent suits and disputes back then was difficulty for one to understand what the inventors actually did invent. The concept of communicating with other humans over vast distances was hard for many humans to even grasp, let alone the methods and technology that was needed to actually achieve those goals. It would have been easier to understand the new technology as magic in those times, because the ideas were so innovative for their day.
One thing that the patent disputes of old did was making that patent information available to the other inventors and the public when the patent was granted to someone. Once others looked into the patents for what made that invention work, they tried to improve on them and received patents on their own. This opened a never ending circle of patent disputes, but ultimately it increased human advancement.
Looking back at human progress since the first human walked the earth; humans have never made as much progress in the technology as they have in the last few decades. Probably the biggest advancement in modern times has been the internet. The creation of a world-wide network has allowed human beings to exchange ideas and swap knowledge almost instantly.
The creation of the internet has been just one catalyst allowing humans to advance technology at such break-neck speeds. On the other hand, this open-source exchange of ideas on the internet can also be blamed for the recent spike in patent disputes. Yes, patent information is often available to most very quickly over the internet.
In modern times one begins to see all of the patent suits between Samsung Group, Apple Inc., Microsoft, and Google, just to name a few of the tech companies that have sued each other over and over and back again. At first glance, one can often see this as very negative in human advancement. But taking a closer look at this and taking into consideration the lessons from the last century, one can begin to see how all of this competition is good for human progress.
Some of the latest high-tech patents can be compared to the patent suits of old, as they are so technically advanced, that the average human may find it hard to grasp or understand. This can sometimes blur the lines of understanding and complicate the law suits on these patents.
For instance, Apple Inc. has recently filed more patents around their iWallet that will revolutionize wireless payments between 2 or more parties. Apple Inc. has also filed patents that cover the finger scanning processes that will revolutionize personal security methods.
Samsung Group was recently awarded with a patent that covers a curved screen for their future models mobile phones. This is pretty innovative as most people still consider a flat-screen as new technology.
Now one can also add Google’s latest invention, Google Glass, into the mix. People can really start to see how quickly the human race is advancing in such a short time span of the human evolutionary timeline.
One thing that is common in all three company’s new patents. They can all be viewed by the public and improved on by their competition, awarded a new patent, then one company sues the other and the viscous circle starts again.
One has to agree that the tech future looks pretty darn cool and amazing. So while big tech giants like Apple Inc. and Samsung Group continue to sue each other and their competition’s fat wallets, they are just really good at “greasing the wheels” of human progress.
By Brent Matsalla