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Apple v. Samsung

One of the biggest patent cases of the modern technological time has hit the Supreme Court. The highest Court in the Land has not heard a patent case since the 1800s; however, on Tuesday, October, 11, 2016, Apple and Samsung stood in front of eight Justices to argue over how much a patent is worth for when a company copies designs of another. Apple presented the argument that patents need to measured and valued so that protections of new creations will be strongly favored. On the other hand, Samsung provided an argument examining the parade of horribles that would happen with an Apple victory; to wit, a stifling of innovation.

The Supreme Court is hearing this case out of a 2012 trial in which the original issues were design patents for a black, rectangular, round-cornered front face; a similar rectangular round-cornered front face plus the surrounding rim, known as the bezel; and a colorful grid of 16 icons. The icons were of particular importance to the case as the icons used similar characteristics (i.e. the phone and contact icons looked nearly identical). To see images of the icons click the following link: https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-vs-samsung-heads-to-supreme-court-everything-you-need-to-know-faq/.

With this background information, there seems to be two important competitive and crucial interests that America values: the potential for hindering creative ideas and the protection of established ideas in a free marketplace. On the face, these two interests seem to be equally imperative; however, one should prevail over the other because a further look into Apple’s position also addresses the future of how consumers and future innovators shall appropriately act. Not only does a win for Apple include advantages for inspiring creative ideas; but, a win for Apple means disincentivizing and deterring future mockery behavior.

The surface of Apple’s argument could logically provide a huge win for big corporations wanting to protect their ideas and allow for those corporations to prevail over smaller companies if they can afford and protect through a patent before others; however, the competition in the free market is something America prides itself on and is something smaller businesses can still take advantage of. Increased damages will equal greater protection to creators at a well-deserved price. If the court were to limit damages an infringer has to pay, the decision would set a vision that mockery is okay with the paying of a simple fine. The protection of intellectual property is not a protection that is taken lightly. In my opinion, Samsung’s argument would have the opposite effect and an Apple win would in fact encourage more innovation and creativity by publicly saying when you create something and protect it, the law will provide the best recovery possible for you if it is infringed upon.

In conclusion, the Apple v Samsung case is an extremely significant one especially in this growing technological-advanced time. The ability for others to obtain and copy certain innovations are at anyone’s fingertips and without the law protecting these innovators to its fullest, the precedent would encumber individuals to bring their creative ideas forward.

Donielle Robinson