Are you a small business owner with a bright idea? Maybe you want to take that bright idea and turn it into some sort of widget. Well back in September President Obama had good news for you! He was pushing the America Invents Act through Congress which he said would “help American entrepreneurs and businesses bring their inventions to market sooner, creating new businesses and new jobs.” Critics quickly denounced this as the most pointless patent reform ever. Those critics were proven right this week when Apple sued Samsung over what Business Insider called “Ludicrous iPhone Patent Violations.”
Business Insider reports Apple is claiming Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone poses a “huge threat” to their iPhone and in a perversion of free-market economics, instead of letting consumers decide who has the better product, Apple is demanding a preliminary injunction to prevent Samsung from selling the Galaxy Nexus. Of course Apple needs to give the court some reason to issue a preliminary injunction; so they turned to patent infringement.
Apple is claiming that Samsung violated iPhone patents for:
- Slide to Unlock
- Searching Multiple Sources of Information at Once
- Detecting Phone Numbers in Email
- Built-in Spell Checking with Alternative Suggestions
U.S. Patent law states that inventions must be “novel” to receive a patent. I see nothing novel about any of the four items Apple is suing Samsung over. But nonetheless Apple and Samsung are heading to court to duke it out and rack up major legal fees along the way.
This recent spat between Apple and Samsung really demonstrates how President Obama and Congress failed to provide meaningful patent reform for America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs. When a company can file frivolous lawsuits because your new product poses a threat to one of their products, you’re stifling innovation. There is no way a small business can stand-up to an Apple, Samsung, GE, or any other Fortune 500 company.
Once again, legislation has been sold on the promise that it helps small business when in practice it only entrenches the dominance of the largest corporations further.