I have been involved with innovating products since the 60s and patents are very very important. They are also extremely difficult to get and cost a lot to put in place. There is no such thing as a small patent or you can patent anything. Indeed the process is very rigorous and often patents are not awarded.
I am writing this blog as I feel there needs to be some sense where Asian companies start to respect patents and quit copying and stealing things. Otherwise, Asia will never advance.
I now live in Asia and copying things is the norm and legality is not. In all the ASEAN countries I have visited it starts from clothes brands, copy DVD of the films that may not have even reached the cinema through to electronic devices such as copy mini iPhones with the Apple logo which Apple do not sell, even the iPhone 5 was on sale recently in MBK in Bangkok.
The Asians need to learn that patents must be honored so I am pleased Samsung has been whacked with a high profile story in the press and a $1.05b fine. I also hope they have their devices removed from the shelves. I also hope Google and Android get whacked to, as many of these products are just outright copies, even being developed and made in the same factories.
If you are going to infringe a patent the patent owner can either license the technology which Apple does in the main and Microsoft (an Apple shareholder) licenses some of their patents. However, if Apple wants to ensure its rivals and competition that do not want to play by international patent laws then so be it. Its up to the competition to innovate, make their own patents and be different and better. That is the challenge.
Many times I was involved with patent infringements, where a certain company copied our pcb schematics and built copy products either in the UK or the Eastern block. We had to go after them to maintain patent status either for license or for exclusion. When somebody steals your fuel from your car you don’t say well that is alright. You expect them to pay for it. Patents are just the same. Its theft!
Samsung now I think are beginning to understand Theft! Blanton copying is theft and if everything is only slightly different then it is still theft.
Apple continues to manufacture in Asia, but at some point if Asia corporations continue these practices, then Apple will move to another country or continent.
Many Western corporations will not use Asia for fear of copying and we know they manufacture and have learnt from the Japanese.
Toyota and Honda have been through a similar period, but now have superior self innovated products.
Lets hope the electronics and internet companies in Asia will be less corrupt and less copying and more innovative in the future.