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Apple’s Aggressive Patent Stand Inhibits Innovation

We’ve already noted how Apple – once the edgy, cool company for the outsider who was just slightly smarter than the average – is now the industry behemoth with the lion’s share of the market.

But while Apple likes to promote itself as a freedom-loving, innovation above all company, that moniker applies only to the users of its products (and now, it only applies to small pockets of those users).

Apple itself is a company that is closed, exclusive, and protective – all values that don’t blend with the ethos it tries to project, and doesn’t fit well with innovation and development.

Take the recent lawsuit that Apple filed against HTC. They have accused the Taiwanese company of infringing on their patents. They’ve used a careful strategy, filed in two courts, and have addressed tick tack little issues, like sliding a button to unlock a phone.

But what is Apple really after? Well, Apple has found that they like zero competition – it drives profits immensely. So now that the Google Android platform has proven to be a formidable opponent to the iPhone, Apple has decided that instead of fighting the Android on features, price and user interface, they will fight the platform in court.

Rather than going after Google directly, they are starting with the smaller companies that use the Android OS, chipping away at the base. Experts like patent attorneys and intellectual property consultants see Apple filing multiple suits over several years, starting with those that don’t have the money and power to fight back.

Instead of using patents to increase and forward innovation, Apple uses patents as weapons in a war to limit innovation through competition and try to whittle the electronic world down into a one-screen theater, where Apple is all that can play.

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