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Apple vs. Samsung, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1627

Essay

Apple vs. Samsung Legal Case in Term of Intellectual Properties and Ethical Issues

Apple Company sued Samsung over infringement upon its intellectual property rights. This legal suit however has got many ethical issues and implications on future innovations and inventions in the field of electronics and information systems. Samsung had willingly violated the patent protections of apples Smartphone designs and software. This paper will discuss the intellectual property rights and the ethical issues in the case between apple and Samsung.

Intellectual property is used to refer to the creations of the mind. It involves things like innovations, literally and artistic works, names, images, designs and symbols (Arrett, 2010). It is divided into two categories namely, industrial property and copyright. Industrial property includes innovations, trademarks, designs and geographic indications of source while copyright property includes literacy and artistic works such as musical works, novels, drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and architectural designs. Intellectual property is an asset one owns just like a car that needs protection from unauthorized use. Therefore, Organizations have developed three major ways of protecting different types of intellectual property (Arrett, 2010).

Patents: patents provide the rights that protect an invention for more than 20 years. There are three types of patents namely, utility patents, which protect useful processes, compositions of matter, machines, articles of manufacture, fiber optics, computer hardware, mobile phone applications etc. Design patents provide protection against unauthorized use of original and new designs for articles of manufacture. Plant patents protect the invented or discovered asexually reproduced plants against unauthorized use (Arrett, 2010).

Trademarks: trademark protects the name, words, symbols, sounds, and colors of a company or individual. Trademarks are renewable and can remain forever as long as they are being used in the business. An example of trademark is coca-cola.

Copyrights:  offers protection to works of authorship such as music, writings, and tangible works of art.  This type of protection is the most violated in the field of business and software engineering. People easily reproduce computer software, download DVDs, and copy books (Arrett, 2010).

Once the person or the company discovers that its intellectual property rights have been infringed, they have the right to sue the party that is infringing on its intellectual property.

In the field of commerce, many cases involving infringement of intellectual property have been witnessed over the years.  Intellectual property rights are witnessed mostly in international trade.

By definition intellectual property rights entails social-economic tool that provides inventor firms with temporally monopoly to charge high praises for their new and original innovations than the marginal costs of production of the innovation. This action is intended to give the inventor firm time to salvage their research costs and generate enormous amounts of profits from their innovation or invention. Although intellectual property rights are good to the inventors and innovator firms, they have many ethical issues. For instance in the case of apple against Samsung a lot of ethical issues emerge (Arrett, 2010).

Apple vs. Samsung Legal Case in Term of Intellectual Properties

Issues

The case involving apple and Samsung companies revolves around infringement of patent protection. Samsung willfully copied apples iphone and ipad designs. Apple claimed that Samsung copied the look and the feel of their iphone and ipad.

Samsung violated apples patent concerning the way mobile phones notify the users when the icon reaches the other end. On the other hand Samsung also claimed that apple used its wireless technology.

Apple claim that Samsung infringed upon its patent to have mobile phones and computers share information and data. It also claimed that Samsung copied its design of Smartphone. The physical outlook of Samsung Smartphone resembled the outlook of apple’s smart phones in an unacceptable manner. This made apple to sue Samsung by infringing on their design patent. Samsung had infringed on software by copying apples bounce-back response and tap-and-zoom gestures of apples iphone.

The outcome of the issues and courts findings

In USA, apple won the case when the jury found that Samsung willfully copied apples iphone and ipad designs. This made Samsung to award apple about $1 billion damages. Apple has still requested for the banning of the 8 Samsung products in the USA market. In South Korea, the court dismissed that claim Samsung had copied apples design of iphone and ipad. South Korea then initiated some bans of Samsung and apple products in Korean market. However, it was found that apple illegally used Samsungs wireless technology while Samsung violated apples patent concerning the way mobile phones notify users when an image reaches the other end.

In Japan, the Tokyo district court denied apples claim that Samsung had infringed upon apples patent to have mobile phones and computers share data with each other.  In Germany, the court found that Samsung galaxy Tap 7.7 imitated apples design in an unacceptable manner. This made the court to order the stoppage of its sales in Europe. In Australia, the country’s highest court dismissed apples claims and appeals allowing Samsung to become free to sell its Galax tablet computer. However, several patent battles are still going over various patents.

From the cases it was found that Samsung had copied the apples bounce –back- response and the tap-and- zoom gestures of apples iphone. Samsung become guilty of willingly copying iphone gestures, software, and design patent infringement. Ethically, Samsungs behavior of copying apples design shows blatant disregard to the other party’s original design. It is indisputable that Samsung were copying apples designs and software. It is known that the designs and applications of iphone and ipad Smartphone never existed until apple created them. So any attempt to produce a similar deign is a direct copy or is an infringement to the apple’s patent rights. However, fundamental integrations in designs exist that allows shirring of the same technology to design and produce gadgets. For the case between apple and Samsung, it is unethical to grant ownership to fundamental integration. the designs of Samsung iphone and ipad does not entire design of apples phone but there are slight interactions in technology that make the two products from different companies share specific features and gestures such as touch screen and arrangement of icons.

Apple won the case whereby Samsung paid patent damages to apple. The major aim of apple is to have several Samsung phones to be banned from the market so that they can continue enjoying the monopoly of innovations. This puts other Samsung phones that use goggles android operating system in danger or uncertain. The target of apple to wipe out several Samsung products from the market is unethical. This hampers competition and hence impacts negatively of innovations or improvement of one technology with major integrations or similar designs.

Apple has been successful in the market for a long time. The emergency of Samsung Company into the market and the aggressiveness of wanting to take everything that apple had spent many years to experiment before implementing is unfair and unethical. Samsung must look for its own design and innovation instead of copying apples innovation.

Apples’ issues over intellectual property infringement are both legal and ethical. Samsung had copied every single accused devise over Apples bounce- back-patent. This copying affects the market for apples as well as makes it to lose large costs of research and innovation of new mobile phones applications. This action is a violation moral right against apple hence unethical. Before the introduction of Samsung products in the market, apple enjoyed the monopoly of trading in smartphones, hence, it used to charge premium prices that were higher that the marginal cost of production. This behavior is selfish and ethical because the burden of research costs is forwarded to the consumer.

Consumers in the markets that apple want Samsung products to be banned have Samsung mobile phones. As well most of Samsung’s mobile applications are advanced and more batter than apples products. Banning several Samsung products from the market will be unethical and uncouth for the customer base. Another ethical issue that emanates from the case is infringement into privacy. Samsung invaded the privacy of apple and managed to copy their technology which enabled them to manufacture ipad and iphone resembling the patented apples’ products. The infringement on utility patents is ethically wrong (Arrett, 2010).

Copyright intellectual property rights are also violated in the case. This is the major cause of the two big commercial companies namely apple and Samsung being in court. Samsung copied apple’s software and used it in the manufacture of its own phones.

I think the issues presented in this case are both legal and ethical.  Legally, Sum sung violated apple’s patent rights by copying its design and software. Ethics play a very good role in business field especially in innovation industry. Once the company innovate and put a patent of its innovation, other companies should respect the patent and refrain from copyrighting or breaking utility patents. Samsung decided to willingly copy apples design and software, which is an infringement of apple’s intellectual property right. The request by apple for the court to ban the sale of Samsun products in US and other European countries is greedy and unethical.

Conclusion

In conclusion the paper has discussed intellectual property and ethical issues involving the case between Apple and Samsung companies. They are the largest companies in the world, and their fight over monopoly and leadership in the market makes them to develop rivalry amongst themselves. Intellectual property rights of company are vital because they help the company to protect its innovation until it reaps the full benefit the invested money on research for the innovation become successful. Although intellectual property is vital, it has a lot of ethical issues that need to be understood for the organizations and companies to operate competitively for the market share.  Ideally, litigation frenzy and proliferation of software patents negatively impacts on innovation leaving the society in poor economic and social state.

References

Arrett, M. (2010). Intellectual Property. Larchmount, NY: Emanuel Law Outlines.

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