One of the popular arguments making its way around the Internet since Apple won its patent infringement lawsuit over Samsung is that the verdict will stifle innovation in the mobile industry. I don’t buy it.
Even Samsung used the argument in its statement addressing the loss. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.” That’s just silly.
What Apple’s win prohibits Samsung, and others, from doing is blatantly copying Apple’s design. There is nothing in the ruling that says Samsung can’t continue to innovate. There is nothing that says Samsung can’t release as many phones as they do now or that they have to charge more.
Samsung is using this as a scare tactic, pure and simple. The truth is, if Samsung hadn’t copied Apple and innovated all along, they wouldn’t be in this mess.
In fact, this decision should lead to more innovation, not less. If Samsung is forced to stop copying Apple, there is only one option left — innovate. Instead of sitting back and making their phones and tablets look exactly like the iPhone and iPad, Samsung will now have to do some work. The hardware and software will have to be different, unique and innovative.
The harsh truth is innovation costs money. If Samsung has to raise prices because of that, then so be it. That’s their decision to make, not Apple’s and not the court.
It’s easy and cheap to steal and not improve on someone else’s ideas, but it’s a different story when you have to pay for research and development to create a unique product.