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WSJ: The Patent Wars are Going Nowhere Fast

May 8, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

We’re all sick of litigation stories and the constant barrage of patent lawsuits, and it’s not really a secret that it harms the industry as a whole. Many would argue that it staves innovation, but that’s another topic altogether.

Analysts from the Wall Street Journal say “courts have proven as likely to deliver plaintiffs a rebuke as a win, and the slow grinding of the justice system has sapped the impact of the occasional big victories.” To translate, all of the battles that mobile manufacturers are currently fighting pretty much lead nowhere. Even if they garner a smaller win in the courts, there are other battles still raging which shadow any success.

For example, Apple won $1 billion last year thanks to a successful verdict against Samsung, yet they have been unable to win injunctions against the affected Samsung products. This is all despite the fact that Samsung has been reeling in the cash while the litigation is still ongoing. Point being, even though Apple won an earlier hearing they are still unable to stop any future products from hitting shelves. Ultimately their previous win seems trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Apparently, an unnamed source spoke to the WSJ and had this to say in defense of the patent litigation dealings:

“Even wins that appear small, like knocking a product from the market for a month or forcing a company to disable even a minor feature, can yield significant advantages.”

In other words, companies are defending such practices because it has a negative effect on their competitors, even if it is contrite. The real question is: what are these companies really winning through all of this fuss? It doesn’t seem to be doing any good, and it actually seems to be staving the industry, for the most part.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for all of these ridiculous patent attacks. Apparently, no one can play nicely and get along at the playground anymore. All of the big manufacturers have sand in their hair, and all of them have cuts and bruises on their skin. It will be intriguing to see how far the whole situation goes. Eventually someone is bound to change their tactics, right?

Source Wall Street Journal