I have to be one to admit that hearing about Apple and patent infringements is really starting to get on my nerves! The whole idea just seems ridiculous, and it's just one company going after another because they want to be the top contender. It's just getting to be tiring to hear about these days.
Stephen Schenck, a writer for PocketNow has the right thoughts when he says:
"Software patents are awful."
He's absolutely right, they are. The patent wars are becoming so popular that judges are starting to grant "preliminary injunctions" which is "preventing the sale of certain smartphones and tablets" until the wars and feuds are over. One may start to wonder, "Isn't there anything that can be done that can make this whole ordeal less painful?" Mobile users are suffering because of these infringement wars, and it's just starting to get sickening to hear about. Stephen Scheneck brought a really good idea to the table. He asked:
"What if smartphone and tablet manufacturers sold their products with little more than a bootloader on board, and end-users themselves downloaded and installed device firmware upon first taking them home?"
Sounds like a pretty good question to me! He came up with a pretty good outline how to go about this (for more of an in-depth explanation to these steps, please visit the source link below). His first suggestion was to:
- Start out with a "Blank Slate.
So how will this work? Scheneck feels that Manufacturers should start shipping phones and tablets with just the "bare minimums" of code. Having just enough to connect to a PC, receive firmware, and flash it to the device. This is where companies would need to make sure their work is protected and patented.
Benefits of Software/Hardware Divide
Schenck then goes into a few of the benefits that this could provide.
- Manufacturers can quickly turn out new versions of software with no infringement worries.
- Manufacturers could allow users to "manually" specify software to flash to their devices even if it hasn't been retrieved by their company's servers.
- This would allow for happy devices users.
- Users can do this on their own, with the guidance of what is on the internet.
- May require a signature check of some kind to verify, but would be no need to force users to flash "approved code."
Even though all of these ideas, suggestions, and thoughts may warrant good consideration, we all know that many manufacturers would not go for it, and would use the fact that it would take too long for this to be implemented. As retail stores and carriers would need to pre-flash phones for those without a PC or internet. We all know that most of those business' are about saving money and time, and not about simplicity.
However, the patent threat is only increasing, and the threat of injunctions is becoming almost a constant ordeal. One day, this system may start to look more appealing to those who've just had enough. Or we could just sit and deal with companies like Apple suing someone who's "infringed" upon their patent on a weekly basis. Which would you prefer?