Tit For Tat Or I’ll Sue You For That

Ideas are now copyrighted. Did you know that? Well they are and I have copyrighted all mine for future use. I don’t care if you might have come up with a similar thought. I thought of it first and so I will litigate your arse so you will give me money.
This of course does not work with a lot of media content. I have a sit-com idea about 3 men. One is pretty stupid, one is Scruffy and daft and last is always thinking up schemes to make his life better. They all live together in some dank place. We follow their adventures as they try and make good in this world.

Now that is an original idea. No one has tried that before… have they? Well they haven’t if you exclude, Last of the Summer Wine, Only Fools and Horses and Father Ted. A basic premise retold in its own way. I had an argument with someone at college once. We disagreed over the FACT that there could never be anything original any more. All of the arts are based on some other part of the arts. Nothing was 100% original. Ok this was before the then “Information Superhighway” *1 was really pushing ideas forward.


Fig-1 (October 2010)

So, when it comes to gadgets why is there a need to sue each other over patents? Apple beating up Samsung, HTC and Apple counter suing each other, Nokia suing anything that moves and being sued in return. Google buying Motorola Mobility for its patents. You can see, from the two images (Fig-1 and Fig-2)  how things have progressed, they all seem to have ramped up the litigation in under 12 months. No tech company is safe from being sued at the moment.


As a consumer, all this is not good. The majority of us what cheap products that do as promised. If the companies keep taking the others to court, eventually, we will end up with a few big players. Ones who can control the market as they close or taker over the smaller firms who can’t pay up. Less companies, less competition and thus higher price of goods and slower R&D.

It is well known of my dislike for Apple products, but they have been market leaders in some areas. Other companies were producing MP3 players way before the iPod. Other companies had touch screen phones before the iPhone. What Apple does well is moving their chosen product genre on by some way. I remember when Nokia make the best phones and ruled the roost. Now they are struggling and are knocking on Microsoft’s door for help. Apple changed the whole phone market and they don’t want to lose that. Phones are where the money is.

Fig-2 (August 2011)

It’s a massive pot of money these firms are playing for. Three of the world biggest technology companies are playing in this field. In fact these companies are in the top 6 worldwide most valuable*2. With the humble phone you can now use it to do more than just to make calls and texts. Navigation, Emails, Instant messages, Social Networking, E-book’s, Video player, Music player and now, it can be your wallet. Where will it stop?

It’s the stuff of sci-fi legend that we will all one day be implanted with a microchip, where the government can track our every move. Well we don’t need an implant. We have phones for that. Soon, your entire life will be on that tiny device. It will track where you go, who you talk to, what you talk about. It will know what type of music you listen to, or what eBook you have read the most. It could remember where you spend our money and on what, it will know more about you than your partner.

This could be game changing for the tech companies. If they can retain the control over these areas they have a license to print money… well printing will be dead, a license to make e-money. Google became big not by people buying it products but by people simply using it products. We hand over our details and Google in return offers us free internet products and importantly the Android Mobile operating system. Our information is then anonymised and used by Google for adverts and improvements to their catalogue of products. It’s something we except in return for the important free.

I don’t foresee the suing stopping anytime soon. Even over the weekend at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Apple stamped its feet and got the New Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 removed from the stands. It already has a ban in Germany for its bigger brother the cleverly tilted Galaxy Tab 10.1 in place. This is a worrying trend, especially as I’m due my phone upgrade soon and want a Samsung Galaxy SII

Ideas should be free and recycling other peoples is not a crime the courts need to deal with. Sure if someone is completely copying someone then they should be taken to task, but just because they use a similar gallery or the Bluetooth stack, whatever that is, it should be treated as a compliment not a threat. It’s a worry for the whole industry but it’s a worry for me. Will the next generation of phones and gadgets simply be the same as the current crop because Massive Dynamic patented the 1 in the binary code?
*1. This went on to be called the Internet, who knew.
*2 the only other tech company in the top 10 is IBM and they have no plans to make an appearance in the mobile arena

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