Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do Copyright Lawsuits Stifle innovation?

Copyright lawsuits are becoming ever more popular in the legal realm. Companies are quick to protect their products and ensure that others do not create something similar. In many cases it can be hard to create an entirely new product due to the nature of the item. A cell phone, for example, will look similar no matter how many unique features/design elements. Almost all smart phones contain a large screen, touch screen interface, and many “apps” which power the operating system. Apple is actually suing Samsung by claiming many features on their phones are stolen from the iPhone and iPad. They claim “Samsung’s Galaxy line of smart 
phones and the Galaxy computer tablet infringe Apple patents and trademarks.

 The lawsuit, filed April 15 in the Northern District of California, represents an effort by Apple to maintain its status as clear market leader” (Apple’s Samsung). Apple is also participating in lawsuits against Amazon claiming they own the term “apps” and “appstore” and that they can’t be used on their website.

“Apple has since asked Amazon to stop calling its store an "Appstore" three times, according to the lawsuit. "We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers”  Many feel these lawsuits are just making it more difficult to create and market your product. Large corporations have to be very careful when designing a product or even using certain words. When you can’t make the product you want because fear of lawsuits, it makes the innovative and design process even harder.  

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