NEWS ANALYSIS There are a number of cheap products that flood the market which are of good quality but sometimes they honestly remind us of high-end products we like but cannot afford.

The high-profile legal battle between Apple and Samsung, which has dominated headlines on the Internet, has now come to a close. Nevertheless, it has thrown up a number of glaring issues on competition, ‘innovation’ and a flawed patent system.

Starting with the trial, Samsung presented a weak defence by showing that the technology in question had existed before Apple’s launch of the iPhone, instead of outright refuting the infringement accusation. This proved to be futile as Apple showed that Samsung had not copied that technology, but had taken it from Apple. Design of various functions, cables and icons were intentionally copied from the iPhone.

This ruling is a strong wake-up call to firms, in general, and Korean businesses, in particular, to stop duplicating and start innovating. There are a number of cheap products that flood the market which are of good quality but sometimes they honestly remind us of high-end products we like but cannot afford.

Moving on towards the battle for smartphone market-share, Apple will likely negotiate a royalty fee for the use of the patents. Phone-makers who use Android will have to pay a fee, as Apple now has the legal high ground. This is, of course, assuming that the inevitable appeals do not overrule the California court’s decision.

However, this does not mean the fat lady has sung just yet for the Android platform, despite claims otherwise.

Companies will have to set new trends and come up with ways to differentiate themselves from Apple. Amazon clearly had this in mind with its Kindle Fire, which has avoided the threat of lawsuits. Lastly, the decision speaks volumes on future innovation and the U.S patent system. Some of the infringements that Apple complained about were so basic that it bordered on ridicule. With regard to software patents, it has thrown up the vital question on how different something has to truly be, design-wise, in order to be safe from future lawsuits. Inside the imperfect system the U.S has – Apple had a valid complaint against Samsung (evident from the mere two days it took the jury to decide). Will this judgement trigger a wave of fair business practices?

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