Apple’s critics generously assign a variety of motives to Apple for filing lawsuits.
Apple sues because it wants to control the market, overcharge for its products, exclude competitors from the market or punish competitors for daring to not think different. It’s all part of Apple’s “quest for global tech domination.
But these aren’t actual motives. These are appeals to emotion. They’re legitimate perspectives, but expressed to negatively encapsulate spectacularly complex technical, legal and ethical issues into sound bites that make you want to agree with the author that Apple is bad and wrong.
Apple has only one motive for patent lawsuits, and I’m going to tell you what that motive is.
What Is a Patent Lawsuit, Anyway?
A lawsuit is often viewed in isolation by the gadget-loving public as an act of aggression by one company against another.
Sometimes gadget fans feel like children whose parents are screaming at each other. It’s stressful, and everybody wishes they would just stop.
But that’s not how the companies see them. They see lawsuits as marriage counseling.
A civil courtroom is simply a place where differences of opinion can be settled by arbitration in a process that results in decision that’s binding theoretically on both parties.
More to the point, a lawsuit is just one part of a larger companywide program of innovation development and protection.
The company invests in research and development. Smart people think through hard problems. They come up with new ideas. The original ideas are articulated in the form of patent applications, which are filed with national authorities according to the laws in each country. And there’s no point to any of that if you don’t defend those patents via the legal system.
Hate the Game, Not the Player