Patent Wars: A New Marketing Strategy

This was first published on Linkedin and was featured in Pulse: Law & Government, Technology. Original Article Link:


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) – a term we always hear for new innovations which changed the way to publish any experiment/technology or even ideas. Patents are one of the most common forms of IPR. Lets give you an example, say I developed a Technology/ Idea/ Algorithm/ Application, sold it to big companies and get the royalties paid. Simple.. or is it?



How it works?

These are the hottest topics on the news now-a-days. “A” sued “B”, “B” counter sued “C” and “D” sits comfortably as he is not big enough to compete. If you have to be the best you have to destroy your opponent even if they are completely legitimate. If you are a small company make sure you protect you ideas before you release it, unless you might face a strong lawsuit for developing your own idea from a market leading company. It’s complicated and very hard to comment on a specific event as most of the cases are still in the court trials, for example the recent headline grabbing Apple and Samsung conflict – revisited.


All about Publicity and Power

So why are they doing it? Apple is trying to dominate US and other valuable markets by stopping Samsung phones and tablet sales, exactly same what they did to HTC a while back (atleast that is what we hear from the headlines). Will they succeed on that? Hardly possible as Samsung makes most of the iPad parts and develop their own internal hardware with a credibility to dominate more than Apple. It is also due to its widespread investments in lower and higher specs phones, LCDs, Plasmas, Cameras and many more. This is also true that not everyone is as lucky as Nokia to win a battle against Apple and earned the 1% royalties from them, which was worth one off $650 millions on 2009. But in between these big words and discussions, a keen observer might notice that the brand names came across a lot of time. News reporters says that “A” is sueing “B” for 10 patents, but never clarifies that they are accusing only and it’s not been proved yet. People who are big fans of “A” already, will go with it and start foul mouthing about “B” and vice versa.


Maximising Profitability

It is a way of maximising profitability as well. If you earn $1 bn, you might want to grab another $0.2 bn by hook or by crook from the battle reducing opponent’s profits. Recently Kodak tried to do the same; they were sueing Samsung for infringing 5 digital imaging patents. Although Sammy may not be affected at all but they surely spend some valuable marketing time thinking about it.


Recent Events

Recently Google has been cleared from the Java lawsuit by Oracle. When the news first came in people started thinking about the brands and there future investments on their shares. Google also aquired Motorola which means they bought their patents as well, again highlighting the brand they are buying. RIM, Nokia and Motorola were in the headlines with the long dispute over the nano-sim design.. looks like everyone wants the piece of the action, mainly Apple. Tegra3 and Exynos processors are on the headlines too.


Same purpose

In true sense, these patent battles therefore helping the companies to grab attention of consumers, where one wants to be more powerful than other in any way. Patent wars have made them threats to each other but their purpose of these events are the same. There might be few occasions where those cases are genuine and can change history, especially if those allegations are proved to be true. God bless the technology world.

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