Apple vs Samsung - Comparative Essay 1

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The Apple versus Samsung case has been on the tongues of and minds of the world. News agencies, lawyers, inventors, computer geeks, consumers and businesses are all gabbing about what this case means. What will be the ramifications after the appeals have finalized, and the dust settles? Will intellectual property be protected? Will innovation continue to stun the world? Will consumers pay the price for this tech war? What are the boundaries of inventions? Not surprisingly, there are at least ten different answers for each of these questions depending on what expert is answering the question. The consensus as to what the future of technology will hold is far from being reached. When these cases world wide have finished throwing money, legal arguments and death looks at one another we may find the truth. This paper will attempt to look at what Intellectual Property is, what the Apple vs. Samsung is about, and what it will mean for not only the United States of America, but also the rest of the world. “The phrase intellectual property refers to the bundle of legal rights that arise from the creative genius of the human mind… IP rights protect one's ownership interest in intangible objects, such as the idea behind an invention, the music score for a Broadway play and the name or logo used to brand a product.” (Peterson 2012) Intellectual Property is not a new idea. It has been around for at lease 1500 hundred years. “One of the first known references to intellectual property protection dates from 500 B.C.E., when chefs in the Greek colony of Sybaris were granted year-long monopolies for creating particular culinary delights… From Roman times to the birth of the Florentine Republic, however, there were many franchises, privileges, and royal favors granted surrounding the rights to intellectual works.” (Moore 2011) As far as scholars can determine, there weren’t any formal institutions protecting intellectual property, only the informal examples outlined above. One of the first statutes recognizing the rights of authors and inventors to their intellectual efforts was issued by the Republic of Florence in 1421. This statute built in an incentive mechanism, which is a prominent aspect of intellectual property protection of common law states today. The United States upon the creation of its colonies and its constitution instituted a federal law protecting intellectual property modeled after the English System. There are arguments both for and against protecting intellectual property. Those who argue for it claim that those who create are justified in maintaining the rights to both their labor and merit. Without intellectual property rights, social progress and innovation would flounder. Rights to intellectual property provide incentives to move us forward economically. There are others who argue that assert that it is inconsistent with the commitment of our country to freedom of thought and speech. It maintains that intellectual property restricts the flow and expression of ideas, holding us back as a society. Is denying access to society fair especially when it is for the greater good? On the whole, however, the merits and debates supporting intellectual property win out over the dissenters. For the most part, it is agreed upon that protection of IP foster a competitive marketplace by encouraging disclosure of innovation. This disclosure, however, protects companies and individuals for a designated period of time, but allows others to build and improve upon prior innovation. This incentive mechanism forces creative individuals to share their genius with society which in turn endorses evolutions and new developments and without these benefits provided by IP protection, the marketplace would not operate as effectively. “Without enforcement of these rights in the law, it would be difficult for society to prosper and grow.” (Peterson 2012) There are four main types of intellectual property...
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