Re: Apple Innovates Again; first it was corners, now sticks!
This kind of thing has nothing to do with innovation, or even a product really. This is simply the evolution of an idea first put into action by Thomas Edison, later refined by IBM and currently in use by every big tech company on Earth. It is an attempt to turn legal into a revenue generator instead of a cost center.
It is dirt cheap to apply for a patent if you have in-house counsel. Like less than the cost of my dinner tonight cheap. The idea is to just lob things, any and everything, at the patent office and see if it is awarded a patent. If it does get a patent then another arm of legal takes it and tries to find someone to sue.
Like I said, it's all very cheap and with the application filings being a 'legitimate' use of funds for R&D overseas monies can be repatriated with no tax liability. After all is said and done you've funded your entire legal department for free and any successful lawsuits are just great margins. Lawsuits don't (have to) directly affect financial filings until the case is closed or all appeals are concluded so they are, effectively, free until they are put to bed (why do you think it takes so long for IP cases to go through the system? It's all fun and games for all parties involved until the case ends :)
All this shit is the result of clever people who figured out how to game a system that is a fairly good idea and use it in a wholly 'off label' manner. Basically, 98% of all tech lawsuits are the work of a gaggle of over educated dicks who know nothing about contributing, only about taking. What sucks the most, is that genuinely good ideas are shitcanned simply because people don't want to mess with all the shit.
We've got quite a few patents that we license for free (and quite a few we don't license for free) simply because of all the shit around IP. I've got no problem with the concept of a patent system, but I've got a lot of problems, in general, with people who thrive on taking instead of contributing. I consider our free license system as my little contribution to smart people with good ideas who simply don't have the resources or the 'kick you in the throat' attitude required to fend off hyper aggressive IP lawyers.
Where's the fun and honor in steamrolling someone who is obviously incapable of defending themselves against you? All that cleverness, decades of experience and technological superiority is for naught if you don't test it against a worthy adversary. I swear to god, I would fund every single penny of someone's defense if they responded to an IP suit with a formal challenge to a public duel. I've even got a matched set of 12 late 18th century French dueling pistols they could use. Horses for tilting too, but I doubt there's an IP lawyer or IP obsessed tech CEO that can actually ride, much less engage in combat while mounted. Pussies :)