Apple-Samsung Verdict May Hurt Consumers

By James Temple, San Francisco Chronicle


Apple scored a decisive victory in its closely watched patent suit against Samsung last week, but it's far from clear whether it represents a win for consumers.

By all accounts, the case is really a proxy war against Google, the maker of the Android smartphone operating system used by Samsung, HTC and other handset manufacturers to compete against Apple's iPhone. The late Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, once a friend to Google's co-founders, considered the search company's move into mobile a betrayal that demanded revenge.


In the long run, then, there's at least some hope that the decision will finally force Apple's rivals to stop playing catch-up. If you can't compete by imitating, you have to compete by innovating.

"What has to happen now is, Samsung has to find alternative ways to do things," said Robert Barr, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. "It will ultimately give consumers more options."