I’ve just been reading John Carrolls’s article, “Why I hate Apple” (www.zdnet.com/blog/carroll/why-i-now-hate-apple/1925) and Nilay Patel’s “Apple vs HTC: a patent breakdown” (www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/apple-vs-htc-a-patent-breakdown/), both from 2010 when the Apple/HTC patent suit began. Carroll provides a pretty clear explanation of why Apple as a company needs to be considered more skeptically than many people do. It does not matter whether you like or dislike the company’s products. They are generally well designed to appeal to the end user, providing the simplest experience possible. Because they provide a single-provider solution, Apple has always been able to provide a refined experience, though one that comes at a high cost to the consumer because of that single-provider caveat. But because the company’s success depends on that simple, single-provider experience (even the third-party software comes through the single-provider), they need to be opposed to innovation that comes from outside the company. The capital they build their company on is ideas, which they need to control and which they do control through the patent system — system which has never been suited to the information industry, because you can not patent an idea. Looking at Nilay Patel’s list of Apple patents, we can begin to see how ridiculous it is when company’s try and the law tries to accomodate those companies. The purpose of patents was once to encourage innovation; they are now used for the opposite effect.

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