Miami consumers are likely aware of the litigation currently pending between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. The business litigation surrounds Apple's accusations that Samsung has copied designs of Apple's iPad and iPhone, while at the same time Samsung is countering that Apple drew inspiration for its product from Sony Corp. Last week, the trial officially began with its initial rounds of testimony.
In the midst of a patent litigation trial, it is possible that many design and trade secrets that had been intentionally kept under wraps will surface. This is due to necessity in determining whether a design was copied, but can be an understandably frustrating thing to go through for a company like Apple that values its development secrecy. Thus far in the trial, Apple has brought out many early designs of its disputed products as well as other research it conducted in the development process.
One of the largest disputed factors that has appeared in the trial is Apple's touch screen feature. Samsung has a tablet that sports a 7-inch screen, and Apple is said to be in the process of producing a product with a 7-inch screen in response, believing this product will become a market desire. Competition in the product market doesn't mean that a business is stealing designs, but that it wishes to continue to hold a place in the market. In Apple's case, the company would continue to use its own touch screen technology, arguing that it was developed by employees within the company.
Business litigation that involves patents can be tricky to navigate, especially with the possibility of extremely similar products in the market that could appear to be copied. However, as Miami consumers know, competition is the nature of the market and companies that wish to stay relevant must either move ahead of or move with their competitors. For Apple, as well as Samsung, revealing early processes and designs of their products can do a lot to show whether items were copied or developed originally.
Source: WSJ.com, "Apple's Secrets Revealed at Trial," Ian Sherr, Aug. 5, 2012