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Apple Case Muddies the Future of Innovations

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Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Credit: The New York Times

Many industry experts have expressed concerns about the future of innovation after a jury ruled that Samsung's smartphone and tablet products violated a series of Apple patents protecting several designs and functions.

The verdict, which also awards Apple more than $1 billion in damages, could give Apple greater leverage in its efforts to discourage other handset companies. Although Samsung plans to appeal the verdict, analysts say it is unlikely to drastically impact the company, which already has started revamping its mobile products.

However, former Microsoft executive Charlie Kindel says the verdict may make it harder to persuade phone users to switch to another system. "What this means is that the scarcity of mobile developers and the complexity that they face is going to get worse," Kindel says.

The verdict will affect companies based on their willingness to take risks, says Emory University professor Timothy Holbrook. Jury foreman Velvin Hogan says the decision should send the industry a message that violating intellectual property rights will be costly. "They took the risk and it caught up with them," Hogan says. Tectonic creative director Bill Flora says the verdict will lead to product developers constantly second-guessing whether certain functions violate existing patents.

From New York Times
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