What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Patent Law

If you missed it (and I did when I was mostly off the ‘nets yesterday), Engadget and Gizmodo were reporting on Apple’s lawsuit against HTC, alleging that some 20 Apple patents were violated in countless HTC devices over the last few years.  While this is ostensibly a suit against HTC, it’s pretty clear that what Apple is really going after is Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices.

Engadget (linked above) did a nice job of translating the legalese of the filing, and explained the items actually being cited.  Keep in mind that several of the patents in question were granted in the 1990s, others early in the 2000s, and there is one as recent as February 2.  They include things like, “Object-Oriented Graphic System,” and “System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device.” The iPhone hit the market in 2007.

Patent law being as confusing, antiquated, and broad as it is in the United States, I’m thinking I should just apply for patents for every sort of technological innovation that I can imagine might be invented during the course of my lifetime.  That way, if any of them ever actually get invented or come into use, I can just sue the person who violated my patent by doing so.  That’ll show ’em.

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