Why Apple, Google & Microsoft Should All Be the Target of a Class Action Lawsuit
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The Epic Pissing Match
For the past year or more there has been an on going battle between the Titans of software and hardware over patents. These patent wars have involved more than just Apple, Google and Microsoft, but these are the 3 big players in the market. Other Titans slugging it out in the market include but are not limited to Samsung, Oricle (the owners of JAVA), HTC and more.
The result of these patent wars is an epic pissing match that hurts everyone including the consumers. The purpose of this article is to propose that a class action law suit by the consumers be filed against all the companies involved for propagating anti-competitive behavior, driving up the cost to consumers by this behavior and attempting to use the courts to enforce monopolies, which are illegal in most countries in the world.
The Case Against Apple
Apple has been targeting many companies, but in particular is Samsung and HTC. Through court court orders in 2011 Apple has managed to prevent Samsung from being able to ship and sell some of its products in Australia and German. Shame on the courts of those countries for being the patsies of Apple. But the case against Samsung is an accusation that Samsung copies the iPhone and iPad's look. I have been following this particular issue for a while and I must say, that it sounds like Apple and Samsung are two little kids in the back seat of a car screeching to their mom (the courts), "MOM! SAMSUNG IS COPYING ME!"
"MOM, APPLE HIT ME!"
"MOM, SAMSUNG SPIT ON ME!"
I think you get the picture. The result of this particular pissing match is that Samsung is fighting back. Again, this results in harm to us, the consumers.
What is more, recent information has become known through Steve Jobs' biography (may he rest in peace) that he had it in for Android and any company that uses the operating system. Prior to this it was just a rumor that Apple wanted to "kill" our little green friend, but now we have support for it. Apparently Jobs felt that Android was stolen from Apple. Interesting considering that Android is its own unique operating system and the concept of a smart phone existed long before iOS or the iPhone appeared on the scene. This then makes the reality of Apple's anti-competitive behavior stark to observers. Apple does not like the competition and has it in for ANYONE who it views as a threat with the intent to kill. While competition is health, it seems that this particular homicidal rage is not. Since the advent of Android, I would argue that not only has smart phones in general become better, but iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 (the primary up and coming competitors for the market) have all been improved. Who wins because of this competition? Us! But Apple would not have this be the case. Nor would other companies such as Microsoft.
The Case Against Google
I will be honest, my biggest complaint against Google is more that of inaction than action. Google has stood on the side lines absorbing the punches and not doing much. Still, the fact of the matter is the company has been putting its massive hand out and manipulating the market here and there. The fact that Android is an open source operating system (sort of) does help Google's case a bit, but it has done little until recently to defend its own operating system, instead leaving the brunt of the fighting to the manufacturers that use Android. The result is that Samsung and HTC are bearing the cost of defence and offence. Further more, this complicates the issues of the patent wars as the real case that Apple has is against Google. While Apple may be playing dirty by trying to pick on those "smaller" than it, this does not mean Google is clean and smelling like roses.
I must say of all my cases against the big companies, the one against Google is the weakest. It may be because I have a soft spot against the big monster, or it may be just that there is little I can think of that Google has done wrong. But my point still stands that this pissing match between all these big businesses is doing nothing to help the consumers.
The Case Against Microsoft
Microsoft went from being an innovator to being a sneaky bastard. When the anti-trust suits came against Microsoft the company was simply focused on make a good product and producing it, but that pointless and frivolous law suite was like exposing Bruce Banner to radiation. Now we have a raging Green Hulk that uses the legal system to bludgeon those in its sights into submission (And yes I did use Comic Books and Greek mythology references in the same article. Deal with it. ;-P).
Microsoft's particular sin isn't so much in relation to law suits as it is manipulation. Like Apple, it is going after the manufacturers of Android devices. It is using legal action to say to these companies, "Pay us X amount of dollar per Android device sold or we will sue you." Just the other day I read where Microsoft is making more money from Android than its own Windows Phone 7 and that it now has over 50% of Android manufacturers kowtowing to its wishes.
In essence, rather than using its incredible resources to create its own product better. Microsoft is putting Windows Phone 7 on the back burner and instead leaching off of others success. At this point I would like to take back what I said earlier. Comparing Microsoft to the Hulk isn't fair to the Hulk. Rather, Microsoft seems to be some sort of vampiric parasite that lives off the fruit of other's labors.
Again, this just goes to support my point. Microsoft is doing nothing to improve the climate for consumers or competition. They are increasing costs while at the same time bringing nothing to the table accept perhaps a mediocre operating system that most smart phone users turn their noses up at.
Conclusion... or beginning perhaps?
So my point here stands. Apple, Google and Microsoft and/or their cronies are making the market worse, not better due to these stupid patent wars. Their behaviors is contrary to the laws and regulations designed to protect consumers from monopolies and this behavior should stop. I think the only way this will happen is if every nation that they do business in has a class action lawsuit brought against them ordering them to cease and desist! Rather than wasting money and time screeching how they each have been wronged do to a funny look one may have given the other, they each should focus on what their business is. The market will support those operating systems and devices that will bear up under consumer scrutiny. A perfect example of that is the decline of RIM's Blackberry or the eventual dropping of Symbian by Nokia for Windows Phone 7.
But enough from me. What do you think? Should there be a law suit? Am I out of line? Does this ring true to you? Please feel free to comment, share your thoughts and ideas.
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