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The Patent Wars

By now, most of us would have heard about the breaking news - Apple has filed a lawsuit against HTC, makers of both Windows Mobile and Android devices. The charge? Patent infringement related to the iPhone's user interface.

While this patent war makes for a great drama in the tech scene, let us think about something else - who are the beneficiaries of such patent lawsuits?

The winners of the lawsuit? To be honest, the time and effort spent in asserting one's right to the technology does cement who has the innovative minds and came up with the ideas. But let's be practical about it. Think about the legal fees involved, the time and effort spent battling in court. Won't it be better served to divert the financial and vested interest towards research and development?

Consumers? Nay, consumers are more concerned with the end product and the usability of it. Truly, do we really care if someone infringed upon another's patent, enhanced the experience and made it even better? At the end of the day, when you have an unhappy consumer, it's related to the product's usability level. No amount of publicity of how the device is ahead of its time with its patented technology will assail the consumer's angst with a less than pleasant user experience.

As of now, Apple is still locked in legal action with Nokia. And yes, once again, it's a patent infringement lawsuit. Is it really wise to draw that much attention over these alleged patent intrusions, or better for Apple to move on and show us the goods with better, faster and more intuitive devices?

I'd prefer to read some breaking news about Apple's next big thing (no, not the iPad), than see this endless tussle between companies.

Seow Tein Hee / Former Associate Editor

Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.

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