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Well, it’s finally happening. The long-simmering hostility between Apple and Google is starting to boil over. Google has been taking implied digs at Apple for a while now by entering the smartphone game, developing Chrome as a rival browser to Safari and, most notably, issuing its new slogan “Don’t be evil” (considered by many to be a swipe at Apple and rumors of the company’s evil empire). But as of today, Apple has drawn first legal blood.
In a lawsuit filed this morning with the International Trade Commission, Apple accuses phone manufacturer HTC of infringing on its patents involving smartphone technology. What does this have to do with Google, you ask? Well, HTC’s android-based phones are running on Google’s software and HTC just happens to be the manufacturer of Google’s much-hyped smartphone, the Nexus One. Verizon Wireless has announced that the Nexus One will soon be available on its network and the introduction of the phone could be a real damper on AT&T’s iPhone market.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs issued a scathing statement regarding the suit, saying “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” Ouch. For all the talk about innovation, though, Apple is dealing with its own courtroom drama. Eastman Kodak and Nokia have recently filed suit against the Mac Kingdom claiming that Apple has, gasp, infringed on a few of their patents! Ever litigious, Apple has countersued Nokia in return.
The funny thing about all of this is that there are probably no innovators unique to any one company anymore. Tech geniuses get together at conferences and shows and shared media events and they talk about new possibilities, regardless of who they work for. Everybody’s learning from everybody and everybody’s doing some pretty cool stuff. You’d think everyone would be happy that they’re making money and not care about who’s getting sole credit for things that no one is inventing on their own. Say you get a court to rule that you alone invented something. What’s the real benefit of that? Your company will probably be castigated by the tech community for being a crybaby. And you’ll have even more money to do a Scrooge McDuck dive into. Whoop-de-doo.
Disclosure: Selena Robinson has an Android based smartphone and she has never used a Mac in her life. She still thinks Apple products look pretty cool, though.