Apple Inc has temporarily prevented Samsung from selling a competitive tablet computer in Australia and Europe on the basis of a claimed “patented” design. Samsung says that there is no innovation that deserves protection in the shape and form of the Apple tablet. They point out that there are many precedents, including in a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Oddessy.”
Considering the trivial sketches in Apple’s two-page 2004 “Design Patent,” it is difficult to understand why the U.S. government thought that it deserved 14 years of exclusive protection (at public cost). There is, simply, no innovation in Apple’s design. This outrageous use of the courts to deny consumer choice yet again shows the regulatory system of IP protection is wasteful and badly broken.