Apple, Samsung and the Future of Android

Android & iOS

Android design patterns aren’t immediately affected by a jury’s ruling for Apple in its patent-infringement case against Samsung, but the future of the platform’s design may be.

Google hasn’t released an official statement regarding the ruling and future of the Android UI, but there’s plenty of speculation about the overall future of mobile computing. And some attorneys, CNET says, believe the basis for the verdict is tenuous and the decision is likely to be overturned on appeal.

For now, there is no impending device ban planned or requested. The verdict applies to older Samsung devices, and will require changes to future designs to avoid further infringement.s

The software patent wars may well be a technological world war that will be fought for decades, until the patent system is repaired from today’s broken state. Bear in mind Apple has filed similar suits in Australia and Germany.

The future of smartphone design could be a bumpy one now, with device makers forced to create a new and different user interface to avoid another round of patent infringement. Some analysts speculate that Apple’s suit was really a proxy war against Google for its Android operating system. Steve Jobs, they point out, called Android an outright  copy of iOS.

If they’re right, should Google expect to be the target of another Apple  patent suit? Google could win that one if the Motorola Mobility-Apple 3G fight is any indication (admittedly, that one isn’t over yet but Google is favored to win). There should be a Deadliest Warrior, Technology Patent Edition to predict the winner in these cases.

Friday’s ruling isn’t an automatic win for Microsoft, no matter what Windows Phone Marketing Communications guy Bill Cox tweeted just after the verdict was returned. Windows Phone isn’t an established leader right now by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesnt mean Redmond will be spared. Everybody is suing everybody over patent infringement nowadays, and Microsoft could easily be next in line. The venue will change but the war will continue.

Patent litigation is dizzying and often points to a broader desire to stamp out the competition by way of the courtroom instead of the marketplace. The current system will continue to produce lawsuits suits like those that have graced our headlines over the past several years. For now, what’s unclear is how Apple v Samsung, U.S. edition, will impact the little green droid.

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