The following snippets provide a solid commentary on why companies such as Apple sue:
Apple’s critics generously assign a variety of motives to Apple for filing lawsuits.Apple sues because it wants to control the market, overcharge for its products, exclude competitors from the market or punish competitors for daring to not think different. It’s all part of Apple’s “quest for global tech domination.But these aren’t actual motives. These are appeals to emotion. They’re legitimate perspectives, but expressed to negatively encapsulate spectacularly complex technical, legal and ethical issues into sound bites that make you want to agree with the author that Apple is bad and wrong.Apple has only one motive for patent lawsuits, and I’m going to tell you what that motive is.
A few years ago, LEGO sued a Chinese company called Tianjin COKO Toy Co. because its Coko Bricks product looked too much like LEGO. They were incompatible — you couldn’t plug a Coko into a LEGO. And Tianjin innovated — they came up with slightly different colors and unique Minifig-like characters. But LEGO sued and Tianjin had to shut down the operation.
Coko wanted to commoditize the colorful plastic toy brick industry so it could win on price. LEGO wanted to de-commoditize the industry, so it could compete on brand and product differentiation.
The piece addresses the right of an organization to to take what actions it deems necessary to defend its lawfully owned property – so long as those actions are within the law. And the law provides one primary means and that is through the legal process in civil court.
For me, it seems hypocritical for persons who cry that actions like these are simply an attempt of one large organization to bully the marketplace and the consumer by exerting undue control over its assets in manner in which competition is squelched.
But this is a poor assessment as true competition comes through innovation and not through the illicit use of patented or proprietary technology. Illicit use of another’s property can be a grave sin for an individual and is certainly bad practice by corporations. Moves like this are those motivated by greed which often makes it okay for ends to justify the means.
Thankfully the Church teaches us as persons that the ends can never justify the means especially when those means are evil in nature as is stealing. Cases such as these provide for us secular examples of what is already written in to our hearts by the Creator.