Good news for people who hate competitive markets today as Apple persuaded a judge to order a halt to sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States pending some patent litigation.
Kristin Huguet, a spokesperson for Apple, released a post-trial statement arguing that it’s “no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad” and that Samsung’s recent gadgets reflect “blatant copying” of Apple product concepts. I’d say that’s probably true, but as a policy matter it’s perfectly irrelevant.
The great thing for the world about the iPad is precisely that it clearly was vulnerable to copying and from day one it seemed like there was a chance that Apple’s runaway success would be eroded by copycat Android products. That’s why to stay on top of the game Apple’s had to release two new, successfully better iterations of the iPad while bringing prices down. Similarly, Apple’s MacBook Air products have been imitated by Windows Ultrabooks and now thanks to the power of competition Airs are better than ever and they made the new Retina MacBook Pro. In a free market to succeed you can’t just innovate, you have to successively innovate to constantly succeed. The alternative model in which you innovate once and then sue everyone to protect your lead is nice for lawyers, but terrible for consumers and the world.