Will an Apple Patent Victory Kill Smartphones?

Speculation has grown about what will happen to the smartphone industry if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) prevails over Samsung in an intellectual property trial. Both sides have rested their cases and said they cannot reach an agreement outside of court. In a conversation with the New York Times:

"I think what we'll see is a diversification of designs in the marketplace if Apple wins," said Christopher V. Carani, an intellectual property lawyer for McAndrews, Held & Malloy in Chicago.

That could mean development of new products will be substantially slowed as smartphone companies with products that have iPhone-like features go "back to the drawing board" to avoid suits. Planned launches of some products may be delayed for months. Samsung, with its strong balance sheet, could suffer a setback. It is the leader in the smartphone industry worldwide. The effects on smaller firms like HTC could be devastating.

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Law Tagged: AAPL