Hey! Maybe American Factories Could Loosen the Patent Gridlocks!

The patent wars are getting ridiculous. So Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) filed some papers to support Android handset maker HTC's right to import phones into the U.S., even if they are found to infringe on some Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) patents.

That's when I was struck by a flash of inspiration. What if these back-and-forths in American and international courts might inspire someone like Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) or some brand-new upstart to build a handset within U.S. borders? I mean, listen to Google's motivation for allowing HTC to step on Apple's toes:

Apple is the largest seller of mobile computing devices in the U.S. Allowing this supplier to eliminate the competition from a fast-moving maverick competitor could drive up prices, diminish service, decrease consumers' access to the technology, and reduce innovation.

On the flip side of that argument, not worrying about import bans would lower prices, improve service, increase our access to new technology, and boost innovation. Oh, and the move would create high-quality American jobs, too. Beautiful, no? Maybe Samsung and HTC could build factories over here as well, not to mention Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) .

But then reality sets in. Building phones domestically is one thing, but then you'd have to import the components. Who's to say that Apple, Intellectual Ventures, InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC  ) , or perhaps even tiny VirnetX (AMEX: VHC  ) couldn't impose the same import bans on wireless radio chips or memory subsystems? And then we're back to square one with high prices and slow innovation. And it'll be a hot day in Anchorage before we get component makers to build factories on American soil.

Kind of makes you wonder what would happen if you applied the patent standards from the wireless industry to other fields. How often do you see Ford suing Hyundai for having the temerity to include brakes and a steering wheel in the Equus or Azera? Sounds insane, but that's the level of basic necessities you see argued in some of these patent disputes.

Smartphones outsell PCs nowadays and their projected growth rate in the coming years looks staggering -- patent disputes notwithstanding. In our free report "5 Stocks The Motley Fool Owns -- And You Should Too," we highlight one mobile leader that our analysts believe is one of the strongest ways to profit on smartphone growth in China and beyond. To get a copy of the report, just click here now -- it's free!

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, InterDigital, and Ford; and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, follow him on Twitter or Google+ , or peruse our Foolish disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1567174, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/21/2014 10:11:41 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement