Today’s smartphone is more powerful than a supercomputer of just 20 years ago. It is an immensely complex device. In fact, more than one in six (16%) of all active U.S. patents are smartphone-related. Because of this complexity, smartphones for the last several years have been the epicenter of intellectual property disputes in high technology. Nearly every mobile, software, chip and Internet firm has been involved in some legal battle.
Our intellectual property laws and regulatory agencies, however, are in many ways not suited to the realities of the modern smartphone world. Our rules never contemplated anything so complicated. In some cases, reform of the old institutions is in order. In other cases, merely a little common sense will do.