Copying it is said is the sincerest form of flattery to… But what about copying if you’ve invested $500 million in R&D?… Duplicate innovation or as I call it “copying” is a big problem. Though many companies may consider this part of the cost of doing business or how to keep pace with the competition, it’s not. On Aug. 24, a San Jose jury awarded Apple Inc. $1.05 billion in damages over Samsung defending numerous patents its has including a very broad design patents for rectangular “electronic devices.” So in essence, any phone in a rectangular form is a violation of Apples patent. Yes, you read that correctly.
Software theft alone is a multi billion (with a B) dollar problem each year.
Having a strategy to approach a competitor who has clearly copied your ideas whether they be Patent protected or not is essential. The difference between waiting three months or acting immediately can be millions of dollars in lost revenue. Many tech companies have been left paralyzed trying to deal with clear IP theft while the offending company gains market share.
One of the bigger problems of copycat innovation involves China. There are many schools of thought on how to deal with the problem including not entering the market at all in China. Many are mad at China itself but others are mad at our own government for making bad trade agreements as well. China has a disturbing national industrial policy which facilitates forced technology transfer to Chinese industries.