Does Apple compete via innovation or litigation?

In the weeks following the Apple v. Samsung verdict, I’ve seen many blog posts and comments claiming that Apple is fighting their competitors in the courts instead of competing through innovation.

A moments thought demonstrates the silliness of that argument.

Apple earned their arsenal of patents through innovation. Without innovative inventions, they wouldn’t have earned the patents. But innovations only provide a competitive edge if your competitors don’t have access to them.

So competing through innovation requires both patenting inventions and preventing competitors from infringing those patents.

If Apple didn’t innovate, they wouldn’t have the patents, and there wouldn’t be any lawsuits. Likewise, if Apple competitors like Samsung relied on innovation instead of copying, there also wouldn’t be any lawsuits.