updated 04:24 pm EDT, Tue May 21, 2013
Complains about speed of court system
In a brief sidetrack during his Senate testimony today, Apple CEO Tim Cook voiced his opinion on US intellectual property law. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) asked Cook about the IP benefits of running a company in the US versus other countries, but appears to have been surprised when Cook took a critical tone. "I actually think that we require much more work on IP in this country," he said.
"The US court system is currently structured in such a way that it's currently difficult to get the protections a technology company needs, because the cycle is very long," he continued. The quote appears to be a reference to Apple's lengthy ongoing lawsuits against other companies, particularly Samsung. Apple has accused Samsung of violating numerous patents via its use of Android and some hardware designs. Many named Samsung devices were outdated or off the market before a $1.05 billion verdict was rendered against the company last year, however, and the outcome of that and other cases remains in the air.
Samsung has amended its products to avoid future infringements, but has still grown to become Apple's main competition in smartphones, pulling attention for devices like the Galaxy S4 that was once reserved for the iPhone. "For us, our intellectual property is so important to our company," Cook said during today's testimony. "I would love to see the system strengthened to protect it."