'What if' automotive manufacturers fought like Apple and Samsung?

Techies across the world were in for a rude shock last week when an American Court in the Northern District of California ruled in favour of Apple in yet another head-to-head legal duel that the American giant waged against Samsung, it's cut-throat competitor from South Korea. The verdict found Samsung guilty of infringing in the patents of the maker of iPods and iPads and awarded more than a million US Dollars as damages to Apple. While this has sparked celebrations amongst Apple patrons, it has also caused widespread anguish amongst Samsung fans across the world. With all due credits to Apple for pushing the boundaries of aesthetics and technology in its products, it was actually Samsung which brought many of these so called high-end features within the reach of a wider populace.

Beyond the pros and cons of this verdict which is sure to bring about a huge change in the smartphone industry, we dread to think of what would happen if the global automotive manufacturers waged legal wars against each other, like what Apple and Samsung are doing, for reasons as trivial as some for which the two electronic brands are fighting for. Don't get us wrong, we aren't in favour of copying or infringing into the intellectual property rights of a rival. But, some of the patents awarded to these smartphone manufacturers are just so ridiculous, relatively speaking, that we cannot even fathom the consequences of such things happening in the world of automobiles. To help you understand our frustration better, let us bring you some imaginary 'what if' cases on the same lines as the 'Apple versus Samsung' story.

* Daimler could have sued every other automobile manufacturer because it holds the patent for 'vehicle with gas engine drive', that was awarded way back in the year 1886.

* Ford could have gone to court against all other manufacturing companies for copying its method of producing in an assembly line, a concept that it pioneered way back in the early nineties.

* Volvo could have banned all other manufacturers from selling cars with three-point seat belts, as they were the first to introduce it as standard safety feature in the late fifties.

What if some or any of the above had actually happened? Will personal commuting be what it is and the cars what they are? Won't the entire automotive industry be crippled in that case? For those who were wondering why Anything On Wheels is writing about something without one on seeing the title of this post, that explains the point. All we can do is thank Heavens that the automotive industry is matured enough and the manufacturers accommodating in nature to not sue their rivals every time they come up with something similar or, in some cases, better than their own models. Had it not been the case, we would not have advanced much forward from the Ford Model T, the first affordable and mass-produced car in the world.


  1. That's true if automotive manufacturers fought like Apple and Samsung then their will be no progress

    But there are many good moves by some automotive manufacturers like Fiat which focused on making their MultiJet engine universal by having deal with Ford, Opel, GM, Maruti Suzuki, TATA, etc

    1. You are right Amit. Fiat forged a relationship with all the said manufacturers for their MJD. Similarly, Mercedes-Benz is working with Renault-Nissan for developing compact cars. This is how an industry progresses.