Steve Wozniak: I don’t agree with the California trial verdict and I don’t think it’ll stick

by: AdrianSeptember 13, 2012

If there’s one big-time techie that everyone loves, that’s surely Steve Wozniak. You can always count on The Woz to speak his mind about anything tech related, and, while sometimes his brutal honesty might hurt some feelings, his passion towards technology and his charisma will make up for basically everything.

Apple’s co-founder might be perceived like a buffoon from time to time, with such funny claims in his recent track record that “Windows Phone is better than Android” and “a lot of people say Siri, I say poo-poo”. Still, this is one guy that Android enthusiasts, Apple fanboys and Microsoft fans can all trust to express his honest views, and not “opinions” influenced by money or loyalty to one company or the other.

Wozniak’s latest statements might again raise a few eyebrows, especially to those that still thought he had remaining ties with Apple, a company that he helped build in the ‘70s. Ready for this? The Woz says that he “hates” the patent conflicts in the tech world, and that “I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it – very small things I don’t really call that innovative.”

“The decision of California” of course refers to the recent verdict in the Apple vs Samsung legal patent war, which saw Apple come out as a winner (and a victim), and which will sooner or later force Sammy to pay damages in the amount of $1 billion (although the sum might be reduced after appeals).

We can’t say we’re very surprised of Wozniak’s view on the issue, as he has always been a supporter of “real” groundbreaking innovations, but the following statement might still sound a little bizarre. “I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies. “said The Woz in a short interview with Bloomberg.

I think that’s the first time we’re hearing this kind of cutthroat scenario, and, although we’ve never been supporters of Apple’s attacks against Android, the exchanging of “all patents” would have things going a bit too far, wouldn’t it? What would be the point of patents in the first place in that case? And wouldn’t that crush real innovation?

Well, let’s agree to disagree with Wozniak on this one, but let’s also see what he had to say about the newly unveiled iPhone 5, which some are already calling “a disappointment”. Surprisingly, The Woz said that he is “always excited about every iPhone product because there are always good advances.” He also said he hoped to see an improvement on the phone’s camera, as the Galaxy S3 has already undercut the old iPhone 4S’s shooter.

Wozniak also showed his diplomatic side, saying that he’ll refrain from making more comments until after testing the iPhone 5 for himself. That seems fair, although we would have expected a pun or two on Apple’s lack of original ideas for the new iPhone. Oh, well, maybe next time…

What do you think of these claims? Do you agree with Wozniak that everyone should exchange patents in the tech world? Will the California verdict be overturned completely? And is the iPhone 5 “exciting” in any way?

  • yarrellray
  • Trevor Henry

    Woz is an old hacker at heart, so of-course he’s in favour of people sharing their ideas for the greater good, isn’t that how personal computing started in the first place?

    • Michael

      Steve Wozniak was one of the pioneering engineers who brought the ideas and technology together with the dream of putting a personal computer into every household. He is quite familiar with real innovation.

  • Kagnon

    Software patents are like one of the worst things ever to be accepted as a patent.
    Imagine patenting a Like button, comment system, the design of a website having navigation bar on the top, a login system or a shopping cart.
    That’s almost what the slide to unlock and universal search are.

  • Apple geek

    I totally agree with him about overturning the california verdict, but the iPhone 5 is a total disappointment to everyone right now! greedy Apple .. iPhone now is for losers!

  • DarkRain

    When Wozniak said exchange all patents, it is really a form of barter trading between patent holders only. How would one know how much a patent is worth unless it is widely used and essential. Exchanging patents would in fact be the perfect scenario. Rather than benefiting the lawyers, the companies can focus on how to bring out the best of their products. We could see products utilising a vast array of technologies and I believe it’s the combination of technologies that really pushes the innovation envelop very much like modern technologies building upon one and another. For example the space shuttle, the modern car and to an extent the current smartphone, they are all essentially a combination of technologies. I believe that would also shut out the patent trolls. However, being on Earth, we all know that would not happen. Who would truly want to share for the benefit of mankind and all?