This TED video on intellectual property rights from Kirby Ferguson, a New York filmmaker, author and speaker, proposes the notion that everything we create is made from constituent parts that at some time belonged to someone else, so the idea of copyright is fundamentally flawed.

We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another. Admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness, it’s a liberation from our misconceptions.” (Kirby Ferguson)

Mr Ferguson points the finger at Apple’s late Steve Jobs and his change in attitude towards, ideas, intellectual property and ownership. With the latest events surrounding the Apple vs Samsung lawsuits, we thought we’d share the facts and what we make of it all, especially when you take Kirby Ferguson’s “Embrace the remix” mentality:

Apple vs Samsung on Intellectual Property

Apple vs Samsung intellectual property battle over their handheld devices continues

Apple and Samsung have been in the headlines in recent weeks regarding the various lawsuits that they have processed against each other. Apple have won their case in the states, claiming that the South Korean giant infringed various copyright patients on their iOS devices. The resulting settlement was for Samsung to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages. The same case is being trialled in various other countries across the globe, and the resulting outcomes are an interesting insight into the varying countries policies on intellectual property, patents and copyrights.

On Samsung’s home turf, the South Korean court dismissed Apple’s claim that Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPhone and the iPad, in a ruling widely seen as a victory for Samsung. Still, the judges found that Apple illegally used Samsung’s wireless technology, while Samsung violated Apple’s patent related to the way their mobile devices notify the user.

In Japan, the Tokyo District Court denied Apple’s claim that Samsung infringed upon Apple’s patent to have mobile devices “synchronize” or share data with other hardware. Meanwhile, in Germany, a Dusseldorf court said last month Samsung’s Galaxy Tap 7.7 imitated Apple’s design in an “unacceptable manner” and ordered European sales to be stopped. In Australia, Samsung became free to sell its Galaxy tablet computers after the country’s highest court dismissed Apple’s appeal in December 2011. But separate legal battles are ongoing over various patents.

We think it’s safe to say that the regardless of the overall outcome of the whole debacle, neither company is going to come away clean. The whole thing has lead to comedic viral videos being produced that poke fun at both companies.

One can only imagine what the total cost of these lawsuits will be. We can’t help but think that the time would be better spent focusing on improving products or “remixing” even better ones, instead of worrying about who owns the intellectual property right for the size of an icons bevel.

Link to the official Ted page for Kirby Ferguson’s “Embrace The Remix” video