Apple’s disturbing notion of “intellectual property”

According to MacRumors, Apple commented the favourable trial verdict in the case against Samsung by stating:

We are grateful to the jury and the court for their service,” Apple told Re/code. “Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products. We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.

This statement is the latest iteration of a disturbing notion of intellectual property that Apple is pushing since the days of the notorious “trashcan trial“: ideas can and must by “owned” by somebody.

Neither patent law nor copyright law say so. On the contrary they clearly state that ideas as such cannot be legally protected. Nevertheless, by planting the “our ideas have been stolen” meme Apple is trying hard to make courts stretch the letter of the law until it can be enforced to ideas as such.

I am astonished by the inertia of the rest of the ICT companies (at least those companies who relies on Open Source components to design its products) in connection with this issue. True, there are more actual and urgent matters to deal with, but on the long term when Apple will finally succeed in having a court stating that ideas as such can be “own”, then it will be too late to complain.