Judge Lucy Koh has lifted the injunction on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 that she originally granted back in June, following Apple's $1 billion-plus patent infringement victory over its Korean rival. The decision was yet another twist in the complicated patent war between the Cupertino firm and its Asian competitor.
One of Judge Koh's colleagues, Richard Posner--himself no stranger to the ill-tempered "it's my toy! No, it's mine!" power plays between hardware and software firms as they struggle to exert ownership over operating systems, power buttons, and touchscreen gestures--has weighed in on the debate. He's the dude who threw out the Apple-Motorola case back in June and has written a blog post which says that the current legislation is creating "patent thickets" (great description, judge dude) and that something has to be done.
One way of simplifying the system on a global--well, transatlantic--scale is already underway. The European and U.S. patent offices have got together and published a Cooperative Patent Classification scheme. The CPC (not to be confused with PCP) comes into effect on January 1, 2013, and is an attempt to bring a little unity to the increasing insanity caused by multiple patent writs in separate jurisdictions. Expect the tech firms to find some way to circumvent this, however.