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What LEGO Has in Common with Apple


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#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 02:01 PM

CNN Money has an interesting article from last month about how our favorite toy company and Apple are similar. Both companies spent some time in the 1990s near the brink and have since come back stronger than ever. They're strongly integrated with varied product lines and excellent customer service, creating an 'experience' that people want to partake in. Hopefully that means continued success for both!

View the full article

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#2 Offline The Legendary TNT

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 03:07 PM

That's weird because I don't really like Apple but I love Lego. Guess that's where the similarities end for me.


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#3 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 03:56 PM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW. 


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#4 Offline xccj

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 04:12 PM

What's the difference between Apple and Lego?

One makes overpriced products intended for a niche audience... And the other makes a children's toy. :P

:music:

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#5 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 04:51 PM

What's the difference between Apple and Lego?

One makes overpriced products intended for a niche audience... And the other makes a children's toy. :P

:music:

I bet we've all been thinking at some point that LEGO is a tad overpriced as well, though. :P

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Edited by Gatanui, Mar 25 2014 - 04:51 PM.

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#6 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 05:23 PM

 

What's the difference between Apple and Lego?

One makes overpriced products intended for a niche audience... And the other makes a children's toy. :P

:music:

I bet we've all been thinking at some point that LEGO is a tad overpriced as well, though. :P

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Isn't building toys a niche audiance? :P


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#7 Online Lucina

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 05:34 PM

 

 

What's the difference between Apple and Lego?

One makes overpriced products intended for a niche audience... And the other makes a children's toy. :P

:music:

I bet we've all been thinking at some point that LEGO is a tad overpriced as well, though. :P

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Isn't building toys a niche audiance? :P

 

 

Considering LEGO became the biggest toy company while only making them? That's a pretty big niche :P


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#8 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 05:48 PM

What's the difference between Apple and Lego?

One makes overpriced products intended for a niche audience... And the other makes a children's toy. :P

:music:

I bet we've all been thinking at some point that LEGO is a tad overpriced as well, though. :P

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Isn't building toys a niche audiance? :P

 
Considering LEGO became the biggest toy company while only making them? That's a pretty big niche :P

Then again, considering Apple has sold over 500 million iPhone units, that doesn't seem to be such a small niche either. ;)

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Edited by Gatanui, Mar 25 2014 - 05:48 PM.

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#9 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 06:45 PM

At least LEGO doesn't keep releasing slightly upgraded versions of a key product every 6 months! LEGO Star Wars is the closest thing to that, but at least their set upgrades are meaningful and overall worth it.


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#10 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 07:27 PM

At least LEGO doesn't keep releasing slightly upgraded versions of a key product every 6 months! LEGO Star Wars is the closest thing to that, but at least their set upgrades are meaningful and overall worth it.

Innovation cannot be forced. Sometimes an update is all that's needed. ;)

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#11 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 07:37 PM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW. 

 

Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 

Lego patented It's HF building system. 

 

Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.


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#12 Online Aanchir

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 08:11 PM

At least LEGO doesn't keep releasing slightly upgraded versions of a key product every 6 months! LEGO Star Wars is the closest thing to that, but at least their set upgrades are meaningful and overall worth it.

What about LEGO City? Lately there's been a new police station and fire station every two years, without fail.

Of course, LEGO City police stations and the iPhone also have something else in common: if you have the old one, there's no reason you're obligated to get a new one. To a certain extent, the newer ones exist for people who don't have an older one to begin with.

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#13 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 09:35 PM

 

At least LEGO doesn't keep releasing slightly upgraded versions of a key product every 6 months! LEGO Star Wars is the closest thing to that, but at least their set upgrades are meaningful and overall worth it.

What about LEGO City? Lately there's been a new police station and fire station every two years, without fail.

Of course, LEGO City police stations and the iPhone also have something else in common: if you have the old one, there's no reason you're obligated to get a new one. To a certain extent, the newer ones exist for people who don't have an older one to begin with.

 

You provide some strong points there. I can agree with that.


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#14 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 25 2014 - 11:23 PM

 

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW. 

 

Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 

Lego patented It's HF building system. 

 

Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

 

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*

 

Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.


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#15 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:55 AM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW.

 
Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 
Lego patented It's HF building system. 
 
Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*
 
Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.

They do have indeed a design patent on rectangular devices with rounded corners and a design patent on a digital representation of page turning, but to deny all the innovation that has come from Apple because of those silly patents is unfair. Also, the examples of the Samsung and HTC phones and the Kindle don't mean much as companies license patents to each other all the time. For example, Microsoft charges patent fees for almost all Android devices sold (patents related to file systems and others), making Android actually more profitable to them than their own Windows Phone system.

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#16 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:56 PM

 

 

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW. 

 

Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 

Lego patented It's HF building system. 

 

Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

 

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*

 

Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.

 

 

If they innovate, why are their screens as sturdy as tin foil?(an issue that's been around since the first Ipod touch, I believe.) Seems like that's something that should have been fixed a while ago. And the fact that most apps are tied to apple devices (Or at least the ones I want) is absolutely frustrating, as well as having some music only available on Itunes. 

 

This type of thing is incredibly unhelpful to innovation. as it encourages companies to patent things and then sit on them for ages and rake in money while stopping anyone else from making any improvements to it. Which is how the system generally works. you don't look at a rock and see a bow and arrow. you see something that can be made into a crude blade, than tied to a stick to make a spear, then shot with tension to make a bow. If somebody patents the crude blade, the process is halted. It's not really Apples fault, they just exploit it to no end. Which is why I don't really like them. 

 

It basically boils down to the patent/copyright system being broken. I really don't think you should be able to patent a shape, or how you open an app on a smartphone or how you unlock a smartphone, or how app icons are displayed on a smartphone or.... Anyway, I don't think Lego and Apple are very much alike. 


Edited by ~Shockwave~, Mar 26 2014 - 06:03 PM.

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#17 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 06:03 PM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW.

 
Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 
Lego patented It's HF building system. 
 
Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*
 
Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.

 
If they innovate, why are their screens as sturdy as tin foil? Seems like that's something that should have been fixed a while ago. And the fact that most apps are tied to apple devices is absolutely frustrating, as well as having music only available on Itunes. 
 
This type of thing is incredibly unhelpful to innovation. as it encourages companies to patent things and then sit on them for ages and rake in money while stopping anyone else from making any improvements to it. It's not really Apples fault, they just exploit it to no end. Which is why I don't really like them. 
 
It basically boils down to the patent/copyright system being broken. I really don't think you should be able to patent a shape, or how you open an app on a smartphone or how you unlock a smartphone, or how apps are displayed on a smartphone or.... Anyway, I don't think Lego and Apple are very much alike.

The fact that apps are tied to Apple devices is obvious, though, and it works the same way on any other platform. Music from iTunes can easily be transfered to any non-Apple device (just as music that is not from iTunes can be transferred to an iOS device as far as I know). I totally share your criticism of the patent system, though.

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Edited by Gatanui, Mar 26 2014 - 06:04 PM.

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#18 Online Aanchir

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 07:42 PM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW.

 
Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 
Lego patented It's HF building system. 
 
Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*
 
Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.

 
If they innovate, why are their screens as sturdy as tin foil?(an issue that's been around since the first Ipod touch, I believe.) Seems like that's something that should have been fixed a while ago. And the fact that most apps are tied to apple devices (Or at least the ones I want) is absolutely frustrating, as well as having some music only available on Itunes. 
 
This type of thing is incredibly unhelpful to innovation. as it encourages companies to patent things and then sit on them for ages and rake in money while stopping anyone else from making any improvements to it. Which is how the system generally works. you don't look at a rock and see a bow and arrow. you see something that can be made into a crude blade, than tied to a stick to make a spear, then shot with tension to make a bow. If somebody patents the crude blade, the process is halted. It's not really Apples fault, they just exploit it to no end. Which is why I don't really like them. 
 
It basically boils down to the patent/copyright system being broken. I really don't think you should be able to patent a shape, or how you open an app on a smartphone or how you unlock a smartphone, or how app icons are displayed on a smartphone or.... Anyway, I don't think Lego and Apple are very much alike.

Considering American patents expire after one year, I don't think that the system is broken or that abuse of the system halts innovation by any significant measure. One year may be a long time as far as technology is concerned, but there's nothing stopping rival companies from spending that year on R&D and developing the technology further. They just have to wait a year before bringing ideas derived from a recent patent to market.

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#19 Offline JrMasterModelBuilder

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 07:49 PM

 

If they innovate, why are their screens as sturdy as tin foil?(an issue that's been around since the first Ipod touch, I believe.) Seems like that's something that should have been fixed a while ago. And the fact that most apps are tied to apple devices (Or at least the ones I want) is absolutely frustrating, as well as having some music only available on Itunes. 

 
This type of thing is incredibly unhelpful to innovation. as it encourages companies to patent things and then sit on them for ages and rake in money while stopping anyone else from making any improvements to it. Which is how the system generally works. you don't look at a rock and see a bow and arrow. you see something that can be made into a crude blade, than tied to a stick to make a spear, then shot with tension to make a bow. If somebody patents the crude blade, the process is halted. It's not really Apples fault, they just exploit it to no end. Which is why I don't really like them. 
 
It basically boils down to the patent/copyright system being broken. I really don't think you should be able to patent a shape, or how you open an app on a smartphone or how you unlock a smartphone, or how app icons are displayed on a smartphone or.... Anyway, I don't think Lego and Apple are very much alike.

 

Considering American patents expire after one year, I don't think that the system is broken or that abuse of the system halts innovation by any significant measure. One year may be a long time as far as technology is concerned, but there's nothing stopping rival companies from spending that year on R&D and developing the technology further. They just have to wait a year before bringing ideas derived from a recent patent to market.

 

20 years actually.

 

Also, it should be noted that LEGO owns over 600 patents compared to Apple's less-than 50, and attempted to obtain a trademark, on their brick design after their patent expired, to prevent competition. They were denied by the Supreme Court.


Edited by JrMasterModelBuilder, Mar 26 2014 - 08:01 PM.

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#20 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 07:56 PM

I heart both companies. Creativity and innovation FTW.

 
Apple patented the ability to turn a page on an Ereader. And a rectangle with round corners. 
Lego patented It's HF building system. 
 
Basically, as far as I see it, Lego and apple are as far away from each other as it can get.

They did not...*looks at all of the Samsung and HTC phones with round corners, and Kindle E-Readers that turn pages*
 
Also, given all of the Lego apps (and other creative apps) for iPhone/iPad etc, both companies encourage creativity and innovation in their developers and end users. That's a win-win-win in my book.

 
If they innovate, why are their screens as sturdy as tin foil?(an issue that's been around since the first Ipod touch, I believe.) Seems like that's something that should have been fixed a while ago. And the fact that most apps are tied to apple devices (Or at least the ones I want) is absolutely frustrating, as well as having some music only available on Itunes. 
 
This type of thing is incredibly unhelpful to innovation. as it encourages companies to patent things and then sit on them for ages and rake in money while stopping anyone else from making any improvements to it. Which is how the system generally works. you don't look at a rock and see a bow and arrow. you see something that can be made into a crude blade, than tied to a stick to make a spear, then shot with tension to make a bow. If somebody patents the crude blade, the process is halted. It's not really Apples fault, they just exploit it to no end. Which is why I don't really like them. 
 
It basically boils down to the patent/copyright system being broken. I really don't think you should be able to patent a shape, or how you open an app on a smartphone or how you unlock a smartphone, or how app icons are displayed on a smartphone or.... Anyway, I don't think Lego and Apple are very much alike.

Considering American patents expire after one year, I don't think that the system is broken or that abuse of the system halts innovation by any significant measure. One year may be a long time as far as technology is concerned, but there's nothing stopping rival companies from spending that year on R&D and developing the technology further. They just have to wait a year before bringing ideas derived from a recent patent to market.

Do they expire after one year? Wikipedia says otherwise:






Design patents have a shorter term than utility patents. Design patents filed on or after December 18, 2013 have a term of 15 years from issuance. Design patents filed prior to December 18, 2013 have a term of 14 years from issuance.



Patent trolls are a huge problem in the IT industry. There are companies exclusively dedicated to acquiring patents, often completely trivial ones, and using them against companies where they think they can make a quick buck. Big hardware and software companies are in a constant battle of suing each other over supposed patent infringements (a prominent example being Apple vs Samsung). I'm not a lawyer but the patent system as it is in the US and other places right now could use a lot of improvement as there is a very great deal of abuse.

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Edited by Gatanui, Mar 26 2014 - 08:16 PM.

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#21 Online Aanchir

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 08:23 PM

Huh, I must have been mistaken. My bad.
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#22 Offline ~Shockwave~

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 08:31 PM

Patents in companies like Lego or Hasbro or Mattel are still an issue. But I don't see them used to gain mobey off of companies (let's just pretend harmony gold isn't a thing for these purposes.) But I see them used a lot in technoligical areas.
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