Samsung vs. Apple: The Verdict

It’s taken weeks of courtroom-fights to get here, but the Jury has just reported that they have a verdict to announce – and only a day after they first broke to discuss what their decision would be. It’s safe to say that Apple must be feeling pretty great about their prospects at the moment, with the Jury siding with them on various major issues. While it is far from a death-blow for Samsung’s smartphone business, the South Korean juggernaut can’t be particularly happy.

The court case reiterates how powerful many of Apple’s patents are, and it is now obvious that Apple isn’t afraid to use them in order to right what they feel is a wrong. Regardless, Apple’s position in the smartphone world has just received a major boost – for better or for worse.

Hit the read link to see the results.

Recap

  • All Apple’s patents are valid
  • Samsung infringes on pinch-to-zoom on all but three devices
  • Samsung guilty on the “bounce back” scrolling feedback behavior
  • Apple did not infringe upon any of Samsung patents
  • Samsung has to pay $1.05 billion to Apple
  • Apple will pay nothing to Samsung
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab does not infringe upon the iPad’s design
  • iPhone’s trade dress is valid
  • Samsung Galaxy S dilutes Apple’s trade dress
  • Five out of seven of Apple’s patents were willfully infringed upon by Samsung
  • iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4, iPod touch, and iPad do not infringe upon any of Samsung’s patents

It’s Not Over, But This is Huge

Apple did not win everything – not by a long shot – but it doesn’t matter. Apple won enough so that Samsung can’t be happy at this moment. The case was, more or less, won by Apple – they will gain from this. Their significance in the smartphone industry is only going to continue to rise, and potentially at an even faster pace.

As an Apple fan, and someone that does believe Samsung infringed upon Apple’s intellectual property and trade dress, I’m glad that the case went to Apple. However, it’s a bitter-sweet story: Apple successfully navigated laws that are outdated in order to win. Software patents are still an issue, and hopefully this trial will only serve to magnify that attention already given to them in the press.

There will be appeals, but as Nilay Patel says:

Apple and Samsung would appeal legal interpretation, patentability, things like that. Not a finding of fact like infringement.

— nilay patel (@reckless) August 24, 2012

In other words, the major decisions of the Jury will remain in place. And, as he also says, Apple crushed Samsung.

Keep in mind that, in just a few months, we’ll be doing this again (albeit on a much smaller scale), as Apple and Samsung are going to be at trial over the Galaxy Nexus. That case will be even more interesting, as the real issue isn’t Samsung, but Google’s Android operating system.

Highlights:

Apple Awarded $1.05 Billion in Patent Dispute Ruling

The Jury has awarded Apple $1.05 billion dollars. This is a cumulative dollar amount, which the Jury agreed upon after reviewing the roughly 700-patent specific questions.

Apple’s Patents Are Valid

The largest risk for Apple in this case was that they would lose a number of their patents. Patents are often impossible to put a monetary value on, and there was speculation that Apple would have many of their own invalidated. This didn’t happen, and might be one of the most important aspects of the case: with this verdict reached, Apple’s patents are now even more dangerous for other companies. We may begin to see a move away from the black square design that so many companies have adopted since the iPhone was introduced, and towards other form-factors. We’ll see, though I don’t view that as a bad thing, necessarily: competition on other form factors will only lead to a better product.

Samsung Diluted Apple’s Trade Dress

After 21 hours of deliberation, the Jury has decided that Samsung did infringe upon Apple’s trade dress. Furthermore, the Jury ruled that the iPhone’s trade dress is protectable, but only that of the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

More can be read over at The Verge’s Samsung-Apple hub.

Post a response / What do you think?