Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd May 2014 00:28 UTC
Legal

An eight-person jury on Friday handed back a mixed verdict in the Apple v. Samsung patent-infringement case.

The jury found Samsung's gadgets infringed Apple's '647 patent, but not the '959 patent or '414 patent. Results were mixed for the '721 patent, with some Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Nexus, found to infringe, and others not.

The jury awarded Apple only $119.6 million for the infringement.

Apple wanted more than $2 billion. The verdict is still being read, and the jury has also ruled that Apple infringed on one of Samsung's patents, awarding Samsung $158000 for it.

So, pocket change both ways. A total waste of money, public resources, the jury members' time, and the court system. Well done you, patent system.

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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 3rd May 2014 00:48 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

This was me March 2013:


Edit: And yes, its about the money, but in a different way. Apple doesnt' need a billion dollars. They have 100 billion dollars. What they do need is the stigma and cloud of uncertainty that will arise over Android, and the import bans. Monetary compensation is secondary to all that.

This is a complex, multi trial, multi year, game of chess between two of the biggest companies in the world. Apple will lose some, Samsung will lose some, but its how it affects the larger picture that matters.

Apple is systematically trying to shut out Android, and damage the Samsung brand by associating them with being a copier, AND make it so OEMs think twice about licensing Android.


The point isn't really how much they get awarded, but the perception that surrounds each company moving forward. Being labeled a copier is something Samsung is extremely sensitive to, given that it has the potential to damage any premium branding they're aiming for.

It might be chump change for Samsung, a multinational conglomerate but it's certainly not chump change for any other OEM who might be considering aping Apple's intellectual property.

Moving forward though we'll likely see the figure revised up or downwards as the various legal mechanisms start working over the course of the next few months/years.

Btw, re: Apple's original damage claim. They're almost always comically overshooting with damages. Look at Moto wanting billions from MSFT a year and getting $14M.

I don't think $120M is a figure to sneeze at though, it definitely sends a message. Even Florian from FossPatents thought $2B was an unreasonable amount ($40 per device)

Edited 2014-05-03 00:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Nelson
by kwan_e on Sat 3rd May 2014 01:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

You haven't actually shown Samsung's brand being damaged.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 3rd May 2014 01:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

During the trial internal emails showed that Samsung worried being thought of as a "fast follower". The extent of the damage (if any, if significant) is unknown as no reports measure that.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/12/samsung-still-w...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by kwan_e on Sat 3rd May 2014 01:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Yes, they must analyse any probable situation. The only that matters in the end is are they going to still get money from selling stuff. I don't think Samsung's figures have been that negatively impacted since this whole Samsung/Apple thing started, but I fully admit I don't keep up with the financial stuff as some other people on this website do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 3rd May 2014 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'll admit that Apple's end game isn't as clear as say, Microsoft's who just wants to make oodles of money off of Android. This is my best guess with the tidbits of information that's presented at trial.

Behind closed doors things can be very different, especially during mediation. Would love to be a fly on the wall in one of those sit downs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by andydread on Sun 4th May 2014 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

I'll admit that Apple's end game isn't as clear as say, Microsoft's who just wants to make oodles of money off of Android. This is my best guess with the tidbits of information that's presented at trial.

Behind closed doors things can be very different, especially during mediation. Would love to be a fly on the wall in one of those sit downs.


Apple's end game is.....
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank,..." - Steve Jobs.

“I’m going to destroy Android, ... I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” - Steve Jobs.

Both Apple and Microsoft are working to use the legal system to make Android and FOSS in general toxic. Microsoft started doing this with the Linux kernel before Android even came on the scene. Microsoft had vowed to use this strategy to "destroy open source and free software" and software freedom in general.

That is their end game. They are in the business of locking people into their proprietary platforms (see steve lobs last memo "Make our platform more sticky") and open source is a huge impediment to that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 4th May 2014 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Apple's end game is.....
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank,..." - Steve Jobs.

“I’m going to destroy Android, ... I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” - Steve Jobs.


I don't know if you've heard, but Steve Jobs is no longer with us. His past motivations no longer apply really, as a new executive is in charge. Their end game is very much in question.


Both Apple and Microsoft are working to use the legal system to make Android and FOSS in general toxic. Microsoft started doing this with the Linux kernel before Android even came on the scene. Microsoft had vowed to use this strategy to "destroy open source and free software" and software freedom in general.


I think this is a rather black and white read of the situation, especially when Microsoft actually facilitates the resolution of Android IP conflict by having a massive licensing strategy. That's in stark contrast to what Apple has been willing to do up to this point so far.

I don't think they are of the same mind when it comes to their approaches to Android. Microsoft is an Android vendor (hello Nokia).


That is their end game. They are in the business of locking people into their proprietary platforms (see steve lobs last memo "Make our platform more sticky") and open source is a huge impediment to that.


Everyone who runs a platform is in the business of locking people into their platform. That's the point of the platform.

Proprietary vs "open" in this sense doesn't really mean much, because you can lock people into a platform built on open source technologies.

Edited 2014-05-04 15:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by TechGeek on Sun 4th May 2014 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Nelson:

You've piqued my curiosity. How do you lock someone into an open platform?

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by bassbeast on Sun 4th May 2014 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well they don't have to use any dirty tricks, as Linux and Android infringes. Sorry but it does, it infringes up the behind because the USPTO (and to a lesser extent the EU) has let every vague idea under the sun be patented.

Here in the states we make jokes about "on the Internet" or "on the phone" patents, that is where you take the most blatantly obvious thing and tack on "on the internet" or "on a mobile device" and tada! You have an instant tool to punish enemies or a tollbooth to extract rent.

So until the patents system is cleaned up Linux and Android will be at risk, and its pretty obvious that Apple and MSFT has made peace so its gonna be a two against one kinda deal with the two largest patent warchests on the planet.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Stephen! on Mon 5th May 2014 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

Both Apple and Microsoft are working to use the legal system to make Android and FOSS in general toxic.


Which in Apple's case, seems to be rather hypocritical for a company that's made use of open source software themselves. And Microsoft seems to be using Linux boxes for their Skype hosting.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/05/skype-replaces-p2p-supernod...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Jbso on Sat 3rd May 2014 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Jbso Member since:
2013-01-05

The general public doesn't care much about patent suits and won't be bothered if Samsung loses. Nelson's point about OEM trepidation is more relevant though - smaller OEMs may be put off Android if they see Samsung getting sued for huge sums.

Unfortunately for Apple, Samsung is too big to be deterred by these suits and Samsung is Apple's only real competitor. Windows Phone could theoretically benefit by gaining lower-price, mass-market manufacturers, but consumer interest is so low that OEMs are sticking with Android despite patent threats. Whether that changes going forward, we'll see, though I'm not as confident as I imagine Nelson is. It also does nothing for Apple.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Sat 3rd May 2014 01:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They don't need the money. They need the damages to be big to go around and say that they were hurt by thaaaaat muuuuuch.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by galvanash on Sat 3rd May 2014 02:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The point isn't really how much they get awarded, but the perception that surrounds each company moving forward.


I agree, I just think your being a bit myopic about it... The perception that the damages verdict creates is that patents (even Apple's) really aren't worth that much in litigation. $120 million probably doesn't even cover Apple's legal expenses for this trial.

Just saying... The key patent that Samsung was found to be infringing was 5,946,647 - which is a particularly dangerous one imo as it is difficult to work around. But $120 million? Considering the number of phones Samsung sells that is peanuts - it comes out to $2 per phone by Apple's own accounting (they wanted $40).

If the rumors are true most Android makers are paying MSFT more than that for licensing (rumor is $8)... It's kinda sad since the only difference between Apple and MSFT in this case is that MSFT bothered to ask for the money instead of going the litigation route directly.

Sure, everyone hates them for it, and I don't really blame them, but regardless pursuing licensing agreements (using patents as leverage) is more civilized than Apple's usual approach (using patents as nuclear bombs).

Think about that. Microsoft is making MORE money through licensing that Apple is through litigation... So yeah, like them or not patents seem to be a great way to generate licensing revenue - but as a tool to block competition? No working out so great... Even with the $1 billion verdict (assuming it holds up), Microsoft will STILL make ALOT more money over the long haul ($3-4 billion annually and growing...).

While the legal battles drag out over the years MSFT will keep raking in cash. Apple's refusal to license anything to anyone (for the few patents they have that actually have teeth) is costing them $$$ over the long haul. And the clock on their biggest weapon (the 5,946,647 patent) runs out in 2 years...

I'm not hating on Apple either - I'm being serious. I think this whole thing was and is a utter waste of time and money on their part. They are still seeing tremendous market success, and if the best they have is the stupid 647 patent they should just stop bothering. Its not worth their time. Sure, 1 or 2 billion dollars sounds like a huge deal, but considering what it is costing them to get it (assuming it holds up) and the time and energy involved, AND the size of the company they are getting it from (to Samsung 2 billion is a bad bee sting, nothing more) - what is the point? The only rational answer is to try and deter Android growth - and it is absolutely not accomplishing that AT ALL.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by arb1 on Sat 3rd May 2014 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
arb1 Member since:
2011-08-19

MS I think was more reasonable on their licensing fee's unlike Apple wants stupid high fee's for their patents but only believes they should pay pennies for anyone Else's patents. They even tried that crap with a judge not to many years back where they said in court "less you find in our favor for 1$ or less per device we won't accept your ruling" not exact quote but pretty much short of it.

Apple is one that is taking the bigger PR hit in all this as since they are the patent aggressor they are ones looking like patent trolls. Throw on top of the fact nothing on the iphone really changed since the 3gs, and with rumor's apple plans to make a 4.7inch and 5.5inch phone they are ones looking like they are coping Samsung.

Edited 2014-05-03 04:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by jackeebleu on Mon 5th May 2014 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

While I'm seeing people blast vitriol into the ether about how patents are the devil and how you shouldn't be able to patent obvious things, no one is offering solutions. How does a company recover R&D dollars bringing a new product to market? Should they not be able to compete in the market openly and fairly without a competitor coming in and blatantly copying everything from their design, function and packaging? And if a design, process, or idea was so obvious, why did no one do it?

We've seen Samsung get accused of this exact behavior of infringement in myriad other markets, and unfortunately, this behavior is a part of their DNA. It's just who Samsung is.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by galvanash on Mon 5th May 2014 17:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

While I'm seeing people blast vitriol into the ether about how patents are the devil and how you shouldn't be able to patent obvious things, no one is offering solutions.


The solution is simple - the USPO needs to stop granting patents on obvious things... I personally believe software should not be patentable period - but ignoring that there is still a huge problem with patents being granted for trivialities.

How does a company recover R&D dollars bringing a new product to market? Should they not be able to compete in the market openly and fairly without a competitor coming in and blatantly copying everything from their design, function and packaging? And if a design, process, or idea was so obvious, why did no one do it?


The main patent Samsung was cited for infringing in this case was the "647" patent:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d...

EVERYONE has done this before... This patent is stupid and trivial - there is nothing remotely inventive about it. Every part of it is cited in prior art with the exception of the last leg of the process (from the abstract):

The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure.


So when all the hard work is done (which is all covered by prior art going back at least 30 years), you map the matched pattern to a set of OS defined actions and make the matched pattern in the data actionable (i.e. you link it to a popup menu).

WTF should that deserve patent protection??? Im sorry, but it is blatantly obvious thing to do...

The slide-to-unlock patent isn't much better. It probably does not have prior art, but who cares - its a triviality. Its a design patent hiding out as a method patent. Apple doesn't care about the method - they care about the design (i.e. how it looks and works as opposed to how it is implemented). Same goes for bounce scroll - its nothing more than visual flare. I think both patents are stupid and it would be more accurate to file them as design patents - but if you consider them valid than yeah, Samsung violated them (and they paid for it in the 1st trial).

My main gripe is the 647 patent - that thing is an atrocity and should have never been granted.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Vanders on Sat 3rd May 2014 11:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

What they do need is the stigma and cloud of uncertainty that will arise over Android, and the import bans.

Has this verdict done that, though? As far as I can see it hasn't changed anything: Apple fanboys will point to the part of the ruling that Samsung infringed as "proof", Android fanboys will point to the part of the ruling that Apple infringed, and those of us who don't give a shit will continue to be baffled by the entire thing.

The only positive thing from the entire circus is that more people may become to realise that this entire concept of "Waaa! He copied me!" is pathetic, and arguing about it is pointless.

Thom is right; they've both spent huge amounts of money, used up court time, used up jurors time (and money), and all to simply end right back up where they started with nothing clear cut either way. Brilliant.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by tupp on Mon 5th May 2014 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Android fanboys will point to the part of the ruling that Apple infringed,...

What Android fanboys?

Reply Score: 2

jphamlore
Member since:
2011-02-15

For an idea of what is real money and real winning in these IP fights, look at the settlement Qualcomm forced Nokia to take:

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/17/business/fi-qualcomm17

"Qualcomm Inc., the San Diego-based chip maker, will receive about $2.3 billion as part of a royalty-fight settlement with Nokia Corp., the world's leading maker of cellphones.

The one-time payment ..."

Observe the press at that time took no notice of how unusual an immediate multi-billion dollar payment was. In retrospect there was no evidence Nokia actually successfully bargained for the rights to Qualcomm's CDMA IP, IP that is vital for working on Verizon's US CDMA network.

Also the press had no idea who had the most valuable future IP:

"Qualcomm makes much of its money licensing its technology to wireless carriers and handset makers. It has a near monopoly on the cellphone chip technology in 3G phones.

But Qualcomm does not have the same lock on the next-generation phone technology, which is growing in popularity in Europe. Nokia wanted to pay a lower rate over the long term, given the changing market, industry analysts said.

Qualcomm's 3G technology is "peaking out and will fade for the next 20 years," said Edward Snyder, principal analyst at Charter Equity Research."

Look how badly the press misled its readers at that time. In reality Nokia was already disinvesting from wireless modems, despite half a decade previous bragging it and former fab partner TI had a complete wireless solution stack, and would in a couple of years sell that business off. Furthermore in a couple of years Nokia for its higher end phones would be forced to come crawling to Qualcomm for its complete ARM SoC and would be forced to ditch its own phone OS in favor of Microsoft Windows Phone, an OS that was supported only an Qualcomm chips. And we know the rest of what happened to Nokia's phone business.

Now that's winning an IP fight. And at the time no one in the press knew what a complete victory Qualcomm had won versus Nokia. What Apple "won" today is completely inconsequential.

Reply Score: 4

Samsung a copier?
by Lorin on Sat 3rd May 2014 04:13 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Only if they are following Apple's lead, go back to the Palm and iPaq products, they had wifi capability and touch, Apple stuck a radio modem in and they call that patentable? Samsung had a form factor similar to Apple with the so called rounded edges before Apple did, look at the first Windows phones that t-mobile sold from Samsung.

Go back to the 1980's when Motorola produced data terminals for IBM, rectangles with rounded edges, I think they were the MD800's

Edited 2014-05-03 04:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Samsung a copier?
by arb1 on Sat 3rd May 2014 04:37 UTC in reply to "Samsung a copier?"
arb1 Member since:
2011-08-19

Look at who you are saying that about, Apple effective patented a phone with rounded corner's

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Samsung a copier?
by Nelson on Sat 3rd May 2014 05:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Samsung a copier?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No they didn't.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Samsung a copier?
by krreagan on Sun 4th May 2014 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Samsung a copier?"
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

No, they used the rounded corners (amount others changes) to show that Samesung changed their design specifically to match Apples design.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Samsung a copier?
by tupp on Mon 5th May 2014 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Samsung a copier?"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Or, perhaps, Samsung merely changed their design to match Samsung's own pre-Ipad/pre-Iphone design: http://lawpundit.blogspot.com/2011/08/samsung-digital-picture-frame...

Whether or not the fanboys' claim is true (that Samsung changed their design to match that of the Ipad), the claim is irrelevant, as Samsung obviously already had such an enclosure design prior to Apple.

Reply Score: 2

bad news for Apple
by unclefester on Sat 3rd May 2014 08:39 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Companies now know that the courts will award "trivial" damages for infringing patents. This will embolden them them to bring products to market and worry about IP issues later. For a company like Samsung the extra sales were well worth a $2/unit cost (almost certainly fully tax deductible back in South Korea).

Reply Score: 4

v Slide to unlock? Photo organization?
by torp on Mon 5th May 2014 14:39 UTC