Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Aug 2012 23:54 UTC
Legal And just like that, within a matter of days, the jury has reached a verdict in Apple vs. Samsung. The basic gist is simple: Apple's software patents are valid, and many Samsung devices infringe upon them. Apple's iPhone 3G trade dress is valid, and Samsung's Galaxy S line infringes, but other devices did not. Samsung did not infringe Apple's iPad design patent. Apple did not infringe any of Samsung's patents. Apple is awarded a little over $1 billion in damages. Competition lost today, and developers in the United States should really start to get worried - software patents got validated big time today.
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Tony Swash
Member since:

This case exposes an unpalatable truth for some.

It is this.

Within the rather odd sub-culture that consists of Apple haters, Google /Android fans and extreme proponents of open source anti-IP ideology it is possible to create all sorts of imagined scenarios where one company stealing the product designs and IP of another company is a good thing, especially if the victim is Apple and the perpetrator is part of the Android community. Or even madder in the case of Samsung and Apple, that the stealing never happened. These imaginings can be worked up into such a self reinforcing culture that it becomes simply incomprehensible that anyone can believe otherwise. The cultural totems of this subculture become to be seen not as fictions or at best half truths, but as unassailable truths.

But the verdict in this trial punctures those balloons of self delusional constructs.

This verdict is so shocking and awful in this sub-culture because it is a horrible reminder of an unavoidable truth which many are desperate to avoid.

The truth that if you were to select a representative cross section of the uncommitted population and, in a scrupulously balanced forum, give them access to a representative cross section of background documentation from both Samsung and Apple, and let them listen to the best witnesses each side could bring, and let them listen to the arguments of both Samsung and Apple presented by the best advocates each could find, most ordinary citizens would clearly and quickly see the obvious truth. Samsung copied Apple, it did it deliberately, it did it in breach of patents, it did even after it was asked to stop and it did it wilfully.

Now of course the sub-culture will explode with indignation. The trial was fixed, the system is broken, it's all so unfair, boycott Apple, etc etc. But the community has to deal with this watershed event because it doesn't stop the wheels of justice turning. Apple voluntarily withdrew at the behest of the court many other of it's patents in order to simplify this case but it did so with out prejudice. Apple can, and almost certainly will, now assert those patents and will probably win more victories and the pain for Samsung and the other Android OEMs will increase.

So the challenge for those who love Android in particular is what to do next. What should Google do now? What should the community of Android fans now be campaigning for Google to do? Up until now Google has taken the weasel way out, it distributes Android within a very tight legal framework that prevents any legal cascade of responsibility back to Google, it has supported through logistical and political support the fight by many of it's OEMs to defend their copying, it has disgracefully used it's wholly owned subsidiary Motorola to pursue FRAND abuse as a strategy of counterattack. But none of that is working.

Interestingly in the evidence in the Apple Samsung case it was revealed that Google had asked Samsung to tone down it's copying and expressed concerns about the cloning approach that Samsung was pursuing. And that was the correct thing to do. But it was too little and too late. Now Google needs to step up and take on true responsibility of being the leader of the Android community instead of hiding behind disingenuous and hypocritical PR puff about 'openness'. Google needs to say it will not tolerate copying in the Android community, it needs to enforce a new and better ethical model in the community it leads.

If Android, and it's business and technological model, is as good as it's supporters and Google claim it is there will be a flowering of innovation, a stream of great products and everybody will benefit. It's time Google and the Android community started doing things the right way rather than the easy unethical way.

It's time to prove your mettle.

Reply Score: 0

pos3 Member since:

No big deal. Here nobody buys iPhone anyway. iPhone was not able to complete with android wrt spec and prices.

Reply Parent Score: 1

brichpmr Member since:

No big deal. Here nobody buys iPhone anyway. iPhone was not able to complete with android wrt spec and prices.

Where is 'here?'.....your mom's basement?

Reply Parent Score: 0

dsmogor Member since:

No problem for Apple, for now on if you buy a touch phone you will pay them whether you like it or not.
Say good bye to $100 smartphone, not in this life.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tonny Member since:

If long time ago some religion believe in earth is the center of the universe, then now, some 'religion followers' believe that Apple corps is the center of the universe. ;)

Shut up! Don't type again. Or I'll make you can't type. I'll persuade 'that' country to patent alphabet, and 'that' country to patent using 'digit'. If rectangular can be patented, why not alphabet and/or digit.

Oh, I'll make sure you CANNOT use your vehicle, too. I'll persuade 'that dead person' to patent his rounded wheel method.

..Ever think why google persuade Samsung for the design? Cause they know in-out what 'Apple-insider' brain works. Use ur brain, pretty please? ;)

Wise man said, 'Ignorance know no bounds', Mhm..

Reply Parent Score: 2

galvanash Member since:

What a bunch of horseshit...

The irony is this is coming from an Apple supporter.

"...Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal. We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

Steve Jobs, 1996

He believed this when he said it. It isn't taken out of context.

The truth that if you were to select a representative cross section of the uncommitted population and, in a scrupulously balanced forum, give them access to...

blah blah blah blah

...see the obvious truth. Samsung copied Apple, it did it deliberately, it did it in breach of patents, it did even after it was asked to stop and it did it wilfully.

Copying (to a point) is a good thing. It is the engine of innovation - you cannot innovate in isolation. Everything is derived from something that existed before it. Innovation is coming up with ingenious ways to make things better, do things better. Jobs knew this, he practiced this, he did it better than most in fact.

Innovative != Original...

There is admittedly a line where you can go too far, I concede that, but I personally don't believe that Samsung crossed it. Im not taking about the technicalities of whether they violated patents or not - Im just talking about general principle. Of course the jury did what they did, so that is that.

But it doesn't really change the argument. Im not upset that Samsung lost the case. I personally don't care about Samsung, or Google for that matter. Im not a fanboy - I don't post here to defend companies. All of your comments are directed at some "subculture" - I don't belong to a subculture.

Copying is not wrong - it is not "unethical". Being able to monopolize a sofware method for 20 years in the technology industry, where product life cycles last maybe 10 years at best, is what is wrong. That is a fricken enternity! That is unethical!

I don't care that Apple won. I don't care that Samsung lost. But I do care that this case upheld (decidedly) Apple's 915 and 381 patents...

It doesn't matter whether or not Apple 'invented" these. It is not fair to the industry. Virtually every single multi-touch device in existence with a browser on it can be argued to violate one or both of these patents... Sure, they can be worked around with a bit of work - but that would not satisfy your argument. Subtly changing something to avoid violating a patent is certainly copying, is it not?

So what is your solution? That Apple have a monopoly on multi-touch devices until about 2025? That is fair to you? You have a device - the interface is a screen, and the only input is your fingers... There are only so many ways you can implement things, and the obvious and optimal ways are now the exclusive property of Apple, Inc. - and they don't license to anyone.

Apple certainly didn't invent multi-touch technology, Jeff Han and even Microsoft were doing things with it prior to Apple. Are you saying that just because Apple holds these patents it is fair to give them a 20 year monopoly on the entire product segment?

You think it is good for consumers for Apple to have no real competitors? If everyone else is doing something completely different... they are not competitors. You think lack of competition is good for a free market? For consumers?

The reality is that other companies are going to keep building multi-touch devices. All this verdict means (if upheld for the long haul) is that they have no choice but to work around these patents. They will suck just a little bit more than they would have had to otherwise. They will still be, for all intents and purposes, iphone and ipad "copies" in your eyes - but they will all be legal.

How does this help Apple? How does this help consumers? Apple is a billion dollars richer. I don't even think they would notice at this point...

All this does is create pain for an entire industry - one that Apple did not create and has no right to hold hostage. Everyone suffers.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Dr.Mabuse Member since:

Do you have a dog in this fight Tony?

Reply Parent Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:

Google have been vary of Apple infringements from the start. Initially G1 had even multi-tough disabled.
They also have removed over-scroll from Android. (edit: more on the subject:
But the number of design and interaction patents that were validated in this trial(despite obvious prior art) is just staggering.
There's only a limited number of ways one can do zooming and scrolling on a touch device as there's only a limited number of ways you can open door or press a button. This is just a common sense, Apple can claim ownership on a common sense. Nobody in his sane minds could declare this patentable, this just madness.
There's nothing reasonable Google could do to counter madness, you know that.
I'm wondering how come in the absurdly obvious patent cases before US courts it's always the US based companies that are given the leg.

Edited 2012-08-27 12:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:

The tragic part is that the only reasonable response Google could to is to fry Apple on e.g. notification centre to force it into licensing deals with its oems.
They could also see exploit some obvious search and mapping related patents against solutions Apple plans to do on their own. The problem is that this would be as damaging to the consumer as Apple actions.
This only displays how sick the whole system is.

Reply Parent Score: 2