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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RE[8]: Everybody wins
by MollyC on Mon 27th Aug 2012 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Everybody wins"
Member since:

Not sure where you read that. Apple quite famously lost that case, though the ruling relied in part on Microsoft having a contract.

I agree it's upsetting to see the same company in the same court bringing almost the same claims and seeing the law changing enough to let them win.

The law didn't change that much.
First, as you said, Microsoft had a deal with Apple by which they licensed Apple's GUI constructs (menus and icons), but didn't license Apple's "look and feel", which is what Apple sued about. And lost because Windows, despite having icons, windows, and menus (all of which Microsoft had a license for), didn't have the Mac "look and feel", nor did Microsoft try to emulate the Mac "look and feel".

Samsung, on the other hand, had no license deal with Apple, and they willfully and deliberately copied Apple's look and feel, and practically pretended to be a rebranded iPhone. Deliberately. "Let's make a device that looks as close to the iPhone as possible (maybe even close enough to fool a few low-information consumers!), and we'll reel in the dough!" Microsoft never tried to make Windows a carbon copy of the Mac. Samsung did intentionally try to make a near-carbon copy of the iPhone. They lost, and rightfully so.

The technology patents are a different matter. The rulings there don't bode well for Android.

Last thing I'll say is that this trial revealed that Apple and Micrsoft have a long standing cross-licensing agreement where they cross-license all of each other's tech, as long as neither tries to clone the other's products. That kind of deal sounds like the ideal situation to me, good for Apple, Microsoft, and consumers. Google and Samsung are too immature to reach such deals. Particularly Google. Being relatively young, they are still brash and think that the rules don't apply to them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: Everybody wins
by some1 on Mon 27th Aug 2012 00:58 in reply to "RE[8]: Everybody wins"
some1 Member since:

That's completely wrong.

The court did not rule that Microsoft did not copy Mac's "look and feel". It did not rule on that question at all. The court rejected Apple's argument that UI is copyrightable as a whole, and instead dissected it into elements. For every element they found that it's either covered by Windows 1.0 license, unoriginal to Apple, or is the only way to express the idea, so isn't protected by copyright. The court did not rule if "look and feel" can be protected at all, but noted that "Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor". This is quite similar to the recent Oracle v. Google ruling, only weaker because it relies on the license.

So the big difference with Apple v. Samsung is that Apple was able to patent its "look and feel", something it didn't and couldn't do in the 80s. Patents give much broader protection and don't have "the only way to express the idea" restriction.

Reply Parent Score: 2