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.
The verdict is incredibly detailed and granular, and hats off to the jury for doing all this as quickly as they did. Several of Apple’s software patents were validated today – bounce back scrolling, pinch-to-zoom, and tap-to-zoom – and most of Samsung’s devices infringed upon them – wilfully. Apple’s iPhone 3G(S) trade dress/design patent (sorry, lost track) was also infringed upon my some of Samsung’s phones, but not all of them. The iPad’s design patent was not infringed upon. Samsung also asserted a number of its own patents, but the jury ruled that none of Apple’s devices infringed upon them.
The end result is that Samsung has to pay Apple $1,051,855,000 in damages (Apple wanted $2.4 billion). Apple has to pay nothing to Samsung.
It will come as no surprise that I am very disappointed in this ruling – not so much for Samsung (they’re a company, I don’t care what happens to them), but very much so for the industry. Frivolous, anti-developer nonsense like software patents got validated big time today, and the repercussions of this will be felt far and wide. Every software patent troll in the US just popped a bottle of champagne, because their business model just got a major boost. In addition, don’t expect any new, upstart company to start shaking up the industry any time soon – Apple, and by extension Microsoft, have that locked down pretty tight right about now.
A very rich company just got a little richer, but everybody else – developers, consumers, companies – lost. Yet, my Twitter feed is blowing up with people cheering. I do not want to live on this planet an… Wait. Why do I even care? I’m Dutch!
This is good.
This is good for innovation.
This is good for consumers, the industry and the whole tech market.
This probably even be good for Samsung, in the long run, as it is freed from it’s addiction to cloning and will be forced to start innovating,
Samsung has a long record of ruthlessly copying competitors products, not just in detail but blatantly and on a large scale. With Apple’s massively disruptive entry into the smart phone market followed closely by it’s spectacular remaking and domination of the tablet market Samsung’s copying of Apple entered a new and more intense phase. Samsung copied not just Apple’s products but also the ads, the packaging, the retail stores, the works.
This sort of shit needs to stop otherwise the development of the technology business and markets will slow to a snails pace as everyone produces tedious ‘me-too’ products and nobody bothers to innovate because all their efforts, investment and creativity would be simply and immediately copied.
Apple-haters and Android fans are backing the wrong horse. Your enemies enemy is not your friend
It’s true that the outcome of any complex legal case is to a degree uncertain but in this case the fundamental issue was actually very clear cut. Samsung did copy Apple. They did it systematically. And they did it deliberately. And there was plenty of evidence, plenty, showing what they did and why they did it.
Those whose judgement and vision is clouded by hatred of Apple or love of Googleroid try to not to see what is blindly obvious to any objective observers such as this jury. To the jury it seems to have been pretty clear, they cut through the bullshit and saw the unavoidable truth, Samsung copied and on an industrial scale.
Even when the jury saw the copying they could have argued, as some of the haters and the Googleroid fans try to, that it was no big deal, everyone does it and hey the world will come to an end if this sort of thing is stopped and anyway Apple has never invented anything and all they do is just copy. But again the jury saw that sort of mendacious bullshit for what it was, and the jury said what Samsung did is wrong.
When Samsung was asked by Apple to please stop copying they said ‘fuck off’. When Apple said we will sue you if you continue to copy us and if you copy us you should pay us a license fee, Samsung said ‘fuck off’. Now a US jury has said ‘fuck off’ to Samsung.
Well done and thank you.
No doubt this will be appealed but this is a big blow to poor old Samsung who will now have to come up with their own designs. Perhaps they can appeal on the basis that being forced to create their own original designs is a form of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.