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!