Sorry, I forgot to enable sarcasm mode. Thought I was being obvious...
The nine-member jury in the closely watched patent litigation between Apple and Samsung has returned a verdict decidedly in Apple's favor, awarding the fruity firm a whopping total of $1.05bn in damages. The jury took less than three days to reach its verdict, something that apparently startled even Apple's legal team, as …
"Anyone who wasn't a completely blind fandroid could see Samsung was copying Apple in every way they could."
Just like Apple have copied their competitors and just like every large company from Olympus to Ford to Tampax have bought, disassembled and learnt from the products of their competitors for centuries.
The question, the important question, here is why is it suddenly bad when someone does it to Apple?
The answer is that it isn't. What's bad is the abuse of patents to protect "inventions" that companies did not in fact invent.
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"Nah, in Round 2 Samsung won't have one hand tied behind their back. We've already seen Apple's A game."
My comment wasn't facetious but based on practical reality. Samsung can appeal, but an appeal is not like a retrial. There is no more jury trials on this case. For it to get anywhere Samsung have to prove to judges their judge colleague did a bad job that materially affected the outcome.
a) Judges generally don't like criticising or overruling their judge colleagues - at least not in public
b) They don't like overruling jury verdicts unless there was some serious provable omission in the process or Samsung are able to bring something new to the table e.g. new evidence Apple should have presented or proves Apple were lying on x, y or z points.
Both of these are unlikely, so the reality is Apple do have them in a headlock and Samsung have to hope the ref will judge the wining move illegal and let them back up to restart the fight.
It is, in fact, very common for the US patent appeals court (the CAFC) to over-rule first instance findings. In a case of this complexity there are likely to be multiple grounds of appeal on different aspects of the original trial, each of which could be reversed or returned to the court of first instance to be looked at again in light of directions from the CAFC. Beyond the CAFC there is the Supreme Court, but there is no automatic right of appeal to the Supremes.
I would say the Judge having a pre-formed opinion and making comments to that effect are pretty good grounds for appeal.... the Jury foreman having personal interest in seeing outrageous patents being upheld as he holds one himself if a pretty serious conflict of interest... again good grounds for appeal. Further in the appeal process Samsung has a second chance to more clearly display the vast mountain of prior art that should invalidate these so-called patents.... further the Jury nor judge did not ever seem to weigh these patents on their actual inventiveness (i.e. non obvious) burden as they don't even need the tons of prior art to show that they way it was done (round corners, square apps on a grid, pinch to zoom etc) were all the OBVIOUS way that any engineer approaching the problem would have handled it.
No headlock here, many other cases looked worse and were Completely and utterly reversed.... remember with evil microsoft finaly lost in court and was ordered split into three distinct and separate companies.... that happened... oh wait no it didn't, because it was completely reversed on appeal.
And you can bet that Apple is really in a long term no-win situation here.... people are already starting to get up in arms in the US over paten abuse and failures... even if apple wins on appeal, they are only more likely to push for massive lobbying by both companies and citizens for broad sweeping patent reform that will invalidate such decisions anyways.... certainly a loss of battle for Samsung, but wars can be very long and tides can certainly turn.
I will NEVER buy anything to do with Apple. You CAN'T patent a tablet because it is the shape of a tablet. Apple did not invent sleek and curvy, it is TRIVIAL. No-one is confused between the devices because one has a bloody big Apple on the back, and the other is packaged in a box marked Samsung.
Screw that. If I were SOUTH KOREA I'd make it harder for Apple to buy a single resistor than it would be for Kim Jong Il to rise back up from his grave and wander into downtown Seoul, dressed only in his finest dodo-hide one-piece on the back of an albino unicorn.
But, the chaebol will not sit still for this shit. They will micro nudge that billion back out of apple by cagng up the possible alternative suppliers and by inching up the price or cost of components, and maybe even aggressively flood non usa markers with enough Samsung products to slow apple down.
I doubt that Samsung sell ANYTHING to Apple which cannot be sourced elsewhere. As I have commented previously, expect a gradual shift away from Samsung components as current deals expire.
However, if Samsung comes to the table with the right components at the right price, I doubt Apple will have any issues awarding Samsung the deal. These guys are in business, and business is business.
I suspect Samsung's status as a trusted partner with Apple is a bit corroded at the moment.
Meanwhile, I enjoy my iPad3 and think the Samsung D8000 is just the bees knees with a cool design to boot!
The separate departments of Samsung are basically that, sort of like sister companies. The processor/screen divisions will not sacrifice their profits in some (essentially spiteful) defence of the mobile division.
At least, I doubt they would, although that would be a cool gesture. United and all that.
You want Samsung to try for a breach of contract suit next? They make quiet a lot of money supplying parts to Apple, and they aren't the sole suppliers of those parts. They'd be cutting off their own nose to spite their face if they broke their supply contracts, and Apple wouldn't be inconvenienced much as most of the parts come from multiple suppliers anyway.
This was one of my first thoughts. While the components and mobile divisions of Samsung are very separate, this matter has become serious enough for the corporate head to get the various divisions to work together. It's the mobile division that's the breadwinner.
"go, ggroupies go, let's hear your whining :)"
You're a short-sited idiot if you think this isn't bad for all of us who want a healthy, competitive market with a variety of products to choose from. Even in Europe where this ruling doesn't take effect, it means that Samsung may not (probably will not) make the products that they otherwise would for any of us.
"Time to boycott American products
No other country would get away with such blatant protectionism. In fact, I would rather hope all Android manufacturers would leave the USA and leave them to be exploited further by this pathetic hyped fashion company, as that is what they deserve."
Evidently you are not familiar with the court judgment won by Samsung against Apple earlier this week on the basis of standard-essential patents in... South Korea.
You can read about it here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/24/apple_samsung_seoul_ruling/ .
Ah, but that's not protectionism, because that came down against Apple. And we're not biased at all.
This is absolutely not a popularity contest, we have all read all of the evidence in both cases, we completely understand all the laws involved and have used our impartial thinking processes to reach the conclusion that
Apple are evil and therefore always wrong Samsung were entirely correct in their position and the outcome is in no way biased because they are the local company.
As a side note, could anyone explain to me why I'm posting my unbiased legal opinions on a tech news site instead of making a fortune in the legal arena so that I can live in a solid gold house and drive a solid gold Rolls Royce?
Did you even read that article?
"Both Apple and Samsung got teeny fines and had some of their products banned in South Korea, after a court in Seoul found they infringed on each other's patents."
Both got a slap on the wrist.... and with teeny fines each. No where near what the american courts awarded apple.
I expect in the near future, you will see FRAND go by the wayside when someone does license the technology, they will make sure the license is only for the licensee and not for anyone downstream. Apple has no problem using FRAND to use GSM and 3G patents but they refuse to license anything they have. What happens when you ahve companies that hold patents for say 5G that are essential to the standard and they are not part of FRAND? When Apple says no to licensing their patents, they get told no to licensing the 5G patents.
Oh stop with whining and lying. Apple licenses quite a bit of their stuff under FRAND. You should check the ETSI database instead of posting bullshit as an AC.
FRAND patents will continue because that's the only way they can get into standards.
They'll continue to be licensed to companies implementing them into chips, as Samsung's where in this case.
This isn't as easy as you think. When ITU starts working on a 5G standard (maybe they already are?) they get a bunch of companies together who want to participate. This will cover everybody who is anybody in the mobile world, from the chipmakers like Qualcomm to phone makers to carriers. In order to participate, they have to agree to license any patents they have that get used in the standard under FRAND terms.
They can't hold back a few patents and think they'll use them to screw people later, they can't participate in the standards and try to steer them in the direction of their patents and then pull out before signing them over (Rambus tried this, look what happened to them)
So the only way you can hold a patent that is covered by 5G that you don't have to license on FRAND terms is sheer luck. Without any ability to see what direction 5G is going or being able to steer it in the direction of patents you hold, you have to just hope that you have a patent that will be covered by it, and that none of the dozens of corporations with vastly greater expertise in the mobile world are able to invalidate your patent with their own prior art.
Not saying it can't happen, but the ones who hold 99%+ of the relevant patents will already be at the table because they want to be. They aren't trying to get rich on the patent revenue, they are trying to get rich by knowing what direction the standard is going ahead of time and perhaps being able to steer it in the direction of something they already have expertise in (i.e., if they hold patents that are relevant, they already know what they're doing that area)
You're clearly ignorant of how patent pools work. A companies patented solution would't be allowed to be a part of the standard unless they commit it to the pool and FRAND terms. There are patents that become essential because the solution they describe is chosen to be a mandatory part off the standard and much more rarely there are patents that are essential because there is no other way of doing the thing in question. Qualcomm held up the 3G standard until they got much improved license terms because they held truly essential patents of this latter type. They were entitled to do so. Samsung never had any such patents. Their patents only became "essential" by virtue of the fact they were selected as the way to do an aspect of the 3G solution. They were only selected on the basis they would be licensed on a FRAND basis. They were only valuable because on this basis they were made the standard mandated the way of doing things (even though an alternative could have been adopted). To then try to wield them as weapons against Apple and to try to use them to hold up Apple kit was unconscionable and Samsung thoroughly deserve to have lost this case.
Yes that's a clear misunderstanding of how FRAND works.
Samsung isn't even a significant player in FRAND standards, they usually license the radio technology just like Apple does.
For example the Galaxy S3 uses the Intel PMB9811X baseband, and it's Intel who holds the patent licenses used in that.
This decision will have no impact on FRAND.