Why The Apple Vs Samsung Jury Verdict May Not Hold Up

We sort of assumed that Friday's decision in the Apple vs Samsung trial wouldn't be the last we heard of the case. But Groklaw has gone through various quotes from the jurors and legal experts, and it looks like Samsung is going to have very strong grounds for appeal thanks to one wildly inconsistent jury.

Late in the process yesterday at the Apple vs Samsung trial, when the parties and the judge were reviewing the jury verdict form, Samsung noticed that there were indeed inconsistencies in the jury's verdict form, a possibility Samsung anticipated. Here's the jury's Amended Verdict Form [PDF], amended to fix the mistakes. Here's the original [PDF]. Here's the note [PDF] the jury sent to the judge when told to fix the inconsistencies. What are they, they asked? "Please let the jury know," they wrote in the only note ever sent in their deliberations, "of the inconsistencies we are supposed to deliberate on."

In two instances, results were crazily contradictory, and the judge had to have the jury go back and fix the goofs. As a result the damages award was reduced to $US1,049,343,540, one down from $US1,051,855,000. For just one example, the jury had said one device didn't infringe, but then they awarded Apple $US2 million for inducement. In another they awarded a couple of hundred thousand for a device they had ruled didn't infringe at all. This was revealed by The Verge in its live blog coverage:

The jury appears to have awarded damages for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE infringing — $219,694 worth — but didn't find that it had actually infringed anything....A similar inconsistency exists for the Intercept, for which they'd awarded Apple over $US2 million

Intercept: "The jury found no direct infringement but did find inducement" for the '915 and '163 utility patents. If a device didn't infringe, it would be rather hard for a company to induce said non-existant infringement.

Obviously, something is very wrong with this picture. The Verge also reported that the jury foreman, who is a patent holder himself [this appears to be his patent, "Method and apparatus for recording and storing video information"], told court officials that the jury didn't need the answer to its question to reach a verdict:

The foreman told a court representative that the jurors had reached a decision without needing the instructions.

That's why I don't think this jury's ruling will stand, among other reasons.

I thought it wise to highlight this, because I saw this morning that some missed seeing it. For example, James Niccolai at PCWorld quotes a "legal expert" who clearly didn't:

"It's surprising they came back so quickly, given that it was a complicated case and very complicated verdict form, but that said, it looks like they were thoughtful about it and they did their job," said Roy Futterman, director at DOAR Litigation Consulting and a clinical psychologist who works on trial strategies and the mindset of jurors.

"One sign of that is that the verdicts were consistent, they held together — they voted one way on infringement and another way on invalidity; it all tells the same big story," he said.

That's in an article titled "Quick Verdict in Apple Trial Doesn't Mean Jury Shirked Its Duty, Expert Says". If the jury instructions [PDF] are as long and complex as they were in this case, a quick verdict can indeed mean it shirked its duty. For example, if the jury rushed so much it assigned $US2 million dollars to Apple, and then had to subtract it because there was no infringement, it raises a valid question: what was the basis for any of the damages figures the jury came up with? If they had any actual basis, how could they goof like this? Was there a factual basis for any of the damages figures?

Time will tell, but keep in mind that one of the plays you'll see next will likely be a Rule 50(b) motion by Samsung, and that's the one where you ask the judge for various relief on the basis that no reasonable jury could find what it did find on the evidence presented. Here's Google's still pending Rule 50(b) motion for judgment as a matter of law in the Oracle vs Google case, to give you an idea of what they look like. As you can see, you can ask for victory across the board or just on one part of what the jury decided.

This story is far from over, in other words, and while Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, waxed philosophical about the trial, and saying that it was about values, not money, one important US value is that the jury fulfil its responsibilities, one of which is to read and make sure they understand and follow the jury instructions they are given. I believe Cook would agree that trials are supposed to be fair, with everyone doing their part. If this jury thought they knew the right result without instructions, and if they hurried so much they made glaring mistakes, and they did, and all in Apple's favour, something isn't right in this picture. As the legal blog, Above the Law expressed it:

Here's the thing, ladies and gentlemen of the Apple v. Samsung jury: It would take me more than three days to understand all the terms in the verdict! Much less come to a legally binding decision on all of these separate issues. Did you guys just flip a coin?

If it would take a lawyer three days to make sure he understood the terms in the form, how did the jury not need the time to do the same? There were 700 questions, remember, and one thing is plain, that the jury didn't take the time to avoid inconsistencies, one of which resulted in the jury casually throwing numbers around, like $US2 million dollars for a nonfringement.

Come on. This is farce.

Professor Michael Risch points out an even worse inconsistency:

How did the Galaxy Tab escape design patent infringement? This was the only device to be preliminarily enjoined (on appeal no less), and yet it was the one of the few devices to be spared the sledgehammer. And, by the way, it looks an awful lot like an iPad. Yet the Epic 4G, a phone I own (uh oh, Apple's coming after me) — which has a slide out keyboard, a curved top and bottom, 4 buttons on the bottom, the word Samsung printed across the top, buttons in different places (and I know this because I look in all the wrong places on my wife's iTouch), a differently shaped speaker, a differently placed camera, etc. — that device infringes the iPhone design patents....

Relatedly, the ability to get a design patent on a user interface implies that design patent law is broken. This, to me, is the Supreme Court issue in this case. We can dicker about the facts of point 2, but whether you can stop all people from having square icons in rows of 4 with a dock is something that I thought we settled in Lotus v. Borland 15 years ago. I commend Apple for finding a way around basic UI law, but this type of ruling cannot stand.

This is the second lawyer I've seen predicting this case will go all the way to the US Supreme Court. He also compliments Groklaw for having "not only really detailed information, but really accurate information, and actual source documents. That combination is hard to find." Thank you.

One of the jurors has now spoken, and CNET's Greg Sandoval has it, in his article:

Apple v. Samsung juror Manuel Ilagan said the nine-person jury that heard the patent infringement case between the companies knew after the first day that it believed Samsung had wronged Apple....

The decision was very one-sided, but Ilagan said it wasn't clear the jurors were largely in agreement until after the first day of deliberations.

"It didn't dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day," Ilagan said. "We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about the same technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin Hogan] was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself. In the beginning the debate was heated, but it was still civil. Hogan holds patents, so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent — what was prior art — because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple.

"In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down." ...

"Once you determine that Samsung violated the patents," Ilagan said, "it's easy to just go down those different [Samsung] products because it was all the same. Like the trade dress, once you determine Samsung violated the trade dress, the flatscreen with the Bezel...then you go down the products to see if it had a bezel. But we took our time. We didn't rush. We had a debate before we made a decision. Sometimes it was getting heated."

This gets worse and worse.

Dan Levine of Reuters has some words from the foreman:

"We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist," Hogan said. "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

Hogan said jurors were able to complete their deliberations in less than three days — much faster than legal experts had predicted — because a few had engineering and legal experience, which helped with the complex issues in play. Once they determined Apple's patents were valid, jurors evaluated every single device separately, he said.

Now the jurors are contradicting each other. Lordy, the more they talk, the worse it gets. I'm sure Samsung is glad they are talking, though. Had they read the full jury instructions, all 109 pages [PDF version], they would have read that damages are not supposed to punish, merely to compensate for losses. Here's what they would have found in Final Jury Instruction No. 35, in part:

The amount of those damages must be adequate to compensate the patent holder for the infringement. A damages award should put the patent holder in approximately the financial position it would have been in had the infringement not occurred, but in no event may the damages award be less than a reasonable royalty. You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer.

The same instruction is repeated in Final Jury Instruction No. 53, in case they missed it the first time. Did they obey those instructions? Nay, did they even read them? The evidence, judging by the foreman's reported words, point the wrong way.

Samsung lawyer John Quinn is quoted by USA Today saying they will be asking the judge to toss this out and then appeal, if she does not:

Samsung, the global leader among smartphone makers, vowed to fight. Its lawyers told the judge it intended to ask her to toss out the verdict.

"This decision should not be allowed to stand because it would discourage innovation and limit the rights of consumers to make choices for themselves," Samsung lead lawyer John Quinn said. He argued that the judge or an appeals court should overturn the verdict.

Apple lawyers plan to formally demand Samsung pull its most popular mobile phones and computer tablets from the U.S. market. They also can ask the judge to triple the damages from $US1.05 billion to $US3 billion.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will decide those issues, along with Samsung's demand she overturn the jury's verdict, in several weeks. Quinn said Samsung would appeal if the judge refuses to toss out the decision....

Samsung said after the verdict that it was "unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners."

"This is by no means the final word in this case," Quinn said in a statement. "Patent law should not be twisted so as to give one company a monopoly over the shape of smartphones."

One more quote from the foreman, thanks to Bloomberg News:

When I got in this case and I started looking at these patents I considered: "If this was my patent and I was accused, could I defend it?" Hogan explained. On the night of Aug. 22, after closing arguments, "a light bulb went on in my head," he said. "I thought, I need to do this for all of them.

And in case you think Groklaw is the only one to notice, it's actually a known problem that juries tend to over compensate plaintiffs, as brought out in this AP article by Paul Elias:

Increasingly these highly complex disputes are being decided by juries, rather than judges, and the juries tend to issue more generous awards for patent violations.

That has companies on the receiving end of successful patent infringement lawsuits crying foul and calling for reform in the patent system, but it also has some legal experts questioning whether ordinary citizens should be rendering verdicts and fixing damages in such high stakes, highly technical cases.

"That's a great question ... and it's the subject of a fair amount of current debate," said Notre Dame University law professor Mark McKenna....

"This case is unmanageable for a jury," Robin Feldman, an intellectual property professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, said before the verdict. "There are more than 100 pages of jury instructions. I don't give that much reading to my law students. They can't possible digest it."

"The trial is evidence of a patent system that is out of control," Feldman said. "No matter what happens in this trial, I think people will need to step back and ask whether we've gone too far in the intellectual property system."

***

1 Is that maths even correct, even after the fix? One reader did the maths, and he or she thinks the maths is off and the right total, even if all else is accurate, should be $US1,049,423,540. Here's the calculation, taken from the Amended Verdict Form [PDF], so you can do your own checking:

My maths gives a different total

... in favour of Apple by a few 10,000's

Captivate . . . . . . . . . .80,840,162

Continuum . . . . . . . . . .16,399,117

Droid Charge. . . . . . . . .50,672,869

Epic 4G. . . . . . . . . . .130,180,894

Exhibit 4G . . . . . . . . . .1,081,820

Fascinate. . . . . . . . . .143,539,179

Galaxy Ace . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Galaxy Prevail. . . . . . . .57,867,383

Galaxy S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Galaxy S 4G . . . . . . . . .73,344,668

Galaxy S II (AT&T). . . . . .40,494,356

Galaxy S II (i9000). . . . . . . . . .0

Galaxy S II (T-Mobile). . . .83,791,708

Galaxy S II (Epic 4G Touch).100,326,988

Galaxy S II (Skyrocket) . . .32,273,558

Galaxy S (Showcase) . . . . .22,002,146

Galaxy Tab . . . . . . . . . .1,966,691

Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi . . . . . .833,076

Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE . . . . . . . .0

Gem. . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,075,585

Indulge . . . . . . . . . . .16,011,184

Infuse 4G . . . . . . . . . .44,792,974

Intercept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Mesmerize . . . . . . . . . .53,123,612

Nexus S 4G . . . . . . . . . .1,828,297

Replenish. . . . . . . . . . .3,350,256

Transform. . . . . . . . . . . .953,060

Vibrant . . . . . . . . . . .89,673,957

TOTAL. . . . . . . . . . .1,049,423,540

Editor's note: Some portions of this post were originally published as updates, but rather than confuse matters, we have presented them inline.

Groklaw is an experiment in journalistic expertise and open-source principles. Pamela Jones is its former editor.


Comments

    The jury "solved" the case on a simplistic basis using their xenophobic views as a frame of reference.

      Yep - everywhere else in the world, these cases are being heard with both companies being slapped. In Apple's backyard? "YEEEHAW GONNA SHOW THEM ASIANS WHO'S BOSS"

      It's a sickening display of both "patriotism" and of one person deliberately guiding the rest of the jury. Given that his patent was for a TiVo, 3 years after it was invented, his views on the matter are moot. Samsung also requested that their patents were upheld - Did Hogan think about if Samsung's patents were his? Of course not.

      TL;DR, Americans herpderping for Americans, and making a mockery of broken patent systems.

        It's not just a case of nationalism (though there is that). I think the Verge's series of Apple v Samsung podcasts, which are led by 3 attorneys is fascinating because it reveals just how much of a terrible sham the whole trial is. The jury was simply given a piece of paper with a line, so they could fill in how much they think Samsung owed Apple. Anything from $0 to $2.5 billion that Apple asked for.

        Samsung and Apple put the outcome of this trial in the hands of a bunch of laymen. Not professionals, not tech-heads, not lawyers. An American and Korean company's lawyers attempting to explain software patents, FRAND and trade dress to Joe Sixpack in an American court. It was a roll of the dice which Apple won, due to their impassioned speeches about Steve Jobs. I don't see the outcome of this trial as anything but another victory for Apple marketing.

      Isn't the Galaxy S model number i9000?
      "Galaxy S II (i9000). . . . . . . . . .0 " I think this should say "Galaxy S II (i9100). . . . . . . . . .0 "

        Apple are licensing those patents frm Samsung. They are covered as a customer of Intel which pays a license to Samsung. Samsung are trying to double-dip by having Intel's customers pay the same license again. If that was allowed then they could also charge you a third time because have also received those patents in the form of the Intel chip. How many times does Samsung expect to be paid for the same chip?

    This is a definite mistrial, a 5 year old could see that. But I'd be genuinely surprised if it was actually ruled as one.

    Nope. It will stand. Your chasing a "wishful hope". So you see what you want to see , it is quite common when you are not satified with an outcome. I have no No doubt at all , mark my words, this is a judgement that will stand. - it comes down to the legal jargon and in "the word of the law" Apple are well placed in this judgement. Sure There might be an appeal. I doubt it. If they do, it wont amount to much. And the sad fact is I am not a fan of Apple by any means... live on Android... and the Jury members are going to make a killing (legally they are an "exhausted resource" and almost can say whatever they like, post tria)l- so quote them with caution, they were screened prior to the trail - so there is no "shock, foreman had a patient now - he said this or that" Ooohhh Aaaaahhh.

      Actually, what the jury says post trial does count towards the possibility of a mistrial/appeal since it shows on what basis their decision was made. As for whether or not there's an appeal, if the ruling isn't thrown out completely (doubtful) or severely reduced (possible) then I can guarantee there will be an appeal. There's no way Samsung will accept a $1b penalty without pusuing every legal means available.

      Having said all of that, I'm familiar with Australian law, not US. So while there are similarities, I'm hardly an expert and would appreciate if anyone can correct me with facts.

        It would have to be proven that this was actually how the jury operated or if this is a single juror who is unable to control his bravado in his 15 minutes of fame. It is possible that the rest of the juryis saying to themselves "What the?"

    Velvin Hogan should not be allowed to be on a jury involving patents since his is a clear abuse of the patent system, i see nothing in his patent that isn't obvious and most of it clearly has prior art. He clearly misled the rest of the jury.

    The only rightful outcome from the case would be to say one of their phones UIs looked quite similar, but iOS is based of all the other mobile OSs that came before it in the first place so id award aple maybe $20 because samsung didn't do enough to differentiate it

    (Disclosure: I am an iPhone 4 user, although hoping the new one is a hell of a lot better than apple has ever done cause they are way behind others like Samsung).

      Samsung had the possibility to reject him. Who knows....maybe they used up all the wild cards rejecting iPhone owners...apparently not a single juror owned an iphone.

        Samsung used their cards rejecting actual Apple employees. In this day and age, it's impossible to purge a jury of people who use Apple products. It was entirely possible they missed this guy who held software patents and thus had a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of the (obviously broken) US patent system and would possibly sympathise with a company defending what he perceives as their 'rights.'

    There's almost no chance that this verdict will stand

    is anyone else incredibly shocked to see
    "Galaxy S . . . . . . . . . . .0
    Galaxy S 4G . . . . . . . . .73,344,668"

    and then, comparing what patents Apple believes the Galaxy S 4g infringes upon:
    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/08/apple-wants-to-bans-these-samsung-products-in-the-us/

    I mean.... How the fuck did the Jury come to that conclusion? really?

      Nope....Samsung are notorious for not supporting upgrades to their handsets. Perhaps the Galaxy S is suck on Android Cupcake!

        Just like with all the Gingerbread features that Apple put into iOS5?

        I had an s. It came with froyo, and I'm not sure, but think it upgraded officially to gingerbread, I know I had an official gingerbread ROM for it, but I didn't get it through kies.

    Agree, much of this will be overturned. Probably, a smaller samsung penalty will remain intact cause some of samsung devices probably crossed some arbirtray line about what is fair. Probably a small ding is appropriate. Wont change my mind. however, samsung makes best mobile devices, I will continue to be their customer, until something better comes along.

      I dont think Samsung nor Apple care about 1Bn. It is the harm to Samsungs reputation that would smart. Americans are very strong on IP infringement and Samsung will have a dent to their reputation in their most important market.

        Is it really their most important market though? Sure it may be one of the most vocal countries around, but in terms of numbers it's a drop in the lake really.

    Samsung has a proud history of borrowing other companies' IP not just in mobiles, but fridges, air conditioners, and many other products. It's part of the company culture. They banked $21 billion on sales of their Apple-inspired phones, and have only been asked to cough up $1 billion. This is part of a bigger problem in capitalism where the penalty for doing the wrong thing is so underwhelming compared to the potential profits that there's very little downside to doing the wrong thing.

    The verdict for Apple v Samsung went to a jury, and the jury made their decision based on the evidence presented. No matter how much noise armchair experts who don't specialise in IP law make, it will be hard for Samsung to appeal based on the poor case they presented.

      Except the jury wasn't meant to punish with a ridiculously large sum, they were meant to determine the appropriate payment for the allegedly infringing products, and considering Samsung had certain evidence submission refused, you can hardly call it a fair fight. You've missed the most important parts of the article and provided no evidence for Samsung's copying in other industries.

      The trouble with your arguement is that it's the legal experts who are claiming that the jury didn't perform their job properly. I'll be the first to admit that we 'armchair experts' in the comments section don't count for squat as far as Samsung's case goes, but when members of the legal field are questioning the outcome and numerous cases in overseas courts have ruled in Samsung's favour, something here looks to be amiss.

    With such a high profile case, I think that the case should have been held in a more independant arena.. not in USA, not in South Korea. Definitely not with a jury filled with Steve Jobs fans.

    Regardless of the facts, it just shouldn't have been held in the way it has. It's a mockery of true justice.

      + 100 light487. It's a bit like "playing on your home ground really" They couldn't lose

      That's why Apple lost all the other court cases including ones in the UK, Germany and a few other countries that I don't remember.

      Yeah. They should of just tried to contest American patents and get something banned in America by holding the trial in Egypt...

      Or even better, why not just let the two duke it out in international waters???

    It's increasingly coming out more and more that the jury was more than usually inept. But what can you really do with a jury of ordinary people sitting in judgement over something like this? The very concept is a nonsense and a perversion of the jury system- a Jury is supposed to represent the accused person's peers and judge on guilt in relation to charges presented, as a way of minimising the potential one sidedness of a judge only trial.
    Making a decision on patent infringement requires highly experienced, qualified experts, which is why that's not only a huge industry but an academic area for study.

    Even if the trial had gone the other way the jury would still have messed it up and not been right for this sort of case. In fact, maybe Apple really is right on all that it claims? But we have no indication of that from this cretinous process.

      "Jury is supposed to represent the accused person’s peers and judge on guilt in relation to charges presented" - actually - A Jury is made up of your countrymans peers...... and it was. And just becuase a Jury member has a Patient, doent make him a better or worse member of that Jury. Else - owners of iphones and Galaxy devices should also be excluded....

        You'd be a great jury member. Your willing to damn people who you have never met and are only basing your opinion on what other people are saying. What are the chances that 9 people all decided in a way totally opposite to you being wrong. It could be the case one or more jurors were sympathetic to Samsung but faced with the law and faced with the evidence had no choice but to decide the way they did.

          Hey Roger... My opinion is actually nutural. I have seen Tech squbbles since the '80's. There is clear bias in wanting a different result from an indipendant jury, selected in the knowledge that no matter the decision the "other party" would say "Ahah !" and tweeze apart the verdict. All 9 choose what they decided as correct. find any excuse you want. 50% of us will not be happy. God Love Democracy. Thank goodness we can have this debate...

        Umm... no... Neither Apple nor Samsung have any "peers" in ordinary members of that community or any other. They are corporations. It doesn't matter weather one, none, or all of them have patents, that's completely irrelevant.
        The point is that no one who is not an expert in this field should sit in judgement, except for the judge who is considered to be the expert in legal procedure.

          Umm yes. Apple and Samsung do have peers. Their customers, you and me. We are all equal and should expect that we have the same treatment. Dont be mistaken - It is not about technology and experts or devices. Or even which device is better worse - more liked or displiked. The fact is that Samsung broke patient law, and Apple didnt. it is not even about who did something first, or better. Apple Innovate - not create - they find great tech and make it better/consummerable - and they do it fairly legally and stratigically.So do Sam sung - but Apple simply do iy better..... Sunsung took advantage a new market created by iphone/ipad - but didnt innovateor create - it basicly mirrored the iphone. .

            'Just me', the word is patent, and you are wrong on your peers comment. Do not make the mistake that a corporation has the value of a human being, nor even the values of one, they have no peers excepting perhaps other corporations. Corporations believe they are more valuable than people, and it is attitudes like yours that allows this to continue. A judge is the only one that should sit in judgement on a technically complex case as this.
            Apple (just like MS, Oracle, etc) have abused a corrupt and broken patent system to bully hundreds of companies, not just Samsung. Fifteen years ago I watched apple send lawyers to a small printing business because they had the word 'apple' in their business name, and they are even threatening Big W for their green 'apple like' logo. They have some deep seated problems there.
            Do a little research into what you want to say, and try proof reading and spell checking before you post (perhaps get a friend cognisant in English) to ensure your argument is at least coherent.
            Also try reading up on the patent system as it pertains to drugs and software and even dna to understand just how screwed it is.
            I've been writing software for 30 years and I know BS when it stands there and bites everyone on the ass, and if you think apple haven't broken patent law, and you believe they act fairly (check out what apple products are manufactured in america!) and legally (avoiding paying tax on 65 billion!) then you're either an apple employee, or your a bit slow, in which case I apologise for bringing up your grammar and spelling.

    I'd like to know how many jurors actually own an iphone.

      Apparently the rumour is none.

    Thanks for this enlightening article. Maybe wishful thinking, but I hope common sense prevails, give them both 100 lines and move on.

    This was a good read.
    How long was this trial? A few months at least. And apparently the jury made up their mind on the first day. Well that just screams fair and impartial to me....

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/27/apple-asks-that-eight-samsung-devices-be-banned-from-store-shelv/

    Apple has played the game very very shrewdly. I mean, getting this Judge Lucy Koh, who is an American citizen, but with a Korean Decendant, is a big plus for them in this case. Because in 50-50 situations this Judge will definately rule in favour of the American company. Otherwise she will be called as a traitor who has ruled in favour of the Korean Company just because of her Korean Link.

    Picture this, you are an Indian living and working in the US with a US Citizenship, and if such a case arises where you have to rule either in favour or against an Indian Company fighting a case against an American Company. What will your first thought process be like??

    Wouldn't the 1st thing that cross your mind be "My decision should not raise a question on my intergrity because of my native country's involvement in this case...." This is where Apple has won the case for me. Because this question will always play on the judges mind whenever she's making a judgement....

    Samsung should first try to get her removed from the case in order to get a fair chance of hearing.

      Just wondering if you also think the moon landing was filmed in a basement. You know, conspiracy theories and all.

    Although I don't agree with the verdict, it's not really fair to dig up every single inconsistency in this verdict and say 'aha! gotcha!'. As you say, this is a highly complicated case. You should see the forest for the trees. Did Samsung infringe Apple's design patents? I would have said 'not conclusively'. The jury said 'yes they did'. That's all that matters, not whether they awarded this much to this device and that device.

    Although I am hoping Samsung goes to the Supreme court and gets design patents toned down a lot.

    what interests me the most is samsung being quoted saying this decision will ruin innovation, but if they are forced to create products with a dramatically different style to apple, won't this create more unique and innovating devices? Won't smartphones be forced to be more than square icons that flip slide and swipe around?

      Partly yes and partly no. The thing is that all "innovation" is built on past inventions and refinements. The idea that things are created whole and new is simply fantasy. Take for example the myth of the iphone- the truth is without all those previous touch-screen devices and interface experiments in the wild and on store shelves, there'd be no iphone.
      If you're suddenly cut off from being able to refine and "innovate" on the existing tech, then you're handicapped. Imagine if one day someone came along as said only cars are allowed to use wheels and everything else will just have to find their own "innovation" to get around that.

        "If I have seen further than other men, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

        Everything is derived from previous works, we see something, think of how we could do it better, and make those changes.
        If every previous work stops future work from being done if it is too similar, you kill off all the people making constant small changes and improvements.
        The body of the iPhone is straight forward minimalist design, you have a screen, and an on button. I had CRT monitors that did the same decades ago.
        The iPhone interface is icons on a background, my Windows 3.1 machine had that, as did Macs before that, as did the Xerox before that.

        Everything is influenced by previous works. That's how humans work. Imagine if no band was allowed to start out doing covers of their famous musicians. Imagine if no painters were allowed to imitate the styles of great artists. Imagine if someone decided they owned the game controller, and everyone had to come up with new input methods.
        All these things stop innovation not protect it.

        I'm a programmer, I can tell you any kind of software patent is ludicrous. You compete by implementing things better, not by reinventing the wheel when the wheel is perfect.

    Unlikely any of it will be overturned. I'm sure they'll appeal but a juror can say what he / she wants post trial.

    The real issue here and one that everyone seems to be missing is that to find someone guilty, you first have to establish that there has been a crime. In patent law, you have to first establish whether the patent that is being contested is actually valid. In this case, the jury should have looked at the prior art issue which would have shown some of Apples patents as being invalid. They have hinted very strongly that they couldnt agree on the prior art issue because if they decided from prior art, that Apples patents were not valid, they wouldnt be able to find in their favour. Remember, the jury foreman and the other juror have both said they knew Samsung was guilty on day one based on email evidence, etc. So instead of looking at the actual patents correctly rather than having a " light bulb moment " watching TV, they completely skipped them because they were bogging them down. In other words, the evidence doesnt fit with what we want so we will ignore the bits that dont. For this reason alone, without the award errors, this will be over turned. In addition, they definitely have not followed the jury instructions which they were very clearly told to follow. The judge would not have taken the time to read them out if they were not important so as I see it,there are around 8 different items that means the Appeal courts will have to legally overturn this verdict. Now whether Judge Koh has the balls ( well you know what I mean ) to overturn it is one thing, but make no mistake, it will be overturned.

    So... If Samsung won - what does that say ?

    Is this about Apple v's Samsung - or Linux/Andriod Word domination ?

    ... because I have been watching this journey since 1975 when Unix was going to rule the world... Then Unix was going to change the office desktop landscape and dethrown WIndows... it has never stopped ..Unix/Linux now Android is the perpetual underdog. It is like "Rocky" you can almost hear the music.

    So.. I ask again Is this about Apple v's Samsung - or Linux/Andriod Word domination.... Because it sure as eggs are eggs - not about democracy, law and out right copying a great ..

    And now Microsoft - now with Sky Drive on Andriod... - Watch Microsoft, climb up off the canvass everyone........

    Microsofot will go "whooska thank you" with this decision... Microsoft are the real winners here....

      If Samsung won it'd be a big win to anyone looking to enter the market in future.
      Right now in order for someone to even attempt to enter the phone market (to increase competition, help the consumer etc) they'd have to spend ages researching patents to find what they're not allowed to do, then somehow come up with a new way to do all those things (try coming up with a decent phone UI that doesn't rely on icons on a touch screen. Go on. I dare you.).

      You want people with a great idea to be able to implement that one idea without reinventing the wheel. Right now if I came up with a single amazing improvement to the phone interface, I'd have no way of bringing that to the market, because everything else is owned. From the icons to the lock screen. From the curved edges to the speaker placement. Any innovations I could make would be lost, and the market would be worse off as a result.

    I hate to digress, but how many people have said, "patient law" as opposed to, "patent law"? Illiteracy and armchair expertise is rife. It's seriously startling. As you were.

    Fantastic read by the way; a decent, even-handed piece of journalism.

    Blake, you hit the nail perfectly on the head. Apple's patent ( sic) hunger will destroy all forms of innovation...read some of their media releases, they've applied for patents on ideas they haven't even found a way to create. Clearly they are trying to cover every aspect of communication/media as that they will eventually become the 'one to rule them all'. No wonder they put 'I' in front of all their products....that's their mind set...totally focused on the 'I' and to hell with the rest of the people with brilliant ideas they will now be unable to develop. I wouldn't be surprised to hear they're about to sue all fruit growers for calling certain fruits 'apples, clearly infringing their copyright.

    Can I simply say what a relief to discover somebody that actually understands
    what they are discussing on the web. You definitely realize
    how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people must check this out and understand this side of the story.
    I can't believe you are not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now