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[Engadget] Editorial: Engadget on the Apple vs. Samsung ruling  

post #1 of 5
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Quote:
I've been told that this trial isn't about tech editors and avid followers of technology -- these folks can clearly see that a Samsung product and an Apple product are not the same. But let's be honest: the notion that consumers could have been willfully deceived that an Android-based Samsung phone was an iPhone is pathetic. There's a giant "Samsung" logo on it. It's about as absurd as suggesting that someone could be duped into buying a Honda Odyssey instead of a Dodge Grand Caravan. They're both minivans after all, right?

And let's not even start on iOS 5's pull-down Notification Center, which was unquestionably spotted in other mobile operating systems. Oh, and iMessage? Nah -- I've never seen that idea implemented anywhere prior. The reality is that Android has made iOS better, and iOS has made Android better. The competition has led to stronger offerings on both sides for consumers of all ages, and if you want my honest opinion, Apple succeeded in derailing Samsung long before this trial ended.



For example, Windows users have had icons on their desktops arranged neatly in a grid, since long before iOS came around. I've owned several pre-iPhone mobiles that did the same. Nokia's Symbian s60 for example. It might not have been exactly the same, but a grid, with icons, nonetheless. In fact, pre-Android and iOS, most mobile phones often looked and operated in much the same way, the difference was mainly in the hardware itself.

Apple (and to be fair, it's not alone) has ushered in a new era though, where minute details, that really aren't new innovations, are being patented. More frustratingly, the patents are being granted. And this is where I feel the real problem lies. Apple had the legal right to protect something, it did, and won. Fine. What is more galling is that the jurors seem to have missed an opportunity to question the validity (and by proxy, value) of these patents, and they didn't. They handed Apple the right to romp ever forward down this self-destructive path, the end of which is good for no one. Not even Apple. Don't let it become Appl€?


Steve Dent
Useful, new and non-obvious -- that's what a patentable invention has to be, according to the USPTO. But that office started brushing aside its own criteria around the internet's early days, and brought the system to its current, twisted state -- with the Apple v. Samsung decision being exhibit 'A'. Cupertino deserved to win. It was clear to me that Samsung was infringing on items like bounce-back (7,864,163), but that patent, for one, should never have been awarded in the first place. And the whole problem started a couple of decades ago, with the granting of a spate of eye-opening digital clunkers.

That turned out to be the tip of the iceberg, as inventions like that led to all manner of ludicrous patents, bounce-back included -- which is merely an animation to indicate the bottom or side of a page. Does that mean that any smartphone effect that mimics an object falling and landing hard, like flying sparks (off the top of my head) -- is patentable? I know US patent law is liberal, but that's ridiculously thin. It seems that every half-baked idea that pops into a designer's head is thrown into the patent bin, and a big chunk of those are actually approved. Not only does that stifle budding inventors and companies, it makes a mockery of what an invention actually is.

Source
Edited by 2010rig - 8/25/12 at 11:03pm
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post #2 of 5

thumb.gif
 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for posting Kikko, I didn't want to double post. thumb.gif

Found a very interesting comment from the article...

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

And another juror:

"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... We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce back and pinch-to-zoom. 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."

Not only that, they goofed so many times on the forms, they had to amend it several times. For instance:

"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 $1,049,343,540, 1 down from $1,051,855,000. For just one example, the jury had said one device didn't infringe, but then they awarded Apple $2 million for inducement. In another they awarded a couple of hundred thousand for a device they'd ruled didn't infringe at all."

The list goes on and on. The jury made up their mind ahead of time. They didn't even read the instructions, which really, they couldn't have in the time they made the decision, much less had deliberated enough to even come to a decision after reading and understanding the instructions. The judge withheld the majority of Samsung's evidence.

"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?" -- legal blog, Above the Law

"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." -- Professor Michael Risch

This WILL get overturned on appeal.
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post #4 of 5
Good read. And yea, the jury made up its mind in advance. There's no way they actually read through and debated each item. Its not actually possible in the time frame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2010rig View Post

This WILL get overturned on appeal.

It has to, or we're all screwed (or at least the US is). Luckily the rest of the world is sane enough to either throw the case out (UK), or fine both sides (Korea).
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post #5 of 5
Opinion pieces are not news.

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