Apple v. Samsung – What Now?

With the “trial of the century” over, as far as it relates to the patent world, the big question is going to be, what now for Samsung? Obviously, Samsung is not going anywhere. As the world’s number two device maker, and 2012’s second quarter sales leader, Samsung, as one Tweeter commented, merely paid $1 billion to get there. Samsung clearly planted its foot where it needs to be, and I’m certain with devices like the Galaxy S III, Samsung will remain there.

Apple fanboys are drooling because of their mistaken belief that this verdict shows Android is down, and probably scrambling to fix its “broken” product. One blogger, who shall not get any spark from a link, suggested the verdict shows Google won’t support its own, despite promises otherwise. No, I believe the reason Google didn’t support Samsung because Google recognized that Samsung’s products looked too similar to Apple’s. This verdict doesn’t mean Android is dead.

Here’s a quick summary of the rulings on the patents, though, because of the Amended Jury Verdict Form‘s length, I may miss something (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. only):

  • Samsung lost on every one of its utility or design patent claims
  • Infringement of ‘381 patent: Yes to Samsung Electronics for all devices (21 total)
  • Infringement of ‘915 patent: Yes to all (24 total) but Galaxy Ace, Intercept, and Replenish
  • Infringement of ‘163 patent: Yes to all (24 total) but Captivate, Continuum, Gem, Indulge, Intercept, Nexus S, Transform, Vibrant
  • Knowingly induced to infringe ‘381, ‘915, or ‘163 patents: Yes to all (21 total) but Galaxy S II, Intercept, Transform
  • Infringement of D’677 patent: Yes to all devices (13 total) but Galaxy Ace
  • Infringement of D’087 patent: Not to all devices (8 total) but Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Vibrant
  • Infringement of D’305 patent: Yes to all devices (13 total)
  • Infringement of D’889 patent: No to Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi and 4G LTE (no other devices listed)
  • Knowingly induced to infringe D’677, D’087, D’305, or D’889 patents: Yes to all D’677 (10 total); No to all on D’087 but Galaxy S 4G and Vibrant; Yes to all on D’305 (12 total); No to all (Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi and 4G LTE) on D’889 (no other devices listed)
  • Willful infringement by SEC: Yes to all but D’087 and D’889
  • Protectable trade dress of iPhone
  • Protectable unregistered trade dresses: Yes to iPhone 3G, no to Combination iPhone and iPad/iPad 2 trade dress
  • Famous trade dresses of Apple: Yes to iPhone (registered); yes to iPhone (unregistered); no to Combination iPhone (unregistered); no to iPad/iPad2
  • Dilution of registered iPhone trade dress: No to all but Fascinate, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II Showcase, Mesmerize, Vibrant (17 total)
  • Dilution of unregistered iPhone 3G trade dress: No to all but Fascinate, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II Showcase, Mesmerize, Vibrant (17 total)
  • Dilution of  Combination iPhone trade dress: no answer necessary
  • Dilution of unregistered iPad/iPad2 trade dress: no answer necessary
  • Willful dilution: Yes as to registered iPhone and unregistered iPhone 3; no to Combination iPhone and iPad/iPad 2
  • Infringement on unregistered iPad/iPad 2 trade dress: no answer necessary
  • Willful infringement on iPad/iPad 2 trade dress: no answer necessary
Note: check out this post for a summary of the devices.

Unfortunately fanboys, it’s not that easy to rid yourselves of the “Android virus.” Google and Android aren’t gone. Here’s what I see from the verdict:

The jury deliberated for roughly 3 days. In that time, the jury was able to read and appreciate/understand the 100-plus pages of instructions (anyone else notice that the “connect to the internet instruction” contained pictures that look like screenshots from an Android device?), in addition to contemplating the extent of damages, and making the correct calculations. This post at Groklaw gives a more detailed explanation of some of the errors that I see, including the fact that the amended damages calculations still seem to be incorrect ($1,049,423,540.00 versus $1,049,393,540.00 listed on the form). The Groklaw post also points out the fact that the juror’s comments seem to indicate they were intent on punishing Samsung, rather than compensating Apple. Uh oh for Apple on appeal.

Lest anyone think I’m wholly-pro Samsung, I think Samsung’s designs were far too similar to Apple’s devices, and Apple deserved its compensation for patenting glass surrounded by a rectangle. However, there’s no excuse for “wild” and “out of control” verdicts that are solely based on emotion and not true contemplation. The jury in Oracle v. Google matter spent more than a week on the case, and couldn’t reach a verdict.

I’m interested to know how an engineer with a patent became a jury foreman, let alone remained on the jury. Though, as I’ve seen many times, you take the lesser of two “evils” when you’re picking a side. I’d also like to know which OS the foreman uses. Interestingly enough, both parties submitted a jury questionnaire, which seems rather short in my opinion, given the complexity of the case and the likely number of jury and trial consultants. The questionnaire also lacks some in-depth questioning about the juror’s technical backgrounds, aside from question 8.

Needless to say, this case will be fun to watch in the coming months.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.