“The smartphone in your hand is a marvel of innovation, packing sophisticated computing and communications technologies into a sleek digital device,” writes Steve Lohr, in an article posted on the New York Times‘ website earlier today. “It is also a litigation magnet.”
The many specific and detailed aspects of the Apple-Samsung case, in which a decision was reached by a federal jury yesterday in San Jose, Calif., were indeed so complicated and confusing that the jury verdict form required “the jurors to consider 773 individual infringement claims at issue,” according to a Cult of Mac post published on August 24.
Nevertheless, the jury spent just three days–approximately 22 hours–on deliberations before ultimately returning its verdict of $1.05 billion in damages, which Samsung must pay to Apple for infringing on six of Apple’s patents, including “double-tap zoom” and “pinch & zoom.” (Apple had requested more than $2.5 billion in damages.)
As Steve Lohr writes in the aforementioned New York Times article:
“The case underscores how dysfunctional the patent system has become. Patent litigation has followed every industrial innovation, whether it is steam engines, cars, phones or semiconductors, but the smartphone wars are bigger, global and unusually complex.
“And it is the courts, rather than the patent office, that are being used to push companies toward a truce. In the end, consumers may be the losers.”
According to reports, Samsung plans to challenge the jury’s decision. Scroll down to read Apple’s official statement and Samsung’s official statement regarding the verdict, as posted on übergizmo:
Apple’s official statement:
“We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.” (Katie Cotton, PR employee at Apple)
Samsung’s official statement:
“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.” (Samsung)
Finally, as reported earlier today by Chris Meadows on The Digital Reader, the Apple-Samsung case being tried in South Korea came to its conclusion on August 24 as well. Visit Wired‘s Gadget Lab for the details of that decision.