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Apple wins big in US, strikes out worldwide

Mr.D., Aug 24 2012 07:18 AM in Apple News

It appears the only place that Apple can win its lawsuits is the US. Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji ruled Friday morning that Samsung did not infringe upon Apple's patents. Apple sued Samsung last year in Japan, claiming the Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S II infringed Apple's patent on synchronization, and sought 100 million yen in damages, according to court documents.

Jury overly confused with decisions it needed to make?

More and more complex patent law cases are being decided by juries, rather than judges. And juries tend to be more generous in the penalties awarded for patent violations.

"This case is unmanageable for a jury," Robin Feldman, and intellectual property professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, said before the verdict was announced. "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."

He may be right, in that the jury made several errors, one being a $2 million error that required them to be sent back into deliberations to fix that, and several other errors. Some are questioning the quickness of the verdict, especially in regards to the recent Rambus versus Micron case, in which the jury in that case took eight full weeks to deliberate and reach a verdict. The jury in this case arrived at its verdict after less than three days of deliberations, far swifter than many experts thought in view of the many complex issues. Alessandro17 points to an excellent article below outlining the many inconsistencies in this verdict.

"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."

Samsung has vowed to fight the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It will first ask the trial judge to toss the verdict. Failing that, Samsung will appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C., a specialized court that hears nearly all patent appeals.

Losing companies often appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which received 432 cases from the federal district courts in the 12-month period ending March 2011. The court reported that it reversed 19 percent of those cases, without differentiating between bench trials versus jury trials.

After deliberating for just for 21 hours and 37 minutes following the three week trial, the jury in the patent infringement lawsuit reached a verdict awarding Apple more than one billion (US) dollars in damages. This amount is less than half of the $2.5 billion that Apple was seeking, but a big win never-the-less for apple in the light of three losses in court around the world in as many months.

The jury decided Samsung did infringe on Apple's '381 bounceback patent with all 21 of its products in question. For the '915 patent on pinch-and-zoom, the jury ruled all but three of the devices listed infringed, and more damningly, found that Samsung executives either knew or should have known their products infringed on the listed patents.

The jury did not decide in favor of Apple regarding the Tab 10.1 and the iPad, mirroring an earlier decision by a judge in the UK who stated the Tab is 'uncool' and would not be mistaken for the iPad. The jury did however rule that Samsung's smartphones infringed on the iPhones design when it comes to Apple's contours on the back of the iPhone and its home screen GUI.

Apple is seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung's infringing products and Judge Lucy Koh has set September 20th as a date for the hearing. Apple has until the 29th to file its motion, which Samsung will have 14 days to respond to, before Apple has two days to craft a response of its own. As expected, Samsung has indicated it will appeal the ruling. Wall Street Journal's Evan Ramstad tweets that it plans to file post-verdict motions to overturn the decision and if those are unsuccessful, it will take its case to the Appeals Court.

Attached Image: 200px-lucyh-koh.jpeg

Post trial statements from both companies:


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 trail 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.


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.

Apple is 0 for 3 versus Samsung worldwide and 0 for 1 versus Kodak. Apple claims that Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPhone in its products as well as various technologies contained within.

Apple lost in the UK, in a judgment that forces Apple to publish on its website and in British newspapers that Samsung did not copy designs for the iPad. In fact, the judge called the Samsung products 'not as cool' as the iPad, and unlikely to be confused with Apple's tablet. The judge also described some differences between the form factors and the ease of use of the iPad which Samsung tablets do not posess.

Apple also lost in South Korea where they brought suit against Samsung on their home turf. While the judge ruled both in favor and against Apple, the only fine that was imposed was against Apple. The real impact in this case is that the products described in the suit can no longer be sold in South Korea. The product list includes the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Nexus. All last generation products, these devices are now missing from stores and electronic retailers in South Korea.

Apple also lost a patent case against Kodak earlier in the month when the judge dismissed the suit for being filed “unreasonably late”. Apple has filed a motion to reconsider while an appeal is prepared because Kodak is trying to sell those assets that are contested by Apple. The sale of the digital imaging patents that Apple has claimed is now being reconsidered by Kodak.

Sources for this story include CNET, The Verge, Evan Ramstad (Twitter), Reuters, AP, Reuters(Japan)

And Apple wins !!
korea court however judges samsung won
Nobody wins, except for human stupidity.
Quoting Thom Holwerda, OSNews' Managing editor:

Competition lost today, and developers in the United States should really start to get worried - software patents got validated big time today.

the only responsible of this start is the price, and not the product's varnish !
imagine just a little if Apple start a new process but this time with Asus and his ultrabook UX31A (for example) who is very similary with MacBook Air ! :|

it's the same thing like with iPad and Samsung Tab ! :rolleyes:
I don't think any one can deny that the iPhone and iOS influenced Samsung. They would have been foolish not to look at it, tear it apart and see what made it a great phone. It's the same for Apple - When they were in the process of designing the iPhone, they would have taken a look at what they're future competitors were putting out as products.

I think this raises the issue, where the line is drawn between inspiration and blatant copying? If someone put out a product which was literally identical to one already on the market then for sure it shouldn't be allowed. But if someone looks at something, takes parts they like and then improves on them, is this really an offence? Reminds me of the expression "standing on the shoulders of giants". I haven't used the devices so I don't know the specifics, but I think it's scary to have such basic elements being patented and then used in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.

korea court however judges samsung won

In every country every judge, every jury will have a different opinion. Look what happened to Apple in the UK. That is why I call it madness, in the end there will be a different ruling for every country where a lawsuit has been initiated.
Personally I haven't been able to make a direct comparison. I had an iPad 2 and now I have a Galaxy S2, thus a tablet vs a phone. To me they don't look similar enough to warrant such a mess.
I think that Apple is trying some psychological marketing approach in the lines of - there is no bad publicity. Even if they loose the lawsuit, people will ask themselves if samsung really did copy apple or they will even see the "similarities" if the mass-media coverage was enough, not to mention the positive effects if they actually win a lawsuit. Example, today's AAPL stock value.
Being both a shareholder and an iOS developer I share equal grounds here in the terms of what iPoco brought up about the Patent Wars. I'm happy to be a shareholder because of course I get to reap the rewards of the company''s upwards success rate. On the other side of the spectrum, I'm wondering where in fact will this line be drawn referring to the inspiration vs blatant copying. As competitors, you tend to peak at what your competition is rolling out that way you can better counteract it and turn things into your favor. What I see now is this competitive nature slowly diminishing due to innovations becoming patented. These corporate heads are not dull, they know when blatant copying is happening but the minor picking stuff from the competition here and there is nothing to have your legal team swoop down on.

As a dev, you'll look at another person's great work and not outright copy their work (if you have pride that is) but you'll take segments of their implementation to better your own work it's all in fair creative competition nature. I fear that the Patent Wars is going down the road to conglomeration.

@DoiX Apple isn't trying a psychological marketing approach, their marketing approach is indeed psychological because of how they present their products that just makes you want to buy. It's why I invest in them because their marketing tactic is "candied manipulation" as I call it.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark:

Just like that, $2 million can be easily thrown around by rush happy jurors. The legality of the court system never ceases to amaze me.
Want to hear a joke?
Samsung ahahahahaha
The question of at what point does a competitors device cross the line into infringement is full of grey. The argument parallels similar arguments regarding plagiarism, especially in schools. Everybody knows copying an article or book word for word is plagiarism, but so is taking that article and re-wording it so it sounds different, but the message and information is still the same. In that case if you believe what is in the article your using for reference to be true, the only way not to plagiarize would be to write a contradictory opinion, even though you may be disputing proven fact along with your own beliefs. So when little Timmy has to write a report on Jupiter, unless he went there to gather his own recon, or just says he "thinks it's cool" every thing in it would have been copied from some where. My point being, as with these type of intellectual patent lawsuits, there is more grey area than anything else and the point at which something crosses the line to copying, is purely a matter of opinion, which vary from person to person, and country to country. I don't really like courts dictating their opinions on anyone, so apple either needs to prove through documents that Samsung's intent was to copy the iPhone, maybe a memo saying "this iPhone is great, we need to copy that fast!" or innovate so friggin' bad ass that it can't be a grey area. If the iPhone was shaped like a pretzel and Samsung came out with the Galaxy Pretzel, you got their ass, but pushing the envelope of standard progression a little bit is just enough to get people to buy your stuff, but not enough to expect everyone else to keep selling flip phones.

PS: Playing devil's advocate a bit here, not a Samsung fan and in my opinion, they did copy the iPhone.
Well to quote someone a lot more famous than me, they once said - "Great artists steal" - to be honest the only thing this judgement does is make competition harder and therefore will limit the choice of us the end user / consumer. Of course we'll be the ones that end up paying for these court imposed "fines" through the higher price of new phones not the companies themselves. It always consumers that are the losers in things like this.
@Kucksy-Agree that we'll be the ones paying for this, who do you think pay's the judges and all the operating costs of a trial? I don't see how it can hurt competition though unless by competition, you just mean how much stuff costs. Not being able to sit back and see what your competition is doing, and using that as your base for your own product, takes away the need for R&D for each company that want's to be a competitor. If Samsung had decided not to copy the iPhone and instead tried to make something even more magical and extremely great, but different, that would be true competition. Where simply trying to offer your competing product for cheaper might work in the pencil industry, the tech industry is different. AMD and nVidia are a perfect example. Their constant competition has pushed graphics card technology at a much faster pace than any other computer part and is constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible, with them always trying to one up each other, both investing a ton of R&D, without causing prices to be unreasonable considering. iPhone cost's what it does, because it can and people will still buy it. If Samsung were to take a similar approach and actually compete against Apple and really try to do better, Apple would have to respond by pushing their development even harder. We could all have super kick ass phones and they would cost less (more likely that Apple ones would cost less and Samsung would cost more, cause people might want them). Only downside would be Apples profit margins would shrink, and that's OK with me.
Apple infringes by utilizing UNIX. They should be in court for that. They use technology already in place by Linux/Unix.

Apple infringes by utilizing UNIX. They should be in court for that. They use technology already in place by Linux/Unix.

UNIX was developed by AT&T 40 years ago. OSX is based on NEXTSTEP, which is based on BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), a UNIX variant that falls under the free BSD license, which basically just says that you have to put the BSD license info somewhere in the software, which you can see when booting verbose. No infringement there.
so it's the beginning of a newer war.
because of the fact.. that recently in the G8 google and FB CFO was sitted left and right with Obama!
So the logical deduction for me is that the legal victory of Apple is not normally if you consider that it was won inside USA land.
It's a game that play so far from the IT and Retail shops! Its the contrast between USA and EU.. and the soft play switched to the Legals and Globalization.

So I'll laught so much when the match will be played in another legal environment different from USA..

is only a game.. of power from 2 different masonry.. USA and FMI eh eh
battle of billions of dollars..
I think this is just terrible. I respect the products that Apple has made. I respect the value of quality in their systems and interfaces.

However, Apple is an anticompetitive company with little to no moral value. Any argument otherwise is a sign of ignorance. Steve Jobs and Apple has admitted to copying, yet now they sue for the same reason.


All I'm saying is that the world needs to change. These cases are getting out of hand.
It's business - nothing personal.

Samsung used to supply some components to Apple (like LCD screens for iMacs). Now when their paths has crossed, they fight like dogs... IMO such public lawsuits are disgusting and ugly thing to look at. But that's the way the BIG business works - either we or them.

Apple sells some very popular products, despite being premium products in many markets, they make good profit. Some competitors couldn't let this profit go by and decided to go the simplest route possible, i.e. "let's make things like they do and sale them". Apple's reaction to such approach, is quite predictable and logical. It's usual practise to protect own investments... The question is how far one may go protecting own interests? For instance H.D. had tried to patent how the exhaust of their bikes sound like (luckily they failed)!

It's good intention to protect your ideas and inventions (via patents), but what Apple (as well as many other big companies) does, is IMO to much. It doesn't look like a bright idea to patent each and every thing you do or create. Like it is said "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions".

One the other hand, making the same (by purpose) competing product, involves some risk of failure to make profit (for various reasons). The BIG business must be profitable, therefore companies can co very far to insure the commercial success of the product. Some companies (like HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson) have their own vision on the subject, and design products which are more or less distinguishable from competing products (read try, to some extent, to invent own look&feel). Others, like Samsung "mimics" a well recognised and successful proven design concept of a competing product. Different people accept such "mimics" differently (as a designer myself, I don't appreciate such an approach). Either way, an intention to look alike, might be good and acceptable in human beings, but then it comes to industrial/product design, "alikeness" isn't the thing to be proud off (although it might help to sell more).

It is not that an easy/cheap task to make similar (by purpose) product look unique and be commercially successful at the same time. I guess such a giant as Samsung, nevertheless could really afford to create their own identity, but they seem to think differently (whatever meaning this phrase might have in the context).

Samsung use the above strategy not only with their smart phones/tablets products, notebooks/ultrabooks they sell, as well have something "quite familiar". In fact, not only Samsung has PC products "inspired" by Mac Book Air, some other companies like Acer, Asus, HP have some as well.

Hence Apple has a perfectly valid reason to be worried (about sources of inspiration competitors use) and proud (how successful their product are) in the same time. Such a wide (and quite straightforward) usage of Apple's ideas, could seriously harm the good side of competition as such (from a customer's point of view), as we might become limited in choice of good/different products.

Will these patents war do any good? I don't think so, at least not in the form this war is going. I guess nor side is really ready for such a battle (companies pushing the law to its limits, while unable to manage things off court room; the state unable to provide effective means to prevent/control such precedents), therefore in the end they all lose more then they gain.
eep357, Let me re-word it then. They are using a low level OS that has already existed. Nothing ground breaking there. They are borrowing a technology that had been around for a very long time. There is nothing new about their low level OS. Most portables are using it anyhow. If Apple really wanted to be big and completely all on it own, then they would have invented something other than using Unix/kernel.

eep357, Let me re-word it then. They are using a low level OS that has already existed. Nothing ground breaking there. They are borrowing a technology that had been around for a very long time. There is nothing new about their low level OS. Most portables are using it anyhow. If Apple really wanted to be big and completely all on it own, then they would have invented something other than using Unix/kernel.

Your right. Phones and computers have been around for a while and any incarnation of either is a ripoff, not to mention they all use that electricity stuff that although was not invented, it was not discovered by Apple (I'm not gonna say it was Ben Franklin either). I expect the next device, not to be a device, and be truly magical, running off of magic of course. As to what it will do? How would I know, cause it will need to be something no one thought of, and being magic, it will probably make your face melt if you look at it like Raiders of the Lost Ark. We will all worship it, but will all be sued for doing so, as the patents to worship Apple stuff belong to Apple. On a side note, I wonder if they have their own app for filing patent lawsuits? iSue-U?

We will all worship it, but will all be sued for doing so, as the patents to worship Apple stuff belong to Apple. On a side note, I wonder if they have their own app for filing patent lawsuits? iSue-U?


Which proves what I have been trying to say for a while: they are making a joke of themselves, thus losing credibility and customers.
In the meantime most of their hardware is becoming "ancient", except for the MacBooks and the iPad. And why did they get rid of the 17" MacBook Pro, which was the professional users' favourite?
I believe they used the Retina MacBook as an excuse to take the 17" out of the lineup and use the Ret as the new professional favorite.
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