Apple's thermonuclear legal strategy scores a big win

Apple's thermonuclear legal strategy scores a big win
Apple’s “thermonuclear” strategy against Android scored its first major victory against Samsung tonight, including a giant $1 billion dollar judgement. Though largely in Apple's favor, they failed to win some key rulings and so they won’t be able to slow down Samsung (and other current Android devices) as much as they had hoped. In particular they failed to win any design or trade dress protection for the iPad. As a result tablet design and most current Samsung phones (as well as other Android handsets) that don't look like the 3G won't infringe on Apple's design patents. For the tablet market in particular this means competition will continue apace.

Samsung didn't win on any of its utility patents, and as a result will not receive any compensation. In contrast to Google's emphasis on prior art and making defense against Oracle about patent validity, Samsung reduced the time spent on invalidity to devote more time to non-infringement arguments and counter claims. Given the vast difference in outcomes between Apple v. Samsung and Oracle v. Google that strategy will probably be questioned. In fact Samsung's entire legal team will probably face some uncomfortable questions in the coming hours, as their lawyers often appeared less prepared than Apple's legal team (and Google's before them); during closing arguments for example the Samsung team ended up having to skip huge swaths of their defense, despite knowing for weeks how much time they would be allotted. Skipping some of your main points generally doesn't help you win cases.

Obviously all of this will be appealed, but the current ruling has immediate repercussions. The inability of Samsung’s lawyers to invalidate Apple’s utility patents means that they will be branded a "copycat" even though Apple's trade dress claims were much more split. Ultimately either another Android OEM will have to try to invalidate them in a court of law (Googerola perhaps?), or many other Android OEMs will have to start coughing up some big licensing agreements. For current devices Google will have to come up with some interesting new ways to zoom other than double tapping and pinching in the mean time - presumably Google and Android OEMs have been preparing for a worst case scenario and have workarounds for the software patents, but what that would be remains to be seen.


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257 Comments

1. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

dun-Dun-DUN!!!

15. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

is it just me or is the beam-balance pic tilted in apple's direction? I'm supporting samsung so don't thumb me down! just asking :)

18. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It is, but it depends on what's being measured. You want the scales to be even to prove equality. Apple being lower shows it's heavier; interpret as you will

22. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

212. kartik4u98

Posts: 511; Member since: May 19, 2012

yea you'r right..

195. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

What I want to know is what impact will this have on my future experience when using Android devices? I miss the end of scroll bounce that I had with Gingerbread, if I lose things like pinch-to-zoom or double tap that is really going to suck.

217. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I am pleased with the outcome so far although some of the rulings that didnt pass i think should have passed

223. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Of course you are.

246. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I only support what's fair.

253. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Then why the lack of support for any lawsuit against Apple?

254. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because it's Google contradicting themselves and Apple is simply protecting their business.

255. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Nice to know that you never bother modifying your viewpoint even when it's explained thoroughly why you're completely wrong.

256. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Didn't you hear? 3 out of the 4 Googlerola patents were tossed out in the case. Guess I wasn't so wrong.

257. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, but one of them wasn't. And Googorola has seven more pending which aren't FRAND or standards essential, so you can't claim victory there. Furthermore, you're wrong over the moral positions of the companies involved. You act like Google didn't put any effort into designing Android and therefore has no right to try to protect it against Apple.

258. Mxyzptlk unregistered

So you're saying it's ok for Google to sue Apple but Apple can't sue Motorola or Samsung?

259. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Not at all. I'm saying that if it's A-okay for Apple to sue the other companies, then it's especially A-okay for Google to sue them right back, especially in a defensive context, which the lawsuit CLEARLY EXISTS IN. I really wish neither company would have sued the other, but going back in history, Motorola's initial lawsuit was because Apple refused to pay them a single red cent for any of the patents Apple clearly used for the iPhone which Motorola owns. For years. All Motorola wanted was some compensation for decades worth of R and D. However, Apple decided to not only sue them right back, but then sue HTC and Samsung as well, because if you're going to display massive hypocrisy, you might as well go for broke. So basically, what's good enough for Apple should be good enough for the rest of the wireless industry. Samsung and HTC happily pay royalties to Microsoft, so it's not a general disregard for patents that's the problem. The problem is that Apple thinks they can get away with not paying anyone else for their work while demanding extortionist amounts of money from everyone else.

21. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

24. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

thanks!

32. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

"1 billion, 51 million 855 thousand dollars" in damage! Yikes!

35. Orbitman

Posts: 110; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

yeah! and it looks like sammy aint gettin sh*t!

41. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

true that: Damages from Samsung to Apple: zero.

50. Orbitman

Posts: 110; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

in the words of Flavor Flav: "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO​OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!​!!" i see a flame war of biblical proportions coming in the near future

55. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

LOL!! The flame war to end all flame wars....Oh well. I'm patiently awaiting the RAZR HD...big Motorola fan. All I will say is good luck Google in this fight against Apple...I got a feeling they will be coming after Google for stock Android real soon.

57. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Google is taking it directly to Apple through Moto. They just started that one up. For once, Apple is going to be on the defense in a big case. Time to punish the bully.

239. rf1975

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

Moto, HTC, Sony never made any copycat product like Shamsung did. These companies product are better than shamsung crapy plactic copycat. Dude, there are lot of different between Stock Android and iOS. So any lawsuite against Android will not bring any good outcome to Apple. I like to see Moto, HTC or Sony becoming a leading Andoid player than Shamsung. Because Shamsung is the one who made this mess making counterfeit crap. Now they are crying customers will lose. Why customers will lose? If customers need iOS experience then they will buy Apple. You do not need to make copycat for people. Now stop crying, bring something inovative like Moto, HTC ot Sony etc.

154. techaman unregistered

that should be apple paying for damages to samsung for stopping sales in other country's.

47. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

...Why would there be a thums down for posting a useful link for watching the events unfold live? Sheesh

49. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

it's probably one guy, as all the comments got thumbed down at once! warning: Troll Aboard. (not necessarily the username TROLL)

54. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yea, but it more than likely starts with a T or a G

166. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

this one is better: "As Samsung's attorneys peruse the verdict form, I see one of those bubbles over their heads that reads: "We'll see what the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has to say about this" Live blog__ http://www.siliconvalley.com/apple-vs-samsung/ci_21356424/live-blog-verdict-apple-samsung-patent-trial-billion-victory

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