I Am Not A Lawyer
The jury is delivering its verdict on Apple and Samsung's claims and counterclaims about who invented what when it came to iconic smartphone design. This comes hot on the heels of a similar legal battle in South Korea where both sides were found to have violated each other's patents.
In the American case, in San Jose, it looks like Apple is winning on the majority of counts (with some 700 individual issues to be decided upon). Coverage of the case is rampant across the Internet, while NBC on my TV is showing a story on the revival of drive-in movies (go figure)!
The highlights of the hugely complicated verdict seem to be (and the lawyers have to go over it yet) that Samsung has failed to prove that any of Apple's patents were invalid and that many Samsung designs infringe on these patents.
You can follow the verdicts being read out on a live stream at The Verge, if you understand it or not is a different matter. The damages figure in Apple's favor is for over $1 billion. That breaks down to around $50 million for the most infringing of Samsung's phones, down to less than $1 million for other devices.
Samsung's Counter Claims
The initial verdicts on Samsung's counter claims against Apple are all being denied by the jury, and it has awarded Samsung $0 for its efforts. Some of Apple's claims have been thrown out, but Samsung has not won any of the important points.
The big questions, given most of the claims refer to older models of smartphone, is will Samsung have to redesign any of its current models? I think the answer is no, now that Samsung has gone its own way in key areas.
The money Samsung will have to pay (ignoring the inevitable appeals) is less than 25% of its quarterly profits, so not a huge drain on the company, but the damage to its design integrity may cause more problems in the longer term, especially if lawsuits in other countries follow this one. Samsung may also have to redesign some upcoming products to avoid further lawsuits.
So, when Steve Jobs stood up at the original iPhone unveiling and said "we've patented the hell out of it!" he wasn't kidding, but Samsung clearly wasn't listening.