The first U.S. Apple vs Samsung battle has ended in late August, with a surprisingly bitter defeat for the South Korean Android maker – surprising not because Samsung was found to infringe on certain Apple patents, but because of the nature of the total Samsung defeat.
Samsung was found to willfully infringe on 6 from its 7 patent claims Apple brought to this battle against its rival and was awarded $1.05 billion in compensatory damages. Meanwhile, the jury found Apple not to infringe any of Samsung’s patents, including the FRAND, or standards essential, ones.
Sure, the fight is not yet over as the two companies are still duking it out in over 50 cases spread across 4 continents, and there are plenty more battles to be fought until we find a real winner, including at least one more U.S. case – although we’re probably see the two giants settle sooner or later even though that’s not an option right now. And sure, Samsung will appeal this particular decision, while Apple will try to obtain injunctions against various Samsung-based products in the region in the coming months.
But ultimately, the verdict is correct and should stand, in my opinion, and no matter how hardcore an Android fanboy you are or how much you hate Apple for whatever reason, you can’t disregard the fact that Samsung brought this shit storm on to itself by blatantly copying Apple’s devices. And I’ll tell you why in a series of posts based on the Apple vs Samsung lawsuit and all the chatter that followed – yes, this is only the beginning.
Apple is not selling just a black rectangle with round edges, an unpattentable form factor as so many people seem to believe, and neither is Samsung. If they did, then those devices would look like this:
And it doesn’t market a device that has a grid of icons that have round corners and a fixed menu at the bottom of the home screen, and neither does Samsung. If they did, we would have something like this:
If any of the two hypothetical scenarios above were true, then Apple would not have accused Samsung of blatantly copying the design of the iPhone and iPad. But the two companies are selling a variation of these two devices:
Apple sells a black rectangle device that has round edges, a home button, and a recognizable screen that features a grid of apps and an apps dock that stays the same no matter what homescreen you’re in. But that device is protected by a flurry of patents that each describe various functionalities, as a patent can be awarded for everything that’s inside a device like a phone. Together, those functions and design elements make an iPhone. And most of them are protected by patents.
And some of those features and design elements were chosen by Samsung to also make a Galaxy-branded device. No matter how lawyers would break each patent down and try to prove it shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place, the patents combined are meant to defend a device that, when launched, could make or break the company that unveiled it. That’s even if when looking at one patent at a time without viewing the bigger picture, you start to question its claims and validity.
As it turns out, the iPhone became the best Apple product yet and didn’t break the company, which convinced rivals that’s the way to go when it comes to designing smartphones.
It’s an iconic design that makes the iPhone and iPad highly recognizable in stores. And that’s the sort of design that Samsung decided to imitate with its first high-end device that caught the eye of the Android consumer, the Galaxy S, announced at CTIA in March 2010 and launched in several markets in the months that followed.
That design ensured some confusion among users, and don’t tell me that you’ve never heard inexperienced, tech-unsavvy buyers say that the Galaxy S looks like an iPhone, at least from the distance, or when looking at Galaxy S official pictures. If that happened at least once, than Samsung’s job was done, even if some customers quickly realized the differences between the two devices. Samsung created a device that looked like an iPhone and hence was as usable as an iPhone in people’s minds.
Sure, experienced consumers will never confuse the two because they have all the background information they need not to make that mistake. But unfortunately for Samsung, the majority of consumers are not as tech-savvy. And since the iPhone quickly became fashionable among smartphone buyers because of the new features it brought to the table, or because it looked cool – that wouldn’t have happened with a mediocre product – it’s easy to understand how plenty of customers decided to jump on the smartphone bandwagon without necessarily needing a smartphone. Or without knowing what the differences between an iPhone 3GS and a Galaxy S were at the time the latter was launched. In fact, choosing either model in 2010 would have offered you a great smartphone experience, no matter who your mobile allegiance laid with, and let’s remember that those were still the early days of this smartphone revolution.
And sure, Samsung understood the dangerous waters it entered with the device as it started to diversify its upcoming Galaxy-branded devices in the following years in order to avoid clashes with Apple. But the Galaxy S established a bridgehead for the company, which used the iPhone momentum combine with the recent rise of Google’s Android OS to fortune to get a strong foothold in the smartphone marketshare. The Galaxy brand became cool by association if you will, a strategy that helped Samsung rise on top of the business.
No longer was Samsung trying to dethrone Nokia from the number one position in the cell phone market, but the company was fighting against the Apple, the newest comer to the mobile wars, realizing the danger the iPhone maker poses to the future of the smartphone market.
While Samsung did start to make modifications to its Android devices to avoid clashes with Apple, the damages was already done by the original Galaxy S and its following variations. And from time to time a device like the Galaxy Ace 2 / Ace Plus (an early 2012 device) would pop out reminding people why Apple is suing Samsung. The Galaxy Ace 2 was launched to compete against the iPhone 3GS this year, a device that has been around for more than three years and which was discounted down to $0 with new two-year contracts in the USA once the new iPhone 4S was introduced in October 2011 – it’s not like Samsung didn’t have enough low- to mid-range products to chew away at Apple’s marketshare, but it just had to launch an iPhone look alike in the midst of its legal conflicts with Apple, didn’t it? Of course, by this time even regular smartphone buyers would know the difference between a Samsung product and an Apple corresponding competitor – so there’s no danger of confusing the two anymore, is it?
But would that really matter if the mind of the consumer was already manipulated by devices like the Galaxy S and its successors to believe that Samsung can make smartphones just as good as the iPhone but more affordable – and I’m not saying those devices aren’t or weren’t great choices at their time, or that believing they were highly competitive choices was a mistake.
Just think about the Android ecosystem for a second. Because it’s so volatile in terms of new launches, low- to high-end devices can’t keep their initial price points for more than a few months before carriers and third-party electronics retailers offer discounts. The “older” the device is, the higher the discount. That doesn’t happen in the Apple world, where Apple only discounts its products once a year, during the new iPhone launch, when the older-generation devices receive price cuts. And because the subsidy isn’t cheap, the vast majority of carrier partners prefer not to mess with the price either, to avoid losing any cash with such practices.
So the consumer who started seeing in Samsung a worthy smartphone maker that owns its own highly recognizable brand knows that the Galaxy Insert Name product will be cheaper in one or two months (subsidized version) than its iPhone counterpart that will only get discounted when the next iPhone is released. So then why not buy a Galaxy-branded smartphone instead?
How do you think Apple felt about that?
Besides realizing that it’s the iPhone that it has to beat, Samsung also saw what other players in the Android world failed to see, the need of a strong brand. The Galaxy S was the first device in its family, and then more and more smartphones and tablets got the Galaxy particle in their name.
Meanwhile, other Android device makers failed to understand the importance of a strong brand, or adapted only later to that need.
Why is branding important? Well, because we always refer to Apple smartphones as iPhone Insert Version not Apple iPhone Insert Version whereas one of the latest Android handsets is called the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD. You know who makes the iPhone and what OS it’s running. But if I were to list HTC’s, LG’s or Motorola’s 2010 Android-based devices, without mentioning the maker, would you know who made them at the time – assuming of course you haven’t covered the mobile environment as thoroughly as I did in the recent years?
It took HTC, Motorola and LG a while to come out with their One, RAZR and Optimus brands, respectively, but they may be too late to the naming game. Samsung has slowly amassed more and more customers and won marketshare thanks to its Galaxy brand, while HTC, Motorola and LG lost buyers. Are Samsung devices superior to the Android competition’s offerings, considering that same-year handsets are sporting almost the same components and same OS version? No, but Samsung managed to ride the iPhone-like-device momentum and build mindshare way ahead of everyone else.
The Galaxy S3, also the scope of a different Apple trial, is rumored to be a lawyered device. It doesn’t look anything like an iPhone, not even from the distance. The same things applies to the Galaxy Note 2 monster. But its popularity among Android users would not have reached current heights among consumers without devices like the Galaxy S and its successors.
Just look at the HTC One X, a high-end device that’s the most important Galaxy S3 rival out there, but which isn’t selling Galaxy S3 like. Maybe because HTC did not copy the iPhone’s design and appearance. Or else Apple would have sued for that too.
And that’s how Samsung rose from quarter to quarter to become the leader in the smartphone market, passing by all other Android device makers in the process, but also Apple, currently in second spot. Not to mention moving past its former mortal enemies, Nokia and RIM, that are trying their best to stay relevant in a post-iPhone smartphone universe.
You may have noticed that I mostly referred to Samsung smartphones and disregarded Samsung tablets so far. That’s because Samsung’s rise started with smartphones, not with tablets. In the tablet market however, even if Samsung has found not to be infringing on Apple’s iPad design, there’s no real need from Apple to push Samsung tablets out of stores, because, let’s face it, Samsung isn’t selling as many units as it would want to. There are other devices that will do that for them, without hurting iPad sales in the process. They are called the Kindle Fire and especially the Google Nexus 7, which are exactly what Apple needs in the Android tablet ecosystem, a fight that can’t be won by regular Android tablet makers competing against budget devices coming from huge content providers like Amazon and Google.
Apple haters will have to remember that without the iPhone, the smartphone may have been be dominated by Symbian, BlackBerry OS and Windows Mobile 6.x for years to come. These “old” mobile OSes look dull in hindsight, but how many of you were checking such smartphones out, or using one when you-know-who arrived. Sure, Android would be in that list somewhere, but would Android have become as popular as it is today, and as fast as it happened with a BlackBerry-like QWERTY keyboard-based non-touchscreen design as it did thanks to the help of a touchscren interface and a rich app ecosystem?
So if it was Apple that reshaped the industry, by hating the iPhone maker and saying it didn’t invent anything new and it doesn’t deserve to sue the competition to protect its non-inventions, one would be partly hating Android too, one of the byproducts – no matter if better or worse – of iOS, or iPhone OS as it was called initially.
That’s what Apple created with the iPhone. It brought a heavily contested design to market and it risked its own money and lots of R&D to create the device and an as-smooth-as-possible user experience. But competitors were not convinced such a device would succeed, and they only came out with Android- and/or touchscren-based devices later in the game when it was clear that Apple was not going to take any prisoners, and that users liked the new thing.
And then Apple was also first to bring out a mobile content store that took off and was immediately followed by Google and others.
Five years later it all looks “obvious,” because the smart mobile devices you have today are all basically similar: they have a rectangle shape with rounded corners and a plethora of apps spread around various home screens in a grid-like manner. But not all of them are “blatantly” copying the iPhone and iPad.
And Apple did not just attack the most popular Android maker out there, as you would believe now. That’s also a hindsight-based statement to make. It attacked them all, at the moment it thought their products to be infringing its own patents. And when it did file suits against Samsung, HTC and Motorola, the first was not the leader of the smartphone univers, the second was not in the world of hurt if finds itself today and the third was not just a patent collection hastily purchased by Google for an exorbitant price.
They were all, at least according to Apple, infringing on its patents. But just one was accused of blatantly copying the iPhone and then the iPad design, while every other suit is about software patents. Is it just a coincidence that the smartphone maker that had the most iPhone-like design, at least in Apple’s view also became the best-selling Android maker out there?
Plenty of people believe the U.S. patent system is unjust and that software patents should not be easily awarded for such “obvious” things like some of the features found on Apple’s devices. Sure, there’s only a way to arrange icons on a grid, multitouch is “obvious” and so is “tap-to-zoom.” Although there are plenty of ways not to choose a sunflower as your Photo app icon.
But if they’re so obvious and natural, and if they should be standards – who knows, probably they will be standards in the future, which is certainly how Google would like it – why weren’t they “invented” by Samsung, or Google, or anyone else before the iPhone was launched?
And do you think that had Samsung invented tap-to-zoom or whatever must-have smartphone features you take for granted today, it wouldn’t have been patented? It would have been, and Samsung would have waited around the corner to defend those software patents.
If that’s not enough then how do you explain the fact that almost every Android maker out there has settled with Microsoft, and it’s paying the company royalties for every sold Android device – in fact Microsoft is making more money than Google from actual Android sales, and I’m not including here the ad revenue generated by Android devices? Why didn’t they settle with Apple? Why didn’t they seek a license to use Apple-developed tech?
You know who did do that? Microsoft. The Redmond-based company will launch its own tablet later this year, the Surface, and it looks like Microsoft already has a deal in place with Apple to avoid any future legal proceedings. According to it, Microsoft has to come out with different designs for its devices.
What about prior art, or prior devices that use Apple-like tech that was developed before Apple was granted the software patents it asserts against Android device makers. Why aren’t there any popular gadgets out there pre-dating the iPhone and using the technology that Apple patented erroneously according to some? Because their makers did not pursue these projects and/or were not able to go to market with devices using technologies as found in current smartphones.
And in case you’re annoyed at Apple for over-patenting its devices you’ll have to remember that Apple already went through this sort of thing in the early days of the Macintosh vs Windows computers. It just didn’t want any mobile OS, and probably Windows Mobile was perceived as the most important threat to iOS and iPhone when the original iPhone was launched, to do to its smartphone line what Windows computers did to its Mac line. That’s why Apple filed a patent for every little thing it considered important for the iPhone and iPad experience, without knowing beforehand whether the patent will be awarded or not. It tried to protect its intellectual property, and when the patent was granted it tried to further defend it even if that meant going to court.
Can you blame Apple for doing it? Yes, you can, in hindsight, because you’ll say the company is greedy, wants to turn a profit, doesn’t pay enough taxes, wants to stop competition in the courts, and what not. But did you feel the same about the company before you became an Android fan or before the iPhone was launched? Are you actually blaming Apple for employing certain marketing tactics like generating buzz around overpriced devices to make money? Are you blaming it for its needs to defend the way it’s making money? Aren’t Apple device buyers getting good-quality even if not perfect devices in return for the price they’re willing to pay for the Apple device they choose to buy?
Shouldn’t Samsung be equally punished, morally speaking, for making money at all costs off of its consumers? Just look at this Galaxy Note 10.1 review which reveals how a flagship device is basically an overpriced, sucky device that’s nowhere near the high-end side of the spectrum and which shouldn’t be sold for a high-end price?
Why stop there? Why not go after Google and its privacy-infringing tactics all in the name of better ads and more ad-based revenue – yes, Google, if you did infringe on anyone’s privacy more than once, you can’t call it just an accident anymore. As one famous president hastily said: “Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me … you can’t get fooled again.” But that’s a different story, for a different day.
I have thoroughly covered the Apple vs Samsung trial and I said a bunch of times that Samsung has the work cut out for itself in court where Apple has presented plenty of evidence that questions Samusng’s intentions when creating its own Android handsets and tablets. We’ve seen the 132-page internal report that was making recommendations to Samsung design and engineer crews to adapt the I9000 prototype (the Galaxy S) to better mimic iPhone functionality, we’ve seen the internal “crisis of design” memo, and we’ve seen the Google warnings to Samsung that certain Galaxy branded devices including tablets looked too much like an iOS product.
Meanwhile, Samsung was not able to convince the jury that Apple was infringing on standards essential patents, and frankly I don’t think it had a chance to win anything with these kind of patents – in fact Samsung and Motorola are both investigated for FRAND patent abuse in their court conflicts with Apple, with the former being under scrutiny both in Europe but also in its home country, South Korea.
The verdict is not a surprise considering that between the two it’s Apple that has won the most favorable rulings in most courts to date, including the U.S., with Samsung having a hard time obtaining any positive results against the iPhone maker.
We keep hearing that because Samsung has to pay $1.05 billion to Apple in damages (that may still change in the future, and if it doesn’t, there’s always the pay-by-nickels option), competition is being stifled. That’s hardly the case. Such verdicts, even Samsung’s copying of Apple’s iPhone, are all in our favor as they will further drive innovation.
In fact, we already have proof of innovation happening as the result of several patent infringing events. First, Samsung copied the iPhone with the Galaxy S which showed Apple that companies were ready to catch up to Apple. That meant that Apple had to intensify its efforts and include more and more features in its upcoming devices to stay relevant in a market that was advancing rapidly. And Apple, which has used its client base to expect major improvements every two years or so, may have been compeled to come out with better features in new products than it would have wanted. Maybe Apple’s initial strategy was to come out with mild updates year after year, but was forced to be more aggressive because of the increasing competition from Android. We’ll never really know. What matters is that Apple had, and still has to keep working hard to still bring out devices that will sell like hot cakes. That’s certainly in our favor.
Whether the verdict is final and Samsung ends up paying Apple the damages as awarded by the jury, or the two companies settle, it doesn’t mean Samsung products will die or that Samsung will lose significant market share. Not at all! In fact, Samsung’s recent products are not exactly iPhone- and/or iPad-like. Just look at the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. Like Apple, Samsung has the money to invest heavily in its R&D department to come up with better mobile devices in the future. Unlike its Android competitors, it can afford to invest a lot more in R&D, not to mention it can further develop Bada in response to the verdict, but also in the face of increasing competition from Google devices like the Nexus 7 and the latest Motorola devices.
In fact, being the number one smartphone maker in the world will bring even more cash to the company, so $1 billion isn’t that much to pay to admit it copied the iPhone. Because Samsung is in no danger of losing sales and market share anytime soon, no matter what the verdict is. It has too many Android devices that appeal to various target buyers to risk becoming irrelevant in the mobile space. It doesn’t even have to admit, ever, that it copied the iPhone even if the jury said so. Because, again, $1 billion is pocket change compared to what Samsung has in its coffers.
As for devices that could get banned in the U.S. or other regions? By the time a final decision is taken on Apple’s ban requests, those devices will no longer be relevant for that market, meaning that Samsung has already sold as many units it could have sold in the U.S. before buyers were wooed by other Android devices, made by Samsung or any other OEMs.
And let’s not forget about other mobile operating systems out there, namely Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry OS. This sort of legal victories should further motivate companies like Microsoft, Nokia and RIM to work hard at coming back into the game to try to take advantage, if possible, of any temporary Apple-friendly court rulings. We don’t want a mobile ecosystem that has just two options, iOS and Android, we want as many players as possible. as that would really encourage competition. That too is certainly in our favor.
I think I have thoroughly explained why the verdict is correct and should stand. Whether you like or hate Apple and/or Samsung, you should really check out the background and the facts that lead to the verdict in the first place. What you shouldn’t do is feel sorry or happy for either party involved in the trial. These are giant corporations that know what the risks are when playing the game, that can take care of them selves and that can take a $1 billion hit while still coming out on top. Ultimately, it’s the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest.
There’s no stifling of competition and there’s no good guy. It’s just another day in the mobile business, and the more details you know about it the better you can accept the verdict and move on.
At the end of the day the fact remains you like the mobile device you currently hold in your hands – maybe you’re reading these lines on one. No matter what OS it runs and who made it, chances are it’s a square with somewhat rounded corners and a bunch of icons on a touchscreen display. It may or may not look a lot like an iPhone.
But… it exists because back in 2007 Apple launched the iPhone and then Google caught up to iOS with Android. Then each party tried to beat the other, involving plenty of players along the way. Fast forward to today and you’re holding that device in your hands. Would it be as appreciated if the iPhone wouldn’t have been made? If Android wouldn’t have been open-sourced? If the Motorola Droid and Verizon would not have helped put Android on the map? If Samsung would not have copied the iPhone and prove that Android is a competitive OS? You get the idea, don’t you?
With that in mind, join us in the following parts of this story, as we’re going to look further more at this Apple vs Samsung conflict and why the verdict is correct. And yes, I know this is an Android blog.
Next up, we’re going to show you a brief history of the early days of the iPhone and the first Android handsets.
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I agree partially with this well written article but there is just one question i have. Who payed you to sell out samsung?!!! Lol gettin a cut of that bill.
Rofl, how much did Apple pay you to write this article? I stopped reading after “Why the Apple Samsung $1 billion verdict is correct”… Only in America and Germany does a lawsuit of this stupidity award Apple with a win, meanwhile all the other technological countries deny Apple’s case…Hmm…
I’m with you on that. How much did they pay you? Besides, it’s a RECTANGLE with round edges. Not a SQUARE!
The thing this trial best shows is how broken our current patent system is when it comes to software.
Daniel, you shouldn’t have stopped reading quite so soon.
You might have learned something about reasoning.
And no, I’m not using an iPhone.
Excellent article. There’s no point in fanboy-ism. Brand- or OS-loyalty to the ‘blood’. Apple are not consumer-loyal (e.g. the new dock connector and related new accessories); neither are Samsung (software updates and the pathetic KIES
software suite come to mind). It’s about money. They get our money by any means possible. And they ALL protect their own assets – by any means possible. And Apple picked the tools at hand. It IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT that a court in Timbuktu would have come to a different judgement. The Californian court didn’t.
Is anyone seriously saying a billion dollar corporation should forfeit an opportunity such as this blatant case of copy cattying? What? For fairplay?
Samsung’s founder said: “union support over my dead body”. Samsung are
notorious for exposing workers to toxins. Known for pollution, etc etc… Samsung don’t need an Apple-esque Foxconn outrage, because Samsung have Samsung.
There is nothing sadder than consumers picking a brand church.
“meanwhile all the other technological countries deny Apple’s case”
You mean the Japanese and the other countries that have built an economy around copying everyone else’s ideas? LOL!
My mother thinks the Nokia lumia is an iPhone as well… There goes your case…
This comes to show how ignorant you are! You should have read how all these Android devices actually came from copying, and wanting to be like Apple! By your post it’s the same thing as me calling you a piece of shit, dumb mother fucker! Without me knowing you! Next time you should read before you post! I mean it is an ‘Android Website’!
Ballmer is an idiot. There are someone still believe Windows mobile can take Android and iOS in 2012.
Wow! This is some long drawn out bullshit.
Now let me explain. Samsung did indeed copy elements of the iPhone.
To that extent they should be held accountable. Accountability is not 1billion dollars by any chance. While the looks of the devices, and absolutely TouchWiz, is similar the question of prior art was ignored by the jury. Samsung’s case was also ignored.
There’s no doubt the jury process was flawed and an appeal should be filed if not a mistrial.
You’re just dumb right? $1b is nothing to samsung. They make as much in one year as Apples total worth. You sound like a butt-hurt, piss stupid fandroid if you just blindly contradict the obvious. Fail.
Long after the $1b verdict, samsung’s market share dropped by 12b. Its nothing? I doubted.
If it was a result of the verdict, then it wouldn’t have happened ‘long after’ like you admit.
“Benchmark heavyweight Samsung Electronics, which has taken taken a beating since losing out to Apple Inc in their patent dispute, fell 1.3 percent after Apple said it would host an event on Sept. 12, at which it is widely expected unveil the iPhone 5.”
Apple worth 50b, Samsung has about 6b profit a year. They have lost 1b+12b because of the trial. Fucking Apple is just killing the competition.
That just shows how little yo know about Samsung as a company. They made 6billion on just handsets for the last quarter in 2012 not including the other 70+ companies they run from Insurance to shipping.
IDK if you told Samsung a few years ago that it would have to forefit 1/6th of profits but in return will become the by far biggest maker of mobile phones, would they have taken the deal?
I bet yes!
Samsung shouldn’t have outright COPIED the iPhone. That’s all. Just look at the “competitive analysis” done by Samsung engineering – that’s 150 pages of recommendations on what to change to be _exactly_ like the iPhone.
Samsung is a huge – and in my perception at least – hugely innovative company – they don’t need to copy anyone, and they rightfully got a slap on the wrist for doing it quite so blatantly. I hear that in Korea copying the competition is basically standard business practice – well not so in the west, and that’s a good thing.
Look at the SGS3 – suddenly Samsung can actually put out a device that’s not a copy of an iPhone. While it doesn’t look as good as an iPhone, it’s a cool phone in its own right.
Well I myself think the whole patent industry is flawed, imagine this, I’m a mechanic for a living, a lot of cars today look alike, are they suing? no, is the steering wheel or having a brake or gas pedal or a radio for that matter infringing on someone’s idea?
I’m sure some one thought of it, was it in court? no.
I’m sure glad there wasn’t an icar, we would all be driving some proprietary piece of crap with replacement parts so expensive it would be better to buy a new car.
Although I am not an apple fan (I currently am Samsung’s biggest fan) This article is well written. (Lots of info.). I don’t think the shape of a phone should say that samsung copied Apple. I like the shape of the phone an whatever apple can have the credit for coming up with it but who cares. The phones are totally different and run differently with different features. I honestly think that they need to shake hands and go there separate ways. Honestly they both make bank and this court crap is a waste and it’s so annoying for us buyers to have to wait for a court to decide when the phone will be released. Specially for those who pre-order the dam phone then get screwed over.
Pointless. Did Samsung copy the iPhone with early devices? – Yes. They should pay for the original Galaxy S and the Vibrant. It ends there. I own a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It does not look like an iPhone.
Did you take into account the jury’s decision to not read the instructions, nor spend enough time understanding the questions they were asked? How about them awarding damages to devices that they found didn’t infringe on Apple’s patents?
And that’s the point everyone misses: the jury didn’t follow the instructions given to them, they pretty much let the foreman (a patent-holder) decide the whole thing for them, and they awarded damages for devices that didn’t infringe. It’s a cut and dried case of bias and by law it should be thrown out or retried. The jury didn’t do their job at all and it’s a gross miscarriage of justice. Imagine if this happened in any other case. It would be thrown out. It’s a shame the U.S. legal system is this much of a shambles but really, who expected Apple to lose there? Now, they have everywhere else. I can’t believe this article even got posted tbh as it’s clearly all pro Apple. *cough* payoff *cough* On an Android site. lol
Great read — a billion or more I don’t think it’s right nor justified. There should have been some equal billing on the other side of the plate. Samsung received no justice, and if the only REAL thing here is trade dress and the lost sales, yet those sales were at the call of At&T.
I’d argue that and ask that AT&T come to the plate as a witness. There was a reason why there was an exclusive with the device and AT&T.
Waiting on the google lawsuit and the notification dropdown…
I love my android phone (GNEX), but credit should be given to apple for inventing the smartphone that doesn’t have keys!
IPhones have a button dead center did you miss it?
They have a ’round’ button dead center. I don’t really see how so many people can misidentify the phones just by that alone. On the other hand I have heard that the images they used to poll people about telling the difference, the buttons were blurred out.
HTC windows phones were released prior to the iphone that didnt have keys monkey
Oh no..My brother’s car has 4 wheels too…
Best comment ever
That’s like saying my brother’s phone can make calls too. Your point is invalid
Where have you been all this time????
What is this LG Prada that people keep mentioning and how does it fit?
Pre iPhone phone …
our justice system is a failure! i wouldn’t be surprised if one of the car makers don’t start legal action against all the others for box design with four wheels. if apple doesn’t like the fact that samsung out classed them, then why don’t you bring something new to the table???? the U.S. court simply put the pacifier back in your mouth that your daddy threw away, typical mother scenario, give the crybaby what they want
Every successful product since tech started has been imitated and improved on……its like beating a dead horse with these BS articles…..So every flat screen plasma, LED and LCD TV is infringing on a rectangle flat patent??? Every fridge with a freezer on top and rectangle is infringing on a patent??? every DVD Blu Ray or media player which is flat and rectangle infringing on a patent??? This is getting so old and irritating its pathetic. Apple needs to innovate again and stop with this court BS.
I agree on this..
Patent on design such as these are infringement that is worth $1b? but the actual core tele-comm technologies are FRAND and they don’t infringe anything?
If this trial was held on another country, I wonder what the result is.. These jurors decided on Apple before the trial even started. What’s the point of having a trial in that case?
This article is just wrong all over. Beginning with the title.
LOL is this Site Apple Authority?
This article to me appears to be so biased towards Apple and that is a concern. If you are to write articles like this then they should come from a neutral perspective and I really don’t think this has been done.
I remember looking at purchasing a LG Prada when it was available before the iPhone but it was a little expensive for my budget at the time and settled for another touchscreen device instead. The point being that the LG Prada was out before the iPhone. It also was the first smartphone to have a Capacitive touchscreen, the phone also a rectangle with round corners just like what the iPhone was when it came to market after the Prada. So who copied who, or is it a case like other mobile OEM’s having a parallel evolution of devices rather like the car industry. The Prada also had rows of icons too, they may not have been as colourful but the grid was there.
Personally I think all devices evolve simultaneously as new components become available. The whole idea that one entity invented something blurs so much on the smartphone/PC market, in reality it doesn’t matter who invents the evolution it’s who patents it and then sues for the use of it.
I think Apple should just get back into the labs and make their devices competitive to the whole range of devices on offer or they will drown. The sooner all this legal arguments stops the better for everyone.
As to whether Samsung should pay anything, well I think the issuing of the awarded patents that Apple are using should be reviewed to see if in fact they are truly valid. Personally I think there are examples of prior art on many of these and on those grounds alone they should be thrown out.
If Apple insists on their current line of legalese then I can only feel they will find it hard to get components in the longer term for their devices as they sue yet more and more component manufacturers and OEM’s.
The problem is not if the veredict is correct, but the jurors made a LOT of mistakes.. try reading groklaw, a lawyer’s blog..
Problem with this article:
1) Samsung found guilty for basic Android features like message list bounce, click on phone number link to dial, pinch to zoom and out, etc. If this article’s assertions are correct, then the Android itself is illegal and should be banned, because these features are not Samsung specific patent violations.
2) $1 billion dollar award is ludicrous. It’s not the point whether Samsung was guilty or not, or that if they can afford it or not. The way the jury calculated the penalty goes against the court’s instructions, and the figures does not make any sense for each patents violated.
3) And finally, take a look at this link to see how the jury’s foreman mislead the jury, making this trial unfair and tainted.
Apple is suing the latest Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note phones. These look nothing like the iPhone, yet Apple is suing them anyway in another fresh case. Apple is also targeting HTC and Motorola. This article fails miserably to point out that Apple is targeting Google Android.
Nice try, Hogan.
I started off thinking this was an interesting point of view on the side of Apple. After actually reading the whole article I know see that this is a great time to a person looking for smart phone. Your point is made and taken sir. Thanks for a great job.
dropping AA from my RSS feed
Hmmm…. 50% right and 60% bullshit x)
This article stinks.
No Chris Smith stinks for believing in this Bullshit!
“…….it doesn’t mean Samsung products will die or that Samsung will lose significant market share. Not at all! In fact, Samsung’s recent products are not exactly iPhone- and/or iPad-like. Just look at the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. Like Apple, Samsung has the money to invest heavily in its R&D department to come up with better mobile devices in the future.”
Just to let you know, Apple is now adding S3 to its list of phones to sue.
Samsung had designs like the iphone before the iphone was even announced. Their current designs are based on prototypes they created pre iphone.
“No matter how lawyers would break each patent down and try to prove it shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place, the patents combined are meant to defend a device that, when launched, could make or break the company that unveiled it.”-Chris Smith
The combined patents make up an original device, ok I can see that. Problem is those patents aren’t combined, they are individual. And when such singular patents basically say “touch the touch screen to interact with stuff” or the infamous “round cornered rectangle”, the implications of this verdict make it wrong and dangerous if it is accepted as “correct”. It means Apple can sue for any one of these things, not just to protect their whole individual device, and this “mine-field” makes it near impossible to make any competing products, making this a monopoly. Nobody should want that on either side Fandroid, nor Fanboi. It’s also going to cause a patent war for every single little detail companies can come up with. Everyone will be tip-toeing so carefully around each others patent infringements that we are going to run into innovation STAGNATION. Everything will halt and all the phone companies will be locked in a lawsuit-cold war.
“Sure, Android would be in that list somewhere, but would Android have become as popular as it is today, and as fast as it happened with a BlackBerry-like QWERTY keyboard-based non-touchscreen design as it did thanks to the help of a touchscren interface and a rich app ecosystem?”-Chris Smith
You paint the Android prototype as a QWERTY board dinosaur when that is just a popularized misconception (http://mobile.osnews.com/printer.php?news_id=25264).
From the article: “The interesting thing here is that the release of the SDK with support for touch
and large screens, as well as the release of this video and hardware reference
design took place one month before the infamous photograph of the
BlackBerry-esque device. This means that Google wasn’t working with just one
prototype, but several, which really shouldn’t be a surprise at all, if you
think about what Google wanted Android to be. ”
Android was exploring touch screen tech far longer than you imply.
“Samsung was found to willfully infringe on 6 from its 7 patent claims Apple brought to this battle against its rival and was awarded $1.05 billion in compensatory damages. Meanwhile, the jury found Apple not to infringe any of Samsung’s patents, including the FRAND, or standards essential, ones. …ultimately, the verdict is correct “-Chris Smith
Yet you fail to mention this trial was practically in Apple’s pocket (Silicon Valley Courthouse is 10 miles away from Apple headquarters). That’s certainly not cause for suspicion of the highly one-sided verdict @_@. I don’t believe Samsung is a saint by any means, but the high-horse image you’re painting Apple in is just disgusting.
“So the consumer who started seeing in Samsung a worthy smartphone maker that owns its own highly recognizable brand knows that the Galaxy Insert Name product will be cheaper in one or two months (subsidized version) than its iPhone counterpart that will only get discounted when the next iPhone is released. So then why not buy a Galaxy-branded smartphone instead?
How do you think Apple felt about that?” -Chris Smith
Yeah, Apple felt pissed at that, if I were Apple I’d be pissed too. But you know what? It’s healthy. You know why? THAT’S COMPETITIVE PRICING. So you’re demonizing samsung for making a competitive alternative with a competitive price?
This article is just asking to get burnt to cinders, I could quote the whole thing and point out fallacies all day (and nearly have). I was hoping for this article to be valid, I really was. I was hoping to be “enlightened” and shown the other side of the story so I could at least see the other sides point. Samsung is just another corporate monster as well, I have no delusions telling me otherwise, and yes maybe both sides “win”. Samsung’s sympathetic fanbase/supporters grow larger and stronger, Apple makes a killing off patent licenses. But to claim this verdict is “correct” is dangerous territory. This verdict is going to cause a patent war the likes of which no one has seen before.
Those of you saying this verdict will lead to diversity and innovation… The only kind of innovation this verdict will lead to (if any) is this: “You have a choice. Either the iPhone rectangle, or the Samsung Rhombus.”
I completely agree that the jury made the right decision regarding what Patents were violated. However I believe due to prior art and the general simplicity of the trade-dress that apple used, that it should of been harder for them to defend said trade-dress.
Patents violations are decided on an individual patent-by-patent and claim-by-claim basis. They only look at the cumulative effect of patent violations when assigning damages based on what individual patents were violated with each claim.
My personal belief is that most of these patents should not have been issued because of existing prior art and simplicity. For apple to apply for such patents and simply taking an existing idea and +1ing it with a new detail or perhaps 2 in order to describe it with greater exclusion is not sufficient in my mind for design patents or any software patent. This would be like patenting emails on a phone at a time when there is prior art for emails on desktops but not mobile devices. It is a trivial change to existing art in the same way that I believe one of Apple’s software patents regarding a method for executing an operation on a structure of data used in highlighting and providing context based options for phone numbers in documents such as SMS and emails is for hyper-links in word documents.
On the point of apple’s trade dress and the related patent, Samsung tried and failed to get a graphic demonstrating that Samsung was developing designs similar to the iPhone before apple even Announced it. All because they introduced it too late during discovery.Being able to demonstrate this would impact the assertion that the iPhone design was born wholly out of apple’s creativity and put into question the validity and wisdom of this patent. I dont think anyone doubts that Samsung used inspiration from the iPhone very liberally. But I hate these patents because I can see trivial repackaging of previous ideas and the patent office takes so long to issue these patents and constantly misses prior art such is the case with the iPad and an early 90′s e-reader that the was prototyped and demoed.
I don’t blame the jury for their decisions I feel there was wisdom in many of then.
I dislike the standard that is set for justifying patents. Patents are not intended for monopolizing features as a user would experience them. They are for protecting methods and mechanisms that are sufficient in complexity and originality as tools for invention.
And if I am wrong about all this then the patent system be damned. I typed this entire damned missive on my smartphone so its not pretty. ENJOY!
Why is branding important? Well, because we always refer to Apple smartphones as iPhone Insert Version not Apple iPhone Insert Version whereas one of the latest Android handsets is called the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx HD. You know who makes the iPhone and what OS it’s running. But if I were to list HTC’s, LG’s or Motorola’s 2010 Android-based devices, without mentioning the maker, would you know who made them at the time – assuming of course you haven’t covered the mobile environment as thoroughly as I did in the recent years? ”
On that point, I for one really did not identify phones with the brand name first.. Rather it was a ‘Droid’ or a ‘Nexus’, etc. There are probably a good number of people out there like myself. So I can give a qualified “I don’t care who the maker is”.. Of course I also remember titles of songs I like without caring who the singer is.
“Samsung would not have copied the iPhone and prove that Android is a competitive OS?”
Have you heard of this device? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Desire It did just that, way before Galaxy S.
Credit should be given to Apple for the mobile UX philosophy. Agreed.
But as Apple sues Samsung, Apple hurts Android as well, downgrading its features (see the dumb-search for example).
And this is why I do not give a DAMN about Apple, its market share or (from a European point of view) ridiculous patents.
I want to see my favorite mobile OS developing. If manufacturers have to pay a fee for it, than pay it. But Apple insists on banning these devices, so I say, let the rotten fruit burn in hell.
No offense. And sorry for my bad English.
Yeah…IPhone bastard!!!. Someone @ android community should be fired for allowing this article to be published on the site!!!!
What is Apple was a car munufacturer. They would probably sue everyone because they had windows or 4 wheels. Apple is just jealous &%$$%/!”& company that should rot. I am sorry but Apple is ruining peoples chose of phones and tablet.
Hmm… somebody (author) forgot about the LG Prada. Now that you know some of your logic folds upon itself. Thanks for the laugh.
“That meant that Apple had to intensify its efforts and include more and more features in its upcoming devices to stay relevant in a market that was advancing rapidly”
“What matters is that Apple had, and still has to keep working hard to still bring out devices that will sell like hot cakes”
I would argue that Apple knows and in fact counts on the fact that they don’t need any new features in order to sell devices any more, even if the iPhone 5 (New iPhone or whatever it’s going to be called) doesn’t have LTE 4G or NFC it’s still going to sell by the millions…
Apple users don’t care about specs in the slightest, they care about being seen to be “Cool” and showing that they are well off and can afford the most expensive phone on the market, not biggest screen, fastest browsing (I don’t think the first iPhone had 3G but look how that sold) expandable storage Etc, Etc…
Apple spend very little on R&D, I think they spend more on marketing per year to enforce the belief that they have the only phones with Maps or browsers or anything else that other companies have been doing for years… they are now waiting for someone else to come up with a new idea that they can “improve” and then claim as their own…
I cant agree with your idea that Apple dont need new features to sell phones anymore because this is the very reason why Samsung has overtaken Apple because peoples taste for phones has shifted to features .Gone are the days when phones was just for calling ,people now wants a phone with every new feature on it ,in fact people now wants the perfect phone ,lacking nothing .
The whole design things should not even have been considered as patentable. If I compare my a brand tshirt with my b Brand tshirts I see very little difference, why? Because their purpose dictates many of the core elements and the rest is influenced by fashion. Now the fashion part maybe invented by brand a and “copied” by brand b… But in fashion nobody sues as long as logos and Brand names are not copied. Samsung did not copied the apple logo and in fact features their own brand name prominently on the front of the device.
The trade dress case should be answering two questions, would people that come to the store to buy an Apple iPhone walk out BY MISTAKE with a Samsung phone… And because how much sales would apple gave missed by this.
I bought an HTC diamond way back when. Whenever I pulled it out I was asked if it’s an iphone. Imagine all the idiot masses buying similar devices because they mistook them for an iphone! After all it was black with corners I couldn’t shave with.
The article is completely biased. The facts remain – there was prior art that was ignored, leading jury member who came equipped with a ready made verdict and the whole thing was a joke.
This guy writing article heavily biased for Apple in an Android site is likelike Bill O’Reilly writing an article about Progressive movement in Hufftington Post.
Ok then if this is the authors point of view, what about nokia??
Don’t they deserve to defend its innovations too. So from your prospective, nokia should sue all manufacturers including apple. Nokia should sue every phone for having a camera, being able to msg, take calls and reject them, listening to music on a cell phone… Ect. The truth is that everybody builds their ideas from others and improves them. What your saying is if there was no iphone, we would still be stuck with symbian, but how do you know that for a fact. I could say the same thing, that if there was no nokia there would be no iphone, but that’s just stupid, because somebody would eventually come up with the same idea or an even a better one.
chris smith is an apple fan boy ,he always write in favour of apple
The real joke is on some of the patents that the Patent Office allowed to be obtained, like the Ornamental Design, really a rectangle with rounded corners. I mean really how many phones have been produced prior to the iPhone that were rectangle in shape and had rounded corner. What a joke, I was an iPhone owner for the past 4 years, I gave away my iPhone 4s and purchased a Samsung Galaxy S III, there is no room for a company to have that much control in the wireless phone market, it will only damage the industry where competition and development is concerned. And the overall outcome will only hurt the consumer market.
The whole affair to me is like a sixteen year old girl suddenly after a few years realised she is now fifty years old and her flair is now gone and she doesnt have the crowd at her feet anymore. This young girl is Apple who has lost its early flair on the mobile industry and has found itself behind the competition that has overtaken it with more public interest in another woman ,namely Samsung that is now sixteen and has swept the world off its feet.and because of jealousy Apple is now trying to discredit this other woman by pointing at her freckles and acnes .Apples owners are nothing but oldtimers with scars on their shoulders from old time war days where some of them are bearing grudges from previous wars with Vietnam and other differences with North korea and Japan and is now using these as tools against companies from these countries to show their hatred of them by using business tactics ,I even hear some commenters calling the Chinese dogs on their blogs since the issue started .
Please remove this stupid article, how can you even auth him to post this crap???
I still hate how they took away universal search. THAT, is obvious. I disagree with you on some points, agree with you on others, otherwise.
get this article of here doesn’t deserve to be on an android loved site
Let us not foget that Steve Jobs stole some of the technology from Xerox and others to start Apple!!!!
I do agree Samsung copied Apple’s design, and I still get confused looking at some of the models, as I use neither. However, I do not agree to many assertions made here. I bought a HTC Touch HD a couple of months before Iphone 3 was launched (Still have it) and 1 month before its’ own launch in Australia. The reason I bring this in is, touchscreen mobiles were in market since early 2000s, as Atom and O2 sets. Going by the yardstick used in the current case, Apple blatantly copied the touch screen idea. If the patents like zooming on touch, bounce back were infringed by Samsung, by any honest yardstick, apple infringed on file transfer, multi-tasking and image capturing ideas.
If you read the history of PC development you will come across a little known fact that Steve Jobs actually copied the idea of a PC from a model being developed by Xerox, the photocopier manufacturer. All the PCs that we see today, including Macs, look like the same predecessor. All cars in the market look same or similar in the category they are competing in. All soap bars have similar colours and fragrance patterns. All pencils look same. All ball point pens work on the same principle and model.
Samsung is selling better than HTC today not because it has a better brand name, but because it is giving better features per handset. When everyone was making 5MP 4.3 inch screen mobiles Samsung was selling 4.7 with 8MP, dual cores. Feature by feature comparisions always showed Samsung models were better than my favourite HTC, which itself was always way ahead of Apple in most features except UI. I have always rated my Touch HD way better than iPhone 3, even though I admitt its’ UI is not as fluid, and screen not as colourful (Difference being 65K colours and 16M colours, even though Touch HD had better pixel density which made it comparable for most practical purposes). But compare current Apple or any other models from any other mobile company feature for feature with Samsung’s Galaxy S III and you will see the difference.
Learned consumers, as you mentioned, know the difference and recommend products. That is why a product sells. Electronics market is flooded with cheap imitations, including batteries, but learned consumers know which products are better and longer lasting. Why else do you think LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony still sell TVs in market while no one remembers Akai? Looking same is not enough, you need to provide comparable features and quality too. Samsung is currently two steps ahead; it provides better features as well.
Before anyone thinks I am being payed by Samsung or something, I personally like Nokia Lumia 920 most these days. Its’ screen size is lesser than Samsung Galaxy S III and is only dual-core compared to quad-core S III, but what it offers is good enough for a mobile, and it looks way cooler and different than competition, including the now sickening design of Galaxy range. Even though S III still beats it in features. Don’t believe me? Here’s a gsmarena.com link for comparision..
Tomorrow when iphone 5 is available, compare it feature for feature and then feel free to question what I have written here.
Amanpreet Singh Rai
I believe apple didn’t copy the touchscreen but improved it and made a
multi-touch screen. Apple has always been best know to reinvent!
Bought and paid for
Several key problems with this article that were not addressed perhaps because the court proceedings were held in Apple’s backyard. First the Samsung Glyde was removed from the line up despite having preceded the iPhone by a year. Second that a key witness to attest to Apple’s design being borrowed mysteriously left Apple early and refused a summons to appear in California due to health reasons which required him to remain in Hawaii. Then there is the issue that the jury was convinced that Samsung had copied Apple from day one and the only question was one of how much of a punishment to dole out. Then there was an interview with the Jury in which they declared that the findings would send a clear message to any company looking to copy. All this despite Judge Lucy Koh’s lengthy instructions and warnings NOT to punish but to remunerate the infringed party. In the real world court proceedings like these have a panel of experts and a Judge well versed in IP matters. This might be why the U.S. is the only real major victory Apple has to show for all it’s endeavors.
customers win? maybe, by you’re forgetting lawyers, they are the true winners
WOW someone got a little pocket money from Apple lol. Chris you are a fucking loser and I think you should be exposed as the fraud you are. This will be the last of the very few post I have wrote on here and the last visit to this site ever. You have shown your true colors and how completely biased you are.
I like how you did not include the fact that the judge did not allow prior art evidence from samsung as well as a testimony from one of Apples lead designers that no one can doubt would have changed the very out come of this favored trail. That was won by Apple before it even started from it’s fixed Jury complete with biased foreman to the court being very close to Apple HQ.
there are a few things people should look up to discredit this Chris Smith AKA Apples biggest fan and cock sucker.
Yes I must use hostile words so Chris suck a dick and piss off , Any ways
apple vs xerox , apple vs creative labs just look them up. Also look up Apple doesnt own Iphone name. Apple is a company who’s very foundation was poured based on coping other people. Apple is nothing but a bully in a position to lose their so called market share with smart-phones. Without Steve Jobs Apple will fall back into the gutter where they belong before Microsoft bailed them out.Apple is trying to discredit its competition rather then face it head on. They know without Jobs they will soon fall to the way side as they did once before in the face of real competitors.
Sure the Iphone 5 is selling well now that’s because Steve Jobs was behind it. Wait and see once they run out of what Jobs left behind they will be worthless. And to top it off most Apple mobile devices are made with a lot of Samsung Products.
Boycott Apple And stop visiting this Apple paid off writer and site
Fuck you Chris Smith Fuck you Apple Fuck you Steve Jobs may you rot in that fucking hole. Fuck you androidauthority.com.
Fuck you Tim cook Fuck you Apple fanboys fuck you Ipad Iphone Ipod
Fuck anyone who supports Apple in any way shape or form
Absolute horse-radish !!! You obviously do not have the years of experience to read between the lines. Very simple … Apple’s only option to combat a clearly superior product, that threatens to take it’s market share is a law suit. Is Apple also going to sue LG as well for its latest smart phones? Looks like Apple’s INNVOATION disappeared with Steve Balmer, leaving only the legal prats to defend the company. They innovated before why can’t they do it again. In addition, what clearly makes Samsung devices so popular is not the fact that it looks and feels similar to an iPhone, but rather due to Samsung’s development of the brand and their support of a clearly superior operating system, namely ANDROID. It is the OS that defines the way you see things on screen and your interactin with the phone. I’ve tried both IOS and Android, and Android is clearly superior. This is why it’s so popular and this is why Apple is running scared and resorting to absurd lawsuits stating things like “distinction between single-touch and multi-touch”. The Microsoft surface distinguished between “single and multi-touch” years before Apple, and Apple are claiming they came up with it purely because it had not yet before been implemented in a phone … what rubbish !!!
If Apple and Samsung ended this BS and used there brains to make a phone together then it would kill every other phone on the market, but we all know that it will never happen!