The high profile Samsung vs. Apple trial has finally come to a conclusion, and the Jury has delivered a stunning $1.05 billion settlement in favor of Apple. The fine isn’t unsubstantial, but the bigger message here is that Apple now has legal precedent for many of the patents that cover the gadgets we love, and the rest of the industry will need to quickly fall into line. This will mean higher licensing fees, and ultimately, higher prices for consumers. The Verge did an excellent job of summarizing the verdict as it came down, but to put it in just a few words, this changes everything.
The high profile trial between Apple and Samsung in the U.S. has yet to be decided, but in a South Korean court, a three-judge panel ruled that both firms are infringing on each other. Both were awarded damages, and hit with sales bans to infringing smartphones and tablets, although not any of the newer devices, including the iPhone 4S, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy S III.
It's another day, and the way things have been going lately, that usually means another development in the patent trial between Apple and Samsung. Today is no exception, though if the presiding judge gets her wish, all this nonsense will come to an end, and not by way of a jury verdict. Instead, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh urged both companies to get on the horn one more time to see if they can come up with a settlement agreement.
Through what's been a highly publicized legal battle between Apple and Samsung over design patents, it recently came to light that all this courtroom drama could have been avoided if Samsung agreed to license technologies from its rival and pay a royalty of $30 per phone and $40 per tablet. Samsung, which Apple considered a "strategic partner," scoffed at the idea, and so here we are watching this whole mess play out, only to inevitably repeat itself in appeal when it's all said and done. So, why hasn't Apple gone after Microsoft?
The soap opera style saga between Apple and Samsung has already seen more than its fair share of drama, from Samsung leaking disallowed evidence to the public to the revelation that Apple once considered its enemy a "strategic partner," offering to license key patents at a discounted rate. The latest episode in As the Patent World Turns involves U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh barring a Samsung designer from presenting testimony in the trial.
The Apple vs. Samsung saga has been unfolding at a rapid pace over the last few weeks, and several new developments about what went on behind the scenes is starting to emerge. According to court fillings, Apple considered Samsung a “strategic partner”, and offered them the option to license key patents in order to restore peace between the two companies. “Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype,” Apple said in an Oct. 5, 2010 presentation to Samsung. “Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device.”
Google has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging the sultan of search placed tracking cookies on computers running Apple's Safari browser that effectively bypassed the browser's built-in privacy measures. It's the largest fine ever handed out by the FTC, and one the government organization hopes will serve as a deterrent to other companies who might look to profit at the expense of privacy.
With all due respect to Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and any other mobile platform not named Android or iOS, you're all just a bunch of also-rans in what's becoming "unquestionably a two-horse race," according to data and analysis by International Data Corporation (IDC). Android and iOS set a new combined smartphone OS record in the second quarter of 2012, with the two platforms feasting on an 85 percent share of the market, leaving just 15 percent in scraps for all others to fight over.
Apple this week pulled out what it hopes will be a trump card in its courtroom battle with Samsung over allegations that the rival device maker copied the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad devices. The supposed trump card is a 132-page internal Samsung document from 2010 in which the company directly compares the Galaxy S1's shortcomings to the iPhone in a variety of areas, with recommendations on how to improve them.
Apple and Google are both reportedly interested in Kodak's digital patents, but the amount each one is willing to pay is far below what the cash strapped company thinks they could be worth. By Kodak's estimation, the patents up for auction could bring in as much as $2.6 billion, which would go a long way towards settling the company's financial woes and bankruptcy proceedings. Early bids, however, haven't even topped $250 million.