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.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh can hardly contain her frustration with Apple and Samsung over their court room shenanigans, first by snapping at the latter for leaking disallowed evidence to the public, and now to the former for submitting a long witness list. Koh suggested Apple's attorneys were "smoking crack" if they thought they could summon nearly two dozen rebuttal witnesses in the waning hours of litigation.
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.”
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.
Nearly a dozen game developers, including Electronic Arts (EA), stand accused of infringing upon a patent held by Uniloc that relates to a "system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data." According to Uniloc, EA and others are using the patented technology, without permission, in certain Android-based mobile games, including Bejeweled 2, which was specifically named in the lawsuit.
At a time when Apple has been successful in suing competing products right off of store shelves for allegedly copying the look and feel of the iPhone, Amazon fully understands what's at stake as it looks to enter the smartphone market. Oh, haven't you heard? Amazon is indeed looking to make a run at the iPhone with a mobile phone of its own, just as soon as it collects enough patents to fend off Apple's aggressive legal strategy.
Certain InterDigital subsidiaries will receive a $375 million cash payment from Intel in exchange for handing over roughly 1,700 patents and patent applications related to 3G, Long Term Evolution (LTE), and 802.11 wireless technologies. Intel plans to use its newly acquired wireless patents to help support its strategic investments in the mobile segment, the Santa Clara chip maker said. By adding to its already large and diverse patent portfolio, Intel also puts itself in better position to avoid costly lawsuits.