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Android Patents The Courts Apple

Judge Koh Rules: Samsung Did Not Willfully Infringe 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-keeps-going dept.
sfcrazy writes "In a nutshell there won't be a new trial in the Apple V. Samsung case, as Samsung wanted, because the judge thinks that the trial was fair despite allegations that the jury foreman could have been biased. She also ruled that there won't be any more money for Apple as the iPhone maker failed to prove they were 'undercompensated' by the jury. The most important ruling was that she found that 'Samsung did not willfully infringe.'"
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Judge Koh Rules: Samsung Did Not Willfully Infringe

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  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @08:35PM (#42757203) Homepage Journal

    General consensus on Groklaw is that she's sick of the whole mess and knows everyone is appealing everything, so she's just kicking it upstairs.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday February 01, 2013 @12:16AM (#42758311)

    General feelings from the Apple side is that this is unfortunate but would rather Apple stop wasting time on it. General opinion from the Samsung/Android side is, **** Apple, waste as much money as possible.

    This had *nothing* to do with feelings. Apple is unable to maintain its massive mark-ups of rebadged foxconn phones through innovation; its massive market share gone; the days of the iPhone killer long behind us; its marketing machine pushing it as the *one* phone turning on Apple. When Jobs went thermonuclear on Android he should have been spending money on diverse product lines; Company acquisitions....hell competed on price, but instead he deicide to *litigate* over a few interface patents on devices covered by thousands of patents, often shared at little or no cost between traditional phone manufactures.

    This court case was a massive win for Apple, but without product bans...toothless. I suspect even with them there are simply too many compelling Android phones; from a diverse collection of manufactures. All with an Mountain!? of there own patents [Hell even Google has them now]...Apple is terrified of them forming a cartel.

    The bottom line is this is nothing to do with feelings this is everything about poor corporate strategy.

  • Re:Face saving (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 01, 2013 @12:41AM (#42758395) Homepage Journal

    Judge Koh knew that she has seriously fcuked up in the original trial.

    I'm sure you have some precedent or legal doctrine to cite in support of this beyond "I hate people who disagree with me"?

    This second round ruling - that Samsung does not "willfully" infringe on Apple's patents - is nothing less than a face saving move.

    No, it's pretty reasonable. Willful infringement, under the current law, requires almost malicious behavior in which the infringer acknowledges that they infringe the patent, but then go ahead anyway. Basically, they have to be evildoers: "I think the patent is invalid" or "I think our system is different" isn't enough - they have to actually say "the patent is valid, and our system is an identical copy, and fark those bastards because muwahahaha!" And that results in potentially tripled damages.

    But patents aren't about who's good and moral and who's evil and malicious... they're about who stepped up and publicized an innovation to share it with everyone else, and who hid documents as trade secrets in an attempt to capitalize on them forever. As Jefferson said, an exclusive monopoly is an embarrassment to society that is only conscionable if society benefits from granting it. It's a flat economic decision: I give you exclusive rights to an invention, in exchange for you publishing your technical specifications, white papers, etc., because society takes the long view and giving exclusive rights for 20 years isn't so bad if you're thinking in terms of centuries or milleniums.

    So to get to a level of "this person infringed a patent willingly" requires that they haven't just harmed the patent owner, but they've harmed society because they're diminishing the exclusive incentive behind granting that patent. If willful infringement causes inventors to decide to keep trade secrets, then we're all farked and those infringers should be harshly punished. But until then and particularly where infringers aren't willful, tripling damages seems incredibly out of proportion to the wrong.

    Disclaimer: I'm a very pro-patent patent attorney, though I am on the drafting and prosecution side, and not litigation. We tend to be pro-inventor, and less pro-cut everyone's throat and get as much blood as possible.

  • Re:Face saving (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 01, 2013 @01:49AM (#42758593) Homepage Journal

    I give you exclusive rights to an invention, in exchange for you publishing your technical specifications, white papers, etc.

    But current patents don't actually require you to publish your technical specifications, white papers, etc. You just have to publish the patent application.

    And I agree, that's a failing in current patent law that should be addressed by Congress. The current test is whether one of ordinary skill in the art could recreate the invention from the specification, not whether any n00b could do so, but maybe the latter would be preferable.
    That said, the specification is not required to be the sole disclosure, and companies can publish technical specifications and white papers without losing their patent rights, unlike with trade secrets. Maybe a better solution is that a compulsory royalty of x% can be increased for each additional piece of documentation that a company publishes. Just the spec? You get n%. Functional descriptions? n+m%. White papers? n+o%. Etc. More disclosure = more money, which is what society really wants, in the end.

    Said values of n, m, o, etc. would of course be dependent on market analysis and the value of the invention.

  • General feelings from the Apple side is that this is unfortunate but would rather Apple stop wasting time on it. General opinion from the Samsung/Android side is, **** Apple, waste as much money as possible.

    This had *nothing* to do with feelings. Apple is unable to maintain its massive mark-ups of rebadged foxconn phones through innovation; its massive market share gone; the days of the iPhone killer long behind us; its marketing machine pushing it as the *one* phone turning on Apple.

    [cough]iPhone snags its highest U.S. market share ever [cnet.com][/cough]

  • by HuguesT (84078) on Friday February 01, 2013 @02:37AM (#42758725)

    One very important sentence in the groklaw article:

    The reason she found Samsung was not willful is because of all the prior art that their experts testified showed that the Apple patents were invalid.

    Am I reading this correctly? Apple has invalid patents but still got damages out of them? Does this mean they are a one-shot deal and that other manufacturers can infringe now? In this case 1 billion dollars to render Apple's portfolio irrelevant was effectively very cheap, given the size of the relevant market.

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