Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Jury Has Spoken! A Look at Tech's Largest Trial

The inevitable end has occurred. To the trial that got on the Judge's nerves and confused the jury, after a 21hr and 37min discussion, the jury has decided that Samsung should be the one to pay. 1 billion dollars. Still less than what Apple had asked for, but still in the end Samsung has lost. No devices have been banned yet, but the injunction still is to be determined. Now there are two sides to the tale. Samsung lost over the pinch to zoom patent that Apple owns. In Samsung's defense you can't copy what has already been stolen. Saying that Mitsubishi already had developed the technology a while back, but never patented it. Yet Apple was first to implement and patent it on a mobile device making it a totally new type of patent.

How They Lost
Numbers, its easier to find a flaw in a group, than in an individual. What used to be Samsung's way of success became their own downfall. Plus the jury ruled that Samsung willfully copied the iPhone, but that's contradictory to what Steve said himself. "Good artists copy, great artists steal", so why didn't the jury include that in on the ruling? There are two factors that come in to play. The first one being the patent system, and how it's been abused. The patent system worked in the past, but we are now living in a changing society, one which the patent system wasn't designed for. Since technology is such a huge subject you could have pinch to zoom patent on a phone, but pinch to zoom on a tablet would be a whole new patent. You can see if two different companies had this issue, there would be a large court case. The second being patriotism, there are examples both in South Korea and the U.S.A. Where the courts favored the company that they came from. For example in South Korea (which was a more fair ruling) both companies were charged, but Samsung was charged less. Still 31k isn't much compared to the 1 billion that we are talking about here. But here in America it would make sense for Americans to support a company that will help out their economy. But CNET wrote an article about who the jury was and you can read it here. But at least we can rejoice in the UK where Apple will have to make an apology video.

What's Next
Due to the current legal system, Apple can ask Judge Koh so Samsung will pay three times the current amount. On the other hand Samsung will most likely appeal. What originally was thought to end in a settlement, turned in to something completely unexpected.

Now all this has gone by pretty fast, but it's not over yet. The injunction is still to happen on September 20th, and you still have work to do as well. If you don't like the current patent system, then you can head on over to the EFF's (Electronic Frontier Foundation) site and sign a petition which will go to DC. And if you want good news, Samsung is supposed to announce the Galaxy Note 2 in 4 days. And if you're excited about the iPhone 5 you can watch the video posted below. This may just be the start of a Thermonuclear war between patent trolls and innovators, and with lawyers that can prove the Earth is flat, it's going to be a long ride.