“This is a huge victory for Apple...[but] the real question is whether this is enough to derail the momentum the Android ecosystem has gained in the marketplace,” said Mark A. Lemley, a professor at the Stanford Law School.
Factors still to be determined include whether Lucy H. Koh, the judge in the San Jose case, will uphold an injunction against importing the Samsung handsets and tablets found to be infringing. Such a decision quickly would translate the jury verdict into a market-share shift, at least in the U.S.
Koh must also decide whether she will add punitive damages to the $1.05 billion in compensatory damages already awarded by the jury. Under the law, she could triple the damages award due to the jury’s finding of willfulness.
A billion—or even three—is more significant in the eyes of the buying public than it is to the big bankrolls of Apple and Samsung. “A billion dollars is sensational and will certainly capture the attention of the media and the consumer,” said Casey Hill, an intellectual property lawyer who worked with smartphone makers such as Research in Motion.
Other key factors are private. "One question is how hard it is for Samsung to redesign its phones to avoid the patents, and whether doing so messes up the apps written for the Android OS," said Lemley.
"A second question is whether other Android phone makers feel the need to redesign to avoid these patents," he said.
The winning Apple design patents include two on industrial design—the D ‘677 on the iPhone’s flat, black transparent face with large display and the D ‘087 on its rectangular shape with rounded corners and a bezel. The third winning design patent is D ‘305 on its app screen with colorful icons on a grid with a black background.
The winning Apple utility patents include the ‘381 on the bounce-back feature when the user comes to the end of, for example, a contact list. They also include the ‘163 on the double-tap-to-zoom command and the ‘915 on the single-finger scroll/two-finger zoom gestures.
The patents are likely Apple’s strongest. It is reasonable to assume the company has others forming a second tier it may now try to establish in other cases around the globe.
"Apple has already asserted several dozen different patents against Android device makers in the US and abroad-most of these claims have not been adjudicated yet," said Mueller.
"They have the right to reassert in California any patents they withdrew to narrow the case for trial, and they have a second lawsuit pending against Samsung in that district, which they filed in February over eight patents," he said.
Hold on to your seats, this ride has just started.
If Apple patented a microwave oven, you could only cook food you bought from the Apple supermarket or else risk damaging the device. If you published a cookbook with recipes Apple didn't like, they would remove your food from the shelves. Lastly, the oven would become obsolete every year.
The fact the the jury were not patent experts and they maintain that the patents still hold will be easy to turn around. Next time get in the experts. What about the five wireless patents that Apple infringed that were disallowed? Does not look fair to someone outside of the US and an ex-Apple customer. Bad publicity for a "socially aware" company will affect the share price, but right now the Wall Street folk are cashing in while they talk up the price. Might follow the Facebook hype route.
Looking at the diagrams in the third patent, and the screen of my Motorola Razr, I can see quite a resemblance. From a distance, one could be the other.
My Razr has icons with transparent backgrounds. Is that enough to keep it from infringing? The signal strength indicator and other indicators are all over on the right on my phone, but spread out on the iPhone. The battery meter is vertical on mine and horizontal on the iPhone.
There is a lot of resemblance and yet a lot of difference. I really don't understand the design patent system well enough to know if those differences are enough to prevent infringement. If they are enough, then there's no reason I can see to design an infringing phone.
Regardless, I think the whole "jumble of icons" interface paradigm is kind of stupid - not that I could do better.
@Code Monkey: I do remember a discussion about a possible litigation about the gas fill behind the license plate. Well, that is a reasonably obsolete practice. So is putting it behind the left tail light with a hidden button.
this case illustrates just one thing: that when the PTO doesn't do its job, the legal system is inadequate to make up for it.
these patents are absurd: non-novel and obvious. at least now we have a case that can serve to overturn the entire current IP racket and bring us back to the root purpose: PROMOTE PROGRESS.
That is an excellent observation Rick. As engineers, most of us deal only with technical patents and really have no understanding of what a design patent is. Also, prior to this trial, I had never heard the phrase "trade dress."
What I think may be just starting to dawn on the engineering community is what a design patent and a trade dress is and that they actually are a part of our US patent system now.
Mock if you will, but it is there. Better to understand it and work with it than get socked with a $1B fine.
Design patents are meant to protect an overall look made up of any number of elements.
I think the iPhone has a distinctive look even though it is not wildly dissimilar to some of the examples of prior art Samsung cited such as the LG Prada.