>> Apple infringed Samsung's '449 patent on presenting photos and videos.
That is very unfortunatel that Apple copies others and yet have the boldness to be making this noise. This has nothing to do with infringement. They want Samsung out so they can sell iPhone for $2,000 per unit
>> The eight-person jury decided Samsung owes Apple $119.6 million for infringing three of its patents. Apple owes Samsung $158,000 for infringing one of its patents.
It is the same parity you see in the banking industry where European banks are hit more than U.S. banks on these penalties by U.S. regulators. What is $158k for Apple? I know the jurors knew Samsung is not American.
I'm too lazy to check out the other patents, but certainly Apple didn't invent autocorrection? I don't understand how these apparent oversights continue to be allowed in these Apple v Samsung lawsuits.
>Haven't the jurors been using word processors for the past decades?
Even if any particular juror knows for a fact that this feature was invented by someone other than the parties to the lawsuit, they cannot find the patent invalid if evidence in that regard has not been presented in court during the trial. So when there is an 'oversight' of this sort, it is really the lawyers' fault. I thought the Samsung laywers did not bring convincing evidence in their own defense on this one and was therefore not surprised by the outcome.
One can argue similarly as you do about what Apple calls quick-links and wonder when Apple invented embedded links. Similarly on that one, Samsung did not present that angle in their defense and were not convincing.
I covered parts of the trial for EETimes and I can only say the attorneys' lack of understanding of the technology boggled the mind.
The whole problem with the US judicial setup when it comes to patent law is that it depends on two entities unqualified to make a call on these issue, the judiciary and the jury system ! Thankfully the Indian system has multiple safeguards (in theory) to avoid this problem.
1. Patent appeals do not go to the regular courts but to a Patent Tribunal which is led by a senior retired judge (judges retire at 65 in India) but has a technical member panel. These are usually folks who are senior staff from the patent office or related departments. Hopefully the tribunal will start accepting experts from the private sector. But the bottom line is that these cases are heard by someone who has some understanding of patent law and who knows technology. The tribunal can appoint amicus curae experts. The judge would have no hesitation in asking the local CS Dept. opinion for example. In effect the ruling depends on technical merits and and less so on legal precedent.
The Indian supreme court which happily is on an activist crusade (that is if you lean left of center like me). It recently declared the core section of the Indian Constitution out of bounds to any amendments saying that the fundamental nature of the Constituion is inviolable and hence the Parliment is forbidden to alter it. No nonsense about the intent of the founding fathers like other courts. We essentially got our Bill of Rights not by legislation but by a single court ruling. So in patent cases, it will typically not overrule the tribunal unless the ruling is grossly wrong and will be creative in interperting patent law to suit the times.
2. Thanks to our infamous Secition 3(k), SW patents per se and process patents are disallowed. So it is very easy to challenge a validity of a patent in front of the IPAB. As Yahoo found out to its cost, these kind of patents even if granted will simply not stand scrutiny. It cost a major online newspaper and portal just about USD 20-30K to challenge and win against Yahoo. The lawyer who won the case is a pal of mine and turns out that the whole process was just a few hearings.
3. Even when patents are enforced, there is not a single case where the tribunal or the courts above it (you can appeal the tribunal's decison in the High Court or Supreme Court) have agreed to large patent royalty. The various drug companies are finding this out to their dismay. Even if someone like Eriicsson asks for exorbitant royalties, the India Anti-Trust folks get their fangs on you even before the Patent tribunal gets to hear about it. As Ericsson is finding out. BTW, I am advising the Indian Hanset Manufacturer's association in their battle with Ericsson. I do not charge for my services, so my opinion here is not biased due to monetary gains. I am getting assistance from the SFLC folks on this.
In this particular case, it is interesting to see how wireless patents pan out. They all run on a DSP so they are software. I guess if you invent a new antenna or RF power mgmt controller, that in conjucntion in the SW may be patentable but not SW running on a general purpose DSP with std. antennae. I intend to challenge Ericsson seperately on this.
I am not saying this setup is perfect but it strive to do the following
- qualified professionals decide on the technical merits of a patent, not lawyers, judges or juries
- patent royalties are kept reasonable (drug patents fall into a seperate category where Indian law mandates affordability for royalties and also mandates mandatoty licensing if so requited)
- patent litigation is very affordable
The icing on the cake is that Govt. of India has its own Linux distribution (called B.O.S.S) and soon an android variant too. I wonder if MS will take the Govt. of India to court, the very entity that decides what is patentable ? I also wonder if the Android handset vendors who are paying MS are adding that cost to handsets sold in India. If they are, I can ask MS for a refund !
Great thank you for enlightening us that intellectual property protection in India is at many times no better than in China and appears at the whim of the state. now I know not to outsource software development there or anything where IP protection is important.