Fact: Samsung “patently” wrongly borrowed from Apple and will pay them US$1.5B but Judge Lucy Koh stated that Samsung was not “wilful” in infringing Apple’s patents.
But this monster case is far from over with Apple adding to its hit list the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note. Attempts to add Android Jelly Bean itself were denied as that would require a separate court action against Google and bring in a raft of other manufacturers using the OS. That case will be heard in March 2013 by the very same judge – who by now is somewhat of an expert on mobile phone patents.
The key issue is that patent wars (necessary as they are to protect patent holders) are holding back development and leading to higher costs – yea for open source and public sympathy is not with Apple on this (yes they have a right to be recompensed). “On the whole, the trial is one more indication of a patent system that has lost its bearings, with litigation rather than innovation leading the way.”
Some of the infringements covered things as weak as the resemblance of Sammy’s devices to Apples (I can’t easily see that), touch screen interactions (how you drag documents) and even down to having a single home button (which I feel is a legitimate function regardless of operating system). Come on – some things were never meant to be patented and the public is the best arbiter of what they will buy.
Versions of the action are also happening around the world – perhaps in the hope that different justice systems will yield a different result. For example Apple failed to get a ban on sales of Samsung Electronics Galaxy 10.1N and Galaxy Nexus mobile in Germany