Apple Beats Samsung: First Reactions
By BRIAN X. CHEN
8:35 p.m. | Updated Adding comment from Samsung Electronics.
In the landmark trial between Apple and Samsung Electronics, a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages on Friday after deciding that Samsung was guilty of infringement on most patents at issue. And in response to Samsung’s countersuit accusing Apple of infringing patents, the jury concluded that Apple owed Samsung nothing. In other words, it was a clean sweep for Apple.
What follows are early reactions to the news.
Apple was, obviously, quite pleased. Katie Cotton, an Apple spokeswoman, said the verdict did it justice.
We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.
Samsung Electronics issued a statement after the verdict:
Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
Mark Lemley, a professor of Stanford’s law school, spelled out just how enormous a win this was:
$1,051,855,000. And no cents, apparently. Just large enough to make it the largest surviving patent verdict in history. #icourt #appsung
In an update posted on LinkedIn, Al Sabawi, a former I.B.M. executive and founder of Quantopix, a software company, said Samsung deserved to lose.
To all the lazy copycats out there who think cutting and pasting is an intellectual achievement, that hard work, sweat and tears don’t matter, that ideas, designs, and innovations can be stolen willy-nilly with no consequences: This is to you.
Paul O’Brien, founder of MoDaCo, a site focused on Windows smartphones, said this sounded like good news for Microsoft and its Windows phone platform.
Hear that noise? That’s the sound of Android manufacturers ringing Microsoft right now.
Robert Barr, executive director of the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, spelled out what this would mean for the tech industry as a whole. It’s going to make it very difficult for not only Samsung but for other companies to mimic the Apple products:
Each of the patents cover a particular feature of the iPhone and the iPad. You can still make a smartphone, like the Microsoft Windows phone made by Nokia. It has a different look than the iPhone, different appearance and different features. That would be an example that is unaffected by this. The important thing here is that Apple’s patents were upheld as valid. Other companies are going to have to avoid the patents or license them. Even though this jury upheld them, other companies still get a shot. They can come in with new evidence and attack them. You have to have new reasons and new evidence.
The amount of damages is extraordinary. A billion dollars in damages is extra. It’s one of the biggest patent verdicts ever. That’s a huge amount of damages. And the judge has to now decide whether to increase that for the wilfulness. And the judge could increase that as much as triple. The judge has to still decide if there will be an injunction against future sales or a recall of product.
Even though people can come back and attack them, they are going to need new evidence and it’s going to be difficult.
Lisa Alcalay Klug and Nick Wingfield contributed reporting.