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Samsung vs. Apple Verdict: Apple Wins Huge

Illustration for article titled Samsung vs. Apple Verdict: Apple Wins Huge

We've been watching Apple and Samsung hammer each other for what feels like eons over who ripped off whom. And now the jury is in (shockingly soon): Samsung just lost almost everything.

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The case, which has centered over a panoply of patents relating to both hardware and software design, should settle one major argument once and for all: did Samsung rip off Apple's design when it started churning out touch devices of its own? Does Apple own the right to tech features that've become completely ubiquitous, like icon grids and black rectangles? The repercussions here are mammoth—this decision could literally and profoundly change the way our gadgets look for years and years to come.

Apple has contended that the entire mobile industry had nothing but messes of buttons and switches before Steve Jobs descended with the iPhone—after which point a unadorned glass face with rounded, bouncy icons became the de facto standard for pretty much every phone and tablet, for the rest of time. Samsung says they came up with this stuff on its own before the iPhone ever dropped. Apple, of course, claims the opposite.

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Keep in mind that probably everything below will be appealed, so this is by no means over. As much as we wish it were.

Update: According to The Verge, reporting from the courtroom, an enormous swath of Samsung's devices have been found to illegally rip off Apple's software interface ideas (namely bounce-back scrolling and gestures):

Continuum, Droid Charge, Exhibit 4G, Galasy Ace, Prevail, S 4G, S II, Galaxy Tab, The Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Mesmerie, Nexus S 4G, Replenish and Vibrant

Captivate, continuum, droid charge, fascinate, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II, i9100, Galaxy s 2 Tmobile, Tab, Tab 10.1, Gem, Indulge, Infuse, Nexus S 4G

The list goes on. Virtually every Samsung device in question has been found to infringe on Apple patents. Very, very few exceptions. This is a landslide for Apple so far.

Update 2: Another giant blow to Samsung—the following devices have been found to infringe upon Apple's "front trade dress"—meaning the way it looks:

Fascinate, Galaxy S, S 4G, S 2 ATT, S2 i9100, S2 Tmobile, S 2 Epic 4G touch, Skyrocket, Showcase, Infuse 4G, Mesmerize, and Vibrant.

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Update 3: The Galaxy Tab gets off clean for design! Major points for Samsung.

Update 4: Samsung willingly infringed upon multiple Apple patents, the jury says. That's very bad. Intentional intellectual property theft. Big loss for Sammy.

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Update 5: Another trouncing for Samsung: the company didn't prove that a single one of Apple's contested patents is invalid. This will have big consequences when it comes time to hand out punishment.

Update 6: Samsung hit with over $1 BILLION in damages, paid to Apple. Hoo boy! That's enough to buy an Instagram, with cash left over. $1,051,855,000, to be exact.

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Update 7: Jury says Apple violated zero Samsung patents, and owes Apple nothing so far. Welp. Remember that part in Starship Troopers, when all of the bugs kill all the humans? This is like that, and Samsung is the humans. The question now: where will Apple's legal team be dining tonight? A giant lake filled with molten gold?

Update 8: Samsung's statement, according to CNET:

"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."

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Update 9: Samsung scored a 0.24% discount on the bill they owe Apple because of a jury screw up. The bill is now... wait for it, wait for it: $1,049,343,540.

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Update 10: Apple and Samsung get a schedule for post-trial filings, with a hearing set for September 20th.

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Apple didn't win literally every single possible victory, but almost all of them. Here they are, in the blue jersey. The gentleman in white makes Android phones.

But like we said, this isn't over. The extent to which this will change the look and feel of every non-Apple tablet and phone hasn't been decided yet, nor are we sure just how badly this gut-punch from Apple will bruise Samsung specifically. But if you need it boiled down: horrible day for Samsung, great day for Apple.

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DISCUSSION

hawaiitech
hawaiitech

I made a reply earlier to one of the other remarks, but I think this whole issue needs perspective. Once upon a time, there was this small company called Apple. They were tiny and only had about 7 per cent of the PC market. They did have a loyal following of beleivers and managed to struggle on. Then the mighty Steve Jobs looked upon the Xerox Altos' WIMP, (windows, icons, menus and pointing device) interface, saw that it was good and stole the idea. Thus was born the Macintosh Operating System. But there was another secret out there that Steve Jobs did not want the world to know and that was Apple had actually contracted with Microsoft to write some of source code for them. This probably led to Microsoft being able to create the original Windows OS, which was overlayed on MS-DOS. It took 3 version upgrades to finally get a good working version. Steve Jobs though, did try to sue Microsoft for copying the Macintosh OS GUI interface in 1988 and after a 4 year court battle, Apple lost. Exactly for the reason of having copied the Xerox Altos WIMP OS GUI ideas. But let us jumped a bunch of years into the future and we now see that Apple is in dire straits and on the rocks. Who comes to their rescue, why it is Microsoft and Bill Gates, who personally buys a $150 million block of Apple common stock to help them out. This is one of the few, though very strong reasons that Apple is around today. They were saved by Bill Gates. Now that they are the big wheel in the constantly evolving world of computing, they are trying to kill the competition with patent trolling. This is not to say that Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, HP and others have not done so as well, but it does highlight the degree of vengence that Apple will go to. All of the above history is abridged and can be confirmed on Goggle.