Apple vs. Samsung verdict: It doesn't matter

Apple vs. Samsung verdict: It doesn't matter

Summary: You really think that the jury finding Samsung guilty matters? Think again.

SHARE:
patent-absurdity
Apple's big win may look impressive, but it will be appealed in days and then the battle will start all over again.

The jury in Apple vs. Samsung, doubtlessly eager to be out by the weekend, rushed their way through the approximately 26 pages and 55 questions of their instructions and decided that Samsung did indeed violate some of Apple's patents just over a billion bucks.

Impressive? Not really.

This is not the end. This verdict doesn't even matter in the long run. This was just another clash.

This case was going to be appealed, no matter who won, the second it started. This is just one more encounter on the case's way to the Supreme Court. Samsung has lost this skirmish, but not the war.

Let me refresh your memory. Apple started this by suing Samsung around the world. Samsung has replied in kind. Antarctica may be the only continent where the two aren't locked in battle. The U.S. District Court is just a single battlefield in a much greater war.

In those other battles, Apple and Samsung have both won and lost. South Korea's Seoul Central District Court may have the most representative result. It found both companies guilty.

True, in this one arena, Apple has won big... for now. But, besides being just a single conflict, Samsung's Android buddy, Google is busy asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the import of iPhones, iPads, and Macs for patent violations . That too will end up in court after court after court.

This case really shows only one thing. The patent system, especially when it comes to software, is utterly and totally broken. While I tend to side with Samsung—come on Apple you really believe that your patenting the rectangle makes sense in any sane world?--the whole fouled up patent system is doing nothing but blocking innovation, raising end-user prices, and enriching no one except law firms.

I find myself agreeing whole-heartily with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “Our patent system is intended to incentivize innovation, in theory at least. Lately it’s become little more than a tool to squelch competition, and it’s not just the Apples and the Samsungs of the world who find themselves fighting these battles. It’s also small and innovative companies, local governments, foreign companies trying to make it in America, hobbyists, and even individual developers. … Apple v. Samsung is not the problem in itself, but it’s a symptom of a broken system.”

Exactly so. In the end, all of us, anyone who buys any technology anywhere, will pay higher prices. And innovation, what the patent system was designed to encourage, will only suffer until this utterly messed up system is totally revised.

Related Stories:

The verdict is in: Samsung vs. Apple

Apple v. Samsung verdict: What it means

Apple v. Samsung timeline: The guide to what's happening

S. Korea court finds cure for Apple-Samsung patent war: Ban both

Mutually Assured Destruction: Google/Motorola vs. Apple

Why is Apple scared to compete with Samsung?

Topics: Patents, Android, Apple, Legal, Samsung, Smartphones, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

152 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Oh they're gonna appeal

    But like Oracle, Samsung may still find themselves on the pissing end.
    Cylon Centurion
    • apple use samsung parts

      most parts in iphone/ipad are samsung. Guess who's going to end up paying the $1bn?
      - samsung customers (apple).
      Seriously, the US is only one of 3 major territories. Apple hasn't won in the EU or China, both of the same size smartphone wise as the USA.
      even in the US, Samsung beats apple 2:1 in sales, and it's pretty much the same in the other territories.
      stevey_d
      • No matter how you spin it

        A billion dollars is still a billion dollars.

        Now maybe Samsung will stop stealing patents from Apple.
        Cylon Centurion
        • you can't "steal" a patent

          Everywhere else in the world, Apple hasn't won this.

          A billion dollars is chump change for samsung in any case (their turnover is more than double Apples), and as most of the components in the iphone are samsung, who do you think will end up paying for it?

          But if you look to the rights and wrongs of this case, it's clear that samsung are in the right, and apple are in the wrong. there are many procedural problems with this case, so a rerun is a certainty.

          The latest, hotest samsung phones and tablets like samsung Galaxy Tab and S3 weren't found to infringe in any case, so if you think samsung is going away, you're probably very much mistaken.
          stevey_d
          • stevey_d,

            Don't feed the trolls, especially, those most stupid of all, the Crapple trolls
            (For the comparison, M$ trolls at least pretend to make a modicum of sense)
            eulampius
          • eulampius

            would you like some whine to go with that cheese?

            :)
            Cylon Centurion
          • icon

            Are you Walter Menegazzi? It's irrelevant; I just recall that user icon!
            Jambe
          • Oh yes you can steal a patent...

            ...by illegally copying the upheld patented IP of another company, which seems to have escaped your credibility filter, in the light of the court's decision.

            '... and as most of the components in the iphone are samsung, who do you think will end up paying for it?'
            So you think Samsung could make Apple and thus it's users, pay the fine by increasing the cost to Apple of Samsung made components?...with pretty much the whole of the worlds trade depending on contractual law set in stone? And this would be a good thing for Samsung? Sheesh!
            But there again, maybe Samsung should take your advice(?) and get bitchslapped on the other cheek so they can have another whine about rectangles. LOL..if they(and you)...really thought that was why they got fined a BILLION DOLLARS, cluelessness is catching.

            'But if you look to the rights and wrongs of this case, it's clear that samsung are in the right, and apple are in the wrong. there are many procedural problems with this case, so a rerun is a certainty.'
            The only thing 'clear' around here, is that you haven't even the slightest insight into the rights, wrongs and procedural legal niceties necessary to win in court.
            frogspaw
          • The only way to steal a patent

            The only way to steal a patent is to file for one on tech that someone else has invented.

            Ahem.
            daengbo
          • Samsung's case

            was shaky from the start - that's why they decided to release the "so called damning info" about not-Sony's designs to the media after it was not admitted to the court. As for the latest Samsung products not infringing - this remains to be seen as those products were not listed in the initial filings. But by all means hold on to that hope you have.
            NonFanboy
          • you too

            hold on to the funny hope of yours with that lunatic belief that Apple invented everything including rectangles with rounded corners. Doctors call it schizophrenia. NonSense and NonFanboy must be related.
            eulampius
        • simplistic view

          as this article and many others on popular tech sites reveal, this case and this entire episode is not quite that straight forward. apple and samsung use each other's technology quite freely, and only when samsung became a serious player in the market did apple become concerned. and the consequences of this verdict if not upturned are more than just a fine for samsung, it means that the current smartphone market goes back to the stoneage. while it may mean new and innovative alternate technologies and Uis, it will also mean that development of new products will be slow or sloppy or both, because manufacturers will be too scared to implement a crucial design element or feature because it may bare a resemblance to something of apple's. also apple copied various features and design ideas freely from competitors or ventures that never got off the ground because they weren't bolted down by patents. like the design idea from ipod design ideas from an abandoned sony prototype or the multi touch input from an MIT student project from the 80s.
          it's these kind of simpleton statements(please excuse me if I sound dismissive, arrogant or prejudiced) look at apple fans with disdain & at the same time frustration.
          viral908
        • heh

          Samsung just made $40billion in just Q2 2012, they are going to charge it from Apple either way by manufacturing their parts...
          AmediaN
        • Live Long

          Samsung won't have to pay this decade. If they hire good lawyers, it won't be next decade either. Yes, there will be appeals. There will be other lawsuits that will be later added to this one too.

          Steven is correct. It isn't really over. At the end of the day, only the Lawyers won.
          YetAnotherBob
      • Samsung does NOT beat Apple sales in the US

        Thanks to this court case, we know for a fact that Samsung does not beat Apple's sales in the US. In fact, they run a very poor second (http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-and-samsung-just-revealed-their-exact-us-sales-figures-for-the-first-ever-time-2012-8).

        But we also know that Samsung is number one globally (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23455612). This means that outside the US, Samsung is a clear leader.

        The real reason that the Apple/Samsung US verdict "doesn't matter" is that in the global context it is not the main game for Samsung. Is anyone surprised that the Korean company is having trouble winning the hearts and minds of American consumers (and juries) when pitted against Apple? I doubt it. Not even anyone at Samsung.

        No doubt Samsung harbors ambitions to be the US market leader. But equally, it knows that it is playing on Apple's turf in the US, and there is a long road ahead.

        This is a speedbump. And it's not even over yet.
        Patentology
        • not all samsung phones were listed in the case

          Samsung market share of the us market is double apples'. (market survey gartner or someone).
          stevey_d
    • What happened with the original Cylon Centurion?

      N/T

      P.S. Hi, Mr. Black.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • I saw the light

        And renounced the wintard cult. No more boot-licking and shining Ballmer's shoes.
        Cylon Centurion
        • you saw a bigger

          buck lit by that light. Dustier Ballmer's shoes, cleaner, well-licked Cook's sneakers now?
          eulampius
          • Tell us all about that

            The bigger buck you met.

            lol...
            Cylon Centurion