Samsung Routed In Apple Patent Fight; Told To Pay $1.05 Billion

from the ouch dept

The jury in the Samsung/Apple patent fight took nearly everyone by surprise by rushing through its job and finishing it way, way, way before anyone expected. They didn’t even ask any questions and with about 700 questions to answer, they breezed through it in no time. It was not a total victory for Apple (apparently the design patent on rounded-edge rectangles wasn’t infringed), but it was pretty close. In the end, Samsung was found to infringe an awful lot of things (and sometimes willfully) and the the final bill is a stunning $1.05 billion owed to Apple. There’s still a lot to sort through in the details, but this is a massive victory for Apple. Of course, Samsung has probably already written up its appeal (or will ask the judge to set the jury verdict aside or something), so this case is likely to be around for many years, but yet again we see just how ridiculous patent law can be. What the hell is wrong with competing in the marketplace? If Apple thinks Samsungs’ phones and tablets are too similar? Well, keep on innovating. It’s called competition, and now we’ll have less of it…

Minor update: After the rush, the judge came back to point out two problems with the verdict — including the jury awarding damages in cases where it had not found infringement. While this will be corrected and won’t change the results much, it certainly suggests that the jury rushed through this and may not have taken this particularly seriously. When you start talking about the numbers being thrown around in damages here, at some point, it must start to feel like play money. But it’s a pretty big indictment of the jury itself that it would make a mistake like this. It raises significant questions about how careful they were in getting to a verdict vs. how quickly they wanted to be done in time for the weekend.

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Samsung Routed In Apple Patent Fight; Told To Pay $1.05 Billion”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
141 Comments
Hwhil Hwheaton says:

Re: Re: The truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth

As do I. Another interesting point about this, which I myself have spoken about in the past and usually get hated for (no idea why), is how I dread juries and fervently hope my fate never rests with one. My insight came from serving on a jury. They’re a joke. People don’t take the job seriously at all and really do care more about getting it over quickly so they can get back to their lives. It completely shattered my faith in the system and this story simply reaffirms my feelings towards them.

Wally (profile) says:

Not entirely surprised

I really am not surprised. Neither by the jury’s descision, nor by the cost reduction to $1.05 billion. Taking a look back on the articles I’ve read over the past 3 or 4 months (my memory is fuzzy concerning time), I realize that Samsung never made any really very good legal decisions during the preliminary hearing.
They consistently made week arguments and was denied to show “compelling” evidence that it later shot itself in the foot with. When they were denied, they were compelled to beg to Judge Koh 3 times for it to make the same bits of evidence submissible. They were almost held in contempt of court.

The only reported mistake Apple made was make a detailed 75 page document full of legalese for the jury to use, which if translated to common English would be only 2 pages standard college ruled notebook paper.

Both companies were extremely silly I might add. It was as if it were an argument over whose penis was larger.

I’m going to skip over “Apple should have lost” and “Samsung Deserved to pay Apple” and point something out from a psychological standpoint. The more weekness you show in your rebuttals to the jurors, the less likely you’ll gain their sympathy and favor.

xenomancer (profile) says:

It’s called competition, and now we’ll have less of it…

But what about all the new lawyers clamoring to represent these tech behemoths when they clash? I’ve heard they’re competing in as members, or “associates,” of teams called “firms,” and that they even hold contests of skill in “courts.” With all the new “associates” and “firms”, football and NASCAR could be in trouble. Hell, youthful sponsors like Samsung and Apple from the tech industry should be praised for their entrepreneurial innovation in actively promoting the first sport in decades that involves referees, or “judges,” and crowds, or “juries,” that actively participate. I’m also impressed that these “judges” are allowed to wield powerful hammers of justice (called “gavels”) and that the “juries” get to ultimately determine who wins by who they cheer for.

/sarc

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh, so now you’re a Samsung shill too. That figures. Why can’t you simply accept the fact that the jury did its best and rendered an appropriate decision? Obviously you weren’t in the jury box listening to testimony, much less in deliberations.

Hey, is Apple a member of CCIA? I figured you’d know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think there’s some weird projection going on with this anti-techdirt troll AC.

Every time mike takes a side he’s automatically called a company shill even if Mike has previously criticised them and continues to do so in the future.

Makes me think you only defend someone after being paid off and thus assume everyone else behaves the same.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Maybe you should try reading the article. Using the same logic it outed him as a shill for Microsoft, eBay, Sprint, Facebook, AMD, Fujitsu, Dish Networks, Adventure Communications, Cascode Technologies, Data Foundry, Intuit, Integra Telecom, Light Squared, Netaccess System Technologies, nVidia, Open Connect, Red Hat, T3 Technologies, Turbo Hercules, XO Communications, and Yahoo.

Working on a study commisioned by the CIAA doesn’t make you a shill for everyone in the CIAA, your derp is showing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Why does it matter if google pays mike if he still makes the same claims he did before google even exiasted?

How does it discredit you to be paid to speak to things you yourself already claimed before the entity that pays you to speak even was able to pay you?

Getting paid to speak is only unetical when you don’t believe in what you’re saying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Why does it matter if google pays mike if he still makes the same claims he did before google even exiasted?

How does it discredit you to be paid to speak to things you yourself already claimed before the entity that pays you to speak even was able to pay you?

Getting paid to speak is only unetical when you don’t believe in what you’re saying.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

At least Mike is open about his beliefs and affiliations. You can’t even admit who you are, let alone being an actual paid shill. Although obviously you’re either not being paid enough to shill effectively, or you’re so desperate to hang onto your shill funding that you take the most moronic things the gatekeepers say and stretch them into hyper-FUD…

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Clash of the Titans. Hopefully too many mortals won't be squished.

The entire case on both sides was inappropriate. The whole thing should have gotten nullified. It never ceases to amaze me how people fail to realize that this kind of thing is bad for business all around.

It’s also the exact opposite of a free market.

ANY monopoly destroys the inherent efficiency of capitalism.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

“Why can’t you simply accept the fact that the jury did its best and rendered an appropriate decision?”

If the judge or an appeals court throws out the jury’s findings, even in part, will you concede that maybe the jury didn’t render an appropriate decision?

It’s a bit early to be patting the jury on the back for a job well done when the judge has already found some errors in their findings.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Why can’t you simply accept the fact that the jury did its best and rendered an appropriate decision?”

If the judge or an appeals court throws out the jury’s findings, even in part, will you concede that maybe the jury didn’t render an appropriate decision?

It’s a bit early to be patting the jury on the back for a job well done when the judge has already found some errors in their findings.

If the appellate court finds that the jury erred, I’ll be fine with it. Unlike a certain shill who is apoplectic over the current verdict.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Update...

Judge says patent wasn’t infringed. Don’t know how you go to ‘patent is valid’ from there.

Do you know how to read?

“A California jury on Friday found Samsung had infringed on the majority of the patents in question”

http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/24/technology/apple-samsung-verdict/index.html

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Update...

What deadline? A case like this can go on for months….. oh wait, that is probably what the problem was here.

Some lower-middle class people not wanting to be taken away from their jobs for up to a few months for a real deliberation on the merits.

One reason why I feel we need to, in cases like this, empanel people on the jury who are specialists in technology and who will understand these arguments.

DrFeelbad says:

Well, really Samsung DID rip off Apple

And Apple ripped off Xerox, and Microsoft ripped off Apple.

But really, yeah – it’s true. Samsung ripped ’em off. And in the meantime they gave all that juicy technology to the masses on Verizon Wireless for a fraction of the cost of the Apple Army. The only thing they didn’t do was have a Korean guy who looks like Steve Jobs die of some incurable disease like cancer but not exactly like it.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Well, really Samsung DID rip off Apple

“And Apple ripped off Xerox, and Microsoft ripped off Apple”

That’s all been discussed. It really had to do with the software coding of the pointer device we now know as a mouse.

Furthermore, I believe it was Steve Jobs who hacked his Xerox PARC terminal to keep the mouse cursor on screen which was code implemented on the Macintosh. Not sure.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Well, really Samsung DID rip off Apple

The point is that the entire computing industry is a collaborative effort in concert with academia. By the time you as a layman see something, it has likely gone through multiple iterations and decades of research and development.

Claiming sole ownership is foolish at best.

Plus many patents are trivial nonsense that just reflect the state of the art.

At one time Apple realized that both art and invention are mostly copying.

Anonymous Coward says:

While this will be corrected and won’t change the results much, it certainly suggests that the jury rushed through this and may not have taken this particularly seriously.

But it’s a pretty big indictment of the jury itself that it would make a mistake like this.

So I guess it couldn’t be a clerical or drafting error huh? Because you hate the decision you ascribe the worst of case scenario to the error. You shills are all alike.

DCX2 says:

Difficulty comprehending large numbers

It’s interesting to see human behavior when dealing with exponentially larger amounts of money.

For instance, look at those file-sharers who had hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars of judgments leveled against them for sharing a couple dozen songs. Look at the federal deficit in the US. And now look at this jury verdict for damages (which from what I hear could very well be tripled, since the jury was only supposed to determine wilfulness, but not consider it in damages)

Perhaps humans lose perspective whenever they consider amounts of money that exceed what they will ever earn in their entire lifetime.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Difficulty comprehending large numbers

Also, those billions come from various investments in the stock market and about 35 years of quarterly compounded interest, investor backing, lisencing, brand marketing…..shall I continue the list or shall we ask about how anyone can invest in the stock market rather wisely and have a business plan if they choose?

But ok use ad-hock math and statistics to try to prove how someone shouldn’t be able to make billions in a certain amount of time.

LDoBe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Difficulty comprehending large numbers

Nobody claimed “someone” that would imply a specific person. Generally speaking, the vast majority of humans living in America will NEVER have a shot at making $1 billion odd dollars, no matter what method they try. It takes a fucking shitton of money to make a billion dollars in the first place, whether it’s running a business, or investing wisely. Anyone who makes a billion dollars in America starting at the median salary is an astronomically rare exception. Don’t flatter your own intellectualism, because reality strongly suggests that these commenters are right, and that you’re talking out your ass.

$47,619 odd dollars is damn close to the median of $45,018

On the wikipedia chart, there’s 59,835,000 households below the bracket containing $47,619. There’s 51,739,000 households above the bracket containing $47,619. Which means that $47,619 is off of the very center by 13%, which isn’t enough to make a difference when talking about incomes amounting to $1billion dollars.

The second to the top bracket is $200,000 to $249,999 annually (the top bracket is >=$250,000), and at $249,999 annually it would take 4000.016 years to make a billion dollars. The sum of the brackets below >=$250,000 account for 98.5% of the households in the United states. In a sample of 100 households, you can expect about two of them to make $250,000 annually or more. That means 98.5% of the population can’t expect to ever make anything even approaching 1 billion dollars in their whole lives.

You’re argument is spurious at best, because it deals in rare exceptions to the rule, and even then, completely ignores the spirit of the OC’s statement, you dick.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Difficulty comprehending large numbers

“$47,619 odd dollars is damn close to the median of $45,018”

Once again, the word median is used wrongly. Median refers to the MIDDLE NUMBER IN A SEQUENTIAL COUNT.

Take the numbers 1, 23, 50

The MEDIAN is 23

What you are calculating is business financing Alegbra not statistics.

This is the third time I’ve pointed it out.

Once again, ANYONE and ANY household that makes $45,000US can make wise stock investments. Go back 35 years to when Apple was started by two people who sold their positions to fill make the Apple 1.

Or fastforward to 1996 where APPLE’S net worth LITERALLY $95.76US and after a few wise investments that value grew to millions and eventually billions.

I don’t see how hard it is to grasp the simple idea that it is posdible to make that much if you invest wisely.

Khaim (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Median

You seem to be very upset about the “misuse” of the word median, and I cannot figure out why. Simply stating the definition does not constitute an argument, unless it clearly contradicts a previous definition, implied or otherwise. No one appears to have implied any particular definition; they merely claimed a value (which is roughly correct for “median US income”) and observed that $1 billion is about 21,000 times that median value.

The only thing I can think of is that you somehow object to the validity of the phrase “median US income”. In common usage, that phrase refers to income value of the middle US individual (or household, sometimes) if ordered by income. To use your emphatically stated definition, it is the middle number in the sequential counting of all incomes in the US.

Perhaps if you take a moment to point out a specific mistake in a previous comment we could have a more meaningful conversation. For example, the number $45,016 was given; since you clearly dispute that this is a “median”, what is the correct name for this value?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Median

Can I honestly point out that in the initial actual giving in numbers there were know explanations or scenarios given for any labeling of numbers. I point out the definition is wrong, then I get a huge, jumbled, nearly illegible , and quite unorganized explanation showing the math.

So obviously I’m going to get it wrong. I’m sorry, I really am. We both reacted very negatively towards each other an I’m
sorry.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Difficulty comprehending large numbers

“You’re argument is spurious at best, because it deals in rare exceptions to the rule, and even then, completely ignores the spirit of the OC’s statement, you dick.”

Wow, way to call names and make things so much simpler to understand. Yup I’m a dick when I correct someone’s error is using math terms..

Simple Mind (profile) says:

Smart Jury

Not that I agree with the verdict. But I agree that it wasn’t worth wasting much time coming up with one. You get forced to be on a jury, talked at for hours in mumbo-jumbo language, given reams of obfuscated documentation to read, then you are expected to make a decision that you know will have little impact of any significance anyway. If it was me, I’d flip a coin and go home as soon as I could.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not that I necessarily agree with the verdict, but whenever I heard about the case in the news someone would always say that if Apple wins it will stifle innovation. Wouldn’t it be more stifling if Samsung had won, and companies are allowed to essentially copy many key aspects of Apples innovations? Wouldn’t it be better if companies were forced to come up with new and potentially better ways of creating a product rather then simply copying the guys who came before?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Wouldn’t it be more stifling if Samsung had won, and companies are allowed to essentially copy many key aspects of Apples innovations? Wouldn’t it be better if companies were forced to come up with new and potentially better ways of creating a product rather then simply copying the guys who came before?

No – because what this actually means is that resources will be transferred from technology to the legal system – since winning in court matters more than winning in the market.

Also I WANT the companies to copy each other as much as possible – because that means that the user interfaces will all be similar and I won’t have to waste my precious time learning a new one for every device.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Obvious nonsense.

That’s nonsense. Apple has already made out like a bandit here. So any notion that they need “protection” in order to make a sufficient profit is simply absurd.

If after making Billions, they are now in a position where they have to up their game again then that’s not such a tragic thing.

20 years is a rediculously long time allow them to interfere with the next guy to come along. It doesn’t matter what kind of artistic megalomania rhetoric you wish to employ.

If you want some perspective on this, I suggest you restrict yourself to a 20 year old desktop computer. Have fun.

Michael says:

Re: Re:

“Not that I necessarily agree with the verdict, but whenever I heard about the case in the news someone would always say that if Apple wins it will stifle innovation. Wouldn’t it be more stifling if Samsung had won, and companies are allowed to essentially copy many key aspects of Apples innovations? Wouldn’t it be better if companies were forced to come up with new and potentially better ways of creating a product rather then simply copying the guys who came before?”

Sorry, not true at all. Don’t forget that Apple was innovating despite all the previous copying/imitation products. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the copying of their products motivated Apple to stay on their toes and innovate rather than stagnate.

Imagine a classroom full of kids on an art assignment. One of the kids creates a rectangle frame and then pronounces to the rest of his classmates that he *owns* that shape and that nobody else is allowed to incorporate that shape in their art. That’s the equivalent of what occurred here.

And boo-hoo about the similar interface — seriously, WHO CARES? Like nobody has anything better to do than worry about friggin’ interface similarities! No matter what anyone says, it wasn’t worth awarding Apple over $1 billion. It’s not as if Samsung took the underlying chipset used in Apple phones and just stuffed them into their line of phones and then plastered their name brand on top.

This ruling is going to have the unfortunate consequence of creating a chilling effect on the rest of the tech industry. Further, this will encourage patent-holders to pursue legal action and scare off potential competitors from the markets, fostering in a monopoly. And here’s the kicker: the justice system (i.e. government) can cherry-pick its preferred monopoly by dishing out completely one-sided judgements in kangaroo courts.

If South Korea is considering signing the TPP treaty (*note* 100% unapproved by American citizens), this case ought to make them think twice. When you can literally own a shape(!) and sue anyone else for using it, something is seriously amiss. Innovation and competition are both on the chopping block.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Sorry, not true at all. Don’t forget that Apple was innovating despite all the previous copying/imitation products. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the copying of their products motivated Apple to stay on their toes and innovate rather than stagnate.”

In a way you could say that Apple pointed people in right direction for the future of computer use (First Macintosh came out in 1984….took everyone long enough to catch up…what 9 years later Windows 3.0 comes out as a viable contender). When the Macintosh came out, it was the first time easy desktop publishing became availible to home users.

Apple also helped create type faced fonts as we know them. Wikipedia has a great article about True Type Font.

So to say that they are unintuitive is something of a miss since they tend to point people in the right direction.

Oh, by the way…I was 4 years old when my family bought a Mac Plus. All my dad had to do to tell me how to use the computer was “Click twice rapidly click the mouse button twice after pointing the arrow on something.”

Khaim (profile) says:

Re: Copying

Wouldn’t it be better if companies were forced to come up with new and potentially better ways of creating a product rather then simply copying the guys who came before?

I suspect you haven’t thought this through. Sure, second-movers could “simply copy” the guys who came before, but how does that help them? In order to capture market share, they need to not only copy the previous design, but undercut prices by being more efficient with production. That’s a “better way of creating a product” right there!

Now imagine you’re the first company. You were doing great for a while, you had a new and exciting product, you could set your own prices, then some jerks come in and start competing with you. What is your best strategy? More innovation. Come up with another new product. Create a brand new market where you can make tons of money. Sure, the other guys will eventually copy your design, but you’ll have a few years before they figure it out.

If copying is illegal, a company only needs to innovate once and can ride that idea forever. Profits will never decrease because no one is allowed to compete.

If copying is legal, the only way to be profitable is to create something. The copying firm needs to discover cheaper ways to make the same product, and the inventive firm needs to keep creating new products to stay ahead of the copycats. Any company that stops being creative, that stops producing economic value to society, also stops making money. Isn’t that how it should be?

Anonymous Coward says:

Samsung.com Domain Name

Since this company is now proven to be infringing on American intellectual property rights someone should alert ICE immediately to seize Samsung’s web site and give Google shill masnick another thing to cry about. I don’t even think they sell shit there but they certainly link to other places that do therefore it’s an evil linking site that must be silenced!

Anonymous Cowherd says:

“it certainly suggests that the jury rushed through this and may not have taken this particularly seriously.”

I know I wouldn’t take it very seriously if I were forced to decide something as ridiculously pointless as whether some phones are too similar to one another. In all likelyhood, those people just wanted to get out of there ASAP.

Anonymous Coward says:

” If Apple thinks Samsungs’ phones and tablets are too similar? Well, keep on innovating. It’s called competition, and now we’ll have less of it… “

I always get a laugh when you try to draw this conclusion.

If Samsung’s phones are too similar, they are going to have to (gasp!) innovate to come up with different ways to do certain things. Their ignoring patents in theory meant they didn’t innovate as much as they replicated. That they are successful in the market duplicating is really an issue.

So now they are in a place where, if they want to be in the phone market, they need to innovate for real. The end result of this ruling may in fact be much MORE innovation, not less.

Anonymous Coward says:

Samsuck can't compete. That's what this is all about

From Cnet: “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung said in a statement. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.”

Fewer choices for things that all look and act the same, because we slavishly copy Apples designs,

Less innovation, because we aren’t capable of innovating our way out of this,

And higher prices because if we have to do our own R&D, it’s gonna cost ya’

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Samsuck can't compete. That's what this is all about

I buy non-Apple products for how they are NOT LIKE Apple products. I don’t want an Apple clone. That’s the last thing I want because I have already owned Apple products and I find them lacking.

What I don’t want is a Microsoft MS-DOS style situation where I am basically forced to use the crappy monopoly product or do without.

Ironically Microsoft was doing a lot of this “tablet” type stuff before Apple was. They just weren’t doing it in a very marketable way.

Wally (profile) says:

Innovation

You know, I don’t see how the verdict will force Samsung to STOP innovating. Please hear me out, it’s a legitimate thought and I ask any response be just as well thought out for what I’m going to say.

Now here’s what I’m thinking. The patent system is broken because we have pattent trolls. Anyone notice how lawyers are always the only ones who start complaining?

Ok so back to my statement about Samsung. The whole point of a patent system is to be able to due one of two things. Either build upon someone else’s design with a licensing agreement, or create something different and new. Either way it is difficult to do.

The patent system creates a lot of competition and choice because of certain innovations being different from each other. That’s called consumer choice. It is about creating new components and materials. When you combine those two into a workable product it’s called design.

So the patent system isn’t broken, people are. The parent wars have been nothing but a lawyer feast.

L.A.B says:

Re: Innovation

No, the patent system is not broken and lawyers don’t sue lawyers. Plaintiffs hire lawyers to sue defendants who hire lawyers to defend them. These are companies fighting. Now did you invent a phone that is a rectangle with rounded edges? debatable….I see this as neither good or bad, rather the cost of business. You make a product that is innovative people will copy it.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Innovation

“.I see this as neither good or bad, rather the cost of business. You make a product that is innovative people will copy it.”

That’s the beauty of it. I condone copying under 3 conditions.

1. It’s not a direct coppy cat product.
2. You improve upon the design with certain mechanisms that are licensed by you or to you (Apple’s 800K double density 3.5″ “SuperDrive” was based around the 400Kilobyte Sony version).
3. You establish and negotiate what the boundaries are between what products you wish to copy.

Plain and simple. That’s how patents work pertaining to copying. I honestly think pattent trolling boils down to hubris and ego which are human traits.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Innovation

Unmm let’s see here. The first Macintosh came out in 1984. Apple was the only company then that offered computers that were capable of desktop publishing at an affordable price. Now take 2012 and subtract 1984, that’s 24 years. Of which for the first 6 years, nobody else offered that in a GUI. This puts it at 1990 with Windows 3.0 contending with Mac OS 7.

So just because you offer something that almost NOBODY else does or can remotely compete with does not constitute a Monopoly.

A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. Given that Apple was not the only supplier in the home computing market , it seems to me that you have a very biased opinion. The only reason we hear about Apple so much is because they may or may not be entirely responsible for brining the computer home and have been doing it since 1977 starting with the Apple II.

Just because they thought outside of the cat litter box successfully, does not constitute that they ever had a monopoly.

Anonymous Coward says:

with the ridiculous possibility of damages being trebled, if i were Samsung, i would be closing down all sales outlets and taking my stuff away from the USA. Apple wants to be top dog and deny customers of choice, let that be the case. i am just waiting to see which company Apple copies from next. it’s the only way it can produce anything. it may improve on something but there are few ideas it has come up with itself. like so many other US companies, it cant compete so has to get the courts to put restrictions on others instead. Cook is doing a fine job of carrying on in the Jobs tradition

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Jury Conflict of Interest.

It has become apparent that, Velvin Hogan, the jury foreman has significant conflicts of interest, maybe not in the narrowest of financial senses, but certainly at a level tending to interfere with his judgment. He is the holder of Patent #7,352,953, applied Feb 12, 2002, granted Apr 1, 2008. You are invited to read the patent yourself, bearing in mind its very late date, and consider what, if anything, in it is un-obvious to the holder of a masters in Computer Science. In Hogan’s statement to the press, he virtually said that he had been acting on behalf of patent holders as a class. He is a patentee, seeking to uphold the interests of patentees in general. He apparently led the other jurors, via his greater experience with the patent system.

I personally have de-facto recused myself from a jury on considerably smaller grounds of interest. That is, I made a statement before a hundred witnesses, stating that I could not be impartial. It was a accident case, involving a woman who had slipped and fallen on a slippery floor. The plaintiff lawyer declared his intention to call a professor of Safety Engineering as an expert witness, and the defense didn’t choose to call any expert, so I said that I had taken courses in both Safety Engineering and Human Factors Engineering in engineering school. The court bailiff directed the lawyers to continue interviewing me in camera, and the plaintiff lawyer practically pleaded with me to say the right words which would allow him to put me on the jury, hoping that I would be in alliance with his witness, and I firmly declined to do so, while the defense lawyer said nothing, but doubtless made note of grounds to strike me from the jury pool for cause. That is simply what honorable men do, as a matter of course.

I often disagree with Ronald J. Riley, but I have every confidence that in a similar circumstance, he would also recuse himself. Hogan seems to hold most of the same views as Riley, only without Riley’s outspoken candor.

That said, I am scandalized that the judge allowed this man to serve as a juror, and a jury foreman.

————————————————————————————–
Joel Rosenblatt, Karen Gullo and Douglas MacMillan, “Apple-Samsung Jury Foreman Says Google E-Mail Persuasive,” August 25, 2012

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-25/apple-samsung-jury-foreman-says-google-e-mail-persuasive
—————————————————————————————
Howard Mintz, “Jury foreman in Apple v. Samsung: Verdict a message that copying is a big risk”

Posted: 08/25/2012 04:48:20 PM PDT
August 26, 2012 2:16 AM GMTUpdated: 08/25/2012 07:16:19 PM PDT

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21400423/jury-foreman-apple-v-samsung-verdict-message-that
——————————————————————————–

http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/coffee-lounge/191346-apple-v-samsung-jury-foreman-scumbag-patent-troll.html
(404 error, but I read the headline and patent number on Google)
http://www.google.com/patents/US7352953

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Jury Conflict of Interest.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not an expert in patents on the level you conveyed, but is Patent #7,352,953 pertaining to FaceTime, or the way iDevices pull retain types of flash video pulled in from three web browser?

I just want a bit of clarity. I believe in you are right. There is a giant conflict of interest. I just need a bit of clarity as to if what I asked in the first paragraph is the right assumption, and if I’m wrong, please correct the error, I won’t argue back because I believe in your expertise.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Jury Conflict of Interest. (to Wally, #118)

In the first place, I do not know very much about FaceTime, and I am not competent to discuss the extent to which the ‘953 patent might cover it.

My over-riding impression of the ‘953 patent is that it is a collection of “word-salami,” or “donkey’s breakfast,” covering concepts which are to be found in sophomore-level computer science textbooks published twenty to forty years ago, which are not identified as such. I was taught about doubly and singly linked lists in 1983, in Sophomore PL/I Programming (ie. “Data Structures and Algorithms”), and I have reason to believe that they were invented in the 1950’s. Hogan did not invent them in 2002. The ‘953 patent does not _teach_ much of anything. It more or less describes the functionality of of a TV tuner card I bought for the bargain-basement price of a hundred dollars from Tiger-Direct in 2001, and the bundled software which came with it. As far as I know, such tuners for PC’s came on the market, at higher prices, some time in the early 1990’s. A clever lawyer could construe the patent to mean almost anything, due to its extreme vagueness. Before reading the patent, I took one look at the figures, and said to myself, “my God, this is _ancient_ stuff!” At for the intellect of patent examiners Thai Q. Tran and Nigar Chowdhury… Jesus H. Christ!!!

But of course, even it the patent were valid, there would still be a conflict of interest, even if Hogan wanted to sit as a juryman in a case involving, say, pharmaceutical patents.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Jury Conflict of Interest. (to Wally, #118)

Now that we’ve established the inarpriate behavior of the jury forman, I do have to tell you about FaceTime, it might help decide where he liscensed that patent.

Perhaps it was for the design of the components that allow FaceTime to function on the 4th Gen iPod Touch, iPhone 4 (all versions), and all iPads.

I read a bit in there that vaugely mentioned receiving data packets using temporary cache lines and deleting said packets once buffered and revived in full.

To give you an idea about FaceTime. You know those video phones you see in Total Recall (the classic Arnold version). FaceTime is just like that. It allows you to use a P2P connection to another iPod, iPhone, or iPad user over a WiFi connection to talk to another person the way regular voice phones would work……

My god I just thought of something…
You mentioned how this ‘953 patent looked like a copy of an “ancient” data structures and algorithms from the 1950’s? Maybe that’s a reference patent of sorts but with the added design of video phone chat designed specifically for FaceTime.

The timing of the audio/video in FaceTime when close to a WiFi source is comparable to that of a POTS Phone line which would verify the algyrythms from the 1950’s.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Jury Conflict of Interest. (to Wally, #118)

At a technical level, Microsoft NetMeeting was doing much the same thing as FaceTime is doing, only it was doing so back in about 1997, well before the ‘953 patent, and it was doing it on desktop computers connected by high-speed internet. NetMeeting was bundled with Internet Explorer 4, and then with Windows ME. It just didn’t turn out to be particularly economically practical as a mass-product. The main purpose of NetMeeting seems to have been to allow a Microsoft support tech, via the internet, to virtually stand behind the shoulder of a customer having computer problems, and show him how to do things. It had elaborate facilities for clicking the buttons of applications on the other party’s computer, and that kind of thing. NetMeeting was effectively designed mostly to meet the problems of a Microsoft support tech who had gotten very frustrated about talking customers through tasks on the telephone. There are some very funny stories from way back when about doing telephone support, especially with a certain type of authoritarian user who was very upset that the computer didn’t respect him the way a secretary did.

Ekiga, in the Linux distributions, tended to be much more conservative about the features it added, not feeling so much need to enable hand-holding by support techs.

Of course, you understand that people in the military were doing videoconferencing way, way back. I should think at least as far back as 1980. Military projects have a way of constituting prior art, because cost was no object, so they did everything years before anyone else could afford it. In about the year 1956, they had my father programming a video terminal.

What is different about FaceTime, compared to NetMeeting and Ekiga, is its use of WiFi. However, it is immediately obvious, given the existence of WiFi, to run various and sundry applications over Wi-Fi. See my discussion here:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110802/11494415363/patent-loving-court-strikes-again-cafc-orders-uspto-to-reconsider-ntp-patents-it-had-rejected.shtml#c34

Also see:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090312/1711214100.shtml#c334

The notion of protecting user interfaces with design patents is essentially a re-hash of the old visual copyright business, back around 1990. The courts rejected visual copyright, and, by the same reason, they would reject the use of design patents to cover user interfaces. As for ownership of interfaces, you might take a look at the letter I had published in the December 1990 issue of BYTE (p. 34). This was concerned with the ultimate ownership of user interfaces. I argued that the value of user interfaces consisted in the skills of the users. Perfectly good user interfaces were in the remainder bin for want of users. That said, the concept of peonage law applies to user interfaces, and the user interface rightfully belongs to the users. On the whole, the piece has stood up fairly well, given that I do not possess the second sight. The essence of a good user interface is that it is so obvious and/or grounded in prior usage (prior art) that you can use it by reflex– you don’t have to stop and think about what things mean. For a user interface, “original and unobvious” means bad and defective. By the same reasoning, server interfaces derive their value from the documents stored on the servers in question. If there is nothing on a server, the server is worthless, and so are its constituent parts.

The true points of novelty of FaceTime, and of smart-phone apps generally, are not so much technical, so much as they are a matter of marketing. The smartphone market is a very different market from traditional computer markets, involving different kinds of people, who do different kinds of things. That is simply not patentable.

I find smartphones rather alien. In my generation, you were an early adopter of computers if you were an engineer, or a writer, or something like that. Or, perhaps I should say, because you were an engineer or a writer. Computers fitted into a certain sort of lifestyle, based on careful workmanship and all. The computer replaced older tools such as the typewriter, or a set of mechanical drawing tools. The great advantage of a word processor over a typewriter was that it made revision and rewriting simple. You sat at a desk in a room of your own, surrounded by bookshelves, with the door closed so that people could not disturb you, and concentrated. I take it for granted that the right use of computers is to reduce the number of things which one has to physically chase after. I don’t feel the need for a smart-phone. I do feel the need for Amazon to have better robots, so that they can provide better service. When I go out for a walk, it’s for the sake of going out for a walk, and the last thing I want to do is to carry along a cellphone.Smartphones are being sold to people who are not like me, rather the reverse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Probably didn’t help that the JURY FOREMAN is a patent loyalist with a BS patent behind him (a DVR patent, applied for after Tivo) with a vested interest in the patent system.

Clearly the jury were not acting properly, Apple infringed on Samsungs patents (we all know it), Apple simply claim the licensing is too much and the patent is FRAND and the jury find them not guilty… just because it has been standardized does not mean you can ignore it, it just means that there are limitations on licensing fees. get Apple get away with just ignoring it entirely, how much of this is a South Korean company vs. and American company in the USA legal system.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Monitor Everything (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Cool Components (1)
12:42 Tech Companies Ask European Commission Not To Wreck The Internet -- And You Can Too (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Play & Listen (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Beyond Chiptunes (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Updated Classics (3)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Celebrating Cities (1)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Crafts Of All Kinds (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: One Great Knob (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Simple Geeky Toys (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Gadgets For The New Year (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Post-Holiday Grab Bag (0)
13:34 How Private-Sector Innovation Can Help Those Most In Need (21)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Towards The Future Of Drones (17)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Artisanal Handheld Games (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A New Approach To Smartphone VR (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Let's Bore The Censors (37)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Open Source For Your Brain (2)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Final Piece Of The VR Puzzle? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Internet... Who Needs It? (15)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: The Light Non-Switch (18)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: 3D Printing And Way, Way More (7)
13:00 Techdirt Reading List: Learning By Doing (5)
12:43 The Stagnation Of eBooks Due To Closed Platforms And DRM (89)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Modular Phone For Makers (5)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything On One Display (4)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Everything Is Still A Remix (13)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Great Desk Toy, Or Greatest Desk Toy? (6)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: Sleep Hacking (12)
09:00 Awesome Stuff: A Voice-Operated Household Assistant (19)
More arrow