Print 115 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Aug 30 at 10:39 AM

  (Source: Tech Digest)
Samsung lost an estimated $12B USD in worth from the decision

The weekend has passed, but the shock is still setting in after a potentially precedent setting jury verdict at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which left Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) on the hook for approximately $1.05B USD and facing at least temporary bans on most of its product lineup.

I. "Appleflation"?  Cupertino Company's Win Stirs Controversy

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) was quick to gloat about the victory, whose foundation certainly had some controversial aspects -- such as Apple's ability to re-patent inventions (pinch to zoom) in the context of capacitive multi-touch, Apple's ability to (essentially) patent the animation of natural phenomena (the rubber-band animation is a textbook visualization of nature's transient response e.g. see spring), and Apple's ability to "patent a shape" (Apple's attorneys argued that its design patents offered an exclusive right to make rectangular smartphones with rounded edges).

Thus in the aftermath of the trial, much of the controversy has focused not on whether the jury made the right decision, but whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was crippling the free market with its lacking scrutiny.

Tech mogul Mark Cuban (also a prominent venture capitalist featured on the show Shark Tank) blasted Apple's decision in a series of Twitter posts, as noted by Neowin.  He implies that he is going to boycott Apple's products as a result of the lawsuit, and accuses Apple of conspiring to raise prices for electronics customers a term he calls "Appleflation":
Mark Cuban
[Image Source: Twitter/Neowin]

Mark Cuban
[Image Source: Twitter]

Google, Inc. (GOOG) makers of the Android operating system also chimed in, writing that the claims in the case "don't relate to the core Android operating system", explaining:

The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.

While that may sound like Google is throwing Samsung to the wolves, Google is aiming to offer Samsung and other Android OEMs powerful long-term protection, by filing a major new suit against Apple, which seeks to ban almost Apple's entire product lineup.

II. What's Next?  Bans, Appeals, Appear Likely

Reuters reports that after the ruling South Korea's markets had a wild day of trading, with 1.27 million shares of Samsung stock changing hands, and the company facing its worst single-day value loss in nearly four years.  Overall, Samsung shed $12B USD of its $160B USD valuation.  Apple, meanwhile added approximately $12B USD to its market cap this morning, reaching $634B USD, and creeping ever closer to Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTrecord 1998 valuation, which adjusted for inflation totals around $850B USD.

Korean Won
The verdict cost Samsung $12B USD in value. [Image Source: 
SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg]

In a statement to Dow Jones NewsWires, Samsung complained that the ruling would limit consumer choice, writing:

We will move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn this decision in this court and if we are not successful, we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals

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.

In other words, Samsung will first try to sway Judge Lucy Koh to reduce the infringement and damages in the trial verdict stage.  The jury's ruling is only guidance for the judge's verdict/sentencing in this kind of civil case, although it usually closely resembles the final ruling.

If it cannot sway Judge Koh, it will begrudgingly move up the food chain with its appeal, while it continues to challenge the validity of Apple's broad patents in complaints to the USPTO.

A memo to employees from Samsung's management highlights how the U.S. ruling was much more punitive than rulings in other countries, who largely rejected Apple's design claims (Germany is the only other region to embrace Apple's design claims).  Samsung writes:

We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.
The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.

The Korea Times quotes a senior Samsung Electronics executive as saying; "It’s absolutely the worst scenario for us."

A South Korean patent lawyer involved in the case asserted, "Judge Lucy Koh will make the final ruling in the next few weeks. Samsung will try best to persuade Koh that we didn’t willfully infringe on Apple’s design patents. Samsung, however, is ready to bring the issue to the Supreme Court as the verdict was based on protectionism."

But a Samsung executive appeared more aware of the likely grim reality, remarking, "As far as I know, it’s very rare for the presiding judge to make a decision going against the verdict by jurors."

Thus Samsung's next move is to move the matter to an appeals court, and (likely) to work on emergency software patches to remove features like tap/pinch to zoom and new body designs, to escape product bans.

Unless the Samsung Galaxy S III escapes an ITC ban, Samsung's entire lineup may be temporarily forbidden from sale on the U.S. market.
Apple's next move will be to push for speedy product bans.  It will also likely seek to pressure the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the Galaxy S III, not involved in the case, pointing that it has similar features as Samsung's infringing lineup (e.g. pinch to zoom).  If Apple can ban the Galaxy S III, it may be able to achieve the unthinkable -- secure a complete ban on the products of America's current top smartphone seller.

Sources: Samsung [memo], Mark Cuban on Twitter, Google via The Verge, Reuters

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Has anyone actually read the patents?
By amanojaku on 8/27/2012 1:41:53 PM , Rating: 5
I reserved my judgement until I read them, and I have to say our patent system is flawed. Patents must be two things:

1) novel
2) non-obvious

The title of the 7844915 patent is "Application Programming Interfaces for Scrolling Operations", then it describes the patent. In summary, when you scroll to the edge of a region the visible portion bounces back in the opposite direction. This is OBVIOUS, because it is nothing more than a simple application of scrolling. Scrolling detects the edge, and normally stops. This is pointed out on page 40:

Scrolling is the act of sliding a directional (e.g. horizontal or vertical) presentation of content, such as text, drawings, or images, across a screen or display window. In a typical graphical user interface, scrolling is done with the help of a scrollbar or using keyboard shortcuts often the arrow keys. Gesturing is a type of user input with two or more input points. Animating operations include changing content within a given time period.

The set bounce call causes a bounce of a SCROLLED region in an opposite direction of a SCROLL based on a region past an edge of the SCROLLED region being visible in a display at the end of the SCROLL.

Which means it is not NOVEL, since it uses an existing technology.

More importantly, it DOES NOT describe an API, it describes a general concept. Again, from page 40:

An API is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides in order to support requests for services from a software application. An API is specified in terms of a programming language that can be interpretive or compiled when an application is built, rather than an explicit low level description of how data is laid out in memory. The software that provides the functionality described by an API is said to be an implementation of the API.
Nowhere in the patent will you find source code, or anything that looks like source code.

The scariest thing is that this patent is not limited to smartphones. From page 42:

Embodiments of the disclosure described herein may be part of other types of data processing systems, such as, for example, entertainment systems or personal digital assistants (PDAs), or general purpose computer systems, or special purpose computer systems, or an embedded device within another device, or cellular telephones which do not include media players, or multi touch tablet devices, or other multi touch devices, or devices which combine functions or apsects of these devices.
The 7469381 patent is more of the same. Samsung's lawyers lost this case because they're incompetent.

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By Tony Swash on 8/27/12, Rating: -1
By Solandri on 8/27/2012 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is the patent is on the net result, not the method by which it's accomplished. I can design a totally different way of making the bounce animation (it's a standard behavior from a spring-mass-damper 2nd order system). But Apple can still sue me under the patent because it will look similar.

This is nearly as bad as the XOR mouse cursor patent. That one also took a fundamental concept well-known in the industry (XOR is one of the four logical operators - AND, OR, XOR, NOT), and patented the graphical application of it (mouse cursor was the inverse of the background color, so it's always visible). You could work around it all you wanted, but the net effect would still be an XOR, so the patent still applied.

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By bupkus on 8/27/2012 3:54:01 PM , Rating: 3
I consider myself a fan of Android and I believe myself to not be whining. If disagreeing with Tony Swash means to be whining then I gladly accept the description, but I also gladly accept the desire to see you face those you insult on a city street. You are after all pretty generous with insults safe behind your anonymity.

I admire the work the Android programmers have done. I believe they have gone well beyond the restrictions that Apple executives have placed upon their programmers' work and created something much better than iOS.

Sure, Apple has won a court case in their home town but that should have been expected. Not dissimilar to the decision reached when seven L.A. police officers were tried for assaulting Rodney King and a change of venue was decided upon from L.A. with an established minority population to a very white Simi Valley. We all know about the ensuing fallout immediately following that court's decisions.
If this doesn't provide enough entertainment value try the following link:

But patience is needed as this is far from over.

By Jeffk464 on 8/27/2012 4:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
Semi Valley wasn't just white at the time, it was and still is extremely conservative.

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By Tony Swash on 8/27/12, Rating: -1
By Belard on 8/27/2012 7:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
But Apple is COPYING them by making a 7" class "iPad Mini" tablet to go against the Samsung Nexus7 and Kindle tablets.

I think and HOPE Apple gets sued. Why *IS* Apple coming out with a 7" tablet? Oh yeah, because Kindle and Android has proven that there is a market for that size. Never-mind that Steve Jobs himself said there WILL NEVER be a different size iPad. But since he is dead, apple releasing... a smaller iPad.

The detail are important. Apple shouldn't have been granted for that shape - which the the shape of phones LONG before the iPhone. What next? A computer or phone than is shaped like a circle?

Find people who bought a Samsung phone who thought it was an iPhone. I did a google search, no posts from anyone crying "I bought a Samsung by accident".

For the past few months, since I'm about to upgrade my phone and not happy with my past experience with a Samsung Android phone, I was opened to Windows Phone (Lumia 900) - which looks quite cool and the iPhone4 as well as latest Android phones. WP7 lost because its tech is out-dated and Win8 is fail. I already have an iPad1 which I am *HAPPY* with... with this ruling and apple's stupid-ass tactics. I'm getting another Android phone and I won't be buying an iPad4. Apple made that decision for me. I'm NOT a Apple-fan boy, not an Android fan boy and of course I have no love for Microsoft. I get what works.

I've picked my phone to get in the next week or so, it won't be Samsung - not because of apple or Samsung, but its a personal preference for me to get the Motorola after trying them out. I know the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best phone on the market at this time.

So screw Apple... I *WANT* them to gain market share and kick Microsoft in the balls. But *I* want them to do it with technology and proper business and support for its customers. Not doing baby bull-shit in the courtroom.

This may make investors happy for now, but it makes Apple look like a smelly turd. The articles and reaction from many in the industry and us consumers is already starting a back-lash against Apple. What if this costs Apple 200,000 iphone and iPad sales? That could costs them about $500m in profit. I don't know the reaction to most people, but other than Apple fanboys such as yourself - Apple is becoming poison.

*I* really want Apple to stop this. I want them to WIN my business and anyone else on their products, not because they lock out competition out of the market over bullshit with "Rectangle with curved corners". As the poster above stated from the actual patent. They didn't actually patent the way to do the scroll bounce, just the idea - after the fact.

Hmmm... Apple has added the pull-down notification shade in iOS 5.0... something that has been in Android for a long time. Apple has STOLEN a function... I'm sure they're trying to patent too.

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By CarlosViscarra on 8/27/12, Rating: -1
By Jeffk464 on 8/27/2012 8:17:33 PM , Rating: 5
31 years old and still mentally in high school you mean.

By SlyNine on 8/28/2012 3:12:27 AM , Rating: 1
No, but you are incredible naive if you think nothing can happen to you.

Nothing is worth putting your lively hood in jeopardy, and that's what you're doing here.

For all you know he could be a serial killer, or a nobody. The point is why even bother, what are you gaining/fighting for?

How is it worth the risk? Do you somehow think their is no real risk, what if it comes knocking at your door?

Sorry just trying to scare you out of doing dumb things like this.

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/28/2012 11:16:47 AM , Rating: 1
The Starbucks in Alameda? Hey pendejo I was just there. I saw your F-150 with the custom mural of Jesus Christ with a waterfall and rain forest in the background. NICE!

Anyway you guys talk big when you boys from MS-13 have your back. Why don't you come down here so after I whip your ass, you can mow my lawn?

By Adonlude on 8/28/2012 2:31:53 PM , Rating: 3
So you two brutes going to duke it out over a nice frothy pair of orange mocha frappachinos?

RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By CarlosViscarra on 8/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: Has anyone actually read the patents?
By Tony Swash on 8/27/12, Rating: -1
By Helbore on 8/27/2012 6:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
You like to point out how even Microsoft copy Apple. How about pointing out how the iPhone and the iPad would still be being laughed at by the business community if Apple didn't license EAS from Microsoft?

Oh Microsoft used a similar font. Oh, android used a similar animation.

Apple needed to license a Microsoft technology to stop businesses laughing at their definition of a smartphone.

Apple need Microsoft - and they are smart enough to know that.

By BroNumsi on 8/29/2012 9:33:04 AM , Rating: 1

The whiner here is crApple, running like a little kid to the parents, crying "they made something that kinda looks like something I made, boo hoo. Make them stop, daddy!"
And the dim-witted parents just go "Of course, baby, anything for you. Just give me some vague idea of what you want to do and i'll protect you from others already doing it."

And everyone else just go "WTF just happened?"

By Mobious918 on 8/28/2012 12:06:54 PM , Rating: 1
Apple could have easily said "Hey, you guys are using pinch-to-zoom which is patented by me, I'll let you keep using it for a nominal fee," rather than throwing a tantrum and suing he crap out of Samsung. Everyone who uses an Android is already comfortable with pinch-to-zoom, it's basically a standard at this point, so why try to monopolize it? If they want credit for it cuz they have it patented then fine, make Samsung pay you royalties.

Samsung phones are/were selling like hotcakes, taking their droids off the market isn't going to make those people go "Oh well, guess I'll buy an iPhone", they're just going to go buy a different droid, aka: no extra $$ for Apple. If Apple instead was making royalties off the boatloads of Samsungs being sold, it's still a profit for them and they don't look like a jerk in the process.

In the end, the damage is already done, at least the patent system has had it's flaws revealed to the public eye. Patents or not, Apple has abused this situation; never was and never will be a fan.

By Shadowmaster625 on 8/28/2012 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
It has nothing to do with patents. It is about finding people who own a rising stock in a large company, loading them onto a jury, and using their own greed to further empower the fascist entity.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki