Samsung gets slapped

Samsung Galaxy S - Copycat

So, the jury is in and Samsung lost. Big time. It could have been worse for Samsung, but not by much. Apple walks away with $1.049B in damages, and Samsung walks away with a verdict that will fundamentally change how it implements Android on it’s handsets in the future.

More importantly for Apple, all of their patents survived being declared invalid. There’s no guarantee another trial by another litigant won’t result in some of these patents being overturned in the future, but in law, precedent is important. And Apple now has a precedent.

I’ve seen a lot of commentary stating that Apple’s win is a loss for consumers. Hell, it was in Samsung’s post trail statement. I don’t see it that way. The mobile handset ecosystem (otherwise known as the “smartphone”) is alive and well. Neither RIM or Windows Phone took the road that Samsung did, and as a result, they have produced devices that aren’t iPhone knock offs.

Stock Android (usually found on the Nexus series of devices) hasn’t been identified as an infringing device, so Android fans can breathe a sigh of relief there. Android’s general direction in the last year seems to be moving away from the copy-cat nature that was prevalent in the 2008-2010 timeframe. This is a good thing.

This verdict will have to withstand years of appeals, which could reduce the total damages dollar amount. If I were Samsung, I’d be ready to work with Apple to settle this. Fix the infringing devices with a software update that removes the features that are found to have infringed on Apples. Or offer Apple a reasonable licensing fee. With the verdict in, it would be the right thing to do for both companies.

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