The Samsung vs. Apple case has been filling headlines for the better part of a year, constantly reminding us of the industry’s patent and IP issues.
Two and a half days of jury deliberations resulted in what was deemed a “sweeping, definitive victory for Apple.” Apple was awarded $1.049 billion for Samsung’s copying of Apple’s intellectual property. The jurors decided that Samsung had indeed infringed on all three of Apple’s software patents, and that Apple’s design patents were infringed upon as well, most notably by the Samsung Galaxy S on the iPhone and iPhone 3G:
We asked our users what they thought about the trial and the verdict, and this was the outcome:
75% of our users thought that Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple and that the damaged awarded were unfair. Now whether or not each user knew about every patent in question is nothing we can guarantee, but what this turnout implies is that regardless of whether Samsung was in the legal right or wrong, people believe that Apple was the bad guy. Popular opinion appears to be that “Apple can’t patent a rectangle,” or a grid of square icons, though I must concede Samsung did tend to err more towards the iOS design aesthetic than any other in particular.
Those of you who remember the LG Prada will recognize a black, rectangular phone with silver trim and a physical home key. And if we hearken back to the feature phone era, certainly no manufacture was going around arguing that a flip phone arrangement was a patent-protected design. This was a time when the spirit of competition fueled innovation, whereas now the bane of patent trolling weighs it down.
What do you guys think? Can Apple claim design patents on the aforementioned [intrinsic/obvious] features? Did Samsung willfully and/or wrongfully commit to violating/infringing on these patents? We’d love to hear your guys’ reasoning, so if ya could, leave us a comment below!