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Apple's US$1 billion win over Samsung: Q&A

Christina DesMarais | Aug. 28, 2012
In what has been dubbed “the patent trial of the century,” Apple has emerged victorious beyond measure.

Q: Are there any upsides for consumers here?

A: Well, consumers will be less able to buy Apple-like phones from anybody who is not Apple. On the other hand, this will likely lead to a greater variety of phone designs in the market. Some of those designs might be better than the iPhone. Some of them will definitely be worse.

Q: Business magnate Mark Cuban tweeted "[Thanks] Apple it's now mandatory for tech companies to sue each other. Prices go up, competition [and] innovation suffer." Your thoughts?

A: Unfortunately, the trend toward tech companies suing each other was already in full swing before Apple sued Samsung. I agree with Mark, though, that size of this judgment will probably encourage more lawsuits. We can only hope that the business executives realize that lawsuits dont always turn out as they hoped. Remember Oracles case against Google?

Q: Anything else people should be thinking about?

A: Although it is somewhat fashionable to be anti-patent these days, this was one trial in which Apple was using its patents exactly as intended under the system. Apple innovated, disclosed their innovations in a patent, and they are now using their patents to fend off "copycats" in the marketplace. I am much more sympathetic to Apple because they are actually bringing products embodying their innovations to market.

Many times, patent cases are argued like someone was trespassing: This idea is my property, and you started using it. What Apple did well in this trial is that it portrayed Samsung as a cheatersomeone who looked over Apple's shoulder and copied down its answers. This portrayal obviously resonated with the jury leading to this overwhelming win.


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