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GUEST BLOG: Apple vs. Samsung: Hold the phone -- it ain't over yet

JR Raphael | Aug. 28, 2012
Reading all the news about the Apple-Samsung trial verdict, it's hard not to feel like the world as we know it has just changed forever.

In his interview with CNET, the juror is quoted as saying:

[The foreman] owned patents himself ... so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. ... We debated that first patent -- what was prior art -- because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art. In fact we skipped that one, so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.

He further details the way the jury got through such a daunting amount of detail in such a short period of time:

Once you determine that Samsung violated the patents, it's easy to just go down those different [Samsung] products because it was all the same. Like the trade dress, once you determine Samsung violated the trade dress, the flatscreen with the bezel ... then you go down the products to see if it had a bezel.

In an interview with Bloomberg, meanwhile, the foreman himself says he relied on his own patent experience and how he thought it might apply to the case:

"When I got in this case and I started looking at these patents I considered: 'If this was my patent and I was accused, could I defend it?" Hogan explained. On the night of Aug. 22, after closing arguments, "a light bulb went on in my head," he said. "I thought, I need to do this for all of them."

Ouch. Add into all of that the fact that the jury's original verdict had some serious inconsistencies -- the group awarded damages for two devices that it didn't find to infringe on Apple's products and ended up having to adjust its total by $2.5 million once those discrepancies were discovered -- and it's easy to see how the validity of its entire verdict could be contested.

Apple vs. Samsung: The bigger picture

Depending on how things go and how high the case escalates, it could be weeks, months, or even years before it's over. And that means it's far too soon to speculate about how any of this will or won't affect Samsung and the broader Android ecosystem. All the predictions out there right now are just that -- predictions. They're pure speculation and nothing more.

Google itself issued the following statement to the media today:

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.


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