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Apple to Samsung: The Jury Has Spoken: You REALLY Didn’t Build That

Apple-Samsung Lawsuit Explained

Unless you’ve had an extraordinarily excellent August vacation, you’re probably aware that Apple won some big computer lawsuit against some other company for a buncha money a coupla weeks ago.  

That would be Apple’s victory in a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung. The jury slapped Samsung for being iPhone copycats and awarded Apple $1.05 billion. That’s real money, even by Apple standards.  

Apple promptly demanded a ban on the sale of eight of the 28 offending Samsung smartphones, aka the eight smartphones which account for most of Samsung’s US business.  

It’s worth noting that Samsung’s newest and best-selling smartphone – the Galaxy S III – was not included in the lawsuit, but not to worry. This past Friday, Apple added the S III hottie to a previous, separate infringement lawsuit against Samsung, and threw in Samsung’s new Galaxy Note tablet for good measure.  

So what does all this mean?

It means the world has changed. Apple’s iPhone is now forbidden fruit, and most of the non-iPhone smartphone world is now engulfed in FUD. FUD, you say? Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, IBM’s modus operandi back in the day. If IBM didn’t patent FUD, they surely should have.  

So now, anybody making an iPhone-ish smartphone risks getting the Samsung treatment, and has some re-engineering to do. This is true for both the smartphone’s hardware and its Android software.   

As it happens, the Android software is developed and provided by Google, with whom Apple is having a fierce and savage battle on a number of marketplace fronts. So was this lawsuit really about nailing Google without coming out and saying so?  Could be. Who would be surprised? Not this reporter.  

And another thing: One possible beneficiary of all this might actually be Microsoft. Yes, that Microsoft. The ‘Softies have smartphone software of their own: Windows Phone. Windows Phone devices haven’t sold well, but are high quality and – importantly now – bear no resemblance whatsoever to the iPhone. FUD-free, in other words.  

For Microsoft, the timing couldn’t be better. Next month they’re coming out with what’s surely to be a game-changing new version of Windows, for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The very first Windows Phone 8 smartphone was unveiled last month. The manufacturer? You guessed it: Samsung.

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Pete September 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Apple is losing the same lawsuit in every other country - funny how Apple have 'won' temporarily in the US. The ruling isn't going to stand in its current form because the jury didn't have a clue what it was doing.
Crafty Spiker September 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Apple is following that age-old American business practice called - "If you can't innovate - litigate". As pointed out above Samsung got "homed". The US jury's process was, according to some, clear grounds for an appeal. In my opinion the judgement will not stand. If Apple wants to play with the big boys they'll have to learn to play 'nicer'. The patent game in this broken system is one of mutually assured destruction and Apple seems to have launched a first strike. I think they will find this a poor decision in the long run. Yes, I am not an Apple fan. Perhaps if they started manufacturing in the US I'd feel more kindly. Perhaps if they came away from their "walled garden" approach and their desire to control your purchased device as their own. And actually competing instead of litigating would be good for everyone.
Saundra Robinson September 06, 2012 at 05:28 PM
This is so stupid. Are the TV companies being sued because one flat screen TV looks like 20 other flat screen TVs> GET REAL APPLE. I like Apple computers but I have always loved Samsung phones since the first one I got in the late 90s. Not planning on getting an iPhone but the Samsung Galaxy S III is top of my next-gadget-to-buy list. Whether the phones look alike or not-who cares. If I want an iPhone, I'll get one. If I want a Samsung, same thing. Phones can be identical. I'll still look for the name and get the one I want. Apple is really being stupid. How many people bought a phone thinking it was the iPhone only to get home and discover it was a Samsung? SMH.

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