Apple Still Wins Despite the Retrial

Samsung is decrying the verdict it lost to Apple in the recent Patent Retrial

Barring a huge smoking gun that never appeared, Samsung was all but assured a loss in the recent Apple v. Samsung patent retrial.  Well, that’s at least my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

In total, Samsung had been ordered to pay Apple $1.05B in damages.  However, Judge Lucy Koh reduced that amount by over $400M.  Samsung was still on the hook for approximately $600M.  A retrial was ordered on the damages, with Judge Koh asking Apple to reassess what they felt they were entitled to.  Apple asked for $380M.

They were recently awarded an addition $290M, or just over 76% of their requested amount.  That brings Samsung’s total liability – barring any appeals, which I’m certain you can count on – to $890M.

When asked for a comment on the recent verdict, Apple had the following to say,
“For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money,” Apple said in a statement following the verdict. “It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love. While it’s impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost.”

Apple v Samsung Devices

Samsung has been trying to get the entire case thrown out of court and had filed two demands for mistrial.  One was for an alleged anti-Asian statement by Apple counsel, Bill Lee.  Mr. Lee is him self, an Asian-American.  So, uh… yeah, no.

Samsung also tried to have the case dismissed via mistrial due to a statement from the USPTO demanding that Apple defend its patent claims against invalidity.

Both requests were denied.

I’ve owned a number of Samsung devices.  There’s no doubt in my mind, based on the visual evidence alone, that Samsung copied Apple designs. It is, in my opinion, blatant.  I mean… just look at the device comparison graphic from the trial of Samsung devices before and after the introduction of the iPhone.  If that’s not blatant copying, I don’t know what is.

However, that’s my opinion. I’d love to hear what you have to say.  Why don’t you join me in the discussion below and give me your opinion.

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Unlocked Phones and the DMCA

The DMCA

There’s a lot of hub-bub around the whole unlocked phone issue and the DMCA in the States. I’ve broken it down for you here.

There’s a lot of confusion around unlocked phones right now. Recently, the Library of Congress Librarian, who has jurisdiction over expectations in the DMCA removed an exemption related to removing a carrier lock on a cell phone; but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here are a few important factoids around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

  • Put into effect 12-Oct-1998
  • Portions adopted by the EU in the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000. The Copyright Directive 2001 implemented the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty in the EU.
  • Amends Title 17 Copyright Laws in the States and criminalizes the circumvention of DRM protecting copyrighted works.
  • It also criminalizes the act of circumventing of DRM or other controls regardless of  whether or not copyright is actually infringed.
  • Heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet[citation needed].

When you think of the DMCA, think MP3’s and digital music. That’s what legislators had in their heads when they wrote the law. The whole Napster fiasco had the RIAA spitting nails and they were a powerful enough lobby to get Congress to pull together modifications to copyright law that addressed pirating digital music Well, that and software, which is where the whole locked phone thing comes into play.

IMG_20130311_121205

Previously in 2006 and again in 2010, the Librarian of Congress exempted the circumvention of methods around removing the carrier lock in a cell phone’s firmware.  This lock is nothing more than software preventing the use of that phone on a competing wireless network.  As of 27-Jan-2013, it is now illegal to unlock any cellphone purchased after that date without the expressed permission of the device manufacturer, the wireless carrier, or both.

Jailbreaking a device, or removing the lock preventing sandboxing of applications is still permitted.  So, you don’t have to worry about your rooted Android phone/tablet or jailbroken iDevice violating the law. You can still do that for now.

Come back next time and I’ll dive into some of the details around what you can and cannot do, and what many – myself included – recommend you do.

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