Apple Beats Samsung: First Reactions

By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times


In the landmark trial between Apple and Samsung Electronics, a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages on Friday after deciding that Samsung was guilty of infringement on most patents at issue. And in response to Samsung’s countersuit accusing Apple of infringing patents, the jury concluded that Apple owed Samsung nothing. In other words, it was a clean sweep for Apple.

What follows are early reactions to the news.


Robert Barr, executive director of the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, spelled out what this would mean for the tech industry as a whole. It’s going to make it very difficult for not only Samsung but for other companies to mimic the Apple products:

Each of the patents cover a particular feature of the iPhone and the iPad. You can still make a smartphone, like the Microsoft Windows phone made by Nokia. It has a different look than the iPhone, different appearance and different features. That would be an example that is unaffected by this. The important thing here is that Apple’s patents were upheld as valid. Other companies are going to have to avoid the patents or license them. Even though this jury upheld them, other companies still get a shot. They can come in with new evidence and attack them. You have to have new reasons and new evidence.

The amount of damages is extraordinary. A billion dollars in damages is extra. It’s one of the biggest patent verdicts ever. That’s a huge amount of damages. And the judge has to now decide whether to increase that for the wilfulness. And the judge could increase that as much as triple. The judge has to still decide if there will be an injunction against future sales or a recall of product.

Even though people can come back and attack them, they are going to need new evidence and it’s going to be difficult.