Apple has won a massive damages sum of nearly $1.05 billion in the patent trial against Samsung and the reaction from the technology community has been vast and swift.
In an email immediately following the verdict, Forrester Research Principal Analyst Charles Golvin told us the main takeaway from the verdict is the focus on innovation. Companies will now be forced to create legitimately different products, or at least engineer some without extravagantly similar features:
The jury particularly vindicates Apple’s software patents and their decision has implications not just for Samsung, but also for Google, other Android device makers like LG, HTC, and Motorola, but also potentially for Microsoft who employs features such as pinch to zoom, bounce on scroll, etc. These competitors are now forced to go back to the drawing board and come up with substantively different designs — or seek settlement terms with Apple. Since many of these controls are now built into the expectations of customers in how they work their phones, those are substantive challenges.
Gartner analyst and VP of Mobile Research Van Baker agrees the redesign of products in the long term is an issue but that it won’t affect any products anytime soon.
This is a clear win for Apple but it will have little impact on the market in the near term as it is highly likely that there will be an appeal so we will have to repeat the process. If sustained it has the potential to force Samsung to redesign a number of products and it will apply significant pressure on all smartphone and tablet makers to avoid trying to emulate the Apple designs as they bring new products to market.
Earlier, the two principals in the case immediately followed the shocking judgement with their own statements.
Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton gave a statement to The New York Times, saying the verdict reflected the values of innovation instilled deep in the company:
We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.
Samsung’s statement was defensive as expected and placed blame upon the court system. It also warned of a coming appeal.
Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
Comments from people in the industry keep trickling in.
One of the most loud critics of the verdict so far is tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who’s unleashed a series of angry tweets the last few hours:
Thx Apple, it’s now mandatory for big tech companies to sue each other. Prices go up while competition and innovation suffer #appleflation
Dear Apple, what do you really accomplish with all of these patent lawsuits? Signed a former customer.
Dear Apple, Xerox PARC called, they want their interface back.
If the IBM PC was created in this patent environment there would be no Apple. They would have sued them out of existence.
We’ll keep updating this post with comments from other major figures as we find them. Please let us know in the comments if you find any.
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