Samsung and Apple do not only battle it out in the market, but also in court. It all started with Apple (US based) accusing Samsung (South Korean based) of copying the design of the iPhone, later followed by similar accusations of copying the iPad. Samsung’s devices do show similarities – you have to be blind as a bat not to see it – but the question is: Is this illegal?
Designs ‘as a whole’ can not be protected. For instance, if you design a web page, you cannot apply for a patent for the whole web page, because it consists of multiple design elements. So you have to describe each design element and apply for a patent per element. That’s what Apple did. They applied for a patent for ‘rounded corners’ of the iPhone and iPad. And got it. Huh? They applied for a patent of ‘tab to zoom’ and got it. Wow! And so one. No world changing stuff, no mind shifting, no revolution, just simple design elements. That’s called evolution. But not in the US: you can apply for a patent for the shape of your head if you so desire. It’s unbelievable. Hens the patent mess we’re in today.
Last week the San Jose jury concluded that Samsung did infringe on some of Apple’s patents. The amazing thing is that they came to this conclusion (after a mere 22 hours of deliberation) because Google had send an e-mail to the board of Samsung, asking them to make their products less alike the Apple stuff. So, the jury concluded, Samsung could have known that their products were going to be look-a-likes. As if Google suddenly is THE design authority in the world? They had never designed anything worth a mention. Ok, I forgot about the amazing Doodles, sorry folks!
Now Samsung has to pay Apple over 1 billion USD. If you say it quickly, it sounds like a penny, right? But is (was) this a fair trial. San Jose is practically the hometown of Apple. I checked it: it’s a 14 minutes drive. A lot of people that work for Apple probably live in or around San Jose. So to call this court “Apple’s backyard court” isn’t too far fetched.
I really wondered what would have happened if this court had been held in Seoul, the hometown of Samsung. Aren’t you?
And that’s exactly was has happened! Apple and Samsung did fight it out in a South Korean court, whilst the one in San Jose is (was) taking place. And hardly any press is covering this, besides a lousy article in The New York Times. And how do you think this court ruled? Apple infringed on two patents of Samsung and Samsung on one patent of Apple. Case closed. Penalties: 22.000 USD for Samsung and 35.000 USD for Apple. All Apple toys are banned from South Korea, accept for the iPhone 4S, and Samsung is not allowed to sell any of it’s products in their own backyard, accept for the Galaxy S III.
So, who’s right and who’s wrong? I believe the court of Seoul has got it right, the penalties reflect the value of the patents, whilst the decision not to allow any further infringements by banning all but one product is more than fair. The US court should take notice of this ruling, but I’ll be dreaming to believe this is going to happen.
Who’s to benefit? Not the consumer, but I bet the lawyers are having a ball.
P.s. Noticed that BloombergBusinessWeek has also reported on the Seoul ruling.
The story of Alessio Rastani is unfolding itself in many directions. One is that he is believed to be a part of YES MEN group, but the group has ‘officially’ denied this. In their denying statement YES MEN also mentions an ongoing occupation of Wall Street. Yes, correct: An occupation of Wall Street!
On the website of the OccupyWallstreet movement it says: “Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.”
A young law student lies down in protest in front of a major bank on September 24, 2011. Chanting, “I am not moving!” and, “This is the bank that took my parents home!” he peacefully submits to the authorities.
What role will the social media play in this? Will it ignite another ‘Arabic Spring’-like revolution? If the current resistance grows in the tens of thousands or even millions, we may prepare ourself for the US Fall. It reminds me of the last part of the film ‘Zeitgeist: Moving Forward”. What do you think?
On his blog, leadingtrader.com, Alessio Rastani is pretty clear about it: the rescueplan for Greece is not going to impress the market. Rastani: “Markets will fall, the crisis is like cancer and it will not stop growing. Within one year from now millions will loose their savings. All I can say is: be prepared!”.
I just read an editorial on Engadget.com with regards to tablets and their usefullness from a productivity standpoint. The editor is rowing against the current in asking himself the question: do you need a tablet, or more precise an iPad. Darren Murph really goes out of his way to proof that tablets are nice, but that they can’t replace either a smartphone or laptop, or even a netbook. I totally agree with him.
Clearly, the economic crisis has hurt a lot of the financial institutions, corporations and governments. And every one of us will feel the consequences: inflation, higher taxes, home evictions, depression, etc. Is there a way out of this? Yes, I believe there is and we are right in the middle of it! Lees verder
Tonight I was watching the documentary “SiCKO” by Michael Moore (2007) on Dutch television. In SiCKO Michael unveils huge and fundamental differences between the Canadian, English, French and even Cuban healthcare system and that of the US. Shocking to see how the American people were being misinformed by the media. But today he calls out to Obama for a wider perspective: “Stand up and fight!”