A jury has awarded Apple $1.05 billion to be paid by Samsung in a patent trial. The California jury found that Samsung infringed on five Apple design and utility patents related to the iPhone and several Samsung smartphones, according to CNET.
The gist of the jury’s verdict is that, yes, Samsung copied the iPhone’s design. Apple didn’t get as much money in damages as it asked for – $2.75 billion – but Samsung got none of the $421 million it sought in a countersuit.
Analysts have been eager to put their stamp on the suit, telling us what the verdict “really” means for the two parties directly involved as well as the rest of the mobile industry.
“The embarrassment of the verdict is a bigger blow than the financial setback,” said an Associated Press story on FoxNews.com. Samsung certainly doesn’t want to be known as a copycat, and to avoid that label as well as future legal challenges, it could change its own design philosophy.
“We believe this verdict could lead to Samsung also delaying near-term product launches as it attempts to design around Apple's patents," said the firm Canaccord Genuity in a Reuters story.
Less Android customization
“We may see more Android OEMs opt to go with stock instead of custom skins and launchers,” said Thom Holwerda of OSNews.com. Instead of tweaking the Android interface to make it look more unique (or in Samsung’s case, more like Apple’s iOS), Holwerda said, the new trend could be using the Android operating system exactly as it’s released by Google. That’s one way to avoid legal troubles.
“I could even see Google use this to their advantage; they could aid in protecting Android OEM's from Apple's courtroom attacks... If they opt for stock Android,” Holwerda wrote. “Otherwise, you're on your own.”
Android had been destroying the market share of other smartphone operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows Phone and RIM’s BlackBerry. ComputerWorld’s Preston Gralla puts his opinion most bluntly with his piece called “The big winner in Apple's patent victory over Samsung – Microsoft.”
Meanwhile, Reuters noted that both Nokia and RIM stock shot up following the verdict. Nokia, which helped pioneer smartphones with its Symbian operating system and is now a major Windows Phone partner, saw its stock increase 10 percent, while RIM’s increased 4 percent.
The many effects of this verdict won’t be completely clear for some time, but one thing is certain: it’ll make a big splash.
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