In a legal coup against Samsung that’s sure to redound to the benefit of Apple shareholders, a jury in San Jose has awarded the Cupertino-based company $1,049,000,000 in damages (I wrote it out so we could all appreciate just how many zeroes are in that number) on the grounds that the Korean electronics firm violated—sometimes willfully—numerous patented features of popular touchscreen devices designed by Apple.
According to Mashable’s Peter Pachal, the jury found that Samsung had copied a number of key innovations unlawfully: “the ‘bounce-back’ that happens when you scroll to the end of a list, double-tap zoom, pinch-to-zoom as well as the design and iconography on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.”
The legal upshot of all this is that many Samsung products could be banned from the US market, though we may not see Samsung devices disappear while the decision is under appeal (I have no idea—any lawyers out there care to comment?). On the bright side, it seems that Samsung’s latest “phablet” will not be affected by the decision (Yes, a phablet—half-smartphone, half-tablet; I am waiting with bated breath for the first half-phablet, half-smartphone to hit the market).
Naturally, the Samsung camp has publicly cried foul about Apple’s legal challenges to their products: they accuse the California company of attempting to stymie competition in the courtroom instead of pouring effort into making better, more appealing products. This is a point brilliantly illustrated by Capt. Picard and the crew of the starship Enterprise in a clever YouTube video about the dangers of the overzealous awarding of patents (Alas, the voice acting is terrible—minus two funny points).
What are your thoughts on the matter? Is Apple justified in taking to the courts to eliminate some of their Android-based competition, or are they trying to corner the tablet and smartphone market by bumping off legitimate challengers? Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook.