Apple claimed Samsung stole the look and feel of the iPhone and according to Assistant Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, Brian Love, Apple was trying to make a statement in this case that "they're the true innovators of the smart phone and other manufacturers are just riding on their coattails." So, how did Apple exactly win the third largest patent case in U.S. history?
Samsung, arguing with a more technical approach, said that all smart phones are going to look alike and that Apple was really copying from Sony's design. Samsung used expert witnesses and got very technical with things that a jury may not understand or have trouble absorbing, Love notes. "Innovation is definitely cumulative," says Love and incremental changes are common, especially in an industry where products are constantly changing. Apple, on the other hand, was arguing about design elements and they had a much easier story to tell. They essentially held up an iPhone and a Samsung phone and said the two look "awfully similar," says Love.
In large part, a lot remains to be seen what will happen and the case is far from over, Love says. Another judge will be deciding if the $1 billion + reward should be enhanced because 5 out of the 6 patents that were infringed were found to be willfully infringed and that award could be tripled. Love also says that we are waiting to find out if Apple will get injunctions.
Love notes that time is on Samsung's side. As the case started with a dozen of these phones, only eight are currently being sold. As more time goes by, the older phones get and replaced and the impact on consumers will be less.
Brian Love is a recognized expert in the area of patent damages is an Assistant Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law. For more information on him, click here. Brian spoke with The Legal Broadcast Network, providing online, on demand legal video content.