The lawsuit between Apple and Samsung is over, and the jury gave a decisive verdict in Apple’s favor: Samsung owes $1.05 billion to Apple for copying its intellectual property. This included Apple’s user interface software patents on iOS, Apple’s design patents and their trade dress on the iPhone brands. The jury found that several of Samsung’s phones had infringed on these patents.
What’s interesting is that Samsung’s infringements were ruled as deliberate and hence the huge punishment against the company. Apple’s arguments were quite valid to say the least. The iPhone was a revolution, five years in the making, according to Apple, and Samsung simply took it and copied it without bearing the costs and risks involved. The jury was simply not convinced of Samsung’s attempted demonstration of prior art.
So what happens next? For one thing, we can except Apple to seek injunctions against the sale of the Galaxy SII, which is one of the accused devices that is still on the market. We can also expect Samsung to make an appeal of the jury’s decision.
The dominoes will also likely start falling on the user interface behaviors across Android devices. The bounceback scrolling behavior that has been patented by Apple is one good example. Other behaviors included tap-to-zoom and multitouch scrolling that will have to change on new devices. Apple’s design patent and trade dress has likely shaken the industry and proven that these patents are strong enough to convince a jury.
Expect more litigation between Apple and Android phone makers like HTC and Motorola. Apple will also likely take another swing against Samsung and we can expect to see more devasting results in the courtroom. Most companies will likely not want to risk the huge amounts of money that Samsung has spent in the case. These companies are better off taking Google’s advice: let partners settle the cases and avoid keeping lawsuits open and running.