Samsung found guilty in patent lawsuit, must pay Apple $119 million in damages



Well, that was fast. After kicking off only a few weeks ago, it a decision has been made in the Apple vs Samsung patent lawsuit (2014 edition). According to the jury of 8 — who deliberated a full 3 days before coming to their decision —  Samsung has been found guilty of violating a handful of Apple patents (again), and is being ordered to pay up to the tune of $119,625,000 in damages. It’s a lot less than the $2 billion Apple originally wanted, and it’s sure to put a little sting in Samsung’s wallet.

But it didn’t all end in Apple’s favor. The ruling also showed Apple guilty of violating a Samsung patent relating to photo and gallery software features, resulting in a payout of $158,00. Peanuts for Apple, but at least they didn’t get away with highway robbery.

Of Apple’s 5 patents they felt would bring them the win, only 2 were found in violation for the most part: Apple’s ‘647 and ‘721 patents dealing with the way the OS turns phone numbers and email addresses into clickable links, and of course, Apple’s world famous “slide-to-unlock” patent.

Samsung, who didn’t actually build the core OS found guilty of “borrowing” some of Apple’s features, says Apple is merely trying to threaten Android OEMs through litigation. So far, it’s a tactic that seems to have been working well for them.

[The Verge]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. hm? Samsung violates two patents 1million+ pay out, Apple violates two patents 100thousand? im confused… Did I read this right?

    1. Apparently being able to click email/phone number links was a HUGE iOS feature -_-

      1. it IS a huge feature. But the problem is that the patent system allows companies to create new patents for features on touch/mobile products that have already existed on desktops for a long long time. Skype has been turning phone numbers on web sites into clickable links within a browser *long before* iOS or Android were around.

        I don’t really see the difference between clicking a link with a mouse, stylus, finger, foot, or whatever is. The fundamental system of deciding what is considered to be a “new” patent is simply broken.

        1. I’m wondering when clickable website links will be patented by someone.

          1. All that matters is prior art. Sadly, trying to prove “common sense” or a “logical development evolution” is way more difficult.

        2. Very well put Brian. It’s an antiquated system that needs to be rebuilt at all levels.IMHO

        3. The fundamental system of deciding is flawed because like many necessary career paths the people there who deserve to stay are underpaid for their skills and unmotivated to keep doing their best for an indifferent country and world.

      2. I’m pretty sure that clickable emails & numbers was not an apple think but a web coding thing.

        1. But remember, when you add “on a mobile device” to any previously patented idea you can get a new patent issued. And somehow the examples presented in the case by Samsung as prior art are somehow invalid because they weren’t on a mobile device.

          1. Reminds me of this time once in college when I wrote a paper that was just shy of the limit need (like 5.75 pages instead of 6). It got returned, so I just changed the font and got it to just over 6. It got returned again. :D

          2. How anal does an instructor have to be to be return the paper in that case? Either cocaine or a severe case of excessive stress/OCD was present.

          3. It was an english class. :D I changed the font back and wrote an additional couple of paragraphs and she was fine with it then. I think I got a B.:shrug

      3. Apparently the jury was made up of members of the public that don’t possess the necessary knowledge about tech to be qualified to come to a correct verdict in cases like this. Doesn’t anyone care about ensuring a jury isn’t clueless about the case that they’re going to come to a verdict on?

    2. What hurt Samsung most I feel was that they acquired the patents in question, they weren’t developed in house. Additionally, Samsung spent vastly more time defending itself than pursuing Apple for infringement.

  2. These patent lawsuits are generally ridiculous. We all know that. The patent office needs to be cleaned up, as these guys offer out patents for some of the dumbest, non-innovative things. For how long have HTML browsers been linking e-mail addresses, for example? Punishing a company for doing something that just makes sense to do is silly. Patenting something that someone won the patent race on first is silly.

    I will say that Samsung copying the slide to unlock feature is just sloppy on their part though.

    1. Browsers still don’t link email addresses. What you are seeing is manually created links or at least with JavaScript. This Apple patent was filed in 1996 before Internet was even a household thing long before anyone even thought they needed such a feature. Now that everyone can’t live without it, people are upset that Apple thought of it first.

      1. Yes, I simplified.. I know it’s not automatic, per se.. you need to use HTML mailto (or whatever else you prefer) to make the link… but my point being is it’s extremely commonplace now. Not upset that Apple thought of it first though (apparently.. I’ve been using the internet for a long long time, but I don’t think that far back very well ;) ). Just thought it pretty odd that it’s such a commonplace thing now in 2014, but Samsung gets sued for it. I didn’t realize Apple patented it in 1996, however. But it almost seems like Apple has a hate-on for Samsung specifically because you see these types of links all over now.

        I do think Samsung walks into some of these patent issues though. I’ve already dropped them as my phone manufacturer of choice, but still very pro-Android.

        I’d just like to see features that users of any device have become used to expecting not be removed because of these patents. I guess that’s not how patent law works though.

        1. Sometimes there are features that are missing in a device and it’s obvious it’s only because the OEM doesn’t want to be sued. Although it sucks, in a way it forces OEMs to think of slightly different ways of doing things. Instead of sliding to unlock, Android as the equally good swipe to unlock.

          It would be great if all devices had these “common sense” features like automatic links for certain data, but then it wouldn’t be fair to those who actually thought of something first. There has to be some rules set, otherwise, why obey the law? The market would be an unregulated free for all and companies might as well wait for another company to R&D for them.

          Although I think some of these patents in many of the trials of late are common sense, and even Apple knows it, it seems like Apple genuinely feels like they were wronged (similar to the Microsoft Windows days) and that Samsung really copied too much of the experience of the iPhone. Since trade dress can only go so far, Apple is bringing out these quantitative, tangible patents, however old they may be. When you sue, you want to use all the patents you have even if you wouldn’t have sued for them otherwise.

          1. That’s a pretty fair comment. I get that. I don’t know a thing about patent law. It would be nice if certain things were reviewed for removal after a certain time, or considered dated.

            At any rate, it’s clear that it’s become a case of Apple being annoyed at Samsung for what they believe was taking a lot of their ideas. In some smaller cases, I actually feel they are valid (just one reason why I don’t buy Samsung phones now.. they’re making it too easy on Apple for their case). In several cases, it feels quite petty. So I guess from an outsiders view it looks like a lot of pettiness and you miss the original reason why Apple is upset. Making matters worse, Apple has been known to re-invent more so than invent, so it doesn’t do much to get many of us to understand their position.

        2. Links were invented in 1991-1992 by Tim Berners-Lee, so Apple was given a patent on prior art, which should invalidate the patent. Which specific combination of letters and numbers are used in the link should make no difference.

  3. This better not mean my Note will be robbed of the ability to click phone numbers to call. Stupid Apple

    1. There’s a workaround in place already.

      1. Android: +1 Apple: negative infinity

  4. You know, my Palm Treos 600 & 650 could both click phone numbers (or any string of numbers greater than 4). Guess THEY should have patented the concept, since they were probably the first to actually do it.

    Oh, wait, that’s right. Palm OS was open source, so they weren’t doing crap like trying to exclude everyone else. I guess that’s why they had Copy and Paste down 5 years before Crapple figured out the same…

    1. What? Palm OS wasn’t open source. What are you talking about?

      1. Sorry, development was very open, and had a lot of open source software chains, including the SDK and the Emulator. Yes, it was only ever put on proprietary devices, but stuff was downloadable, modifiable, and installable without their say-so. So, not like Apple. Unless you’re referring to WebOS, which I was not.

    2. Exactly. It’s criminal that one can file something legally that says “you can’t tie your shoes” and they actually get awarded the “patent”. Does anyone even READ this stuff? I wonder if shoelaces on a sneaker have been patented? Man I could make a TON of money! That’s what half of this stuff amounts to…

  5. Just another reason why I’ll stick with Android.

    1. I dont get it? Because Android gets sued?

      1. Because Android OEMs spend money on innovation, not litigation.

        1. Since when copycat is “Innovation”?? You realize that without Apple those Asians would have never started to exactly replicate this new thing called “smartphone” right?

      1. And What do you think happend information they did as good a investigation on other tech firms? Exactly the same result, samsung isnt any worse than Others, but go ahead and live in that samsung evil, Apple Nice world if it mases you feel better :-)

        1. Indeed the “Apple is the tireless and technological hero” article where Samsung is the “Evil, started by college dropout thieving company”. Bill Gates was a College dropout no? Apple tussled with them too and got their ASS handed to them in short order. Apple doesn’t really compete in “computing” anymore. They’re all about “devices” now ;) In other words, TOYS!

    2. Stick with it because it suits your needs better. What happens if one day Apple suits your needs better? Going to punish them?

  6. Great patent trolling of apple.

  7. Im far from an apple fan…but samsung deserves every law suit apple throws at them…they literally copied their design from the get and still wont get rid of that big stupid home button…but it is what it is, at least they changed it up now…still will never be a samsung mobile fan though

    1. “…still will never be a samsung mobile fan though”
      I can tell…

      And you visceral hate is because??

      1. Because he dislikes products of poor quality with terrible customer support?

        1. this guy gets it lol

        1. What an over-dramatized article of what happens in business EVERY DAY. It even mentions the “Painstaking efforts” to make the rounded corners because NO ONE would think to avoid sharp 90 degree corners that could INJURE someone. I mean what a JOKE! It sounds like Samsung copied the iPhone by studying it (As most competitors do) and built it from scratch. If not, here’s a tip: Don’t want your IP stolen by a foreign nation? Don’t GIVE IT TO THEM an have them MAKE your phone! Ever wonder why the mast tech advanced weapons in the US are NOT made overseas “Cheaper”? THIS is why. The rest of this sounds what some parties in the USA like to call good ole’ fashioned “CAPITALISM”. Though poor Stevie Jobs rolling in his grave prefers patents to be like what the copyright industry has become (As in ridiculous). Patenting the WAY you do things because of (NON OBVIOUS) technology is one thing, patenting THE END RESULT that even a 5 yr old would desire is simply STUPID.

    2. I love the home button. I fell in love with it when I got the OG International version of the OG SGS…It was SOO much more convenient than the capacitive buttons of the Vibrant. It reminded me of how responsive physical buttons are in comparison to their software counterparts, just like my old Palms and my G1. And, they’re multi-functional. Quick press, long press, double press, triple press, you can do SO MUCH.

      PS-Apple copied their button design from Blackberry’s trackball concept,but it’s obviously much less functional…

      1. The home button is bad for those that are new to smartphones…they tend to use it instead of backing out of apps, leaving them running in the background. My father was clueless to why his iPhone battery was dying so fast…not backing out of Gmaps.

        1. That’s just home buttons in general, software, capacitive, or physical. And your dad’s first problem was having an iPhone.

        2. The fact that the iPhone doesn’t have a task manager/recent tasks capability where you can completely shut down apps that are running is another flaw people often ignore.

          1. How about Apple not having that problem to start with because they don’t kill the phone like with all that unnecessary load of Android malware and porn crap apps that drain the phone

    3. I’ll say that the Vibrant looked a lot like an iPhone 3GS. But other than that, (including the Fascinate, the Captivate, the Epic 4G, and every successive device) the design cues are radically different. NOBODY confuses them.

      1. the original s was identical…esp the international varient…even international s2s…stop it dont be a stupid sammy fanst like you make android fans ever look dumb

        1. The S2 does not look like an iPhone. The removal of the chrome sides turned it into a black or white slab with a bump on the bottom rear. Saying it does means you buy into the “Apple invented the rectangle” argument. My advice to you is to stop so you don’t make android fans look dumb. PS- Trying to say someone else is looking stupid while you can’t even manage spell check and grammar is extremely self-defeating. Just saying…

    4. What I novel idea, making the most important buttons bigger than the others. Kinda like a “spacebar” or “enter” key. Hmmmm…

      1. yeah except the space and enter doesn’t usually completely change what is on your screen, it would be like the minimize or ESC button being the largest button on the keyboard.

        I personally just don’t like the inconsistency of the buttons. 2 capacity and a home button, just doesn’t feel congruent to me. I’m not saying it is useless or others might not like it, and i dont “hate” it, I just personally dont like it.

        1. I can remap ESC, Spacebar, or most any other key to do whatever I want in my environment. Programmers and Linux users often remap keys (Esc, Ctrl, Alt, CapsLock, Windows key, etc etc)

          1. OK but that still doesn’t fix the home button issue lol, and you can remap the home button on the gs5 IF you root and use the right rom…

            But again, my problem with the home button is strictly design. I don’t like its aesthetics, and i dont like the feel of one real button next to a capacative. To me it would be like the entire keyboard is was capacative, but then the enter key was an actual button. I mean it’s fine i guess, but i just prefer it not to be that way.

      2. literally the worst comparison ever…and im not even sure why you brought it up

        1. I was simply responding to your “big stupid home button” remark. I don’t actually have a Galaxy S*

    5. Yes because the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note 2 look just like iPhones……

      1. lmao…stop it lol

  8. on another note…i miss the og droid rotary lock screen…anyone know a way i can get that back for sh*ts n giggles

    1. Widgetlocker should be able to do that for you.

    2. The OG Droid had a rotary lockscreen? Really?

  9. I’ve never understood how Apple wins on the slide to unlock patent since there were phones that had slide to unlock before the iPhone.

    1. Those companies never patented the idea because they didn’t feel the need to patent something so trivial. Apple would patent a power button if they could.

  10. Apple needs to stay out of the courtroom and work on software. I’m still wondering how the new “big” IPhone is gonna benefit from the larger screen. No widgets, multi window, stylus support, ect. Just a big screen with great app launching capabilities, lol. Apple sucks ass.

    1. Here’s how different groups will be benefitted by the rumoured big iPhone: 1. Apple will make a f&%kton of money from people who like the iPhone and/or switched to Android mostly because of screen size and who will then switch right back). 2. People who like the iPhone and/or switched to Android will get what they’ve always wanted. Now is you’ll excuse me I’m going to go rage in advance about all the iDiots who’ll be contributing to the above.

    2. You lost my approval at stylus support.

  11. atleast they didn’t get there ass handed to them this time

  12. This whole patent war has been out of hand for a while now. It’s like watching two annoying kids arguing over turf on a playground. It’s doing nothing to promote advancement in the industry.

  13. Cant stand the apple phones they keep comin out with so they say new iphones but they all look alike except theyre gettin thinner but the system and aps r all the same apple should come up with new design of give it up

    1. Wait a few months. This is what Apple does and has been doing for a long time. Same hardware (aesthetically speaking) 2 years with minimalistic incremental upgrades. Then a complete hardware redesign. If you’re looking for something completely radical from a hardware perspective (flexible screens, heart rate monitors, etc) you’re looking at the wrong company.

    2. They r going to build phablets.

  14. :[

  15. I’m assuming the number is 158,000? I mean, you wouldn’t take the time to right “0 cents”. LoL!!

    That made me laugh thinking Apple had to pay $158. LoL!!

    Anyways, Samsung needs better lawyers. How is Apple getting away with this? And from what I was hearing about Samsung, they never seem to have their act straighten out.

    1. “How is Apple getting away with this?” hmmm….let me help you a bit….does the word ‘copycat’ resonate??

      Not single but double-confirmed by the jury so f*k Samsung in the a$$ just as they deserve it!!

  16. YEEHAWWW…..And this is just the beginning! Finally someone does justice to help stop these f*ing Asian copycats dead in their tracks

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