In case you haven't heard, Apple has tentatively scored a major victory
in its knock-down, drag-out patent war with Samsung, after being awarded $1 billion in damages for Samsung's various patent violations. At least, until Samsung inevitably appeals.
Some notable patents ruled to have been stolen: The "pinch-to-zoom" and "double-tap-to-zoom" screen interface features, the "rubber band effect" patent that causes a web page to bounce when you reach the bottom, and this biggie: The "ornamental design" of Apple's mobile devices, i.e. that rounded rectangle.
Here's a very comprehensive round-up
of the trial and ultimate verdict, which brings to light some interesting jury activity (or lack thereof, depending on whose side you're on).
I'm between a rock and a hard place on this trial.
The rock: It is wrong to use anything that belongs to someone/something else for monetary gain without giving that someone/something credit of some acceptable fashion. Microsoft has operated like this for some time, as it charges manufactures to use its operating system
(Google does not). In short, what is fair is fair.
The hard place: The notion that Apple invented the rectangle with rounded corners is insanely silly to me. What about the rounded rectangle tool within the Adobe CreativeSuite? My laptop is rectangular with rounded corners. Could Apple sue for that too? The mini whiteboard in my cubicle is rectangular with rounded corners. Is an Apple lawyer going to swoop in and sue me for using it? What about name tag stickers? Hello, my name is...Sued.
Samsung's inevitable appeal will be interesting to watch. In the end, let's hope the forgotten party in all of this — the consumer — doesn't suffer too much.
What do you think of all this tech drama?