Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

On One-Year Anniversary of Jobs Stepping Down as CEO, Karma’s a … Patent Victory for Apple

If anyone had any question what irony is exactly, consider this: Today is the one-year anniversary of the day Steve Jobs stepped down from his job as the charismatic and legendary leader of Apple, as well as the very moment that the company he co-founded has largely won an epic legal battle with Samsung over patent infringement.

The late Apple co-founder was particularly vocal at various times on the issue of copying innovations that he felt his company had pioneered.

That’s been especially true related to Google Android operating system that Samsung and many other device makers are using.

In a quote by Jobs from Walter Isaacson’s biography of him, he famously said:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

And that has certainly been at the center of the landmark trial over who stole what in the aggressive race to dominate the market for popular smartphones and tablet devices, including Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Right now, the verdict from a California jury — who deliberated for less than 24 hours — is being read in a San Jose courtroom.

And, so far, it is largely favoring the Silicon Valley-based Apple over the South Korean consumer electronics giant on the wide-ranging patent infringement case.

As The Verge’s liveblog of the verdict noted: “Apple didn’t win everything — not by a long shot — but it won enough to make this a very important day.”

Indeed.

Those wins include patents related to touchscreen features, such as zooming, as well as on designs.

In addition, so far, Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages.

The jurors determined that Samsung violated six of seven patents and found that it willfully infringed in five instances. Also: The jury said that all seven of Apple’s patents were valid, which Samsung had contested.

The findings in the complex case are still being read in court, because it involves many patent infringement allegations on both sides related to dozens of devices.

Legions of lawyers for Apple and Samsung went back and forth on who invented what and whether it was a matter of copying or simple inspiration.

Samsung, naturally, said the various devices might be similar, but not the same. Apple begged to differ.

Jobs would have been in agreement, too, had he lived to see the verdict — he died of pancreatic cancer in October of last year, only months after stepping down.

But, in his resignation letter a year ago, he wrote about the importance of innovation:

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”


Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage

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