The reading of Friday's verdict was no doubt an intense moment for just about everyone interested in the mobile tech world. Apple swept up decisions for $1.049 Billion in damages, Samsung was denied its claims against Apple across the board by the nine-person California jury, and both sides immediately released impassioned responses to the decision, calling on the feelings of spectators and case-long mantras that kept onlookers from both sides in rapt attention.
Google, which has stayed mum throughout most of the Apple v Samsung proceedings, spoke up today. The Mountain View giant released a statement significantly more even-handed than that of either Samsung or Apple, though from Google's perspective, the decision is (rightly) perceived as an entirely non-cataclysmic event.
The statement injects a much-needed dose of rationale into the discussion, offering comforting words to those fretting over the verdict and the state of the US Patent Office in general.
The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.
While still implicitly relaying the idea that perhaps the patents in question aren't so totally valid after all, the tone of the statement is calm, factual, and even somewhat optimistic.
Meanwhile, a new internal memo from Samsung regarding the verdict was published at Samsung Tomorrow earlier this evening. The memo is filled not only with bristled words, but with confidence that the battle will continue, and that consumers – and the market – will make the final decision, bearing out a preference Samsung believes each group carries for "those who prioritize innovation over litigation."
On Friday, August 24, 2012, the jury verdict in our trial against Apple was announced at the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The following is an internal memo that reflects Samsung's position regarding the verdict:
We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.
Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.
However, the judge’s final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.
The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.
History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.
We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.
In implicit – yet so clear – language, the memo attempts to point out a sharp contrast between Samsung's behavior and that which the manufacturer, and others, feel drove Apple's decision to continue litigation.
There's still a long way to go before this battle can hope to come to some conclusion, but of course we'll keep you up to date on all the important details as things continue to play out.