The fight that most people thought to be over this past summer between the tech giants Apple and Samsung is actually not over yet.On October 11th 2012 the patent-based ruling over the Global Search feature on Android was overturned by an Appeals Court in the US. This are great news for Google,Samsung and Android enthusiasts.People are realizing that the entire ruling was absolutely off-base.
This is the first instance of sanity that we have seen since the Nexus was freed to be imported into the US, and it comes in the shape of a lost appeal courtesy of our friends on the other side of the pond (UK). This is sort of interesting, as it is the second time around that we see this news coming from the UK. The first time around, a UK court had ordered Apple to display ads essentially apologizing to Samsung and stating, in writing, that Korean giant did not infringe their patents. Such a thing must be done for 6 months. The ruling coming from the judge was dripping with sarcasm, as the main statement was that people could not possibly confuse the iPad with the Galaxy Tab due to the latter “not being cool enough.” Quite honestly, this writer is officially confused, as I am not sure if the judge was being serious or simply sarcastic. In any case, the ruling was appealed by Apple and just like it was ruled, the judges preceding the appeal process (all three of them) deemed that the original ruling was valid and will stand. Still, the punishment being imposed on Apple falls short in comparison to the one imparted against Samsung in the US by the country’s High Court. But wait! Don’t go away just yet, because there’s more!
Back in the US,we’ve known of a second sign that the entire case was handled in a very bad way from the very beginning.Why is this? well if a patent is indeed valid and ruled as such why the “back and forth”? There should not be any “back and forth” on the verdicts. I do not mean that people cannot appeal to a decision, but the patent is a black and white document that explicitly depicts the design, use(s), and considerations taken when a product is patented. There is a very small room for interpretation by the judges given the fact that the writing not necessarily done in a subjective way that allows room for interpretation its rather a set of hard facts. The first overturned patent was the ’604 patent’. Now we know that a second patent has been overturned also.
The USPTO United States Patent and Trademark Office) has also deemed patent number 7,469,381. This patent has to do with the “bouncing scroll” feature. It turns out that this is not actually and as a result of this the claims on this patent may end up invalidated. This are fantastic news for HTC who is also being sued for the same. According to the source, there will be a preliminary ruling on HTC’s case as well towards the end of November (right in time for Black Friday). All this is far from being final, the USPTO is still investigating and gathering information and evidences. It then needs to make its way to the court, the appeals court, go through the entire process of appealing (which I can only assume is already underway), and finally a ruling can be made based on the evidence. Everything and anything can happen in between, but as stated earlier, it is a ray of hope.
I really hope that all this good news are just the beginning for something even better to come and that the US Court finally realize that 1 billion dollars is a lot of money to make someone pay specially if the facts aren’t clear and lack of common sense before they dictate sentence.
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