After three agonizing weeks of the tech industry’s most highest profile patent trial, and listening to both sides of arguments, the jury in the Samsung-Apple trial were finally given their final instructions by Judge Lucy Koh on what they should be deciding. So far, from what we’ve heard just pouring out of media outlets is that it is really looking like things could be in the favor of Samsung Electronics.
The jury will have to decide on one of two potential outcomes, one being that Samsung loses and Apple wins or Samsung wins and Apple loses. If a ruling is in Apple’s favor, that could lead into a ban on Samsung products (in the United States) and force Samsung Electronics to change the way it designs their products (if they haven’t already due to an email from Google) or pay some high licensing fees that Apple is requesting. If a ruling is in the favor of Samsung, the outcome could murder Apple’s reputation of supposedly being the “world’s leading tech innovator.” Not only that, but it may also give Motorola something else to stand upon in the upcoming Motorola vs Apple case, which would make it harder for Apple’s statements and honesty to stand in trial.
Being on the jury in this case, is anything but easy. In fact, they should be all be getting large paychecks after this case is over. They’ve been given a total of 84 instructions after Judge Koh gave the jury a crash course in patent and trademark law (I bet they enjoyed that one). Here’s some of the things that the jury will have to abide by as they start grueling over the instructions.
No Firmware Upgrades
The jurors will be given some various Apple and Samsung products to overview as evidence, and have been told to use these products in deliberations and even use them to connect to the internet through the court’s Wi-Fi network. However, they are now allowed to alter the software in any way or even insert SIM cards. They are now allowed to accept, download and install any potential software updates and if they are prompted to, they must simply choose to install the software “later.” That way, if Samsung or Apple decides to do a spur of the moment firmware update to change things up so it does not look the same, they can avoid that from happening.
Yes, it is possible to get a firmware update out for those certain devices that fast, which is the reason why they are not allowed to download anything at all. I think aside from that, there is no reason to download anything because the patents are affecting the design and built-in browser, not apps users have created, so really an internet connection isn’t really required unless they will be testing the “bounce-back” features in the browser.
Determine if iPads are “Distinctive” from Samsung’s Tablets.
Here, jurors will need to be deciding on two different things. First they need to decide if Apple, “the worlds most innovative company,” had established a very distinctive product with both the iPhone and iPad. They will then need to decide if consumers could be confused about the “sources of Samsung goods” (yeah, don’t read the label or anything to not get confused). That basically just asks the question if consumers could confuse Samsung’s line of products up with Apple’s iPad and iPhone. I personally don’t think you can confuse it, both are two very different products and operating systems.
Jurors will need to decide two things. First they must decide if Apple has established a distinctive brand with the iPhone and iPad, and also decide if consumers could be confused about the “sources of Samsung’s goods”. This means if consumers could confuse Samsung’s products for Apple’s iPad and iPhone.
Decide whether Apple was an innovator or not
Samsung asked the members of the jury to decide if Apple’s products were truly innovative as they claim to be, or if they simply have copied others as Samsung supposedly has. This request comes from Samsung after Apple claimed that Samsung was a copycat and wasn’t innovative in its products at all (I don’t think Apple saw the Galaxy S III? That was pretty innovative).
Weight experts carefully
As what would happen in any trial, the jurors will have to carefully decide on what they believe from what they’ve heard from the highly paid (1.5 million+ dollars) expert witness that were brought in by both companies. It’s funny how many witness Apple had to go through actually, I am positive they lost a ton of money off of bring witnesses in. Well, maybe they don’t see it as a ton since they are a multi billion dollar company.
Were the infringements “willful”?
If the jurors decide that any patents were infringed upon by either company, they also must decide if the said infringement is or was willful or not. Thankfully the odds will be even after Samsung Electronics were benefited from Judge Lucy Koh’s last minute ruling to change these instructions. Now both Apple and Samsung will be look at with equal issues. Originally, a magistrate judge ruled that Samsung had failed to preserve any of its emails that was associated with the case, but thankfully, Judge Koh overruled the decree stating that both companies failed to provide the evidence and therefore neither company are ahead in the trial.
We should be seeing the verdict by the end of the week as Judge Koh wants to wrap this up. Does anyone have any predictions to make on the trial? Anyone think Samsung will win? What about Apple? I think everyone knows where I stand on the trial. I’m really hoping Samsung wins, it’ll be nice to see Apple get a taste of their own medicine (especially with the upcoming trial with Motorola coming into a court near you).
Let us know your thoughts on the entire ordeal in the comment! We’d love to hear some predictions.