"The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there."
That's the reason why prior art was ignored!
But really, who has read the points of the patents, or the prior art? Who actually followed the case in it's entirely without cherry picking comments from media coverage? And more importantly, who actually understands patent law? I think a lot of people think that they do.
This is one of the persistent issues that we'll have to deal with on HN for the next few months. Any time an Android vs. iOS article appears it polarizes this community like none other. Hopefully after a while it will all die down...
Then just wait for the appeals court decision...
That said, you are likely correct in one common misunderstanding. Too many people conflate,
1. the US patent system
2. patent law.
The latter could be working as well as could be expected in any part of the US legal system or indeed the world. This is difficult to tell without being a lawyer and many HN'ers, like ordinary people, do not grok it.
The US patent system itself, however, is an entirely different matter. The core aspects are far easier to understand and is routinely and increasingly derided, including by top members of many professions the world over as well as representatives of the US justice system. The latest cases have only furthered added to these views.
I think that what's probably more at issue is that the vast majority of the populace regards copying as plagiarism / and/or something that ought to be punished. eg. copying = theft = bad = you should pay a fine.
The jurors are just trying to stitch legal words and technical words together to create the impression that it was judged based on the law rather than the emotional feeling that copying is bad. The jury was probably looking for evidence to find for Apple, not examining the evidence to reach a conclusion. It's a hallmark of trials by jury, it's why when the facts and emotions are on your side you pick a jury trial and when the law is on your side you pick a trial by judge.
I've heard that at one point in the trial the samsung lawyer said that the design of their tablet was so different that it couldn't be copied while pointing to an iPad. A gaffe like that in connection with the idea that copying = bad is game over for Samsung in court.
Errol Morris interviewed a mob lawyer about how he got a mobster off a murder charge, it's a very telling insight into how the average person's mind works.
"We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce-back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art. Hogan was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself...so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent -- what was prior art --because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art."
"In fact we skipped that one," Ilagan continued, "so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."
1. It doesn't claim the methods, only the systems. My (dim) understanding is that this means it isn't a software patent (a "method" patent), it's just a patent on a "system" (e.g. a device) implementing those methods. If you want to claim the algorithm, you have to claim the methods too; these claims commonly mirror the claims for the system, but with the words "a method" generally replacing "a system".
2. A claim stakes out an area of ownership; the more "and"s there are, the narrower the claim, just like a SQL query returns fewer results with the more AND phrases you include in the WHERE clause. That first long claim (on which all the others are based) could be paraphrased as "Like Tivo, but with the user additionally being able to cut/copy/paste ('edit') sections of video, but only when there's a hard drive, and only when there's a CD burner, etc." So a system that omitted or replaced one of those components would not infringe the patent.
The other claims basically just preemptively stake out further sub-sections of the area of ownership so that the next guy to come along can't do what this guy did and just specialize/narrow/tweak the existing invention in those ways.
Although I don't think taking a Tivo and slapping a CD writer on it should be eligible for a patent. Especially if TV tuners where available at retail at the time (pretty sure they were, but I have no evidence of that.) Basically anybody that put a TV tuner into a computer with a CD writer is prior art for claim 1.
One embodiment of the invention includes an apparatus
equipped with a wireless keyboard and software that
enables a user to access the Web and email services
[…] and other functions
The whole thing is incredibly frustrating.
(I am well aware that "legal reasoning" and real-world rationality umm... walk different paths, I'm just sayin'.)
The content presented in the patent drawings at the bottom are hardware-heavy, and the patent claims and diagrams discuss voltage control, etc.
I am not a patent expert, and not subject to the trial content. But I find it plausible that "processor", or phone architecture in general, might have been an important factor that differentiated Apple from the claims of Samsung's patent.
It looks to me like a snow job. Putting a camera in a smartphone and then (steady yourself) emailing the pictures you take! Seems pretty thin. So throw in a bunch of the technical details that all electronic devices have in common like voltage regulators, chip enable lines, data busses etc, and a bunch of the mundaneness of networking, like the sizes of email headers etc and now we're looking like we've got something that will sneak past an examiner or impress a layman.
Not only did he take it upon himself to ignore the court's instructions by dishing out punitive damages, but the entire reasoning behind these so-called deliberations now appear to have been completely devoid of rationality.
The poster who compared the logic employed here to Vicini's "battle of wits" in the Princess Bride had it spot on.
Web development, app development, device development -- it's all clickers for monkeys.
Better be safe and design a new processor architecture.
I've never been on a jury in a trial such as this, but just as you'll find in regular conversations, members of a jury will present themselves as experts and spout "facts" to back themselves up. A confident "expert" can convince a lot of people.
Also, four of the jury members work for high tech companies, including Intel, AT&T, a circuit board manufacturer, and a hard drive company. So while the foreman was unique in that he holds a patent, many of the jurists have had at least some exposure to technology products in their professional careers.
If anything Judge Koh seemed more inclined to put as much into the juries hands as possible.
Jury nullification is the only counter-example: a judge cannot overrule a nont-guilty criminal decision.
I'd attribute this to Dunning-Krueger. The guy thinks he was the smartest shit in the room - "I had an aha moment, I explained it to them, I laid it out, I this, I that."