If you have not been under a rock for the last few months you are probably aware that Apple sued Samsung in a high profile patent lawsuit. The big news hit right before the weekend that the jury in the trial found Samsung to be in violation of multiple Apple patents with their headlining products along with a $1.05 billion assessed in damages. The $1.05 billion in patent damages are infinitesimal if you consider what this means for all other Android vendors. Samsung is currently the only Android vendor that is actually make money on the devices and now they will have to drastically change their strategy and devices. Samsung also failed to win a single one of their counter claims.
I have had quite a few people ask me what this means for RIM and it seems like this might be the beginning of a trend that can possibly be beneficial for RIM and Microsoft’s struggling Windows Phone platform. Apple can use this verdict to win multiple injunctions against Samsung products in the US and may coerce the remaining Android vendors, such as HTC and LG, into settlements that could cripple their Android products that are already bleeding money. This will also force Android vendors to focus on reworking their current in market products and delay their future products to avoid Apple’s claims and threats of injunctions.
There is no word on if Apple will go after RIM along with Windows phone but many of the patents found against Samsung are not relevant for BlackBerry products. For example, the look of the homescreen on BlackBerrys is different and so far the same has been true with the bezel. Pinch to zoom, one finger scrolling, double tap to zoom, and the rubber band effect may possibly cause RIM to adopt different effects.
All in all it looks like this will be an exciting week. What do you think? It also makes me wonder if Google will fire back escalating this into its own “mutually assured destruction” scenario.
PS: This is a pretty big deal in the technology patents world. This is one of those landmark cases that will probably even overshadow the NTP vs RIM settlement that dealt RIM a staggering patent settlement years ago.