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NOT LONG after a jury in the Californian city of San Jose concluded on August 24th that Samsung should pay Apple just over $1 billion in damages for infringing six of the American firms software and design patents, stills from a year-old sitcom episode, in which a character demonstrates an absurd triangular tablet computer, began recirculating on the internet. The images were being used to poke fun at the jurys ruling that the South Korean firm had copied the shape of Apples wildly popular iPhone, which (like most) is rectangular with curved corners.8月24号加州圣何塞的陪审团裁决三星侵害苹果公司6项软件和设计专利,须要支付苹果多达10亿美元的赔偿金。旋即后互联网广泛传播一个早已一岁的情景喜剧剧照:一个角色展出一个荒谬的三角形平板电脑。这些剧照被用来嘲笑陪审团的判决:三星剽窃了苹果公司甚广热门的少见的长方带上圆角形状的iPhone。

The titanic tussle between the two giants, which has led to one of the biggest penalties for patent violations in legal history, is far from over. On August 28th Apple said it wanted Lucy Koh, the judge presiding over the case, to ban the sale in America of eight of Samsungs smartphones. Samsung, which is trying to persuade the judge to overturn the jurys overall verdict, said it would take all necessary measures to keep its products on sale. Judge Koh has scheduled a hearing for September 20th to review an existing ban on sales in America of a version of Samsungs Galaxy Tab tablet computer. Another hearing is set for December to consider imposing a ban on the phones targeted by Apple.两大巨头间造成法律史上仅次于的专利侵权行为惩处的轻微争斗近没完结。8月28号苹果公司回应期望案件主持人法官Lucy Koh禁令8款三星智能手机在美国的销售。三星企图劝说法官夺权陪审团的整体判决,回应将采行一切必要措施确保自己产品的销售。

Lucy Koh法官已订于9月20号的听证会上审核现有的对三星一版Galaxy Tab平板电脑在美国销售的禁令。另外一场听证会在12月考虑到对苹果射击的手机实行禁令。Even if these devices are blocked, the impact on Samsungs bottom line should be modest because a ban will affect older devices, not the firms snazzy new Galaxy phones. But the case still has big implications for the tech industry, which is facing a tsunami of patent-related lawsuits. It shows how patents covering the look and feel of devices are increasingly being weaponised by their holders. It highlights the propensity of juries to award huge damages in intellectual-property disputes. And it will give added ammunition to those who feel that the current system of granting and policing tech patents in America needs to be overhauled.即使停售这些设备,对三星的底线并没过于大影响,因为禁令只不会影响老款设备,并不影响三星华丽的新款Galaxy手机。



也给那些感觉现有批准后和监管技术专利的系统必须大修的人补足了弹药。The legal battle between Samsung and Apple is also intriguing because the archenemies work closely together. Samsung is one of the biggest suppliers of components such as memory chips for Apples gadgets. But its phones and tablets, which so far have used Googles Android operating system, compete head-on with Apples iPhones and iPad tablets. The tension between the two firms has grown as competition in the smartphone arena has intensified (see article). Gartner, a research firm, says that more than half of the smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter run on Android. Apples late boss, Steve Jobs, promised thermonuclear war against what he saw as Androids systematic copying of Apple features.三星和苹果的法律战也很有意思的是两个输掉还在密切合作。三星是比如苹果装备内存芯片等组件的的仅次于供应商之一。



研究公司Gartner声称第二季度过半数的全球发售的智能手机运营在android系统上。苹果胞弟老板Steve Jobs允诺将向android对苹果系统性的剽窃发动热核战争。Samsung has been leading the charge of the Androids. To counter it, Apple has launched a bombardment of lawsuits against its rival around the world, claiming that Samsungs devices breach various patents it holds. On the day that the jury in San Jose delivered its ruling, a court in South Korea hearing a similar case said both firms were guilty of patent violations against the other and banned some of their devices from sale in the country. But since America is the worlds largest market for consumer electronics, the Californian ruling will have a far greater impact.三星仍然在领导android行业。


但是由于美国是世界仅次于的消费电子市场,加州的判决有更加极大的影响。The jury in San Jose concluded that Samsung had violated several of Apples utility patents covering things such as bounce-back scrolling, which makes such things as on-screen icons and web pages rebound if swiped too far, and tap-to-zoom functionality, which makes it easy to zero in on, say, an image or a map. It also said the South Korean company had copied the overall look of the iPhone, including the rounded corners of icons, thus breaching several of Apples design patents. To add insult to injury, the jurors tossed out the South Korean firms claims that Apple had ripped off some of its own innovations.圣何塞的陪审团判决三星侵害了几项苹果应用于专利还包括比如:画面跳跃返滑动,使得比如在滑动太快时屏幕图标和网页可以声浪;页面图形功能,使得焦点集中于在比如图片或地图上显得更容易。陪审团还声称三星剽窃iphone的整体外观,还包括圆角图标,因此侵害了数个苹果设计专利。

雪上加霜的是陪审员上诉三星关于苹果曾多次盗窃某些三星自己的创意的声明。Samsung and other firms are likely to tweak the design of their devices to avoid further legal bombshells in America. Some patent lawyers say this is as it should be. In many ways, the system is working well from an economic viewpoint, says Wil Rao of McAndrews, Held Malloy, a law firm. But other experts worry that design patents in particular are often drawn too broadly and granted too easily.三星和其他公司有可能他们设备的设计,以防止美国的更好地法律诉讼。有些专利律师说道这是理所应当的。


从经济看作该系统在许多方面都运营较好,一家律师事务所McAndrews, Held Malloy的Wil Rao如此说。但也有专家担忧尤其是外观设计专利,往往界定过于明确,许可过于更容易了。Whopping penalties imposed on patent infringers are also a cause for concern. Some experts blame these on the increased use of juries in patent cases. According to a study published last year by PWC, a consultancy, juries decided an average of 14% of such cases in America in the 1980s; since 2000 that figure has risen to 56%. The problem, says Brian Love, a law professor at Santa Clara University, is that jurors tend to have a gut reaction against patent violators and therefore often award damages that are vastly higher than the economic harm that has been done. Experienced judges tend to see things in a more nuanced light.对专利侵权行为的天价罚金也是引发注目的一个原因。

一些专家指出,专利案件的审理更加多地用于陪审团是其(天价罚金)原因。根据一家咨询公司PWC去年公布的一个报告,在20世界80年代美国平均值14%此类案件由陪审团要求,但从2000年以来这个数字下降到56%。Santa Clara University的法律教授Brian Love指出问题在于陪审员往往对专利侵权者有个直觉反应,因此一般来说判罚远高于已导致的经济伤害的赔偿金。有经验的法官往往以一种更加准确精细的看法来看来问题。

A well-known federal judge, Richard Posner, an outspoken critic of Americas patent system, has even suggested that the countrys Patent and Trademark Office be given the job of hearing patent disputes-and sufficient resources to handle a wider remit. Apple knows Judge Posner all too well. Earlier this year, he dismissed a lawsuit it brought against Motorola Mobility, mocking some of the claims Apple had made about the harm it had suffered. Samsungs lawyers, trying to get the August ruling reversed, will be hoping Judge Koh looks closely at her colleagues findings when battle resumes in San Jose.知名的联邦法官Richard Posner,一个对美国专利制度的直言不讳的批评者,甚至建议国家的专利和商标局被彰显听证会专利纠纷的工作以及处置更加甚广范围工作的充足资源。苹果公司对Posner法官十分理解。




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