Whatever happens on appeal, I think the jury did an admirable job making sense of the case they were given. They certainly did better than much of the tech media, which have made a complete mess of the verdict.
For example, this by Craig Timberg and Haley Tsukayama in the August 29 Washington Post: “Friday’s $1 billion court ruling for Apple, which upheld patents for what manufacturers call ‘pinch to zoom,’ among other popular features, has clouded the future of the gesture for anyone inclined to buy mobile devices from other companies. Apple made clear its determination to press its advantage Monday, announcing plans to seek preliminary injunctions on eight phones made by Samsung, the loser in the case.”
There’s one serious problem with the first sentence, which was repeated dozens of times in stories in print and on the Web. Apple only has a limited patent (US 7,812,826) on the pinch to shrink, stretch to zoom gesture that is a core element of touch interfaces. And the ’826 patent wasn’t in dispute in the Samsung case because Apple never asserted it. In fact, this particular patent does not seem to be in dispute in any litigation.
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