“Steve Jobs, famous for his view that a product’s look and feel is just as important as how it works, was vindicated by a California court exactly one year after he stepped down as chief executive officer of Apple Inc.,” Peter Burrows reports for Bloomberg. “A jury found on Aug. 24 that Samsung Electronics Co. must pay Apple $1.05 billion for infringing six patents, including four covering the design of its mobile devices.”
“Courts tend to give greater credence to utility patents, which cover a product’s underlying technology. This case was distinct for its emphasis on design patents, which reflect Jobs’s focus on the stylized nature of Apple’s devices. Of the 359 patents listing Jobs as co-inventor, 86 percent are the design variety, according to MDB Capital Group LLC.,” Burrows reports. “‘Given the infringement of the design patents, which protects the non-functional appearance of the iPad and iPhone, Apple now has considerable power to keep knock-off phones off the market,’ said Tim Holbrook, a professor at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.”
Burrows reports, “By early 2011, Jobs had decided to use the legal system as aggressively as possible to protect Apple’s intellectual property. He famously told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he would spend ‘every penny’ in Apple’s coffers to combat Google’s software. ‘I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product,’ Jobs said. ‘I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.’ On Aug. 24, Jobs posthumously enlisted allies in that war in a nine-person jury in federal court in California.”
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