Apple v. Samsung case shows why the patent system has to change

“We have the judgement in the latest installment of the Apple v. Samsung case and there’s one little detail that shows why we need to change the patent system as it works: or rather, as it fails to work,” Tim Worstall writes for Forbes.

“So, Apple wins on some patents, loses on another, the overall award being much less than they had sought but still just under $200 million. So, justice done, right?” Worstall writes. “Ah, no, not quite so quickly: “‘Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple. This amount is less than 10% of the amount Apple requested, and probably doesn’t surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case,’ said Brian Love, assistant professor at the Santa Clara University law school.” If you’ve got to pay out in lawyers’ fees approximately what you win in damages then that’s not really all that much of a victory, is it?”

“That you must spend near $200 million to gain a righteous $200 million verdict seems absurd. And also that you can threaten to cause $2 million of costs for a $20,000 award. The solution to both is to move, at least, the patent system to one where the loser pays all legal fees. The Supreme Court last week decided that it is now a little easier for a judge to insist on so awarding costs: but it should, perhaps, become the default position, not something offered only in exceptional circumstances,” Worstall writes. “It is the way that the English system works, it’s the model that has been chosen for the new European Union patent courts and it makes sense that the US adopts the same model. There’s even a law before Congress to take us a lot of the way there, the Innovation Act from Rep Goodlatte [R-VA 6th District].”

Worstall writes, “Whether or not this is good politics is for others to judge, not me. But it’s a lot better economics than we have in the system currently.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple latest patent infringement win against Samsung, could be worth more than $360 million when finalized – May 3, 2014
Apple v. Samsung II damages breakdown revealed in jury verdict form – May 3, 2014
After seeking $2 billion, jury awards Apple just $120 million over Samsung’s infringement of two patents – May 2, 2014
Slap on the wrist: Samsung’s damages for infringing Apple’s patents equivalent to 16 days’ profit – January 25, 2014


  1. Yes. This would change the dynamics of patent infringement cases in a huge way. The ‘loser-pays-legal-fees’ approach used in England and the EU makes too much sense, though: someone here in the US will surely object for some reason or another. Maybe on the basis that it is unfair …to infringers. Ha!

  2. HELLO! The trial proved that Samsung willingly violated the law. Samsung willingly infringed on Apple. The system worked. What didn’t is the sleezy lawyers convincing the jury to devaluation Apple patents. Another, Samsung BUYING the specific patent to cause Apple to be “unwillingly” infringing on the recently BOUGHT patent.

    1. I’m sure Apple is much more interested in gaining an import ban. That’s the only thing that will make Scamscum wake up and change their practices.

      1. Samsung going to “wake up and change”, or grow up?! Don’t think so. Stealing is their bred and butter, why they exist, their DNA. The justice system has to show enough courage to put an end to their thievery with big enough punishment.

  3. How about competent judges for once? Richard “Let Me Take This Case Because It Interests Me” Posner and Lucy “In Scamscum’s Back Pocket” Koh don’t cut it.

  4. The American system (each side pays its own costs) was developed to allow people with decent but not slam-dunk claims the chance to get their case in front of a jury even if the defendant has more resources. In the English system (loser pays), lawyers won’t take cases unless victory is virtually certain. A wealthy defendant can deliberately run up its costs to scare poorer plaintiffs away. Rich folks can shaft poor ones without fear that they might face justice in a courtroom.

  5. Changing the patent system might lead to fewer patents like Apple’s being granted in the first place. I don’t care for Samsung or Google, but no one ever bought a Galaxy phone thinking it was an Apple product.

  6. Best ever. Samsung makes BILLIONS for using Apple tech and only paying a Billion in total for both cases! They are CLEVER! Thanks Steve and Co! 🙂

    I bet Apple spent more in lawyers and court fees this time around than Samsung owes LOL

  7. The problem with this is it means we are expecting our Government legal system to do something logical. Starting to think that’s impossible.

  8. My God we have a lousy USPTO system!
    so antiquated.
    so corrupt.
    so immature.
    so unprofessional.
    so unjust.
    so inconsistent.
    so useless.
    so redundant.
    so irresponsible.
    so pathetic.
    what a joke.

    is it not odd:
    1. INCONSISTENT: that the Entertainment industry sues like hell for every cent & inch, even underaged kids, and wins like the devil, as the gov. defends extremism & criminals, but Apple, the only black firm we have, the 7th biggest tax payer, the only Made In The USA brand loved worldwide, is punished by our totally incompetent evil gov?!
    2. SILLY: our judges/juries are pathetically ignorant/uneducated.
    3. OBVIOUS: it is so obvious that a child, not corrupt adult, can see how blatantly Apple has been copied by Samsung / Goo / Moto / Msft etc. Justice is so stupid, it’s not just the products that are copied, but the hard & soft-ware & packaging & marketing/advertising & stores & apps etc., etc., etc.!
    4. POINTLESS: This verdict is supposed to motivate/encourage innovation?!! WTF?! They annihilated 98% of Apple patents & achieved only 2 things:
    a. a disastrous precedent: it is now OK to copy everything without consequences
    b. there is no point in the gov. patent office, not to mention since they cash in so much for applications, they just admitted they’re corrupt crooks stealing your money – no different to IRS that steals our hard-earned tax $ and abuses them without our consent up to 27% on military or 2% on Education or 1% on Science!!! WTF?! (
    we pay our Gov. to defend criminals + screw “American Excellence”?! 
Turning the “Am. Dream” into its Nightmare! Fire them!

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