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Apple vs Samsung verdict could change smartphone landscape

Jeff Horwich Aug 27, 2012
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Apple vs Samsung verdict could change smartphone landscape

Jeff Horwich Aug 27, 2012
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Samsung’s share price took a dive in South Korea today.

On Friday a jury in Silicon Valley ruled Samsung’s smartphones violate Apple patents for a number of hardware and software elements: the app icons you see on your screen, the way you scroll, the way almost all apps have trained us to pinch and widen our fingers to zoom in on something.

The ruling creates a strange new landscape for all smartphone makers.

Chris Sprigman teaches intellectual property law at the University of Virginia and he writes at a blog called The Knockoff Economy. He says he expects Apple will licence its designs to other smartphone makers, and Apple’s rivals will have to pay a hefty fee for the patents.

“If Apple doesn’t license these features, smartphones are going to start to look very different,” Sprigman says.

The jury even decided Apple’s design for a “rectangular device” is protected. Should we look for circular cell phones in the future?

“It’s frankly hard to imagine how you make a phone that isn’t rectangular,” Sprigman says.

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