A landmark jury verdict in California fining Samsung massive damages for copying Apple's designs continues to make waves amid concerns that it was flawed and hastily delivered.
Immediately after the verdict, public opinion in the U.S. was dominantly positive about the respect for innovation it can be seen to affirm. But as time goes by, an increasing number of people point to inconsistencies and warn that it could cost consumers money.
IT website CNET, in an article headlined "Legal analysts suggest Apple-Samsung verdict may not be safe," said on Saturday, "Some experts poring over statements of Apple-Samsung jury members and details of their judgment suggest that the verdict could be overturned."
The final judge's ruling in the Northern District Court of California is not expected for some time.
CNET cited U.S. legal blog Above the Law as saying, "Here's the thing, ladies and gentlemen of the Apple v. Samsung jury: It would take me more than three days to understand all the terms in the verdict! Much less come to a legally binding decision on all of these separate issues. Did you guys just flip a coin?"
There are many unpolished areas in the verdict that the jury submitted to Judge Lucy Koh. For the damage compensation for the Galaxy S (i9000), they initially put US$40.49 million but changed it to "0" after crossing it out. For other models, they originally wrote over $100 million compensation which they then changed to $73.34 million.
The jury concluded that some designs did not infringe Apple's patents but nonetheless filled in $2.5 million in compensation. This had to be corrected to "0" by Judge Koh in court.
The press is also critical of the verdict. The Wall Street Journal said consumers had better "get ready for the Apple Tax" as "rival device makers will likely have to pay to license the various Apple technologies the company sought to protect in court."
The Washington Post and New York Times took a similar line. The Times also cited Bill Flora of Seattle-based design company Tectonic as saying, "Apple's patent on the pinch-to-zoom function covers a gesture that now is so common that touch screen products without it would be like cars with square or triangular steering wheels."
The U.K. Guardian wrote, "But we're likely to see a ban on many mobile devices from Samsung and other manufacturers in the wake of this case, as an emboldened Apple tries to create an unprecedented monopoly. If so, the ultimate loser will be competition in the technology marketplace, with even more power accruing to a company that already has too much."