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Steve Jobs' thermonuclear showdown with Samsung reaches US Supreme Court

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Apple is a US company, US judges ...

which way do you think they will go ?

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Go

I'm actually curious...

What happens if it is a tied decision? Does it wait until a 9th judge comes on board? Does the previous decision stand? Does the previous decision get annulled? Does the whole damn shebang go back to the start to rejoin the merry go round once again?

If anyone knows I would be interested to hear what happens.

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Re: I'm actually curious...

A tie leaves the appellate court decision in place, and does not create a precedent.

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Re: I'm actually curious...

It's happened at least once already IIRC. The policy is that the court must reach a majority in order to set a precedent, meaning at least five justices must side on the issue (if two vacancies occur, however, the mark becomes four). If no majority is reached, the previous decision stands as written, and that decision (from the full Court of Appeals) sided with Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

errr, my screen is blue...

My arse is round too, I'll gladly get it out in court for the judges.

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Sad but true

If either side had managed to make their offerings capable of being used as an actual phone, then they would have had a stranglehold on the market and could actuallly spend their time doing something more worthwhile than trying to argue that black is white and that they designed the paper bag.

Instead we have two pretty crappy pocket computers with the ability to make bad quality voice calls.

But then again, neither of them pay tax, so I guess they can afford to piss about destroying competition and techical advancement by being patent trolls, neither of them have any wish to actually develop anything new

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The evidence m'lord

'Samsung of “blatant copying” of the iPhone' - iPhones catch fire, Samsung's.....

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Mushroom

Shorter process?

Anyone who bought a bag of popcorn and settled down to watch this all those ages ago must surely have expected it to end up in the supreme court - it was never going to be dropped - there's too much cash on the table for that.

So as it was inevitably going to end up here, it does beg the question, why not just bloody start here and have done with it! I have nothing against due process, but this is just silly.

Apart from the overhaul of the US patents system, including that entire area of design patents which are just look and feel after all, it might be worth reforming the system for cases like this - one shot, take it or mediate.

I can hear the lawyers scream already at the loss of earnings that would bring about.

Oh what a delight!

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Re: Shorter process?

That's easy. The process is rigged so that only super rich folk get to fight all the way to the top while the poorer folk have all their money sucked dry by lawyers long before it becomes a real issue. Can't have the hoi polloi getting the issue resolved once and for all without picking their pockets clean, now can we?

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Think of the lawyers

If lawyers could not get paid three times for the same work then there would be a lawyer on every street corner begging for spare change.

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Re: Think of the lawyers

The standard joke: A lawyer appears before St. Peter (yeah, I'm stretching it) at the tender age of 45. St. Peter looks down at him and says: "My, you are a little young, what was your occupation", the lawyer answers and then St. Peter looks at his notes, and says: "Oh, I understand, we were going by billable hours, and according to that, you are in your nineties".

Lawyers, now there is a need for government mandated fee limits if there ever was one. But being as most legislators are lawyers themselves, it will never happen.

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Re: Shorter process?

"So as it was inevitably going to end up here, it does beg the question, why not just bloody start here and have done with it! I have nothing against due process, but this is just silly."

Rules of the game. Any legal matter has to be taken up with the lowest court with jurisdiction over the matter first. Higher courts can only hear these cases on appeal via the writ of certiorari, and the Supreme Court alone holds the power of discretion. Only they can refuse to accept an appeal. The only time the Supreme Court can directly get involved (an "original jurisdiction") is on true interstate matters (in which case the Supreme Court by law is the ONLY court able to rule) like State of New York vs. State of New Jersey, 1998 (a dispute over ownership of Ellis Island).

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Re: Shorter process?

I don't think its about the money - the amount is trivial for both companies.

Its about one-upmanship and both companies wanting to look righteous: Apple wants to be seen as a true innovator, full of "value" (and probably magic) and Samsung wants to show Apple's innovation up as "obvious" and therefore over-priced and "poor value."

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So, $400 Million in damages

And $2 Billion each in legal fees.

Seems fair.

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Aren't Samsung's phones already having a thermonuclear meltdown without a lawsuit (yet)?

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Joke

Lordy!

Who are you and what have you done with El Reg!

I was expecting lots of snide remarks about Steve Jobs and how Apple should have ignored Samsung's 100% blatant copying of the iPhone, the icons and the packaging to the point where even the lawyers had to look really carefully to check which one they were holding up, because of 'rounded corners'.

Hopefully all those trolls have left and are working in supermarkets now.

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It's blatant copying...

First one side sues and then the other side sues them back...

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It was a ridiculous patent to grant, practically every high tech phone or tablet in films for decades has been a rectangle with round corners. The home button in the bottom center would have made more sense as a patent.

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I always thought that a triangular display and spiked corners made more sense!

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