'This lawsuit is not about patents or money, it's about values'
Plus: 'A mind-numblingly inept display'
Quotw This was the week when analysts, pundits, beancounters and opinion-holders of all stripes got to have their say on the Apple v Samsung patent verdict going the fruity firm's way.
While Apple pushed hard to get Samsung mobes pulled from the shelves as soon as humanly possible, the Korean chaebol vowed to fight on and passed some snide remarks about the iDevice-maker:
History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.
Apple listed eight phones, including four US iterations of the Galaxy SII, that it reckoned should get temporarily banned now while it waits for the court to permanently put a stop to around 29 Sammy products coming into the US:
Apple reserves all rights regarding a permanent injunction, but has tailored this list to address a portion of the immediate, ongoing irreparable harm that Apple is suffering.
Aw, diddums! It's tough being one of the top tech companies in the world with monster piles of cash, isn't it? As Reg hack Iain Thompson wondered:
Apple is now the most valuable company on the planet (in part thanks to the declining value of the American dollar), dominates the tablet market, and has the high-end of the smartphone sector locked down. It has also got the most lucrative apps market and reaps 30 per cent on everything sold. Is this not enough?
But apparently it's not. Apple wants to take all its money and ship it on up to the moral high ground, as Tim Cook's memo to staff seems to suggest that's where the firm is after the verdict. He said:
For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.
Many others, including Nodeable's Matt Asay, writing for The Reg, said: "Don't you remember the many times Silicon Valley, and indeed Apple itself, has innovated off each other's backs?" Asay pointed out:
Silicon Valley went decades without the aggressive litigiousness crippling it the way patent suits are now hobbling the mobile industry. This is the place that thrived in the absence of non-competes and other restrictions on competition and innovation. It has been a very competitive industry, but not one prone to patent lawsuits, including for significant examples of copying, like when Apple ripped off Xerox Parc.
Legal pundits were also busily questioning the speed of the jury's verdict, which was reckoned to be a bit unusual given the complex nature of patent law. Litigator Elie Mystal wrote on legal blog Above the Law:
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?
In other legal squabbles, Julian Assange is still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy and has none other than the country's president Rafael Correra fighting his corner. And what a fight it is. First off, Correra talks of Britain's "grave diplomatic error" in apparently threatening to enter the embassy.
He went on to say that it didn't really matter anyway because Assange didn't really do anything that wrong and anyway Britain can't talk because this is like the time it refused to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet after his 1998 arrest in London:
The crimes that Assange is accused of, they would not be crimes in 90 to 95 per cent of the planet.
Britain supported Augusto Pinochet unconditionally. And they let him go, they didn't extradite him on humanitarian grounds, whereas they want to extradite Julian Assange for not using a condom, for the love of God.
A British police officer mistakenly revealed a briefing note that instructed coppers to arrest Assange "under all circumstances", carrying it in his hands outside the embassy where a news photographer snapped it.
If Assange leaves the embassy with a diplomat or in a diplomatic bag (which can be anything up to a shipping container), the police should pounce.
And finally, O2 ran into trouble with customers when it failed to muster a speedy enough recovery from a sliced undersea cable.
While BSkyB and BT were able to get back on their feet in relatively short order, O2 kept its users waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Which they naturally reacted really well about on O2's forums. One snarked:
Almost 30 hours to get so much as any acknowledgement on any of the O2 status pages. A mind-numbingly inept display by O2. ®