Good morning, teacher. On the 24th August 2012, Apple won more than US $1 billion in a massive US court victory over Samsung, one of the biggest patent cases in decades – a verdict that could have huge market repercussions. A jury in San Jose, California awarded US $1.049 billion to the US tech giant, according to court documents. But analysts said the damages could be tripled because jurors found Samsung “willfully” infringed on patents. The decision was appeared to be an overwhelming victory for Apple but it was not immediately clear whether it would halt sales of Samsung devices or affect newer models released since the case was filed. Apple, the world’s most valuable company now gets richer. On one hand, I believe in the rule of law and Samsung was violating some Apple design patents. They should pay. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel something is wrong with the system. Samsung was trying to take a good design and duplicate or improve upon it. That is what competition is all about. Innovation today is the process of finding a way around a patent or beat it with an even better design. Who knows whether Samsung knew they were copy or not. In any case, they got caught. And the outcome has to be higher phone prices for everyone. Luckily, the hot new Galaxy SIII smart phone was not affected by the ruling. Nowadays, designing a smart phone is difficult. They all look alike, essentially work alike. All have big screens, touch control, icons for the functions and apps. How do the designers change that into something that is better and different that customers will like and buy while not violating any patents or requiring a lisence?