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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 24, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Does Apple’s jury win over Samsung mean good news for Windows Phone?

Microsoft isn’t commenting officially on the verdict handed down today by a federal court jury in San Jose that gives Apple a big patent win over Samsung.

But the verdict could mean good news for Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

The jury decided that Samsung infringed on a number of Apple’s patents, ordering Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. The jury rejected Samsung’s patent claims against Apple.

The final impact is still unclear, as the verdict will likely be appealed.

But, for now, the verdict would seem to be a blow to Google, which produces the Android operating system that powers most of Samsung’s — and other non-Apple manufacturers’ — smartphones.

And it could perhaps entice manufacturers to abandon Android in favor of the Windows Phone operating system. Some at Microsoft were certainly expressing that sentiment.

Bill Cox, senior director of marketing communications for Windows Phone, tweeted:

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s deputy counsel of intellectual property and licensing, tweeted a link to this New York Times Bits Blog post. The post says, in part:

Robert Barr, executive director of University of California-Berkeley’s Center for Law and Technology, spelled out what this would mean for the tech industry as a whole. It’s going to make it very difficult for not only Samsung but for other companies to mimic the Apple products:

“Each of the patents cover a particular feature of the iPhone and the iPad. You can still make a smartphone, like the Microsoft Windows phone made by Nokia. It has a different look than the iPhone, different appearance and different features. That would be an example that is unaffected by this.”

During the trial, an Apple lawyer had referred to a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone as an example of a smartphone that didn’t have to look like an iPhone.

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