A topic that is buzzing with controversy all over the internet right now is the legal battle between Apple and Samsung. For those that don’t know, Apple has been attempting to sue Samsung for various copyright infringements on various Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. In recent news Apple just gained an unheard of victory. In the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, a judge who had settled the claim that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 was an infringement against the iPad had been won by Samsung, but not long after the order came down from Federal Appeals for the judge to revisit the case. When the judge complied the ruling was that at least for the moment Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 could not be sold in the U.S. until the patent was further reviewed. There is a court date set for July 30th to finalize the case.
Ultimately this will not be likely to hinder Samsung too much as they will just roll with the punch and adapt. Although the worry is that we have not seen a design patent receive a victory in decades and many fear what the repercussions of such precedence may be. Suing over patent infringement can be a lucrative strategy in the big picture as it allows the owner to weed out competitors. Yet one has to wonder what Apples investors and users think about the whole thing. Could the continuous barrage of lawsuits leave a bad taste in the mouth of users? It could even spark a movement to buy anything, but Apple products. For Apple this movement could be a double edged sword to say the least. A worthy mention is that on this Wednesday Apples shares had only grown .43% where Samsung was up 2.5%. This mixed with the knowledge that Samsung sold 1.6 million tablets during the first quarter of 2012 to Apple’s 13.6 million is leading towards the fact that Apple is beginning to fear Samsung and their consumers are getting a taste of it.
Apple agreed to prepare a 2.6 million dollar payment in reparation of the losses they will take if Samsung proves Apple wrong. They have already appealed to the Court of Appeals so news can’t be too far behind.
On a related topic Apple also has a suit against Samsung’s Galaxy S III. This is no shock to those that are keeping an eye on the battle, but the fact Apple is winning hints towards an unfavorable future of design patent precedence. Apple claims that the 9 million preorders that Samsung already has will cause irreparable harm and will likely want recompense. Just another suit in the large file from Apple, but considering the recent victory with the tab it is hard to not imaging more victories in the future.
The battle between these titans all started after the release for the Galaxy line of devices from Samsung. Apple sees these as a pervasive copying to the point that they appear to be Apple products. Through a series of cases Samsung is banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, almost all EU countries, Australia, and now the US.
The interesting aspect about this big fiasco is that both companies are reliant on each other for a large portion of their profits. Apple uses Samsung semiconductors most if not all of their devices and spent upwards of $8 billion on parts from the transaction. On top of that 25 million iOS devices were produced and sold with Samsung parts in them. Despite off the lawsuits both companies are being very careful to keep their legal battles separate from their business dealings.
While Apple has a very impressive patent portfolio, the question is does it really make sense that Apple can sue everyone to keep them from things like a border framing the screen or rounded corners on a rectangular product? A few sources are bring up that the iPhone was not the first smart phone and a few more of stated that Apple likely infringed on some patents themselves. On most notably is a patent that was held by Motorola for a “radio telephone system” that all other mobile phone companies pay royalties for, yet Apple does not. Google is now the holder of this patent and may take a motion to collect on it in the near future. This is a messy battle that doesn’t look to have an end that truly seems pointless as the two tycoons need each other more than they need the benefits of a won lawsuit.