Finally, after a year-long battle, the patent war between Apple and Samsung has ended… but probably not for long. The jury recently sided with the iPhone maker in a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on April 15, 2011. Now the Korean electronics company is bound to pay more than a billion U.S. dollars for damages and patent infringement.
Apple to Samsung: This Is War
What began as a case of mistaken product identity spurned the iMaker to take a second look at their rival’s products just to make sure Samsung wasn’t trying to sell iPhone lookalike smartphones. Sure enough, the iPhone maker filed a lawsuit accusing their long-time rival of copying their patented designs of the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets.
In a hasty response, Samsung also filed lawsuits for patent infringement against Apple in three different countries last April (which the company withdrew about a month after). It also filed four more countersuits in a German court after talks for a peace treaty between the two IT companies proved unsuccessful. Early this year, the California Court ordered the iPhone maker to say “Samsung didn’t copy us” in websites and newspapers because the latter complained that the act has maligned the company’s image. Meanwhile, Apple pledged its case to the Court of Appeals and both companies dropped some of the lawsuits to simplify the case.
Now, after the long court battle, a verdict has been declared in favor of Apple. The tech giant will continue to sell iPhone fruitfully (much to the relief of hardcore iPhone fans) and will also receive a hefty amount for what it claimed “billions of dollars in profits” lost because of Samsung’s patent infringement. The iPhone maker finally called it quits and has released a statement saying: “We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.”
The verdict was released on August 24, and on that same date CEO Tim Cook also posted a statement to all Apple employees saying that the verdict is a triumph not only for the IT company but for all innovators around the globe. The statement also quoted, “For us this lawsuit has always been about something 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.”
Is It Over for Samsung?
Meanwhile, Samsung faces a billion dollars in patent damages and the fear of getting banned in the U.S. market. The actual amount for the patent infringement damages amounts to $1.05 billion, only about a half of the $2.75 billion in damages Apple sought from the court. While the Korean electronics giant agreed to pay the amount, they stand firm on their claim that they do not sell iPhone copycat products. The company also vowed (in a very antagonistic manner, as we can say) that the battle isn’t over as there still are outstanding lawsuits filed elsewhere in the world. A statement from Samsung says, “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer.”