Samsung Vows To Fight On, Appeal $1B Decision
April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Samsung vowed to “move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn this decision in this court, and if we are not successful, we will appeal this decision to the court of appeals.”
The two communications giants have been suing each other all over the globe lately, each claiming that the other has copied design elements and violated patents. The last sortie was in a Korean court, which ruled they had both infringed on each other’s patents. The judge blocked the sale of several items from each company and awarded miniscule damages (Apple had to pay Samsung $35,000 and Samsung had to pay Apple $22,000.)
This latest ruling in California, however, has a much stiffer damage award, potentially the highest in patent case history. It was also a decided loss for Samsung, as the jury did not award them any damages from Apple.
The case started with Apple asking for $2.7 billion dollars from Samsung for infringing on design elements “ripped off” from the iPad and iPhone. Samsung counter-sued for $519 million, claiming Apple had infringed on five of their patents as well.
The nine-person jury took two and a half days to comb through weeks of notes, 109 pages of jury instructions, and boxes of evidence and gadgets to complete their verdict, which included 20 pages of charts and yes / no answers to determine exactly who had copied who.
Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor, claims that this is, “a huge win for Apple.” Consumers apparently agree; Apple’s stock jumped $12 dollars a share after the verdict was handed down to close at $675.
Samsung has another take on the win / lose scenario. They say the verdict should be seen as a loss for the American consumer.
“It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” the company said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”
“Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.”
The statement continued: “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners.”
Not everyone agrees that this will be a loss of innovation, however. Chris Carani, an intellectual property attorney and design law expert, said that this could spark a burst of creativity in the design of future devices. Apple’s competitors will not want to risk being slapped with design infringement lawsuits, which would raise the already high price of rolling out a new product.
“Competitors will have to go back to the drawing board, and give their designers more creative license,” Carani says. “They’ll have to create something very different as far as the visual experience, and that choice could be a great benefit for consumers.”
This case could have far-reaching implications. Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Android products, and some of the patent infringements concerned software. While all the Android manufacturers have slightly different versions of the OS, they are all largely the same. Samsung wasn’t able to prove any of Apple’s patents invalid, which gives Apple a solid platform from which to attack Google directly.
The big question on consumer’s minds is how does this affect me and my phone or tablet now?
Well first, there could be some products disappearing from the market. September 20, 2012, the companies will be back in court to decide if there will be injunctions against the sale of certain Samsung products. Until then, we will have to wait and see what will be available.
Can they take away your phone or tablet if those injunctions go through? No, they can’t. This isn’t a recall, it’s to block further sales.
What might happen, however, is a software update that will change the way your phone or tablet looks and acts.
Samsung isn’t down and out, however. Even at slightly over $1 billion dollars, the payment will not even put a large dent in their bank account. The company earned over $12 billion in revenues last year alone, and has close to $14 billion in the bank.