Pretty much everyone knows about the legal brouhaha happening between Apple and Samsung. Now that the battle has been going on since forever, it was high time that some sort of decision was actually made.
In the wee hours of Friday morning, a federal jury of the United States of America recommended that Apple be rewarded the damages which are due to it from Samsung’s blatant copying in the design of their Galaxy series. The damages are worth a really cool $1.05 billion. That’s the kind of money that makes you stop and remember how many zeroes are used while writing it in figures (There are nine zeroes, just by the way).
Though the figure won’t really mean so much to consumers like us, this could have a disastrous effect on the creativity of product designers and the like. And eventually, this could trickle down to affect the choices of the customers.
For its post-verdict quote, Samsung chose to respond with the attitude of a choleric baby-
“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung said in a statement. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. 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 Korean-based company was also quick to add that they have no plans whatsoever to take Judge Lucy Koh’s demands laying down. Samsung intends to file a post-verdict decision and is ready to make an appeal to the Court of Appeals. But, sadly for Samsung, the jury has already found that Samsung’s product designs infringe upon the copyrights registered by Apple. The jury was reported to have used weeks of notes and memories of testimonies, 109 pages of jury instructions, contested smartphones and tablets and boxes of evidence to come to their decision.
Samsung’s loss was accentuated by Apple’s closing arguments. Apple cited products from Nokia’s Lumia range and Sony’s Xperia range as superb models of practical alternatives to Apple’s design of the iPhone.
But, this is not all that Apple wants. Apple contrives to file a temporary injunction against Samsung, which if granted, could put Samsung out of the market for months, if not years. So, it’d be pretty wise for Samsung to simply continue fighting against the ruling instead of filling Apple’s coffers.
Meanwhile, Apple’s lawyers responded to Samsung’s post-verdict quote with their own. Theirs seemed to be filled with tact and has hints of “Take that, bitches!”-
“We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it,” the company said in a statement. “The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.”
Immediately after the verdict was made public, Apple’s share soared from $12 to more than $675, which cements its position as the world’s most valuable company.
The unusual yet fortunate part about the ruling was that the jury didn’t find any of Apple’s infringing patents on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab products. Though the similarities are quite noticeable, the jury thought so otherwise and awarded Samsung one measly win over Apple in this area. Another minor conquest that Samsung was glad to have acquired was the reduction of the damages from a hefty $2.7 billion to $1.05 billion.
Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in this legal bout over intellectual property and copyright infringement all over the world, for more than a year now. Apple claims that Samsung has flagrantly copied the physical design of the iPhone and iPad while designing the Galaxy series along with a few software nuances. On the other hand, Samsung claims that Apple has violated its essential 3G transmission patent holding.
The final ruling might just scare Android OEMs to their very cores and we might just witness a total overhaul of products from now onward. But, what’s left to be seen is who wins the ultimate war and not the petty battles.