Apple vs Samsung. The battle of patent infringement against Korean tech giant Samsung has been emphatically won by Apple in a landmark decision in a US Federal Court, and yet somehow I feel the war has only just begun.
The $1 billion victory for Apple, although less than half of what they were originally asking for, is a significant enough blow for Samsung, but things could get a lot worse if Apple is successful in asking for an injunction in Samsung sales in the US. This would be far more expensive to Samsung's bottom-line.
In a world of "borrowed" insipration across many technology platforms, the jury ruled that Samsung breached patent rights in 6 of the 7 patents that Apple had raised in the suit. 5 of those wilfully.
There are reports of an increase in cost to consumers as a result of the Federal Court case, but it will be interesting to see if this affects both parties. Whilst it would seem obvious that Samsung would need to increase costs, in part to pay for the continued use of the patents, as one of Samsung's own biggest customers, Apple could feel some blow-back.
And how does this ruling affect other technology manufacturers, such as Microsoft and RIM? Potentially a drop off in Android based hardware manufacturers, now gun shy about producing products that too closely resemble Apple products, will turn to Microsoft and/or RIM. Maybe this is the fillup that the Windows 8 Tablet (due in October) needs, as consumers may shy away from Android based tablets (such as the Galaxy Tab). Interesting times ahead.
Here are the statements from the two tech giants involved in the patent case.
Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. 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.
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 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.