After two years of back-and-forth bickering between two of the biggest tech giants ever, Samsung and Apple, a verdict has finally unfolded.
The unanimous decision was made that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets have in fact infringed upon Apple’s property, patents, trademarks and user interfaces. Amongst the offending products in particular are the Nexus S, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Galaxy S 4G and other devices.
As a result, Samsung has been decreed a copycat, and their consequence: to fork over $1.045 billion in damages to Apple, which falls a bit short of the amount that Apple was seeking ($2.5+ billion). Nevertheless, the Cupertino-based company is the victor. Furthermore, most legal experts agree that the judgment will undoubtedly open the door for appeals (as is the case for most legal battles); amongst those appeals could be Apple seeking further compensation from Samsung as well as Apple’s taking the advantage in other, similar pending litigations against other tech companies like HTC. Certainly the verdict illustrates a message of admonishment, loud and clear, to Apple contenders in the mobile phone and tablet arena!
Not only did the jury find certain Samsung products a direct infringement against Apple designs, but at the same time, the panel squashed Samsung’s counterclaims that Apple had infringed on some of their own patents.
Following the verdict, spokeswoman for Apple, Katie Cotton stated:
“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 trail 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.”
Samsung on the other hand, had a grimmer reaction with:
“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.”
You can read more about these official statements, as well reactions from law experts and others here.
Despite the throng of contrary reactions to the verdict, there is one feeling that most people are on the same page about: that this verdict in the most epic patent trial in history ever, puts Apple ahead of the game when it comes similar legal conflicts that have spread like wildfire from San Jose to clear across the world, including Australia, Europe and Asia. The outcome of this trial certainly has the potential to provide the foundation for resolution of the worldwide legal battle.
*CC image from Flickr