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Apple Just Won a Billion Dollar Verdict Over Samsung in a Patent Dispute. What It Means for You and Me

Aug 27, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"[A] jury in the landmark intellectual property case Apple v. Samsung ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Apple on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, awarding the iPhone maker approximately $1.05 billion in damages," reports the website of Wired magazine, adding, " ‘The result will likely be an increase in costs to Android users because of licensing fees to Apple,’ Houston-based intellectual property lawyer Steve Mitby told Wired. In layman’s terms: expect Android phones to cost more. ‘This will drive many Android consumers over to Apple. Next to Samsung, the biggest loser today is Google.’ "

The article adds, " ‘Android handset makers could also find themselves having a difficult time designing around some of these patent claims. But as Apple’s closing arguments showed, it’s not impossible: products like the Nokia Lumia and Xperia Arc S were cited as models of functional alternative designs to that of the iPhone. Perhaps we could even be pleasantly surprised by the influx of diversity to the smartphone space. But unfortunately, you can’t really ‘force’ invention."

The article concludes: "Regardless, today’s decision is a resounding win for everyone on team Apple. ‘The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values,’ Apple spokesperson Katie Cotton told The New York Times. ‘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.’ Unfortunately, consumers will begin inadvertently paying the bill for upholding these values at some point."

3 Comments

  1. The win by Apple really will mean absolutely nothing to you and me. Samsung has said they will appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. That will take a minimum to 2 years (if expedited, which is not likely) to as long as 7 or more years. The verdict will probably be stayed as long as it is in appeal. Even if the verdict is tripled to 3Bn, that will have little effect on Samsung. They have 21Bn in cash and an operating cash flow of about 25Bn. So anyone that thinks this will have any material effect on them, or us as consumers, is worrying about nothing.

  2. Also keep in mind that Samsung is the manufacturer behind much of the iPhone hardware, so this case is really more about negotiations between the two companies. Samsung holds a bit of a trump card, since Apple would be in a really difficult spot if Samsung decided to make Apple choose between the courts decision and supplies for their hardware manufacturing.

  3. What this does is require Samsung to start paying royalties. It means consumers will pay more for Samsung phones. The real question is whether Apple dares go after Google for the way Android has copied the iOS.

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