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Apple v Samsung – the fallout

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US court sides with Apple

Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple damages of $1.05 billion (£634 million) after their landmark patent infringement trial reached its dramatic conclusion.

A California jury found that the South Korean firm copied as many as seven Apple patents from the iPad and iPhone for its own products. Samsung’s counter-claim that Apple had infringed its 3G patents was rejected outright.

It means that Apple can now apply to block up to 24 Samsung smartphones and tablets. Indeed, it has already started the process, attempting to get eight products off the shelves immediately, including five of the popular Galaxy S2 models.

There is even more bad news for Samsung, as the jury found its infringements to be ‘wilful’, meaning the judge may elect to increase the fine to triple the original amount. Samsung has said it will appeal the verdict.

Both sides respond

As predicted, the verdict in this trial is far from the end of the matter. Samsung issued an internal memo in the aftermath of the decision that read: “History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation. We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritise innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.”

Apple chief executive Tim Cook was understandably more upbeat, telling staff the victory was “about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values.”

What happens next?

The outcome of the trial was reflected in the stock market on Monday morning. Samsung plummeted 7.5 per cent, while Apple climbed two per cent. Meanwhile, Google, whose Android platform is used by Samsung devices, suffered a 1.4 per cent drop.

Some analysts are also predicting the imminent arrival of an ‘Apple tax’ that could see the cost of smartphones soar, as companies are forced to pay more money to licence Apple patents in their own devices. This would drive their costs up, and in turn lead to more expensive products.

This verdict is also just one of many that have been handed down on this subject across the world. In South Korea, both were censured after being found guilty of infringing each other’s patents, while a British judge famously declared that Apple must say Samsung had not copied its devices, as they were “not as cool” as the iPad and therefore the consumer could make a distinction.

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: “Whatever happened in this trial, the aftermath was never going to be pretty, and so it has proved. Samsung are clearly very angry about this, and are unlikely to let the issue go without a fight.”

Written by James Riches

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