Send to

Apple-Samsung patent war set to continue

Aug. 26, 2012 - 19:52 By Park Hyung-ki
U.S. tech giant to file injunction, Samsung says U.S. verdict is ‘not the final word’

Apple is setting the next stage of its patent battle against Samsung Electronics by filing sales injunctions against the Korean tech giant’s flagship Galaxy smartphones in the U.S., following a court ruling in favor of the U.S. tech giant.

A federal court in San Jose, California near Apple’s headquarters ruled that Samsung infringed on patents for several technology features and designs of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, leading to Apple’s victory over Samsung, which was ordered to pay over a $1 billion in damages to its rival.

The decision has also dealt a blow to other smartphone manufacturers that use Google’s Android platform, against which the late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, said his company would wage a “thermonuclear war” for copying its mobile operating system.

Taiwan’s HTC, and Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google, are some of manufacturers mentioned that could be affected by this latest court ruling. Korea-based LG Electronics also produces Android smartphones.

Samsung was the first global tech company targeted by Apple, which many interpreted as a fight with Google. Apple also received approval of a sales injunction against Google-Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

The Korean tech firm made significant headway in global markets, rapidly catching up with Apple, which introduced the world’s first smartphone in 2007. Samsung’s Galaxy S Android phone, which came years later was successful, but the company was often labeled as a “fast follower” or “me too company” by the media, rather than an innovator.

The $1 billion in damages, Samsung is expected to appeal, is considered huge reward to Apple compared with what Samsung got a day before in its homeland, where a Seoul court ordered Apple to pay 40 million won ($35,000), to Samsung and remove old products such as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 from the market.

Samsung did not win entirely in the Seoul case as it had to pay 25 million won to Apple for patent infringement, and faced a sales ban on its earlier products including Galaxy S and S2.

The San Jose court ruling will likely affect Samsung more than the Seoul ruling on Apple given that the U.S. is the biggest tech market for consumer electronics companies worldwide. Also, neither company will see a major loss in Korea since they were ordered to ban sales of old products with a low amounts of compensation, experts noted.

Samsung said in a statement that the U.S. verdict “should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. … This is not the final word in the case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world.”

It added that as the leading company in mobile communications, it would do whatever it can legally to provide its innovative products to U.S. consumers without setbacks.

Both companies continue to face ongoing patent disputes in nine countries.

By Park Hyong-ki (