Apple has been awarded $119 million in damages, as a California jury reached the verdict that Samsung was indeed guilty of copying Apple patents in the area of contacts and unlocking its devices.
In terms of overall patent litigation, this is a significant verdict, which indeed reinforces the repeated claims by Apple that Samsung was at fault in infringing its patents, however the victory was not as complete as it could have been. Apple itself was made to pay a fairly measly $158,400 to Samsung, as it was found that three iPhones and two iPod Touch models infringed on Samsung photo and video gallery patents. Apple had sued for $2.2 billion, but the court rewarded Apple with less than 10% of this initial sum. The money handed over will barely cover the fees that Apple has likely paid in bringing this case to Samsung, and as the ruling against Apple also confirmed, both sides were culpable in the unlawful use of the others patents.
An Apple statement released following the verdict claimed that the ruling showed Samsung “wilfully stole” Apple’s intellectual property, arguing that it was “fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products… which employees devote their lives to designing”.
I’ve already made my own thoughts on patent disputes, particularly in the area of sales bans. I whole-heartedly hope that the somewhat hollow victory achieved by Apple. and the significant dint to Samsung’s pride will convince both sides that mindlessly suing the other really doesn’t achieve too much. It would be my preference, and indeed in all of our best interests, to see companies lawfully license their intellectual property to other companies through communication and cooperation. Lawsuits and injunctions only stifle innovation in the market, and at the end of the day, it is us the consumer that has the most to lose on this front.
What are your thoughts on this ruling? Do Apple deserve more than they have been awarded? Or is Samsung being hard done by?
Via: The Independent