Apple patent win a wake-up call for industry
Apple’s victory over Samsung is unlikely to spur its market share or innovation, while rivals might be prompted to get more creative.
It was not a good start to the weekend for Samsung chief executive Kwon Oh Hyun. Sixteen hours and almost 6,000 miles away, a nine-person jury in San Jose, California, was delivering a sweeping victory for Apple in its long-running legal fight against Samsung.
The South Korean company was found to have violated six of the seven patents Apple had sought to protect in court, with the jury also upholding the validity of all seven of them. They covered aspects of the design of Apple’s iPhone as well as software that is also used in Android, the operating system created by Google that Samsung uses.
It could get worse for Samsung. District Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the four-week trial, will decide in the next few weeks whether to ban any of Samsung’s phones from the US market – which remains the most lucrative in the world. Given that the jury also concluded Samsung willfully infringed five of the patents, Koh could also triple the $1.05bn (664m pounds) damages that were awarded to Apple.
Hyun, who only took the helm at Samsung in June, spoke to Apple chief executive Tim Cook last week in an effort to reach a settlement before the jury began its deliberations. Samsung has consequently indicated that it intends to fight the ruling and has already told the judge it intends to ask her to overturn the verdict.
“This decision should not be allowed to stand because it would discourage innovation and limit the rights of consumers to make choices for themselves,” Samsung lead lawyer John Quinn said.