A court has ruled that Samsung will pay Apple $119.6 million for patent infringements. The jury’s recent ruling falls far short of the $2.2 billion Apple was seeking. There have been many twists and turns in in what has been an ongoing three year legal tit for tat tech war. Apple initially accused Samsung of copying five of its patents which mimicked Apple’s iOS and iPhone technology, however, Samsung has only been found guilty of two infringements. In a separate ruling, Samsung was found guilty of another patent violation and a jury also ruled against Apple for infringing one of Samsung’s patents, awarding Samsung $158,400.
In regards to this case, Apple argued that Samsung used features like its search capabilities and slide-to-lock feature, that Apple claims it was the first to use.
Apple’s recent victory has led some observers to believe that even though the court has ruled in Apple’s favour - it’s far from a clean sweep.
Assistant professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, Brian Love commented:
“Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple. This amount is less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested, and probably doesn’t surpass too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case.”
He also stated that:
“Apple launched this litigation campaign years ago with aspirations of slowing the meteoric rise of Android phone manufacturers. It has so far failed to do so, and this case won’t get it any closer.”
This is not the first time Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple a hefty sum for patent violations. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1 billion having been found guilty of copying Apple’s iPad and iPhone technology in the same year that this legal saga began. After the ruling, rumours began to circulate that Samsung was going to pay Apple this sum in pennies, demonstrating the magnitude of public interest in this story, and the numerous legal loopholes this case is open to as well.
Previous Apple requests to have Samsung devices removed from the US consumer market have been denied; a judge refused to issue a permanent injunction against Samsung in 2012. In regards to Apple’s most recent request for sales of Samsung devices to be banned, a judge is yet to come to a ruling decision over the matter.
This entire case has started its fair share of controversy and discussion surrounding intellectual property rights. With Apple claiming that Samsung would have struggled to gain any notable relevance in the smartphone industry without copying its own smartphone technology, and Samsung claiming that Apple is overreacting - can the rights to technological innovation ever truly be protected.