This year there was a very significant court case that was settled and unless you were really purposely paying attention to it, the issues and the final result may have just not intruded into your consciousness. This case was the Apple versus Samsung lawsuit. The basic underpinning of this lawsuit is pretty straightforward, although as usual, it was more complicated than you may have expected.
To begin with, both Apple and Samsung operate on basically the same OS, with the sole difference that Apple uses their own OS for their Mac’s and Samsung’s for their various smart phones and tablets. Different companies also develop voice recognition software and other technology for their respective devices, which is another feature that Samsung strongly promotes. So, the basic facts of the case are that Apple tried to use patented technology from Sony and Microsoft to thwart competitions that they felt were hurting them by copying their ideas. The judge accepted Apple’s argument, but the larger issue is what he found so astonishing about Samsung’s patent that he ruled that Samsung cannot use it against competitors as an example.
The empowered patent judge rules that Samsung has to do a certain amount of moneymaking; that is the details of how much have to pay. The court also ruled that Samsung have to stop using some of their patent templates, which means that they may have to pay some licensing fees to Microsoft or Intel. In the end, though, both Apple and Samsung were relatively lucky with the court ruling and will have to pay a large amount of money to settle the lawsuit.
The judgment and settlement of the lawsuit mean that Apple will have to pay damages of around $150 million to Samsung. Additionally, Apple will have to cover trial expenses, they will have to pay the entertainer’s fees and they must cover the cost of making the iPod specifically for this lawsuit. This means that Apple will pocket approximately $700 million dollars.
According to both lawsuits, Apple has to pay $150 million to Samsung in connection to the creation of the NelliCore software. The exact scope of the agreement has not been released, but according to multiple sources, it’s rather large.
Both lawsuits, were granted class action status which means that individuals who were employed directly by Apple will now be shareholders of Samsung. If this were to become reality, it would effectively mean that Samsung would become a large acquirer of Apple stock. This would underline the enormity of this lawsuit.
The judgment and settlement offer Apple an opportunity to recover costs in the future. However, in the meantime, Samsung must pay Apple costs of $86 million.
Have Law Offered Any Solutions?
Both Apple and Samsung have offered to settle the lawsuit, but neither one is really offering an especially attractive proposition. More importantly, the management of Apple seems to be against settling this lawsuit. With the looming threat of more litigation against them, they cannot afford to lose face in a court battle with no foreseeable upside.
The court battle has been moves to delay the lawsuit until the case is resolved. Although this is expected to be short lived, it is still a tremendous blow to Samsung who were counting on a favorable outcome to their plans for launching their Galaxy Nexus smart phone. Although the Nexus phones do not utilize the Galaxy’s touch screen, they respond to touch as does the iPhone. If contact is made with the former, the latter responds, making it confusing as to which model is which.
Therefore, although the Galaxy Nexus is the first smart phone planned by Samsung to utilize the accelerometer, availability will be followed. There is also a chance that other brands will utilize the touch screen capability also.
As for now, this is just a division of the smart phone market, but what may become of Apple when this situation advances? Will they really continue to dictate the market or will they walk back from their light-handed approach? Only time will tell.