After two and a half days of deliberation, the jury has found Samsung guilty of willfully copying Apple’s products, and the South Korean manufacturerwill have to pay more than $1 billion in damages to Apple. Going deeper, the message was clear and simple: don’t copy us—invent your own stuff.
Friday was a historic day for Apple: the jury found Samsung to be infringing six of the seven patents Apple asserted, and Apple themselves not to be violating a single one of Samsung’s. The result was $1,049,343,540 in damages awarded to Apple and obviously bragging rights to the fact that Samsung devices are just a copy of the iPhone and iPad.
But this goes beyond the fight between the two giants: even if the verdict isn’t thermonuclear—like Steve Jobs wanted—it gives Apple the strength and armor to go after any manufacturer out there. You can start pointing to them with your finger right now—yes, this means Motorola and HTC, the other two Android Smartphone manufacturers, who already have several lawsuits filed against the world’s most valuable tech company. In other words: this is the beginning of the end.
However, Apple sounded like a gentlemen through the statement signed by the company’ PR chief Katie Cotton, saying the biggest win isn’t money. “We make these products to delight our customers, not for competition to flagrantly copy. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values.” This is in line with Tim Cook’s words during the latest AllThingsD conference. The company doesn’t want to be the developer for the world.
So, what we have now on the table are Apple’s values, which are now crystal clear to each Android manufacturer: if you copy us, we’ll go after you. In other words, it is the time for Motorola, HTC, LG and other market players to rethink their strategy and try to walk a different path than the one they are walking right now.
The verdict, however, has other indirect consequences, such as higher prices for Android Smartphones and tablets, as Apple’s rivals will likely contact the company and try to license the patents the Android-running Samsung devices were found guilty of infringing. Just considering the fact that Samsung violated Apple’s “pinch to zoom” patent, you can imagine the consequences: a wide range of Android devices use this gesture.
As a result of the ruling, Apple is seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung devices found to violate the company’s patents. Judge Lucy Koh has already scheduled a hearing for September 20, after Apple’s proposal is filed on August 29. Samsung will have two additional weeks to draft a response, with the final deadline being the same day as the eagerly awaited iPhone 5 event takes place.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback