Apple and Samsung Rivalry Still Going Strong


Emily Bawden, Editor-in-chief

Photo by Heidee Talbot

  Apple took Samsung to court on August 24th over a “patent-infringement” claim. Apple claimed that Samsung had violated several patents they had established involving smartphone technology and design. The U.S. company was given $1.051 billion dollars in damages.

  In their final court statement, Samsung said in The International Business Times, “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices,”

  Apple was very pleased with the outcome of the trial. The spokesperson for Apple, Katie Cotton, told The New York Times, “We are grateful to the jury for their consideration and for investing the time to listen to our story. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went even deeper than even we knew. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.”

   The California jury of nine people decided that quite a few Android-run products violated several of Apple’s design and utility patents. According to Reuters, an online newspaper, the outcome “could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products.” This fact could strengthen Apple’s power in the mobile market.

  Senior Tanner Burton said regarding Apple, “They know they are falling farther behind in the phone market, and can’t catch up using innovation. Instead, they have to go after them [Samsung] in the court room.”

  Many view the patent war as unnecessary. Tanner said, “The things that Apple are suing for are ridiculous, and never should have been allowed to be patented. Everyone knows that phones are rectangular, but somehow Apple got a patent for that, and is suing Samsung in court. That would be like car companies suing each other for circular steering wheels. The fact that the court is siding with Apple could be a sign our patent system needs to be reformed.”

  Others view it as a valid fight, however. A comment regarding the case on the International Business Times site by “bozo19” read, “Apple was the first to truly innovate the smart phone. Why shouldn’t they be able to patent it? Android copied the design from Apple completely. It’s good for innovation to have these types of patents because it protects ideas from being stolen and people are awarded for their innovation.”

  Negotiations between the two companies have been attempted, but many think that the “patent war” will never end. Apple is continuing to file additional complaints with the list of violating products steadily increasing. Samsung is fighting back, however. “The Korean Intellectual Office has notes that Apple has increased its total number of LTE patents from 0 in 2011 to 318 today. Samsung has 819 LTE-related patents, a strong advantage that is expected to lead more lawsuits if Apple announces a new LTE-capable phone,” wrote Andrew Kameka for Mobileburn. Apple has, in fact, recently annouced their iPhone 5.

  Recently, CEO of Samsung Shin Jong-kyun of the mobile devices unit told the newspaper Asiaone, “Though the two sides have held a series of negotiations on instruction from the court, it was in vain. It will be difficult to make any compromise, even in the next weeks or months.”

  Apple and Samsung Electronics have been involved in a continuous property battle since early 2011. The American company filed a case against its Korean rivals, complaining they “slavishly” copied the look and feel of iPhones and iPads in its Galaxy series of cellular devices.

  This will impact students at Bingham High by limiting the amount of options Samsung has. Samsung’s patent-violating products that are scheduled to come out will be taken off the market. Samsung’s options will be fewer, but will still continue innovating and moving forward.