The original Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. case dates back as early as Spring of 2011. The case was based on alleged claims of trademark, trade dress, and utility & design patent infringement. Since then, multiple cases have been filed against Samsung by Apple, resulting in a few counter claims by Samsung. According to Bloomberg, Apple recently “won a round of a U.S. International Trade Commission case brought by Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) over patented technology in the iPhone and iPad tablet computer, its second U.S. legal victory in a month”. Its no secret that Apple was also awarded over a billion dollars in damages once it was decided that Samsung had emulated the aesthetics of the iPhone a little too closely.
Due to Apple being the leading giant of smartphones within the United States, their reputation creates a perceived bias. Several of the counterclaims have been filed in other countries by Samsung. Their allegations are taken more seriously in foreign forums versus too close to Apple’s established point of origin. However, none of the complaints issued by Apple should mislead the public into believing Samsung is by any means inferior. While Apple has the United States market on lock, Bloomberg states that “Samsung is the world’s largest maker of smartphones”. So it has become a patent war between two equally legitimate and creative businesses.
It becomes clear that the lawsuits are not about money for Apple but more about protecting their intellectual property and slowing down their competition. Their big win essentially made Samsung’s counterclaim of the original lawsuit, irrelevant. This loss will require Samsung to restructure their smartphones and tablets. It also serves as a warning to other smartphone and tablet manufacturers. They can either get on board and insure that their technology does not mirror Apple’s or they can face severe consequences for patent infringement, similar to Samsung.
ReferenceApple, Apple Inc., Design, Intellectual Property, patent infringement, Samsung, Samsung Electronics, smartphones, trademark