Apple v. Samsung is a battle that has been going on for a few weeks now. At issue is the claim by Apple that Samsung copied much of Apple’s work in the development of Samsung’s tablets and mobile devices. At the end of last month, I wrote about the start of the trial between Apple v. Samsung, and today we find out the case is nearing its end.
Jury deliberations are set to begin today, August 21st. From the outside, the trial might look petty. But there’s a lot at stake here. This trial is one of the biggest patent cases in the history of the U.S. It could set a great deal of precedent for future cases.
Details, Details, Details
It would be nice to think that Apple and Samsung lawyers have spent weeks trying to convince the jury of their side’s rightfulness. Instead, as expected in a case like this, lawyers spent most of their time trying to convince the jury of the other side’s wrongdoing. A lot of that leaked to the press too.
According to an AP article on the Indy Star, an Apple lawyer argued during closing statements that “Samsung was having a ‘crisis of design'” facing Apple’s iPhone and that Samsung and its execs were “determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.” Much of the trial has been spent discussing and comparing smart phones and tablets made by both companies.
On the other side, Reuters reports that Samsung attorney, Charles Verhoeven, made a strong statement about Apple in his closing. He said, “Rather than competing in the marketplace, Apple is seeking a competitive edge in the courtroom.” In addition to that, he implied it was ridiculous that Apple could have a “monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a large screen.” Touché.
Looks to me like he’s hoping to play on the jury’s sense of fairness and a general mistrust of monopoly if Apple wins the case. Verhoeven also added that “Consumers make choices, not mistakes.” I’m sure he’s hoping the jury doesn’t make a mistake and find his client guilty!
Impact of the Trial
Depending on how the jury rules, Samsung could lose lots of money, and possibly lots of market share. As I wrote in my last post about the trial, Apple is asking for $2.5 billion dollars in damages. On top of that, if the Jury rules in Apple’s favor, Samsung would likely be out of tablet and smart phone sales for some time as their engineers re-design their products. Earlier in the case, a district judge had actually ordered Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet banned from sale in the U.S. If the jury sees things the same way, it would be bad news for Samsung.
In addition to these impacts to Samsung and the phone and tablet market, most of Samsung’s products run on Google’s operating system, Android, which currently has a dominant market share. If Apple wins, it’s striking a small blow to two of its main competitors. If Apple loses, they might have to pay out some legal fees and fines. That’s nothing for a company with billions on hand. Plus, Apple’s brand is so powerful that it’s doubtful they could be seen as a bully in the eye of the public. Critics undoubtedly view this as an unfair move, but critics don’t buy Apple products. At first, I was skeptical of the case, but it looks like the move is a relatively safe one for Apple.
Do you think Apple will win this case? Do they have a fair claim or are they using the legal system to bully a competitor and stifle competition?
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