Apple and Samsung are once again going to court to decide the ownership of certain patents over certain designs and applications. The new court case to decide this battle starts very soon.
Legally, Apple has been winning this patent battle. 2 years ago, Apple and Samsung faced each other in a trial that lasted a month. Apple won that trial. There was a trial in November of 2013 to see how much Apple should get for Samsung violating its patents from the 2012 trial. Apple got $1 billion in damages.
The trial that starts Monday, March 31st, is nearly an exact repeat of the 2012 trial. This 2014 trial is in the same San Jose, CA courtroom as the 2012 trial. The same judge is presiding over the trial. The plaintiff and the defendant are the same.
The issue is that is being argued is a little different from the 2012 trial. Apple and Samsung are still over patent violations, but the violations are about different devices and patents than the 2012 trial. The violations involved the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3, manufactured by Samsung.
This court case is actually about their competition in the real world. If Apple wins again and gets another $1 billion, they could use that money to ensure that they are better than Samsung and get more sales. Samsung can take a $1 billion loss as they do make billions of dollars. What they really lose is their reputation in the United States and may hurt their penetration into the American market. Samsung is a lot more popular outside of the US.
This trial assuages some concerns about patents for smart phones and cell phones. Smart phones are so new that the law really has not caught up. There is some concern that patents are too broad and companies can easily find that their competition is violating them. Broad patents could be utilized to block competition.
In this 2014 trial, Apple believes that Samsung violated five patents when Samsung created Galaxy smart phones and tablets. Samsung believes Apple stole two of its patents when Apple made iPhones and iPads.
The court papers submitted by Apple representatives say that Samsung has been copying Apple’s technology and products as well as features and designs. Samsung has deluged markets with devices that infringe Apple’s patents.
Lawyers for Samsung countered by saying that Apple has imitated many of Samsung’s innovations in its Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad products.
Apple believes that Samsung stole two specific ideas from them. One idea is for someone to be able to search for a telephone number or address on the web and use those results to phone the searched number or to put the address search onto a map. The other violated idea is something called “Slide to Unlock.” A person unlocks the smart phone by sliding their hand over it.
The Samsung idea allegedly taken by Apple was to use a wireless system to expedite the sending and receiving of data.
Apple already knows what it wants if they win this court case. They want Samsung to pay a royalty of $40 for each Samsung smart phone that supposedly has technology created by Apple. Apple wants five times more than it got in the 2012 trial. Essentially, they want $2 billion. If Apple loses, they lose $6 million.
Apple and Samsung will have to wait and see what comes from this third trial in this long-running patent battle.
By Tom Clark