Daily Management Review

Apple vs Samsung: the Truce was Temporary


The Court of Appeal in the United States banned use a number of functions in Samsung devices, which, in the opinion of the court, violate Apple’s copyrights. In particular, those are slide-to-unlock, auto-correction and quicklinks. The judgement allows restricting sales of devices with such features, but, apparently, Samsung has already prepared for this decision.

US federal appeals court on Thursday night issued a decision on the complaint of Apple Inc. on the court decision in California, taken in May last year and became one of the milestones in the never-ending patent war between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. When the court found that the South Korean manufacturer is infringing Apple, using the three functions of devices - slide-to-unlock, autocorrection and quicklinks. US District Judge Lucy Koh put a fine of $ 120 million on Samsung, however, refused to support the demand for banning the functions, saying that the large monetary compensation of damage is itself a sufficient punishment for Samsung and a mean of protecting the interests of Apple. According to the judge, Apple failed to prove that these features make the consumer choose a particular model, so there is no reason to prohibit Samsung from use.
Apple disagreed with this part of the judgment and filed an appeal, now granted by the higher court.
- The right to prohibit competitors from use your own property rights is very important. The right to maintain the exclusivity is kind of a symbol and a key patent law ... based on the Constitution itself, - reads the decision of the court. - Apple has the sales reduced because Samsung use Apple’s proprietary features in their products. Apple does not need to prove that these functions influence the choice of customers ... It was enough for Apple to present evidence that copyright infringement occurs, and that they have a certain importance for consumers.
The decision of the Court of Appeal opens the possibility of Apple to prohibit sales of a number of Samsung Electronics products, with these functions in the United States. Yet, not immediately: the Court of Appeal, quashed the judgment in California, sent the case back with comments for retrial. Hence, Apple’s victory is rather moral - especially taking into account the fact that Samsung was quite prepared for such a development, and already in May said that only one of its current business unit uses one of the functions that have become the subject of litigation.
In addition, as follows from Samsung’s statements, the company will pursue the decision by the full Court of Appeal.
- We want to assure our millions of loyal customers that all of our flagship smartphones, that are so loved and so desirable for American consumers, will continue to be available for purchase and service in the United States.
The court's decision is actually resuming the war that seemed stopped in August last year when the two companies agreed to terminate nearly all patent disputes outside the United States, that is, in Australia, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea and Japan. Nevertheless, those who believed that the agreement could be considered as a peace treaty were wrong. It was only a truce, which is now over.

source: bloomberg.com

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