Books written by Ray Sullivan

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Apple Award Cut in Half - For Now

Anyone reading this blog will be aware that there is a bit of an ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung.  In fact, anyone looking up and finding the 21st Century had started will be aware of the battle in some capacity.

There's been a lot of court cases in Korea, the UK and in the US.  Only in the US has anything like a definitive decision on the side of Apple been made - in Korea the courts were a bit ambivalent and the UK High Court which speaks for all of the EU was adamant that Apple were not wronged and forced them to publish statements to that effect.

But in the US the battle reached a high last year when a jury found Samsung guilty of breaching Apple's patents including the one that had apps bouncing back when the last page was reached and something about oblong shaped smart phones.  The jury were so convinced that Apple had lost a lot of money through these infringements that they allocated a fine exceeding $1 billion to Apple.

Now it appears that the jury didn't fully understand how to calculate the fine - whatever happened to just deciding on guilt? - and the judge involved has just lopped $450 million from the award.  It's not even certain that that's the end of the matter.  When the court reconvenes sometime this year there will be a re-examination of the award and  it could go up or down from the $550 million (give or take the value of the odd iPad) it currently stands at.

In the meantime Apple and Samsung are doing rather nicely in the smartphone market, with the pair of them carving up over 50% of all new sales between them, however Samsung are currently leading the pair by a significant margin.  Apple think that Samsung's new products also violate its patents, and are lining up a raft of lawyers to sue with, however the Judge in the current case thinks the timetable suggested - in 2014 - is too soon given the work needed to resolve this case.  Well, the elementary maths training for jurors isn't going to happen overnight.  My maths degree is probably up to working out addition, subtraction and calculating percentages so me and eleven others might short cut the timetable to manageable levels and save both companies a whole lot of lawyer fees, however as I'm a Brit I probably couldn't sit on a US jury.

And us Brits haven't been too receptive to Apple in court this side of the pond.

I guess I'll be posting more reports on this saga for a few more years.


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