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Apple Seeks US$2 Billion from Samsung in Latest Patent Battle

Daily Insight | Carl Howe | March 31, 2014

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Apple and Samsung are once again squaring off against each other, looking to gain an edge in their never-ending patent war. This time Apple is targeting Samsung’s newer Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the hopes of receiving US$2 billion in damages.
 
The Inquirer reports Apple is accusing Samsung of copying its patented technology for data tapping, unified search, asynchronous data synchronization, its slide-to-unlock image and autocomplete. Apple is seeking US$40 for each infringing device, a number that could total US$2 billion. Samsung for its part claims it is a mobile pioneer, and that Apple has copied many of its innovations in the areas of data transmission, imaging, audio and video in its iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macintosh devices. The two are once again arguing their case in front of U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif.
 
Yankee Group VP of Research Carl Howe comments
 
“These legal battles contrast two opposing views of the role of intellectual property in technology companies. Apple believes other companies shouldn’t be able to copy technology it developed and patented. Samsung believes copying technology from other companies is simply a technique for making a better product. In between are the courts that interpret the thousands of pages of patent laws that apply in countries around the world.
 
No one should expect this case to resolve anything. While Samsung has yet to win an award against Apple in any court, it simply chalks up those battles as a cost of doing business. Further, even though Apple won a nearly US$1 billion judgment against Samsung last year on a set of older patents, Samsung has yet to pay a penny of that award and has not had to stop selling any of its products. In my view, Apple has no choice but to continue pursuing this case because competing products today use its touch-screen mobile technology with no costs except legal fees. Samsung, on the other hand, must pursue the case because Apple’s patented touch-screen features are those that consumers perceive as must-haves in a modern smartphone. Given how little is likely to change in the near future, this worldwide legal battle increasingly echoes Macbeth’s lament: 'It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'”
 
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