Over $1bn (£644 million) in damages were awarded to Apple after the court held several of Samsung's smart phones infringed the patented appearance and features of the iPhone. On the home screen patent it was held that Samsung were in violation a large majority of its phones. In addition is now Apple is seeking a sales ban on eight of the handsets involved in the case. It was held that Samsung violated the design patent for the front of the iPhone on all but one of its phones.
The case can be seen as a landmark and one of the most crucial of intellectual property cases between two companies in recent history. The verdict is an important victory for Apple, and acts as a warning to other smart phone device makers to keep a wide berth from competitor’s patented designs or get out of the smart phone mobile market altogether. Many smart phone device makers may now be unwilling to create different products for different markets for fear of infringing a competitor’s patent.
Given that Apple shares traded up 1.8% and shares in Samsung fell 7% in Seoul the following Monday after the decision (their biggest one-day fall in almost four years) shows the immediate impact of the decision on the respective companies.
The decision also serves to show the importance of adequately protecting your intellectual property rights and the potential negative ramifications that can flow from not adequately protecting your intellectual property or indeed infringing your competitor’s intellectual property. Apple were only able to successfully bring an action against Samsung as their patents had been registered.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.