Apple vs. Samsung – the battle rages on…

Apple and Samsung have been engaging in an international legal war over a variety of intellectual property issues since 2011. In February, 2013, Scott Kanalakis wrote an article that discussed the state of the battle at the time and explained how the intellectual property issues from that case apply to other businesses.

Now, with Apple’s latest release of the iPhone already on the market, the two companies have begun to scale down their international legal war and withdraw patent lawsuits outside of the United States. In May, 2014, a U.S. jury left the total damages Samsung must pay U.S.-based Apple unchanged at $119.6 million, after additional deliberations in a trial where the South Korean smartphone maker was found to have infringed three Apple patents. Although this is a large amount, it could be seen as a hollow victory since the amount was less than 10 percent of the amount Apple originally sought. In addition, Apple has been far less successful than expected in securing sales bans against Samsung’s infringing devices. This allows Samsung to continue to profit from the sales of certain devices despite the findings of infringement.

In this technology market, it is worth considering the effect (or lack thereof) a sales ban might have given the speed of innovation. For example, one of the Samsung products that would have been banned if Apple’s motion had been successful is the Galaxy S3. However, simply in keeping pace with the market, Samsung has already moved on to the Galaxy S5.

At this point, one thing is certain. Apple and Samsung will continue to battle for the upper hand in the $330 billion worldwide smartphone market for a long time to come.


About Boyle Fredrickson

Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.

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