[Editorial] Now That Samsung Was Found Liable, What are the Potential Ramifications?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News' started by dgstorm, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    Apple vs. Samsung in the U.S. Court System: It was one of the most titanic trials of the decade. A fight between two juggernauts of the mobile industry. Similar battles where being waged around the world, with various outcomes, some of which are still to be determined. In the end, (although the appeals process is just beginning), Samsung lost to Apple. The verdict was paradoxically both shocking and unsurprising. Most of us realized that there was some copying going on (by both sides), but few of us expected the defeat to be so utterly lopsided in Apple's favor. But, what does this defeat mean going forward, for the companies involved, the consumers, and the legal system in general? Here's a brief analysis below culled from multiple sources around the web. Before that here is a defiant statement issued by Samsung in response to the outcome:

    Regardless, now that Samsung has been defeated by Apple in a U.S. court, we have several things to consider throughout this trial. We will attempt to list just a few of the most important ones (please keep in mind, much of this is simply speculation):
    • There is now a long appeals process coming, and it is possible we could see some reversals.
    • During this trial, the publicity of the case actually helped Samsung in world-wide market acceptance and consumer knowledge.
    • Because of all of this publicity Samsung is now considered an equal to Apple; however, after the verdict, their reputation could go either way. It could bolster their position, or they could be perceived as a copycat.
    • Even if Samsung is hurt by this, it may not be much. They are still way ahead of Apple in the emerging markets of China, by a factor of over 2 to 1. Plus, this could rally Android fans even further.
    • Apple will likely now ask for a ban on several Samsung products.
    • Because the infringement was found to be "willful," Apple could seek Treble damages. That would turn the $1 Billion dollar verdict into $3 Billion. That's almost half the profit they made over the past year.
    • This could lead to some sort of cross-licensing agreement between Apple and Samsung, in which Samsung pays Apple to make Android phones. Apple could then go after other Android OEMs for the same thing. This would hurt Android in the long run.
    • Conversely, if Apple decides to pursue bans only, they can now use this case as precedent to go after other Android OEMs, which might hurt Android more (or could force change in the current U.S. Patent system).
    • If Apple does seek a cross-licensing agreement, it will likely cause the price of all mobile devices to go up, which only hurts the consumer and market competition.
    • Emboldened by their success, Apple could try to go after the Galaxy S III now.
    • In the long run, this could actually hurt Apple more than it helps them, because they have effectively forced their competitors to think even further out of the box to remain competitive. Because of this, their competition is likely to change the rules of the game by creating a more disruptive technology. There are signs that this has already happened. Apple is now likely to release an iPad Mini, and an iPhone with a larger display. Both of these are reactive moves designed to keep up with the changes in the market brought on by Android.
    As you can see, there are a ton of ways to look at this situation, and we have only covered just a few. There are obviously other factors to consider, and other perspectives on this complex issue. Share some of your ideas in the thread!
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

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