Battles between Samsung and Apple around the world.
It seems that this year has been taken up with news of patent infringement cases between Apple and Samsung around the world. And things do not look like they are going to be letting up anytime soon. These battles have been going on between the two at the same time they are doing business with each other. Samsung supplies chips to Apple for their popular mobile devices. And yet they have chosen to attack each other over patents and patent infringements around the globe. Most of this can be seen because of Samsung’s growth in mobile devices which is threatening Apple.
Last week, there were a number of things going on between these two. One was a decision by a court in the Netherlands where they ruled that Apple infringed on a 3G patent held by Samsung. Samsung only got the ruling on 1 of 4 patents which they were claiming Apple had infringed on. They had hoped for much more than that. This ruling is in opposition to one in Germany last March where the court there ruled that Apple did not infringe on the exact same patent. How this difference gets worked out is unknown.
The big case between Apple and Samsung is the one in Northern California which is currently scheduled to be heard by a jury on July 30th. The judge in the case, Judge Koh, has restricted the number of exhibits by each party to 125 exhibits which can be presented in court. She has also restricted each party to no more than 25 hours of arguments before the court. It is hoped that this will force both parties to focus on the strengths of their case and not burden the court with unnecessary information. This particular case, when decided, will bear heavily on settlement talks between the two companies. All of this comes after court mandated settlement discussions failed.
Patent infringement cases have become problematic and are now being seen as a way to stop or slow your competition. In the case of Apple, Samsung’s successes are threatening Apple’s product lines. This is especially true with recent Samsung products, such as the Galaxy S3. At some point, the way that patent infringement cases are handled is going to have to change as it ties up the courts and the decisions are slow to come.
In the end, these cost consumers as the legal costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.