by August 29, 2012 0 comments

Bangalore,India: In a case that has sparked fervent debate about the validity of the patent system in the US, Jurors in California have decided that several of Samsung’s products have infringed on the patents of Apple. This litigation victory is a huge boost for Apple, which is battling against the Android operating system for supremacy in the global market. While the $1.05 billion payout is still short of Apple’s demand for $2.5 billion, Samsung’s reputation has taken a huge blow from the defeat, as it will now be branded as an imitator of Apple. This victory is also significant as it means that Apple will now set its sights on its other major competitors in the US market, HTC and Motorola. Here are 2 major ways it will affect you:

1) The Consumer Loses In The End

As Samsung said after the verdict, “It will lead to fewer choices,less innovation, and potentially higher prices”. While only the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a ban in the US currently, Apple will file injunction cases against several other Samsung products soon, possibly even targeting Samsung’s flagship Galaxy SIII model, which has had sales over 10 million. While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 already has a ban in the US market currently, it is certain the Apple will soon file injunctions against other major Samsung smartphones and tablets. While this will affect sales in the US, China and India will still be lucrative markets for Samsung to continue boosting their sales.

2) Blocked Off By The Patent Wall

Motorola and HTC will come into Apple’s firing sights next. Motorola,which was acquired by Google last year, is likely to also face the brunt of Apple in the US. This is not good for the market as competitors will be discouraged to innovate and implement new features in mobiles, fearing that Apple may pursue them next for infringement damages. Well, what does this mean for you? This means that companies will start being extra careful about infringing Apple patents. This means companies will be afraid to innovate on top of existing designs and features of Apple, as it will invite lawsuits from Apple. This kind of locking out will not be good for the industry as technology will not be allowed to evolve naturally. Companies planning to make superior versions in the mold of an iPhone or iPad will not be allowed to do so, depriving consumers of a superior product and experience.

So What’s The Verdict Outside the USA?

Apple had also recently filed lawsuits against Samsung in their home country of South Korea, but the court ruled that Samsung had not copied Apple’s designs. In the Netherlands, the court rejected Apple’s accusation that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 copied its designs. In the UK, Samsung won its case when the judge ruled that it’s Galaxy tablets were “not as cool” as the iPad. Why are judgments so distinct in various countries? In the US, many experts have criticized the United States Patent Office of being too liberal in giving out patents. Also, in the ongoing case in the US, a Jury of 9 members are given the responsibility to form a verdict on the multiple accusations Apple makes against Samsung. Moreover, according to CNN, only 1 of these 9 jurors had any experience at all in patent law prior to this jury sitting. These diverse judgments make a resounding point: there needs to be revisions in the global patent systems to clarify the concept of what constitutes a patent infringement.

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