In the pitched battle that has been going on between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (NASDAQ:SSNLF) since 2011, the verdict is out – Apple finally loses and Samsung has emerged unscathed, scripting a major setback for Apple in the most keenly followed a legal battle between smartphone giants.
When the first trial had taken place, and Apple had submitted its request for an injunction to prevent Samsung from selling Galaxy brand smartphones and tablets in the United States. Apple went on to say that 23 products specified in the trial violate its patents pertaining to multi-touch software, including the scroll-back, tap-to-zoom and pinch-to-zoom. Presiding Judge hadn’t granted the request as there was no clinching evidence of the damages to Apple in case Samsung continued to sell its products in question.
Again in November 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit gave a verdict that the presiding judge of the previous trial, Judge Lucy Koh would require to reconsider her ruling of not banning Samsung phones and tablets which directly allegedly violated Apple patents. Apple, again in December, officially filed one more motion requesting a ban on Samsung products in the US. According to reports on this controversy, Judge Koh has rejected a request by Apple to ban Samsung products in the US because Apple has failed to proved that consumer behavior of Samsung users is driven by the use of patented software in question. It’s a major setback to Apple’s continued efforts for a US ban on Samsung products.
The trial and its outcome in the form of an actual ban on Samsung products hinges on Apple’s efficacy to prove beyond doubt how the use of three touchscreen software features that Samsung has infringed upon shape consumer choices and billions of dollars of loss to Apple and Apple hasn’t been able to prove this which explains the outcome in the favor of Samsung.
Judge Koh observations are worth quoting: “A multitude of another survey evidence not prepared for the purpose of litigation indicates that numerous features that weren’t tested — such as battery life, MP3 player functionality, operating system, text messaging options, GPS, and processor speed — are highly important to consumers.” In the Judge’s view, Apple must prove something more than beyond a meager amount of loss in sales duo Samsung’s use of certain features and that Apple’s survey, if anything, is ‘unpersuasive’ on this count.
Tilted as it’s in favour of Samsung as of now, it comes right at the time of the second patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung to commence from March 13, 2014. It’s pertinent to note that Samsung would be permitted to have only four patent claims that it can bring to trail as Judge Koh has already squashed two of its patent claims in January. On the other hand, Apple would be allowed to bring all five of its patent claims to the trial. The battle fought over 3 years is far from being over but the ruling is enough to dent the confidence even of a company like Apple.