Did you think the tension between Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung would end when the second Apple-Samsung trial concluded? If you thought so, you’re in for a surprise – perhaps an unfortunate one.
Apple, having won $120 million in the second trial in which the company sued for $2 billion in infringement damages, is now on a new campaign to target Samsung – even if it involves older smartphone models that are no longer relevant in the smartphone space. Filing a new ban request with Judge Lucy Koh in the US District Court of Northern California (San Jose) on Friday, May 23rd, Apple is now seeking to ban nine older Samsung model smartphones from sales in the US: Samsung Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Stratosphere, and the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and Galaxy S2 Epic Touch 4G refer to the AT&T and Sprint Galaxy S2 models, respectively. The Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5 were not part of the lawsuit.
These older nine Samsung models are guilty of the infringement lawsuit Apple just won infringement damages over, utilizing technologies in the lawsuit such as automatic spelling correction, click-to-call, and Apple’s well-known slide-to-unlock function. While these are familiar features that many smartphones share today, Apple holds major patents on these features. In the second Apple-Samsung trial, the jurors felt that, if Apple believed that Samsung was guilty of utilizing Apple’s basic feature patents, the company should sue Google. Apple, however, hasn’t yet filed any lawsuit of any kind against the search engine giant over features that have become commonplace in Android. Samsung is Apple’s largest smartphone and tablet rival in Android, but ownership and responsibility of Android belong to Google – not Samsung.
Apple’s smartphone ban requests (2) have been rejected by Judge Lucy Koh, and there’s little optimism for Apple in making a third smartphone ban request. The devices in question are obsolete at this point, considering that the Galaxy S2 is now three years old, and the Galaxy S3 turns two years old later this summer. Devices such as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are nearing two years old and will likely not see any Android update beyond Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The Galaxy S2 is no longer eligible for updates, and the original Galaxy Note (now nearing 4 years old) is also old and forgotten. Android customers who intend to save dollars will likely upgrade to one-year-old devices such as the Galaxy Note 3, now available for $199 (32GB model) with a two-year contract. Since these models are too old to matter for Samsung’s sales (and customers), the impact of this third smartphone ban is more of a way for Apple to make its own statement against Samsung than anything else.
What do you think? Are you tired of seeing Apple and Samsung go to trial? Do you think that litigation is starting to replace innovation? Let us know what you think in the comments.