Last week, Apple won a $119 million jury verdict against Samsung.
Samsung was found guilty of infringing on three of Apple’s patents, including “quick links”, “slide to unlock” and “auto-complete”.
$119 million is more than most people will ever make in their lifetimes. However, industry analysts claim that the patent victory for Apple will have a minimal impact on Samsung.
There are two reasons why Android fans shouldn’t worry about this settlement. First, the patents listed above are stupid and provide more fuel for the “eliminate stupid patent wars” debate. And second, more importantly, $119 million is 0.25% of Samsung’s total cash supply of $47.56 billion.
In 2012, a jury awarded Apple $930 million in damages after Samsung was also found guilty of patent infringement. That was the largest patent infringement case ever – and Samsung has appealed the verdict.
In 2014, things turned out quite differently.
Why Apple failed in this recent case
This latest case played out differently to the 2012 case. In this case, Apple didn’t earn the patent lawsuit “slam dunk” it was hoping for. Instead, Apple was actually found guilty of infringing on one Samsung patent. That patent covers Samsung’s photo and video folder organization system. Samsung was awarded $158,400 in damages for that infringement.
Samsung was found guilty of infringing on three Apple patents. However, it was found not guilty of infringing on the two other patents mentioned in the case, including background syncing and internal data searching patents.
One of the biggest reasons Apple failed in this case was due to testimony from Google engineers. Apple tried to paint Samsung as a foreign company profiting off the hard work and innovation of American businesses. In reality, Google’s testimony showed that Apple isn’t the only innovative company in America.
No sales injunction
The ultimate goal of all of Apple’s silly patent lawsuits has been to label Samsung as a copycat while also banning Samsung products from stores around the world.
Apple has failed on both of those objectives.
So far, Apple has never been able to achieve a sales injunction against Samsung products. Samsung products continue to be sold in stores around the world.
Sales injunction attempts have failed because Apple has not been able to prove that any of Samsung’s patent infringements have singlehandedly influenced consumer purchasing patterns.
$119 million sounds like a lot of money. Buy when you’re speaking of companies with billions of dollars in cash, that’s not a significant amount. The Samsung versus Apple war is far from over, but Apple might be gun-shy the next time it prepares for patent battle. Meanwhile, the iPhone continues to lose market share around the world.