If everyone in here were to pull out your phone, chances are that most of you will have Apple I phones or Samsung Galaxy phones. Some of you may have iPads and iPods, whereas some of you may have Samsung tablets. Have you ever stopped to consider how similar in look and performance these items are? If you have then you are in good company because the leaders in these corporations have perused the similarities, and the similarities have been enough to start a legal war.
Apple v. Samsung
Before I talk about the ensuing litigation that resulted from the competitive nature between the American and South Korean tech giants, let me explain how the elements played out. First of all, there are four elements of a case which include the fact pattern, the issues, the outcome, and the ratio. The fact pattern consists of the facts that form the issues; the issues are the points of contention formed by the facts, and the outcome is composed of the decisions that were made by the arbiter. The ratio is the reasoning, the logical nexus between the fact pattern, the issues, and the outcome. Second of all, the application of these four case elements is what drove the case between Apple and Samsung to a logical conclusion defying obfuscation.
The Fact Pattern
In two separate lawsuits, Apple claimed that Samsung had infringed on three of its utility patents and four of its design patents. Apple filed the patents in 2007 and in 2011, the company claimed that Samsung phones and tablets “copied the look, product design, packaging and user interface of its products – violating its patents and trademarks” (Kane). In making its case, Apple legal representatives compared the Apple iPhone 3GS model and the Samsung Galaxy S i9000 model. In turn, Samsung alleged that Apple infringed on a number of its patents as well which resulted in a countersuit.
The Issues, the Outcome, and the Ratio
Did Samsung infringe on Apple’s patents and trademarks thereby violating a host of laws? Quite simply, yes they did, and the court upheld the validity of Apple’s patents and agreed with Apple’s argument that there had been “infringement of Apple utility, design patents for some –though not all products” by Samsung (Lowensohn). Did Apple infringe on Samsung’s patents and trademarks? Seemingly, the answer to that is no since the jury concluded that there was insufficient evidence and logical argument to support an infringement of Samsung’s patents. The resulting question from the legal upheaval between these two giants became-who has a right to a remedy? Since Apple’s rights were violated, it logically has the right to a remedy. The court held that the “damages owed by Samsung” totaled $1.05 billion (Lowensohn). However, Apple’s request for an injunction against Samsung was denied.
Controversy over a juror’s moral fortitude led to a retrial. The figure owed to Apple by Samsung was re-awarded, but the amount was decreased to a mere $290 million. During this second trial, filed in 2012 and schedule in 2014, the monetary decision was favorable to Apple, but the “jury also found that Apple had infringed one of Samsung’s patents” (The Guardian).
- The Guardian. “Samsung Ordered To Pay Apple $120M for Patent Violation.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 02 May 2014. Web. 02 June 2014.
- Kane, Yukari. “Apple: Samsung Copied Design.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 19 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 June 2014.
- Lowensohn, Josh. “Jury Awards Apple More Than $1B, Finds Samsung Infringed.” CNET. CBS Interactive, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 June 2014.