The Apple v. Samsung court battle has been going on for months. On Wednesday of last week, I wrote a post about the jury beginning its deliberations in the Apple v. Samsung trial. I hadn’t realized the deliberations would be so quick, but I did know whatever the decision, it would affect the industry immediately.
By late Friday this jury had reached its conclusions about the trial. If you haven’t read by now, late on Friday jurors essentially awarded Apple a victory in the case. They didn’t win everything, but Apple got enough out of the jury to be declared the winner. Some patent violations were accepted by the jury as well as $1 billion in damages that Samsung will have to pay to Apple. Not enough to break Samsung, but the impact to the industry is the important thing to pay attention to.
Nokia Benefits, Samsung Falters, Others Unknown
So now we’ve made it to Monday, and markets are opening all over the world. Asian markets have given us the first indication of how damaging this ruling can be for some involved. As you would imagine, Samsung has taken a hit. Min-Jeong Lee of the Wall Street Journal reports that, “The company’s shares fell 7.5% on the Korea Stock Exchange.” This has taken away $12 billion plus of the company’s market value. Of course, while the monetary problems alone are bad enough, Samsung’s future and current products are at risk as well. Lee points out that, “a second case Apple has brought forward involving newer Samsung phones and a different set of patents” could mean even more similar troubles and fines for the Korean company.
On the other hand, as Chris Davies at Slashgear reports, “Nokia has been a surprising beneficiary…the Finnish company’s stock price [is] up almost 11-percent.” Looks like investors believe Nokia will be able to capitalize on Samsung’s loss in market share and even from Apple’s distraction with the trials. I wasn’t expecting this much of an impact on other competitors, but I think I overlooked the impact it would have on outsiders. It certainly makes sense though.
No one is quite sure how Google will be impacted by the trial. It appears the tech giant is taking a distanced approach to the trial, even though it is involved heavily with Samsung. Stan Schroeder at Mashable is reporting that Google has issued a statement basically saying “most of the patent claims from the verdict don’t relate to the core Android OS.” The Android OS is Google’s, and they do have a point that they should be viewed as uninvolved with the trial. But, Google does say that “all players in the industry use ideas that have been around ‘for decades.’” So they obviously are at odds with the arguments Apple made to win this case.
In the aftermath of the decisions made by this jury, the web has been bursting with op-eds about which side was right (or wrong) and why. The argument boils down to different perspectives. Many people support more competition and see design “copying” as necessary in the industry. Others support Apple’s right to protecting its products. In all honesty, I was hoping Samsung would come out on top. I feel that more competition is always good, and if you’re being copied, it should flatter and inspire you to create better next time.
I tend to agree with Haydn Shaughnessy at Forbes who writes, “Design is not invention. It arises from a common pool of creativity.” Shaughnessy goes on to criticize Apple for demanding the fine at court saying, “But this is the most valuable company in history. Mr Cook. Move on. Create.” Of course, Apple will do as it likes, not as myself or others want it to. Hopefully this trial does not set a precedent that rich companies can abuse in the future.
There’s still some time left before US markets open as of this writing and it’s the first full day of business since the ruling. It will be interesting to see what the impact is on Google, Microsoft, Apple, HTC, and others involved in the mobile industry. Be sure to keep an eye on these companies throughout the day.