Apple prevails in patent lawsuit against Samsung


The Associated Press

Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S III, right, and Apple’s iPhone 4S are displayed at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012.

Hannah Peacock

Last Friday, in one of the biggest patent lawsuits in history, a jury ruled Apple will receive more than $1 billion in damages from notable competitor Samsung.

Apple’s suit claimed that Samsung had infringed upon multiple patents with its phones running Google’s Android software, including scrolling, zooming and navigation features, as well as icon design and appearance. The jury sided with Apple, stating Samsung had used Apple technology on six different patents, and awarded the Cupertino-based company a $1.05 billion settlement.

There is much debate as to how this decision will affect both companies as well as third-party competitors. Some believe this defeat for Samsung will open new doors for lesser names in the smart phone industry, such as Microsoft’s Windows Phones. Others believe this challenge will force Samsung to step up to the plate and create new technologies. What is certain is to stay competitive, Samsung will have to invent new products that do not infringe on Apple’s patents — something many of its latest and best-selling products have been ruled guilty of. With Apple-like technology removed from Samsung’s products, usability for the Android devices will likely decrease. However, this gives Samsung an opportunity for genuine innovation.

The real mystery, however, lies in the story’s omniscient third party, Google. A market share loss for Samsung will also hurt the Android software and its owner. In a statement released by Google regarding Apple patents, the company said, “Most of these (Apple patents) don’t relate to the core Android operating system.” Google believes the core Android operating system to be safe from Apple’s patents, and will likely push manufacturers toward a more uniform Android base. A more streamlined Android market would make it easier for consumers to buy new phones across the Android platform, while staying familiar with the software.