The Smartphone Wars – Will Apple and Samsung ever agree?
This guest post is coming from Khushboo Aulakh who writes for BroadBandGenie.co.uk. He is talking about the ongoing rivalry between the two major smartphone giants, Apple and Samsung.
In July 2012, Apple accused Samsung of copying the firm’s designs to Samsung phones and tablets, making every product look like the iPhone or the iPad. On August 4, 2010, Apple presented a 67-page long presentation with conclusive evidence that Samsung did not pay heed to patented Apple technology. During later months, Apple presented another document to Samsung executives with a detailed plan on how both companies could reach a mutual agreement.
Samsung has been an Apple partner since long, but Apple claims that the Android software platform used in Samsung smartphones makes use Apple’s intellectual property, and that Android phones are using Apple’s product designs. According to this presentation, intellectual infringements exist in product packaging, software OS, screenshot capabilities, and multiple applications.
Latest case developments indicate that while Apple has agreed to license some applications, some areas have been declared “untouchable”, according to Apple’s director of patent licensing and strategy, Boris Teksler. These areas, though not publicly declared, consist of multiple patents that Apple considers unique to the user experience they offer.
Teksler mentioned that the company was trying to work with Samsung to come up with a mutually beneficial solution. Apple’s priority was to receive compensation for the infringements, and work with Samsung to offer limited licensing for some patents.
Apple has asked for $2.5 billion in compensation, while Samsung is rooting for 2.4% of each Apple sale in cases where Apple has infringed upon Samsung patents. A large part of the presentation focuses on a design rip off, with Apple claiming that Samsung copied design elements like round corners of the iPhone, the clear screen surface, and its unique touch screen technology. In retaliation, Samsung has accused Apple of copying the design from Sony’s technology.
In the trial, Samsung executives have claimed that the firm has been making phones since 1991, while Apple is a relatively new entrant, stepping in the market only in 2007. Samsung also argued that design elements like round corners have been an industry standard for many years.
Long before the court was involved, Apple’s 2010 presentation offered a licensing deal, requiring Samsung to pay $30 per smartphone sale and $40 per tablet sale to use Apple’s technologies. Apple also created unique discount options for Samsung offering 20-40% off on various patents. If Samsung loses the case, it could potentially end up paying Apple more than what it would’ve paid through the royalties.
Interestingly, Apple has also attacked the Android platform through this case. The Android platform was developed by Google, although the company has steered clear of any direct involvement in the case. If Samsung wins the case, it would be a major bounty for Google when it launches the Samsung Nexus, which is why the search engine giant is providing backroom support, extra research, and evidences to Samsung. Samsung will not be held liable for patent or copyright infringement if it wins.
Samsung presented a 137-page long document in response to Apple’s presentation. This document goes into intricate details pointing out differences in design and software usage.
If Apple wins the case, its dominance will increase markedly in the smartphone market, which is already dominates. Presiding judge, Lucy Koh, has given merit to Apple’s case but has decided to exclude international versions of Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy S from the trial. The lawsuit will include Samsung phones that are sold in the USA.
Apple has also found internal emails from Samsung executive which provide clear evidence that the company wanted its smartphones to look like the iPhone.
Both companies are now fighting it off in an intellectual property rights case in San Jose, California. The companies get 25 hours each to present their case. Concluding arguments are expected to be completed by 24th August, 2012 or sooner, after which the jury will reach a decision.
Guest Author: Khushboo Aulakh contributes ‘The Smartphone Wars – Will Apple and Samsung ever agree’ on behalf of Broadband Genie, the consumer site for finding the best iPhone deals.