In the wake of last month’s findings by the UK High Court, which proclaimed Samsung’s innocence, Apple was ordered to fund and run an advertising campaign, apologising for slander and announcing that the South Korean company did not steal features of its own tablets from the design of the iPhone and iPad.
The order, issued by one Judge Briss, would be legally binding, but is currently ‘on-hold’ and open to appeal by Apple’s legal team. Judge Briss also made headlines several weeks ago, when he concluded one of his statements by saying that Samsung’s Tab 10.1 was “not cool enough” to have been comprised of stolen Apple designs. This week, the two companies await the verdict to the parallel, US-based trial.
The dispute concerns Apple patents, and centres on Samsung’s latest line of tablet and smartphone products. Apple is said to expect over $2.5billion in compensation, if it wins the case. Samsung have protested their innocence throughout the trial. In his closing statements to the court, Samsung’s attorney, Charles Verhoeven, said that Apple believes itself to be “entitled to having a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a large screen. It’s amazing really.”
While Apple have not been found to hold a monopoly on the smartphone and tablet market, it is worth noting that together, Apple and Samsung control well over half the world’s smartphone market. Should Samsung be found to have fraudulently used aspects of its competitor’s designs, the presiding Judge (Lucy Koh) could order a ban on the importation and sale of its products within the United States, which would give Apple majority control over the lucrative US market. Mr Verhoeven stated, of Apple, that “Rather than competing in the marketplace, Apple is seeking a competitive edge in the courtroom,”
Additionally, Samsung’s products employ Google’s Android operating system (a product-line upon which which Apple founder Steve Jobs threatened to go “thermonuclear”). Considering the fact that Google is emerging as a major rival to Apple, the ‘elimination’ of Samsung products would also remove a major client of Google’s from the US.
All things considered, however, Apple presented compelling evidence that supports its claims, including the testimony of a Samsung employee, who claimed that she worked day and night to, as Apple’s lawyers described, “copy and incorporate the result of Apple’s four-year investment in hard work and ingenuity”.
The parties involved have finished giving evidence, and the jury has begun deliberations over the fate of Apple and Samsung.