Values vs. Choice: Apple and Samsung speak on $1bn verdict

Aug 25, 2012
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Samsung may be facing a billion in damages after Apple persuaded a US jury that it was an arch copyist, but the company still has snark to spare. The "verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple" the South Korean firm said of the ruling in San Jose this week, "but as a loss for the American consumer." According to Samsung, the favorable decision for Apple - which saw the Cupertino company escape with zero damages in Samsung's counter-suits - will mean less choice, less innovation and, perhaps most importantly in the tough economic climate, "higher prices." Apple isn't so concerned, unsurprisingly, describing the case as "about much more than patents or money."

Instead, Apple insists, it's a matter of "values" - whether you create something yourself, or whether you copy it from somebody else. Samsung argues that, while patent law is important, Apple has "manipulated" its interpretation to the point where fundamental shapes are considered the domain of individual firms.

"Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer" Samsung

Samsung has already confirmed that it will be appealing the ruling, with the company saying it will first attempt to overturn it in post-verdict motions, but that it is not afraid of the Appeals Court if that does not succeed. Meanwhile, cases around the world continue, as Apple and Samsung's lawyers in different courts chase down localized injunctions and rulings.

Justice Lucy Koh, who presided over the jury trial as well as other recent Apple vs. Samsung cases in the US, has set an injunction hearing for September 20. The two companies will have the intervening time to file responses and counter-arguments.

"We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right" Apple

Yet to comment is Google, obviously implicit in Android development, and previously tipped to be Samsung's shadow partner in developing legal strategies for the Apple suit. Google has been outspoken in its support of patent reform, though has kept a relatively low profile in this particular case.


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