NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple has won $1.048 billion in a patent victory against Samsung that could spark major changes in both the companies' operations as well as in the mobile industry as a whole.
Samsung is having a rough go at it right now. On Aug. 24, a jury in San Jose, Calif.
ruled that the company had violated several Apple patents. Apple
was awarded $1.05 billion in damages
. Apple's lawyers are asking the trial
judge to triple the damages on the grounds that the jury found that Samsung
willfully violated the patents.
Now, the stage is set not only for Apple to have a nice payday, but to also set in
motion plans to have several Samsung devices banned from sale because of their
alleged infringement. Samsung is now scrambling to determine its next move.
For the market as a whole, the impact that might be felt by the ruling could be
great. Apple has yet again found a way to sustain its competitive advantages. Samsung,
its chief competitor, has been knocked back on its feet and is in damage-control mode.
If similar court rulings crop up around the world, it might not be long before the
late Steve Jobs' determination to wage "thermonuclear war" against Android
actually succeeds in limiting or even shrinking the upstart mobile operating
system's market share. It's an interesting move-and one that is being studied awfully
carefully by the company's competitors.
But how else might the decision impact the marketplace and just how might we all be
affected? Read on to find out more.
1. Samsung products are banned
Apple's lawyers are currently working their way through the ruling to determine which Samsung
products are violating its patents
. Once they figure that out, the company
will ask the trial judge impose an injunction that will ban from the U.S.
market many of Samsung's currently shipping mobile products, both tablets and
smartphones. Look for Samsung to fight tooth and nail to prevent or at least
delay these product bans.
2. Apple goes hunting
Now that Apple has won this landmark lawsuit, it won't be long before the company
follows up with lawsuits to take down others. Apple has a precedent. And in the
world of litigation, a precedent is everything. Apple will continue it's hunting
for other competitors violating its patents.
3. Google is in the crosshairs
Although the lawsuit victory for Apple is considered an indictment of Samsung, it's also
a problem for Google. The company's Android platform is included in the lawsuit
and it's becoming an increasingly major problem in all of the litigation
surrounding the mobile market. Google could very well find itself in Apple's
crosshairs in the coming months.
4. Watch out, Android vendors
vendors now need to watch out
. Not only will they possibly fall victim to
Apple's lawyers, as noted above, but they also have to be more thoughtful in
their product designs. Apple hasn't necessarily stymied innovation with this
victory, but it has likely put a damper on many vendor plans at the moment. Now
more than ever, design matters.