One thing that shocked me about the outcome of the Apple vs Samsung case was not the outcome. I knew Samsung were going to lose, not this badly of course but, with all the evidence stacked against the Korean company it was a sure bet the Jury would take Apple’s side. What shocked me was the ridiculous amount of damages that Samsung will have to pay Apple. $1.049 billion to a company that has never made a loss on any iPhone or iPad whilst the Galaxy line has been on shelves? Absolutely ridiculous. Of course, I’m of the firm opinion that the US Patent System is not only flawed bad for the technology industry in general so, to see Apple rewarded such a disgusting amount of money riled me a little bit.
Samsung clearly feel the same – more so, I’d imagine – and feel confident that appeals may well fall in their favour. In Samsung’s official statement it was made clear they weren’t going to lie down and swallow their $1 billion pill: “this isn’t 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.” Which is true, in the UK Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent was deemed invalid and they were, in fact ordered to publicly apologise throughout the press and their own website, of course, Apple weedled their out of that one. In Korea, the courts sided with Samsung which is perhaps not all that surprising. I’m fairly certain that the US Court System have been a little too heavily influenced by pop culture and by how big the iPhone is. I’d not be surprised if there were an iPhone in Judge Koh’s pocket.
Judge Koh, throughout the trial became increasingly terse with both parties however, seemed to lean upon Samsung heavier than the troops from Cupertino. I say this not as any “fanboy” but as someone that couldn’t understand why, at a number of occasions Samsung was denied the use of key evidence however, Apple were allowed to bring up whatever they wanted and whenever. This is going to make Samsung’s appeal to Judge Koh a little more difficult than if it were any other Judge. Time and time again she’s made it clear that she didn’t even want the trial to go ahead however, it seems that she was more than happy to make Apple’s trial easier than she did Samsung’s. When asked about the damages Samsung’s response was this:
“Apple’s arguments boiled down to an assertion that everyone who bought a Samsung device would have bought the equivalent product from Apple had the Samsung product not been on the market. But that reasoning ignores any brand loyalty customers might have had to Samsung, or they might be customers of carriers that at the time didn’t offer Apple products. I would say there are quite a few problems with the way Apple calculated damages.”
I’m inclined to agree with them, how on earth should Apple be awarded so much in damages when they had a record breaking quarter ever since the iPhone first took off and there has never been evidence to show that Apple’s sales have been damaged as a direct result of any Samsung product hitting the shelves. I struggle to see how Apple could argue that someone would buy a Galaxy S Phone from T-Mobile instead of the iPhone, when the iPhone isn’t available there? The same would go for phones on Sprint and Verizon.
The appeals, however could turn against Samsung. With injunctions already being filed by Apple for phones still on shelves Samsung could begin to feel the heat. In the appeals Judge Koh could possible double or triple the awarded damages to Apple. Something I’m sure the Korean outfit really doesn’t want to happen. Whatever the outcome may be of any upcoming appeals we’ll be here to cover it.