First loss of Apple Inc. against Samsung Electronics Co. in one US blatant case could signify ban on the imports of many old devices including iPhone 4 and lessening the prospects of largest makers of smartphone ending up their legal wars.
Decision of the International Trase Commission of US, posted in one of the notices on website, covers iPad 2 3G and iPhone 4 sold for the use over networks that are operated by T- Mobile US Inc. AT&T Inc. and 2 regional carriers, in Texas, CT Cube LP and in Alaska, General Communication Inc.
With many lawsuits all spread in the 4 continents in the battle for bigger share of $293.9bn market for the smartphones, every side could now claim victory in US. With much litigation remaining, victory of Samsung wouldn’t probably bring these two sides any closer to the settling, according to Will Stofega, program director in Framingham. He also said that there is a lot of skin in game now and that he doesn’t think there will be an agreement as both the companies are very well-to-do and wouldn’t have any problem paying all legal bills.
The Review By Obama
The import-ban demand by ITC has to be reviewed by President Obama. He could overturn it over public-policy, though it happens rarely. Apple can continue to sell the devices within the review period of 60 days.
According to one patent lawyer, president normally didn’t interfere with such sort of things and that shows commission is quite bold agency so much so that they’re ready to take such measures in spite of Apple products’ popularity.
In California, last year, $1bn was won by Apple in a verdict which, since, has been cut by about $600M. That was based over one jury finding regarding Samsung devices that they copied unique features and look of the iPad and iPhone. Final decision’s scheduled to be released by the commission in case of Apple trade in August against Samsung. In the Seoul trading, the shares of Samsung didn’t change.
Another lawsuit that involves newer models of both companies happens to be scheduled for the next year. Any appeals court can hear the arguments late in this year over the request by Apple to halt the Samsung products’ sales, those found to infringe the patents by the board.
The Hot Seller
A spokesman of Samsung, Adam Yates, said that they believed the final determination of ITC has confirmed history of Apple of free-journey over technological innovations of Samsung. He said that their decades of development and research in the mobile technologies would continue, and they would keep on offering to the consumers in US innovative products.
It was pledged by Apple to appeal ITC decision. Underlying findings would be reviewed through US court of appeals specializing in the patent cases. She also says that the decision today doesn’t have any impact on Apple products’ availability in US.
Reputation Of Samsung
Seoul-based analyst at TongYang Securities Inc., Park Hyun, said that ruling of ITC might be quite significant for the reputation of Samsung. He thinks the ruling might support Samsung to do away with the copycat label.
This decision would mean not many choices for T-Mobile and AT&T customers who desire to have an iPhone and that too without paying specifically for the expensive iPhone 5. The commission was told by Samsung that Apple can drop its price of iPhone 5 if Apple was concerned about losing the prospective clients. All the iPhones are Asia-made.
iPhone 4 still is a hot-trading product after 3 years, according to CEO of Brightstar Corp. which is a distributor of mobile-phone, having operations in fifty countries. He said that Apple only sells iPhone4, 4S as well as 5 that is unlike Samsung that retails over hundreds of its models.
The Mutual Destruction
Samsung and Apple together make half of the smartphones that are sold in this world. Samsung tends to by the biggest whereas Apple is popular in US.
One patent lawyer, Scott Daniels, said that it was like GM and Ford and they need to reach a rapprochement or else they would end up making each other’s shares in market to lose their value.
Apple’s biggest supplier of components is Samsung, though Apple tends to have diversified its chain of supply.
Stofega said that it is proved by Samsung that it could do things which others couldn’t and that could make them reconcile. He said that Apple could be good partner, placing emphasis on the display and that both can have the policy: we don’t like each other, though we are in need of each other.
The Patent Trolls
Apple appeared to infringe one patent for some popularly used way phones transmit the data, in ITC case. It was argued by Apple that it was obligation of Samsung to license patent on terms that are fair as it was one part of industry standard but the company rather demanded a royalty which was unreasonable.
In January, US Trademark Office & Patent and as well as Obama’s administration urged ITC to look at the patents closely which relate to the standards of industry before issue of any of the import bans.
According to Huguet, a strategy is being used by Samsung that is rejected by the regulators and courts of the world. He said that it is admitted to be against consumers’ interests elsewhere and in Europe, though in US Samsung has continued to attempt blocking Apple’s products with the use of patents that were agreed to be licensed to anyone in exchange of a reasonable fee.
It is contended by Samsung that Apple infringes 4 patents that include 2 which cover data transmission. James Gildea, the US trade Judge, in September, favoured Apple, saying that Apple did not infringe any patents and the one, for means of detecting movement on touch screen, wasn’t valid.
4th patent in case tends to be a way of detecting in e-mails, the phone numbers so that they could be stored or dialed in contact list of phones.
On the 3 other patents, commission did agree with judge.
It is contended by Apple that Samsung didn’t make fair offer, along with demanding that 2.4% of average selling price be paid by Apple for every iPhone as well as cellular-enabled iPad, as according to the filings with agency.
$78.7bn in sales is generated by iPhone for fiscal year that ended on Sept. 29th, or about 50% of the revenue of Apple. Its iPad generated $30.9bn, and iPod $5.6bn.
In the filings, according to Samsung, it is offering a license to Apple since Nov.,2010 and that Apple never has agreed to take license on whatever the terms.