Apple Wins $1B Jury Verdict, Samsung May Face Product Delays As Consequence
After a year of tough and closely-watched litigation between tech giants Apple and Samsung, a jury finally decided on Friday, Aug. 24, that Samsung copied the innovative technology Apple used to create its iPhone and iPad. Consequently, Samsung may have to put off introducing new mobile devices until it makes design changes that do not infringe on Apple's patents.
The $1 billion verdict Apple won on Friday may also halt U.S. sales of Samsung's mobile products. The two companies are set to return to court next month for a hearing on Apple's request to permanently ban Samsung's infringing devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Samsung surged to the top of a booming smartphone market which Bloomberg Industries valued at $219 billion by introducing a variety of Galaxy models running on Google's Android platform, gaining share over Apple's smaller product range. Following the jury's verdict, the South Korean company may now have to make major changes to products under development, which may in turn lead to launch delays.
"Samsung will have to change some products in its pipeline," KTB Asset Management Co. president Chang In Whan told Bloomberg. "There could be delays in developing and releasing new models at a time when new products are coming out every six months."
Meanwhile, James Chung, a Seoul-based Samsung spokesman, told Bloomberg that Samsung's schedules for introducing new models will not be affected by the verdict on Friday.
Samsung has modified features of its products before in order to avoid such sales bans. Last year, the company changed the frame of a Galaxy Tab model, as well as the location of the speakers, after Apple won an injunction blocking its sales in Germany.
Samsung's global lineup for the rest of 2012 includes the next-generation Galaxy Note, building on the popular smartphone that sold more than 10 million units in less than a year. The company also started selling a Galaxy note tablet this month, following the launch of the blockbuster smartphone Galaxy S3 back in May.
"Samsung has deep pockets and they are going to change some designs up," Michael Risch, patent law professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg. "Not being able to copy may make them do better things than Apple."