Tuesday 18 September, 2012

Samsung Beats Apple in Japan but the Battle Is Far from Over

The latest news in the battle between Samsung and Apple is that a judge in Japan ruled in Samsung’s favor. The Tokyo District Court ruled that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s patents and ordered Apple to pay the South Korean company all court fees.

Samsung is doing much better in East Asia than in the United States. Just a month before the Japan ruling, it was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion for stealing Apple’s designs. Now Apple has to essentially pay the money back in the Japanese settlement.

The charge was that Samsung infringed on patents with the design of its smartphones and some of its Galaxy tablets, which Apple says are too similar to its iPhones and iPads. What the case focused on in particular was a certain technology that allowed music and videos to be synchronized between the device and a server.

A Small Victory

Samsung is undoubtedly happy with the victory. Experts say that if Apple had won in Japan, it would’ve been nothing short of disastrous for Samsung. The company would have lost not only money but a great deal of credibility as well.

However, the victory may not be much cause for celebration for the South Korean company. Tsuyoshi Uchida of the Institute of Intellectual Property told EuroNews.com, ‘By suing Samsung, presenting the case and letting the media in on this, Apple wants to spread the impression that Samsung is a copy-cat and just that alone is advantageous for Apple.’

The Fight for the American Market

Japan is just the latest country to rule in Samsung’s favor. Only the US courts hold that the company copied Apple. Earlier in 2012, a UK judge threw out a patent infringement case and as part of the settlement, forced Apple to make a public apology for statements it made about Apple. In South Korea, Apple lost the case but in a way both sides lost; disputed products by both companies were banned in the country, with the court saying that both had copied one another.

Meanwhile, the battle for the United States rages on. Apple is now trying to stop the sale of eight of Samsung’s biggest-selling smartphones in the United States. One Samsung executive is quoted in an article on CNN.com as saying it would be ‘absolutely the worst scenario for us.’

While gearing up to fight for its right to keep its products on the market, Samsung is also trying to appeal the earlier US ruling. Samsung says that the verdict is a ‘loss for the American consumer’ and not just the company. If the court doesn’t see fit to overturn the ruling, company representatives say it will take the case to the court of appeals.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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