Patent lawsuits have become commonplace in the consumer electronics market, with some companies finding these patent wars to be an easier way for them to beat out competitors. One of the largest patent wars has been between Samsung and Apple and, while it seemed to hit a lull, both companies are back in court to argue how much Samsung should pay Apple for copying its designs.
A U.S. District Court jury last year found that Samsung had infringed on Apple's patents, and calculated that Samsung owed Apple $1 billion in damages. The judge overseeing the verdict, Judge Lucy Koh, examined the jury's calculations, concluded some of its assumptions were incorrect, and ordered a retrial on the amount of damages.
Apple and Samsung are no longer in court to decide if Samsung infringed upon Apple's patents and copied its designs. However, Apple had originally tried to settle for $2.5 billion, and the $1 billion that was initially tallied is a point of question.
Out of the $1 billion, $550 million has already been paid by Samsung to Apple but the two tech giants are fighting over the last $450 million, which Samsung claims is an incorrect figure. Both companies are back in court in San Jose, Calif., this week, working with Koh and a long list of witnesses.
Samsung has never been happy about the ruling but since it technically infringed on some of Apple's standard essential patents, it is no longer trying to say that it did nothing wrong. The case was all but finished until March 2013, when Judge Koh found that the original jury had incorrectly calculated the amount to be paid to Apple.
On Moral Grounds
Apple has tried to act as though it is crusading against Samsung in this patent war on moral grounds, and even referenced Samsung's patent infringement as stealing. When the initial judgment was handed down (and Apple believed it would receive $1 billion) the company thanked the court "for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right."
Few people seem to view the lawsuit as anything other than a way for Apple to shoot down some of its competition in the courts, instead of through making better products. Apple has initiated numerous patent lawsuits against Android device manufacturers to the point that entire lines of smartphones may no longer be allowed in the U.S.