After winning its court case against Samsung, a judge has ruled that Apple can seek to ban the sale of Samsung phones if they infringe upon any of Apple's patents that were brought up in the lawsuit. Apple originally won a $1 billion settlement from Samsung last year and after another court case this month. The tech giant can now take things even further.
Judge Lucy Koh (who has presided over the case since 2011) was asked to reconsider her initial ruling and in doing so made it possible for Apple to seek bans against certain Samsung devices. While the money aspect of the case may not be very significant for Apple, the ban of one of its largest competitor's products would be huge.
The Money Issue
Both companies are now waiting to see how much Apple will receive from Samsung. A new jury was picked for this trial after the original jurors miscalculated the amount that should be owed to Apple.
Even though Koh revoked her $1 billion ruling and chose to put forth a $600 million resolution instead, Apple is still going after the $1 billion. While the sales ban may end up being more important, Apple and Samsung are eagerly awaiting the jury's decision regarding the money.
In its closing arguments, Apple tried to convince the jury that its decision would have a reverberating effect on other American companies that are trying to protect their patents. On the other hand, Samsung argued that the patents being discussed are not integral to either its own devices or to the iPhone and therefore they had no impact on sales.
Even if it wins the $1 billion, that amount is only equal to about two weeks of iPhone sales, so for Apple, the sales ban on Samsung devices will be far more important moving forward.
Apple is fortunate that as a result of the patents being discussed, it may have an easy time when trying to ban the sale of Samsung devices in the U.S. This is because the patents cover simple technologies such as pinch to zoom, double-tap to zoom, and a bounce-back effect when the end of a document is reached.
All of these features were a major part of Apple's original iPhone marketing and enable the company to make the claim that they are important iPhone features. The court's ruling from yesterday only requires that Apple show that a patent was infringed upon and that the patent is important to iPhone sales.
However, surveys have come out showing that consumers would not be willing to pay significantly more for devices that have any of the features mentioned in Apple's patents. Unfortunately for Samsung, those surveys have yet to be brought up in the court case. Since it has already been ruled that Samsung infringed upon the patents, both companies will have to argue over how important those patents even are.