June 05, 2013 marked a massive shift in the ongoing patent litigation between smartphone giants Apple and Samsung. Last year, Samsung was ordered by U.S. federal courts to pay Apple $1 billion for patent infringement – following a series of appeals by Samsung’s attorneys, the charge was lowered to $598.9 million. Today though, the tides shifted in Samsung’s favor, marking their first massive breakthrough against Apple.
These two powerhouses are engaged in huge legal disputes in over ten countries, and until recently, Apple has seen the majority of the success in courtrooms. Samsung’s momentary victory was announced when the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple infringed on a Samsung patent regarding 3G technology, as well as the ability to transmit multiple services correctly at the same time. Apple could likely be forced to return a huge payout to Samsung after the 60 day trial review. Additionally, it could mean that some older models of the iPad and iPhone will be banned from sale in the U.S.
The core of this dispute is centered in intellectual property rights, which only serves to demonstrate the importance of patent clarity, patent innovation, and patent history. Samsung released a statement stating, “We believe the ITC’s final determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations”. Though Apple yields higher annual profits, Samsung is the world’s largest maker of smartphones. Analysts estimate it outsold Apple by nearly two to one in the first three months of the 2013. These figures flesh out the fiscal importance of patent data and intellectual property, using the biggest tech giants in the industry!
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