Apple vs. Samsung: What's next in the patent dispute
Apple recently achieved a significant legal victory against smartphone rival Samsung in the two companies' intellectual property dispute in a U.S. court, but the battle is far from over. The iOS maker was awarded $1.05 billion in damages Friday after the jury found that Samsung infringed on a number of Apple's patents. That initial finding could be tripled since the jury found that Samsung's infringement of Apple's products was willful.
Apple also wants to use its initial victory to ban sales of specific Samsung devices in the United States. Samsung, meanwhile, says it plans to appeal the jury's decision. Apple's legal victory also raises the prospect of a much bigger battle for the future of the U.S. smartphone market between Apple and Google.
Here's what to look for in the coming days of the Apple-Samsung court struggle.
Ban day: September 20
Thursday, Sept. 20 could be a big day in the legal faceoff. That's when Apple will get a preliminary hearing to request a ban of six devices ( eight models total) from sale in the United States. Apple has already filed a request to ban the following smartphones:
- Galaxy S 4G
- Galaxy SII (AT&T, Skyrocket, and T-Mobile versions)
- Galaxy SII Epic 4G
- Galaxy S Showcase
- Droid Charge
- Galaxy Prevail
A total of 21 Samsung products were judged to be infringing, but Apple is only asking to ban these eight from sale on American store shelves.
Apple isn't just going after smartphones, it is also trying to keep its preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi) tablet in place. Apple won a temporary ban against the Samsung Android device in June for infringing on one of Apple's design patents. But Samsung has asked the court to lift the Galaxy Tab ban after the slate was not named by the jury as an infringing product.
Nevertheless, Apple appears ready to ask the court to ban sales of the cellular version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as well as the Wi-Fi model that is already banned. “The cellular version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1...is not colorably different from the products that the jury found to be infringing...and thus should be covered by an injunction against sales,” Apple argued in a court document.
If Apple's ban against Samsung doesn't hold, Apple could lose the $2.6 million bond the company had to post in the event the Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban was invalidated during court proceedings.
Apple has battled several Android handset makers in court including HTC and Motorola, in addition to Samsung. But Apple has yet to go after Google, the maker of the Android OS software. Will there come a day when Apple and Google duke it out in legal briefs? It's possible, according to a report in The New York Times . Google already has lawyers helping to defend Android hardware partners against Apple, the Times says. Google-owned Motorola is currently going after Apple for patent infringement with a complaint before the U.S. International Trade Commission . Finally, the Apple-Samsung verdict found Samsung's infringement included features that are built into Android, according to the Times. Could the Samsung battle be a prelude to a much wider legal war with Google?
Appeals, appeals, and more appeals
Before Apple gets its day in court with Google, however, the company has to finish its fight with Samsung, and that may take a while. Apple has only won the first round of its fight. Now it has to try to get several Samsung products banned from sale in the U.S., get a final determination on just how much money the company will be awarded, and then get ready for the slew of appeals Samsung will be attempting to overturn the jury's finding.
Stay tuned for more. This might take a while.