Samsung takes big bite in clash with Apple
Despite ruling, Koreans are ahead
SEOUL: South Korean markets took in their stride a US federal jury’s order for Samsung to pay $290 million (about R2.9 billion) in damages to Apple, with Samsung shares going up 0.69 percent yesterday.
Samsung gained 10 000 won to close at 1.45 million won (R13 840), as the overall KOSPI index gained 0.62 percent following a rally on Wall Street.
“This is hardly a surprise. The market is not taking it so seriously,” Won Seo, an analyst with Korea Investment & Securities Co. told AFP.
Seo and other analysts noted Samsung had already earmarked some $600m in the first quarter to help ride over such court battles.
The court had rejected Apple’s claims that Samsung copied its design on top of its technology, Seo noted.
“Samsung will also be able to avoid further patent claims by using various kinds of alternative technology,” he said.
A US federal jury on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay the $290m damages to Apple in a partial retrial of a blockbuster patent case involving the two smartphone giants.
The award revises the $450m in damages originally granted in the landmark suit, but thrown out by a judge. It is in addition to nearly $600m in patent infringement damages upheld from the trial last year.
Apple calculated the combined total of the damages in the case at slightly less than $930m.
Apple’s victory has had little impact on new products hitting the markets
The tech giant has accused its South Korean rival of massive and willful copying of its designs and technology for smartphones and tablets, and won the landmark case in a jury decision in August last year.
The original verdict for more than $1bn was reduced in March when Judge Lucy Koh invalidated some $450m and ordered a retrial on parts of the case.
The six- woman, two- man jury in Koh’s courtroom in San Jose, California, reached a verdict on the third day of deliberations.
Further complicating the case, Samsung has asked the judge to stay proceedings pending a decision by US patent officials as to whether a “pinch-tozoom” feature at issue in the trial has a patent that is valid.
The California case is among several pending in courts and administrative agencies around the world between the two electronics giants, each of which accuses the other of infring- ing on its patents.
In a statement, Apple said the case has “always been about more than patents and money… It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love”.
James Song of KDB Daewoo Securities said Apple’s victory has had little impact on new products hitting the markets.
“Legal processes are simply too slow to catch up with changing the market, especially in the IT sector,” Song said.
“Apple is strong in innovation but Samsung is well ahead in its ability to market.”
“There were initial concerns last year that Samsung’s image would be stained as a copy cat but it has succeeded in distancing itself from Apple with new products such as its flagship Galaxy 4 smartphones,” Seo said.
After years of following and refining the iPhone's pioneering innovations – a strategy that resulted in bitter patent battles with Apple – Samsung has dethroned its rival to become the world’s top smartphone maker.
Samsung extended its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market in the third quarter, according to the IDC survey.
Samsung had 31.4 percent of the market. Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones in the quarter, but its growth was slower than the overall market, so its share slipped to 13.1 percent from 14.4 percent a year ago. – Sapa-AFP
GREEN CAR: Mike Accavitti, senior vice-president of vehicle operations at American Honda, sits in the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid which was named “Green Car of the Year”, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in California.