Even if 1st April is the “fool’s day”, the representatives of Apple and Samsung were not in the mood for pranks and tricks when they meet during this day in the law court, for a long series of controversies about some licenses. As it was expected, the trial was over in less than a month, but the companies that accused one another of stealing ideas and innovations hoped for much, and only got only scraps. Well, the damages claimed by both parts were huge, so it was normal for the court to settle the matter in “loose” terms.
What functions are contested?
The Federal Court of Law in San Jose, California, where the first trial also took place, gave the verdict in this case. The members of the jury decided that Samsung used two innovations without the consent of Apple, which were considered the invention of the American producer. To be more precise, we are talking about the program that interprets and formats specific strings of characters (such as phone numbers and geographical coordinates), and about the important function Slide-and-Unlock.
While the first function was only important from the developing point of view, Slide and Unlock is a crucial matter. Samsung is relieved to “escape” only with 116 million dollars to pay as compensations. Apple requested that Samsung would be obliged to remove this feature from the future phones, but the court decided only about compensations.
The members of the jury also decided that Samsung didn’t used other two Apple licenses, the one covering the background synchronizing functions, and the global search system. The jury said that some forms of auto-correct were also stolen by Samsung from Apple, but the compensations are still not established.
On the other hand, Apple used only one of the two Samsung licenses, and this infraction was not intentional, establishing compensations of only $150 000.
Initially, Apple requested compensations of 2 billion dollars for the allegedly illegal usage of all the five licenses by Samsung, while Samsung claimed compensations of 7 million dollars from Apple, for their two licenses. Both companies asked for the devices of their rivals to be forbidden from being sold on the market. The decision can be taken by the Federal Judge, but according to the specialists, the possibility for this to happen is extremely reduced.
This is only the last of a long series of lawsuits between the two giants. The former processes were judged in Japan, Germany and in the United States, favoring one part or the other. The conclusion of the users is clear: both companies steal technologies one from the other, even if they know that they will have to pay later. In this last example, the Slide-to-Unlock technology brought immense advantages to Samsung, so the 116 million dollars fine is insignificant compared with the benefits on the long term. No court or judge is courageous enough to forbid the terminals from being sold, because this would mean an earthquake on an international level, so the “war of stolen technologies” will surely continue.