Surely, you have heard a thing or two about the Apple-Samsung feud. Yes, the one involving the truck full of coins and the numerous bans all around the world. Believe it or not, the total count of lawsuits that was filed by both companies has already reached 50 and we’re still counting. Now, we take a closer look at how the feud began and how it got to where it is today.
It Started with Lawsuits…
The month was April in 2011 when the entire fiasco began. It was Apple who made the first move against Samsung as they filed a lawsuit in US claiming that Samsung has copied the technology used in Galaxy Tab from iPad and iPhone series. The design, packaging, and icon styles were also said to be copied by Samsung. This, of course, made the Samsung camp furious. In a span of two weeks, Samsung retaliated back with its own lawsuit, appealing that Apple copied the unique features of Galaxy phones and tabs in Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. The patent infringement lawsuit was filed five times in Seoul, twice in Tokyo, and thrice in Manheim, Germany.
Followed by Bans
A few months after, in September, Apple was able to convince a court in Germany that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 has replicated the design of iPad 2. Not only the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned in Germany, the ruling also took place in all countries of the European Union. However, Samsung was firm enough to withstand the court order as they still managed to sell units of the gadget in some EU countries. But of course, Samsung’s reaction is to retaliate again. They filed an infringement charge to claim that iPhone 4s copied three technological patents. This was filed in France and Netherlands which resulted to product recall and sales ban on the iPhone.
A decision in a court case in Australia gave a minor win for Samsung. Aside from being able to legally release the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung was able to submit evidences that Apple benefited from greater subsidies for the iPhone.
War Not Yet Over
Of course, Apple is not quick to give up. They did file another lawsuit in Germany against ten Samsung Galaxy smart phones—all in one case. It was nothing but lawsuit, temporary bans, lifted ruling, fines, counter suing, and legal what-not after the other for the next months. The offerings of phone service providers were also affected as the products were releases, recalled and released again. Even the jury was already aggravated by the clashing of the two companies. One judge from California even ordered both parties “to stop punishing the jury” as they have been dumping multiple cases to each other.
Because of that, the number of cases was cut down to 37 product violations, 16 patents, 6 trademarks, and 5 “trade dress” claims, most of which are still unresolved.
As of press time, Apple had the latest and biggest victory in this war. A US court ruling was imposed to ban the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with a bond worth USD 95 Million in case the call was overturned. This not only caused damages to Samsung, but it also catapulted the iPad Mini to the top of the list with almost no direct competitor.
Both Apple and Samsung will continue to design and release more products. With the narrowing market gap, it can really become a challenge when it comes to ingenuity. Let’s just hope that they’ll stay within their bounds and prevent these messy lawsuits in the future, or at least until they settle current cases that can hurt their reputation and sales.