Apple Inc (AAPL) Vs. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd; this is one of the ongoing series of war and this time Samsung managed to score a point. A U.S. trade agency ITC, announced a ban on imports of Apple’s older devices including the iPhone 4 and a variant of iPad 2 after discovering that the devices violated a patent held by Samsung. And the ruling applies to the version equipped with a cellular modem for AT&T’s network. But Apple can keep selling the devices during the 60 day review period.
This import ban order is subject to review within 60 days by President Barack Obama. If he does not veto the order, the ban goes into effect. It is quite surprising; usually a President does not interfere in these matters, but this shows how severe this lawsuit has become.
The Patent War
Samsung and Apple have become increasingly intense rivals, bickering over the Smartphone market share around the globe. This rivalry has spilled to the courts; both the companies are involved in more than 50 lawsuits around the globe. Apple has won many cases against Samsung in the US, while Samsung won rulings in U.K, Japan, and South Korea. Last year in California Apple won a jury trial against Samsung and Samsung was accounted to pay $1 Billion which was later reduced to $600 Million.
ITC’s decision came on the same day when Mr.Obama took steps to control companies that buy and enforce patents rather than making their own products and services known as patent trolls by their detractors. He is also trying to reduce the growing use of ITC to settle the patent disputes and asked for new federal regulations on these concerns and action from Congress.
Perks For Samsung
This ruling may help Samsung to build a positive image, iPhone 4 is still a most preferred Smartphone in U.S and Samsung can attract these users as well and this ruling may mean fewer choices for AT & T and T- Mobile customers who prefer to buy iPhone 4 rather than an expensive iPhone 5. This ruling will be a win-win situation for both Samsung and Google.
Apple has won quite a few law suits, but loosing this law suit may cause a lot of damage to Apple. iPhone 4 is still a hot pick for many customers in U.S. Apple had a decent market share because of iPhone 4 and the variant iPads, a large amount of revenue was generated by these products. Apple may have to cut the cost of iPhone 5 to attract the lost customers and to regain the market share.
A Break- Up Or A Patch-Up?
Together Apple and Samsung make about half the Smartphones sold in the world. They are each other’s greatest rivals, by involving in various law suits both the companies are developing a bad image and losing millions of dollars. Both the companies have used each other’s patents, now either they have to meet each other in a common ground and work together in developing new products or they have to part ways or else they would end up mutually destroying each other’s products. This rivalry may act as an advantage to their global counterparts and would help them build their market share on the destruction of Apple and Samsung. But for now, it looks like this rivalry will continue for many years.