Breaking News: Consumers Win in Apple Samsung Trial Verdict
Apple won a $1.05 billion judgment in its suit against Samsung. A 9 member jury ruled in favor of Apple on Friday in California.
While Apple originally sought $2.75 billion, jury foreman Velvin Hogan had this to tell Reuters a day after the verdict: “We didn’t want to give carte blanche to a company, by any name, to infringe someone else’s intellectual property.” On the other hand, the jury didn’t accede to Apple’s high punitive damage request. Hogan said that he and the jurors felt the $2.75 billion that Apple wanted was “extraordinarily high” because it was unclear whether Apple could have fulfilled that many iPhone sales even if it wanted to.
Samsung is sitting on a $21 billion pile of cash. They won’t need to take out a loan to pay Apple or their lawyers. In the next few weeks, the judge will ban a number of Samsung products for sale in the United States. Most of those products are old. In the past year, Samsung has wizened up and their engineers are doing everything they can not to copy Apple.
I’ve read a lot of analysis in the media and many are saying Google loses as this means that smartphone makers have two choices – either obtain an expensive license from Apple or make a new phone that is different. I disagree.
Here’s where we all win. Thanks to 9 wise jurors on the West Coast, Samsung will have to copy Apple in a different way – it was have to create a culture of innovation. Your next non-Apple smartphone may cost $20-$50 more, but it will not be an Asian knockoff of iPhone.
What would you prefer – a world with one big gadget innovator or one with many? I’ll go for the world with many innovators, even if it means I pay a bit more for R&D.
In the 1980’s, Smith Barney had a terrific commercial that ended with, “They make money the old fashioned way. They earn it.” $1 billion later, Samsung will now have to earn their future profits.