A u.s. court must fix the amount of money that Samsung has been accused of plagiarism, must pay to Apple (Photo Elijah Nouvelage. AFP)
How much is the design of the iPhone? This is the question a billion dollars that will try to decide next week an american court ordered to fix the amount of money that Samsung (KS:005930) was accused of plagiarism, must pay to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
The quarrel between the two global leaders of the smartphones lasts for years, and Samsung does not market even more the model in question. But, in game, there may be hundreds of millions of dollars and a possible jurisprudence on the value of the patents relating to the design.
Apple is claiming a little more than a billion dollars, while Samsung thinks it does to his rival that approximately $ 28 million.
“Samsung does not say that he should not pay. It just said that it does not have to pay all of the profits of the phone,” said his lawyer John Quinn Friday, the last day of the trial held in San José (California, west), in the middle of Silicon Valley, before the jurors begin their deliberations.
Their decision is expected on Monday.
In 2011, the first lawsuit was ruled in favor of Apple, finding that Samsung had copied the design elements of the iPhone – including the rectangular face with rounded edges, and the coloured icons arranged on a black screen – part of a patent filed by Apple.
At stake in this clash of the titans version “tech”: the function that allows you to tap on the screen to zoom in the image.
Samsung was ordered to pay $ 400 million to its competitor. Since then, the group has continued to contest this amount, based on the entirety of the profits from the smartphone even though Samsung had been found guilty of having violated part of the patent of its competitor.
– The Ladybug and the Coca –
The quarrel between the two giants, which between them now hold approximately 35% of the world market, is even rise up to the supreme Court of the United States, who in 2016 has cancelled the penalty of $ 400 million, sending the case back into the regular judicial system.
“At the center of this case, it is the design, and the application of this design to smartphones”, said for his part the lawyer of Apple Joseph Mueller Friday.
When a company copies the design of a competitor, “the dice are stacked, and this is simply not fair,” he insisted.
For the brand apple, which today derives the majority of its revenues from the iPhone, the smartphone was a project to “double or nothing” for the company, and, in terms of protection by a patent, its design is as important as the device itself.
For another advocate of Apple, Bill Lee, it is as if another car manufacturer had copied the look of the famous Beetle, the iconic car to the rounded shapes of Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p), in order to put a competitive model on the market.
Since the beginning of the case, the question of the value of the patents relating to the design has created a clan pro-Samsung, composed of big names in the sector, technology (Google (NASDAQ:GOOGLE), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Dell, and Hewlett-Packard), while Apple has rallied to his cause the world of creation and design, some citing precedents such as the shape of the bottle of Coca-Cola.
For the technology sector, a decision in favor of Apple would result of many other disputes.