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Apple Loses (While Winning) The Latest Battle In The Patent War With Samsung

Apple Loses While Winning The Latest Battle In The Patent War With Samsung

The jury in the second battle in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) vs. Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) patent war just ordered Samsung to pay Apple nearly $120 million for violating Apple's patents.

That relatively paltry sum (Apple was seeking billions) seems like a win for Samsung.

The only way Apple's 'win' becomes a true victory is if it can persuade the judge to issue an injunction shutting down sales of Samsung devices, Brian Love, Assistant Professor at University of Santa Clara Law School, told The Wall Street Journal.

But Love said that result was unlikely, given the record.

Re/Code made essentially the same point, using a chart Apple introduced at trial.

Because Samsung has been able to sell iPhone-like handsets despite the patent litigation, Samsung's market share has gone from less than five percent in 2009 to over 30 percent now.

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Underpinning Samsung's win is the tech reality, CNET explained: Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Android operating system, not Samsung's devices, were the source of most of the alleged infringement.

While Apple won't sue Google, because Google licenses Android for free and thus doesn't profit directly from the alleged infringement, Apple still could have gotten some Google money--Google had agreed cover Samsung's tab if any of four Apple patents had been infringed, RE/Code explained.

However, the judge and jury ruled for Samsung on those four, dismissing some claims and finding no infringement on the others.

Even if those patents had gone the other way, surely agreeing to pick up Samsung's tab was much less risky for Google than having been the direct defendant; Samsung's 'Apple-is-attacking-Android-not-us' defense would not have worked for Google.

In short, Apple's litigation has not had, and is unlikely ever to have, the result it really wants: choking off the competition. And it's been a big distraction for Samsung.

That's why the "true" winner is the competitors.


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