Apple has won a major victory in its court battle with Samsung Electronics over patent disputes, with a US federal court ruling Samsung infringed on 6 out of 7 Apple iPhone and iPad patents. The penalty is a $1.05 billion fine for Samsung.
The verdict follows a South Korean court ruling that both companies infringed on patents.
Apple plans to file a sales injunction, which could lead to a ban on the sale of a number of Samsung products. To start, Apple has requested a quick sales block of 8 Samsung devices.
Analysts say a full ban on Samsung smartphones and tablets is unlikely, but the ruling may lead to Samsung delaying the debut of some upcoming products. If a ban were to go into effect, Samsung would be able to sell non-patent infringing products.
Samsung said in a statement that it had no choice but to countersue Apple, and it plans to ask that the ruling be overturned. If not, Samsung will file an appeal.
Samsung sold nearly twice as many smartphones as Apple during Q2 2012; the Galaxy S III, its best selling model, was not part of the lawsuit.
Despite the ruling, Samsung will likely suffer little long-term consequences. It holds 56,000 more patents than Apple.
Apple’s US Market Strengthened
The outcome of the lawsuit solidifies Apple’s dominance of the US market and strengthens its position for the iPhone 5 launch expected later this year.
The lawsuit also affects Google, manufacturer of the Android operating system. Two-thirds of smartphones globally, including Samsung’s, use the Android operating system and manufacturers may be forced to make changes to their smartphone models to avoid being accused of patent infringement.
According to analysts, these changes will affect manufacturers’ ability to produce new products in the short term.
While some smartphone manufactures were affected negatively by the verdict, others were helped by it.
Microsoft will enter the market in October when it debuts its Surface tablet, using the Windows operating system. Meanwhile, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 10 operating system will also be debuting this year.
Nokia saw its stock prices jump after the ruling.
Asian smartphone manufacturers LG, ZTE and Huawei Technologies have all struggled in the US, where Apple and Samsung dominate the market. Should Apple be successful in its attempt to ban Samsung products, these companies could benefit signifcantly.
Key Statistics - Smartphone Market In The US
- For the period 2011-2015, the US the smartphone market is predicted to be growing at a CAGR of 29%. (source: TechNavio)
- By 2017, smartphone purchases in the United States are forecast to make up 90% of all mobile phone sales. (source: TechSci Research)