In a not-so-surprising turn of events recently, Apple won a pivotal victory against Samsung in its lawsuit against the South Korea-based technology company. Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages for the patent infringements Samsung committed in the design, software and trade dress of its smartphones.
Along with the large amount of damages the company was awarded, Apple is petitioning the court that Samsung’s smartphones should be banned from sale in the United States. On Aug. 27, Apple petitioned for a sales ban of the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Galaxy Prevail and Droid Charge in U.S. markets.
Samsung countered this petition with a press release that stated it would fight the ban of their products with “all necessary measures.” Samsung officials have been reported as negotiating with wireless carriers about removing or modifying infringing features to avoid a sales ban altogether.
If a sales injunction passes, many speculators say it could spell the end for Samsung in the smartphone industry. Samsung has already felt the effects of the lawsuit: the South Korean company changed some of the patent infringements they made, primarily design functions.
Recent smartphones like the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note have a different design. Design was not the primary focus of the lawsuit. Software designs such as the tap-to- zoom, pinch-to-zoom, inertial scrolling and overscroll bounce are all patent infringements, which companies like Samsung and HTC have made.
Most of the Android-based smartphone companies have already adapted their software to avoid infringing upon these patents, but many question whether it will be enough.
The new infringements could spell trouble for Android operating systems overall, but Google is not commenting on the potential problems. Google claims many of the patent issues Samsung was fined for were modified versions of the Android operating system, not the core system.
“I believe that if Android itself was going to be gone, we would have heard about it by now,” said Joe Arjona, sophomore mechanical engineering major.
A recent statement released by Samsung officials states the company will fight to have the verdicts overturned.
Whether it is the increase in price for Android phones because of an addition of royalty fees required to be paid to Apple, or the possible complete redesign of the Android system, this fight will not soon be over.