Samsung and Apple quarrel

by Amanda Guerrero

Editor in Chief, Antonio Zaragoza

More than a year after pressing charges against Samsung, Apple received approximately $1 billion on Aug. 24, stating the South Korean electronics giant infringed on a number of patents for Apple software and mobile devices.

The jury rejected Samsung’s attempted $399 million lawsuit against Apple.

According to Apple’s attorney Harold McElhinny, Samsung sold 22.7 million smartphones worth a total of $8.16 billion using Apple innovations such as the pinch or double tap to zoom features and the physical design of the iPhone.

San Diego State financial services junior Niko Crookston said although he disagrees with Apple’s decision to press charges, he understands the concern toward patent infringement and said the lawsuit doesn’t change his opinion of either company.

“I think people worry too much about patents, but Apple’s just doing what they can to be the best out there,” Crookston, an iPhone user, said.

International business junior Katie Yee said she sees similarities between her first generation Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s mobile devices.

“I can see where [Apple’s] coming from, especially if you look at the shape, the coloring,” Yee said, showing the curved edges and general size of her phone.

The jurors ruled six of Samsung’s smartphones in violation of the overall design patent for the iPhone 3G, but determined a dozen other models did not infringe upon the patent. The jury also ruled against Apple’s charge for copying the overall design of the iPad.

The billion-dollar payout is a fraction of the $2.5 billion Apple sought when it filed the lawsuitlast April. Nonetheless, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton released a statement thanking the court for its decision.

“We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy,” Cotton said. “We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.”

Samsung responded to the lawsuit with its own statement, saying the ruling promoted a monopoly for the maker of the iPhone and the iPad: “Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices.”

Even though the verdict has been reached, controversy surrounds the case, which took place in a courthouse 10 miles away from the Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Furthermore, jurors were selected from Silicon Valley, raising arguments of bias against the Asian- based Samsung.

Despite the charges, Samsung will not pull the devices under scrutiny from the market. Samsung is expected to appeal the charges.

Yee, who said she will continue to buy Samsung phones, thinks the difference in cost between Apple and Samsung reflects a difference between its products.

“It’s definitely like comparing apples to oranges – pun definitely intended,” Yee said with a smile.