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Apple vs Samsung: the latest news from the patent battle

court tablet

By PC Pro staff

Posted on 30 Jan 2013 at 10:24

Apple and Samsung are waging a legal war around the world, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in the mobile market.

The fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in a US federal court, accusing the South Korean company of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.

The stakes are high, with Samsung facing sales bans and billion-dollar payouts. We track the latest news in the long-running story.

Judge rules out increasing Apple's damages claim

30 January 2013 - Samsung did not wilfully infringe on Apple patents, a US federal court has ruled, foiling Apple's attempt to increase the $1.05bn in damages it was awarded last August.

The ruling removes a dark cloud hanging over Samsung, which could have been forced to pay triple the original penalty, in the worst-case scenario.

The latest ruling overrules the jury's finding that Samsung acted "wilfully" when it violated several of Apple's patents, a finding that would have formed the basis for tripling the damages.

"To the extent that Apple does address lost downstream sales, Apple discusses only Samsung's gains and makes no attempt to identify any specific losses Apple has suffered," US District Court Judge Lucy Koh said.

Apple "not the first" to use round corners on tablets

16 January 2013 - Following decisions in UK courts, a Dutch judge has ruled that Samsung Galaxy tablets don't infringe Apple's iPad design.

"We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples," Samsung said, according to a report from Reuters.

The ruling applied to the corners on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, 8.9 and 7.7.

Judge refuses Apple appeal to extend Samsung ban

18 December 2012 - Apple has been denied a wider sales ban of Samsung products, after a US judge refused to extend a previous ruling to cover 26 older phones.

Judge Lucy Koh denied the appeal, saying Apple was still capable of competing against Samsung despite the August ruling that awarded the iPhone maker more than $1bn after finding its rival infringed its patents.

"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote, according to a report from Reuters.

"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions," she added.

Judge Koh also rejected Samsung's request for a new trial, on the grounds that the jury foreman had been biased toward Apple.

Judge asks for "global peace" between Apple and Samsung

7 December 2012 - A US judge presiding over the Apple and Samsung court battle in California has asked the companies to sort out their differences.

"I think it’s time for global peace ," Judge Lucy Koh said, according to a report in the Financial Times. "If there is any way this court can facilitate some sort of resolution, I’d like to do that. I think it would be good for consumers and good for the industry."

Judge Koh presided over the trial that in August saw Samsung ordered to pay $1 billion in damages to its rival. Now, she's overseeing the appeal, with Samsung trying to reduce those damages to tens of millions of dollars, and Apple looking to add $500 million to the total - as well as tying to block more of its rival's handsets and tablets. Both sides have now delivered their arguments and are awaiting Judge Koh's ruling.

Apple tries to add more products to Samsung case

26 November 2012 - Apple has asked a federal court to add six more products to its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, including the Galaxy Note II - which has now passed the 5m sales mark.

Apple is also seeking to add the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Rugby Pro, and the Galaxy S III Mini, to its lawsuit, according to a court filing.

"Apple has acted quickly and diligently to determine that these newly-released products do infringe many of the same claims already asserted by Apple," the company said in the filing. Samsung representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case was filed in February, and is separate to the lawsuit by Apple that saw the firm awarded more than $1bn. Samsung denied infringement and filed a cross-complaint alleging that Apple's iPhone and iPad infringed eight of its patents.

Apple must share HTC deal details with Samsung

22 November 2012 - A judge has ordered Apple to share details of its patent deal with HTC with Samsung.

Apple and HTC came to a ten-year agreement which reportedly requires the handset maker to pay Apple royalties, although exactly how much has not been revealed. Samsung has successfully argued that the case covers some of the same patents under dispute in its court battle with Apple, but the deal details will only shown to lawyers, not made public.

Judge orders Apple to fix Samsung apology

1 November 2012 - Apple has been told off by a UK judge for how it complied with a court order, which forced it to post a message on its website stressing that Samsung didn't copy its products.

First, Apple added its own text - some from the judge's ruling, as well as from other European courts that have found in its favour - linking to the document from its main page with tiny font. When ordered to fix the statement, Apple's lawyers asked two weeks to make the change; it was given 48 hours.

Apple loses UK appeal, could end European battle

18 October 2012 - Apple has lost its appeal against a ruling that cleared rival Samsung of copying its registered designs for tablet computers, in a decision which could end the two firms' legal dispute on the subject across Europe.

Britain's Court of Appeal upheld the country's High Court judgment that, despite some similarities, Samsung's Galaxy tablet did not infringe Apple's designs, in part because its products were "not as cool".

The decision is valid throughout Europe, and will require Apple to run advertisements and a notice on its own website saying Samsung did not copy its designs.

South Korea's Samsung welcomed the decision saying in a statement: "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners". Apple declined to comment on the decision, and can appeal to the Supreme Court.

US court lifts Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban

1 October 2012 - A US court removed a temporary sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 won by Apple in a patent dispute, allowing it to be sold in the United States.

While the Galaxy 10.1 is an older model, the lifting of the ban could still help Samsung in the run-up to the pivotal holiday shopping season.

"We are pleased with the court's action today, which vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple's design patent and that an injunction was not called for," Samsung said in a statement.

Separately, Samsung filed a motion against Apple saying the iPhone 5 had infringed on some of the company's patents.

Apple seeks anti-competition action over Samsung

6 September 2012 - Apple is seeking anti-competition sanctions via the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, saying its rival abused its dominant position in wireless technology.

The FTC is investigating whether Samsung is unfairly competing in the market by abusing its dominance in wireless technology patents. Apple filed its complaints earlier this year, said an FTC official, who is not authorised to talk to the media.

EU regulators are already investigating Samsung over possible breaches of antitrust rules, related to technology patents.

Sales injunction hearing in December

29 August 2012 - Samsung will find out if eight of its products are banned from the US on 6 December, as Judge Lucy Koh set a date for the hearing for a permanent injunction. The delay could take some of the sting out of a sales ban, giving Samsung time to sell remaining stock before the injunction comes into force.

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User comments

Apple are losing....losing....

The new samsung devices are nothing like the iphone, yet they have taken over sales from Iphone. Trying to argue that Samsung old phones look like their old phones is not a case. It is desperation.

They are gambling on a favourable outcome in a favourable country because the prize is so high. But tha case lacks any merit and Apple lack morals and ethics. But they are only interested in the money.

Trying to strike off the evidence which does not support Apple's case shows they are on to an expensive loser.

By Manuel on 30 Jul 2012

Get a room...

stuff both CEOs in the room, lob a couple of baseball bat after them and close the door.

Whoever comes out wins...

And to recoup some of the money squandered on lawyers, they could show the live feed as pay-per-view...

By big_D on 30 Jul 2012

It was my idea first.

The consumer is the only true loser. Court costs and all relative expenses eventually get placed upon the people who purchase the equipment.

The persons who gain the most is the lawyers.

By lenmontieth on 30 Jul 2012

I hope that apple lose, now i have that of my chest, I must admit that I am annoyed that samsung say that apple are doing this to maintain an artifically high profit margin. So samsung why do you basically charge as much as apple. If you want to see the end of apple drop your prices buy this supposed ridiculous profit margin. A better product at a lower price would be more that just a crowd pleaser.

By davidk1962 on 1 Aug 2012

Apple: Samsung are as great as us

Steve Jobs said: "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal"

Apple's lawyers: Samsung stole from us.

By big_D on 2 Aug 2012

Are taxpayers subsidising this nonsense?

What I want is assurance that the companies are paying ALL the costs of these cases. That means the costs of the courtrooms, the Judge's wages and the costs of his support staff as well as the costs of their own lawyers.

By JohnAHind on 2 Aug 2012

For those of you not aware..

The evidence that Samsung released was the design of its F700 phone (which Apple claim was a copy of the iPhone) in 2006, a year before the iPhone was released. The US judge deemed the evidence was inadmissible because it was presented too late in the legal process.

By TheHonestTruth on 2 Aug 2012

If it looks good, it must be Steve's idea

I think Steve Jobs must have believed that he was a being of such incredible and unsurpassable intellect that only he could invent anything cool.

Therefore anything that looks cool must have been his idea, so he must sue or destroy whoever produces it, claiming all credit and all rights.

I think this perverse attitude, a sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Kleptomania, has pervaded his company.

In 1980, Lyndon Larouche, in his campaign to become the next President of the USA, produced a 30 min ad at great cost, in which he claimed he was the only person with the necessary intellect to be president. Probably psychopathic, he had his own aggressive cult followers, was supremely arrogant, self-publicising, deluded about his intellect, and dismissive of competitors. See the parallel with Apple?

The difference is that Apple has actually played a good game. But it now wants to sit on the football so no one else can play.

By fogtax on 2 Aug 2012

I'm behind Samsung on this one

This is one problem that Apple haven't got an app for.

When I see the way Apple bullies other companies that, in my opinion make better products, it makes me NEVER want to buy anything from them again.

As for who invented tablet computers, of which the iPad is a copy: I thought it was Gene Roddenberry when he used them on Star Trek in 1966. Perhaps Gene's family should sue Apple.

By shrek59 on 2 Aug 2012

Incomplete reporting

As is so often the case, a number of commenters go off based on the report at the top of the page, and not the facts. Judge Koh ruled the Samsung submission as inadmissable because it was not relevant since Apple had already proven Apple had been working on prototypes before the date of the Sony papers.

As for Samsung, they didn't change the design of their phones until after the iPhone launched.

By SwissMac on 2 Aug 2012

Samsung F700 phone was designed before the iphone was marketed so how can they claim it is a copy when all they had according to their own staement was prototypes which are not patents.

By curiousclive on 2 Aug 2012

Jobs built Apple stealing

For the Mcintosh, Steve Jobs stole the ideas from Xerox concerning the graphical computer interface and the mouse concept. That is what built Apples fame and now things are turned up-side down.

By Menzo on 3 Aug 2012

Artists vs engineers?

It’s a shame when a rectangle shape and a bouncing menu seem so much more defensible than real, technical IP that Samsung’s engineers have spent years developing. You’d think that the 50% profit margin on each iPhone would be enough to pay the few cents of royalties for the telecoms patents, like every other manufacturer does.

But then, a foreign company beating Apple in a US court? Not going to happen.

By TheHonestTruth on 3 Aug 2012

Last wish of a dying man

I honestly believe this is all Steve Jobs' fault. He stated he was willing to spend all of Apple's billions destroying Google over what he saw as their "theft" through designing Android. I think the legal teams are still following through on his directives - they can't really go after Google/Android directly, so they're going after the largest Android distributor; Samsung.

Leaving aside the whole thing of OS X being based on *nix and FreeBSD (so arguments about Android 'stealing' ideas are spurious at best, especially when you consider Apple has in part used other people's Open Source code and monetised it), the whole patents/trade dress disputes are ridiculous. If Samsung 'slavishly' copied the look and feel of Apple's products with its Galaxy range, why did Apple feel compelled to (sorry, I obviously meant honestly made the mistake of) altering photos of the Galaxy Tab's dimensions in its German court submission? If Apple's designs have been copied they've been copied and don't need photoshopping and mis-cropping to help make the case.

And if the look and feel of a product is that crucial, Apple would be minded to remember the Samsung Q1 range of UMPCs - one of which I still have. It is a rectangle of black glossy plastic with a screen on front and was purchased in Autumn 2006 and bears a clear resemblance to the later Android-based tablets such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - the mouse controls (and split keyboard on the Ultra edition) were obvious items prescribed by the OS choice of Windows; changing to Android meant they could ditch them.

No 'slavish' copying of the iPhone and iPad designs here - just pure design evolution from an existing product to a new one.

I do wonder if SwissMac were a Mercedes fanboy instead of an Apple one, if he'd be railing on all the car manufacturers for daring to 'steal' the ideas of 3-point seatbelts, ABS and driver-side airbags - rather than recognising that concepts are moved forward and industries as a whole use them or die. Apple seems intent on stifling all competition for using anything broadly approaching its own product designs.

Which raises interesting questions about Apple's supposed entry into smart tvs - I would genuinely laugh my arse off if Samsung, LG, Sony and Toshiba collectively sued Apple for 'slavishly copying their ideas of having a flat panel TV, controlled by some kind of remote, which can connect to Internet-based services'.

By bioreit on 3 Aug 2012

User comments

Apple paid Xerox in stock
for its technology which eventually went into the Macintosh. To say otherwise is a lie.
Looking at the evidence you can only draw one conclusion - Samsung did copy Apple with the design and packaging.
Whether or not Apple will win in court is another matter. Samsung were warned by Google so now they must accept the outcome whatever that may be

By Pcmac12 on 5 Aug 2012

Samsung shot themselves in the foot,

Interesting read here

Guess Samsung need better PR guys


By pcmacTech on 5 Aug 2012


I absolutely agree, Apple's dominance of the legal space and vast spending on its PR means that they can continue to nab real IP royalty-free and try to patent ordinary shapes.

At this rate nobody will need engineers anymore - just artists and lots of lawyers.

The F700 was designed before the iPhone was released.

By TheHonestTruth on 6 Aug 2012


Bah! If I had a Euro for every time a so called expert talked out of their stinky orifice (and I don't mean they have halitosis), I'd be a rich man!

I have a 3GS, a 4 and a SGSII on my desk here and they all look distinctly different.

Maybe the experts were vain and didn't put their glasses on in the court room, in case they got snapped by the press?

By big_D on 8 Aug 2012

Expert, Idiot?

Liar i'm going with.

By JStairmand on 8 Aug 2012

Cash for opinion

For $66,000 I would also happily call myself an "expert" and attest to often being confused between an iPhone4 and an SGS2. Or an iPhone4 and an egg. Or an iPhone4 and the Apollo lunar rover.

The line's free if you want to ring now, Apple.

By TheHonestTruth on 8 Aug 2012

Oh dear.....

"Susan Kare - who has worked for Apple - said the handsets in question were "confusingly similar", claiming she once picked up a Samsung thinking it was an iPhone."

So it seems Susan Kare has the IQ of your typical iphone user then! Stupidity beyond belief if you can mix a Samsung up with an iphone

By everton2004 on 8 Aug 2012


The silver letters "Samsung" at the top of the display should give her a clue!

By big_D on 9 Aug 2012

The yawndaciousness continues....

Given that this trial is in the USA ("Best Justice Money Can Buy!") and the deefendants are damned furriners, Apple will probably 'win' this.

Jobs' Reality Distortion Field has already convinced untold millions of yanks to buy iPhones and iPads, wheras Samsung's sales come from other less chauvanistic territories.

Most US citizens appear to lack even the most basic knowledge of their own nation, let alone anywhere\anyone else.

It's pretty likely, therefore, that the Jury will really believe that Steve Jobs 'invented' it all, before being carried home by ascendant angels. I'm sure the Apple lawyers will be pushing something similar....

By wittgenfrog on 13 Aug 2012

The yawndaciousness continues....

Given that this trial is in the USA ("Best Justice Money Can Buy!") and the deefendants are damned furriners, Apple will probably 'win' this.

Jobs' Reality Distortion Field has already convinced untold millions of yanks to buy iPhones and iPads, wheras Samsung's sales come from other less chauvanistic territories.

Most US citizens appear to lack even the most basic knowledge of their own nation, let alone anywhere\anyone else.

It's pretty likely, therefore, that the Jury will really believe that Steve Jobs 'invented' it all, before being carried home by ascendant angels. I'm sure the Apple lawyers will be pushing something similar....

By wittgenfrog on 13 Aug 2012

Apple offered Samsung $30 per phone licensing deal

In addition to requiring $9 per WinMo/WP device and $21 per Bada, Symbian and other devices.

By chapelgarth on 13 Aug 2012

For the obvious...

My biggest problem is, most of the patents that Apple have come up with can be defined as bleeding obvious or "standard industry practice".

The only "unique" thing about Apple's patents is that they include the word "mobile" in them, otherwise they seem to cover standard techniques that have been used for decades.

By big_D on 14 Aug 2012

Apple innovate, they do NOT invent!

Apple are brilliant at taking something and improving on it (innovating). They haven't actually invented something *new*.

For example:
- iPad - tablets have existed for a while already - my brother has an HP tablet running XP with extra touch-screen capability (circa 2005?).
- iPhone - smartphones have been around ages. I had an HTC TyTn back in 2004 running Windows Mobile.
- iPod - iRiver had media players out for a few years before Apple released theirs (late 90s?)
- OS/X - Windows was out before it, and it was Xerox anyway who invented the whole concept (1970s!!).

I bought an iPhone 3 years ago because it had the stronger app store at the time and also I like the idea of everything "just working together" which is why I will consider a Mac for my next computer purchase.

But for Apple to claim they actually invented something new - no. It just looks good and works reasonably well.

Now can the rest of the world get on with releasing their products too and provide some healthy competition please?!

By mrmmm on 16 Aug 2012

Judge Koh

Like Judge Koh just realized - apple is nothing much than a bunch of crack heads.

By arthur_cabot on 17 Aug 2012

Smoking Crack

Strange that we do not have a daily update covering the day the Judge asks if the Apple legal team are smoking crack? No doubt this would have been newsworthy if it had been said about Microsoft.

By chapelgarth on 17 Aug 2012

Hi ChapelGarth - if you look in today's Breakfast Briefing, we've referenced it in there. Haven't had time to update this story yet, but it has been covered on the site already.


By Nicole_Kobie on 17 Aug 2012


The fact Applle products 'work reasonably well' is often why people who have had problems with their Windows computers or previous phones like them.

There are also some areas Apple products are technologically ahead of anyone else , such as the Retina display MacBook Pro - which is already supported by so many apps.

By Duncanbaines on 25 Aug 2012

Apple admits damages due in Germany

Seems like Apple's finally going to pay up for the real innovations that it's copied illegally for years (no bouncing galleries or rectangles here).

Just thought I'd post this article from Techradar, as PCPro don't appear to have heard about it.

“Apple, Motorola reach licensing deal in Germany; Apple admits damages due”

By TheHonestTruth on 29 Aug 2012


You do know that the "Retina display" used by Apple is Samsung designed, developed and manufactured?

Pleased you're satisfied with the premium you have to pay for products that only work reasonably well.

By chapelgarth on 29 Aug 2012

will get a Samsung tablet then

This judgement is another reason for me to put my hands on one of the gorgeous Samsung Tablets before they get discontinued..ok maybe it will not happen soon in the UK but better be prevident :-) Android is for me the Operative system of choice.

By aralerm on 29 Aug 2012

Apple are so clever because...

16GB Ipad nearly full of photos and music... delete everything or buy a new bigger one for lots of money...

16GB £150 generic tablet nearly full of photos or music... stick a £7 16GB Micro SD card in and carry on...

Ipad needs a 3 pin plug to charge from the mains in the UK... must be an Apple invention, they'll soon be suing anyone who sells anything else with a plug on the end.

By darth_baldrick on 30 Aug 2012

Passing thought . . .

12" touch screen with attached keyboard that fold neatly underneath, pen enabled with the best handwriting recognition software available and runs a wealth of apps(?) from wp to top flight solid modelling and photo processing . . . I've got an 8yr old HP tablet PC that does all that and more running W8 (trial)! OK, it weighs a bit and battery life is naf but it does it all. Oh, and I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab that looks and feels beautiful and doesn't remind me of Apple! And, I am sure that some day we will hear that Apple will be suing over the use of their abreviated name to describe a program. i.e. App!!! Yuk.

By Mike01Hu on 30 Aug 2012

Apple could really have fun ...

... with those apology adds. How about: "We are pleased to acknowledge the legal judgement that Samsung products are not as cool as ours. We therefore admit that we were mistaken when we claimed that they had 'slavishly copied' our designs."

By JohnAHind on 18 Oct 2012

Will Apple continue to demand more cash from Samsung when it'll have to officially reveal its profit margins to the world?

We techies already know about the sickening premiums Apple imposes, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the bulk of the Apple fans don’t (hey, those woodland fairies don’t sell their magical fairy dust cheap, right?).

Taken in the light of hugely squeezed contractors (who obviously, in turn, squeeze their workers), scratched products, easily damaged materials (albeit beautiful), flawed camera design, renegade iTunes use of 3G, and mind-bogglingly botched maps migration, there may be serious repercussions from this.

By TheHonestTruth on 19 Oct 2012

Apple seeks anti-competition action over Samsung

This is hilarious coming from Apple with their closed door approach. If the closed door approach isn't anti competitive I don't know what is.

By curiousclive on 28 Nov 2012

blog post!

By Mray789 on 18 Apr 2013

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