The Samsung and Apple patent battle has been going on for years now. The lawsuit timeline arose in 2011 and the companies have been exchanging patent infringements ever since. They have ranged from the valid to the downright insane. Most of these infringements revolve around how their mobile devices interact with users. The iPhone and Galaxy have been at the heart of the patent dispute.
And in the next five years the chances are this isn’t going to go away anytime soon. So what has this continuing battle demonstrated about patent law?
Patent Law isn’t that Specific
The fact that the two companies have been able to exchange patent infringements at such a wild pace for so many years demonstrates that most of the laws making up patents are vague. There’s little that’s specific, and that’s why even the more tentative patent claims have stood.
Eventually, most of these claims were shot down, but the fact they managed to clog up the courts and intensify the rivalry between the two companies for so long is a demonstration that patent infringement documents can be filed for even the shakiest of things.
You May Not Get What You Want
Apple and Samsung filed a joint statement in Northern California. Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million. This was far below the $2.75 billion Apple wanted to get back in 2012. This was due to the fact that Apple realized they would never manage to claim so much money without at least another five to ten years of legal battles.
When it comes to patents, this demonstrates that most settlements tend not to reach their final conclusion. Most companies tend to come to a compromise sooner or later.
It Never Truly Ends
Despite the fact that Samsung agreed to pay Apple the money, this doesn’t spell the end of the dispute. In fact, the dispute is set to continue. Samsung said in a statement to the court that it reserves the right to be reimbursed when it comes to the money that it will pay Apple.
Essentially, it wants to get the money back that it paid to Apple. This is where patent law tends to get extremely confusing because they are well within their right to do this.
But why are they doing this?
Samsung says that Apple can keep the money for now, but should be reimbursed for that money if the patent claims are deemed invalid or it wins its case in the appeal court. And now Apple has disputed this statement. Then neither of these companies responded to requests to comment by the media
Patent law is something that can cause cases to run for years, and it’s often due to the pettiness of the companies involved. At this stage, it’s not about the money because at this stage they have likely spent just as much in legal fees as they are asking for in compensation. It’s about pride and reputation.
An International Thing
In the case of big companies like Samsung and Apple, these court battles have been fought across the world, with appeal after successful appeal. In some areas of the world, Samsung have won, whereas in others Apple have won. In many ways, it’s a form of old fashioned international marketing because fanatics of both brands are following the battles closely.
These court rulings are providing both companies with international publicity, and not necessarily in a way that’s going to damage their brands.
Patent Law is Serious
If you take only one thing away from this article, it should be that patent law is serious. When you decide to form a limited company, you should take legal advice in regards to patenting your own creations. If you fail to do so, you could find your creation infringed upon.
In the past, companies have actually been sued by the people who stole their creations because the thief filed a patent first. And there’s nothing you can do about it in this situation. It’s not about who came up with something first it’s about who patented it first.
Patent law is a complex part of the legal system. To protect yourself, make sure you consult experts in the law before you file anything. Legal issues can cause a whole lot of complications later on.