To understand what is patent, we have to first understand what is Intellectual property. So, Like a business have land property and human property, there is also something called intellectual property which relates with the unique invention, design and processes of products.
These intellectual property is meant to be safe from the competitors to make sure your idea will not be copied by someone. Thus, in the case of Intellectual property, you have to get a certificate of ownership from Government. That certificate which prove the ownership of your Idea and product is called patent.
Patent Infringement is the activity of copying or stealing patented idea and product of a company without asking permission for commercial use. This is a prohibited activity. In the case of Patent Infringement, Owner of the patent can drag the infringer in the court. And if the court finds that the patent infringement is willful, then infringer has to pay triple the amount of actual amount patent holder loses.
A very popular case of Patent Infringement has happened in the history of the US court which ended up with the penalty amount of $540 million. This most notorious case was between two giant of the smartphone industry, Apple and Samsung.
Before I share how patent infringement case between Samsung and Apple has been appeared in the court and how it has been solved, first let me give you some details of how big these companies are, and what are their records of holding patents?
Insights of Samsung and Apple
- Brand value of the Apple is 300 Billion USD.
- Annual revenue of the Apple is 265 Billion USD.
- Net income of the apple is 59.53 Billion USD.
- Apple spends 14 Billion USD only in research and development.
- Apple has sold its 217 Million iPhone in 2018.
- Now, If we talk about Samsung, then the figure is same impressive as Apple.
- Brand value of the Samsung is 91.3 Billion USD.
- Samsung’s global revenue is 218.17 Billion USD.
- Net income of the Samsung is, 39 Billion USD.
- Samsung spends 15 Billion USD on research and development.
- Samsung globally sold 293 Million mobiles in 2018.
- Now, if we talk about the patents these two tech companies have.
Apples owns 75000 patent, while Samsung has 335155 granted patents in the technology like semiconductors devices, electric solid state devices, transmission, pictorial communication.
Apple vs Samsung, patent infringement case
How it is started?
A long battle between Samsung and Apple has been started with the warning. In April 2011, Apple has warned Samsung over copying hardware and software design of their iPad and iPhone into Samsung’s phone. But later in the same year, Apple sued Samsung.
What Intellectual property of Apple has been stolen by Samsung?
According to the apple, Samsung has stolen major four patent of them. These patent includes the multi-touch user interface technology, ‘bounce back’ UI feature, tap to zoom feature and scrolling versus gesture motion. Apple has also provided the 20 Samsung devices which is having functionally like iPhone.
How Samsung took revenge
After Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement, Samsung also did the same. In June 2011, Samsung says that Apples has also stolen his few patents. Samsung also stated that, Apple has survived in the market because of the patented mobile related technology Samsung already have when Apple launched its first phone. According to the Samsung, Apples has stolen Samsung’s patent of multitasking and ability to play music in background.
Who was the Judge and Lawyers.
Trial was being held in US district court and the judge was Lucy H Koh, who was a former IP general and was appointed by US president Barack Obama.
The lawyers of Apple are from two established San Francisco based law firm Morrison Foerster and WilmerHale. While Samsung is represented by Quinn Emanuel. The amount of these lawyers was taking to handle case was from 250 USD to 1000 USD per hour.
For how long case was in the court?
In 2012, Samsung found accused over copying features from apple product and as a penalty, US jury ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 Billion to Apple. But after sometimes, the amount of penalty was reduced to $600 Million. But soon, Samsung was able to prove that Apple has also copied Samsung’s feature. Thus, Samsung got benefit of $160000. Later in 2015, Samsung agreed to pay $548 Million to Apple.
But here, Apple wanted something more. Apples wanted Samsung to pay 100% profit of Samsung’s smartphone business. This wish of the apple has been challenged in Supreme court by Samsung. Supreme court says Infringed patent are in few smartphone of the company, not in all smartphone. In the end, in May 2018, Samsung paid $539 Million to Apple and settled the case.
The Important lesson you can learn from Samsung and Apple’s patent Infringement case for your startup
No matter how big or small company you have, it is become crucial need to manage your Intellectual property now a days when stealing your idea for running their business is become so common. In the case of patent infringement, you will be in safer side if your idea and product has patent on as you will prove your ownership. From the following diagram, you will know all possible things about how to manage your intellectual property.
Vishal Virani is a Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, a leading mobile app development company. He enjoys writing about the vital role of mobile apps for different industries, custom web development and latest technology trends.