Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest money-making tech companies, both selling mobile devices and other electronic products for consumers. However, the two tech giants have been in involved in a legal war that is, for the most part, not getting too much press. Apple vs. Samsung has been going on since Apple 2011, when Apple claimed Samsung was copying designs from iPhone and iPad products. The latest development is that a new ruling forbids the sale of the former flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and other old Samsung Smartphones, due to iPhone copyrights held by Apple.
According to Tech Times, a U.S. federal appeals court has ruled to block Samsung from selling older models of its smartphones as a latest development in the ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple in copyright infringement.
Last year, a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on three patents held by Apple and used for Samsung phones. This included quick links, slide-to-unlock, as well as automatic word correction. Apple actually wanted a ban on Samsung products that use these patents, but Lucy Koh, U.S. District Court Judge, ruled that Samsung would need to pay monetary damages. By the way, Apple has been awarded 1.05 billion in damages since the initial lawsuit.
Apple still argues that Samsung should have to do more than pay monetary damages, and say that "ongoing infringement by Samsung damaged its reputation as an innovator and caused it to lose sales of devices and downstream products".
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple was entitled to an injunction barring Samsung from using certain phone features. The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appels in Washington thinks that certain Samsung products should be blocked, which includes the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The big issue in the Apple vs. Samsung case is that "courts on previous occasions have declined to give Apple any additional leverage by barring Samsung from selling infringing features in its devices", but this trend has "reversed" as of this week.
Apple appears to be winning the battle here legally, but this doesn't seem to stop Samsung from putting out all kinds of electronic devices to compete with Apple's big-sellers like the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has stated that it had ceased selling nearly all of the products that were originally at issue of the initial case that Apple filed against them. Samsung also said that they could "design around its features".
Certain newer Samsung devices probably won't be affected by this legal action from Apple, such as the Galaxy S6 Edge+. So it looks like Samsung's newer phones could be protected from such legal activity, and Samsung's Galaxy S3 is three years old, which is practically a dinosaur in the world of smartphones.
This brings up an issue that has been part of the tech world for a while. That is, if a company makes a device, and you make a device that is similar but not exactly similar, how much right does the company have to sue you? After all, it is the device and not the idea that is protected under copyright law.