Apple-Samsung ruling: A serious blow to Apple

Cupertino has lost a serious amount of clout as a result of the Samsung ruling

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Apple-Samsung ruling: A serious blow to Apple For Apple, it was never really about the money - $2.2bn doesn't count for much
By  Tom Paye Published  May 5, 2014

The concluding chapter to the Apple-Samsung litigation saga this week saw Samsung being ordered to pay $119.6m to Apple by a California jury. The amount - granted due to smartphone patent violations - was much less than the $2.2bn that Apple had sought, leading some to call the verdict a big loss for Cupertino.

But while the ruling certainly is a loss, it's not the fact that Apple has gotten such a small amount of money out of the case that deals the hardest blow to Apple - it's that the vendor has lost a serious amount of clout as a result.  

While Apple did seek much larger sums of money over its belief that Samsung had infringed its patents, it could be argued that, for Apple, it was never really about the money - $2.2bn doesn't count for much when you're talking about corporations like Apple and Samsung. Even if Apple had been awarded the full amount it was asking for, payment would have amounted to little more than a gesture.

Why, then, has Apple gone to such great lengths to pursue this case when the damages it was looking for amount to chump change?

The short answer is that Apple genuinely believed that Google had copied its work on Android. And with Samsung being pretty much the only vendor to make any serious money out of selling Android handsets, it made sense to go for Samsung.

To me, this became obvious when reading Ina Fried's coverage of the case last month. According to Re/code's report, Android engineering VP Hiroshi Lockheimer had admitted that touchscreens weren't to be supported by Android initially. And while the article reports mainly on Lockheimer defending himself by saying that an awful lot of work went into Android, what really stuck with me was the no-touchscreen aspect of the original Android.

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