South Korea-based, Samsung Electronics lost out to archrival Apple Inc. at the end of a longstanding patent dispute that ended this weekend. The jury's decision proved to be a major blow to Samsung's hopes. Samsung was also ordered to shell out at a heavy compensation to Apple. Now, Samsung has posted an internal memo on its global website, reflecting the company's position after the verdict.

Apple and Samsung in a legal limbo

Samsung is “very disappointed” with the verdict

The memo reads: “We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.

Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.

However, the judge’s final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.

The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.

History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.

We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt“.

In the internal memo, Samsung Electronics says that when Apple “pressed on with a lawsuit”, leaving them with “little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company“. The memo further has the South Korean giant revealing that the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA) has got them “very disappointed”. Samsung adds that it will continue to do the most it can, until the court accepts its arguments.

Interestingly, Samsung highlights here that the decision of the NDCA has been in stark contrast with the verdicts penned at courts in United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea. In these countries, it had been ruled that Samsung did not copy Apple's designs. “These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents”.

While the verdict had most things going in Apple's favour, the court did not side with Apple in the case of its patent infringement claim aimed towards the design elements of the iPad. Apple had directed allegations towards Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. In an earlier instance, Apple had been ordered by Judge Colin Birss to publish a notice on its UK website and in British newspapers, informing consumers to the effect that the Galaxy Tab's design has not been copied from the iPad. Samsung is now working towards getting the ban lifted on the sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US.

In his email, Apple CEO Cook wrote how that the lawsuit has been about values, more importantly than about patents or money. He adds that the lawsuit came into being only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying Apple's work. 

In a decision that the jury came up with on Friday, it had been asserted that Samsung infringed on Apple's technologies which it used to create its iPhone and iPad. Samsung, however, is expected to appeal on the decision. In what would also come as a blow to Samsung's ambitions in the US, Apple has also demanded in its appeal that Samsung withdraw its most popular smartphones and tablets from the US market.

Apple and Samsung were friends once and share a complex relationship as Samsung is a key components supplier to Apple. Only recently was it reported that a British judge in his ruling affirmed that Samsung's Galaxy tablets did not infringe Apple's designs for the iPad, because they were “not as cool”. It was Judge Colin Birss, who noted in his High Court judgment that the Galaxy tablets were part of the “same family as the Apple design” when seen from the front. However, Samsung products, he noted, were “very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back”.

The chief executives of the two companies also met recently in what essentially had been a court-directed mediation. The court-directed mediation at the time was being perceived as an attempt to help the companies iron out all their differences and was to be overseen by US Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero. 

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