Business

Apple wins completely meaningless Samsung import ban (but more lawyers got paid!)

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Apple hasn’t had a lot of wins lately in its global battle against Samdroid, the Samsung-Android juggernaut that has steamrolled Google’s mobile operating system into an 80 percent hammerlock on global market share.

But it did today.

Apple won an International Trade Commission ruling that bans Samsung devices which infringe on two Apple patents for multitouch features and headphone jack detection. Among the listed inventors for Apple’ multitouch patent? Its iconic former CEO, Steve Jobs.

However, Samsung did prevail on the ITC judge to overturn a former ruling on two other patents.

The victory for Apple is largely symbolic, however.

The company’s many cases against Samsung have been ongoing for so long that Samsung’s “new products” targeted in the case — such as the already-outdated Galaxy SII — have already long-ago been designed to sidestep the patent. And Samsung’s current bestsellers the Galaxy S III and S4 are not impacted by the ruling.

Apple could use the ruling to attack Samsung’s more current products, but that will take some time, and would be appealed, and a year or too later, the two companies would be in the position all over again.

However, Samsung must feel a little persecuted in the United States.

An earlier win by the Korean company which could have banned Apple’s iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 2, and iPad 3¬†from importation into America was vetoed by the White House’s trade representative in early August. That would have caused significant harm to Apple, as the company relies on older models to meet low-end market demand.

But the veto essentially means that even if Samsung wins, it can’t win.

Ever since Jobs vowed thermonuclear war on Android, Apple and Samsung have locked in court battles all over the globe, including Apple’s big billion-dollar win in San Jose, Samsung’s successful attempt to make Apple say “sorry” in the UK, an initial patent win by Apple on its “bounce-back” technology that bounced back on the Cupertino company when the patent was later invalidated, conflicting wins by both companies and damages assessed against both in Korea, and temporary wins followed by eventual reversals on both sides of the Pacific.

It is most definitely time to stop the madness, kiss, and make up.


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