Nikhil SubramaniamFeb 11, 2013 10:37:48 IST
Apple’s patent war with Samsung doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. But the latest from the war zone is that current Apple CEO Tim Cook was not on board with the idea of taking Samsung to court.
A Reuters report says, “Tim Cook, Jobs' successor as Apple chief executive, was opposed to suing Samsung in the first place, according to people with knowledge of the matter, largely because of that company's critical role as a supplier of components for the iPhone and the iPad.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook
The report further states that the Cupertino company shopped for nearly $8 billion worth of parts from Samsung last year, according to analysts’ estimate.
The Apple-Samsung partnership dates back to 2005, when the Silicon Valley giant was looking for a stable supplier of flash memory. Samsung was at the time the world’s leading NAND Flash memory manufacturer holding about 50 percent of the market share. Since then, Samsung has been a regular supplier of various components for Apple’s lineup of iPhones, iPads and iPods.
Cook, who was worried about damaging the critical supplier relationship that had been established since then, was opposed to suing Samsung. But Apple co-founder and then CEO Steve Jobs had run out of patience with what he claimed to be blatant stealing of Apple’s ideas. He also believed that Samsung was using its good business relationship with Apple as a shield against possible legal action.
It has been nearly two years since Apple first filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, and in August last year it won a major victory with the South Korean company ordered to pay more than a billion dollars in damages. Apple also won a pre-trial sales ban on some of the concerned Samsung tablets and smartphones, most notably the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which the Koreans had developed in conjunction with Google.
However, Apple's efforts to block the sale of Samsung smartphones and tablets have been thwarted in recent times. Recent court rulings have blocked Apple’s demands based on the observation that Apple is not able to show that its sales have been seriously damaged due to the trademark infringement.
The latest ruling, which came last month, overruled the jury's findings from August that Samsung willfully violated Apple's patents. "To the extent that Apple does address lost downstream sales, Apple discusses only Samsung's gains and makes no attempt to identify any specific losses Apple has suffered," U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her ruling. “The court will not speculate as to how, precisely, the jury calculated its damages award,” she said. Koh added that the court’s earlier decision "intended to compensate Apple for losses stemming from all of the violations the jury found.”
Koh said the court could not enhance the damages "given that Apple has not clearly shown how it has in fact been undercompensated for the losses it has suffered due to Samsung's dilution of its trade dress," or, the look and feel of its products.
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