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Apple wins a verdict that could stagger its smartphone rivals

Apple's victory over Samsung in a $1 billion patent lawsuit last month means that Apple has the opportunity to corner smartphone technology over Android rival companies. The verdict in this business litigation case was applicable only to Samsung; the company was found to have copied software technology exclusively owned by Apple. However, this could spell trouble for other competitors who rely on Google's Android platforms to power their phones.

Companies currently using features like "bounce back" and "touch zoom" could opt to pay a fee to Apple for copying the technology, although this may well result in costs being passed on to the customer and a drop in competitive price sales for these companies.

Currently, the only Samsung offerings affected by this decision are "legacy" devices that have not sold in the United States. It is possible that this lawsuit was purposely engineered in this way as a virtual warning shot to other companies to convince them to buy the Apple technology.

This verdict may also affect Google as most of the Android programs use Google functions while iPhone and iPad products are steadily moving away from Google-based programs.

Samsung claims that many of the patents awarded to Apple were wrongly conferred, stating that some of the technology is too common and obvious to be patented, giving Apple an unfair competition advantage. Samsung has vowed to fight the verdict on appeal.

Business litigation can be complex and the fate of many companies and workers may hang on a single verdict. A company entering into business litigation should make sure it has the best tools at its disposal to make its case.

Source: Boston.com, "Apple's $1B patent verdict could corner market," Paul Elias, Aug. 25, 2012

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