Samsung shares rise despite Apple’s $363m court victory

Samsung shares rise despite Apple’s $363m court victory

SEOUL - South Korean markets took in stride a US federal jury's order for Samsung to pay US$290 million (S$363 million) in damages to Apple, with Samsung shares going up 0.69 per cent on Friday.

Samsung gained 10,000 won (S$11.80) to close at 1.45 million won, as the overall KOSPI index gained 0.62 per cent following a rally on Wall Street.

"This is hardly a surprise. The market is not taking it so seriously," Won Seo, an analyst with Korea Investment & Securities Co. told AFP.

Seo and other analysts noted that Samsung had already earmarked some US$600 million in the first quarter this year to help ride over such court battles.

The court had rejected Apple's claims that Samsung copied its design on top of its technology, Seo noted.

"Samsung will also be able to avoid further patent claims by using various kinds of alternative technology," he said.

A US federal jury Thursday ordered Samsung to pay the US$290 million damages to Apple in a partial retrial of a blockbuster patent case involving the two smartphone giants.

The award revises the US$450 million in damages originally granted in the landmark suit, but thrown out by a judge. It is in addition to nearly US$600 million in patent infringement damages upheld from the trial last year.

Apple calculated the combined total of the damages in the case at slightly less than US$930 million.

The tech giant has accused its South Korean rival of massive and willful copying of its designs and technology for smartphones and tablets, and won the landmark case in a jury decision in August 2012.

The original verdict for more than $1 billion was reduced in March when Judge Lucy Koh invalidated some $450 million and ordered a retrial on parts of the case.

The six-woman, two-man jury in Koh's courtroom in San Jose, California, reached a verdict on the third day of deliberations.

Further complicating the case, Samsung has asked the judge to stay proceedings pending a decision by US patent officials as to whether a "pinch-to-zoom" feature at issue in the trial has a patent that is valid.

The California case is among several pending in courts and administrative agencies around the world between the two electronics giants, each of which accuses the other of infringing on its patents.

In a statement, Apple said the case has "always been about more than patents and money... It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love".

James Song of KDB Daewoo Securities said Apple's victory has had little impact on new products hitting the markets.

"Legal processes are simply too slow to catch up with changing the market, especially in (the) IT sector," Song said.

"Apple is strong in innovation but Samsung is well ahead in its ability to market."

"There were initial concerns last year that Samsung's image would be stained as a copy cat but it has succeeded in distancing itself from Apple with new products such as its flagship Galaxy 4 smartphones," Seo said.

After years of following and refining the iPhone's pioneering innovations - a strategy that resulted in bitter patent battles with Apple - Samsung has dethroned its rival to become the world's top smartphone maker.

Samsung extended its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market in the third quarter, according to the IDC survey.

Samsung had 31.4 per cent of the market. Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones in the quarter, but its growth was slower than the overall market, so its share slipped to 13.1 per cent from 14.4 per cent a year ago.

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