APPLE had decided to take its patent infringement battle to
the courts only after “repeatedly” asking close component partner and
arch-rival Samsung Electronics to stop mimicking the company’s designs, chief
executive Tim Cook told employees on Friday.
“We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after
repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work,” Cook said in an internal
His message sent to Apple employees late on Friday followed
a decisive win handed to the company by a federal court in California in its
patent infringement battle against Samsung.
A nine-member jury found that South Korea’s Samsung had
copied key features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad, and awarded damages
of $1.05bn (R8.8bn) to Apple.
The courthouse victory is a big blow to Google, whose
Android software powers the Samsung products. The verdict also empowers Apple
in filing infringement cases against other Android manufacturers
“The jury has now spoken,” Cook said in the memo, titled:
“An important day for Apple”.
“We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behaviour wilful and
for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right,” Cook said,
adding that he was hoping “the whole world listens”.
The verdict, seen by experts as one of the largest in patent
history, came as a one-year anniversary present for Cook, who took over the
chief executive job from late co-founder Steve Jobs exactly a year ago. It
vindicates Cook’s long-held position as well that the company cannot “be the
developer for the world”.
But Samsung warned that the San Jose court’s verdict was not
“the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals
around the world.” Apple, meanwhile, said it would move to block sales of
Samsung’s infringing devices in the US.
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