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Apple and Samsung have accused each other of copying aspects of their devices
Apple told to pay Samsung damages
June 21, 2012 2:37 AM
Apple has been ordered to pay damages to rival Samsung Electronics by a court in the Netherlands.
The court said that Apple had infringed a patent held by Samsung relating to the way phones and tablet PCs connect to the internet.
The court did not specify any amount, but the damages will be calculated based on sales of Apple's iPhone and iPad in the Netherlands.
The two firms are involved in a legal battle in various countries.
"Samsung welcomes the court's ruling, which reaffirmed Apple's free-riding of our technological innovation," the South Korean manufacturer said in an emailed statement to the BBC.
"In accordance with the ruling, we will seek adequate compensation for the damages Apple and its products have caused."
Samsung had claimed that Apple had infringed four of its patents. However, the Dutch court said that only one of those had been breached.
'Amicable business solution'
Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest manufacturers of smartphones and tablet PCs in the world.
However, the two firms have been involved in dozens of patent cases and disputes relating to designs of their respective products.
Analysts said that with so many cases being fought by the two firms in different countries, neither of the parties may emerge as the overall winner.
"Both these companies need to understand that some cases will be won by Samsung and some by Apple," Manoj Menon, Managing Director of the consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, told the BBC.
"This will put an increased pressure on both parties to figure out an amicable business solution, rather than prolong these battles."
Last month, a judge in the US ordered the chief executives of both the firms to meet to try to settle their legal differences.
But the talks did not lead to any agreement and Apple has since sought a ban on sales of one of Samsung's tablet computers and the latest range of its Galaxy smartphones.
Apple had enjoyed an early lead in the smartphone and tablet PC market with the launch of its iPhone and iPad devices.
However, Samsung has been steadily increasing its market share in the sector with the introduction of new gadgets.
Analysts said that given the increased competition, the two firms had been using the legal battles as a way to stop each other from increasing their market shares.
"Given that they are number one and two in the market right now, they are going to use any possible tool to slow down each other and patents could be one of those tools," said Melissa Chau of IDC Asia Pacific.
However, she said that given the amount of time, money and energy that the two firms have spent on fighting these cases, they were likely to find a solution in the long run.
"In the past, when we look at how these things have evolved, they get settled in due course of time and businesses move on."
BBC © 2012
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