Six questions answered on Samsung’s $290m payout to Apple

What features are Samsung ruled to have copied?

Samsung is being forced to pay $290m to rival company, Apple, after a court ruled it copied some of the company’s features. We answer five questions on the payout.

Who made the ruling?

A jury in Silicon Valley ruled that Samsung must pay the significant sum to rival Apple for copying iPhone and iPad features in its devices – these are mostly older Samsung tablets and smartphones.

This verdict comes after a previous jury found Samsung owed Apple $1.05bn for copyright infringement – but a US District Judge found the jury miscalculated the amount Samsung must pay and so ordered a retrial.

Is this the only payment Samsung has to make to Apple?

No. The company also has to pay $550m as a result of the initial verdict. So, in total Samsung is being forced to pay Apple close to $930m in the case.

Apple’s shares were boosted by the news and they traded slightly higher today. Samsung closed down slightly earlier in the day.

What features are Samsung ruled to have copied?

It was found that Samsung infringed Apple patents such as one that allows users to "pinch and zoom" on smartphone and tablet screens.

What has Apple said about winning the case?

Apple said in a statement: "For Apple, this 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.

"While it's impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost."

And Samsung?

It is believed the company plans to appeal the ruling.

In court Samsung’s lawyer William Price, according to the BBC, argued "Apple doesn't own beautiful and sexy.”

He argued that Apple shouldn’t have ownership over the basic rectangle shape of smartphones.

Is this the end of the story?

No. This ruling only covers 13 of the 26 Samsung devices that Apple had argued copied its technology.

A separate trial is pending to determine whether or not current Samsung devices also violate Apple's patents. It is scheduled for March 2014.

Apple has also requested the judge consider a sales ban against all of the older Samsung models that used Apple's technology. However, the judge has previously refused to do so but a separate US Appeals Court has asked for this to be reconsidered.

Cutouts of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 3 in a showroom at the company's headquarters in Seoul on November 22, 2013. Photograph: Getty Images.

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

Photo: Getty
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Rising crime and fewer police show the most damaging impacts of austerity

We need to protect those who protect us.

Today’s revelation that police-recorded crime has risen by 10 per cent across England and Wales shows one of the most damaging impacts of austerity. Behind the cold figures are countless stories of personal misery; 723 homicides, 466,018 crimes with violence resulting in injury, and 205,869 domestic burglaries to take just a few examples.

It is crucial that politicians of all parties seek to address this rising level of violence and offer solutions to halt the increase in violent crime. I challenge any Tory to defend the idea that their constituents are best served by a continued squeeze on police budgets, when the number of officers is already at the lowest level for more than 30 years.

This week saw the launch Chris Bryant's Protect The Protectors Private Member’s Bill, which aims to secure greater protections for emergency service workers. It carries on where my attempts in the last parliament left off, and could not come at a more important time. Cuts to the number of police officers on our streets have not only left our communities less safe, but officers themselves are now more vulnerable as well.

As an MP I work closely with the local neighbourhood policing teams in my constituency of Halifax. There is some outstanding work going on to address the underlying causes of crime, to tackle antisocial behaviour, and to build trust and engagement across communities. I am always amazed that neighbourhood police officers seem to know the name of every kid in their patch. However cuts to West Yorkshire Police, which have totalled more than £160m since 2010, have meant that the number of neighbourhood officers in my district has been cut by half in the last year, as the budget squeeze continues and more resources are drawn into counter-terrorism and other specialisms .

Overall, West Yorkshire Police have seen a loss of around 1,200 officers. West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Nick Smart is clear about the result: "To say it’s had no effect on frontline policing is just a nonsense.” Yet for years the Conservatives have argued just this, with the Prime Minister recently telling MPs that crime was at a record low, and ministers frequently arguing that the changing nature of crime means that the number of officers is a poor measure of police effectiveness. These figures today completely debunk that myth.

Constituents are also increasingly coming to me with concerns that crimes are not investigated once they are reported. Where the police simply do not have the resources to follow-up and attend or investigate crimes, communities lose faith and the criminals grow in confidence.

A frequently overlooked part of this discussion is that the demands on police have increased hugely, often in some unexpected ways. A clear example of this is that cuts in our mental health services have resulted in police officers having to deal with mental health issues in the custody suite. While on shift with the police last year, I saw how an average night included a series of people detained under the Mental Health Act. Due to a lack of specialist beds, vulnerable patients were held in a police cell, or even in the back of a police car, for their own safety. We should all be concerned that the police are becoming a catch-all for the state’s failures.

While the politically charged campaign to restore police numbers is ongoing, Protect The Protectors is seeking to build cross-party support for measures that would offer greater protections to officers immediately. In February, the Police Federation of England and Wales released the results of its latest welfare survey data which suggest that there were more than two million unarmed physical assaults on officers over a 12-month period, and a further 302,842 assaults using a deadly weapon.

This is partly due to an increase in single crewing, which sees officers sent out on their own into often hostile circumstances. Morale in the police has suffered hugely in recent years and almost every front-line officer will be able to recall a time when they were recently assaulted.

If we want to tackle this undeniable rise in violent crime, then a large part of the solution is protecting those who protect us; strengthening the law to keep them from harm where possible, restoring morale by removing the pay cap, and most importantly, increasing their numbers.

Holly Lynch is the MP for Halifax. The Protect the Protectors bill will get its second reading on the Friday 20th October. 

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