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

Getty
Show Hide image

In your 30s? You missed out on £26,000 and you're not even protesting

The 1980s kids seem resigned to their fate - for now. 

Imagine you’re in your thirties, and you’re renting in a shared house, on roughly the same pay you earned five years ago. Now imagine you have a friend, also in their thirties. This friend owns their own home, gets pay rises every year and has a more generous pension to beat. In fact, they are twice as rich as you. 

When you try to talk about how worried you are about your financial situation, the friend shrugs and says: “I was in that situation too.”

Un-friend, right? But this is, in fact, reality. A study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that Brits in their early thirties have a median wealth of £27,000. But ten years ago, a thirty something had £53,000. In other words, that unbearable friend is just someone exactly the same as you, who is now in their forties. 

Not only do Brits born in the early 1980s have half the wealth they would have had if they were born in the 1970s, but they are the first generation to be in this position since World War II.  According to the IFS study, each cohort has got progressively richer. But then, just as the 1980s kids were reaching adulthood, a couple of things happened at once.

House prices raced ahead of wages. Employers made pensions less generous. And, at the crucial point that the 1980s kids were finding their feet in the jobs market, the recession struck. The 1980s kids didn’t manage to buy homes in time to take advantage of low mortgage rates. Instead, they are stuck paying increasing amounts of rent. 

If the wealth distribution between someone in their 30s and someone in their 40s is stark, this is only the starting point in intergenerational inequality. The IFS expects pensioners’ incomes to race ahead of workers in the coming decade. 

So why, given this unprecedented reversal in fortunes, are Brits in their early thirties not marching in the streets? Why are they not burning tyres outside the Treasury while shouting: “Give us out £26k back?” 

The obvious fact that no one is going to be protesting their granny’s good fortune aside, it seems one reason for the 1980s kids’ resignation is they are still in denial. One thirty something wrote to The Staggers that the idea of being able to buy a house had become too abstract to worry about. Instead:

“You just try and get through this month and then worry about next month, which is probably self-defeating, but I think it's quite tough to get in the mindset that you're going to put something by so maybe in 10 years you can buy a shoebox a two-hour train ride from where you actually want to be.”

Another reflected that “people keep saying ‘something will turn up’”.

The Staggers turned to our resident thirty something, Yo Zushi, for his thoughts. He agreed with the IFS analysis that the recession mattered:

"We were spoiled by an artificially inflated balloon of cheap credit and growing up was something you did… later. Then the crash came in 2007-2008, and it became something we couldn’t afford to do. 

I would have got round to becoming comfortably off, I tell myself, had I been given another ten years of amoral capitalist boom to do so. Many of those who were born in the early 1970s drifted along, took a nap and woke up in possession of a house, all mod cons and a decent-paying job. But we slightly younger Gen X-ers followed in their slipstream and somehow fell off the edge. Oh well. "

Will the inertia of the1980s kids last? Perhaps – but Zushi sees in the support for Jeremy Corbyn, a swell of feeling at last. “Our lack of access to the life we were promised in our teens has woken many of us up to why things suck. That’s a good thing. 

“And now we have Corbyn to help sort it all out. That’s not meant sarcastically – I really think he’ll do it.”