While Apple’s (AAPL) patent win over Samsung (SSNLF) was an obvious blow to both the Galaxy S phonemaker and Google (GOOG), which develops the popular Android operating system, the extent to which the $1 billion verdict will have on the actual smartphone market is still up for debate. For one, Samsung will appeal the decision and the companies will head back to court in several weeks for a post-trial review.
More importantly, while the lawsuit does raise some red flags around the industry using the Android software going forward, Google still has the patents from its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility in its arsenal to defend itself. In addition, the search giant filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of several patent infringements including voice command. This most likely means that the “patent wars” in handhelds is far from over.
Android is used in almost 70 percent of smartphones in the market versus Apple’s 17 percent. However, of that 70 percent, over half are Samsung products. The silver lining for Samsung is that its newest Galaxy S III phone does not fall under those being banned. How the industry shakes out is also still far from clear. While the major players may continue to battle it out in the courtroom, they could also pursue licensing and royalty deals with each other that create revenue and allow the use of their patented technology. Microsoft (MSFT), which has licensing deals with Apple, is one example of how that could work. Another possibility is that the roadblocks in intellectual property could prove to be only short term obstacles and eventually help to further push more innovations in the space.