Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Instant Analysis: Apple, Inc. Wins Token Legal Victory Blocking Sale of Samsung Phones

By Evan Niu, CFA - Jan 19, 2016 at 2:45PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The iDevice maker wins a symbolic victory against Samsung, but it likely won't have much impact on the market.

What happened?
As part of the ongoing legal battle with Samsung, Apple (AAPL 2.62%) has now won an injunction that prohibits Samsung from selling certain devices in the U.S. This is part of the original patent lawsuit that Apple won in 2012 that has still continued to progress through appeals courts over the years.

The main patent that remains relevant is the controversial slide-to-unlock patent, which has already been invalidated in the European Union, but is still technically valid in the U.S. However, the patent only covers how slide-to-unlock is implemented, and not the functionality itself. The only Samsung phone models that are affected are the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S III, and Stratosphere.

Does it matter?
This injunction is more of a symbolic victory than a functional one that will affect market dynamics. Samsung and other Android OEMs have already learned to design around the specific implementations covered by the slide-to-unlock patent, and the related smartphone models are so old that a sales injunction won't affect current sales in any meaningful way.

Meanwhile, Apple has made it clear that it is moving away from legislative strategies. The patent lawsuits were initiated under Steve Jobs, and Tim Cook has expressed that he hates legislation and the only real winners of prolonged legal battles are the lawyers that each side hires. None of the court decisions have ever had much impact on competition, and Apple hasn't initiated any patent lawsuits in years.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$169.24 (2.62%) $4.32

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/11/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.