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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS
August 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Apple shares soared to a new all-time high today after the US tech giant's big win in a patent lawsuit against South Korea's Samsung, which saw its own stock tumble.

The California tech giant also asked the California court to ban eight Samsung mobile phones to begin enforcement of Friday's landmark court decision.

Meanwhile Google shares slipped amid concerns that its Android operating system used on mobile devices made by Samsung and others would come under greater scrutiny.

Apple jumped 1.88 percent to close at $675.68, giving the maker of the iconic iPhone and iPad a record market value of $633 billion (506 billion euros), reinforcing its place as the world's most valuable corporation.

Apple filed a court request Monday seeking to ban eight Samsung mobile phones in the US market following its major victory.

Apple asked to ban some of the newer 4G phones from Samsung's Galaxy line as well as the Droid Charge sold through Verizon.

The case does not include Samsung's newest Galaxy S III, which was released subsequent to the suit but which is facing separate litigation.

But patent law consultant Florian Mueller said Apple "will push for an injunction that will have an open-ended wording and include any product, even products that haven't been released yet, that infringes the same intellectual property."

Analysts said Friday's court verdict ordering Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion for patent infringement bodes well for the Silicon Valley firm.

"We believe this verdict strengthens Apple's already strong competitive position in the smartphone and tablet markets ahead of upcoming key product launches such as the iPhone 5," said Michael Walkley at Canaccord Genuity.

Apple, which is widely expected to announce a new version of its iPhone in September and possibly a smaller version of its market-leading iPad, has been riding strong momentum.

Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley said that "the bigger win for Apple is the competitive ramifications if other smartphone vendors experience lengthened product cycles and are forced to alter their software and hardware to ensure unique designs relative to Apple products."

Samsung shares slumped 7.5 percent in Seoul, the biggest single-day percentage drop the electronics giant has seen in nearly four years.

Google shares dropped 1.39 percent to $669.22.

Google, which was not a party in the case but is affected because of its Android system used in Samsung devices, said in a statement that the patent claims will be reviewed on appeal and that "most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system."

"We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that," Google said.

Anthony DiClemente, an analyst at Barclays, said he sees a "mild setback" for Google and its Android system.

"While we do not expect this verdict alone will significantly impact Android's momentum, we believe that risk to Android exists if Samsung receives injunctions against the sale of its infringing products," the analyst said.

US District Judge Lucy Koh has set a hearing for September 20 to consider injunctions against Samsung devices. She will also hear Samsung motions to reduce or dismiss charges and Apple's request for "punitive" damages, which could triple the award.

In one bit of irony, there were reports that US consumers were snapping up Samsung devices in anticipation of a possible ban.

This was pronounced for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which was unveiled this year as a rival to the iPhone, but was not part of the case decided on Friday.

"Customers rushed to buy Samsung Galaxy S III this weekend, with some stores reporting stock outs," said Trip Chowdhry at Global Equities Research.

Other firms which might benefit from Android woes also rose.

Microsoft, readying a push for new Windows-powered devices, added 0.43 percent to $30.69 and beleaguered BlackBerry maker Research in Motion advanced 1.7 percent to $7.06.

AFP



 

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