2012’s Big-Name Business Court Cases

Settling matters in court can be a costly and unpredictable game, and no more so than for the business elite. According to public findings, Apple and Google spent more on legal fees in 2011 than they did on R\&D.  Even the most powerful companies are unable to avoid finding themselves in legal hot water from time to time.  We take a look back at some of the more high profile cases of horn-locking from 2012:

Apple Inc. vs Samsung

Arguably the most notorious legal battle of 2012 came courtesy of feuding tech giants, Apple Inc. and Samsung.

The first major smartphone patent war broke out when Apple took exception to Samsung’s ‘double-tapping’ functionality and products’ physical form.   Siding with the creators of the iPhone, a US jury ruled that Samsung had infringed six Apple patents, resulting in the Korean party being slapped with a hefty $1.05b compensation bill.  And, as the dispute continues, Samsung have been further punished with a lost bid to keep their sales data private in Apple’s continued drive to seek additional damages.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Samsung, as the UK courts controversially ruled no breach.  Instead, Apple were ordered to pay Samsung's legal fees on account of a false web statement made in apology to their rivals… Not that this should pose a problem for the Cupertino-based super firm, who shrugged off a $32 million expense in one Motorola Mobility dispute as equalling less than six hours of iPhone sales.

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco & Philip Morris vs. Australian Law

In a move challenged by the likes of BAT, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris fearing £multi-billion losses on their cigarette brands, Australian Law now dictates that all cigarette packaging must take a generic style.  It is hoped the enforced olive green pack featuring grim depictions of the ill-effects of smoking will go some way to discourage the habit’s glamorous image. The tobacco giants took to court to argue against the new law, stating that it threatened their intellectual property rights and de-valued their trademarks.  Furthermore, Australian Government was accused of unfairly benefitting from the new rules, which would allow them to use the unbranded packs as a marketing tool to promote their own message.

Despite such protestations, the laws were passed and came into force on Saturday 1st December 2012.

Tesco vs. Spicerhaart

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