Did Samsung Pay the Fine of One Billion Dollars to Apple in Nickels?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Samsung vs Apple
Samsung vs Apple

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The various litigation filed by Apple Inc. worldwide over technology patents are now known as “Smartphone patent wars.”

In 2011, while Apple Inc., and Motorola Mobility were already involved in a patent war on many fronts, Apple filed lawsuits against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., in patent infringement suits over the style and design of smartphones and tablet computing devices. By July 2012,  Apple and Samsung manufactured over fifty percent of smartphones sold worldwide.

By August 2011, there were 19 ongoing suits in nine countries around the world between Apple and Samsung. In October, the number of legal disputes extended to 10 countries, and in July 2012, the two companies were involved in over 50 lawsuits worldwide, with billions of US dollars claimed as damages between these. Apple received a verdict in its favor in the US and Samsung won rulings in South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, on August 24, 2012, the jury returned a verdict essentially favorable to Apple in the ground-breaking Apple-Samsung trial. It found that Samsung had flagrantly infringed on Apple’s design and utility patents. The jury awarded Apple $1,049,343,540 billion in damages and zero to Samsung in its counter suit. Apple’s equities rose over 6%, traded at $675 a share, an all-time high for Apple.

Americn Five Cents (Image Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com)
Americn Five Cents (Image Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com)

A story posted on August 27, 2012 in the spanish website ELDERFORMA.COM was titled: “Samsung paga multa de 1 billón de dólares a Apple en monedas de 5 centavos” (“Samsung pays fine of $1 billion to Apple in coins of 5 cents”).

Samsung pays fine of $ 1 billion to Apple in 5 cent coins. (Source - elderforma.com)
Samsung pays fine of $ 1 billion to Apple in 5 cent coins. (Source – elderforma.com)

Here is the translation:

This morning more than 30 trucks filled with 5-cent coins arrived at Apple’s headquarters in California. Initially, the security company that protects the facility said the trucks were in the wrong place, but minutes later, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) received a call from Samsung CEO explaining that they will pay $1 billion dollars for the fine recently ruled against the South Korean company in this way.

The funny part is that the signed document does not specify a single payment method, so Samsung is entitled to send the creators of the iPhone their billion dollars in the way they deem best.

This dirty but genius geek troll play is a new headache to Apple executives as they will need to put in long hours counting all that money, to check if it is all there and to try to deposit it crossing fingers to hope a bank will accept all the coins.

Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung Electronics, told the media that his company is not going to be intimidated by a group of “geeks with style” and that if they want to play dirty, they also know how to do it.

You can use your coins to buy refreshments at the little machine for life or melt the coins to make computers, that’s not my problem, I already paid them and fulfilled the law.

A total of 20 billion coins, delivery hope to finish this week.

Let’s see how Apple will respond to this.

Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion sending 30 trucks full of 5 cent coins
Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion sending 30 trucks full of 5 cent coins

The original article in Spanish and translations of it in other languages spread virally. Many readers, including me, who read the article online fell for it and mistook it for real news. However, certain aspects of the article roused suspicion.

To pay Apple $1,049,343,540 billion in five-cents coins Samsung would need almost 21 billion coins, 20,986,870,800 nickels to be exact. According to the U.S. Mint’s website, only 1.02 billion nickels were minted in 2012.

So, if Samsung had paid Apple in nickels, it would have collected all the nickels minted in the last 21 years in a couple of days. But did anyone in the United States knew about it or noticed the dearth of nickels in circulation?

Let us now look at the weight of the colossal amount of nickels. Weighing five grams each, the weight of 21 billion nickels amounts to 104,934,354 kilograms or 104,934.354 metric tonnes. So, each of the 30 trucks would have carried a gargantuan amount of nickels – about 3,500 metric tonnes.

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

All the above happened last year. But now, the long debunked myth of “truck load of nickels” is making the rounds once again.

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