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How Does Apple Gain From Samsung Lawsuit?

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) recently filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung in Korea after having filed a similar lawsuit in the U.S. in April 2011. Apple claims that Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone copied the iPhone 3 design.

iPhone

This is yet another lawsuit in the increasingly competitive smartphone market. Nokia (NOK), Research in Motion (RIMM) and Motorola Mobility (MMI) have all been involved in some kind of patent lawsuit in the past. How could the favorable result of this case influence Apple's stock value? Our $ 430 price estimate for Apple stock is about 30% above market price. Samsung's Rapid Ascent in the Smartphone Market

Samsung has seen the fastest growth in the smartphone market in 2010 with its market share rising from 3.3% in the fourth quarter od 2009 to 9.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to a report from IDC. Could this lawsuit be a defensive move by Apple? We aren't sure yet.

In the scenario where Apple ends up winning this lawsuit, the company will not only gain a one-time amount from Samsung for the past devices sales, but it also could negotiate royalty payments from Samsung going forward. This could result in gross margin expansion for Apple in the future.

However, the details of the lawsuit are not known yet and the result of this case is highly uncertain right now. Moreover, patents lawsuits generally take years to resolve, and so for the time being, we don't expect any impact on either companies' shares.

See our complete analysis for Apple stock here.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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