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Financial Accountability & Reporting Individual Assignment Spring

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements
 
 
ACCT1048 Financial Accountability & Reporting
Individual Assignment Spring, 2014
This assignment, which is worth 20% of the total assessment for this course, is based on the lawsuit (started in year
2011 and on-going) between Apple Inc & Samsung Ltd. In order to complete this assignment, you will need to access
the 2012, 2013 and 2014 annual report for Apple Inc & Samsung, available at:
http://investor.apple.com/financials.cfm
http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/investor_relations/financial_information/annual_reports.html
You must adhere to the following requirements in completing this assignment:
 Your assignment must be appropriately referenced using the Harvard Style referencing system. Both in-text
citations, as well as a reference list at the end of your assignment, are required. You should refer to the
referencing guidelines provided at https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/bus/public/referencing/index.html
o Note that when citing an annual report, either by paraphrasing or using direct quotes, you must
reference the annual report (in your reference list) according to the following format: Name of
company. (Year of publication) Title of annual report (in italics). Place of publication: Publisher.
(To cite an annual report in-text, you will generally have to use the organisation’s name, as an author
name is usually not present.)
Penalties for inadequate or incorrect referencing will apply.
 This assignment is to be completed as an individual assignment. All electronically submitted assignments
will be automatically forwarded to Turnitin and subjected to an assessment of authenticity/originality, so
please ensure your submission is your own individual work – severe penalties will apply for work that is
not original/individual. Please refer to the Academic Integrity presentation available at ‘Assessment’ on the
course Blackboard site.
o Do not include the wording of the assignment questions in your submission – if you do so, Turnitin
will recognise this as plagiarism.
o A hard copy submission is not required.
 Your assignment must be submitted electronically (via the course Blackboard site, at ‘Assessment’) by the
due date (Sunday 23 November at 23:59). This deadline will be strictly enforced. Late submissions will be
marked as if submitted on time, and then the mark awarded will be reduced by 10% (of total available
marks) for each day or part-day that the assignment is late. For example, if your assignment is one day late
then you will be penalised 10% of 20 marks which is 2 marks. Assignments that are late by 7 days or more
will not be marked and will be awarded zero unless a formal extension of time has been granted.
o Extensions of time will only be granted in cases of exceptional and genuine hardship (which does not
include inconvenience, poor planning, pressure from work or work commitments), and all
applications must be accompanied by appropriate documentation. Applications for extensions of 7
calendar days or less (from the original due date) should be made via the Application for Extension
of Time for Submission of Assessable Work form and forwarded to the Course Convenor (at
zack.ng@rmit.edu.au) at least one working day before the due date for submission. Applications for
extensions of more than 7 days should be made (on-line) at least 2 working days prior to the due
date using the Special Consideration process.
 (Note: You will not be able to obtain all answers from the annual report, itself. You will need to refer to
other sources (such as your textbook or other books) as well.
 Word limit: 1000 wordsThe smartphone world’s fiercest rivalry is heading back to court again this week in the heart of the Silicon Valley,
as Apple and Samsung begin a new trial – accusing each other, once again, of ripping off designs and features.
The trial will mark the latest round in a long-running series of lawsuits between the two tech giants that
underscore a much larger concern about what is allowed to be patented. Like the previous trial, held in summer
2012, the new one will be overseen by Judge Lucy Koh in the California district court in San Jose. Samsung is
appealing against that verdict, where a jury found in Apple’s favour on every count, though reducing its damages
claim.
In the new trial Apple is seeking damages of $2bn, claiming infringement of five patents by Samsung devices
sold in the US between 2010 and 2012, including Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Samsung is claiming
infringement of two of its patents by the iPhone and iPad. Jury selection begins on Monday relating to data
transmission and the use of video, audio and photos.
“There’s a widespread suspicion that lots of the kinds of software patents at issue are written in ways that cover
more ground than what Apple or any other tech firm actually invented,” Notre Dame law professor Mark
McKenna said. “Overly broad patents allow companies to block competition.”
If Apple is successful, it could bring similar lawsuits against other Android handset makers, because the patents
at issue are part of Google’s Android software, rather than being particular to Samsung’s TouchWiz software.
Apple cannot sue Google directly because it is only when the Android code is implemented in hardware that
infringement arises.
However the slow pace of lawsuits has raised the question of how effective such lawsuits are. Apple began the
lawsuits when Steve Jobs expressed frustration at what he saw as “copying” by Android of iPhone features, and
vowed to go “thermonuclear” in his attempts to stamp them out. But Apple has had very few concrete successes
in courts, despite a number of successful cases, with Google’s software now powering about a billion devices
worldwide.
Apple filed the suit against the South Korean consumer electronics behemoth in February 2012 in what Koh
called “one action in a worldwide constellation of litigation between the two companies”.
The latest Apple-Samsung case will be tried less than two years after a federal jury found the South Korean firm
was infringing on Apple patents. Samsung was ordered to pay $929m but has been allowed to continue selling
products using the technology after Judge Koh denied Apple a sales injunction pending appeal. Koh ruled then
that there was no clear evidence that the specific patents which Samsung had been found to infringe actually
drove sales.
“Apple revolutionized the market in personal computing devices,” Apple attorneys wrote in court filings.
“Samsung, in contrast, has systematically copied Apple’s innovative technology and products, features and
designs, and has deluged markets with infringing devices.”
Samsung countered that it has broken technological barriers with its own ultra-slim, lightweight phones.
“Samsung has been a pioneer in the mobile device business sector since the inception of the mobile device
industry,” Samsung attorneys wrote. “Apple has copied many of Samsung’s innovations in its Apple iPhone,
iPod, and iPad products.”
In the upcoming case, Apple claims Samsung took a tap-from-search technology that allows someone searching
for a telephone number or address on the web to tap on the results to call the number or put the address into a
map. It also points to a Google Quick Search Box in the Android-powered Galaxy Nexus steals from patented
technology used by virtual assistant Siri to answer queries in the iPhone. It also claims patents on autocorrection
when words are typed. In addition, Apple says Samsung copied “Slide to Unlock,” which allows users to swipe
the face of their smartphone to use it.
Last week an Apple engineer who worked on the original iPhone told the Wall Street Journal about the intense
pressure from Steve Jobs to come up with the company’s first smartphone model – and how the team devised the slide-to-unlock feature. But Samsung is expected to counter that the idea had already been implemented by
other companies on phones, which could render it invalid, depending on when Apple’s patent was filed.
Samsung countered that Apple is stealing a wireless technology system that speeds up sending and receiving
data. The most attention-grabbing claim in the case is Apple’s demand that Samsung pay a $40 royalty for each
Samsung device running software allegedly conceived by Apple, more than five times more than the amount
sought in the previous trial and well above other precedents between smartphone companies.
Each side has 25 hours of court time to put their case and rebut the other side’s.
If Apple prevails, the costs to Samsung could reach $2 billion. Apple’s costs, if it lost, are expected to be about
$6 million.
“You rarely get from the jury what you ask for, so companies aim high,” German patent analyst Florian Müller
said. “But in my opinion this is so far above a reasonable level the judge should not have allowed it.” However
the owner of a patent is under no obligation to license it at any price, unless it is part of a “standards-essential
patent” (SEP) class – used in standards such as Wi-Fi or the video encoding system H.264 – in which case
licensing at a “fair and reasonable” is obligatory. Neither side has any standards-essential patents at issue in the
trial.
The problem, Müller said, is that each smartphone has thousands of patented ideas in it; Apple is challenging
just five. Equally, a high proportion of those patents are SEPs, which are typically licensed for fractions of a
penny per device.
Throughout the three years of litigation, Samsung’s market share has grown. One of every three smartphones
sold worldwide last year was a Samsung, now the market leader. Apple, with a typically higher price, was
second, with about 15% of the global market. In the US, Samsung is now the provider of about a quarter of all
smartphones in use, against 40% for Apple – making Samsung the second-largest smartphone maker there.
Apple claims the following Samsung products now infringe on Apple patents: Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy
Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy SII, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Tab II
10.1, and Stratosphere.
Samsung claims the following Apple products infringe on Samsung patents: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5,
iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod touch (5th generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and MacBook Pro.
With the San Jose federal courtroom just a 15-minute drive from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, even jury
selection can be difficult. In the previous case, several prospective jurors were dismissed because of their ties to
the company.
Adapted from “Business Insider Australia”, March 31st 2014.
Required:
1) Determine whether the amount that is being sued for meets the definition and recognition criteria for a
liability under the AASB Conceptual Framework.
2) Determine how the accountants of both companies should account for the on-going lawsuit according to
AASB137 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets. Justify your answer.
3) Refer to the 2012, 2013 & 2014 Annual Financial Report of both Apple Inc & Samsung Ltd and
explain how the accountants have accounted for the lawsuit. Discuss whether the treatment on the
financial reports was similar or different to what you have argued in (2).
4) “Disclosures provided in the notes to financial statements is a waste of resources and is time consuming,
thus they should not be presented to users of financial reports”. Critically evaluate this statement, and
in specific, relate your arguments to what you have discussed in (2) and (3).

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