25th August 2012  Apple Breaks Valuation Record, Stock Climbs on Patent Victory.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) became the most valuable company of all-time last Monday following strong sales projections for its next generation iPhone device, surpassing the $621 billion valuation of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) at the peak of the 1999 tech bubble.

Shares closed Friday at $663.22 but rose sharply after close of trading on the back of their patent victory over Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), reaching as high as $675.11 which would see them open next week at a valuation of $632 billion.

However, when adjusted for inflation Microsoft's 1999 value rises to $853 billion and the 1967 valuation of IBM (IBM) would today be the equivalent of $1.3 trillion.

Apple won damages of $1.04 billion on Friday in its long running patent war with Samsung and a ruling that Samsung infringed on six Apple patents, in some cases wilfully. While short of the $2.5 billion Apple had requested it ranks as one of the largest intellectual-property awards ever.

Three of the patents infringed covered the shape of the iPhone and on-screen icons. This victory could make it harder for handset makers to enter the market with products which are similar to that of Apple's and also help them defend their current market position. Samsung already faces injunctions on some of its products at home and could be hit with more following the decision. This in turn could affect Google (GOOG), whose Android operating system runs on Samsung devices; shares fell over %1 to $671 following the ruling as they also prepare to fight a patent war against Apple.

Sitting in the background of all this is Microsoft and Nokia (NOK). Battered and bruised from losing its top spot to Samsung and struggling to catch up in the smartphone market the Finnish handset maker is expected to announce the first Windows Phone 8 on September 5th. The court ruling will be a great boon to them in promoting the phone and could well rearrange the smartphone landscape, giving Nokia a chance to regroup and gain ground on its rivals.

Sitting on top of the world Apple is for now very much in the ascendancy and for the moment there seems to be very little that can rain on its parade. It goes into battle with Google having dealt a heavy blow to a major competitor for handset share and buoyed by strong sales projections.