The Samsung Pays Apple in Nickels Rumor

In August 2012, a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in damages in their patent infringement case against Samsung. This sparked a rumor that Samsung had gotten its own back against Apple by paying the fine entirely in nickels — sending 30 trucks full of nickels over to Apple's headquarters.

A video of a bunch of delivery trucks driving down a city street was offered as confirmation of the rumor — although the trucks in the video weren't from Samsung. A picture also circulated showing coins pouring down a ramp in some warehouse setting.

The Guardian posted a good article debunking the rumor, pointing out:
  1. The fine wasn't yet payable, because the judge hadn't made his decision.
  2. Private businesses are not required to accept any form of coin or currency as payment, despite a popular belief to the contrary.
  3. It would require 2,755 trucks to transport that many nickels, not 30.
  4. There's probably not that many nickels in circulation.
  5. The "payment in nickels" rumor originated from El Deforma, an Onion-like Mexican website specializing in fake news.
Several days ago (Nov. 21) a new jury decision was announced in a retrial of the damages. Samsung now only has to pay Apple $290 million. But that appears to have started the "payment in nickels" rumor circulating again.

I can think of several real-life cases of people who paid fines or fees in coins, just to be annoying. For instance, Washington resident John Patric perennially ran for state elections during the 1950s and 60s, and always insisted on paying the filing fee with loose change. He also always listed his name as "John 'Hugo N. Frye' Patric".

In 2012, Thomas Daigle of Massachusetts carted 62000 pennies to the bank to make his final mortgage payment. [ABC News]

And also in 2012, a man calling himself "Bacon Moose" paid a $137 traffic fine with 137 dollar bills, all folded into origami pigs. [HuffPost]


Posted on Sat Nov 23, 2013


As a side note, the Blade Brown Show website is actively blocking any comments that include links debunking the story. Gotta get those web hits somehow, I guess.
Posted by Doc Arkham  on  Sat Nov 23, 2013  at  09:22 AM
Oh, and

7. that same story has been circulating (back then involving groats, one supposes) since at least the Middle Ages. For example, over here it's the point of the legend explaining why the inhabitants of Zwolle are called Bluefingers.
Posted by Richard Bos  in  The Netherlands  on  Tue Nov 26, 2013  at  07:13 AM