Jury awards Apple more than $1 billion, finds Samsung infringed

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Verdict overwhelmingly favoured Apple in a landmark patent decision likely to reverberate throughout the tech industry.

Judge Koh during the reading of the verdict.
(Credit: Vicki Behringer)

It wasn't even close.

After 21 hours of deliberation, a nine-person jury sided with Apple on a majority of its patent infringement claims against Samsung Electronics. The jury also awarded Apple more than US$1 billion in damages.

Apple had originally sought US$2.75 billion in damages, and though it wasn't unanimous on all counts, the verdict was overwhelmingly in Apple's favour. Samsung, which asked for US$421 million in its counter-suit, did not receive a nickel. (Refer to jury document at the end of this story.)

The scorecard highlights included:

  • Jury found Samsung to infringe Apple utility and design patents for some (though, not all) products

  • Jury found wilful infringement on five of six patents

  • Jury upheld Apple utility and design patents

  • Jury upheld Apple trade dress '983

  • Jury found Samsung "diluted" Apple's registered iPhone, iPhone 3, and "Combination iPhone" trade dress on some products, not on others

  • Jury found no Apple infringement of Samsung utility patents

  • Jury found Samsung did not violate antitrust law by monopolising markets related to the UMTS standard

  • Damages owed by Samsung: US$1.05 billion.

The jury informed the court at 2:35pm, San Jose, California time, that it had reached a verdict, which was read in front of District Judge Lucy H Koh, as soon as the parties were assembled. The speed of the verdict apparently came as a surprise: one of Apple's lawyers walked into the courtroom wearing a polo shirt and jeans, so clearly, he wasn't expecting this today.

The trial, which stretched more than three weeks, was characterised by a bewildering and massive trove of evidence that unveiled some of each companies' biggest secrets. By any measure, this was a complex case that presented jurors with page after page of technical minutiae. To reach their decision, jurors had to work through a 20-page document that required them to discern which devices from the two companies infringed on which patents — a daunting task considering Apple had accused nearly two dozen of Samsung's devices of violating patents.

For Apple, information revealed during the trial included prototypes of iPhone and iPad designs that never saw the light of day, as well as highly detailed financial data that went far beyond what the company typically makes public. There were also emails between executives, one of which included mention of high interest in a smaller version of the iPad.

For Samsung, it was a series of damning internal documents, many of which showed that the company looked to Apple's devices for cues when designing its software icons and general features. One such internal report contained numerous side-by-side slides, in which the company put a pre-release version of its initial Galaxy smartphone next to the iPhone, and offered suggestions on how to make the Galaxy more similar to the Apple device.

Historians may want to note that all this took place as Tim Cook celebrated his first anniversary as CEO.

Samsung released the following statement after the verdict was delivered:

Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case, or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.

Apple had this to say:

We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story, and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation, and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behaviour wilful, and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.

Apple v. Samsung verdict form

Via CNET.com



Add Your Comment 5


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JoshA1 posted a comment   

Thank god someone had the balls to stand up. Samsung is a bully that tries to use its size to push others out of the market by copying products. This is not innovation. Samsung, not Apple, is the greedy company here.Now Samsung will be forced to innovate. It should never have come to this.

 

Rolloxan posted a comment   
Australia

This is not a good day for technological innovation

 

SteveA3 posted a comment   
Australia

Apple is a greedy company that can't accept that Samsung is better.

 

ZoranZ1 posted a reply   

whats with people acting like sore losers, you didn't lose the case, people have to quit being so sort sighted, this will help innovation, its going to make samsung think outside the box

 

nerdmusc1e posted a comment   
Australia

Apple: We love innovation. When we own it all that is.




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