Verdict In: Samsung Violated Apple Patents, Apple Awarded $1.05 Billion in Damages
Apple won big in California today as a federal court jury awarded the company $1.05 billion in damages after ruling Samsung infringed on six of Apple’s patents.
The damages awarded to Apple fall short of the company’s requested $2.5 billion, but still rank as one of the largest intellectual-property awards ever recorded. Also, the jury found that Apple did not violate any of the patents Samsung presented at the trial, a stark contrast to a decision made by a trio of Judges in South Korea yesterday that found Samsung and Apple products both banned in the country.
After 22 hours of deliberation spanning three days the jury found that Samsung infringed on six of the seven patents Apple presented and found willful infringement by Samsung in five cases (this can influence the severity of damages). The lone patent the jury found invalid was a patent covering the physical design of the iPad.
The quick turnaround, and decision in Apple’s favor mark a brief end to a month long patent trial argued on a worldwide stage. The decision is purely monetary however, and none of Samsung’s current products will be taken off store shelves or banned from sale. Still, expect Samsung to file an appeal immediately.
ModMyi user Tal1995 caught an interesting bit of info in Yahoo news' coverage of the verdict. Apparently there still is the possibility of Samsung's products being banned. Judge Lucy Koh will make that decision without the help of jury and the fact Koh approved a preliminary injunction earlier on during the proceedings should make Samsung rather nervous.
While it is impossible to know what the jury’s thoughts during deliberation were at the current time, Apple frequently references a document entitled “Relative Evaluation Report on S1, iPhone,” dated March 2, 2010. The document compared a number of features between the two phones and included a section entitled “directions for improvement” which entailed mimicking many features of the iPhone.
Samsung argued that being inspired by your competitors isn’t illegal, and provided photos and emails containing early tablet-like products in an attempt to have one of Apple’s design patents thrown out. Interestingly enough, the only patent the jury found Samsung didn’t violate was the iPad design patent.
Apple won a single legal battle in the current patent war that may ultimately financially insignificant after the appeals process. But, the positive press, continued strain on Samsung’s legal team, and the message the verdict sends to competitors likely outweighs any damages awarded.
This video I made a year ago seems somewhat fitting.
Source: The Wall Street Journal