Samsung found guilty of patent infringement, Apple awarded over $1 billion
Samsung willfully infringed on a number of Apple patents, a nine-member jury ruled Friday.
The decision leaves Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages to the Cupertino company and signals the end to one of the most closely watched and hotly contested patent trials in history.
The nine-member jury also rejected Samsung’s countersuit, meaning the South Korean company will walk away with nothing.
The verdict brings an end to the four-week patent trial that left spectators and the industry reeling at the inner workings of two of the world’s largest tech companies. In the end, the verdict probably surprised even the lawyers who argued all the way to the end.
Design by design, patent by patent, U.S. District judge Lucy Koh read through the jury’s decision, finding Samsung guilty on multiple counts of patent infringement for handfuls of Apple patents.
For the Fascinate alone, Samsung must pay $143 million in damages.
It took the jury just two days to come to its decisions, which hand Apple a win in a suit where they accused Samsung of stealing the technologies and designs that made their signature products – the iPhone and iPad – some of the most successful products in the world.
Key to Apple’s victory was the jury’s decision that its patents were valid. Samsung had relied on this accusation in the hopes of eroding Apple’s claims that Samsung took designs and technologies that were wholly unique.
The jury didn’t find it that way.
The company was also found guilty of violating Apple patents covering designs like flat screens and rounded edges while the jury found in Apple’s favor on claims Samsung diluted the iPhone 3′s trade dress in at least six devices.
Most damning of all and perhaps the greatest influencer for the amount of damages it must now pay was the jury’s finding of Samsung’s willfulness in its actions.
The jury determined that Samsung “knew or should have known” it was leading its divisions to copy Apple’s designs and technologies, showing clear intent and little hope for Samsung’s claims against Apple finding a favorable ruling.
From the wreckage
Not much can be salvaged from the jury’s verdict, though one silver lining is not all of its devices were found to be in violation.
Samsung’s Galaxy tablets were not found to infringe the iPad’s designs.
Linda Kennedy, a patent lawyer interviewed by TechRadar about the trial, said that both parties could have potentially walked away with damages, though the jury clearly ruled Samsung’s arguments didn’t hold water in the court of law.
She also said that, no matter the outcome, the decision will go to an appeals court.
“I think there will be [an appeal] because if the parties are willing to wait for a jury verdict, they’ll be willing to go to appeals,” she said.
The case may even find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Another attorney, Vicki Salmon of IP Asset, told TechRadar that Apple and Samsung’s decision to take their battle to court is none too surprising when considering the damages involved.
“When there is enough at stake, companies will take to patent litigation and not just leave it to consumers to vote for the best product,” she said.
“But when there is enough at stake, companies will also see how they can best position themselves within the confines of the existing system, in order to bolster their monopoly positions.”
How Apple, and Samsung, emerge from this case – and what effect the ruling will ultimately have on the technology industry moving forward – will have implication for years to come.
Tune into TechRadar for developments as they unfold.