SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apple scored a significant but not complete legal victory on Friday in its landmark patent case against Korean rival Samsung, winning damages of $1.049 billion plus a verdict of willful infringement on many counts. The willfulness verdict opens the door to the judge awarding punitive damages of as much as three times the already record amount set by the jury.
Apple sought as much as $2.71 billion in damages from the jury and said it expected to gain at least $500 million if any infringement was found.
The nine-person jury here found that many Samsung phones in question violated most of Apple's two design and three utility patents. However, the jury found that Samsung's tablets do not infringe Apple's iPad design patent.
As a result, Apple is
more likely to press the patents under consideration in this case in
other patent lawsuits as well as in private negotiations with Android
The judge in the case set a Sept. 20 hearing to determine whether to set an injunction against selling in the U.S. any of the products found to be infringing. Those products are generally a set of about 12 Samsung Galaxy S and S II handset models.
Samsung said it will appeal the decision, saying the verdict will lead to "fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices."
The decision validates the strength of at least four Apple patents in the case, the exception being a design patent on the industrial design of the iPad. The jury also found that Samsung violated registered and unregistered trade dress, a reference to product "look and feel," on both the original and 3GS iPhones. The jurors did not buy Apple's argument about the look and feel of the iPad, however.
Apple did not infringe any of the five utility patents Samsung alleged, including two patents Samsung considered part of the 3G cellular standard. However, the jury found that Apple failed to show that the patents were invalid or that Samsung had broken contractual agreements or antitrust law regarding how the Korean company pursued the patents and their licensing.
Apple and Samsung both worked hard to show the other side's patents were invalid, bringing in many examples of what they claimed were prior art along with expert witnesses, including top academics. Ultimately, the jury held that all patents were valid.
That or withhold or increase the costs to them of key display technology. Don't know how their flexible displays will work out or if they hold key patents to those but if they do it's conceivable Apple could soon be the only phone without a lower power/ thinner/ flexible display. That could really hurt. :(
I am surprised by the amount! I wonder what the long term effect of this will be on cellphone and smartphone designs? 33 multi-part questions, that must have been a nightmare for the jury, I hope that they got paid well..
I don't believe the SIII was on trial in this case (it wasn't available when the charges were filed).
This may change with future lawsuits, of course. For now the worst thing for Samsung is that consumers might get the idea that their phones are nothing but ripoffs. Nevermind the fact that the only patents they were found guilty of infringing are trivial UI elements; that's not easily understood by the average consumer. Simply the idea that something is a "copy" automatically conveys the idea of inferiority.
Anyways, I hope the next headline isn't "Enraged Samsung employee starts fire at 32nm fab".
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