Apple emerges victorious in legal battle with Samsung; Jury awards damages of $1.05 billion

After just three days of deliberations, the jury in the Apple/Samsung dispute returned a verdict in Apple's favor.

Well that sure didn't take long at all, folks.

After just three days of deliberations, the jury in the Apple/Samsung dispute returned a verdict in Apple's favor. Broadly speaking, Apple wiped the floor with Samsung as the jury found in favor of Apple on the majority of all the contested issues and patents.

The '381 patent, for example, which relates to inertial scrolling - the jury found that all accused Samsung devices infringed upon it. What's more, the jury found that Samsung had willfully infringed on the iPhone's trade dress. The notion that Samsung willfully infringed Apple's intellectual property is rather significant because it enables Apple to ask for triple damages.

And speaking of which, when the dust settled, the jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. That's obviously not going to break Samsung's bank but the larger ramifications of the verdict are huge. As the top purveyor of Android smartphones, Samsung's products have increasingly taken on an Apple-esque look and feel. In the wake of this ruling, you can bet that the folks at Samsung are going to think long and hard about new designs and UI features before rolling them out to market.

Now there were a number of patents at issue in this case - incuding double tap to zoom and pinch to zoom - and in this regard the jury found that most (but not all) of Samsung's devices were infringing. The same thing goes for the '677 patent and the D'087 patent which cover the tradedress of the iPhone on the front and on the back, respectively.

The jury also found that most of the accused Samsung devices infringed upon the '305 patent, which covers how the iPhone homescreen is laid out and looks. The specific listing of Samsung products which infringe this patent include the Samsung Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Fascinate, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Showcase, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Mesmerize and the Samsung Vibrant.

The lone victory for Samsung, it turns out, had to do with the D'889 patent which encmopasses the industrial design and tradedress of the iPad. The Jury in this regard found that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is not infringing.

Lastly, the jury also ruled that all of Apple's patents are valid and that none of Apple's products infringe upon any of Samsung's asserted patents.

All in all, it was almost a clean sweep for Apple.

Following the announcement of the verdict, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton issued the following statement to the New York Times.

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 trail 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 behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.

Samsung meanwhile issued the following statement to the Wall Street Journal.

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.

I should point out, though, that entire crux of Apple's case was precisely that Samsung's products were devoid of innovation and were flagrant copies of Apple's own products. To that end, one can reasonably argue that Samsung's products didn't really give consumers many more differentiated options.

In any event, with the jury verdict now behind us, we can now look forward to what promises to be even more court filings regarding injunctions, appeals and a whole lot more.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.