After only 21 hours of deliberation, a jury ruled mostly in favor of Apple, finding that Samsung had violated six out of seven patents, and awarded $1,049,343,540 to the computer giant. The jury also ruled that all seven of Apple’s patents were valid, and maintained that Apple did not violate any of the five patents Samsung held in a counter-suit.
The ruling holds massive implications in the patent troll wars, and stands as a stark warning against copycats. Apple had sued Samsung over patent violation and demanded the company stop its launch of the Galaxy SIII back in July.
Patent violations related to the devices “bounce back” functionality, the ability to use one finger to scroll, two fingers to pinch and zoom, and tap to zoom.
“The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew,” said Apple’s PR head Katie Cotton. “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’s single win, however, related to the appearance of the iPad’s rectangle design with round corners, for which juror’s ruled the Galaxy Tab did not violate Apple’s patents.
The jury found that many of the patents were willfully infringed by Samsung, which allows Judge Lucy Koh the option to triple Apple’s damages award, the Wall St. Journal reported.
The jury had originally awarded Apple $1,051,855,000 , but Judge Koh sent the jury back to deliberate over two discrepancies in the verdict. The jury changed their verdict on key points for two devices that lowered the damages by $2.2 million.
Although the awarded sum is considerably less than Apple’s request for $2.5 billion, it still stands as the largest jury award for the year, according to Bloomberg data.
Much of the jury’s decision was based on internal emails from Samsung and Google, in which the search engine asked the company to “back away from the Apple design,” Velvin Hogan, the jury’s foreman, told Bloomberg.
Still, the real damage will likely come when the Judge Koh decides on an injunction of Samsung products, which Apple requested on Friday. The injunction hearing on whether Samsung products will be banned in the US has been scheduled for Sept. 20, according to the Verge.
The final glove has yet to be thrown, however, as Samsung will appeal the decision. The company has asked Judge Koh to overturn the verdict.
“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,” Samsung said in a statement. “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.”
Several analysts called the decision “a big mistake” that will impact innovation in the marketplace. Haydn Shaugnessy argued in Forbes that “design is not invention,” and likened Apple’s tech designs to those in the car industry, pointing out there are several BMW’s imitators that lead to better choice in the marketplace.
“If Apple had really been in the design business then they’d have seen Samsung’s copy as sheer flattery (at least at the trade dress level) and moved on to the next iteration,.” Shaugnessy wrote. “Design is fashion, a peculiar form of intellectual property that wavers and transforms by the season.”
Just ahead of the US jury verdict, a Seoul Korean court ruled that Samsung did not violate Apple’s designs, as both devices had obvious company logos and that consumers were well aware of the differences between the two products.