Apple awarded $1 billion in damages in Samsung patent suit (Updated)

Posted by Rhuaridh Marr
August 24, 2012 8:16 PM |

Details are still trickling out of the court in California, but after an unusually short deliberation period -- less than a day -- the jury has returned with its decision, and it's pretty one-sided. The jury has agreed that Samsung infringed on Apple's bounceback scrolling patent with all 21 of the devices in question, and infringed on it's pinch-to-zoom patent with 18 of said devices. The jury went on to further concur with Apple's lawyers that Samsung infringed on the contoured design of the iPhone, as well as the user interface of iOS. The Galaxy Tab escaped damnation, with the Jury finding it did not infringe the iPad's design patents.

The jury have thus awarded Apple $1,051,855,000 $1,049,343,540 (changed due to inconsistency in verdict) in damages. The eye-watering amount is mere pocket-change to Samsung, but the jury also concurred that Samsung had willfully infringed on 5 of the 7 Apple patents in question. This could lead the court to triple the damages awarded to Apple, which is possible where infringement is found to have been willingly performed.

Further bad news, as the jury ruled that Samsung's patents relating to its 3G technologies were found to be valid, but the Apple products in question did not infringe upon them, awarding Samsung zero damages.

The court is still in session, so expect  a full round-up of the jury's decision and Judge Koh's ruling after the dust has settled.

[Update] Samsung has released an official statement, via CNET:

"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."

[Update 2] Inconsistencies in the final verdict have been resolved. The jury stated that the Intercept and Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE did not infringe one patent, but awarded damages totaling $2.4 million. These have now been sorted, and the total damages have been reduced to $1,049,343,540. Samsung's checkbook has breathed a miniscule sigh of relief.

[Update 3] And here's Apple's response, courtesy 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."

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