Samsung to pay Apple $1B, vows "not the final word"

Faith Merino · August 24, 2012 · Short URL:

Samsung is found guilty of infringing on Apple's patents, calls verdict a loss for American consumer

After three days of deliberation, a federal jury has ruled in favor of Apple over Samsung in its patent infringement accusations.  Apple will be awarded $1.05 billion in damages to add to their coffers.

The big issue was not just whether Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPhone, but whether it did so intentionally.  The nine-person jury determined that yes, indeed, Samsung “willfully” infringed on several of Apple’s patents, including the “pinch and zoom” patent, the “bounce back” scrolling patent, and patent on tapping to zoom.  The Samsung device that earned the largest amount in damages was the Galaxy Prevail.

Samsung has released the following statement on 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. 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.

While Samsung charged in a countersuit that Apple had actually infringed on some of its patents, the jury did not find it that way and did not order Apple to pay any damages to Samsung.  Samsung, which had been asking for $422 million in damages, is expected to appeal.

The jury’s verdict came surprisingly fast, considering the not-terribly-technical team had to fill out a 20-page verdict form with some 700 questions on all the minutiae of smartphones.

While $1.05 billion is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s less than half of the $2.5 billion that Apple was demanding for the “irreparable harm” that Samsung has done to Apple’s business.  During the case, Apple charged that Samsung had been making squared off, boxy phones before the release of the iPhone, and only then did it begin making phones with rounded corners.  Samsung, however, charged that it had been in the process of developing phones with rounded corners before the iPhone’s 2007 release.

That defense seemed to fall apart, however, when Apple dug up a 2010 document written by Samsung engineers that compared the iPhone to the Galaxy S and made suggestions as to how Samsung’s devices should imitate the iPhone design.

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a mud-slinging war over patent infringements for months.  The two companies have brought more than 50 lawsuits against one another in 10 different countries. 

Earlier today, a court in South Korea, where Samsung is based, found that Apple and Samsung both infringed on one another’s patents.  Apple was found guilty of infringing on two of Samsung’s patents and was ordered to pay 20 million won, or about $17,600, while Samsung was found guilty of infringing on one of Apple’s patents and was ordered to pay 25 million won, or $22,000.  Apple can no longer sell its iPhone 4 or iPad 2 in South Korea, and Samsung can no longer sell 10 of its devices in South Korea, including the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets.

Apple could not be reached for comment.


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