Friday, August 24, 2012

Jury Rules Samsung Violated Apple Patents, Owes $1 Billion

Jury Rules Samsung Violated Apple Patents, Owes $1 Billion:

On Friday, a verdict in the epic intellectual property case Apple v. Samsung was reached. Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA — Samsung owes Apple more than $1 billion in damages for violating Apple hardware and software patents, a California jury ruled on Friday. The jury found that Samsung infringed upon Apple patents having to do with physical design and user interfaces, often willfully, and that several of the South Korean company’s products diluted Apple’s trade dress, especially as it related to various iPhone models.
The jury did not find that Samsung proved by clear and convincing evidence that Apple’s asserted utility and design patents were invalid, as Samsung had claimed, and found that many Samsung products violated those patents.
Though Apple was awarded less than the $2.5 billion it originally sought, this was clearly a resounding win for the company. And it could have far-reaching consequences to the smartphone and tablet industry, ranging from product injunctions, like we just saw happen in South Korea Friday morning, to the need for mobile device makers to overhaul the designs and UIs of their products.
For the ’381 patent, which covers the “bounce-back” feature in document scrolling, all applicable Samsung products were found to be infringing for Samsung Electronics Ltd, Samsung Electronics America, and Samsung Telecommunications America, with the exception of the Galaxy Tab under Samsung Telecommunications America. This is a total of 21 smartphones and tablets including the Samsung Nexus S 4G, Galaxy s II (AT&T and i9100), Galaxy Tab, and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
One bit of good news for Samsung: The jurors found that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet did not infringe on any physical iPad design patents, as Apple had claimed.
After delivering its rulings, the jury was excused for approximately 15 minutes while Judge Lucy Koh and lawyers for Apple and Samsung examined the conclusions for any inconsistencies.
The jury reached a verdict after only three days of deliberations, which came as a surprise, given the complexity of the case, which has touched upon everything from device design to the way data is transmitted over a 3G network. Many observers expected the largely non-technically inclined jury to take at least a week to sort through the morass of evidence, arguments, and other information presented over the course of the trial.
Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in a multi-pronged intellectual property battle in courtrooms across the globe for over a year. Apple claimed that Samsung had infringed on patents covering the design of the iPhone and iPad, as well as utility patents over a few iOS user interface features. Samsung said Apple was in violation of its essential 3G transmission patent holdings.
In all counts but the claims about iPad design, the jury ruled overwhelmingly in Apple’s favor.

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