Mixed verdict in Apple-Samsung patent trial

May 04 2014, 04:42 IST
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SummaryThe jury found Apple infringed one of Samsung’s patents in creating the iPhone 4 and 5.

A California jury awarded Apple $119 million — far less than it demanded — in a patent battle with Samsung over alleged copying of smartphone features, and the jury made the victory even smaller by finding that Apple illegally used one of Samsung’s patents.

The verdict was a far cry from the $2.2 billion Apple sought and the $930 million it won in a separate 2012 trial making similar patent infringement claims against older Samsung products, most of which are no longer for sale in the United States.

The jury found Apple infringed one of Samsung’s patents in creating the iPhone 4 and 5. Jurors awarded Samsung $158,400, trimming that amount from the original $119.62 million verdict. Samsung had sought $6 million.

“Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple,” Santa Clara University law professor Brian Love said. “This amount is less than 10% of the amount Apple requested and probably doesn’t surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case.”

The award may be adjusted slightly in favour of Apple. Jurors were ordered to return to court Monday to continue deliberations on a minor matter that could result in a higher award for Apple. Because the jury was still empaneled, jurors were prevented from talking publicly about the case.

Samsung spokesman Lauren Restuccia declined comment, citing the ongoing deliberations.

Apple declared the verdict a victory. “Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said. “We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.”

Unlike the first trial in San Jose federal court in 2012, Samsung lawyers made Google a central focus of their defence. Google makes the Android software that Samsung and other smartphone makers use as their operating systems. Samsung argued that Google was Apple’s real target. More than 70% smartphones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google gave out for free to phone makers.

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