Samsung stung with $1.05B fine
Aug 24, 2012 / 9:04 pm
After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.
The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in the latest skirmish of a global legal battle between the two tech giants. An appeal is expected.
Apple Inc. filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country's highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.
The verdict, however, belonged exclusively to Apple, as the jury rejected all Samsung's claims against Apple. Jurors also decided against some of Apple's claims involving the two dozen Samsung devices at issue, declining to award the full $2.5 billion Apple demanded.
However, the jury found that several Samsung products illegally used such Apple creations as the "bounce-back" feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.
Apple lawyer plans to formally demand Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market. They also can ask the judge to triple the damages to $3 billion. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will decide those issues along with Samsung's demand she overturn the jury's verdict in several weeks.
The outcome of the case is likely to have ripple effects in the smartphone market. After seeing Samsung's legal defeat, other device makers relying on Android may become more reluctant to use the software and risk getting dragged into court.
Samsung, headquartered in Seoul, responded to the verdict, saying in a statement it was "unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners."
"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.
Samsung has emerged as one of Apple's biggest rivals and has overtaken as the leading smartphone maker. Samsung's Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.
Google entered the smartphone market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip off of the iPhone's innovations.
After shoving Schmidt off Apple's board, Jobs vowed that Apple would resort to "thermonuclear war" to destroy Android and its allies.
The Apple-Samsung trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by the judge to settle the dispute out of court.
Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales. Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. McElhinny said those devices accounted for $8.16 billion in sales since June 2010.
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