updated 07:05 pm EDT, Fri August 24, 2012
Willful infringement finding could triple damages
Despite having asked for extra time to deliberate after business hours earlier today, the jury in the Apple versus Samsung case reached a verdict on Friday. Apple came out the clear victor in the battle, being awarded $1.051 billion dollars in damages by the jury.
In the first half of the verdict readings, all of Apple's patents were found to be valid, and most of Samsung's accused devices were found to be infringing on all of Apple's patents. Apple's trade dress has been found to be protectable in the iPhone and iPhone 3G, and diluted by Samsung on six of its accused devices.
Apple was awarded $1.051 billion dollars, lower than its request of around $2.5 billion. Samsung was also found to be willful in its infringement, which could lead to a tripling of awarded damages.
None of Apple's devices were found to infringe on any of Samsung's patents. None of the claims against Samsung in regards to antitrust legislation regarding 3G patents were found to be valid, but neither was Samsung been found to be in violation of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent licensing agreements.
As expected, the convoluted jury instructions and verdict form complicated the final verdict. The jury was briefly recalled and did a bit of further deliberation on approximately $2 million worth of awards over the Galaxy Tab 10.1, since it awarded damages to Apple without marking the device as infringing on the form. The damages were struck, saving Samsung the contested $2 million and clearing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 of alleged infringement.
The jury coming to the decision so quickly came as a surprise, given that over 700 individual decisions would have been made in less than 48 hours in order for the jury to come to a verdict. The nine men and women deciding the case never asked Judge Lucy Koh any questions or requested any clarifications during the deliberations.
The case was brought by Apple after Samsung ignored warnings in 2010 from both the iPhone maker and its rival Google that Samsung's products were too derivative of Apple's designs in both trade dress and software. Apple has accused the company of "slavishly" copying from its innovations, down to the particular shade of green used in the identical "phone" icon.
Samsung's public habit of making its retail stores, promotional videos and signage resemble Apple's as closely as possible, coupled with the sharp change in designs following the iPhone and iPad's introductions, may not meet the legal standard of infringement -- but have left the public with the strong impression of the South Korean company as being prone to copying. The sentiment was picked up on and spoofed in a video produced by talk show host Conan O'Brien's staff that aired nationally in the middle of the trial and has since gone viral.
Samsung countersued Apple, claiming it had in fact infringed on two of Samsung's patents, for which it asked for $400 million in compensation and was awarded nothing. Samsung is expected to file an appeal on the case.