Samsung loses U.S. trial, owes Apple more than $1 billion in damagesBy Julio Franco 93 comments
After several comings and goings over the past few months, the Apple v. Samsung verdict has come in, widely favoring Apple who claimed in U.S. courts that Samsung's Android smartphones and tablets infringed on its intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and user interface.
The verdict was unanimous, giving Apple the right to $1.045 billion in damages, a handsome figure that nonetheless comes short of the $2.5+ billion the Cupertino-based company was seeking from Samsung. Some of the offending products in this case include the Nexus S, Epic 4G, Galaxy S 4G, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and several others.
Note that this only spells the begining of the end of the U.S. trial between the two companies. As with most legal matters, appeals from both sides are likely to come.
A number of legal experts were quick to note that the jury's finding willful infringement on Samsung's side opens the door for further damage compensation, beyond the $1+ billion awarded thus far. The verdict also sets a precedent that Apple may take advantage of in other related pending litigations against the likes of HTC or Motorola Mobility. Robert Barr, executive director of the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley had this to share:
The amount of damages is extraordinary. A billion dollars in damages is extra. It's one of the biggest patent verdicts ever. That's a huge amount of damages. And the judge has to now decide whether to increase that for the wilfulness. And the judge could increase that as much as triple. The judge has to still decide if there will be an injunction against future sales or a recall of product.
Apple and Samsung released official statements following the verdict. Apple spokeswoman, Katie Cotton, said:
We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right.
Evidently, Samsung's reaction paints a grimmer picture, claiming the jury's decision could result in industry-wide consequences:
"Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer," Samsung said in a statement. "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."
According the Wikipedia, as of July 2012 Apple and Samsung were involved in more than 50 lawsuits around the globe with billions of dollars in damages claimed between them.