On Friday, a nine-person California jury awarded Apple $1,051,855,000 in damages and ruled that South Korean electronics company Samsung had infringed six of the seven patents for Apple mobile devices. Apple had actually asked for $2.75 billion in damages; Samsung had sought $421 million in a countersuit but received nothing.
Apple, now the most valuable company in the US, saw its stock rise to $675.11, its highest ever after the verdict.
Money, Money and More Money
Apple does not exactly need another million dollars and it won’t be receiving the award anytime soon as Samsung is planning to appeal. The case will now be reviewed on the federal circuit, CNET points out, and both sides will be back in court on September 20 when Apple will seek to ban the sale of Samsung smartphones and tablets that infringe on patents.
The decision also means that Samsung and other Android developers may have to start paying extra royalties to Apple, which could mean higher costs for consumers, says CNET.
Lawsuits Over Patents and Intellectual Property Are Far From Over
The trial lasted three weeks and the jury deliberated for three days after working their way through a 20-page document requiring them to decide which company had infringed on whose patents, CNET says:
For Apple, information revealed during the trial included prototypes of iPhone and iPaddesigns that never saw the light of day, as well as highly detailed financial data that went far beyond what the company typically makes public. There were also e-mails between executives, one of which included mention of high interest in a smaller version of the iPad.
For Samsung, it was a series of damning internal documents, many of which showed that the company looked to Apple’s devices for cues when designing its software icons and general features. One such internal report contained numerous side-by-side slides in which the company put a prerelease version of its initial Galaxy smartphone next to the iPhone and offered suggestions on how to make the Galaxy more similar to the Apple device.
Some are saying that this high-profile intellectual property trial has changed nothing and that what’s really going on is that tech companies are duking it out in the courts “to figure out the terms of cooperation—whose intellectual property is worth what.”
As Businessweek points out, Samsung is one of Apple’s main suppliers.
The Value of Good Design
Others including ZDNet say that this particular trial’s outcome has “far-reaching ramifications for the Android smartphone world.” The jury found that Samsung had “willfully copied Apple’s products” and specifically design and user interface features, such as the iPhone’s “bounce-back feature.” Legal experts had actually thought Apple would have difficulty winning infringement charges about its design patents, the New York Times notes. But the jury ruled in Apple’s favor in three out of four design patents (the fourth being for a tablet shaped as a rectangle with round corners).
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