Last yesterday, a federal jury found that Samsung had indeed infringed upon Apple's smartphone and tablet patents and ordered the Korean electronics maker to pay Apple over $1 billion in damages. As the San Jose Mercury News reports, "Ticking off one by one the findings in a 20-page verdict, the jury said that a wide range of Samsung smartphones and its Galaxy tablet trampled on Apple's patent rights. The jury in particular found Samsung's Fascinate, Epic 4G and Galaxy S II smartphones were rogue products that warranted more than $100 million each in damages for copying the iPhone, although the panel spared Samsung much punishment for infringing the iPad."
While Apple did not get its requested $2.75 billion or a unanimous ruling, CNET points out, "the verdict was overwhelmingly in Apple's favor." And the ruling means that other smartphone rivals may need shift their designs, lest they be accused of infringing on Apple's patents. Specifically, Google. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Apple's legal campaign is partly aimed at trying to beat back the gangbuster growth of Android, the operating system created by Google Inc. GOOG +0.27% that is used by Samsung and other device makers. In the second quarter, Android phones—which are made by many phone makers—represented 68% of smartphone shipments, while Apple's represented 17%, according to market research firm IDC."
The nine-person jury deliberated for three days, answering "more than 700 questions on sometimes highly technical matters" and looking at evidence including internal documents from Samsung that noted how they "looked to Apple's devices for cues when designing its software icons and general features."
Samsung's statement said:
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. 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.And Apple 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.