Ordered to Pay Apple A Cool Billion
By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
In a stinging indictment of over 700 items, a jury awarded Apple one billion dollars in damages after deliberating for less than a week. Ouch. That’ll leave a mark.
With item by item decided overwhelmingly in Apple’s favor, the jury decided that Samsung knowingly infringed upon Apple patents in their design of both hardware and operating system (which is more accurately pointed at Google). And having done so, Samsung’s line of smartphones and tablets have diluted Apple’s trade power.
A patents the jury found violated include:
- “rubber-banding” on all devices.
- “pinch-to-zoom” on all devices (minus the Samsung Intercept or Samsung Replenis)
- “tap-to-zoom” on over a dozen handsets and the Galaxy Tab line of tablets
- Designs of the Fascinate, Galaxy S line, Epic 4G touch,and others
Additionally, the jury found that Samsung had prior knowledge that they were copying iPhone technology in the development of over a dozen specific smartphones, but that when it came to tablets, Samsung was able to dodge that particular bullet.
In addition, the jury rejected Samsung’s counter claims that Apple violated several of their patents. And in doing so, the jury affirmed that Apple’s patents were indeed legitimate and that Samsung had to have knowingly violated them when they designed such software features as multi-touch, scrolling and 3G data transmission. The decision will send a ripple effect throughout the industry, especially since Apple has been waging a proxy war against Google, more than Samsung. And by crippling the ability of a major Android manufacturer to design and put out competing products without paying Apple a per handset royalty will be rather difficult.
But the real loser may be Android users. The fact is that a Billion dollar payout will cause a rise in Samsung phone prices. And moving forward, every handset and tablet will likely need to pay Apple something and that will rise prices as well. Unless Google steps in and absorbs the penalty. Unlikely as it can’t do that for every Android maker.
But it wasn’t all bad news for the South Korean handset manufacturer. While the jury awarded Apple the lion’s share, it also found that Apple didn’t prove their assertions that Samsung had violated provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act. And in losing that nugget, Apple lost the opportunity to raise the damages even further and perhaps Samsung avoided Federal involvement.
The jury didn’t take long to reach their decisions either, as they deliberated for less than three days and made no questions or requests for additional instructions. That leads many trial watchers to conclude that besides Judge Lucy Koh’s constant need to discipline both legal teams for rule breaking, the Apple case had overwhelming merit, while the Samsung defense did little to disprove Apple’s assertion that Samsung deliberately copied the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad in their Android based products.
But it could’ve been worse, as the jury only awarded Apple about a third of the damages Cupertino had requested. Where Samsung goes from here is pretty clear … they’re appeal, and appeal, and appeal. So it’s unlikely Cupertino will fatten their bank accounts any time soon. But the loss, is indeed a shot across the bow for Google, Samsung, and others looking to compete with the Android OS.
Hat Tip – Apple Insider