In what is clearly a damaging loss to Samsung, the jury in the American part of the Apple vs Samsung battle has ruled in favour of Apple and its claims that Samsung had infringed on its intellectual property, and awarded at least $1.049 billion in damages.
The jury found that Samsung infringed on Apple’s utility patents on some products, wilful infringement on five of six patents, and upheld that Samsung ‘diluted’ the trade dress – or design – of the iPhone (but only for the iPhone 3G apparently)
As well, Samsung lost their countersuit in where they claim Apple was infringing on their patents. They will get nothing. However, it wasn’t that bad of a loss with the jury also finding that the company did not violate agreements or antitrust laws; and that the design of the iPad (which was unregistered) and the iPhone/iPad combination trade dress could not be protected.
Samsung has, obviously, decided to appeal and they’ll be back in court on September 20.
Samsung was quick in releasing a statement, calling it as a “loss for the American consumer” and means less innovation:
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.
Apple, via a spokeswoman, told the New York Times that the verdict shows that “stealing isn’t right”:
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.
The Verge‘s Nilay Patel wrote:
After this, the dominoes will begin falling fast. In the short term, expect Apple to seek sales injunctions against the accused devices that are still on sale — the Galaxy S II is still available around the world, for example, and the power of a jury verdict will make those requests very easy for Apple to pursue. […]
In the long term, we’re sure to see lots of UI behaviors change across Android — most companies have already moved away from the bounceback scrolling behavior protected by the Apple patent in this case, and we’re sure to see tap-to-zoom and multitouch scrolling behavior affected on new devices as well. We’re also sure to see new handsets adopt highly differentiated designs, as Apple has proven both its design patent and trade dress claims are strong enough to persuade a jury.
Over at FOSSpatents, Florian Mueller writes that while the ruling isn’t “thermonuclear”, it will see a pish by Apple to enforce more of its design patents against Samsung:
Since Samsung has been found to have infringed intentionally and recklessly (partly on its own, partly in conjunction with its “partner in crime”, Google), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California will adjudicate more of Apple’s asserted patents in the future. In particular, Apple has the right to reassert all of the patents it dropped ahead of this trial in an effort to narrow the case. Apple’s legal team — in-house lawyers as well as the law firm managing its offensive claims, Morrison & Foerster, with a team led by Harold McElhinny and Michael Jacobs — made just the right picks to focus on slam dunks for this trial. […]
Today’s verdict also shows that the only country in which Samsung can score any serious win with its own patents — some of which are standard-essential and the rest of which isn’t impactful — against Apple is Korea.
CNET’s Roger Cheng notes that this loss by Samsung is damaging on Google and Android – and they should nervous:
While the monetary damages are significant, they pale in comparison to the precedent set by this jury that Apple’s design patents are valid and worth protection, giving it license to go after any company with a similar looking product. That’s bad news for any company building an Android smartphone or tablet.
“This is a big loss for Google,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “There were actually two parties being sued by Apple. Google just wasn’t named.”
And over on Microsoft’s side?