Fri August 24, 2012
Apple Emerges Victorious In Patent Trial Against Samsung
Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 6:54 pm
In what was billed the "patent trial of the century," Apple emerged victorious in its fight against Samsung.
A federal grand jury in San Jose, Calif. quickly worked through a 20-page verdict form, finding that Samsung violated many of Apple's patents, handing the Cupertino tech behemoth a major victory and a little more than $1 billion in damages.
It was a complicated case but as the San Jose Mercury News puts it, in the end it was a clear victory for Apple.
Perhaps what makes it clearer is that the jury did not award Samsung any damages on any of its counter claims.
All Things D reports that the jury found Samsung violated utility patents as well as design patents. It found that some of the infringements were "willful."
All Things D adds:
"It wasn't a clean sweep as the seven man, two woman jury did find in Samsung's favor on some patents as to a handful of the 20-something phones and tablets that Apple had accused Samsung of infringing. However, the jury found in Apple's favor on a number of Samsung's most popular phones.
"The verdict, which will no doubt be appealed, is being delivered at the San Jose Federal Courthouse on Friday afternoon."
What happens next is unclear, but it is certain to rile the mobile market. Reuters reports that the verdict "could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products and will likely solidify Apple's dominance of the exploding mobile computing market."
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Apple is now free to move to block the sale of phones such as the Samsung Fascinate, Epic 4G and Galaxy S II.
This decision may also lead to further litigation against other smartphone companies.
Update at 9:55 p.m. ET. Devices May Start To Look Different:
As part of the fallout from this case, The Verge reports, there will likely be lots of changes to user interface technology across the Android operating system:
"... 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."
This case does not deal with the most recent Samsung products; Koh is scheduled to preside over a second patent case on newer products in 2014, according to the Mercury News.
"The trial dealt only with an older line of Samsung smartphones and tablets, reflecting the fact that such patent feuds often lag behind the release of new technology."
Update at 7:43 p.m. ET. 'Best Case Scenario' For Apple:
Reuters spoke to Brian Love, a Santa Clara law school professor, who said this was a crushing victory.
"This is the best-case scenario Apple could have hoped for," Love told Reuters.
Update at 7:12 p.m. ET. Zero Damages For Samsung:
"Salt in the wound for Samsung, jury announces 'zero' damages forf Samsung"
Update at 7:07 p.m. ET. More Than $1 Billion In Damages For Apple:
The jury has awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages. This verdict is still being read and Samsung may receive damages, too.
Update at 7:03 p.m. ET. A Ruling For Apple:
In its first look at the verdict, the AP says the jury has ruled in favor of Apple.
That's the thinking of Ina Fried at All Things D, who says that the jury has found that Samsung violated Apple's patents with many, but not all of its phones.
"In at least some cases, the infringement was found to be willful, which could lead the judge to raise the amount of damages awarded to Apple.
"It wasn't a clean sweep as the jury did find in Samsung's favor on some patents as to a handful of the 20-something phones and tablets that Apple had accused Samsung of infringing. However, the jury found in Apple's favor on a number of Samsung's most popular phones."
The Mercury News' Howard Mintz says the jury found Samsung's Galaxy tablets did not infringe on Apple's patents.
Update at 6:46 p.m. ET. Jury Finds Samsung Infringed On Some Patents:
We're through about four questions and what's clear so far is that the jury has found Samsung has infringed on some patents.
Gerry Shih of Reuters reports that Apple wins on the "bounce back" feature on all devices and "Apple wins most on scroll multitouch," which the Merc's Mintz also says is the "pinch and zoom" feature.
Update at 6:38 p.m. ET. Jury's In:
Howard Mintz, of the Merc, tweets:
"jury is in the house"
Update at 6:29 p.m. ET. Live Coverage:
It will also take a while to get an idea of who — if anyone — came out victorious.
Update at 6:24 p.m. ET. The Verdict Form:
If you're interested, Cult of Mac has posted the 20-page verdict form.
Update at 6:06 p.m. ET. 700 Questions:
NPR's Wendy Kaufman, who has been covering the trial, says we should expect the verdict to be read at about 6:30 p.m. ET.
But we're not getting a straight guilty/not guilty type verdict. Here's how Wendy explained it in a piece for Morning Edition on Wednesday:
"'What's at stake here is the future of smartphones and the tablet market,' says intellectual property expert Christopher V. Carani.
"He notes that the patents being debated cover both design and how things work. The jurors will be given a verdict form with about 700 questions, and they're supposed to decide if any of about three-dozen devices made by Apple or Samsung infringe on patents owned by the other company.
"Carani says comparing each product to all of the patents will be difficult.
"'For each one, they'll have to have an itemized determination regarding infringement,' Carani says, 'then moving to invalidity — in other words, whether or not the patents were valid or invalid. And then if there is a finding of liability, they'll have to go to each one of the asserted products and products and determine what level of damages were incurred.'"