It seems that the Apple-Samsung patent war has come to a head as a U.S. court on Friday announced that the South Korean electronics giant was to pay a sum of $1 billion for damages regarding intellectual property infringement. The decision came after a near-month-long proceeding that saw the two firms in dispute over patents pertaining to smartphone technology with the iPhone manufacturer, Apple, accusing Samsung of software and design patent infringement. The dispute between the two companies had already been taken to court in other countries, and in the U.S. in particular it saw certain Samsung products being banned from sale until the patent dispute was resolved. Now a U.S. jury has decided that Samsung was indeed infringing on Apple’s patents, and a U.S. federal court in San Jose, California, has ordered the Korean firm to pay damages of $1.05 billion to its rival.
The decision came after the nine-member jury deliberated for three days before coming up with a unanimous decision that directed Samsung to pay damages to Apple. Under consideration by the jury were almost 700 points and counterpoints from both companies as to the legitimacy of their respective claims, and according to the jury’s decision, it was seen to maintain five points that Apple had put forward. In detail, these points pertained to both design and software patents, namely that the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and other models such as the Mesmerize, Infuse and Galaxy Prevail had copied the look of existing iPhones and even presented text and icons similarly; that Samsung had also copied Apple’s “Bounce Back Response” which allowed lists to bounce back; and lastly that the South Korean electronics firm had copied Apple’s text zooming function.
Apple had sought a sum of $2.5 billion from Samsung, while Samsung was seeking $519 million in lost sales. Although the present court ruling has been in Apple’s favor, the company is seeking further punitive measures against Samsung, saying it will seek a sales injunction on certain Samsung products and will do so at the follow-up hearing in late September. Samsung has said that it will appeal, and in a statement said that the decision was "a loss for the American consumer,” adding that, “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” and that it was "unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners." Meanwhile, Apple stated that the court was right to fine Samsung and that the decision sent a “loud and clear message that stealing isn't right."
Commenting on the decision, a research director at Gartner, Michael Gartenburg said, "Anyone who was even thinking about borrowing a technology or design from Apple will think twice about it now."