A jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages after finding that Samsung infringed a series of Apple patents on smartphones and tablet computers, in a closely watched court case that could have broad implications for the mobile business.
As the jury's verdict was read in a federal court case in San Jose, Calif., Apple appeared to prevail on many of its claims against Samsung, according to Reuters. These included allegations that various Samsung products violated an Apple patent covering the "bounce back" effect when a user scrolls to the end of a list, and the pinch-to-zoom gesture that users make when they want to magnify an image on their screens.
The nine-person jury deliberated for three days, fewer than many had expected for such a complex case. Jurors were required to fill out a 20-page verdict form with answers to more than 700 questions relating to the particulars of the case.
It was the first in a wave of legal cases in the U.S. involving smartphone patents to reach a jury trial, and the one with the highest profile because the parties in the suit, Samsung and Apple, are the two biggest makers of smartphones in the world.
Apple had asked the jury to award it $2.5 billion in damages for what it said was Samsung's violation of a handful of patents related to the physical design and software functions of the iPhone and iPad. In a countersuit, Samsung had demanded that Apple pay it $422 million for its own patent violations.
The stakes in the case are enormous, in large part because Apple has become the most valuable public company ever through the blockbuster success of its mobile products. The lawsuit, and others like it by Apple, were an effort to respond to the rise of devices based on Google's Android operating system, which Apple executives view as a knock-off of the software for the iPhone and iPad. Samsung is the biggest maker of Android smartphones.
Analysts and legal experts had predicted that a victory for Apple in the case would send a signal to all Android device makers that they should make greater efforts to steer clear of features and design that resemble those of Apple products. A win for Samsung, on the other hand, could give Apple's rivals greater leeway to copy Apple product products with impunity, making it harder for the company to distinguish its creations.
The evidence Apple presented during the trial, including internal Samsung memos and strategy documents, left little doubt that the iPhone inspired a major effort by the Korean manufacturer to overhaul its mobile phone efforts.
But a key question throughout the trial was whether the jury would decide that Samsung had stepped over the line by improperly copying Apple's technologies.
The verdict in the trial hardly concludes the legal battles over patents among companies in the mobile business. There are dozens of legal cases between Apple and Samsung winding their way through courts in other countries.