A jury San Jose, California awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages over Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung over patent infringements. The decisive victory on Friday gives Apple leverage over its fight with global competitors in the patent wars, particularly over smartphones.
The nine jurors in the case took 3 days to deliver its verdict, fast considering they had to answer more than 700 questions, many of them very technical.
Samsung said it would contest the decision and if unsuccessful would appeal to a higher court.
Financially, this is not a huge blow to Samsung, one of the world’s largest electronics companies. But the decision could force Samsung and other smartphone companies to redesign their products to be less Apple-like, or risk further legal action and potential defeat.
This could be both good and bad for consumers. On one hand consumers may have more variety in smartphone design yet the design may not be what consumers want since smartphone makers have to design their product to be non Apple like.
The jury found Samsung products violated Apple patents such as the “bounce back” effect when a user scrolls to the end of a list on the iPhone and iPad, and the pinch-to-zoom feature that users make when they want to enlarge an image. Samsung was also found guilty of infringing Apple patents by basically copying the the physical design of the iPhone.
Samsung countersued and asked for more than $422 million from Apple, saying that Apple had violated Samsung’s patents. However, the jury awarded nothing to Samsung.
How this case will affect Android, the Google operating system used by Samsung and many other smartphone companies is yet to be determined. Currently, worldwide, the number of Android phones sold is three times that of the iPhone. This victory for Apple is a victory against Google in a way. The late Steven P. Jobs, once said that the Android was a “stolen product” based on the iOS.
Apple is expected to ask the judge for an injunction preventing Samsung from shipping products that infringe on Apple’s patents.
Apple’s stock went up 1.8 percent in after-hours trading. In a statement, Apple applauded the court for sending a “clear message that stealing isn’t right.”
“We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy,” said Katie Cotton, the Apple spokesperson.
Samsung on the other had said that this decision was a “loss for the American consumer.”
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