The nine-strong jury in the Apple/Samsung patent war delivered a decisive victory to Apple when it found in its favour after days of deliberation.
The jury awarded the Cupertino-based giant US$1.05-billion in damages, “providing ammunition for more legal attacks on its mobile-device rivals,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
The case focused around Apple’s claim that Samsung “slavishly” copied its mobile products (specifically the iPhone and iPad). Samsung countered with the simple defence that it didn’t.
The California jury found that several of Samsung’s devices had infringed Apple’s software and design patents. But dismissed Samsung’s claims that several of its patents had been contravened and awarded it no damages.
“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung said. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.”
“The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew,” said an Apple spokeswoman.
Samsung is not taking this lying down, and already has plans for its appeal.
“We will move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn this decision in this court and if we are not successful, we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals,” said Samsung.
But wait, there is more. Apple has asked for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, in the hopes of stopping the company from selling the products that infringe on Apple’s patents, reports The Next Web.
Talking to the BBC Michael Gartenburg, research director at Gartner, said the verdict could have “major ramifications” for the wider smart device sector.
“Apple patents being upheld will force the rest of the industry to both innovation and differentiation,” he said..
“That will be a good thing for consumers in the long run. Anyone who was even thinking about borrowing a technology or design from Apple will think twice about it now.
“Apple’s point was that it was possible to create an experience that doesn’t look like its designs and only Nokia and RIM Blackberry are really doing that right now.”
Samsung and Apple also do business with each other. Apple is one of Samsung’s largest customers for components for the iPhone and iPad. An interesting question will be if this verdict will impact badly on their business relations.
Apple has already started outsourcing the manufacture of its components to other companies. LG for instance is set to make the display for the upcoming iPhone 5.
Earlier in the week a Korean judge ruled in favour of Samsung in its case against Apple in that country. The ruling declared that Samsung didn’t copy Apple and that the US company had in fact infringed on its wireless patents.