A Huge Win For Apple: Samsung Found Guilty In Patent Lawsuit
Samsung Found Guilty In Patent Lawsuit
The jury has reached a verdict in the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit.
Apple originally filed suit against Samsung in April 2011, charging that the company had copied elements of its smartphone and tablet design. In addition to demanding 2.5 billion in damages, Apple called for Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets to be taken off the market. The suit went so far as to allege that Samsung’s designs were so similar to Apple’s that consumers had difficulty distinguishing between the iPad and the Galaxy tablet. Samsung countersued Apple in response, claiming that it had in fact infringed on Samsung patents.
The nine member jury was presented with extremely detailed technical arguments from both sides–including over 700 examples of alleged infringement–but reached a decision after only three days of deliberation.
That turned out to be bad news for Samsung, as the jury ruled that it willfully infringed on five of six of the alleged patents. They also upheld Apple’s trade dress patent, which relates to the visual appearance and UI design of iPhones and iPads. Furthermore, they concluded that Samsung had “diluted” Apple’s trade dress in the design of certain Samsung products. In laymen’s terms, the jury agreed that Samsung had copied elements of Apples patented designs.
In total, Samsung will be forced to pay 1.05 billion in damages.
Apple was vindicated by the jury’s finding that it had not, in fact, infringed on any Samsung utility patents; and, Samsung was awarded no damages in their countersuit.
Any way you slice it, the landmark ruling represents a huge win for Apple. That the jury upheld Apple patents that show ownership of certain ubiquitous UI designs–the pinch and zoom, for example–will certainly affect the future of competitor’s smartphone designs.