Samsung Ordered To Pay Apple $119m In Patent Case

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A US jury has awarded Apple less than 10 percent of what it had sought in the latest result of the two companies’ wide-ranging legal battle

A San Jose, California federal circuit court has found Samsung guilty of infringing two of Apple’s smartphone patents, ordering the South Korean company to pay $119m (£71m) in damages.

The award is far lower than the just over $2bn Apple had sought. Apple accused Samsung of violating five of its patents.

Worldwide battle

The jury also found Apple guilty of infringing Samsung’s patents, awarding $158,000 in damages, compared to the $6m Samsung had sought.

Apple had accused Samsung of violating patents on technologies including search and “slide-to-unlock”, while Samsung claimed Apple’s devices infringed upon patents related to camera use and video transmission.

The verdict is the latest round in the two companies’ worldwide legal patent battle, which began three years ago. Samsung is the largest maker of devices using Google’s successful Android mobile operating system.

Another court decision two years ago, covering different patents, ordered Samsung to pay Apple $930m, but Apple failed to obtain an injunction blocking the importation of Samsung’s devices into the US. That verdict is still being challenged by Samsung.

Legal analysts said that the small awards in these cases, relative to the damages initially claimed, calls into question whether the cases are worthwhile.

“It is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple,” Brian Love, assistant professor at the Santa Clara University law school, in a statement. “This amount is less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested, and probably doesn’t surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case. Apple launched this litigation campaign years ago, with aspirations of slowing the meteoric rise of Android phone manufacturers. It has so far failed to do so, and this case won’t get it any closer.”

‘Inflated’ claims

Samsung argued during the trial that Apple’s claims were inflated. The large amounts demanded by Apple were, in fact, the main reason why the patent issues were not settled out of court, according to Samsung.

Former Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is known to have vowed a “death-bed vendetta” against the Android devices, seeing them as having unfairly copied Apple’s concepts.

Apple responded to the verdict with a statement repeating its claim that “Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products”. Samsung was not immediately available for comment.

The court must now decide whether to issue an injunction against Samsung’s infringing products, but analysts said this was highly unlikely due to the stringent standards of the federal circuit court for such injunctions.

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Posted on May 5, 2014, in Tech and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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