In one of the biggest patent cases in decades, Apple Inc scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung on Friday as a US jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded the US company $ 1.051 billion in damages. A jury in San Jose, California rejected Samsung’s counterclaims against Apple. Apple had claimed its iconic iPhone and iPad had been illegally copied by Samsung.
Apple’s charges that Samsung copied its designs and features are widely viewed as an attack on Google Inc and its Android software, which drives Samsung’s devices and has become the most-used mobile software.
The verdict could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products like Galaxy Smartphones and Galaxy 10 tablets in US and will likely solidify Apple’s dominance of the exploding mobile computing market. This verdict could have huge market repercussions not only for Samsung but also for other companies that sell smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system, which may now face further legal challenges from Apple.
Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said of the verdict: “This is a great day for Apple. And it will turn into a very expensive day for Samsung.”
Samsung’s reaction to the verdict
“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” the South Korean electronics firm said after news of the $1 billion patent infringement award by a California jury.
“It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”
Samsung added, “Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.”
Apple has also issued statement on the victory, saying it sends “a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right”.
Statement of Apple
“We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values. At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right”.
Only the coming days would clarify whether Samsung would be able to continue to use the technology and pay Apple for the right to do so, or if they would decide to redesign their products.