A U.S.A court has ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion damages to Apple Inc., after ruling that the South Korean firm infringed on some Apple patents. While the US court verdict was a big win for Apple, the damages are less than half the $2.5 billion compensation it sought – although that could yet be increased by the judge – and are just 1.5 percent of annual revenues from Samsung’s telecoms business. Samsung sold around 50 million phones in April – June, almost twice the number of iPhones.
The fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in multiple countries, accusing the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued Apple Inc., for five patents infringement. The companies are rivals, but also have a $5 billion+ supply relationship. Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer for microprocessors and other parts central to Apple’s devices.
The jury deliberated for less than three days before delivering the verdict on seven Apple patent claims and five Samsung patent claims, suggesting that the nine-person panel had little difficulty in concluding that Samsung had copied the iPhone and the iPad.
Samsung said in a statement that the verdict was “a loss” for consumers and that Apple had “manipulated” the patent system. The South Korean firm also said the verdict was “not the final word” in this case or other similar battles around the world. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” it said. “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 Electronics said on Saturday it will contest a US court ruling . “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,” Samsung said.
Apple has also issued statement on the victory, saying it sends “a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right”.
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. If Apple decides to pursue similar legal challenges against other Android manufacturers then handset competitors using Android include Taiwan’s HTC Corp, LG Electronics, Google’s Motorola, Sony Corp and some Chinese brands, could be in trouble.
The next date in the seemingly endless legal battle falls on September 20, when Apple is expected to ask the court to bar US sales of Samsung devices that the jury found infringe Apple’s patents.