Back from an unexpectedly short 21-hour deliberation period, a jury has sided with Apple in its lawsuit against Samsung Electronics in California and awarded more than $1 billion in damages to the Cupertino, California-based iPhone-maker.
The verdict was handed down on Friday at a California District Court and means that Samsung must pay $1.05 billion to Apple. That’s $1,049,343,540 if you must split hairs.
Meanwhile, nothing of the $421 million Samsung asked as damages from Apple in its own counter-suit was granted by the jury.
The damages award for Apple is relatively much smaller than the $2.75 billion the iPhone- and iPad-maker asked the jury to award it.
However, the case is much more than about money as the decision in favor of Apple has given it a serious leg up against competitors in the smartphone space.
The case has far reaching effects in Apple’s various legal battles against Samsung and other manufacturers.
The jury found for Apple in its arguments that Samsung infringed design and utility patents. The jury also ruled “willful infringement” on Samsung’s part in five of six patents Apple alleged its rival violated.
Furthermore, Apple design and utility patents were upheld by the jury meaning they could use the patents to sue other manufacturers of smartphones.
The jury also upheld trade dress patent ‘983 held by Apple and consequently grants Apple with more legal ammunition to go after manufacturers it thinks are infringing on how their devices look, feel and are packaged.
As for Samsung’s side, Apple did not violate Samsung utility patents. Apple owes Samsung no damages, the jury decided.
However, on the bright side for Samsung, the jury ruled that it was not violating antitrust laws with its 3G-related patents which have become industry standards.
Apple argued in the case that Samsung copied the look and feel of its devices. It also said that the South Korean consumer electronics giant, its biggest supplier of components that go into i-devices, infringed some of the utility patents it owns.
Samsung argued in the case that Apple should not have a patent on a rectangle with rounded corners which Samsung lawyers paraphrased Apple as claiming it owns. Nonetheless, the jury decided otherwise.
Herein lay the biggest win for Apple. It can use these patents to sue other manufacturers of smartphones running on different mobile operating systems like Android, Windows Phone and others.
Design-wise, Apple can choose to go after manufacturers like LG which also makes phones which look alike Samsung smartphones with their flat front and rounded corners.
Apple’s arguments also included a patent for the look of the home screen of the iPhone including the appearance of their icons.
This means Apple can also sue other device manufacturers for possible likeness of their phones’ icons with the icons of the iPhone.
The shortness of the deliberation comes as somewhat of a surprise even for the lawyers in the case.
The case was a complicated one with myriad allegations the jury had to decide on.
To demonstrate the complexity of the case, jury instructions which were read on Tuesday was 109 pages long and prompted Judge Lucy Koh, the US District Judge who oversaw the trial, comment that she needed the jury and herself awake for the reading.
She even made the court stand up every now and then to, as she said, make sure they were all alive.
For the verdict, jury had to fill out a form which was 20-pages long that listed questions that the jury had to answer to specify which allegations they judge as correct.
This is in spite of Judge Koh having imposed a time limit for both camps to present their case.
Samsung and Apple were each given 25 hours to present their case and then an additional four hours to deliver their closing arguments before the court.
Here’s a copy of the verdict form by the jury in the case. Samsung is expected to appeal this decision which was overwhelmingly in favor of Apple.