Apple Wins $1 Billion as Jury Finds Samsung Violated Patents
Published: Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | 9:32 PM ET
By: Reuters with CNBC.com
Apple scored a sweeping legal victory over Samsung Electronics on Friday as a U.S. jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded the U.S. company $1.05 billion in damages.
As for the countersuit, the jury found Apple did not violate any of Samsung's wireless standards or feature patents.
Shares of Apple [AAPL Loading... () ], which this week became the biggest company by market value in history, hit an all-time high of $675 in after-hours trading. Click here for the latest after-hours quote.
The verdict, which came much sooner than expected, could lead to an outright ban on sales of key Samsung products and will likely solidify Apple's dominance of the exploding mobile computing market.
A number of companies that sell smartphones based on Google's [GOOG Loading... () ] Android operating system may now face further legal challenges from Apple, a company that is already among the largest and most profitable in business history.
After the verdict, Apple's lawyers said they will file for a sales injunction against Samsung within the next seven days. The judge in the case set a Sept. 20 hearing on the proposed injunction.
Brian Love, a Santa Clara law school professor, described it as a crushing victory for Apple: "This is the best-case scenario Apple could have hoped for."
In a statement after the verdict, Apple said, "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 trail showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew ... We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right."
Samsung also issued a post-verdict statement, saying, "Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. 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 ... 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."
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.
Billions of dollars in future sales hang in the balance.
Apple's charges that Samsung copied its designs and features are widely viewed as an attack on Google and its Android software, which drives Samsung's devices and has become the most-used mobile software.
Apple and Samsung, two companies that sell more than half the world's smartphones and tablets, have locked legal horns in several countries this year.
Earlier on Friday, a South Korean court found that both companies shared blame, ordering Samsung to stop selling 10 products including its Galaxy S II phone and banning Apple from selling four different products, including its iPhone 4.