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Jury: Samsung should pay Apple more than $1 billion

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  • Jury: Samsung should pay Apple more than $1 billion

    A federal jury in California on Friday recommended that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion in damages after finding Samsung was guilty of "willful" violations of a number of Apple's patents in the creation of its own mobile products.

    The jury did not recommend awarding Samsung any money in its counterclaims that Apple had violated some of its patents. The judge and lawyers from both Apple and Samsung continued to discuss the jury forms late Friday afternoon.

    "This is a huge win for Apple," Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor, said over e-mail. The award "is just large enough to make it the largest surviving patent verdict in history."

    In aftermarket trading, Apple stock jumped more than $12 a share, to more than $675 a share.

    Samsung said the verdict should be viewed "as a loss for the American consumer."

    "It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," the company said in a written statement. "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.

    "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 praised the court for "sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right."

    "The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew," the company said in a statement.

    An issue still to be decided is whether to grant injunctions that could prevent Samsung from selling products that infringe on Apple's patents. Koh wanted both sides to be ready for a hearing on the matter in two weeks, but Samsung's team argued that wasn't enough time. A hearing then was scheduled for September 20.

    Apple had asked for $2.7 billion in damages, claiming that Samsung "ripped off" its iPad and iPhone designs. Samsung countersued Apple for infringing on five of its patents and asked for $519 million.

    A nine-person jury spent just two and a half days puzzling out its final verdict, with weeks of notes and memories of testimony, 109 pages of jury instructions, and boxes of evidence including a collection of contested smartphones and tablets as their guide.

    The jurors had to complete a complicated 20-page verdict form filled with charts and yes or no answers to suss out exactly which device violated what patents and which companies were responsible. Finally, they had to do the calculations to determine the final damages amounts.

    Each side was given 30 minutes to go over the form and search for inconsistencies. Judge Koh and Samsung spotted a problem with the damages amount for a Galaxy Tab model. After being sent back to the jury for reconsideration, the total amount of damages was bumped down by about $2.5 million, to $1,049,343,540.

    After the trial was over, all nine jurors opted to leave through a back door of the courthouse to avoid speaking with the mass of reporters waiting at the front entrance.

    The lawsuit is the largest yet in the ongoing worldwide patent brawl between the two companies, which itself is just one battle in Apple's war against Google's Android mobile operating system. On August 24, a South Korean court found that both parties had infringed on each other's patents, banning the sale of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, two iPad models and Samsung's Galaxy S2.

    The Korean court ordered Apple to pay Samsung $35,000 and Samsung to pay Apple $22,000.

    Source: CNN

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