The verdict comes, by coincidence, one year to the day after Steve Jobs, his health rapidly failing, resigned as CEO of Apple and handed over control to his deputy, Tim Cook. Jobs had been known to rail against competitors, including Samsung and Google, who he saw as stealing Apple's ideas. Google makes the Android operating system, which Samsung and other electronics makers, including Motorola and LG, use in their smartphones.
Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford University, said he thinks the ruling could have industry-wide impact. "I think Apple's ultimate target is not just Samsung but the Android ecosystem. They view Google as their ultimate competitor, this is a setback for all of Android," Lemley told ABC News.
Industry analysts caution that the case is far from over. Samsung will almost surely appeal. It has been more successful in court in South Korea, where Apple was found to have infringed on some Samsung patents. The two companies there were ordered to pay each other limited damages.
Karina Rusk of ABC station KGO-TV contributed reporting for this story.