Apple v. Samsung: Jury Rules for Apple, Recommends Over $1 Billion in Damages

Verdict in patent case is big win for Apple.

ByABC News
August 24, 2012, 6:22 PM

Aug. 24, 2012 — -- After just three days of deliberation, the jury in the Apple v. Samsung patent-infringement has handed Apple a big win, finding Samsung guilty of infringing on a number of Apple patents, and recommending that Apple be awarded $1.05 billion in damages.

The jury found that the majority of Samsung smartphones and tablets violated patents held by Apple. It included features such as one that allows a user to tap their screen to zoom in and out of an image, and a scrolling "bounce back" feature.

The jury added that in a number of cases it believed Samsung's infringement was willful. It said Samsung should not be awarded any damages in its countersuit against Apple.

"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," said Apple spokesperson Katie Cotton in a prepared statement. "The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew. The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values."

Samsung, stung by the verdict, called it "a loss for the American consumer."

"It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices," said Samsung in a 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."

Apple will seek an injunction against Samsung phones and tablets that infringe on the company's patents. The hearing on the injunction is set for Sept. 20.

Nilay Patel, a former patent attorney and managing editor of The Verge, a technology publication, said Apple's competitors have already begun to change their new products to protect themselves.

"I think Apple's proven that its case about copying is very strong; we are already seeing software features change," Patel told ABC News. "I am sure we are going to see other software changes. I also believe we are going to see a highly differentiated hardware design."

The jury had to come to a unanimous verdict. Jurors were given a 109-page document with instructions about the case.

Apple sued Samsung last year for copying the essential features of its iPad and iPhone. Samsung responded with a suit of its own. Apple asked for more than $2 billion in damages and Samsung just over $500 million.

During the trial, Apple argued that Samsung copied numerous aspects of its smartphone and tablet designs, including touch screen gestures, icon design, and overall hardware aesthetic. In the process, Apple had to reveal secrets about the design of its products, including never-before-seen prototypes of iPhones and iPads.

Samsung's closing argument listed ways its products were different from Apple's. "Apple [is trying] to prevent its largest competitor from giving consumers what they want: smartphones with big screens," Samsung's lead attorney, Charles Verhoeven, said in closing arguments.

Samsung and Apple refused to settle out of court, even though, with so much at stake to be decided by a jury of non-experts, Judge Lucy Koh urged the two companies to come to an agreement.

In such a complex case, not all the verdicts went Apple's way. The jurors said some of Samsung's phones were legitimately its own. But as the decisions were read in the courtroom, they mostly went Apple's way.