It's one damaging victory in a string of legal cases between Apple and Samsung that's stretched across the globe.
Reuters reports that a jury has awarded Apple $1.051 billion USD in damages in a local patent case against Samsung. The 9-person jury reportedly deliberated for less than three days before determining that Samsung had indeed copied the iPhone and iPad, infringing on several of Apple's patents. Jurors were required to fill out a 20-page verdict form with answers to over 700 questions relating to the particulars of the case, the New York Times adds.
In its suit against Samsung, Apple claimed that several products violated an Apple patent called "bounce back," essentially a visual effect which takes place when the user scrolls to the end of a list. The devices also infringed upon an Apple patent in which consumers use a pinch-to-zoom gesture when they want to magnify an image on their screen. Seven Apple patents total spanning physical and software were in question.
Apple had asked the jury to award it $2.5 billion in damages. The company produced evidence including internal Samsung memos and strategy documents that clearly indicated that the iPhone pushed the Korean company into overhauling its mobile phone efforts. It even presented juxtaposing pictures of phones from both companies to show the similarities. Based on the evidence, Samsung seemingly took shortcuts to get products out quicker.
Samsung argued that Apple had no sole right to geometric designs including a rectangular form factor with rounded edges. The company called Apple's damage claims "ridiculous," and urged the jury not to side with Apple, as it would stifle competition and reduce choices for consumers. Until today, the ongoing battle and bickering between the two had become just as ridiculous, each side struggling to thwart the other side's strategy, even sparking amusing comments from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh herself.
But with the verdict now given, Samsung, the biggest maker of Android phones, now faces an outright ban of its key products here in the States. Device manufacturers that use the Android operating system may also face additional legal challenges from Apple. Analysts and legal experts predict that phone makers will now make greater efforts to steer clear of features and designs that resemble Apple products.
Prior to the verdict on Friday, a South Korean court determined that both companies shared the blame. Samsung was ordered to stop selling ten products including its Galaxy S II phone. Apple was ordered to stop selling four different products including the iPhone 4. Meanwhile, Apple just this week became the biggest company by market value in history. Shares on Friday climbed 2-percent to a record high of $675 in after-hours trade.
As for the $5 billion-plus supply relationship between Apple and Samsung, that may be peppered for quite some time. Currently Apple is Samsung's biggest customer for components, yet this patent case was merely one victory amongst a string of legal battles between the two that are still winding their way through court systems across the globe. However this single U.S.-based battle has been deemed the most important, and will likely set the tone for the other legal cases.