Apple Wins $120 Million from Samsung in Smartphone Patents Suit

The Cupertino-based tech giant, after seeking $2 billion in damages, won only $120 million from Samsung Electronics Co. in a jury trial over smartphone technology

Apple had sought $2.2bn from Samsung, accusing it of infringing five patents covering functions such as slide-to-lock, universal searching and quick linking. Photo: Miroslav Petrov/ Flickr

Apple had sought $2.2bn from Samsung, accusing it of infringing five patents covering functions such as slide-to-lock, universal searching and quick linking. Photo: Miroslav Petrov/ Flickr

A federal judge found Samsung guilty in violating some of the Apple’s patents and ordered South Korean smartphone maker to pay Apple about $120 million in damages, after the Cupertino-based giant was seeking $2 billion in damages.

After weeks of deliberation a panel jury of four women and four men, determined Friday that Samsung infringed two of the four Apple patents they considered – slide-to-unlock feature and a patent for a process for placing links in apps.

All in all, Apple accused Samsung of infringing five of its patents covering functions such as slide-to-lock, universal searching, quick linking, automatic word correction and background syncing.

The California jury also ruled that Apple infringed Samsung patents and awarded the company $158,000 in damages skimming that amount from the original $119.62-million verdict. Samsung had sought $6 million.  Samsung claimed that Apple violated two of its smartphone patents related to camera use and video transmission.

However, for Apple the verdict was a far cry from the wanted $2.2 billion and the $930 million it won in a separate 2012 trial making similar patent infringement claims against older Samsung products, most of which are no longer for sale in the United States.

However, the award could still be adjusted slightly in favor of Apple, as the panel was ordered to return to court Monday for further deliberations on a minor matter that could result in a higher award – and they were prevented from talking publicly about the case.

Samsung attorneys said the request for such large damages was driven by Apple’s greed and a desire to use the courts to reverse the market share Apple was losing to Samsung products that run on Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system.

“What this case is really about is Apple trying to limit consumer choice and to limit the advantage of its main competitor, Google’s Android,” Samsung attorney Peter Quinn said in his opening statement. “It’s trying to gain from you in this courtroom what it’s lost in the marketplace.”

The world’s top two smartphone makers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees on battles across four continents to dominate a market that was valued at $338.2 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Even though Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over both major patent trials, upheld the verdict and most of the damages in the first trial, she declined to implement a permanent injunction on Samsung products. Such an injunction could have at least had some effect on sales, experts said. But without such a ban, the first trial and its outcome have done little to stem Samsung’s momentum.

“Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet.

“We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.”

Apple has long targeted iPhone copycats. Its late CEO, Steve Jobs, famously vowed to wage “thermonuclear war” against companies he felt ripped off the device — particularly Google, which makes the Android mobile operating system. Apple has gone head to head with Samsung, HTC and Motorola, all of which make Android-based phones, reports Politico.

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