THE ISSUE: Apple Inc. claimed Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones and computer tablets “slavishly copied” the iPhones and iPads. Samsung countered with its own claims that Apple used its wireless technology without proper compensation.
THE VERDICT: A nine-person jury unanimously agreed with Apple and ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion. Most of the damages were tied to Samsung’s smartphones. It rejected Samsung’s counterclaims.
THE FALLOUT: The award represents about 1.5 percent of Samsung’s annual revenue. Analysts said the embarrassment of the verdict is a bigger blow for Samsung than the financial setback. Still, the question remains whether Samsung and other Apple competitors will have to redesign their smartphones to avoid infringing Apple’s patents. Most analysts agree the verdict sends a threatening message to device makers like Samsung who use Google’s Android operating system.
WHAT’S NEXT: Samsung is asking the trial judge to toss out the jury’s verdict. If that fails, the South Korean technology giant says it will appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. For its part, Apple will ask the judge to triple the damages award to $3 billion since the jury found Samsung “willfully” infringed its patents. Apple will also seek to have several of Samsung’s smartphone’s removed from the U.S. market. The judge set a Sept. 20 hearing and will decide these and other issues afterward.
OTHER LITIGATION: The two bitter rivals are tied up in the courts of nine other countries. Before the verdict was rendered in San Jose on Friday, a South Korean court issued a split decision and ordered both companies to pay the other nominal damages.