San Francisco: Apple has won more than $1 billion in a massive victory over South Korean giant Samsung, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades — a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.
A jury in San Jose, California rejected Samsung’s counterclaims against Apple yesterday, according to media reports — a big win for the Silicon Valley giant, which had claimed its iconic iPhone and iPad had been illegally copied.
The jury, which had examined infringement claims and counter-claims by Apple and Samsung, ruled the South Korean electronics giant had infringed on a number of patents, the tech websites Cnet and The Verge said in live courtroom blogs. The verdict affects patents on a range of Samsung products including some of its popular Galaxy smartphones and its Galaxy 10 tablet — devices alleged to have been copied from the iPhone and iPad.
“This is a huge, crushing win for Apple,” said Brian Love, a professor of patent law at Santa Clara University. “All of its patents were held valid, and all but one were held to be infringed by most or all accused Samsung products. Even better for the company, five of the seven patents were held to be willfully infringed by Samsung.”
Love said this means that Judge Lucy Koh “now has the discretion to triple Apple’s damages award, which is already a monstrous and unprecedented $1.051 billion.”
Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said of the verdict: “This is a great day for Apple. And it will turn into a very expensive day for Samsung.”
Kagan said it was not immediately clear if Samsung would be able to continue to use the technology and pay Apple for the right to do so, or if they must pull their devices and redesign them.
In any case, the verdict in the case — one of several pending in global courts — is likely to have massive repercussions in the hottest part of the technology sector, smartphones and tablets.
Even a delay in sales could endanger Samsung’s position in the US market, where it is currently the top seller of smartphones.