Samsung guilty of willful Patent Infringement, owes a billion to Apple

As news about the recent verdict in Apple’s patent infringement suit against Samsung makes the rounds on the internet, we thought it would helpful to provide a little insight. However, for those who are interested the amended verdict is available here.

The verdict, is simply a copy of the form which was based upon the finding by the jury. As indicated on the verdict form, the jury itemized the damages to Apple and based upon their calculation, it was determined that Apple lost in excess of one billion dollars to Samsung for their willful patent infringement.

Apple’s (iPhone) sued Samsung (Galaxy) over the similarity between the two smartphones. Originally, Apple received a billion dollars for the damages caused by Samsung’s willful patent infringement.

In addition, the jury determined that Samsung willfully infringed some of Apple’s patents and that Apple did not infringe any of Samsung’s patents. For those who didn’t know, Samsung was counter-suing Apple for patent infringement based upon a number of Samsung related patents. Prior to the verdict, Android devices had been found liable for infringing 11 patents. Based upon Friday’s verdict, that number increases by three utility patents, four design patents along with Apple’s trade dress.

The decision, will be appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and the final outcome, including the monetary award will be uncertain until then. Because the liability was determined by a jury, the liability should in all likelihood remain substantially unchanged. One of the reasons, which was noted by Samsung’s attorney, was that the finding was inconsistent. For example, the jury said one device didn’t infringe, but then they awarded Apple $2 million for inducement infringement. In another example, the jury awarded a couple of hundred thousand dollars for a device which was ruled as not infringing at all.

As a result of the ruling, Apple now has new steam in their engine. They are coming off a sizable victory, not only from a patent stand point, but also with respect to their trade dress and design patents. Apple can now afford to bring additional patent infringement suits against Samsung based upon a number of patents which were dropped to streamline the case for trial. In addition, Apple may chose to go add additional claims against Google and other’s for their involvement with Samsung.

Probably the most significant aspect is the value which the design patents provided Apple. Samsung was found to be liable for infringing four design patents, two of them willfully. In addition, Samsung was found liable for willfully infringing Apple’s iPhone trade dress. The value which these alternative protections provided will most likely result in continued and renewed faith in filing for design patents and trade dress protection.

While, the results of the jury verdict, certainly aren’t beneficial for Samsung, it should by no means be an end for Samsung devices or Android devices. Samsung should easily be able to develop around the various trade dress and design patent aspects. In addition, Samsung vis-à-vis Google should be able to implement changes to the software and related technology, although the end product may not be as cool as the iPhone.

So round one, in the U.S., goes to Apple, but the outcome is anything but over.

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