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Apple, Samsung win some, lose some in patent case
May 5, 2014, 1:19 pm
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An eight-person jury on Friday handed back a mixed verdict in the Apple v. Samsung patent-infringement case, determining that both companies were guilty in some aspects but not guilty in others. The jury found all of Samsung’s accused gadgets infringed Apple’s ‘647 “quick links” patent but that none infringed the ‘959 “universal search” patent or the ‘414 “background sync” patent.

Results were mixed for the ‘721 “slide to unlock” patent, with some Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Nexus, found to infringe, and others found not to. Judge Lucy Koh, in a pretrial judgement, had already ruled that Samsung infringed the ‘172 “automatic word correction” patent, and the jury simply calculated damages. The jury awarded Apple only $119.6 million for Samsung’s infringement, much less than the $2.2 billion it had requested.

Meanwhile, the jury also determined that Apple infringed Samsung’s ‘449 patent for photo and video organization in folders and awarded the Korean company $158,400. Samsung had accused Apple of infringing two patents and asked for damages of about $6.2 million.

The results of the trial are less clear cut than the previous patent-infringement case and damages retrial that netted Apple about $930 million. However, the results likely will be viewed as a victory for Samsung. The damages amount owed to Apple fall far below the company’s request, and Samsung wasn’t found to infringe all of Apple’s patents. In addition, Apple was found to infringe one of Samsung’s patents, something that didn’t occur in the previous trial.

“This outcome feels like a defensive victory for Samsung, but not a particularly shocking one,” said Brian Love, assistant professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law. “With Google directly involved in developing the allegedly infringing software, Apple’s claims that Samsung blatantly copied the iPhone never rang true.”

While the companies asked for damages, the case is about more than money. What’s really at stake is the market for mobile devices. Apple now gets two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad; South Korea-based Samsung is the world’s largest maker of smartphones; and both want to keep dominating the market.

 

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