Jurors have finally reached a verdict in the latest patent spat between smartphone rivals Apple and Samsung. This trial will determine whether Samsung violated Apple’s technology patents, and, if they did, the extent of the damages incurred by Apple in losses to competing infringing devices. Apple has argued that it is owned over $2 billion in damages, and brought in several expert witnesses to testify on that point.
Earlier this month, we recapped the five key software patents that Apple claims Samsung violated. We’ve broken down the verdicts for each patent below. Samsung insists that Apple’s patents still haven’t been proven valid, so there’s a chance that some of these verdicts could be overturned on that basis in the future.
The jury found that Samsung infringed on the following Apple patents:
- Patent 5,946,647 — Apple’s “data detectors” that transform typed text (such as email addresses) into actionable links
- Patent 8,046,721 — Gesture-based unlock screen (“slide to unlock”); only some devices were found to infringe this patent
- Patent 8,074,172 — Deals with how autocorrect suggests words
Not Guilty Verdicts
The jury found that Samsung did not infringe on the following Apple patents:
- Patent 6,847,959 — A system that can search local and Internet-based data together (the “search web” button in Spotlight)
- Patent 7,761,414 — Deals with certain data synchronization methods (like iCloud)
The court ruled that Samsung owed Apple only $119,625,000 in damages—a far cry from the $2 billion the Cupertino company was seeking.
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Apple gave a statement to Re/code praising the jury’s decision:
“We are grateful to the jury and the court for their service,” Apple told Re/code. “Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products. 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’s Patent Violations
The court also ruled that Apple had infringed on some of Samsung’s property and awarded the Korean company $158,400 in damages.
Apple was found not guilty in the case of Samsung patent 5,579,239, which deals with streaming video during FaceTime/video calls. Apple was found guilty of infriging Samsung’s patent 6,226,449, which deals with recording and storing digital images and audio.
During the trial, much was revealed about the state of the Apple’s “thermonuclear war” on Android. We learned that marketing head Phil Schiller was so concerned by competitive advertising efforts that he considered firing Apple’s ad agency and finding new blood to promote the company’s iconic products.
We also got to take a peek behind the curtain at some internal emails from Steve Jobs breaking down the company’s plans for the iPhone 4s rollout, the public release of iCloud, and more.
Google recently jumped into the fray and agreed to pay some of Samsung’s legal costs in the event that the South Korean company loses the suit. It looks like Google will be making good on that promise now.
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