Apple wins $1 billion in Samsung patent case

A California jury awarded Apple Inc more than $1.05 billion on Friday in its patent infringement claim that Samsung Electronics Co copied technology used in its iPad and iPhone. The nine-member jury in a federal court in San Jose, California, found overwhelmingly in Apple’s favour, saying Samsung had infringed on six of seven smartphone patents in question. The US lawsuit was one of several cases around the world between California-based Apple and South Korean Samsung over technology rights and innovation in the fast-growing mobile computing sector. Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, and Samsung countersued. The companies have also sued each other in Britain, Australia and South Korea. The California case was the first to go to a US jury.

Apple sought $2.75 billion for its claims that Samsung infringed four design patents and three software patents. Samsung demanded as much as $421.8 million in royalties for claims that Apple infringed five patents. The complexity of the case was compounded by Apple’s contention that nearly two dozen of Samsung’s devices violated its patents. The disputes date to 2010 when Samsung released its Galaxy smartphones. Apple immediately suspected that Galaxy phones copied the iPhone, which had been on the market for three years. Apple and Samsung are the world’s largest makers of handheld devices that blend phone and a computer functionality.

Sales of the iPhone totalled 47 billion dollars in 2011, while iPad sales totaled 20.4 billion dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Together they comprised 62 per cent of Apple’s sales in fiscal 2011. In smartphone sales, Samsung has a lead over Apple with about 32 per cent of the market to Apple’s 17 per cent, according to technology market researcher IDC.In a related decision, the US International Trade Commission ruled Friday that Apple did not infringe two patents owned by Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit for wireless technologies. The commission stopped short of resolving their dispute, ordering a trade judge to reconsider Motorola Mobility’s claim that Apple had violated another patent.





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