Samsung ordered to pay Apple $1.05bn

2012-08-25 08:17

California - After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided on Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.

The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05bn. An appeal is expected.

Apple Inc filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country's highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5bn from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399m.

But the day belonged to Apple as the jury rejected all Samsung's claims against Apple. The jury did reject some of Apple's claims against the two dozen Samsung devices at issue, declining to award the $2.5bn Apple demanded.

However, the jury found that several of Samsung's products illegally used such Apple creations as the "bounce-back" feature and the ability to zoom text with a finger tap.

During closing arguments, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny claimed Samsung was having a "crisis of design" after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

Giving consumers what they want

Samsung's lawyers countered that it was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: Smartphones with big screens. They said Samsung didn't violate any of Apple's patents and further alleged innovations claimed by Apple were actually created by other companies.

Samsung has emerged as one of Apple's biggest rivals and has overtaken Apple as the leading smartphone maker.

Samsung's Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.

Samsung conceded that Apple makes great products but said it doesn't have a monopoly on the design of rectangle phones with rounded corners that it claimed it created.

The trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by US District Judge Lucy Koh to settle the dispute out of court.

Deliberations by the jury of seven men and two women began on Wednesday.

The underdog

Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. McElhinny said those devices accounted for $8.16bn in sales since June 2010.

Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales.

As part of its lawsuit, Apple also demanded that Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the US market.

From the beginning, legal experts and Wall Street analysts viewed Samsung as the underdog in the case. Apple's headquarters is a mere 10 miles from the courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where Apple's late founder Steve Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.

While the legal and technological issues were complex, patent expert Alexander I Poltorak previously said the case would likely boil down to whether jurors believe Samsung's products look and feel almost identical to Apple's iPhone and iPad.

To overcome that challenge at trial, Samsung's lawyers argued that many of Apple's claims of innovation were either obvious concepts or ideas stolen from Sony Corp and others. Experts called that line of argument a high-risk strategy because of Apple's reputation as an innovator.

No difference

Apple's lawyers argued there is almost no difference between Samsung products and those of Apple, and presented internal Samsung documents they said showed it copied Apple designs. Samsung lawyers insisted that several other companies and inventors had previously developed much of the Apple technology at issue.

The US trial is just the latest skirmish between the two tech giants over product designs. Previous legal battles were fought in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The US case is one of some 50 lawsuits among myriad telecommunications companies jockeying for position in the burgeoning $219bn market for smartphones and computer tablets.

Samsung won a home court ruling on Friday in the global patent battle against Apple.

Judges in Seoul said Samsung didn't copy the look and feel of the iPhone and ruled that Apple infringed on Samsung's wireless technology.

However, the judges also said Samsung violated Apple's technology behind the feature that causes a screen to bounce back when a user scrolls to an end image. Both sides were ordered to pay limited damages.

  • koos.vandermerwe.338 - 2012-08-25 08:28

    The consumer is the one that will loose out. Apple buy its components from Samsung. Quite funny. At some stage the Asians are going to gang up against Apple then it is going to be fun and games.

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-25 08:47

      I dont think so. Samsung cant just get away with Piracy. If they did, it would open the floodgates and more technology would be stolen. If they are not clever enough to develop it themselves, that they should not be allowed to use it without permission.

      modiri.molosiwa - 2012-08-25 08:59


      rlong1952 - 2012-08-25 09:19

      I have news for you, Apple no longer buy their components from Samsung, they buy from Sharp, LG and another company in Taiwan. Samsung blatantly copied the iPhone and now they are paying big time for it.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-08-25 12:34

      Agree they bit off more than they could chew from an very expensive apple.

  • 777productions - 2012-08-25 08:30

    LMAO ...that's quite a steep bill for samsung... anyhow...I'm unsure to congratulate anyone... Apple will always control the industry...the same way it is less prone to virii on computers...

      stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-08-25 08:36

      And just how doews apple controll the industry if samsung smartphone outsell apple by a huge margin?

      mulzar - 2012-08-25 10:04

      @777: "the same way it is less prone to virii on computers..." - you have obviously no idea what you are talking about, sorry...

      delish7564 - 2012-08-25 12:13

      @Mulzar, 777 is right. At present anyway, Apple are less prone to virus attacks than PC but that can always change, hopefully it wont though :) Anyway, if these companies had the technology in the first place but didn't use it, then that's their problem not Apple's. They shouldn't sit on their patents so that others cannot use the tech....use it or lose it, that's what I would suggest, after all it is the consumer that loses out with all this tit for tat!

      abra.kadaver.1 - 2012-08-25 12:13

      hopefully the billion dollars will bring down the price of the iPhone 5 .

      wilhelm.sch - 2012-08-26 09:32

      I do not think apple will always control the industry, just like Nokia no longer has active market dominance. As one rises another falls... and in the case of Nokia it might be for good... They have been posting massive losses and their corporate bonds recently got downgraded to close to Junk Bond Status....

  • kim.buren - 2012-08-25 08:31

    Build a bridge and get over it !!

  • percy.molele.7 - 2012-08-25 08:35

    "Relative Evalution Report S1, iPhone" from the samsung engineers was all the evidence Apple needed to make a strong case.Sound rulling!(Android S2 User)

  • - 2012-08-25 08:35

    It really isn't about the individual companies. They are all doing what is rational from a business perspective. Most people miss the real reason for these cases. The American patent system. The system forces * the lodging of patents for silly things because if they don't someone else will and sue them * the vigorous defending of existing patents because if you don't you lose them I don't get why people use this as a stick to whack Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Oracle you name it. The system causes the behaviour. The behaviour does not create the system

  • Jason - 2012-08-25 08:37

    Ok Samsung, you naughty boys. Now write a cheque out of petty cash and get on with what you do best.

      vparaffin - 2012-08-26 15:49


  • brian.dixon.790 - 2012-08-25 08:39

    American company-Jury from Silicon Valley, in America. Did anyone expect any different verdict?

  • molton.brown.3 - 2012-08-25 08:50

    This is complete BS. Whats next, Colgate suing Mentadent P because their toothbrush looks too similar. Or how about Samsung suing Apple because Apple's new TV design infringes their design of it being square and having the same pixel quality...blablabla. Fact is, what Samsung had been sued about, 90% of cell phone manufactures use in their designs as well. Is Apple going to sue them all now? This just shows the nonsensical nature of consumerism and greed!

      reyn.varkevisser - 2012-08-25 12:03

      At last someone talks sense.

  • reveng21 - 2012-08-25 08:55

    Good thing no one patented the wheel.... Apple, Samsung, Android, Nokia... whatever fanboy you are unless you own a little of Apple, you as the consumer will pay along with Samsung when you're looking for your new device especially if you want Apple...

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-25 09:05

    Steve goes apple suffers now they are making excuses.

      wilhelm.sch - 2012-08-26 09:34

      Where is apple suffering? There share price recently hit the highest it has ever been? They are also now the most valuable company in history???

  • CHRISTOS52 - 2012-08-25 09:24

    BlackBerry is my number one at the moment

      KingPro - 2012-08-25 09:54

      Quiet Christo, adults are talking. Stop embarrassing yourself... We all know God created RIM and BlackBerry's only to show us that he's got a sense of humour, come on now...

      dawood.timol - 2012-08-25 13:40

      @ CHRISTOS52 apple and samsung are so advanced that blackberry seems to be the one that will soon be extinct , or downgraded like nokia.The apps that apple products have are light years ahead of blackberry.

      wilhelm.sch - 2012-08-26 09:36

      Funny Muppet... blackberry is a dead duck on the titanic circling the drain...

  • KeenanMag - 2012-08-25 09:28

    Android users, you are loses. Suck it.

      berthram - 2012-08-25 09:36

      And you, dear friend, suck at spelling...

      ethanhawk385 - 2012-08-25 17:02

      And I still can not buy Music from the istore in South Africa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is is again that makes Apple so good ?

  • roger.weiss - 2012-08-25 09:36

    I think this patent war is silly. It stifles progress. Yes, I know, I would be peeved if someone else made money off my invention, but imagine finding the cure for cancer (which many Apple owners believe their products indeed do), and someone patents it!?

  • kelly.reagan.90 - 2012-08-25 09:50

    Good, and I guess Samsung will have to carry the legal bills too - which will run into tens of millions. American companies are good at innovating and being inventive. Asian companies are excellent at copying - it happens all the time. Well done Apple !!!

      achmad.osman - 2012-08-25 10:26

      what a stupid remark. You should think before making such comments. By the way, look at the Samsung Galaxy S3 and try to explain where the Asains copied that from.

      boltonbarry - 2012-08-25 10:39

      Kelly you are one miss guided woman if you think Apple is great at innovating

      boltonbarry - 2012-08-25 10:51

      I mean Apple sued Samsung for making a rectangle device with rounded edges. My grandma makes an awesome chocolate rectangle cake with round edges. I think she should sue Apple for that. One thing your beloved American companies do very well is screw the consumer. Maybe just maybe Mercedes Benz should sue Ford for making a box shape vehicle with four wheels and using an internal combustion engine.

      boltonbarry - 2012-08-25 11:19

      THE ONLY thing that Apple is good at is copying other people's invention like the bounceback feature first invented by MS in 2000 and then patenting it. What Apple is doing here is monopolizing the industry, the same type of monopoly that MS was sued for in Europe. Apple is slowly but surely taking the right to chose away from the American people. This from a company that has taken 99 percent of their manufacturing done in Eastern countries and this taking jobs away form Americans. Their products are no better than any other manufacturer. They sell the same components to the iSheep that you would find in any other device at greatly inflated prices. The only thing that Apple is good at is pulling a wool cap over the regular iSheep and selling them the story that their products are superior

  • hendrikvs - 2012-08-25 10:01

    Laat dit nou vir julle 'n les wees Samsung!

  • stephbrits - 2012-08-25 10:44

    I have used Android and Apple products both, some of these courtcases are downright petty and a powerplay I think but... Any one with even limited ability to use a search engine (unbiasedly) will find unavoidable simIlairities between these two, the handset's are alike, the icons are similair, the OS have very similair functions including the recent speech recognition apps integrated with both devices, even the accessories are nearly identical. Apple established itself as a top smartphone developer before Samsung Galaxy Range started competing with them, they are now a top competitor yes, but in all areas where these two are similair, Apple did it first. Innovation is valuable and so there is sense in the court battles - Would Samsung be such a close competitor if they were not able to copy Apple in so many areas for so long? It might be too late now but I think Samsung could have steered much further away from Apple's designs in order to create a more Original device and user experience such as a WinMobile device or BB does. I hope they do, I think there is always room for new innovation, if every second device is going to look and feel like an Apple device how boring would that be... Also I see a lot of comments that mention Samsung manufactures the iPhone for Apple, Samsung supplies only 26% of parts used, Samsung is one of Apple's biggest suppliers and Apple is one Samsung's biggest customers - it goes both ways. It's Business they need, maybe now more than before.

  • mokgadi.deborah - 2012-08-25 11:10

    Samsung will appeal this nonsensical ruling. As if Apple does not use other companies innovative ideas.

  • gordonmabilo - 2012-08-25 12:14

    How would Samsung, a South Korean company, have won against Apple Inc, a US company, in an American court?

  • ghoosthuizen - 2012-08-25 13:42

    This case should have been heard on neutral ground. There's no way a US court and a US jury will find for a foreign company over one of their own. Shame on Apple for getting rid of the competition in this way. My sympathy to consumers in the US. Competition breeds innovation - in 10 years time you will still be stuck with the same old brick with a few added bells and whistles while the rest of the world will using vastly superior products.

  • mugelene.hendricks - 2012-08-25 14:12

    USA company, USA court, USA Jury??????

  • masamune.azeem - 2012-08-25 18:53

    I smell fear, and its coming from Apple.

  • rlong1952 - 2012-08-26 00:59

    I will repeat here what I posted on another thread about this, I live and work in Korea, here it is: I had a chat to several of my Korean friends last night about this whole saga (they are pretty traditional and loyal Koreans) and I took a neutral stance on the whole deal and asked what they and in general Koreans thought about the outcome. I was a little surprised by their answer, expecting a huge Samsung defence, but they said, 'Oh all Koreans knew that Samsung would lose, Korea always copies things, so no surprise to us' They then went on to say it is necessary for Samsung (and Koreans in general) to copy because then they could go on and improve the product they copied. I must admit I didn't really know what to say to them. I have noticed the copying thing here, especially with cars. There are many Korean cars running around that are clones of some European cars that appeared on the market some years back. China, of course, is way more guilty of copying, but that is another story. I asked them if they thought Samsung should have been fined and they all agreed it was ok, a price to pay for the future. Oh well..........

  • vparaffin - 2012-08-26 15:53

    This saga is really silly. Fact is, Samsung is appealing and they have exactly what the consumer wants at a price that the consumer likes. Can Apple just get over themselves and develop something else innovative and get on with it till the next big competitor comes along? I don't think Steve Jobs would have been alarmed or bothered with such things were he still alive, he would just create something new and better and get on with it. Clearly Apple is losing innovative thinking.

  • adrian.tyler - 2012-08-27 08:25

    Apple is spoiling the market...

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