After weeks of deliberation which culminated in this week’s jury trial, the judge and jury overseeing the longstanding patent litigation between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics have awarded Apple Inc. 1.05 billion in damages with Samsung receiving no awards for its own claims related to patent infringement involving its entire lineup of Android devices. Spread out over 70 devices, the jury found that Samsung violated key patents after answering a detailed series of questions regarding each companies’ claims of patent infringement, with the jury unanimously finding in favor of Apple Inc.
While the amount of $1.05 billion is being seen as staggering for patent infringement, the amount will likely be reduced on appeal, with the current activity centering on correcting newfound inconsistencies found with the answers to key questions in the verdict questionnaire provided to the jury. which has forced a juror recess until the inconsistencies can be clarified and corrected.
The results of the case have also prompted reactions from all over the world regarding the state of patent law, with many decrying the current wave of patent litigation as the reason for the lack of actual innovation in the mobile phone marketplace as a result of Apple’s meteoric rise and subsequent domination of the mass market for smartphones since the release of the first iPhone in 2007. With Samsung now the #2 manufacturer on account of its increased sales volume year on year since the release of the first Galaxy model, the verdict being in Apple’s favor may be nothing more than a short-term set back as the amount is equivalent to a percentage of its profits from its last quarter.
Whether the inconsistencies are enough to change the direction of the verdict is of little consequence, the damage has already been done to Samsung both in terms of perception and consumer sentiment. The bigger question now is where Samsung goes from here, now that in the eyes of the law it violated key patents that Apple had already owned and were actively exercising in its devices. With the two verdict inconsistencies still to be resolved by the jury, the wait now begins for the full verdict which is expected later tonight but may be delayed until either this weekend or Monday, depending on the corrections made by the jury.
Update: The jury has changed its opinion on whether the Samsung Intercept and another device in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE had infringed on one of Apple’s patents from an initial “yes” answer for Patent 915 to “no”, thereby reducing the total dollar amount slightly to $1.049 billion ($1,049,343,540). The jury has officially been dismissed and both Apple/Samsung are preparing for post-trial motions. Judge Koh is willing to give Samsung 14 days to prepare for an injunction hearing but their legal team is protesting the lead time being given due to the volume of evidence in the case. Judge Koh has refused their request for more time on the grounds of a full hearing schedule with September 20th being the one day available where she would be able to hear injunction proceedings.
Judge Koh has now confirmed September 20th as the date for the injunction hearing with page limits being enforced on both sides for each filing. Koh has also suggested to Apple that it file its motions by August 29th and is giving Samsung 14 days from that date to prepare its own filing due on September 12th, with Apple only being given two days total to file its response to Samsung, due on the 14th.